Activity for the week of 17 December-23 December 2014
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.
New Activity / Unrest
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 32.884°N, 131.104°E
| Elevation 1592 m
JMA reported that, based on seismicity and infrasound data, the eruption from Asosan’s Nakadake Crater that began on 25 November continued during 15-22 December. Plumes rose 600-1,000 m above the crater and incandescent material was sometimes ejected onto the crater rim. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 2,000-3,100 tons/day during field observations on 15 and 18 December. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
| Kuril Islands (Russia)
| 48.98°N, 153.48°E
| Elevation 724 m
SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was detected in satellite images on 15 and 21 December. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 16-22 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)
| Cape Verde
| 14.95°N, 24.35°W
| Elevation 2829 m
According to news articles the eruption from Fogo's Pico cone inside the Cha Caldera continued during 17-23 December. On 21 December gas emissions increased and the eruption plume rose 800 m. Lava continued to erupt from the main vents. By 22 December parts of the road in Ilhéu de Losna were overtaken by lava, as well as agricultural fields, a vineyard, and about a dozen homes (one remained by 23 December).
Source: Fogo News
| Halmahera (Indonesia)
| 0.8°N, 127.33°E
| Elevation 1715 m
According to a news article, an eruption at Gamalama on 18 December generated an ash plume that rose 2 km. Nine hikers fell as they ran to safety; four were injured and one was missing. Slow-moving lava at the summit was visible, and ashfall occurred in local villages. The Sultan Baabulah airport, 6 km NE, was closed along with schools and businesses.
Source: Associated Press
Nevado del Ruiz
| 4.892°N, 75.324°W
| Elevation 5279 m
Based on a SIGMET notice from the Bogota MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that on 18 and 19 December ash plumes from Nevado del Ruiz rose to altitudes of 7.9 and 9.1 km (26,000 and 30,000 ft) a.s.l., respectively. The plumes drifted SSW. A faint thermal anomaly was detected between cloud cover.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that the International airport in Puebla temporarily closed on 17 December due to ashfall from a 0446 explosion at Popocatépetl that generated a 2-km-high ash plume. The explosion also ejected incandescent tephra that landed 700 m down the N flank. Three more explosions were detected that day. During 18-23 December seismicity indicated continuing emissions of water vapor, gas, and frequent ash. Incandescence from the crater was visible each night. Three explosions occurred on 18 December; the last one generated an ash plume that rose 2 km and drifted NE. Explosions on 19 December generated ash plumes that rose 500-800 m. Explosions ejected incandescent tephra that landed 100-200 m down from the crater on the NE and N flanks. During an overflight volcanologists observed a lava dome at the bottom of the crater. Two explosions were detected during 22-23 December. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| 64.633°N, 17.516°W
| Elevation 2000 m
During 17-23 December, IMO maintained Aviation Colour Code Orange due to continued activity at Bárdarbunga’s Holuhraun eruptive fissure. The lava field covered just over 79.8 square kilometers on 18 December. Data collected during an overflight showed that subsidence of Bárdarbunga Caldera continued with a total amount of 56 m and a volume of 1.7 cubic kilometers since the beginning of the eruption. On 22 December lava was flowing through a closed channel to the E edge of the lava field, about 15 km from the crater. Lava was also flowing N.
Source: Icelandic Met Office (IMO)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 17-23 December HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active. A narrow lobe of lava that had broken away from the W edge of the flow field below the crack system advanced and by 22 December the front was about 1 km above the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130, near the Pahoa Marketplace.
The circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts tephra onto nearby areas; smaller particles may have been dropped several kilometers away. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 13.257°N, 123.685°E
| Elevation 2462 m
On 19 December PHIVOLCS reported that since the last seismic swarm detected at Mayon on 29 November a general decline in the overall activity was noted. Specifically, for the previous three weeks, seismic activity had declined to an average 2-3 mostly volcano-tectonic earthquakes daily, few low-frequency earthquakes were detected, and a few minor rockfall events occurred; deformation data did not indicate magma intrusion; sulfur dioxide emissions had declined on 2 October to below 500 tonnes/day which is the baseline value during periods of quiescence; no lava flows had been observed since 19 October. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a 0-5 scale). PHIVOLCS reminded residents of the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano.
Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 12-19 December lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by incandescence, hot avalanches, and fumarolic activity. A strong explosion on 17 December generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 9-10 km (29,500-32,800 ft) a.s.l. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly over the dome during 12, 14, and 16-18 December, and ash plumes that drifted 109 km SE during 14-15 December and 35 km ESE on 17 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Fox Islands (USA)
| 54.756°N, 163.97°W
| Elevation 2857 m
AVO reported that seismicity at Shishaldin continued to be elevated during 17-23 December. Nothing significant was observed in partly-to-mostly cloudy satellite and web camera images. Occasional steam emissions were recorded by the web camera. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| 3.17°N, 98.392°E
| Elevation 2460 m
PVMBG reported that 53 pyroclastic flows at Sinabung occurred during 8-16 December and traveled as far as 4.5 km S and 1 km SE. Ash plumes rose as high as 5 km and drifted W and SW. Since October a new lava dome had grown from the crater (on the W side of the lava tongue) and was 215 m long. The main lava tongue was about 2,947 m on 15 December. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4).
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 53.589°N, 159.15°E
| Elevation 2899 m
KVERT reported that an eruption at Zhupanovsky continued during 12-19 December. Satellite images detected an ash plume drifting 70 km SE on 15 December and intense steam-and-gas emissions on 17 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
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
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.
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.
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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.