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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 5 January-11 January 2011.


















 Activity for the week of 5 January-11 January 2011

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
Etna Sicily (Italy) New
Kizimen Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) New
Manam Papua New Guinea New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Bulusan Luzon (Philippines) Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Merapi Central Java (Indonesia) Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala Ongoing
Reventador Ecuador Ongoing
San Cristobal Nicaragua Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3295 m

After a few hours of quiescence on the evening of 3 January, very weak emissions of incandescent material (probably mostly hot gas with little or no solid material) resumed from the pit crater located on the lower E flank of Etna's Southeast Crater cone. Later that evening intense incandescence from the pit crater was reported by observers in the village of S. Alfio on the E flank of Etna. The emissions continued on 4 January at a rate of 4-6 events per hour, producing small plumes that appeared as thermal anomalies in thermal video footage. Activity ceased in the afternoon. Very weak emissions of incandescent material (probably again mostly hot gas) were observed on 5 January at the same rate as the previous day. A camera recorded white vapor plumes occasionally accompanied by some grayish-brown ash. Weak, intermittent incandescence from the pit crater was observed at night during 5-6 January. Emissions on 6 January occurred at a frequency of 3-4 events per hour, producing small plumes seen in thermal camera footage. That same day, intense degassing occurred from the W vent of Bocca Nuova (BN-1), and from the Northeast Crater, where pulsating emissions produced mushroom-shaped vapor plumes.

Starting in the late evening of 11 January, the seismic network recorded a slight increase in volcanic tremor amplitude. The amplitude peaked early on 12 January, and the source of the tremor shifted from a location N of the Northeast Crater towards the Southeast Crater. Weak Strombolian activity from the pit crater accompanied these changes on 11 January, and gradually became more intense on 12 January.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)



Volcano index photo  Kizimen  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.131°N, 160.32°E  | Elevation 2334 m

KVERT reported that ash emissions from Kizimen had been essentially continuous during 31 December-7 January, producing ash plumes mostly below altitudes of 6-8 km (20,000-26,000 ft) a.s.l. reported by pilots or observed in satellite imagery. Seismicity remained high but variable and volcanic tremor continued to be recorded. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was observed in satellite imagery. On 5 January ash plumes drifted more than 500 km ENE. Ashfall was reported on the Komandorsky Islands, 350-500 km E. The Tokyo VAAC reported that ash continued to be observed in satellite imagery on 5 Janaury. According to information from KVERT and analyses of satellite imagery, a possible eruption on 6 January produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. Subsequent satellite images that same day showed continuing ash emissions. Ash plumes drifted NW on 9 January, and drifted NW again on 11 January, at an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. The Color Code remained at Red.

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



Volcano index photo  Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Elevation 1807 m

RVO reported that during 5-6 January low roaring from Manam's South Crater was heard and weak but steady crater incandescence was observed at night. Diffuse blue vapor was emitted from South Crater on 6 January. During 6-8 January white vapor rose from Main Crater and incandescence from both craters was observed at night. Diffuse brown ash plumes occasionally rose from South Crater on 7 January. The next day the Alert Level was lowered from Stage 3 to Stage 2. During 8-9 January Main Crater emitted white vapor and South Crater produced occasional gray ash plumes that drifted to the SE part of the island. Emissions from Main Crater turned to gray on 10 January. White-to-blue vapor plumes rose from South Crater. Both craters were incandescent at night during 8-10 January.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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 7-8 January explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE. On 8 January, pilots reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-3 km (6,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Bulusan  | Luzon (Philippines)  | 12.769°N, 124.056°E  | Elevation 1535 m

During 4-10 January, PHIVOLCS reported that 2-8 daily volcanic earthquakes at Bulusan were detected by the seismic network. Clouds usually prevented observations, but on 5 or 6 January steam was seen rising from a known NW thermal vent. The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 6 and 7 January ash was observed according to notices from the Manila airport (RPLL). The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5).

Sources: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Dukono  | Halmahera (Indonesia)  | 1.693°N, 127.894°E  | Elevation 1229 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 5-7 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 2.4-3.7 km (8,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 65-130 km W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Fuego  | Guatemala  | 14.473°N, 90.88°W  | Elevation 3763 m

INSIVUMEH reported that during 5-6 January explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 500-800 m above the crater and drifted 10 km S and SW. The explosions caused windows and roofs to rattle in areas 6 km away. Fine ashfall was reported in communities downwind including Panimaché (6 km SW), Morelia (7 km SW), and Yepocapa (8 km WNW). Incandescence from the crater was observed at night. On 8 January, the Washington VAAC reported multiple gas-and-ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. were observed in satellite imagery. During 10-11 January INSIVUMEH again reported that explosions produced ash plumes that rose 500-800 m above the crater and shock waves that were detected as far away as 7 km. Plumes drifted 15 km W and block avalanches descended a few drainages.

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



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

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was above background levels on 1 and 5 January, suggesting that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.8 km (12,500 ft) a.s.l. Seismic activity did not exceed background levels on the other days during 31 December-7 January. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite imagery. An ash plume drifting 140 km SE was also seen in imagery on 2 January. Based on a pilot observation, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 5 January an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l.

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



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

During 5-11 January, HVO reported that activity at Kilauea continued from the summit caldera and the east rift zone. At the summit caldera, the level of the lava-pool surface in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater circulated and remained mostly stable at approximately 120 m below the crater floor, periodically rising several meters higher. Nighttime incandescence was visible from the Jaggar Museum on the NW caldera rim. A plume from the vent that drifted SW, NE, and N deposited ash and fresh spatter nearby.

At the east rift zone, lava that broke out of the Quarry tube at a saddle between two rootless shields around 610 m elevation, continued to advance in two branches, E and W. At the lowest elevation of the E branch lava advanced along Highway 130 near Kalapana. One part of the W branch entered the ocean on 6 January at a location about 2 km SW of the end of Highway 130. Lava flows fed by an 8-m-high cone on the N portion of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor covered and recovered the E crater floor. The web camera also recorded incandescence from a small fume-producing vent in the E wall of the crater. On 10 January the sides of the cone seemingly gave way and lava poured into two active flows that traveled toward the W portion of the crater floor.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Merapi  | Central Java (Indonesia)  | 7.54°S, 110.446°E  | Elevation 2910 m

According to a news article, lahars on Merapi's flanks that occurred on 3 and 9 January caused damage to houses, farms, and infrastructure in multiple villages in the Magelang district, 26 km WNW of Merapi. One death and one injury were reported. On 9 January, the Red Cross evacuated people trapped in their homes in the Sirihan village. An estimated 3,000 people live in the flooded area, but the number of people evacuated was unknown.

Source: IRIN News



Volcano index photo  Pacaya  | Guatemala  | 14.382°N, 90.601°W  | Elevation 2569 m

INSIVUMEH reported that during 5-6 January steam-and-gas plumes, white and blue in color, rose 200 m above Pacaya's MacKenney cone. Seismic activity was consistent with gas emissions.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

Based on a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC reported that on 4 January an ash plume from Reventador rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. Cloud cover prevented clear satellite observations of the volcano. A subsequent report stated that IG noted low seismicity, no reports of ashfall, and that satellite imagery showed no ash emissions.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  San Cristobal  | Nicaragua  | 12.702°N, 87.004°W  | Elevation 1745 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 6 January a gas-and-steam plume from San Cristóbal, possibly containing ash, drifted 25 km SW. The VAAC noted a METAR weather notice stating that "smoke" was observed.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 5-6 January explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex produced ash plumes that rose 400-500 m above Caliente dome and drifted SW. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 8 January a gas plume possibly containing ash drifted less than 30 km SSW. During 10-11 January, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions produced ash plumes that rose as high as 600 m above the dome and drifted SW and W. Avalanches descended the S and E flanks.

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 moderate seismic activity from Shiveluch was detected during 31 December-7 January. A bright thermal anomaly over the volcano was observed daily in satellite imagery. Seismic data showed that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. on 2 January. That same day an explosion generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 8 km (26,000 ft) a.s.l. and were observed in satellite imagery drifting 92 km S. Moderate gas-and-steam activity was visually observed during 2 and 5-6 January. The Aviation Color Code level remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

MVO reported that during 31 December 2010-7 January 2011 activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level. A small lahar descended the Belham valley (NW) on 5 January. Gas measurements on 6 January indicated that the ratio of hydrochloric acid to sulfur dioxide was 0.29, a ratio similar to those measured over the last few months and consistent with no lava extrusion. Helicopter observations that same day showed marked acid rain damage in the Spring (W) and Gingoes (SW) ghaut areas, up to 3 km from the lava dome. Cloudy weather prevented observations of the lava dome. The Hazard Level remained at 3.

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 an explosion from Suwanose-jima during 11-12 January. Details of a possible resulting plume were not reported.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

On 5 January IG reported that, after moderately-sized explosions during 24-25 December, activity at Tungurahua had decreased. IG noted that during this time seismicity decreased and explosions had not occurred, deflation was detected, sulfur dioxide emissions gradually reduced, and decreases in the amount of ash present in plumes was noted. Although cloudy weather often prevented observations during 5-11 January, steam plumes were occasionally observed and rose above the crater to low heights.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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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)