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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 27 January-2 February 2010.


















 Activity for the week of 27 January-2 February 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
Nyiragongo DR Congo New
Tungurahua Ecuador New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Gaua Banks Islands (Vanuatu) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Nyamuragira DR Congo Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Sangay Ecuador Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Nyiragongo  | DR Congo  | 1.52°S, 29.25°E  | Elevation 3470 m

During 27 January-2 February, the MODIS sensor aboard the Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite continued to frequently detect thermal anomalies from Nyiragongo, likely from lava lake activity. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Toulouse VAAC reported that during 30-31 January a diffuse plume drifted 240 km W.

Sources: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team, Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

The IG reported that during 26 January-2 February explosions from Tungurahua were detected by the seismic network. Inclement weather occasionally prevented observations of the volcano; ash plumes were seen rising to altitudes no higher than 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was noted almost daily in areas to the SW, W, and NW. Roaring noises and sounds resembling "cannon shots" were reported. During 26 and 28-30 January lava fountains were seen and sometimes ejected incandescent blocks that fell onto and rolled down the flanks. On 31 January, a lahar descended the Chontapamba drainage to the W.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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 27 January-2 February multiple explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, E, and NE. During 27-29 January and 1-2 February, pilots reported that ash plumes sometimes drifted SE and S at altitudes of 1.2-3 km (4,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

On 29 January, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported significant changes in Gaua's activity over the previous two weeks. They noted that since 16 January more gas was emitted and multiple explosions produced denser and darker ash plumes. During 22-29 January, the water level in the river to the E that Lake Letas feeds rose 10 cm. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 3 km and drifted S and W. On 24 January nearby villagers reported seeing ejected material from Strombolian activity. The Wellington VAAC reported that on 27 January an ash cloud was seen on satellite imagery. Strong explosions were seen and heard from East Gaua on 29 January. According to the VAAC, the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that gas-and-ash plumes rose to altitudes of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S and W that same day.

Sources: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

KVERT reported that during 22-29 January seismic activity from Karymsky was above background levels and possibly indicated weak ash explosions. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly over the volcano during 21-25 and 27 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 27 January-2 February, 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 N, NW, and W, dropping small amounts of ash, and occasionally fresh spatter, downwind. Measurements indicated that the sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit remained elevated; 400 and 1,000 tonnes per day were measured on 28 January and 1 February, respectively. The 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day.

Lava from beneath the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex flowed over 3 km SE through a lava tube system before breaking out onto the surface. Thermal anomalies detected by satellite and visual observations revealed active lava flows on top of and on the pali; lava burned forest on the W side of the TEB flows. Incandescence was seen from a vent low on the S wall of Pu'u 'O'o crater.

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 22-29 January seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi was above background levels and lava continued to flow down the NW flank. Strombolian activity periodically ejected material 200 m above the crater, and phreatic explosions occurred from the front of the lava flow. Satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. Ashfall was reported in Klyuchi, about 30 km to the NE, on 22 January. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

During 27 January-2 February, the MODIS sensor aboard the Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite frequently detected thermal anomalies from Nyamuragira. The Toulouse VAAC reported that a diffuse ash plume was seen on satellite imagery on 29 January.

Sources: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team, Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Popocatepetl  | Mexico  | 19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5393 m

CENAPRED reported that during 27-31 January and 1 February emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl contained minor amounts of ash.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



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

Based on pilot observations, the Washington VAAC reported that on 2 February an ash plume from Sangay rose to an altitude of 8.2 km (27,000 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 22-29 January seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels, possibly indicating ash plumes rising to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,100 ft) a.s.l. Fumarolic activity was occasionally observed. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly from the lava dome. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 29-30 January eruptions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.9-5.8 km (16,000-19,000 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 22-29 January activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome was variable as the lava dome continued to grow. Cycles of vigorous ash venting, rockfalls, and pyroclastic flows occurred every five to seven hours. Pyroclastic flows traveled down multiple valleys, including Whites Ghaut to the NE, and W down Gages into Spring Ghaut. The increasing number of pyroclastic flows that traveled E down the Tar River Valley, frequently reaching the sea, were attributed to new lava-dome growth in the SE part of the lava dome. Ash fell across most of Montserrat on 23 January. Vigorous steaming from hot pyroclastic flows emplaced in the Belham Valley on 8 January was caused by heavy rains on 25 January. Small steam explosions generated steam plumes that sometimes contained ash. 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 27 January-2 February. On 27 January, plumes rose to altitudes of 1.2-1.5 km (4,000-5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. on 29 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)