Activity for the week of 10 January-16 January 2018
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
| Papua New Guinea
| 3.608°S, 144.588°E
| Elevation 365 m
According to Brandon Buser, just after eruption plumes started rising from a vent on the SE side of Kadovar on 5 January boats from a village on the mainland (22 km SW) and from Bam (25 km E) were sent to the island to evacuate residents. The entire population of the island (about 500 people according to a news article citing the Red Cross) was evacuated by the boats and numerous canoes to Blup Blup (15 km N). Activity escalated around midnight. The next day, at a distance of 65 km, Buser and others saw ash emissions rising from Kadovar, and at about 24 km away from the island they experienced ashfall. As they were circling the island a large event sent a large plume hundreds of feet into the air and ejected large boulders into the ocean. During another visit on 8 January Buser noted two new eruptive vents, ashfall covering everything on the village side, and wet falling ash.
RVO reported that activity significantly escalated on 12 January characterized by a large blast of a substantial amount of material and “big” glowing red rocks directed to the S; the report noted that the blast was the only one reported to date. Observers on Blup Blup saw incandescence emanating from either the summit or an area out of view on the S flank. Large amounts of sulfur dioxide had been detected since 8 January, and continued to be emitted. A fracture had previously been reported on 6 January extending from the summit to the coast. When seen on 12 January, the fracture was wider and vigorous steaming was occurring at sea level. Ash plumes drifted tens of kilometers W and NW. RVO noted that the displaced villagers were getting transferred to the mainland, along with islanders from Bam, due to the relatively close proximity to the eruption plus the logistics of supplying them.
Five newly-named vents were observed during an overflight conducted on 13 January: Main Crater, Western vent, and Southern vent (all three are at the summit), the SE Coastal vent, and the Southern Coastal vent. Sometimes voluminous steam and dense gray plumes rose 1 km above the Main Crater. The emissions obscured views of Southern and Western vents. The SE Coastal Vent was very active, emitting dense white steam plumes 600 m a.s.l. A possible lava dome was at the base of the plumes but showed no evidence of incandescence. The Southern Coastal Vent, located where the original fractures entered the sea, was inactive.
Sources: BBC News, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Brandon Buser
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 13.257°N, 123.685°E
| Elevation 2462 m
PHIVOLCS reported that a phreatic eruption at Mayon was detected at 1621 on 13 January, generating an ash plume that rose 2.5 km and drifted SW. The seismic network recorded the event for 1 hour and 47 minutes. Trace amounts of ash fell in Barangays Anoling (4 km S), Sua (6 km SSW), Quirangay (6 km SSW), Tumpa (7 km SW), Ilawod (10 km SSW), and Salugan (9 km SSW) of Camalig, and in Barangays Tandarora (10 km SW), Maninila (18 km S), and Travesia (10 km SW) in Guinobatan. A sulfur odor was noted by residents of Camalig. Rumbling sounds were heard by residents in Anoling. The Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a 0-5 scale). Faint crater incandescence was first observed at 2216. A phreatic eruption began at 0849 on 14 January and lasted about five minutes, and another was detected at 1143 and lasted 15 minutes. Steam-and-ash plumes from both events rose from the crater but were mostly obscured by weather clouds. Anoling residents noted rumbling sounds and a sulfur odor, and minor amounts of ash fell in Camalig.
On 14 January PHIVOLCS raised the Alert Level to 3, noting a marked increase in activity characterized by three phreatic eruptions and 158 rockfall events between 1621 on 13 January and 1925 on 14 January. Bright crater incandescence was evident, signifying growth of a new lava dome and lava beginning to flow on the S flank. The report reminded residents to stay away from the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the S flank.
Three collapses of material occurred on 15 January, producing rockfall or small-volume pyroclastic density currents. They were detected by the seismic network at 0941, 1005, and 1107 and lasted five, seven, and eight minutes, respectively. The first two events appeared to have been from collapses of the lava-flow front and generated ash plumes that drifted SW and ashfall in multiple Barangays including Travesia, Muladbucad Grande (8 km W), Maninila, and Masarawag (5 km W) of the Guinobatan municipality, and several Barangays in the Camalig municipality. An ash plume from the third event rose about 1 km above the crater and drifted WSW.
During 15-16 January the new lava dome in the summit crater continued to effuse. Lava flows advanced 2 km down the Miisi drainage (S), and a small-volume flow was emplaced on the upper slopes of the Bonga drainage (SSE). The seismic network recorded multiple events including short-duration lava fountaining, 75 lava-collapse events corresponding to rockfalls along the front and margins of advancing lava, and short pyroclastic flows in the Miisi drainage. Ash plumes from collapse events in the summit crater produced ash plumes that rose 2 km and caused ashfall in Camalig, Guinobatan, and Polangui.
Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)
Nevados de Chillan
| 36.868°S, 71.378°W
| Elevation 3180 m
Servicio Nacional de Geología and Minería (SERNAGEOMIN) Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) reported that during an overflight of Nevados de Chillán's Volcán Arrau dome complex on 9 January scientists observed a new lava dome in the active central crater, corresponding to a new fissure first identified on 21 December 2017. Gas and water vapor rose from the fissure going across the dome surface, and the temperature of the surface was about 480 degrees Celsius. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the middle level on a three-color scale, and the public was reminded not to approach the craters within a 4-km radius.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| El Salvador
| 13.434°N, 88.269°W
| Elevation 2130 m
SNET reported that at 1653 on 14 January and 1615 on 15 January gas-and-ash plumes from San Miguel rose no more than 300 m above the crater rim and dispersed SW. The report noted that prior to both emissions seismicity decreased and then suddenly increased.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET)
| Bali (Indonesia)
| 8.343°S, 115.508°E
| Elevation 2997 m
PVMBG reported that during 10-16 January gray-and-white plumes generally rose as high as 500 m above Agung’s crater rim and drifted S, SE, and E. An event at 1754 on 11 January produced an ash plume that rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted NE (likely causing ashfall in areas downwind), and another event at 0723 on 15 January generated an ash plume that rose 2 km. As of 11 January BNPB estimated that 53,207 evacuees were spread out in 233 shelters. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4) and the exclusion zone continued at a 6-km radius.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
JMA reported that an explosive event occurred at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) at 1020 on 10 January, ejecting material 500-700 m from the crater. Weather clouds obscured views of the emissions. There were three events, two of which were explosive, detected during 12-15 January. The explosions ejected material as far as 500 m from the crater and produced plumes that rose as high as 1.5 km above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 10-16 January HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. Surface lava flows were active above and on the pali, and on the coastal plain.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
Based on satellite observations KVERT reported that gas-and-steam plumes from Klyuchevskoy contained some ash and drifted about 160 km NW and E during 5-6 and 8-10 January. A weak thermal anomaly was visible on 6 and 8 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 15.787°S, 71.857°W
| Elevation 5960 m
Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that explosive activity at Sabancaya was similar to the previous week; there was an average of 57 explosions recorded per day during 8-14 January. Seismicity was dominated by long-period events, with signals indicating emissions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted 50 km NW and SW. The MIROVA system detected three thermal anomalies. The sulfur dioxide flux was high, at 2,071 tons per day on 12 January. The report noted that the public should not to approach the crater within a 12-km radius.
Sources: Instituto Geológico Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET), Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 5-12 January. Ash plumes from explosions which began at 1035 on 10 January rose to altitudes of 10-11 km (32,800-36,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 900 km E during 10-11 January. KVERT briefly raised the Aviation Color Code to Red on 10 January, and then lowered it back to Orange later that day.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Based on JMA notices and satellite data, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 15 January an eruption at Suwanosejima produced a plume that rose 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Costa Rica
| 10.025°N, 83.767°W
| Elevation 3340 m
OVSICORI-UNA reported that an event at Turrialba at 0400 on 15 January generated a plume of unknown height due to weather conditions. Ashfall was reported in areas N of Pacayas (Pinos, Buenos Aires, and Santa Rosa de Oreamuno) and a sulfur odor was noted in Santa Rosa de Oreamuno.
Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)
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.
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