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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 15 May-21 May 2013.


















 Activity for the week of 15 May-21 May 2013

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
Pavlof United States New
Popocatepetl Mexico New
Sangeang Api Indonesia New
Tungurahua Ecuador New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Galeras Colombia Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Kizimen Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Manam Papua New Guinea Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Tolbachik 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 during 14-15 and 18-19 May elevated surface temperatures over Cleveland were observed in satellite images. Clouds obscured views during 16 and 20-21 May. Satellite image analysis revealed that a small lava flow had breached the SE rim of the summit crater and traveled as far as1.5 km down the flank. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Pavlof  | United States  | 55.417°N, 161.894°W  | Elevation 2493 m

AVO reported that on 14 May a diffuse ash plume from Pavlof drifted about 160 km NE at an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. before dissipating. Pilot reports and photographs indicated that the lava flow extending down the NW flank was still active and generated debris-laden flow deposits, presumably from the interaction of hot lava with the snow and ice on the flank. Light ashfall was reported the evening of 14 May in a mining camp 80 km NE of the volcano. No other nearby communities had reported ash fall. During 14-15 May elevated seismicity persisted and steam-and-ash clouds observed with a web camera occasionally rose up to 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. Residents in Cold Bay (37 km SW) observed incandescence from the summit during the night. On 15 May a pilot reported a dark ash cloud drifting ENE at an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l.

On 16 May lava fountaining at the summit was observed and photographed, and a continuous ash, steam, and gas cloud extended downwind 50-100 km at an altitude of about 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. Satellite images showed persistent elevated surface temperatures at the summit and on the NW flank, commensurate with the summit lava fountaining and resulting lava flow.

During 18-19 May a narrow plume of steam, ash, and gas, occasionally rising up to 6.7 km (22,000 ft) a.s.l., and drifting southeast, was visible in satellite images. Pilot reports indicated that lava fountaining and ash emission continued. Overnight, trace amounts of ash fell on the community of Sand Point. During the afternoon on 19 May pilots reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.6-6.7 km (15,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. Trace amounts of ash fell in Nelson Lagoon, 78 km NNE, during 19-20 May. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

A news article stated that on 20 May a regional airline canceled about a dozen flights to several remote communities, including Sand Point. Another regional airline canceled a few flights, but mostly re-routed flights. On 21 May AVO reported that a low-level plume of steam, gas, and ash occasionally rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NNE. Trace amounts of ash again fell in Nelson Lagoon.

Sources: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), Associated Press



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

CENAPRED reported that during 15-21 May seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing gas-and-steam emissions that contained variable amounts of ash; the plumes were sometimes visually confirmed although cloud cover often prevented observations. Incandescence from the crater was often observed at night.

At 0956 on 14 May an explosion generated an ash plume that rose 3 km above the crater and drifted NE, and ejected tephra onto the NE flank at a distance of 600 m. Volcanologists aboard an overflight observed a lava dome 350 m in diameter and 50 m thick, that had slightly deflated after the earlier explosion. An explosion at 0146 on 15 May again generated an ash plume that rose 3 km above the crater, and ejected incandescent tephra onto the flanks at a maximum distance of 1.5 km. At 1804 an explosion produced an ash plume that rose at least 3.5 km and drifted N.

On 16 May gas-and-ash plumes rose 2 km and drifted NE. Minor ashfall was reported in Paso de Cortés, 7 km N. Incandescent tephra was ejected onto the N and NE flanks at a maximum distance of 400 m. The ejections corresponded with several periods of high-frequency, low-amplitude tremor detected between 2020 and 2308, and a swarm that began at 0011 on 17 May. At 2214 an intense explosion ejected incandescent tephra 1.5 km from the crater, and generated an ash plume that rose over 3 km and drifted NE.

At 0028 on 17 May another strong explosion ejected incandescent tephra 1.5 km from the crater, and generated an ash plume that rose over 4 km and drifted NE. Later that day plumes of vapor and gas rose 1 km and drifted SW. During an overflight on 18 May volcanologists observed a crater 200 m wide and 40 m deep in the dome’s surface; the material was likely excavated by the explosions during 14 and 16-17 May. The rest of the dome was covered with rock fragments. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 500 m and drifted SW.

During 19-20 May gas-and-ash plumes drifted E and SW and incandescent tephra was deposited mainly on the NE flanks 400 m away, although most ejected fragments fell back inside the crater. On 21 May steam-and-gas plumes rose a few meters then drifted SSE.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



Volcano index photo  Sangeang Api  | Indonesia  | 8.2°S, 119.07°E  | Elevation 1949 m

CVGHM reported that during 1-19 May diffuse white plumes rose 10 m above Sangeang Api's crater. Both the lava dome and surrounding areas showed no changes since November 2012. Seismicity had increased on 26 April and remained high. The Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 19 May. Residents and tourists were advised not to approach the craters within a radius of 5 km.

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



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

IG reported that during 15-20 May seismicity at Tungurahua remained at a moderate level and then decreased on 21 May. Visual observations were often limited due to cloud cover; steam plumes were observed rising from the crater on 17 and 19 May. A slight amount of ash fell in Choglontus (SW) on 15 May, and small lahars traveled down the Bilbao (W), Pingullo (NW), and La Pampa (S) on 20 May.

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 13-17 May Sakura-jima's Showa Crater had 13 explosions ejecting tephra that fell at most 1.8 km from the crater. Crater incandescence was occasionally detected at night. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 15, 17-18, and 20-21 May explosions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-3.7 km (4,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and W. On 21 May a pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3.4 km (11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.

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



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 16-17 May white plumes rose 300 m from Fuego’s crater and drifted W and SW. Explosions during 17 and 19-21 May generated ash plumes that rose 350-650 m and drifted 6 km W and SW. On 19 and 21 May explosions ejected incandescent material 100 m above the crater.

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



Volcano index photo  Galeras  | Colombia  | 1.22°N, 77.37°W  | Elevation 4276 m

INGEOMINAS reported that during 15-21 May seismicity at Galeras was at a low level; during 19-20 May earthquakes with magnitudes 2.6 or less were concentrated in an area 3 km SW at depths near 4 km. Gas plumes rose 500 m above the crater and contained small amounts of ash during 15-16 and 20-21 May. Sulfur dioxide emissions were low. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



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

During 15-21 May HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele's hair onto nearby areas.

At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from three spatter cones and a small lava pond on the E part of the crater floor. Lava from base of Pu'u 'O'o cone traveled N and was named the Kahauale’a II flow. Peace Day activity, fed by lava tubes extending from Pu'u 'O'o, consisted of lava flows active on the coastal plain that were entering the ocean at a location outside the National Park boundary.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

KVERT reported that during 10-16 May moderate seismic activity continued at Kizimen. Video and satellite data showed that lava continued to extrude from the summit, producing incandescence, strong gas-and-steam activity, and hot avalanches on the W and E flanks. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

RVO reported that during 29 April-16 May activity at Manam was low, characterized by white, and sometimes blue, vapor plumes rising from Southern Crater. White vapor plumes also rose from Main Crater. Seismicity fluctuated but remained high until 1 May; seismicity then declined to a low on 4 May where it stayed for the rest of the period. RVO reminded people to stay away from the four main radial valleys, and especially the SE and SW ones where most products from the activity at Southern Crater were channeled.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that weak incandescence from Pacaya's MacKenney cone was observed through the night during 15-16 May. Blue and white plumes rose 800 m and drifted S. On 17 May white plumes drifted W and NW. Incandescence from the crater was again observed at night during 19-21 May. On 20 and 21 May Strombolian activity ejected material 25 m above the crater.

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



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

RVO reported that during 29 April-16 May white vapor plumes sometimes containing fine ash rose at most 200 m from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone and drifted NW. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including Rabaul town (3-5 km NW). Roaring and rumbling noises also continued. Seismicity was low.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that on 16 May an explosion from Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex produced an ash plume that rose 600 m and drifted 6 km SE. Ashfall was reported in La Florida and Monte Claro. A lava flow on the NE lava dome traveled S. During 20-21 May a few explosions generated ash plumes that rose 500-700 m and drifted 10 km W and SW.

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

Based on visual observations and analyses of satellite data, KVERT reported that during 10-16 May a viscous lava flow effused on the N flank of Shiveluch's lava dome, accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. Satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and notices from Yelizovo Airport (UHPP), the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 18 May ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

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



Volcano index photo  Tolbachik  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.832°N, 160.326°E  | Elevation 3611 m

KVERT reported that the S fissure along the W side of Tolbachinsky Dol, a lava plateau on the SW side of Tolbachik, continued to produce very fluid lava flows during 10-16 May that traveled to the W, S, and E sides of the plateau. Cinder cones continued to grow along the S fissure and gas-and-ash plumes were observed. A large thermal anomaly on the N part of Tolbachinsky Dol was visible daily in satellite imagery. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Weekly Reports Archive

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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)