Report on Mayon (Philippines) — 23 May-29 May 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 May-29 May 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Mayon (Philippines). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 May-29 May 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
13.257°N, 123.685°E; summit elev. 2462 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During the week seismic activity was relatively low at Mayon and was associated with occasional rockfalls that descended to the SE down the Bonga Gully. In addition, moderate steaming occurred, incandescence was occasionally observed at the crater, and SO2 emission (up to 5,700 metric tons/day) was above the baseline value of 500 tons/day. On 28 May at 1036 the seismic network recorded a low-frequency volcanic earthquake that was inferred from seismic data to be associated with an ash puff. The ash puff not visible due to meteorological cloud cover. Alert Level 3 remained in effect, prohibiting entry within the 6-km-radius permanent danger zone. PHIVOLCS warned that residents around the volcano, especially those staying in areas facing the Bonga Gully and the SE sector, should be vigilant and prepared to evacuate at any time.
Geologic Background. Beautifully symmetrical Mayon, which rises above the Albay Gulf NW of Legazpi City, is the Philippines' most active volcano. The structurally simple edifice has steep upper slopes averaging 35-40 degrees that are capped by a small summit crater. Historical eruptions date back to 1616 and range from Strombolian to basaltic Plinian, with cyclical activity beginning with basaltic eruptions, followed by longer term andesitic lava flows. Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the approximately 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often devastated populated lowland areas. A violent eruption in 1814 killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.