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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 29 August-4 September 2012.


















 Activity for the week of 29 August-4 September 2012

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
Bezymianny Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Chachadake [Tiatia] Kunashir Island (Japan/Russia) New
Etorofu-Yakeyama [Grozny Group] Iturup (Etorofu) Island (Japan/Russia) New
Krakatau Indonesia New
Little Sitkin United States New
Soufriere Hills Montserrat New
Tungurahua Ecuador New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Nevado del Ruiz Colombia Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Bezymianny  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.972°N, 160.595°E  | Elevation 2882 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Bezymianny had increased in the middle of August. During 24-31 August levels were moderate; 17 events were recorded on 28 August and 71 events were recorded on 31 August. Observers noted weak-to-moderate fumarolic activity during 25-26 and 29 August; cloud cover prevented observations on the other days. A thermal anomaly was detected in satellite imagery on 25 August.

Based on seismic data analyses, an explosive eruption occurred from 0716 to 0745 on 2 September. Ash plumes rose to altitudes of 10-12 km (32,800-39,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted more than 1,500 km ENE. A thermal anomaly observed in satellite imagery was very bright before the explosion. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange, then Red. Ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE later that day, then ash emissions ceased. Ash plumes continued to be detected in satellite imagery and drifted 450-600 km ENE and SE. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow. On 3 September seismic activity was low. A viscous lava flow effused on the lava-dome flank, and was accompanied by fumarolic activity and hot avalanches.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Chachadake [Tiatia]  | Kunashir Island (Japan/Russia)  | 44.353°N, 146.252°E  | Elevation 1822 m

SVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Tiatia was detected in satellite images on 1 September. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



Volcano index photo  Etorofu-Yakeyama [Grozny Group]  | Iturup (Etorofu) Island (Japan/Russia)  | 45.012°N, 147.871°E  | Elevation 1158 m

Based on visual observations and analyses of satellite imagery, SVERT reported that during 23 August-3 September fumarolic activity at Grozny Group increased. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)



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

CVGHM reported that during 1 June-1 September observations of Anak Krakatau were often prevented by fog; occasionally diffuse white plumes were observed rising from the crater in June. Seismicity increased significantly in August. On 2 September seismicity again increased, and at 1830 a Strombolian eruption ejected lava 200-300 m above the crater. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and visitors were warned not to approach the volcano within 1 km of the crater.

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 3 September ash plumes rose to altitudes of 2.4-4.3 km (8,000-14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-95 km N.

Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Little Sitkin  | United States  | 51.95°N, 178.543°E  | Elevation 1174 m

AVO reported that at approximately 1915 on 29 August a swarm of high-frequency earthquakes was detected at Little Sitkin. The anomalous seismic activity continued through the night, prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory. The rate of anomalous seismicity varied during 30-31 August; the two most active periods were during the morning of 30 August and at about 0400 on 31 August. The rate of earthquakes started to decline at around 0600 on 31 August, but remained elevated through 3 September. Little Sitkin is monitored by a four-station seismic network as well as satellite imagery.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

MVO reported that during 24-31 August activity at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level, although seismicity remained slightly elevated. At 1545 on 29 August a small pyroclastic flow traveled 1-1.5 km E down the Tar River Valley. The flow lasted 75 seconds, generated an ash cloud that rose 900-1,200 m and drifted W over Plymouth, and had an extensive fine-grained surge component. The Hazard Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



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

IG reported that during 29 August-4 September visual observations of Tungurahua were often limited due to cloud cover. Moderate seismicity was detected during 29-30 August and a few earthquakes were felt by residents. On 30 August steam plumes with low ash content rose 500 m above the crater and drifted W. Ashfall was reported in Manzano (8 km SW) and Choglontus. Incandescent blocks rolled 300 m down the flanks, roaring was heard, and structures in nearby areas vibrated. During 31 Auguts-1 September steam plumes rose 300-500 m and drifted W. Glow emanated from the crater and incandescent blocks rolled down the flanks, up to 500 m on 31 August. Ashfall was reported in Manzano. An explosion produced a plume that rose 300 m on 3 September, and a steam plume drifted W on 4 September.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Ongoing Activity


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

JMA reported that during 27-31 August five explosive eruptions from Sakura-jima's Showa Crater were detected and ejected tephra as far as 1.3 km from the crater. Gas measurements taken on 20 and 22 August showed elevated sulfur dioxide emissions compared to the previous week. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions during 29-30 August and 1-4 September often produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-3.7 km (6,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes sometimes drifted N and NE. Pilots observed ash plumes during 1-2 September that rose to altitudes of 1.8-3 km (6,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l.

Sources: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Volcano index photo  Batu Tara  | Komba Island (Indonesia)  | 7.791°S, 123.585°E  | Elevation 633 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reported that during 30 August-4 September ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45-55 km W and NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

AVO reported that satellite images of Cleveland from 17 August showed that the summit crater was tephra-covered, funnel-shaped, and contained no lava dome. Cloud cover prevented observations during 28 August-3 September. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 29-30 August lava flows from Fuego traveled 250 m down the Taniluyá drainage (SW), generating block avalanches that produced gray plumes and reached vegetated areas.

Seismicity increased on 3 September. During 3-4 September constant Strombolian explosions generated ash plumes that rose 900 m above the crater and drifted 8 km S and SW. The eruption was heard in areas 10 km away and vibrated structures in Panimaché (8 km SW), Morelia (8 km SW), and Santa Sofia (12 km SE). Lava was ejected 100 m high and spilled over the crater rim. Lava flows traveled 3 km down the Taniluyá and the Ceniza (SSW) drainages, producing block avalanches that again reached vegetated areas. A third lava flow descended the Las Lajas drainage (SE). Pyroclastic flows traveled SE. Ash plumes drifted 10-12 km S and SW, and produced ashfall in Panimaché, Morelia, Santa Lucía, Cotzumalguapa, Tierra Linda, and Popoya.

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



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

KVERT reported weak-to-moderate seismic activity from Karymsky during 24-31 August. Volcanologists working on the flank observed explosive activity; ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. on 25 August. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the volcano during 23-24, 26, and 28 August. The 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 28 August-4 September HVO reported that the circulating lava lake periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. The gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of spatter and Pele's hair onto nearby areas. On 28 August two major collapses of the inner wall significantly disrupted the lake's circulation.

Lava flows were periodically active on the pali and the coastal plain. At Pu'u 'O'o, a collapse of the crater floor just before 0400 on 30 August enlarged the newer pit crater at the S edge, making it appear slightly larger in the webcam views than the older, active, pit crater on the E edge. A new pit crater formed at the N edge of the floor after 1000, and by 1300 it was filled with lava. The N rim of the E pit crater fell into the lava lake there just before 1700. During 30-31 August incandescence emanated from the lava lake in the E pit crater but was absent from the S pit crater. A few scattered areas of flow activity on the coastal plain more than 2 km from the coast were visible on web cameras. On 1 September glow emanated from the E and S pit craters. Crusted lava filled the N pit crater and sagged, and a couple of small lava flows traveled from the edge onto the sagging crust. The N pit appeared to be a passive lava lake, without a direct source of magma underneath. A collapse in the roof of the lava tube at the base of the SE flank of Pu'u 'O'o continued to glow but was less bright the next day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Nevado del Ruiz  | Colombia  | 4.892°N, 75.324°W  | Elevation 5279 m

According to INGEOMINAS, the Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported that during 30-31 August variations in volcanic tremor amplitude were detected at Nevado del Ruiz, possibly associated with continuing gas and ash emissions. Seismic activity was low during 2-4 September. Cloud cover mostly prevented observations of the volcano; a white gas plume rose 200 m on 4 September and drifted W and SW. During 3-4 September field measurements and analysis of satellite imagery showed a significant amount of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere. The Alert Level remained at II (Orange; "eruption likely within days or weeks").

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



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

CENAPRED reported that during 29 August-4 September seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing gas-and-steam emissions that may have contained ash; cloud cover often prevented visual observations of the volcano. Incandescence from the crater was observed at night. Gas plumes, that were sometimes bluish, rose up to 1 km above the crater and drifted NE, W, SW, and WSW. On 1 September the Alert Level was lowered to Yellow, Phase Two.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that on 29 August fumarolic plumes from Santa María's Caliente dome rose 250-300 m and drifted SE. Small avalanches were active on the S part of the dome. Explosions on 3 September produced ash plumes that rose 200-800 m above Caliente dome and drifted W and SW. Four active lava flows generated block avalanches that traveled S down the Rio Nima I and Rio Nima II drainages. On 4 September hot lahars traveled S down the Rio Nima I and San Isidro drainages. The lahar in the San Isidro channel was 30 m wide and 2 m deep, emitted a sulfur odor, and carried blocks up to 1 m in diameter.

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



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

KVERT reported that during 24-31 August a viscous lava flow was active on the NE flank of Shiveluch's lava dome and was accompanied by hot avalanches. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly over the lava dome during 24-26 August; cloud cover prevented observations on the other days. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Weekly Reports Archive

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Cayambe Kanlaon Nyiragongo Talang
Cereme Karangetang Okataina Tambora
Chachadake [Tiatia] Karkar Okmok Tanaga
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Chiginagak Karymsky Oraefajokull Tangkoko-Duasudara
Chikurachki Kasatochi Osorno Tangkuban Parahu
Chiles-Cerro Negro Katla Pacaya Tara, Batu
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Fogo Lengai, Ol Doinyo Ruiz, Nevado del Zubair Group
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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)