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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 3 August-9 August 2011.


















 Activity for the week of 3 August-9 August 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
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) New
Etna Sicily (Italy) New
Karangetang Siau Island (Indonesia) New
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) New
Lokon-Empung Sulawesi (Indonesia) New
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) New
Reventador Ecuador New
Stromboli Aeolian Islands (Italy) New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Arenal Costa Rica Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kirishimayama Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Kizimen Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Krakatau Indonesia Ongoing
Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Chile Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Elevation 1730 m

AVO reported that observations from 2 August of the lava dome growing in Cleveland's summit crater revealed growth from about 40 m to 50 m in diameter since 29 July. Weak thermal anomalies were observed in satellite imagery during 2-3, 5, and 7-9 August when cloud cover was limited or absent. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. No current seismic information was available because Cleveland does not have a real-time seismic network.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo reported that the ninth paroxysmal eruptive episode from Etna in 2011 took place at the New SE Crater (located on the E flank of the old SE Crater cone and previously called the "pit crater") during the night of 5-6 August. Weak Strombolian explosions occurred in the crater during the afternoon on 5 August and gradually increased over the next few hours. At 2215 lava flowed over the E rim of the crater and towards the W slope of the Valle del Bove. Strombolian activity rapidly increased and formed a lava fountain that rose 100 m above the crater rim. Activity again intensified and jets of lava rose several hundred meters high. An eruption plume laden with ash and lapilli rose a few kilometers above the crater and drifted SE. At the climax of the eruption lava fountains exceeded 500 m in height. Just after midnight the incandescent jets diminished in height, continued to pulsate for about an hour, then further diminished. By 0215 on 6 August the eruption was substantially over. Ash-and-lapilli fall were observed in the SE sector of the volcano, between Zafferana (10 km SE) and Viagrande (16 km SSE) and between Acitrezza (23 km SE) and Pozzillo (19 km SE) along the Ionian coast.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)



Volcano index photo  Karangetang  | Siau Island (Indonesia)  | 2.781°N, 125.407°E  | Elevation 1797 m

CVGHM reported that during July and August cloud cover often prevented observations of Karangetang, although white smoke was sometimes observed rising as high as 500 m above the crater. At night incandescence up to 10 m was often observed.

On 8 July a phreatic eruption occurred from the N part of the Main Crater, ejecting material 150 m high. On 24 July and 1 August incandescent material traveled 1,500 m from the Main Crater. Sounds indicating an eruption were heard on 7 August, although fog prevented observations of the crater. Based on recent visual observations and increased seismicity, the Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 8 August. According to a news article, about 600 people living on the flanks evacuated.

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Herald Sun



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

HVO reported that on 3 August at 1402 the floor of Kilauea's Pu'u 'O'o crater, which had risen significantly over the past month, began to subside. At 1420 lava erupted from a vent low on the W flank of the Pu'u 'O'o cone, about halfway between Pu'u 'O'o Crater and the E end of the Kamoamoa fissure, and formed two branches. The weaker flow traveled N into a forested kipuka. The higher-volume S branch quickly advanced down Kilauea's S flank along the edge of flows erupted during 2002-2004. By 1515, the crater floor and perched lava lake began to collapse; the circulation in the lava lake was maintained as the crater floor dropped. Within a few hours the lava lake was no longer visible and the crater floor, which had dropped 75-85 m, was covered with rubble. Between 1530 and 1615, the preliminary sulfur dioxide emission rate from all east rift zone sources was as high as 7,000 tonnes/day. The rate decreased to 4,000 tonnes/day at about 1700. Also by that time the lava flow had advanced 3.6 km.

During 4-9 August lava continued to flow from multiple W-flank vents topped with spatter cones, ponding in a low area due to a decreasing effusion rate. The Pu'u 'O'o crater rim was extremely unstable; continued collapses along the crater walls sent blocks of rock onto the crater floor. Lava also slowly flowed back onto the collapsed crater floor.

During 3-9 August the level of the summit lava lake fluctuated deep in the 150-m-diameter vent inset within the E wall of Halema'uma'u Crater and circulated with various patterns. Overall, the lake level receded and on 6 August was about 75 m below the crater floor. Periodic measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash and occasionally fresh spatter nearby.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Lokon-Empung  | Sulawesi (Indonesia)  | 1.358°N, 124.792°E  | Elevation 1580 m

CVGHM reported that during 24 July-8 August seismicity decreased at Tompaluan crater, in the saddle between the Lokon-Empung peaks, with a drastic reduction on 26 July. During 27 July-8 August white plumes rose 100-400 m above the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and tourists were not permitted within a 3-km radius of the crater.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



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

RVO reported that white vapor plumes rose from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone during 1-3 August. An explosion on 3 August produced a gray ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater and drifted NNW. Sustained emissions of pale-gray ash continued for about an hour afterwards. In addition, ash deposited at the former airport was re-suspended and blown NW into the E part of Rabaul town (3-5 km NW) and towards Namanula hill (3 km W). Seismicity was very low, although two periods of harmonic tremor on 2 August and the explosion and ash emissions on 3 August were detected.

During 4-5 August gray ash emissions periodically continued, punctuated by a few large and notable explosions. Ash plumes from the explosions rose 1 km above the crater and drifted N and NW producing fine ashfall in the E part of Rabaul town, Namanula Hill, and further downwind towards Tavui Point. Moderate seismicity consisting of low-frequency earthquakes, explosions, and volcanic tremors with variable durations was detected. During 5-9 August activity increased, characterized by an increased frequency and duration of ash emissions and more explosions. About 34 explosions were recorded between 5 and 8 August. Ash-rich clouds that rose 1.5 km above the crater drifted NW causing ashfall in most parts of Rabaul town and in areas between Toliap and Nonga (10 km NW). GPS measurements on Matupit Island continued to show long-term inflation; about 10-11 cm of uplift had been recorded since August 2010.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

The IG reported that scientists conducting an overflight of Reventador on 14 July noted that the lava dome at the top of the 2008 cone continued to grow, filling the crater. The dome had reached the same height as the highest part of the crater rim, formed during 2002. Intense fumarolic activity produced continuous plumes. The dome was thought to have formed during 2011, growing at a rapid rate and producing high temperatures. IG also noted that seismicity had increased starting in May but was more pronounced during the previous few weeks. During 3-9 August cloud cover prevented observations of the lava dome, but the seismic network detected long-period and explosion-type earthquakes.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  Stromboli  | Aeolian Islands (Italy)  | 38.789°N, 15.213°E  | Elevation 924 m

Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo reported that during the morning of 9 August a new episode of weak spattering occurred on Stromboli's crater terrace, generating a small intra-crater lava flow. The source vent was located in the central portion of the crater terrace. Regular explosive activity also continued from the vents located in the N and S parts of the crater terrace. Spattering continued into the afternoon, then ceased.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)



Ongoing Activity


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

The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 3 August an ash plume from Sakura-jima observed by a pilot rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. Based on information from JMA, plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.4 km (5,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, NW, and NE during 3 and 5-9 August.

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 occasionally during early mornings in July web-camera images showed a plume rising from Arenal that drifted SE and S. Scientists that conducted fieldwork during 29-30 July observed plumes rising from the last cone that formed in the NE part of Crater C.

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



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

KVERT reported that during 29 July-5 August moderate seismic activity continued at Karymsky and possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly on the volcano was detected by satellite during 30 July-3 August; cloud cover prevented observations on the other days. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on information from Yelizovo Airport (UHPP), the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 8 August an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.

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



Volcano index photo  Kirishimayama  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.934°N, 130.862°E  | Elevation 1700 m

Based on notifications from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported an eruption from Kirishima on 6 August.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

KVERT reported that during 29 July-5 August seismicity from Kizimen was above background levels and weak volcanic tremor continued to be detected. Video images showed fumarolic activity and an occasional steam plume that rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. A lava flow on the E flank was active. Satellite images showed a bright thermal anomaly on the volcano all week. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Krakatau  | Indonesia  | 6.102°S, 105.423°E  | Elevation 813 m

A satellite image acquired on 31 July showed a diffuse ash plume rising from Anak Krakatau and drifting W.

Source: NASA Earth Observatory



Volcano index photo  Puyehue-Cordon Caulle  | Chile  | 40.59°S, 72.117°W  | Elevation 2236 m

During 3-8 August, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption continued from the Cordón Caulle rift zone, part of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex. During 3-4 August a video camera recorded plumes rising 2 km above the crater. Satellite imagery showed plumes drifting 1,000 km NE on 3 August and 700 km SE on 4 August. Cloud cover prevented video camera and satellite observations on 5 August. The next day cloud cover again prevented camera observations, though satellite imagery detected a plume that drifted 250 km E then SE. Plumes that were mostly white rose no higher than 2.5 km above the crater during 7-8 August. Satellite imagery on 7 August detected plumes that drifted 100-200 km SE. The Alert Level remained at Red.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



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

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was moderate during 29 July-5 August. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 30 July and 1-3 August. Ground-based observers indicated that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. on 1 August and 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. on 2 August. Satellite images from 1 August showed an ash plume drifting 24 km S. A strong dust storm at the volcano was observed on 3 August; a dust plume detected in satellite imagery drifted 160 km SE. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 6 August an eruption produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. Ash was seen in subsequent satellite images that same day. An eruption on 9 August produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 6.7 km (22,000 ft) a.s.l.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), 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)