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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 30 December-5 January 2010.


















 Activity for the week of 30 December-5 January 2010

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

Name Location Activity
Galeras Colombia New
Mayon Luzon (Philippines) New
Nyamuragira DR Congo New
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New
Rinjani Lombok Island (Indonesia) New
Tungurahua Ecuador New
Turrialba Costa Rica New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Barren Island Andaman Islands (India) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Nevado del Huila Colombia Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sangay Ecuador Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Galeras  | Colombia  | 1.22°N, 77.37°W  | Elevation 4276 m

An explosive eruption from Galeras detected by the seismic network on 2 January prompted INGEOMINAS to raise the Alert Level to I (Red; "imminent eruption or in progress"). An ash plume rose to an altitude of 12 km (39,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind, as far away as 110 km W. Ejected incandescent blocks fell onto the flanks 3.2-3.5 km away from the summit and ignited fires. An overflight on 3 January revealed diffuse gas plumes from the main crater. Fires started the previous day continued to burn on the N flank. The Alert Level was lowered to II (Orange; "probable eruption in term of days or weeks").

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Volcano index photo  Mayon  | Luzon (Philippines)  | 13.257°N, 123.685°E  | Elevation 2462 m

PHIVOLCS reported declining activity at Mayon from 28 December to 2 January. Steam plumes were emitted from the crater, but ash plumes were last seen on 29 December. In addition, the majority of the seismic signals originated from rockfalls and detached lava fragments rolling down the flanks from advancing lava flows. Sulfur dioxide emissions also decreased from close to 9,000 tonnes per day to about 2,600 tonnes per day. PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level from 4 to 3, and reminded the public that no human activity should occur within the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the SE flank. During 2-5 January, seismic activity indicated rockfall events related to the detachment of lava fragments at the upper slopes. Cloud cover at the summit prevented observations of steam plumes. Incandescence from the crater at night was noted.

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



Volcano index photo  Nyamuragira  | DR Congo  | 1.408°S, 29.2°E  | Elevation 3058 m

According to news articles, Nyamuragira erupted on 2 January from a fissure on the SE flank. Park rangers reported hearing a loud explosion in the early morning before seeing flowing lava. By 3 January, the lava flow had traveled 4.6 km, was 15 m wide, and had burned about 10 hectares of forest in a non-populated area of the Virunga National Park.

Sources: Agence France-Presse (AFP), CNN, UN News Centre, UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)



Volcano index photo  Piton de la Fournaise  | Reunion Island (France)  | 21.244°S, 55.708°E  | Elevation 2632 m

OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise on 29 December was characterized by numerous earthquakes in the area W and NW of Dolomieu crater (max M 3), at depths of 1.1-2.2 km below the summit. Deformation was also detected. On 31 December, OVPDLF reported decreased seismicity and fewer landslides within Dolomieu crater on 30 and 31 December. On 2 January, an eruption from a fissure near the top of the W crater rim, preceded by a seismic crisis, produced lava fountains a few tens of meters high and lava flows in Dolomieu crater. Large landslides in Bory crater (W) along with the fissure eruption generated ash and gas plumes that rose above Piton de la Fournaise. During 2-3 January, seismicity and the number of landslides decreased. As of 4 January, the lava flows covered about 80 percent of the crater floor. Lava fountaining was still visible.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)



Volcano index photo  Rinjani  | Lombok Island (Indonesia)  | 8.42°S, 116.47°E  | Elevation 3726 m

Based on a pilot report, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 2 January an ash plume from Rinjani rose to an unspecified altitude. The plume was not identified in satellite imagery; however a meteorological cloud was present in the area.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Tungurahua  | Ecuador  | 1.467°S, 78.442°W  | Elevation 5023 m

The IG reported steam emissions from Tungurahua during 30 December-3 January. On 1 January, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.9 km (19,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. Slight ashfall was reported the next day in Manzano, 8 km SW. Roaring noises and incandescence from the crater were also reported. On 3 and 4 January, incandescent blocks were ejected from the crater. Based on information from the Guayaquil MWO and SIGMET notices, the Washington VAAC reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 6.7-9.1 km (22,000-30,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Thermal anomalies were detected in satellite imagery. On 4 January, ashfall was reported in areas to the W and SW.

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Turrialba  | Costa Rica  | 10.025°N, 83.767°W  | Elevation 3340 m

On 5 January, OVSICORI-UNA reported that an eruption from Turrialba produced ashfall in local areas, particularly in areas to the SW, including near Irazú volcano (11 km SW). According to news articles, about 20 people evacuated the area.

Sources: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Reuters



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Elevation 1117 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 30 December-5 January multiple explosions from Sakura-jima often produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-2.7 km (4,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, SE, and S. During 31 December-4 January pilots reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 2.4-5.5 km (8,000-18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Barren Island  | Andaman Islands (India)  | 12.278°N, 93.858°E  | Elevation 354 m

Based on a pilot report, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 3 January a plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. The plume was not identified in satellite imagery; however a meteorological cloud was present in the area.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Chaiten  | Chile  | 42.833°S, 72.646°W  | Elevation 1122 m

Based on web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that a plume from Chaitén's lava-dome complex drifted SE on 30 December at an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Elevation 1513 m

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was detected in satellite imagery during 24-26 and 29-30 December. Gas-and-steam bursts were seen by volcanologists on 28 December. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

During 30 December-3 January, HVO reported that lava flowed SE from beneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the ocean at Waikupanaha. Lava was not seen entering the ocean on 4 and 5 January. Thermal anomalies detected by satellite and occasional visual observations revealed active lava flows on the pali. Incandescence was seen almost daily coming from Pu'u 'O'o crater. During an overflight of Pu'u 'O'o crater on 29 December, geologists saw that a part of the high point of the W rim had collapsed, and a new gas vent had opened up at base of the N wall.

The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a plume that drifted NE and NW, dropping small amounts of ash, and occasionally fresh spatter, downwind. Incandescence originated from an active and sometimes sloshing lava surface within an opening on the deep floor of the vent cavity.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Klyuchevskoy  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.056°N, 160.642°E  | Elevation 4754 m

KVERT reported that during 24-31 December seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi was above background levels and lava continued to flow down the ESE flank. Strombolian activity ejected material 500 m above the crater. Satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Nevado del Huila  | Colombia  | 2.93°N, 76.03°W  | Elevation 5364 m

Based on web camera views, INGEOMINAS reported that during 23-29 December a continuous white plume from Nevado del Huila rose 1 km. The output of sulfur dioxide was less than during the previous months of October and November. Seismicity and the rate of lava extrusion had also decreased during the previous weeks. On 5 January, INGEOMINAS lowered the Alert Level to III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Volcano index photo  Rabaul  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 4.271°S, 152.203°E  | Elevation 688 m

RVO reported that activity from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone was at a low level during 21-31 December; no emission from the crater was observed on most days. White steam plumes accompanied by blue plumes were occasionally emitted. On 23 December, ash emissions rose less than 200 m above the cone. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 31 December an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted less than 30 km SE.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



Volcano index photo  Sangay  | Ecuador  | 2.005°S, 78.341°W  | Elevation 5286 m

The Washington VAAC reported that during 2-4 January thermal anomalies from Sangay were seen in satellite imagery. On 2 January, a pilot saw an ash plume drifting NW at an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. An ash plume was also reported by a pilot the next day.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Santa Maria  | Guatemala  | 14.757°N, 91.552°W  | Elevation 3745 m

On 30 December and 5 January, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 3-3.4 km (10,000-11,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SW. The Washington VAAC reported that ash plumes seen on satellite imagery drifted more than 30 km WSW. Avalanches occasionally descended the SW flank of the dome.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 24-31 December seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels, possibly indicating ash plumes rising to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l. Fumarolic activity was occasionally seen when the weather was clear. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly from the lava dome and an ash plume that drifted 15 km W on 28 December. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Based on information from KEMSD and KVERT, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 30 December-3 January eruptions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.3-7.6 km (14,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Soufriere Hills  | Montserrat  | 16.72°N, 62.18°W  | Elevation 915 m

MVO reported that during 24-31 December activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome continued at a high level. Cycles of increased activity associated with vigorous ash venting and pyroclastic flows occurred every six to eight hours. Audible rockfalls, roaring, and occasional thunder were noted during the most intense events. Frequent pyroclastic flows traveled N down Whites Ghaut, Farrells plain, and Tyers Ghaut. Pyroclastic flows also traveled W down Gages Valley into Spring Ghaut, and occasionally to the S in Gingoes Ghaut. On 29 December several pyroclastic flows traveled 2.5 km, reaching Dyers village. A comparison of photographs from 30 December and 2 January revealed that the lava dome morphology had changed rapidly, with a significant addition of lava on the N side. The additional area of growth was approximately 60 m high and 100 m wide. The Hazard Level remained at 4.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



Volcano index photo  Suwanosejima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 29.638°N, 129.714°E  | Elevation 796 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported explosions from Suwanose-jima during 30 December-2 January and 4-5 January. Plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. on 2 and 4 January, and drifted NE and E on 4 January.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 News Feeds and Google Placemarks


The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website.




The CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management. They are similar in content to the RSS feed, but contain no active links.




A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.

 Criteria & Disclaimers

Criteria

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report does not necessarily include all volcanic activity that occurred on Earth during the week. More than a dozen volcanoes globally have displayed more-or-less continuous eruptive activity for decades or longer, and such routine activity is typically not reported here. Moreover, Earth's sea-floor volcanism is seldom reported even though in theory it represents the single most prolific source of erupted material. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report summarizes volcanic activity that meets one or more of the following criteria:

- A volcano observatory raises or lowers the alert level at the volcano.
- A volcanic ash advisory has been released by a volcanic ash advisory center (VAAC) stating that an ash cloud has been produced from the volcano.
- A verifiable news report of new activity or a change in activity at the volcano has been issued.
- Observers have reported a significant change in volcanic activity. Such activity can include, but is not restricted to, pyroclastic flows, lahars, lava flows, dome collapse, or increased unrest.

Volcanoes are included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report if the activity occurs after at least 3 months of quiescence. Once a volcano is included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section, updates will remain in that section unless the activity continues for more than 1 month without escalating, after which time updates will be listed in the "Continuing Activity" section. Volcanoes are also included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section if the volcano is undergoing a period of relatively high unrest, or increasing unrest. This is commonly equal to Alert Level Orange on a scale of Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, where Red is the highest alert. Or alert level 3 on a scale of 1-4 or 1-5.

It is important to note that volcanic activity meeting one or more of these criteria may occur during the week, but may not be included in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report because we did not receive a report.


Disclaimers

1. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is intended to provide timely information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. Consequently, the report is generated rapidly by summarizing volcanic reports from various sources, with little time for fact checking. The accuracy of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is dependent upon the quality of the volcanic activity reports we receive. Reports published in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network are monthly, and more carefully reviewed, although all of the volcanoes discussed in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report are not necessarily reported in the Bulletin. Because of our emphasis on rapid reporting on the web we have avoided diacritical marks. Reports are updated on the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report web page as they are received, therefore information may be included regarding events that occurred before the current report period.

2. Rapidly developing events lead to coverage that is often fragmentary. Volcanoes, their eruptions, and their plumes and associated atmospheric effects are complex phenomena that may require months to years of data analysis in order to create a comprehensive summary and interpretation of events.

3. Preliminary accounts sometimes contain exaggerations and "false alarms," and accordingly, this report may include some events ultimately found to be erroneous or misleading.

4. Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.

5. USGS Disclaimer Statement for this Website:

Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. We strongly recommend that USGS data be acquired directly from a USGS server and not through other sources that may change the data in some way. While USGS makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information, various data such as names, telephone numbers, etc. may change prior to updating. USGS welcomes suggestions on how to improve our home page and correct errors. USGS provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of furnished data.

Some of the documents on this server may contain live references (or pointers) to information created and maintained by other organizations. Please note that USGS does not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness, or accuracy of these outside materials.

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RSS and CAP Feeds

An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report first made available on 5 March 2008 can be utilized with the aid of various free downloadable readers. The report content of the news feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website. On 12 March 2009, GeoRSS tags were added so that the latitude and longitude for each volcano could be included with the feed.

At the end of each individual report is a list of the sources used. We would like to emphasize that the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) website (http://www.wovo.org/) lists the regional volcano observatories that have the most authoritative data for many of these events.

CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management.


Google Earth Placemarks

A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report was first made available on 1 April 2009. This file can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.

 Acronyms and Abbreviations

a.s.l. - above sea level

AVO - Alaska Volcano Observatory

AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)

CONRED - Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres

COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer

CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation

CVO - Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS)

GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory

GVP - Global Volcanism Program (Smithsonian Institution)

HVO - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS)

ICE - Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Costa Rica)

IG - Instituto Geofísico (Ecuador)

IGNS - Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (New Zealand) - now GNS Science

INETER - Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (Nicaragua)

INGEMMET - Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (Peru)

INGEOMINAS - Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (Colombia)

INGV-CT - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Sezione di Catania (Italy)

INSIVUMEH - Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrologia (Guatemala)

IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France)

JMA - Japanese Meteorological Agency

KEMSD - Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismilogical Department

KVERT - Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team

M - magnitude

METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite

MEVO - Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory

MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

MVO - Montserrat Volcano Observatory

MWO - Meteorological Watch Office

NEIC - National Earthquake Information Center

NIED - National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (Japan)

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTAM - Notice to Airmen

OVDAS - Observatorio Volcanologico de los Andes del Sur (Chile)

OFDA - Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance

ONEMI - Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (Chile)

OVPDLF - Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (France)

OVSICORI-UNA - Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica)

PHIVOLCS - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philippines)

RSAM - Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement

RVO - Rabaul Volcano Observatory

SERNAGEOMIN - Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria (Chile)

SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information

SNET - Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (El Salvador)

SVERT - Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (Russia)

USAID - US Agency for International Development

USGS - United States Geological Survey

UTC - Coordinated Universal Time

VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

VAFTAD - Volcanic Ash Forecast Transport And Dispersion

VDAP - Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (USGS)

VHP - Volcano Hazards Program (USGS)

VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)