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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 13 January-19 January 2010.


















 Activity for the week of 13 January-19 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
Kharimkotan Kuril Islands (Russia) New
Nyamuragira DR Congo New
Soufriere Hills Montserrat New
Tungurahua Ecuador New
Turrialba Costa Rica New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Arenal Costa Rica Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Gaua Banks Islands (Vanuatu) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Planchon-Peteroa Central Chile-Argentina border Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sangay Ecuador Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Kharimkotan  | Kuril Islands (Russia)  | 49.12°N, 154.508°E  | Elevation 1145 m

SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly from Kharimkotan's Severgin cone was detected by satellite on 15 January.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



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

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Toulouse VAAC reported that on 18 January sulfur dioxide-and-steam plumes from Nyamuragira possibly contained ash. An ash cloud was visible in satellite imagery the next day.

Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

MVO reported that during 8-15 January activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome increased significantly. One explosion on 8 January and two on 10 January generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 5.5-7.6 km (18,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash fell in occupied areas to the NW, along with lapilli fall on 10 January. The explosions occurred from an area on the NE side of the volcano. Pyroclastic flows from column collapses moved rapidly NE (down Whites Bottom and Tuitts Ghaut), NW (down Tyers Ghaut and Belham Valley), W (down Gages Ghaut), and the SE (down the Tar River Valley). After the explosions activity decreased until 12 January, when cycles of increased numbers of rockfalls, pyroclastic flows, and ash venting were noted.

Observations during 8-15 January revealed that lava-dome growth resumed at the top, central part of the dome. On 18 January, a partial lava-dome collapse generated a pyroclastic flow that traveled W down Gages Valley, into Spring Ghaut, and then WSW down Aymers Ghaut, reaching the sea. Ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Smoke from burning houses in Kinsale was visible after the event. The Hazard Level remained at 4.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



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

The IG reported that during 13-14 January explosions from Tungurahua ejected incandescent material 1 km above and 1.5 km away from the crater, onto the flanks. Explosions produced noises resembling "cannon shots" and caused windows and structures to vibrate. Gas-and-ash plumes rose to altitudes of 7-8 km (23,000-26,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SW, causing ashfall. On 15 January, although meteorological clouds mostly prevented observations, an ash plume was seen rising to an altitude of 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. Cloud cover prevented observations during the next two days. On 17 January, ashfall was reported in areas W and SW. Lahars descended drainages to the W and NW, causing the road to Baños to close. On 18 January, Strombolian activity ejected incandescent blocks and an ash plume rose to an altitude of 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. Explosions caused windows and structures to vibrate. Ashfall was reported in areas W and SW on 18 and 19 January.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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

Based on multiple METAR weather notices during the previous few days, the Washington VAAC reported on 16 January that gas plumes containing some ash rose from Turrialba. Ash was not seen in satellite imagery that day or the next.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 13-19 January multiple explosions from Sakura-jima often produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.7 km (5,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E. On 16 and 18 January, pilots reported that ash plumes drifted SE at altitudes of 2.4-3 km (8,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Arenal  | Costa Rica  | 10.463°N, 84.703°W  | Elevation 1670 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that during December activity originating from Arenal's Crater C consisted of gas emissions, sporadic Strombolian eruptions, and occasional avalanches that traveled down the W and SW flanks. Acid rain and small amounts of ejected pyroclastic material affected the NE and SE flanks. Avalanches from lava-flow fronts traveled down the SW flanks. Crater D produced only fumarolic activity.

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



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

Based on web camera views and analyses of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume from Chaitén's lava-dome complex drifted NNE on 14 January at an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. A steam-and-gas plume drifted NE at the same altitude the next day.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Gaua  | Banks Islands (Vanuatu)  | 14.27°S, 167.5°E  | Elevation 797 m

On 13 January, Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that ash emissions that had become denser and darker on 14 December continued. Ashfall persisted in the W part of the island and satellite imagery showed gas emissions. The Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level (VVAL) remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4).

Source: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD)



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

KVERT reported that during 8-15 January seismic activity from Karymsky was above background levels, possibly indicating that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed an almost daily thermal anomaly over the volcano and ash plumes that drifted 113 km SE on 12 and 13 January. 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 13-19 January, HVO reported an active lava surface about 200 m below a vent in the floor of Kilauea's Halema'uma'u crater. The lava surface occasionally spattered, and both rose and drained through a hole in the cavity floor. A plume from the vent drifted mainly SW, dropping small amounts of ash, and occasionally fresh spatter, downwind. On 14 January, the lava surface suddenly rose to very high levels multiple times; the highest level was about 120 m below the floor of Halema'uma'u crater. Thermal anomalies from the areas above the pali, detected from satellites on the same day, indicated that lava emissions from the TEB vent had resumed. Lava flows were noted during 17-19 January.

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 8-15 January seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi was above background levels and lava continued to flow down the NW flank. Strombolian activity periodically ejected material above the crater. Phreatic explosions were seen from the front of the lava flow, which was about 1.2 km in length. Satellite imagery also revealed a large daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. During 12-14 January, gas-and-steam plumes rose to an altitude of 6.8 km (22,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Based on information from the Yelizovo Airport (UHPP), the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 18 January an ash plume rose to an altitude of 9 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N.

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



Volcano index photo  Planchon-Peteroa  | Central Chile-Argentina border  | 35.223°S, 70.568°W  | Elevation 3977 m

Based on pilot reports and photographs SERNAGEOMIN reported on 13 January that fumarolic plumes from Planchón-Peteroa rose 250 m high on 4, 6, and 7 January. Increased fumarolic activity is common on the warmest days in the summer when snow melts in the crater and more steam is produced.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



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

Based on a Port Moresby Met Office notice, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 18 January an ash plume from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

Based on pilot observations, the Washington VAAC reported that on 14 January an ash plume from Sangay rose to an altitude of 7.3 km (24,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash was not identified in satellite imagery, although weather clouds were present in the area.

Source: 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 8-15 January seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels, possibly indicating ash plumes rising to an altitude of 6.2 km (20,300 ft) a.s.l. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly from the lava dome and an ash plume that drifted 8 km SW on 13 January. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 18 January an eruption produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l.

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



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 13 and 16-17 January. Details of possible resulting emissions were not reported.

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.

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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)