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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

All reports of volcanic activity published by the Smithsonian since 1968 are available through a monthly table of contents or by searching for a specific volcano. Until 1975, reports were issued for individual volcanoes as information became available; these have been organized by month for convenience. Later publications were done in a monthly newsletter format. Links go to the profile page for each volcano with the Bulletin tab open.

Information is preliminary at time of publication and subject to change.

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

Masaya (Nicaragua) Lava lake level drops but remains active through May 2020; weak gas plumes

Shishaldin (United States) Intermittent thermal activity and a possible new cone at the summit crater during February-May 2020

Krakatau (Indonesia) Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, and crater incandescence during April 2020

Taal (Philippines) Eruption on 12 January with explosions through 22 January; steam plumes continuing into March

Unnamed (Tonga) Additional details and pumice raft drift maps from the August 2019 submarine eruption

Klyuchevskoy (Russia) Strombolian activity November 2019 through May 2020; lava flow down the SE flank in April

Nyamuragira (DR Congo) Intermittent thermal anomalies within the summit crater during December 2019-May 2020

Nyiragongo (DR Congo) Activity in the lava lake and small eruptive cone persists during December 2019-May 2020

Kavachi (Solomon Islands) Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) Eruption and ash plumes begin on 11 January 2020 and continue through April 2020

Soputan (Indonesia) Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

Heard (Australia) Eruptive activity including a lava flow during October 2019-April 2020



Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

11.985°N, 86.165°W; summit elev. 594 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava lake level drops but remains active through May 2020; weak gas plumes

Masaya, which is about 20 km NW of the Nicaragua’s capital of Managua, is one of the most active volcanoes in that country and has a caldera that contains a number of craters (BGVN 43:11). The Santiago crater is the one most currently active and it contains a small lava lake that emits weak gas plumes (figure 85). This report summarizes activity during February through May 2020 and is based on Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) monthly reports and satellite data. During the reporting period, the volcano was relatively calm, with only weak gas plumes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Satellite images of Masaya from Sentinel-2 on 18 April 2020, showing and a small gas plume drifting SW (top, natural color bands 4, 3, 2) and the lava lake (bottom, false color bands 12, 11, 4). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

According to INETER, thermal images of the lava lake and temperature data in the fumaroles were taken using an Omega infrared gun and a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) SC620 thermal camera. The temperatures above the lava lake have decreased since November 2019, when the temperature was 287°C, dropping to 96°C when measured on 14 May 2020. INETER attributed this decrease to subsidence in the level of the lava lake by 5 m which obstructed part of the lake and concentrated the gas emissions in the weak plume. Convection continued in the lava lake, which in May had decreased to a diameter of 3 m. Many landslides had occurred in the E, NE, and S walls of the crater rim due to rock fracturing caused by the high heat and acidity of the emissions.

During the reporting period, the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system recorded numerous thermal anomalies from the lava lake based on MODIS data (figure 86). Infrared satellite images from Sentinel-2 regularly showed a strong signature from the lava lake through 18 May, after which the volcano was covered by clouds.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Thermal anomalies at Masaya during February through May 2020. The larger anomalies with black lines are more distant and not related to the volcano. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Measurements of sulfur dioxide (SO2) made by INETER in the section of the Ticuantepe - La Concepción highway (just W of the volcano) with a mobile DOAS system varied between a low of just over 1,000 metric tons/day in mid-November 2019 to a high of almost 2,500 tons/day in late May. Temperatures of fumaroles in the Cerro El Comalito area, just ENE of Santiago crater, ranged from 58 to 76°C during February-May 2020, with most values in the 69-72°C range.

Geologic Background. Masaya is one of Nicaragua's most unusual and most active volcanoes. It lies within the massive Pleistocene Las Sierras caldera and is itself a broad, 6 x 11 km basaltic caldera with steep-sided walls up to 300 m high. The caldera is filled on its NW end by more than a dozen vents that erupted along a circular, 4-km-diameter fracture system. The Nindirí and Masaya cones, the source of historical eruptions, were constructed at the southern end of the fracture system and contain multiple summit craters, including the currently active Santiago crater. A major basaltic Plinian tephra erupted from Masaya about 6,500 years ago. Historical lava flows cover much of the caldera floor and there is a lake at the far eastern end. A lava flow from the 1670 eruption overtopped the north caldera rim. Masaya has been frequently active since the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, when an active lava lake prompted attempts to extract the volcano's molten "gold." Periods of long-term vigorous gas emission at roughly quarter-century intervals have caused health hazards and crop damage.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Shishaldin (United States) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Shishaldin

United States

54.756°N, 163.97°W; summit elev. 2857 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent thermal activity and a possible new cone at the summit crater during February-May 2020

Shishaldin is located near the center of Unimak Island in Alaska, with the current eruption phase beginning in July 2019 and characterized by ash plumes, lava flows, lava fountaining, pyroclastic flows, and lahars. More recently, in late 2019 and into January 2020, activity consisted of multiple lava flows, pyroclastic flows, lahars, and ashfall events (BGVN 45:02). This report summarizes activity from February through May 2020, including gas-and-steam emissions, brief thermal activity in mid-March, and a possible new cone within the summit crater. The primary source of information comes from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reports and various satellite data.

Volcanism during February 2020 was relatively low, consisting of weakly to moderately elevated surface temperatures during 1-4 February and occasional small gas-and-steam plumes (figure 37). By 6 February both seismicity and surface temperatures had decreased. Seismicity and surface temperatures increased slightly again on 8 March and remained elevated through the rest of the reporting period. Intermittent gas-and-steam emissions were also visible from mid-March (figure 38) through May. Minor ash deposits visible on the upper SE flank may have been due to ash resuspension or a small collapse event at the summit, according to AVO.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. Photo of a gas-and-steam plume rising from the summit crater at Shishaldin on 22 February 2020. Photo courtesy of Ben David Jacob via AVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. A Worldview-2 panchromatic satellite image on 11 March 2020 showing a gas-and-steam plume rising from the summit of Shishaldin and minor ash deposits on the SE flank (left). Aerial photo showing minor gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit crater on 11 March (right). Some erosion of the snow and ice on the upper flanks is a result of the lava flows from the activity in late 2019 and early 2020. Photo courtesy of Matt Loewen (left) and Ed Fischer (right) via AVO.

On 14 March, lava and a possible new cone were visible in the summit crater using satellite imagery, accompanied by small explosion signals. Strong thermal signatures due to the lava were also seen in Sentinel-2 satellite data and continued strongly through the month (figure 39). The lava reported by AVO in the summit crater was also reflected in satellite-based MODIS thermal anomalies recorded by the MIROVA system (figure 40). Seismic and infrasound data identified small explosions signals within the summit crater during 14-19 March.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images (bands 12, 11, 8A) show a bright hotspot (yellow-orange) at the summit crater of Shishaldin during mid-March 2020 that decreases in intensity by late March. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. MIROVA thermal data showing a brief increase in thermal anomalies during late March 2020 and on two days in late April between periods of little to no activity. Courtesy of MIROVA.

AVO released a Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) stating that seismicity had decreased by 16 April and that satellite data no longer showed lava or additional changes in the crater since the start of April. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery continued to show a weak hotspot in the crater summit through May (figure 41), which was also detected by the MIROVA system on two days. A daily report on 6 May reported a visible ash deposit extending a short distance SE from the summit, which had likely been present since 29 April. AVO noted that the timing of the deposit corresponds to an increase in the summit crater diameter and depth, further supporting a possible small collapse. Small gas-and-steam emissions continued intermittently and were accompanied by weak tremors and occasional low-frequency earthquakes through May (figure 42). Minor amounts of sulfur dioxide were detected in the gas-and-steam emissions during 20 and 29 April, and 2, 16, and 28 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images (bands 12, 11, 8A) show occasional gas-and-steam emissions rising from Shishaldin on 26 February (top left) and 24 April 2020 (bottom left) and a weak hotspot (yellow-orange) persisting at the summit crater during April and early May 2020. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. A Worldview-1 panchromatic satellite image showing gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit of Shishaldin on 1 May 2020 (local time) (left). Aerial photo of the N flank of Shishaldin with minor gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit on 8 May (right). Photo courtesy of Matt Loewen (left) and Levi Musselwhite (right) via AVO.

Geologic Background. The beautifully symmetrical Shishaldin is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. The glacier-covered volcano is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes along an E-W line in the eastern half of Unimak Island. The Aleuts named the volcano Sisquk, meaning "mountain which points the way when I am lost." A steam plume often rises from its small summit crater. Constructed atop an older glacially dissected volcano, it is largely basaltic in composition. Remnants of an older ancestral volcano are exposed on the W and NE sides at 1,500-1,800 m elevation. There are over two dozen pyroclastic cones on its NW flank, which is blanketed by massive aa lava flows. Frequent explosive activity, primarily consisting of Strombolian ash eruptions from the small summit crater, but sometimes producing lava flows, has been recorded since the 18th century.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667 USA (URL: https://avo.alaska.edu/), b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://dggs.alaska.gov/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

6.102°S, 105.423°E; summit elev. 155 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, and crater incandescence during April 2020

Krakatau, located in the Sunda Strait between Indonesia’s Java and Sumatra Islands, experienced a major caldera collapse around 535 CE, forming a 7-km-wide caldera ringed by three islands. On 22 December 2018, a large explosion and flank collapse destroyed most of the 338-m-high island of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) and generated a deadly tsunami (BGVN 44:03). The near-sea level crater lake inside the remnant of Anak Krakatau was the site of numerous small steam and tephra explosions. A larger explosion in December 2019 produced the beginnings of a new cone above the surface of crater lake (BGVN 45:02). Recently, volcanism has been characterized by occasional Strombolian explosions, dense ash plumes, and crater incandescence. This report covers activity from February through May 2020 using information provided by the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, also known as Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

Activity during February 2020 consisted of dominantly white gas-and-steam emissions rising 300 m above the crater, according to PVMBG. According to the Darwin VAAC, a ground observer reported an eruption on 7 and 8 February, but no volcanic ash was observed. During 10-11 February, a short-lived eruption was detected by seismograms which produced an ash plume up to 1 km above the crater drifting E. MAGMA Indonesia reported two eruptions on 18 March, both of which rose to 300 m above the crater. White gas-and-steam emissions were observed for the rest of the month and early April.

On 10 April PVMBG reported two eruptions, at 2158 and 2235, both of which produced dark ash plumes rising 2 km above the crater followed by Strombolian explosions ejecting incandescent material that landed on the crater floor (figures 108 and 109). The Darwin VAAC issued a notice at 0145 on 11 April reporting an ash plume to 14.3 km altitude drifting WNW, however this was noted with low confidence due to the possible mixing of clouds. During the same day, an intense thermal hotspot was detected in the HIMAWARI thermal satellite imagery and the NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide page showed a strong SO2 plume at 11.3 km altitude drifting W (figure 110). The CCTV Lava93 webcam showed new lava flows and lava fountaining from the 10-11 April eruptions. This activity was evident in the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) graph of MODIS thermal anomaly data (figure 111).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 108. Webcam (Lava93) images of Krakatau on 10 April 2020 showing Strombolian explosions, strong incandescence, and ash plumes rising from the crater. Courtesy of PVMBG and MAGMA Indonesia.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 109. Webcam image of incandescent Strombolian explosions at Krakatau on 10 April 2020. Courtesy of PVMBG and MAGMA Indonesia.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 110. Strong sulfur dioxide emissions rising from Krakatau and drifting W were detected using the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite on 11 April 2020 (top row). Smaller volumes of SO2 were visible in Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI maps on 13 (bottom left) and 19 April (bottom right). Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 111. Thermal activity at Anak Krakatau from 29 June-May 2020 shown on a MIROVA Log Radiative Power graph. The power and frequency of the thermal anomalies sharply increased in mid-April. After the larger eruptive event in mid-April the thermal anomalies declined slightly in strength but continued to be detected intermittently through May. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Strombolian activity rising up to 500 m continued into 12 April and was accompanied by SO2 emissions that rose 3 km altitude, drifting NW according to a VAAC notice. PVMBG reported an eruption on 13 April at 2054 that resulted in incandescence as high as 25 m above the crater. Volcanic ash, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions, continued intermittently through 18 April, many of which were observed by the CCTV webcam. After 18 April only gas-and-steam plumes were reported, rising up to 100 m above the crater; Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed faint thermal anomalies in the crater (figure 112). SO2 emissions continued intermittently throughout April, though at lower volumes and altitudes compared to the 11th. MODIS satellite data seen in MIROVA showed intermittent thermal anomalies through May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 112. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing the cool crater lake on 20 March (top left) followed by minor heating of the crater during April and May 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 or 535 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan, and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan, and left only a remnant of Rakata. This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

14.002°N, 120.993°E; summit elev. 311 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption on 12 January with explosions through 22 January; steam plumes continuing into March

Taal volcano is in a caldera system located in southern Luzon island and is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. It has produced around 35 recorded eruptions since 3,580 BCE, ranging from VEI 1 to 6, with the majority of eruptions being a VEI 2. The caldera contains a lake with an island that also contains a lake within the Main Crater (figure 12). Prior to 2020 the most recent eruption was in 1977, on the south flank near Mt. Tambaro. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Philippines reports that over 450,000 people live within 40 km of the caldera (figure 13). This report covers activity during January through February 2020 including the 12 to 22 January eruption, and is based on reports by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), satellite data, geophysical data, and media reports.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Annotated satellite images showing the Taal caldera, Volcano Island in the caldera lake, and features on the island including Main Crater. Imagery courtesy of Planet Inc.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Map showing population totals within 14 and 17 km of Volcano Island at Taal. Courtesy of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The hazard status at Taal was raised to Alert Level 1 (abnormal, on a scale of 0-5) on 28 March 2019. From that date through to 1 December there were 4,857 earthquakes registered, with some felt nearby. Inflation was detected during 21-29 November and an increase in CO2 emission within the Main Crater was observed. Seismicity increased beginning at 1100 on 12 January. At 1300 there were phreatic (steam) explosions from several points inside Main Crater and the Alert Level was raised to 2 (increasing unrest). Booming sounds were heard in Talisay, Batangas, at 1400; by 1402 the plume had reached 1 km above the crater, after which the Alert Level was raised to 3 (magmatic unrest).

Phreatic eruption on 12 January 2020. A seismic swarm began at 1100 on 12 January 2020 followed by a phreatic eruption at 1300. The initial activity consisted of steaming from at least five vents in Main Crater and phreatic explosions that generated 100-m-high plumes. PHIVOLCS raised the Alert Level to 2. The Earth Observatory of Singapore reported that the International Data Center (IDC) for the Comprehensive test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in Vienna noted initial infrasound detections at 1450 that day.

Booming sounds were heard at 1400 in Talisay, Batangas (4 km NNE from the Main Crater), and at 1404 volcanic tremor and earthquakes felt locally were accompanied by an eruption plume that rose 1 km; ash fell to the SSW. The Alert Level was raised to 3 and the evacuation of high-risk barangays was recommended. Activity again intensified around 1730, prompting PHIVOLCS to raise the Alert Level to 4 and recommend a total evacuation of the island and high-risk areas within a 14-km radius. The eruption plume of steam, gas, and tephra significantly intensified, rising to 10-15 km altitude and producing frequent lightning (figures 14 and 15). Wet ash fell as far away as Quezon City (75 km N). According to news articles schools and government offices were ordered to close and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (56 km N) in Manila suspended flights. About 6,000 people had been evacuated. Residents described heavy ashfall, low visibility, and fallen trees.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Lightning produced during the eruption of Taal during 1500 on 12 January to 0500 on 13 January 2020 local time (0700-2100 UTC on 12 January). Courtesy of Chris Vagasky, Vaisala.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Lightning strokes produced during the first days of the Taal January 2020 eruption. Courtesy of Domcar C Lagto/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock via The Guardian.

In a statement issued at 0320 on 13 January, PHIVOLCS noted that ashfall had been reported across a broad area to the north in Tanauan (18 km NE), Batangas; Escala (11 km NW), Tagaytay; Sta. Rosa (32 km NNW), Laguna; Dasmariñas (32 km N), Bacoor (44 km N), and Silang (22 km N), Cavite; Malolos (93 km N), San Jose Del Monte (87 km N), and Meycauayan (80 km N), Bulacan; Antipolo (68 km NNE), Rizal; Muntinlupa (43 km N), Las Piñas (47 km N), Marikina (70 km NNE), Parañaque (51 km N), Pasig (62 km NNE), Quezon City, Mandaluyong (62 km N), San Juan (64 km N), Manila; Makati City (59 km N) and Taguig City (55 km N). Lapilli (2-64 mm in diameter) fell in Tanauan and Talisay; Tagaytay City (12 km N); Nuvali (25 km NNE) and Sta (figure 16). Rosa, Laguna. Felt earthquakes (Intensities II-V) continued to be recorded in local areas.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Ashfall from the Taal January 2020 eruption in Lemery (top) and in the Batangas province (bottom). Photos posted on 13 January, courtesy of Ezra Acayan/Getty Images, Aaron Favila/AP, and Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images via The Guardian.

Magmatic eruption on 13 January 2020. A magmatic eruption began during 0249-0428 on 13 January, characterized by weak lava fountaining accompanied by thunder and flashes of lightning. Activity briefly waned then resumed with sporadic weak fountaining and explosions that generated 2-km-high, dark gray, steam-laden ash plumes (figure 17). New lateral vents opened on the N flank, producing 500-m-tall lava fountains. Heavy ashfall impacted areas to the SW, including in Cuenca (15 km SSW), Lemery (16 km SW), Talisay, and Taal (15 km SSW), Batangas (figure 18).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Ash plumes seen from various points around Taal in the initial days of the January 2020 eruption, posted on 13 January. Courtesy of Eloisa Lopez/Reuters, Kester Ragaza/Pacific Press/Shutterstock, Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images, via The Guardian.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Map indicating areas impacted by ashfall from the 12 January eruption through to 0800 on the 13th. Small yellow circles (to the N) are ashfall report locations; blue circles (at the island and to the S) are heavy ashfall; large green circles are lapilli (particles measuring 2-64 mm in diameter). Modified from a map courtesy of Lauriane Chardot, Earth Observatory of Singapore; data taken from PHIVOLCS.

News articles noted that more than 300 domestic and 230 international flights were cancelled as the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport was closed during 12-13 January. Some roads from Talisay to Lemery and Agoncillo were impassible and electricity and water services were intermittent. Ashfall in several provinces caused power outages. Authorities continued to evacuate high-risk areas, and by 13 January more than 24,500 people had moved to 75 shelters out of a total number of 460,000 people within 14 km.

A PHIVOLCS report for 0800 on the 13th through 0800 on 14 January noted that lava fountaining had continued, with steam-rich ash plumes reaching around 2 km above the volcano and dispersing ash SE and W of Main Crater. Volcanic lighting continued at the base of the plumes. Fissures on the N flank produced 500-m-tall lava fountains. Heavy ashfall continued in the Lemery, Talisay, Taal, and Cuenca, Batangas Municipalities. By 1300 on the 13th lava fountaining generated 800-m-tall, dark gray, steam-laden ash plumes that drifted SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 5,299 metric tons/day (t/d) on 13 January and dispersed NNE (figure 19).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Compilation of sulfur dioxide plumes from TROPOMI overlaid in Google Earth for 13 January from 0313-1641 UT. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page and Google Earth.

Explosions and ash emission through 22 January 2020. At 0800 on 15 January PHIVOLCS stated that activity was generally weaker; dark gray, steam-laden ash plumes rose about 1 km and drifted SW. Satellite images showed that the Main Crater lake was gone and new craters had formed inside Main Crater and on the N side of Volcano Island.

PHIVOLCS reported that activity during 15-16 January was characterized by dark gray, steam-laden plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the vents in Main Crater and drifted S and SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 4,186 t/d on 15 January. Eruptive events at 0617 and 0621 on 16 January generated short-lived, dark gray ash plumes that rose 500 and 800 m, respectively, and drifted SW. Weak steam plumes rose 800 m and drifted SW during 1100-1700, and nine weak explosions were recorded by the seismic network.

Steady steam emissions were visible during 17-21 January. Infrequent weak explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km and drifted SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated and were as high as 4,353 t/d on 20 January and as low as 344 t/d on 21 January. PHIVOLCS reported that white steam-laden plumes rose as high as 800 m above main vent during 22-28 January and drifted SW and NE; ash emissions ceased around 0500 on 22 January. Remobilized ash drifted SW on 22 January due to strong low winds, affecting the towns of Lemery (16 km SW) and Agoncillo, and rose as high as 5.8 km altitude as reported by pilots. Sulfur dioxide emissions were low at 140 t/d.

Steam plumes through mid-April 2020. The Alert Level was lowered to 3 on 26 January and PHIVOLCS recommended no entry onto Volcano Island and Taal Lake, nor into towns on the western side of the island within a 7-km radius. PHIVOLCS reported that whitish steam plumes rose as high as 800 m during 29 January-4 February and drifted SW (figure 20). The observed steam plumes rose as high as 300 m during 5-11 February and drifted SW.

Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged around 250 t/d during 22-26 January; emissions were 87 t/d on 27 January and below detectable limits the next day. During 29 January-4 February sulfur dioxide emissions ranged to a high of 231 t/d (on 3 February). The following week sulfur dioxide emissions ranged from values below detectable limits to a high of 116 t/d (on 8 February).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Taal Volcano Island producing gas-and-steam plumes on 15-16 January 2020. Courtesy of James Reynolds, Earth Uncut.

On 14 February PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level to 2, noting a decline in the number of volcanic earthquakes, stabilizing ground deformation of the caldera and Volcano Island, and diffuse steam-and-gas emission that continued to rise no higher than 300 m above the main vent during the past three weeks. During 14-18 February sulfur dioxide emissions ranged from values below detectable limits to a high of 58 tonnes per day (on 16 February). Sulfur dioxide emissions were below detectable limits during 19-20 February. During 26 February-2 March steam plumes rose 50-300 m above the vent and drifted SW and NE. PHIVOLCS reported that during 4-10 March weak steam plumes rose 50-100 m and drifted SW and NE; moderate steam plumes rose 300-500 m and drifted SW during 8-9 March. During 11-17 March weak steam plumes again rose only 50-100 m and drifted SW and NE.

PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level to 1 on 19 March and recommended no entry onto Volcano Island, the area defined as the Permanent Danger Zone. During 8-9 April steam plumes rose 100-300 m and drifted SW. As of 1-2 May 2020 only weak steaming and fumarolic activity from fissure vents along the Daang Kastila trail was observed.

Evacuations. According to the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) there were a total of 53,832 people dispersed to 244 evacuation centers by 1800 on 15 January. By 21 January there were 148,987 people in 493 evacuation. The number of residents in evacuation centers dropped over the next week to 125,178 people in 497 locations on 28 January. However, many residents remained displaced as of 3 February, with DROMIC reporting 23,915 people in 152 evacuation centers, but an additional 224,188 people staying at other locations.

By 10 February there were 17,088 people in 110 evacuation centers, and an additional 211,729 staying at other locations. According to the DROMIC there were a total of 5,321 people in 21 evacuation centers, and an additional 195,987 people were staying at other locations as of 19 February.

The number of displaced residents continued to drop, and by 3 March there were 4,314 people in 12 evacuation centers, and an additional 132,931 people at other locations. As of 11 March there were still 4,131 people in 11 evacuation centers, but only 17,563 staying at other locations.

Deformation and ground cracks. New ground cracks were observed on 13 January in Sinisian (18 km SW), Mahabang Dahilig (14 km SW), Dayapan (15 km SW), Palanas (17 km SW), Sangalang (17 km SW), and Poblacion (19 km SW) Lemery; Pansipit (11 km SW), Agoncillo; Poblacion 1, Poblacion 2, Poblacion 3, Poblacion 5 (all around 17 km SW), Talisay, and Poblacion (11 km SW), San Nicolas (figure 21). A fissure opened across the road connecting Agoncillo to Laurel, Batangas. New ground cracking was reported the next day in Sambal Ibaba (17 km SW), and portions of the Pansipit River (SW) had dried up.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Video screenshots showing ground cracks that formed during the Taal unrest and captured on 15 and 16 January 2020. Courtesy of James Reynolds, Earth Uncut.

Dropping water levels of Taal Lake were first observed in some areas on 16 January but reported to be lake-wide the next day. The known ground cracks in the barangays of Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay, and San Nicolas in Batangas Province widened a few centimeters by 17 January, and a new steaming fissure was identified on the N flank of the island.

GPS data had recorded a sudden widening of the caldera by ~1 m, uplift of the NW sector by ~20 cm, and subsidence of the SW part of Volcano Island by ~1 m just after the main eruption phase. The rate of deformation was smaller during 15-22 January, and generally corroborated by field observations; Taal Lake had receded about 30 cm by 25 January but about 2.5 m of the change (due to uplift) was observed around the SW portion of the lake, near the Pansipit River Valley where ground cracking had been reported.

Weak steaming (plumes 10-20 m high) from ground cracks was visible during 5-11 February along the Daang Kastila trail which connects the N part of Volcano Island to the N part of the main crater. PHIVOLCS reported that during 19-24 February steam plumes rose 50-100 m above the vent and drifted SW. Weak steaming (plumes up to 20 m high) from ground cracks was visible during 8-14 April along the Daang Kastila trail which connects the N part of Volcano Island to the N part of the main crater.

Seismicity. Between 1300 on 12 January and 0800 on 21 January the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) had recorded a total of 718 volcanic earthquakes; 176 of those had magnitudes ranging from 1.2-4.1 and were felt with Intensities of I-V. During 20-21 January there were five volcanic earthquakes with magnitudes of 1.6-2.5; the Taal Volcano network (which can detect smaller events not detectable by the PSN) recorded 448 volcanic earthquakes, including 17 low-frequency events. PHIVOLCS stated that by 21 January hybrid earthquakes had ceased and both the number and magnitude of low-frequency events had diminished.

Geologic Background. Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines and has produced some of its most powerful historical eruptions. Though not topographically prominent, its prehistorical eruptions have greatly changed the landscape of SW Luzon. The 15 x 20 km Talisay (Taal) caldera is largely filled by Lake Taal, whose 267 km2 surface lies only 3 m above sea level. The maximum depth of the lake is 160 m, and several eruptive centers lie submerged beneath the lake. The 5-km-wide Volcano Island in north-central Lake Taal is the location of all historical eruptions. The island is composed of coalescing small stratovolcanoes, tuff rings, and scoria cones that have grown about 25% in area during historical time. Powerful pyroclastic flows and surges from historical eruptions have caused many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/); Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) (URL: https://dromic.dswd.gov.ph/); United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Philippines (URL: https://www.unocha.org/philippines); James Reynolds, Earth Uncut TV (Twitter: @EarthUncutTV, URL: https://www.earthuncut.tv/, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TyphoonHunter); Chris Vagasky, Vaisala Inc., Louisville, Colorado, USA (URL: https://www.vaisala.com/en?type=1, Twitter: @COweatherman, URL: https://twitter.com/COweatherman); Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore (URL: https://www.earthobservatory.sg/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Relief Web, Flash Update No. 1 - Philippines: Taal Volcano eruption (As of 13 January 2020, 2 p.m. local time) (URL: https://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/flash-update-no-1-philippines-taal-volcano-eruption-13-january-2020-2-pm-local); Bloomberg, Philippines Braces for Hazardous Volcano Eruption (URL: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-12/philippines-raises-alert-level-in-taal-as-volcano-spews-ash); National Public Radio (NPR), Volcanic Eruption In Philippines Causes Thousands To Flee (URL: npr.org/2020/01/13/795815351/volcanic-eruption-in-philippines-causes-thousands-to-flee); Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/); Agence France-Presse (URL: http://www.afp.com/); Pacific Press (URL: http://www.pacificpress.com/); Shutterstock (URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/); Getty Images (URL: http://www.gettyimages.com/); Google Earth (URL: https://www.google.com/earth/).


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

18.325°S, 174.365°W; summit elev. -40 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Additional details and pumice raft drift maps from the August 2019 submarine eruption

In the northern Tonga region, approximately 80 km NW of Vava’u, large areas of floating pumice, termed rafts, were observed starting as early as 7 August 2019. The area of these andesitic pumice rafts was initially 195 km2 with the layers measuring 15-30 cm thick and were produced 200 m below sea level (Jutzeler et al. 2020). The previous report (BGVN 44:11) described the morphology of the clasts and the rafts, and their general westward path from 9 August to 9 October 2019, with the first sighting occurring on 9 August NW of Vava’u in Tonga. This report updates details regarding the submarine pumice raft eruption in early August 2019 using new observations and data from Brandl et al. (2019) and Jutzeler et al. (2020).

The NoToVE-2004 (Northern Tonga Vents Expedition) research cruise on the RV Southern Surveyor (SS11/2004) from the Australian CSIRO Marine National Facility traveled to the northern Tonga Arc and discovered several submarine basalt-to-rhyolite volcanic centers (Arculus, 2004). One of these volcanic centers 50 km NW of Vava’u was the unnamed seamount (volcano number 243091) that had erupted in 2001 and again in 2019, unofficially designated “Volcano F” for reference purposes by Arculus (2004) and also used by Brandl et al. (2019). It is a volcanic complex that rises more than 1 km from the seafloor with a central 6 x 8.7 km caldera and a volcanic apron measuring over 50 km in diameter (figures 19 and 20). Arculus (2004) described some of the dredged material as “fresh, black, plagioclase-bearing lava with well-formed, glassy crusts up to 2cm thick” from cones by the eastern wall of the caldera; a number of apparent flows, lava or debris, were observed draping over the northern wall of the caldera.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Visualization of the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano (marked “Volcano F”) using bathymetric data to show the site of the 6-8 August 2020 eruption and the rest of the cone complex. Courtesy of Philipp Brandl via GEOMAR.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Map of the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano using satellite imagery, bathymetric data, with shading from the NW. The yellow circle indicates the location of the August 2019 activity. Young volcanic cones are marked “C” and those with pit craters at the top are marked with “P.” Courtesy of Brandl et al. (2019).

The International Seismological Centre (ISC) Preliminary Bulletin listed a particularly strong (5.7 Mw) earthquake at 2201 local time on 5 August, 15 km SSW of the volcano at a depth of 10 km (Brandl et al. 2019). This event was followed by six slightly lower magnitude earthquakes over the next two days.

Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed two concentric rings originating from a point source (18.307°S 174.395°W) on 6 August (figure 21), which could be interpreted as small weak submarine plumes or possibly a series of small volcanic cones, according to Brandl et al. (2019). The larger ring is about 1.2 km in diameter and the smaller one measures 250 m. By 8 August volcanic activity had decreased, but the pumice rafts that were produced remained visible through at least early October (BGVN 44:11). Brandl et al. (2019) states that, due to the lack of continued observed activity rising from this location, the eruption was likely a 2-day-long event during 6-8 August.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Sentinel-2 satellite image of possible gas/vapor emissions (streaks) on 6 August 2019 drifting NW, which is the interpreted site for the unnamed Tongan seamount. The larger ring is about 1.2 km in diameter and the smaller one measures 250 m. Image using False Color (urban) rendering (bands 12, 11, 4); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The pumice was first observed on 9 August occurred up to 56 km from the point of origin, according to Jutzeler et al. (2020). By calculating the velocity (14 km/day) of the raft using three satellites, Jutzeler et al. (2020) determined the pumice was erupted immediately after the satellite image of the submarine plumes on 6 August (UTC time). Minor activity at the vent may have continued on 8 and 11 August (UTC time) with pale blue-green water discoloration (figure 22) and a small (less than 1 km2) diffuse pumice raft 2-5 km from the vent.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Sentinel-2 satellite image of the last visible activity occurring W of the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano on 8 August 2019, represented by slightly discolored blue-green water. Image using Natural Color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) and enhanced with color correction; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Continuous observations using various satellite data and observations aboard the catamaran ROAM tracked the movement and extent of the pumice raft that was produced during the submarine eruption in early August (figure 23). The first visible pumice raft was observed on 8 August 2019, covering more than 136.7 km2 between the volcanic islands of Fonualei and Late and drifting W for 60 km until 9 August (Brandl et al. 2019; Jutzeler 2020). The next day, the raft increased to 167.2-195 km2 while drifting SW for 74 km until 14 August. Over the next three days (10-12 August) the size of the raft briefly decreased in size to less than 100 km2 before increasing again to 157.4 km2 on 14 August; at least nine individual rafts were mapped and identified on satellite imagery (Brandl et al. 2019). On 15 August sailing vessels observed a large pumice raft about 75 km W of Late Island (see details in BGVN 44:11), which was the same one as seen in satellite imagery on 8 August.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Map of the extent of discolored water and the pumice raft from the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano between 8 and 14 August 2019 using imagery from NASA’s MODIS, ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellite, and observations from aboard the catamaran ROAM (BGVN 44:11). Back-tracing the path of the pumice raft points to a source location at the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano. Courtesy of Brandl et al. (2019).

By 17 August high-resolution satellite images showed an area of large and small rafts measuring 222 km2 and were found within a field of smaller rafts for a total extent of 1,350 km2, which drifted 73 km NNW through 22 August before moving counterclockwise for three days (figure f; Jutzeler et al., 2020). Small pumice ribbons encountered the Oneata Lagoon on 30 August, the first island that the raft came into contact (Jutzeler et al. 2020). By 2 September, the main raft intersected with Lakeba Island (460 km from the source) (figure 24), breaking into smaller ribbons that started to drift W on 8 September. On 19 September the small rafts (less than 100 m x less than 2 km) entered the strait between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, the two main islands of Fiji, while most of the others were stranded 60 km W in the Yasawa Islands for more than two months (Jutzeler et al., 2020).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Time-series map of the raft dispersal from the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano using multiple satellite images. A) Map showing the first days of the raft dispersal starting on 7 August 2019 and drifting SW from the vent (marked with a red triangle). Precursory seismicity that began on 5 August is marked with a white star. By 15-17 August the raft was entrained in an ocean loop or eddy. The dashed lines represent the path of the sailing vessels. B) Map of the raft dispersal using high-resolution Sentinel-2 and -3 imagery. Two dispersal trails (red and blue dashed lines) show the daily dispersal of two parts of the raft that were separated on 17 August 2019. Courtesy of Jutzeler et al. (2020).

References: Arculus, R J, SS2004/11 shipboard scientists, 2004. SS11/2004 Voyage Summary: NoToVE-2004 (Northern Tonga Vents Expedition): submarine hydrothermal plume activity and petrology of the northern Tofua Arc, Tonga. https://www.cmar.csiro.au/data/reporting/get file.cfm?eovpub id=901.

Brandl P A, Schmid F, Augustin N, Grevemeyer I, Arculus R J, Devey C W, Petersen S, Stewart M , Kopp K, Hannington M D, 2019. The 6-8 Aug 2019 eruption of ‘Volcano F’ in the Tofua Arc, Tonga. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.106695

Jutzeler M, Marsh R, van Sebille E, Mittal T, Carey R, Fauria K, Manga M, McPhie J, 2020. Ongoing Dispersal of the 7 August 2019 Pumice Raft From the Tonga Arc in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. AGU Geophysical Research Letters: https://doi.orh/10.1029/2019GL086768.

Geologic Background. A submarine volcano along the Tofua volcanic arc was first observed in September 2001. The newly discovered volcano lies NW of the island of Vava'u about 35 km S of Fonualei and 60 km NE of Late volcano. The site of the eruption is along a NNE-SSW-trending submarine plateau with an approximate bathymetric depth of 300 m. T-phase waves were recorded on 27-28 September 2001, and on the 27th local fishermen observed an ash-rich eruption column that rose above the sea surface. No eruptive activity was reported after the 28th, but water discoloration was documented during the following month. In early November rafts and strandings of dacitic pumice were reported along the coast of Kadavu and Viti Levu in the Fiji Islands. The depth of the summit of the submarine cone following the eruption determined to be 40 m during a 2007 survey; the crater of the 2001 eruption was breached to the E.

Information Contacts: Jan Steffen, Communication and Media, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany; Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

56.056°N, 160.642°E; summit elev. 4754 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian activity November 2019 through May 2020; lava flow down the SE flank in April

Klyuchevskoy is part of the Klyuchevskaya volcanic group in northern Kamchatka and is one of the most frequently active volcanoes of the region. Eruptions produce lava flows, ashfall, and lahars originating from summit and flank activity. This report summarizes activity during October 2019 through May 2020, and is based on reports by the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) and satellite data.

There were no activity reports from 1 to 22 October, but gas emissions were visible in satellite images. At 1020 on 24 October (2220 on 23 October UTC) KVERT noted that there was a small ash component in the ash plume from erosion of the conduit, with the plume reaching 130 km ENE. The Aviation Colour Code was raised from Green to Yellow, then to Orange the following day. An ash plume continued on the 25th to 5-7 km altitude and extending 15 km SE and 70 km SW and reached 30 km ESE on the 26th. Similar activity continued through to the end of the month.

Moderate gas emissions continued during 1-19 November, but the summit was obscured by clouds. Strong nighttime incandescence was visible at the crater during the 10-11 November and thermal anomalies were detected on 8 and 10-13 November. Explosions produced ash plumes up to 6 km altitude on the 20-21st and Strombolian activity was reported during 20-22 November. Degassing continued from 23 November through 12 December, and a thermal anomaly was visible on the days when the summit was not covered by clouds. An ash plume was reported moving to the NW on the 13th, and degassing with a thermal anomaly and intermittent Strombolian activity then resumed, continuing through to the end of December with an ash plume reported on the 30th.

Gas-and-steam plumes continued into January 2020 with incandescence noted when the summit was clear (figure 33). Strombolian activity was reported again starting on the 3rd. A weak ash plume produced on the 6th extended 55 km E, and on the 21st an ash plume reached 5-5.5 km altitude and extended 190 km NE (figure 34). Another ash plume the next day rose to the same altitude and extended 388 km NE. During 23-29 Strombolian activity continued, and Vulcanian activity produced ash plumes up to 5.5 altitude, extending to 282 km E on the 30th, and 145 km E on the 31st.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Incandescence and degassing were visible at Klyuchevskoy through January 2020, seen here on the 11th. Courtesy of KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. A low ash plume at Klyuchevskoy on 21 January 2020 extended 190 km NE. Courtesy of KVERT.

Strombolian activity continued throughout February with occasional explosions producing ash plumes up to 5.5 km altitude, as well as gas-and-steam plumes and a persistent thermal anomaly with incandescence visible at night. Starting in late February thermal anomalies were detected much more frequently, and with higher energy output compared to the previous year (figure 35). A lava fountain was reported on 1 March with the material falling back into the summit crater. Strombolian activity continued through early March. Lava fountaining was reported again on the 8th with ejecta landing in the crater and down the flanks (figure 36). A strong persistent gas-and-steam plume containing some ash continued along with Strombolian activity through 25 March (figure 37), with Vulcanian activity noted on the 20th and 25th. Strombolian and Vulcanian activity was reported through the end of March.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. This MIROVA thermal energy plot for Klyuchevskoy for the year ending 29 April 2020 (log radiative power) shows intermittent thermal anomalies leading up to more sustained energy detected from February through March, then steadily increasing energy through April 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. Strombolian explosions at Klyuchevskoy eject incandescent ash and gas, and blocks and bombs onto the upper flanks on 8 and 10 March 2020. Courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. Weak ash emission from the Klyuchevskoy summit crater are dispersed by wind on 19 and 29 March 2020, with ash depositing on the flanks. Courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

Activity was dominantly Strombolian during 1-5 April and included intermittent Vulcanian explosions from the 6th onwards, with ash plumes reaching 6 km altitude. On 18 April a lava flow began moving down the SE flank (figures 38). A report on the 26th reported explosions from lava-water interactions with avalanches from the active lava flow, which continued to move down the SE flank and into the Apakhonchich chute (figures 39 and 40). This continued throughout April and May with sustained Strombolian and intermittent Vulcanian activity at the summit (figures 41 and 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Strombolian activity produced ash plumes and a lava flow down the SE flank of Klyuchevskoy on 18 April 2020. Courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. A lava flow descends the SW flank of Klyuchevskoy and a gas plume is dispersed by winds on 21 April 2020. Courtesy of Yu. Demyanchuk, IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images show the progression of the Klyuchevskoy lava flow from the summit crater down the SE flank from 19-29 April 2020. Associated gas plumes are dispersed in various directions. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy ejects incandescent ejecta, gas, and ash above the summit on 27 April 2020. Courtesy of D. Bud'kov, IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Klyuchevskoy show the progression of the SE flank lava flow through May 2020, with associated gas plumes being dispersed in multiple directions. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Klyuchevskoy (also spelled Kliuchevskoi) is Kamchatka's highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 6000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. It rises above a saddle NE of sharp-peaked Kamen volcano and lies SE of the broad Ushkovsky massif. More than 100 flank eruptions have occurred during the past roughly 3000 years, with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3600 m elevation. The morphology of the 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included numerous major explosive and effusive eruptions from flank craters.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent thermal anomalies within the summit crater during December 2019-May 2020

Nyamuragira (also known as Nyamulagira) is located in the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and consists of a lava lake that reappeared in the summit crater in mid-April 2018. Volcanism has been characterized by lava emissions, thermal anomalies, seismicity, and gas-and-steam emissions. This report summarizes activity during December 2019 through May 2020 using information from monthly reports by the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) and satellite data.

According to OVG, intermittent eruptive activity was detected in the lava lake of the central crater during December 2019 and January-April 2020, which also resulted in few seismic events. MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows thermal anomalies within the summit crater that varied in both frequency and power between August 2019 and mid-March 2020, but very few were recorded afterward through late May (figure 88). Thermal hotspots identified by MODVOLC from 15 December 2019 through March 2020 were mainly located in the active central crater, with only three hotspots just outside the SW crater rim (figure 89). Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery also showed activity within the summit crater during January-May 2020, but by mid-March the thermal anomaly had visibly decreased in power (figure 90).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. The MIROVA graph of thermal activity (log radiative power) at Nyamuragira during 27 July through May 2020 shows variably strong, intermittent thermal anomalies with a variation in power and frequency from August 2019 to mid-March 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. Map showing the number of MODVOLC hotspot pixels at Nyamuragira from 1 December 2019 t0 31 May 2020. 37 pixels were registered within the summit crater while 3 were detected just outside the SW crater rim. Courtesy of HIGP-MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) confirmed ongoing thermal activity (bright yellow-orange) at Nyamuragira from February into April 2020. The strength of the thermal anomaly in the summit crater decreased by late March 2020, but was still visible. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira, is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu. Also known as Nyamulagira, it has generated extensive lava flows that cover 1500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift. The broad low-angle shield volcano contrasts dramatically with the adjacent steep-sided Nyiragongo to the SW. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Historical eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous fissures and cinder cones on the flanks. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Historical lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit, reaching as far as Lake Kivu.

Information Contacts: Information contacts: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG), Departement de Geophysique, Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Lwiro, D.S. Bukavu, DR Congo; MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/exp.


Nyiragongo (DR Congo) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Activity in the lava lake and small eruptive cone persists during December 2019-May 2020

Nyiragongo is located in the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, part of the western branch of the East African Rift System and contains a 1.2 km-wide summit crater with a lava lake that has been active since at least 1971. Volcanism has been characterized by strong and frequent thermal anomalies, incandescence, gas-and-steam emissions, and seismicity. This report summarizes activity during December 2019 through May 2020 using information from monthly reports by the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) and satellite data.

In the December 2019 monthly report, OVG stated that the level of the lava lake had increased. This level of the lava lake was maintained for the duration of the reporting period, according to later OVG monthly reports. Seismicity increased starting in November 2019 and was detected in the NE part of the crater, but it decreased by mid-April 2020. SO2 emissions increased in January 2020 to roughly 7,000 tons/day but decreased again near the end of the month. OVG reported that SO2 emissions rose again in February to roughly 8,500 tons/day before declining to about 6,000 tons/day. Unlike in the previous report (BGVN 44:12), incandescence was visible during the day in the active lava lake and activity at the small eruptive cone within the 1.2-km-wide summit crater has since increased, consisting of incandescence and some lava fountaining (figure 72). A field survey was conducted on 3-4 March where an OVG team observed active lava fountains and ejecta that produced Pele’s hair from the small eruptive cone (figure 73). During this survey, OVG reported that the level of the lava lake had reached the second terrace, which was formed on 17 January 2002 and represents remnants of the lava lake at different eruption stages. There, the open surface lava lake was observed; gas-and-steam emissions accompanied both the active lava lake and the small eruptive cone (figures 72 and 73).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Webcam image of Nyiragongo in February 2020 showing an open lava lake surface and incandescence from the active crater cone within the 1.2 km-wide summit crater visible during the day, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions. Courtesy of OVG (Rapport OVG February 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Webcam image of Nyiragongo on 4 March 2020 showing an open lava lake surface and incandescence from the active crater cone within the 1.2 km-wide summit crater visible during the day, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions. Courtesy of OVG (Rapport OVG Mars 2020).

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data continued to show frequent strong thermal anomalies within 5 km of the summit crater through May 2020 (figure 74). Similarly, the MODVOLC algorithm reported multiple thermal hotspots almost daily within the summit crater between December 2019 and May 2020. These thermal signatures were also observed in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery within the summit crater (figure 75).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. Thermal anomalies at Nyiragongo from 27 July through May 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were frequent and strong. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) showed ongoing thermal activity (bright yellow-orange) in the summit crater at Nyiragongo during January through April 2020. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. One of Africa's most notable volcanoes, Nyiragongo contained a lava lake in its deep summit crater that was active for half a century before draining catastrophically through its outer flanks in 1977. The steep slopes of a stratovolcano contrast to the low profile of its neighboring shield volcano, Nyamuragira. Benches in the steep-walled, 1.2-km-wide summit crater mark levels of former lava lakes, which have been observed since the late-19th century. Two older stratovolcanoes, Baruta and Shaheru, are partially overlapped by Nyiragongo on the north and south. About 100 parasitic cones are located primarily along radial fissures south of Shaheru, east of the summit, and along a NE-SW zone extending as far as Lake Kivu. Many cones are buried by voluminous lava flows that extend long distances down the flanks, which is characterized by the eruption of foiditic rocks. The extremely fluid 1977 lava flows caused many fatalities, as did lava flows that inundated portions of the major city of Goma in January 2002.

Information Contacts: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG), Departement de Geophysique, Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Lwiro, D.S. Bukavu, DR Congo; MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Kavachi (Solomon Islands) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

8.991°S, 157.979°E; summit elev. -20 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

Kavachi is a submarine volcano located in the Solomon Islands south of Gatokae and Vangunu islands. Volcanism is frequently active, but rarely observed. The most recent eruptions took place during 2014, which consisted of an ash eruption, and during 2016, which included phreatomagmatic explosions (BGVN 42:03). This reporting period covers December 2016-April 2020 primarily using satellite data.

Activity at Kavachi is often only observed through satellite images, and frequently consists of discolored submarine plumes for which the cause is uncertain. On 1 January 2018 a slight yellow discoloration in the water is seen extending to the E from a specific point (figure 20). Similar faint plumes were observed on 16 January, 25 February, 2 March, 26 April, 6 May, and 25 June 2018. No similar water discoloration was noted during 2019, though clouds may have obscured views.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Satellite images from Sentinel-2 revealed intermittent faint water discoloration (yellow) at Kavachi during the first half of 2018, as seen here on 1 January (top left), 25 February (top right), 26 April (bottom left), and 25 June (bottom right). Images with “Natural color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity resumed in 2020, showing more discolored water in satellite imagery. The first instance occurred on 16 March, where a distinct plume extended from a specific point to the SE. On 25 April a satellite image showed a larger discolored plume in the water that spread over about 30 km2, encompassing the area around Kavachi (figure 21). Another image on 30 April showed a thin ribbon of discolored water extending about 50 km W of the vent.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Sentinel-2 satellite images of a discolored plume (yellow) at Kavachi beginning on 16 March (top left) with a significant large plume on 25 April (right), which remained until 30 April (bottom left). Images with “Natural color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Named for a sea-god of the Gatokae and Vangunu peoples, Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the SW Pacific, located in the Solomon Islands south of Vangunu Island. Sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi ("Kavachi's Oven"), this shallow submarine basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has produced ephemeral islands up to 1 km long many times since its first recorded eruption during 1939. Residents of the nearby islands of Vanguna and Nggatokae (Gatokae) reported "fire on the water" prior to 1939, a possible reference to earlier eruptions. The roughly conical edifice rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the north and greater depths to the SE. Frequent shallow submarine and occasional subaerial eruptions produce phreatomagmatic explosions that eject steam, ash, and incandescent bombs. On a number of occasions lava flows were observed on the ephemeral islands.

Information Contacts: Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

30.443°N, 130.217°E; summit elev. 657 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption and ash plumes begin on 11 January 2020 and continue through April 2020

Kuchinoerabujima encompasses a group of young stratovolcanoes located in the northern Ryukyu Islands. All historical eruptions have originated from the Shindake cone, with the exception of a lava flow that originated from the S flank of the Furudake cone. The most recent previous eruptive period took place during October 2018-February 2019 and primarily consisted of weak explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall. The current eruption began on 11 January 2020 after nearly a year of dominantly gas-and-steam emissions. Volcanism for this reporting period from March 2019 to April 2020 included explosions, ash plumes, SO2 emissions, and ashfall. The primary source of information for this report comes from monthly and annual reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and advisories from the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Activity has been limited to Kuchinoerabujima's Shindake Crater.

Volcanism at Kuchinoerabujima was relatively low during March through December 2019, according to JMA. During this time, SO2 emissions ranged from 100 to 1,000 tons/day. Gas-and-steam emissions were frequently observed throughout the entire reporting period, rising to a maximum height of 1.1 km above the crater on 13 December 2019. Satellite imagery from Sentinel-2 showed gas-and-steam and occasional ash emissions rising from the Shindake crater throughout the reporting period (figure 7). Though JMA reported thermal anomalies occurring on 29 January and continuing through late April 2020, Sentinel-2 imagery shows the first thermal signature appearing on 26 April.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showed gas-and-steam and ash emissions rising from Kuchinoerabujima. Some ash deposits can be seen on 6 February 2020 (top right). A thermal anomaly appeared on 26 April 2020 (bottom right). Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

An eruption on 11 January 2020 at 1505 ejected material 300 m from the crater and produced ash plumes that rose 2 km above the crater rim, extending E, according to JMA. The eruption continued through 12 January until 0730. The resulting ash plumes rose 400 m above the crater, drifting SW while the SO2 emissions measured 1,300 tons/day. Ashfall was reported on Yakushima Island (15 km E). Minor eruptive activity was reported during 17-20 January which produced gray-white plumes that rose 300-500 m above the crater. On 23 January, seismicity increased, and an eruption produced an ash plume that rose 1.2 km altitude, according to a Tokyo VAAC report, resulting in ashfall 2 km NE of the crater. A small explosion was detected on 24 January, followed by an increase in the number of earthquakes during 25-26 January (65-71 earthquakes per day were registered). Another small eruptive event detected on 27 January at 0148 was accompanied by a volcanic tremor and a change in tilt data. During the month of January, some inflation was detected at the base on the volcano and a total of 347 earthquakes were recorded. The SO2 emissions ranged from 200-1,600 tons/day.

An eruption on 1 February 2020 produced an eruption column that rose less than 1 km altitude and extended SE and SW (figure 8), according to the Tokyo VAAC report. On 3 February, an eruption from the Shindake crater at 0521 produced an ash plume that rose 7 km above the crater and ejected material as far as 600 m away. As a result, a pyroclastic flow formed, traveling 900-1,500 m SW. The previous pyroclastic flow that was recorded occurred on 29 January 2019. Ashfall was confirmed in the N part of Yakushima Island with a large amount in Miyanoura (32 km ESE) and southern Tanegashima. The SO2 emissions measured 1,700 tons/day during this event.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Webcam images from the Honmura west surveillance camera of an ash plume rising from Kuchinoerabujima on 1 February 2020. Courtesy of JMA (Weekly bulletin report 509, February 2020).

Intermittent small eruptive events occurred during 5-9 February; field observations showed a large amount of ashfall on the SE flank which included lapilli that measured up to 2 cm in diameter. Additionally, thermal images showed 5-km-long pyroclastic flow deposits on the SW flank. An eruption on 9 February produced an ash plume that rose 1.2 km altitude, drifting SE. On 13 February a small eruption was detected in the Shindake crater at 1211, producing gray-white plumes that rose 300 m above the crater, drifting NE. Small eruptive events also occurred during 20-21 February, resulting in gas-and-steam emissions that rose 200 m above the crater. During the month of February, some horizontal extension was observed since January 2020 using GNSS data. The total number of earthquakes during this month drastically increased to 1225 compared to January. The SO2 emissions ranged from 300-1,700 tons/day.

By 2 March 2020, seismicity decreased, and activity declined. Gas-and-steam emissions continued infrequently for the duration of the reporting period. The SO2 emissions during March ranged from 700-2,100 tons/day, the latter of which occurred on 15 March. Seismicity increased again on 27 March. During 5-8 April 2020, small eruptive events were detected, generating ash plumes that rose 900 m above the crater (figure 9). The SO2 emissions on 6 April reached 3,200 tons/day, the maximum measurement for this reporting period. These small eruptive events continued from 13-20 and 23-25 April within the Shindake crater, producing gray-white plumes that rose 300-800 m above the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Webcam images from the Honmura Nishi (top) and Honmura west (bottom) surveillance cameras of ash plumes rising from Kuchinoerabujima on 6 March and 5 April 2020. Courtesy of JMA (Weekly bulletin report 509, March and April 2020).

Geologic Background. A group of young stratovolcanoes forms the eastern end of the irregularly shaped island of Kuchinoerabujima in the northern Ryukyu Islands, 15 km W of Yakushima. The Furudake, Shindake, and Noikeyama cones were erupted from south to north, respectively, forming a composite cone with multiple craters. All historical eruptions have occurred from Shindake, although a lava flow from the S flank of Furudake that reached the coast has a very fresh morphology. Frequent explosive eruptions have taken place from Shindake since 1840; the largest of these was in December 1933. Several villages on the 4 x 12 km island are located within a few kilometers of the active crater and have suffered damage from eruptions.

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

1.112°N, 124.737°E; summit elev. 1785 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

Soputan is a stratovolcano located in the northern arm of Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. Previous eruptive periods were characterized by ash explosions, lava flows, and Strombolian eruptions. The most recent eruption occurred during October-December 2018, which consisted mostly of ash plumes and some summit incandescence (BGVN 44:01). This report updates information for January 2019-April 2020 characterized by two ash plumes and gas-and-steam emissions. The primary source of information come from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Activity during January 2019-April 2020 was relatively low; three faint thermal anomalies were observed at the summit at Soputan in satellite imagery for a total of three days on 2 and 4 January, and 1 October 2019 (figure 17). The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) based on analysis of MODIS data detected 12 distal hotspots and six low-power hotspots within 5 km of the summit during August to early October 2019. A single distal thermal hotspot was detected in early March 2020. In March, activity primarily consisted of white to gray gas-and-steam plumes that rose 20-100 m above the crater, according to PVMBG. The Darwin VAAC issued a notice on 23 March 2020 that reported an ash plume rose to 4.3 km altitude; minor ash emissions had been visible in a webcam image the previous day (figure 18). A second notice was issued on 2 April, where an ash plume was observed rising 2.1 km altitude and drifting W.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery detected a total of three thermal hotspots (bright yellow-orange) at the summit of Soputan on 2 and 4 January and 1 October 2019. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Minor ash emissions were seen rising from Soputan on 22 March 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia.

Geologic Background. The Soputan stratovolcano on the southern rim of the Quaternary Tondano caldera on the northern arm of Sulawesi Island is one of Sulawesi's most active volcanoes. The youthful, largely unvegetated volcano is located SW of Riendengan-Sempu, which some workers have included with Soputan and Manimporok (3.5 km ESE) as a volcanic complex. It was constructed at the southern end of a SSW-NNE trending line of vents. During historical time the locus of eruptions has included both the summit crater and Aeseput, a prominent NE-flank vent that formed in 1906 and was the source of intermittent major lava flows until 1924.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

53.106°S, 73.513°E; summit elev. 2745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptive activity including a lava flow during October 2019-April 2020

Heard Island is located on the Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean and contains Big Ben, a snow-covered stratovolcano with intermittent volcanism reported since 1910. Due to its remote location, visual observations are rare; therefore, thermal anomalies and hotspots detected by satellite-based instruments are the primary source of information. This report updates activity from October 2019 to April 2020.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed three prominent periods of strong thermal anomaly activity during this reporting period: late October 2019, December 2019, and the end of April 2020 (figure 41). These thermal anomalies were relatively strong and occurred within 5 km of the summit. Similarly, the MODVOLC algorithm reported a total of six thermal hotspots during 28 October, 1 November 2019, and 26 April 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Thermal anomalies at Heard from 29 April 2019 through April 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were strong and frequent in late October, during December 2019, and at the end of April 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Six thermal satellite images ranging from late October 2019 to late March showed evidence of active lava at the summit (figure 42). These images show hot material, possibly a lava flow, extending SW from the summit; a hotspot also remained at the summit. Cloud cover was pervasive during the majority of this reporting period, especially in April 2020, though gas-and-steam emissions were visible on 25 April through the clouds.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Thermal satellite images of Heard Island’s Big Ben showing strong thermal signatures representing a lava flow in the SW direction from 28 October to 17 December 2019. These thermal anomalies are located NE from Mawson Peak. A faint thermal anomaly is also captured on 26 March 2020. Satellite images with atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, and 8A), courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Heard Island on the Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean consists primarily of the emergent portion of two volcanic structures. The large glacier-covered composite basaltic-to-trachytic cone of Big Ben comprises most of the island, and the smaller Mt. Dixon lies at the NW tip of the island across a narrow isthmus. Little is known about the structure of Big Ben because of its extensive ice cover. The historically active Mawson Peak forms the island's high point and lies within a 5-6 km wide caldera breached to the SW side of Big Ben. Small satellitic scoria cones are mostly located on the northern coast. Several subglacial eruptions have been reported at this isolated volcano, but observations are infrequent and additional activity may have occurred.

Information Contacts: MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 18, Number 07 (July 1993)

Managing Editor: Edward Venzke

Arenal (Costa Rica)

Lava flows remain active; explosions and pyroclastic-flow activity decrease

CoAxial Segment (Undersea Features)

Submarine lava flow and hydrothermal plumes

Erta Ale (Ethiopia)

Review of satellite data reveals lava lake activity in June 1992

Gamalama (Indonesia)

Explosive ash eruptions produce columns to heights of 3,000 m

Ijen (Indonesia)

Phreatic eruptions from the crater lake

Kilauea (United States)

New lava breakout on the Kamoamoa delta reaches the ocean

Klyuchevskoy (Russia)

Gas-and-ash plumes; lava flows down W slope; high seismicity

Krakatau (Indonesia)

Explosions continue; bombs destroy another seismometer

Lengai, Ol Doinyo (Tanzania)

Increased carbonatite lava production; ash eruptions

Loihi (United States)

Five hours of seismicity on 11 July

Manam (Papua New Guinea)

Moderate eruption produces ashfall, pyroclastic flows, and lava flows

Masaya (Nicaragua)

Small ash eruption precedes formation of lava lake; fumarole temperatures rise

Seguam (United States)

Ash eruptions to 2,400 m height; lava flow

Sheveluch (Russia)

Gas-and-steam plume continues

Tongariro (New Zealand)

Fumarole temperatures decrease

Unzendake (Japan)

Exogenous dome growth continues; increased seismicity

Veniaminof (United States)

Ash and steam eruption begins on 30 July; Strombolian activity



Arenal (Costa Rica) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Arenal

Costa Rica

10.463°N, 84.703°W; summit elev. 1670 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flows remain active; explosions and pyroclastic-flow activity decrease

Gas emissions and lava flows continued at Crater C in July, as well as sporadic Strombolian activity that sent ash columns >500 m above the crater rim. Explosions have decreased in quantity and magnitude compared to June. The lava flow that started in mid-April on the SW flank remained active as its W lobe descended another 50 m to 1,150 m elevation and the SW lobe traveled 150 m down to 1,100 m. A new lobe from this flow that formed in early July descended to the SW. A new lava flow was also observed on 20 July moving WNW. At 1022 on 21 July a rock avalanche traveled NW to 1,300 m elevation. Another avalanche was observed later that day at 1100, and seven more occurred from 1314 and 1355. The lowest elevation reached by the fronts of these nine avalanches was 1,150 m.

Three distance lines continued to show minor contraction in 1993. The last measurement was made on 21 July. The radial leveling line on the W flank indicated deflation of 8.9 µrad between 26 August 1992 and 21 July 1993. Deformation measured at most dry-tilt stations was insignificant. However, three stations on the SW and W flanks exhibited cumulative inflation of ~10 µrad since 15 April. The seismic station 2.7 km NE of the active crater (VACR) registered 651 events in July, with the highest daily total on 21 July. Most of the seismicity was associated with ash eruptions and pyroclastic activity. The level of explosive activity was less in June and July than earlier in the year. Tremor averaged 13 hours/day, with the highest daily total of 23 hours recorded on 8 July. There was more tremor in July than in any previous month this year.

The following report, of activity from 25 July to 4 August, is from W. Melson (SI), and V. Barboza and Jorge Barquero (OVSICORI). "Arenal showed an extremely low level of pyroclastic activity during this period, the lowest recorded during regular periods of observations by Smithsonian Institution volunteers since 1987. There have been 18 such observation periods, each lasting about 10 days for 24-hours/day, from the Arenal Observatory Lodge about 2.8 km S of the summit (figure 59). Periods of high tremor were common. Ongoing 3-component seismic measurements have shown that tremor produces weak vertical signals but strong horizontal signals (figure 60). The dominance of horizontal over vertical motion has been characteristic of Arenal's seismicity over the past 3 years. Local observers reported that a large fragment of the WNW rim collapsed around 19 or 20 July, forming a notch through which lava continued to move as of 4 August. The lava flow was moving slowly (~10-30 m/day) down the WNW slope, and had reached ~1,100 m elevation below the new cone being built to an approximate elevation of 1,650 m above old Crater C."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. Summary of pyroclastic-flow activity at Arenal since 1987 during 18 approximately 10-day periods of 24-hours/day observations from the Arenal Observatory Lodge, 2.8 km S of the summit, made by Earthwatch and Smithsonian Institution volunteer expeditions. "Chug" and "whoosh" events are characterized by their sound. Courtesy of W. Melson.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Tremor levels at Arenal during a 2-hour period on 25 July 1993. Values are averaged over 21.5-second intervals and calculated as equal to the sum of the absolute values of signals in decimillivolts divided by number of counts/21.5 seconds at an AD conversion rate of about 100 counts/second. A Mark L-4C 3D seismometer was used with a 16 bit AD board. Courtesy of W. Melson.

Geologic Background. Conical Volcán Arenal is the youngest stratovolcano in Costa Rica and one of its most active. The 1670-m-high andesitic volcano towers above the eastern shores of Lake Arenal, which has been enlarged by a hydroelectric project. Arenal lies along a volcanic chain that has migrated to the NW from the late-Pleistocene Los Perdidos lava domes through the Pleistocene-to-Holocene Chato volcano, which contains a 500-m-wide, lake-filled summit crater. The earliest known eruptions of Arenal took place about 7000 years ago, and it was active concurrently with Cerro Chato until the activity of Chato ended about 3500 years ago. Growth of Arenal has been characterized by periodic major explosive eruptions at several-hundred-year intervals and periods of lava effusion that armor the cone. An eruptive period that began with a major explosive eruption in 1968 ended in December 2010; continuous explosive activity accompanied by slow lava effusion and the occasional emission of pyroclastic flows characterized the eruption from vents at the summit and on the upper western flank.

Information Contacts: E. Fernández, J. Barquero, R. Van der Laat, F. de Obaldia, T. Marino, V. Barboza, and R. Sáenz, OVSICORI; W. Melson, SI.


CoAxial Segment (Undersea Features) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

CoAxial Segment

Undersea Features

46.52°N, 129.58°W; summit elev. -2400 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Submarine lava flow and hydrothermal plumes

A submarine eruption along the Juan de Fuca Ridge (JDFR) was detected in late June 1993 by the NOAA using hydrophones. Plumes and a lava flow were subsequently identified by research ships along the Coaxial Segment (figure 1), located ~435 km W of the Oregon coast.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. General plate tectonic map of the NE Pacific Ocean showing the North American, Pacific, Explorer, Juan de Fuca, and Gorda plates. The Coaxial Segment is just N of Axial Volcano along the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Courtesy of Bill Chadwick, NOAA.

On 26 June a burst of low-magnitude and low-frequency (1-30 Hz) T-phase seismicity (~31 events in the first hour) was accompanied by what appeared to be harmonic tremor near the terminus of the N rift zone of Axial Volcano (a hot-spot volcano adjacent to the ridge) near 46.23°N, 129.83°W. Activity migrated ~37 km NNE over the next two days, with the final locus of activity near 46.52°N, 129.60°W. Another swarm of events occurred on 4 July; activity then declined to a few minor events/day. All T-phase activity was probably below the threshold of land-based seismometers, mb < 2.5, though some events may have been larger. Real-time monitoring of the Juan de Fuca Ridge by the NOAA Vents T-Phase Project had begun only four days earlier, on 22 June, using the U.S. Navy Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). The raw data are transferred to NOAA's Newport, Oregon labs, where time-versus-frequency plots for selected locations are continuously displayed and monitored.

Scientists aboard the Canadian Survey Ship Tully performed Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD)/transmissometer casts on 1-3 July between 46.20°N and 46.55°N, primarily along the W ridge of a large graben where the NE flank of Axial Volcano merges into the JDFR. A transmissometer is a device that measures the amount of particulate matter in the water by shining a light across a short distance and measuring the amount of light received at the other end. Plumes can be mapped in this way independent of temperature anomalies. Plumes were found along the central axis of the graben, extending between approximately 46.33°N and 46.50°N, in close agreement with the T-phase locations. Strong plumes within several hundred meters of the seafloor (bottom depth ~2,400 m) were detected at 46.50°N, 129.59°W, and there was an intense plume at 1,700-1,800 m depth, at least 700 m above the bottom.

On 9 July, the NOAA Ship Discoverer arrived at the site with a full suite of instrumentation, including CTD/transmissometer, chemical scanner, SeaBeam, seafloor volcanic system monitors (rumbleometers), and the Canadian remotely operated vehicle system, ROPOS, equipped with acoustic and differential GPS navigation. The next day, Discoverer's first cast, at 46.50°N, 129.60°W, confirmed the presence of both deep and shallow plumes. Plumes were identified on the basis of thermal and light-attenuation anomalies, as well as large anomalies in dissolved Mn and Fe using a continuously sensing in-situ chemical scanner. Over the next several days, two along-axis, several cross-axis tow-yos, and several vertical CTD casts were completed. The term "tow-yo" describes the process of alternately lowering and raising the CTD instrumentation during the tow, making a saw-toothed survey through the water column. This allows measurement of the upper and lower boundaries of plumes, as well as their lateral extent in two dimensions. The first along-axis CTD tow mapped the large plumes along the segment and above the N swarm area on 12 July.

Lower plumes, extending 39 km along the axis from 46.23°N to 46.57°N, were characterized by temperature anomalies as high as 0.07°C centered ~150-200 m above the seafloor; in some places the temperature anomalies extended within 10 m of the seafloor (generally the closest approach height of the CTD). Upper plumes were well-defined by temperature, light-attenuation, and chemical anomalies, with a maximum rise height of ~800 m and a maximum temperature anomaly of at least 0.18°C. The upper plumes were first found near 46.50°N and later near 46.27°N, and appeared to have a distinct layered structure, perhaps indicative of separate injections of hydrothermal fluid. Although these plumes have rise heights and temperatures similar to the megaplumes discovered over the Cleft Segment of the JDFR (~160 km S at 44.5-45.0°N) in 1986 and 1987, their volume appears much smaller, only several kilometers along and across axis. Preliminary results indicate dissolved Mn and Fe anomalies in the upper plumes exceeding those found in the 1986 and 1987 megaplumes. The well-defined N edge of the plumes approximates the extent of the T-phase swarm area. The S boundary of the plumes is more diffuse, but there is a fairly distinct diminishment at about 46.23°N, approximately the boundary of the S swarm.

Preliminary analysis of radon-222 in plume samples taken on 12 and 19 July shows a distinct decrease in values for the upper plume, supporting the presumption that they were produced by powerful but short-lived hydrothermal discharges and were not resupplied by continuous venting. Radon-222 estimates for the cessation of the hydrothermal event that produced these upper plumes range from 28 June to 1 July, or 2-5 days after the initial T-phase activity. The lower-plume radon-222 values did not decrease between sampling, indicating that they were sustained by continuous venting in mid-July.

The most intense hydrothermal activity was from the center of the axial valley over about 46.52°N. Because of the coincidence between the T-phase swarms and the hydrothermal activity, this area was chosen for detailed study with the remotely operated vehicle ROPOS. The dive traversed the valley floor from E to W and encountered sediment-free, glassy lava on the W-facing slope of a ridge just N of a small, older seamount centered at 46.52°N, 130.59°W. Subsequent traverses over the ENE-oriented lava ridge revealed it to be ~300 m wide and at least 1,500 m long. A 100-m-wide zone centered over the crest was venting warm water through interstices of unfractured pillow and lobate lava flows. Water temperatures were up to 13°C, and the chemical scanner measured high levels of Fe and Mn in the vent fluids. The S end of the lava ridge was within a graben imaged by the ROPOS's Mesotech sonar system. The next ROPOS dive started at the S terminus of the lava ridge and continued S along the trend defined by the ridge crest. An actively venting fracture system was crossed on every subsequent traverse across this trend, extending 6.5 km S to 46.47°N, with water temperatures up to 23°C. The fracture system crosses a lava plateau that bisects the axial valley.

Basalt samples from the recent flow are very fresh-looking lobate to pillowed types. Upper glass selvages are up to 2.5 cm thick and are sparsely plagioclase-phyric. The glass selvages have no sediment cover (except in areas of hydrothermal discharge) and exhibit a shiny iridescent surface. Some of the samples have surficial staining (probably elemental sulfur) as the result of contact with hydrothermal fluids.

The volcanic zone of the Coaxial Segment between 46.10°N and 46.65°N was resurveyed with SeaBeam multibeam sonar. By the time data collection and analysis were complete, a new lava flow had been located with ROPOS at 46.52°N, 129.58°W. The extent of the new lava flow corresponds very closely to an area of depth change identified between SeaBeam surveys. Comparison of the new survey and the 1981 and 1991 SeaBeam surveys showed a depth change of about 30 m. Onshore processing of the data is still in progress, but no other depth changes had been confirmed by 20 Aug; there could be other new lava flows that are below the detection level of SeaBeam. Except for bacterial filaments, the young lava flow was devoid of sessile organisms, whereas adjacent old lavas hosted many non-vent animals.

Geologic Background. The CoAxial segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge is located about 435 km west of the Oregon coast, NE of Axial volcano. A submarine eruption along the CoAxial segment that produced thermal plumes and a new lava flow was detected by acoustic hydrophones in June 1993, just days after installation of the hydrophone system. This marked the first deep-sea volcanic eruption that was detected as it was happening. The location of the eruption was at a depth of about 2400 m, about 37 km NE of Axial volcano. Bathymetric surveys indicated that one or more additional sea-floor lava extrusions took place immediately to the east of the 1993 lava flow sometime between 1981-82 and 1991.

Information Contacts: C. Fox, W. Chadwick, R. Embley, and R. Dziak, NOAA Vents T-phase Project.


Erta Ale (Ethiopia) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Erta Ale

Ethiopia

13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Review of satellite data reveals lava lake activity in June 1992

"The visit . . . on 10-11 November 1992 showed that since the last recorded observation, made using Landsat TM data from 9 February 1987, the lava lake in the N crater had disappeared (presumably frozen over and collapsed), but that the lava lake in the S crater . . . was still active. This interpretation is consistent with visual observations made during an aircraft overflight on 21 September 1992 (17:8-9).

"New satellite data further narrow the window of uncertainty about when the N lava lake became inactive, and provide evidence of the continuity of activity at the S lava lake. Data from the Japanese Earth Resources Satellite-1 (JERS-1, also known as Fuyo-1) recorded on 9 June 1992 show the S lava lake to be a strong source of short-wavelength infrared radiation, which is convincing evidence that it was active. However, there is no trace of any short-wavelength infrared thermal radiance from the N lava lake, indicating that the lake had already ceased to exist.

"JERS-1 was launched on 11 February 1992. Its optical sensors record images in three visible channels, and (more importantly for thermal remote sensing of volcanoes) in four short-wavelength infrared channels: 1.55-1.77, 2.01-2.12, 2.13-2.25, and 2.27-2.40 µm. The image pixels are 18 m across. This contrasts with Landsat TM which has 30 m pixels in two short-wavelength infrared channels (1.55-1.75 and 2.08-2.35 µm). This is believed to be the first demonstration that JERS-1 data can play a useful role in volcano monitoring. The thermal anomaly covers an approximately equidimensional area 4-5 pixels across in all four short-wavelength infrared channels, which is roughly consistent with the size of the lava lake seen during fieldwork five months later."

Geologic Background. Erta Ale is an isolated basaltic shield that is the most active volcano in Ethiopia. The broad, 50-km-wide edifice rises more than 600 m from below sea level in the barren Danakil depression. Erta Ale is the namesake and most prominent feature of the Erta Ale Range. The volcano contains a 0.7 x 1.6 km, elliptical summit crater housing steep-sided pit craters. Another larger 1.8 x 3.1 km wide depression elongated parallel to the trend of the Erta Ale range is located SE of the summit and is bounded by curvilinear fault scarps on the SE side. Fresh-looking basaltic lava flows from these fissures have poured into the caldera and locally overflowed its rim. The summit caldera is renowned for one, or sometimes two long-term lava lakes that have been active since at least 1967, or possibly since 1906. Recent fissure eruptions have occurred on the N flank.

Information Contacts: D. Rothery, Open Univ.


Gamalama (Indonesia) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Gamalama

Indonesia

0.8°N, 127.33°E; summit elev. 1715 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive ash eruptions produce columns to heights of 3,000 m

Ash explosions at 0600 and 0625 on 6 May produced eruption columns that rose 2,500 and 2,000 m, respectively, above the summit. There was also a small eruption at 1500 on 8 May. The strongest explosion occurred at 1338-1352 on 12 May, preceded by detonation sounds and incandescent ballistic bombs. A black ash column from this eruption rose 3,000 m and could be seen from the observatory. About 141,000 m3 of material was erupted. There was no damage caused by this eruption. An Indonesian radio broadcast also reported an eruption on 21 May (18:05). A pilot report described a smoke plume at 1000 on 17 August rising ~ 480 m above the rim before drifting NNW and dissipating.

Geologic Background. Gamalama is a near-conical stratovolcano that comprises the entire island of Ternate off the western coast of Halmahera, and is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The island was a major regional center in the Portuguese and Dutch spice trade for several centuries, which contributed to the thorough documentation of Gamalama's historical activity. Three cones, progressively younger to the north, form the summit. Several maars and vents define a rift zone, parallel to the Halmahera island arc, that cuts the volcano. Eruptions, recorded frequently since the 16th century, typically originated from the summit craters, although flank eruptions have occurred in 1763, 1770, 1775, and 1962-63.

Information Contacts: W. Tjetjep, VSI; J. Lynch, SAB.


Ijen (Indonesia) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Ijen

Indonesia

8.058°S, 114.242°E; summit elev. 2769 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic eruptions from the crater lake

Three phreatic eruptions occurred from the center of the crater lake in early July, but caused no damage. The eruptions, at 0646 on 3 July and at 0835 and 1045 on 4 July, were preceded by increasing seismicity and tremor. The color of the lake also changed from whitish-green to brown prior to the activity.

Geologic Background. The Ijen volcano complex at the eastern end of Java consists of a group of small stratovolcanoes constructed within the large 20-km-wide Ijen (Kendeng) caldera. The north caldera wall forms a prominent arcuate ridge, but elsewhere the caldera rim is buried by post-caldera volcanoes, including Gunung Merapi, which forms the high point of the complex. Immediately west of the Gunung Merapi stratovolcano is the historically active Kawah Ijen crater, which contains a nearly 1-km-wide, turquoise-colored, acid lake. Picturesque Kawah Ijen is the world's largest highly acidic lake and is the site of a labor-intensive sulfur mining operation in which sulfur-laden baskets are hand-carried from the crater floor. Many other post-caldera cones and craters are located within the caldera or along its rim. The largest concentration of cones forms an E-W zone across the southern side of the caldera. Coffee plantations cover much of the caldera floor, and tourists are drawn to its waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanic scenery.

Information Contacts: W. Tjetjep, VSI.


Kilauea (United States) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Kilauea

United States

19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New lava breakout on the Kamoamoa delta reaches the ocean

The . . . eruption continued in July with lava entering the ocean on the E and W sides of the Kamoamoa delta. The W Kamoamoa . . . flow built small benches below the old sea cliff that were soon broken apart by the high surf. Activity at this new flow declined throughout July. Lava entered the ocean along a 160-m-wide front on the E side of the Kamoamoa delta through most of the month. New land continued to be very unstable in this area. On 3 July, most of the lower bench at the E entry collapsed (an estimated area of 20 x 150 m), leaving behind a sliver of bench still attached to the delta. Lava flows quickly built a new bench extending ~35 m into the ocean, and two new littoral cones formed on the bench surface.

Lava tubes drained on 23 July and lava stopped pouring into the ocean . . . . The eruption resumed the next day as lava reoccupied the E-51 tube. Two small flows broke out of the tube; however, most of the erupted material traveled within the tube to the coastal plain. A large pahoehoe sheet-flow broke out just below a fault scarp and spread out over older Kamoamoa flows (figure 92). One part of the flow descended the W side of the Kamoamoa flow and entered the ocean on 27 July. Another finger advanced down the E side of the Kamoamoa flow and entered the ocean on 28 July. Isolated portions of Chain of Craters Road were covered on both sides of the Kamoamoa flow. Lava entered the ocean along wide fronts and explosive activity was rare. However, one large explosion on 28 July blew lithic blocks inland of the W entry point.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. Recent lava flows (November 1992-July 1993) from Kilauea in the Kamoamoa delta area, July 1993. The new lava flow broke out of the tube on 24 July; lava reached the W Kamoamoa entry on 27 July, and the E entry became active on 28 July. Courtesy of T. Mattox.

A team of French and Swiss geologists who spent the night of 10-11 July at the summit of Pu`u `O`o observed the . . . lava pond for a number of hours. Activity was intense throughout the night, with the level of lava fluctuating 1-2 m. Bubbling was localized in the S and SE parts of the pond. At one point, a large collapse of the inner SSE crater wall produced a wave surge across the lava pond. Waves were several meters high, and covered the entire surface for several seconds. Other smaller landslides occurred during the night, showing the instability of the inner crater walls. The lava pond remained active throughout the month, with the surface fluctuating between 74 and 81 m below the crater rim.

Eruption tremor along the East rift zone continued in July at a relatively steady amplitude of 2x background level. Shallow, long-period microearthquake counts were slightly above average in the first half of the month, but were low later in the month, except for 22-23 July. Counts of short-period events were low beneath the summit and about average along the East rift zone.

Geologic Background. Kilauea, which overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, has been Hawaii's most active volcano during historical time. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation extending back to only 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that were interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity that lasted until 1924 at Halemaumau crater, within the summit caldera. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and SW rift zones, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

Information Contacts: T. Mattox and P. Okubo, HVO; H. Gaudru, SVE, Switzerland.


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

56.056°N, 160.642°E; summit elev. 4754 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Gas-and-ash plumes; lava flows down W slope; high seismicity

Steam-and-ash explosions . . . continued in late July and early August. A gas-and-ash plume was rising as high as 3 km above the crater (8 km altitude) and extending to the NW at 1400 on 25 July according to visual observations made from a helicopter by S. Zharinov and O. Braitseva. Lava flows were observed to extend from the summit crater down the W slope of the volcano, entering and melting the glacier at ~3,000 m elev. Seismic activity, including tremor, was stable but at a high level. The direction and height of the plume was about the same the next day as seen from a helicopter, and ashfall took place in Kliuchi [(30 km NNE)]. On 27 July at 2200, the gas-and-ash plume was as high as 5 km above the crater, extending to the S for an unknown distance. A W-flank lava flow was observed at 0030 on 28 July as well as lava fountains 600-700 m above the crater. On July 29 at 1500, the gas-and-ash cloud was 5 km above the crater and extended SW.

Airborne observations in early August indicated that the gas-and-ash plume was generally 1-3 km above the crater, extending to the N or NW for ~50 km. On 3 August, the gas-and-ash plume, as observed from a helicopter by V. Dvigalo and A. Belousov, rose to 6-7 km altitude and extended to the E in the afternoon and to the N that night. Lava continued to flow down the W slope of the volcano, and ash fell again on Kliuchi. Volcanic tremor remained high and steady in late July and early August.

Geologic Background. Klyuchevskoy (also spelled Kliuchevskoi) is Kamchatka's highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 6000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. It rises above a saddle NE of sharp-peaked Kamen volcano and lies SE of the broad Ushkovsky massif. More than 100 flank eruptions have occurred during the past roughly 3000 years, with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3600 m elevation. The morphology of the 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included numerous major explosive and effusive eruptions from flank craters.

Information Contacts: S. Zharinov, IVGG.


Krakatau (Indonesia) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

6.102°S, 105.423°E; summit elev. 155 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions continue; bombs destroy another seismometer

Anak Krakatau has now been in continuous eruption for nine months . . . . Continued explosions (140-400/day) have built a new cone to ~280-300 m elev, which is 80-100 m above the old peak (figure 7). A seismometer installed by VSI was destroyed by a ballistic bomb on 16 July; lava flows have previously destroyed two other seismometers. Earlier this year, lava flows filled the valley between the cone and the old rim, and overflowed onto the outer slope of the old rim. The April 1993 lava flow descended the N flank to the coast, where it burned trees. The recommended off-limits zone, 3 km from the island, remains in effect.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Sketch of Anak Krakatau showing topographical changes, as of July 1993, since the eruption began in Nov 1992. View is looking SE; scale is approximate. Drawn by Igan S. Sutawidjaja; courtesy of VSI.

Geologic Background. The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 or 535 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan, and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan, and left only a remnant of Rakata. This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927.

Information Contacts: W. Tjetjep, VSI.


Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Ol Doinyo Lengai

Tanzania

2.764°S, 35.914°E; summit elev. 2962 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increased carbonatite lava production; ash eruptions

Activity since mid-June has perhaps been greater than at any other time during the current eruption . . . . Explosive eruptions have produced ash clouds visible from the surrounding region, and deposited some ash on the outer slopes of the cone. Lava fountaining within the crater has thrown volcanic bombs up to 10 cm long across the crater floor. New vents opened in the S part of the crater floor 8-29 June, where none had existed since detailed observations began in 1988. Carbonatitic lava extrusion down the outer, W slopes of the cone blocked the former climbing route.

Burra Gadiye (Sengo Safaris Ltd.) reached the W crater rim on 6 April. There was little change since late February, although T20 had clearly been the source of lava flows that reached the base of the W wall (figure 28). A loud explosion was heard at 0400 on 22 May at Karatu (70 km S) by Gadiye. An explosion near the summit at that time was later reported by residents of Ngare Sero (~10 km N).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Panorama of Ol Doinyo Lengai crater looking E from the W rim, 6 April 1993. Drawn by C. Nyamweru from a photograph taken by Therese Berhault and Dominique Chevallier.

By the time of an 8 June ascent by Gadiye, T20 had grown to the same approximate height as T5/T9, which was emitting steam. A new vent near the N wall (T21), the source of recent lava flows, had no liquid lava visible. There was also a new dome or low mound (T22) near the W wall (figure 29). A large amount of steam was being emitted from a crack between the two buttes near the W rim, between which the path led. An earthquake was reported on 14 June by Gadiye, and dark, dense plumes from the crater could be seen from Ngare Sero, causing local Maasai herdsmen to move their livestock. The next day, Gadiye and some visitors climbed a considerable distance up the W trail before being stopped by flowing lava that apparently originated between the two buttes. Gadiye was able to dip the end of his walking stick into the very liquid lava flow. Dark ash was being erupted from within the summit crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Sketch map of the crater of Ol Doinyo Lengai, 29 June 1993. Arrows on the crater floor indicate fresh lava flows. Drawn by C. Nyamweru from field sketches by C. Shrady and T. Peterson. Locations of T21 and T22 on 8 June are based on an interview with Burra Gadiye by Celia Nyamweru.

Gadiye reported that ash fell on the W flank on 18 June, a black ash cloud rose from the summit at 1300-1500 on 21 June, and ash fell on local residents from 0800 to 1400 on 25 June after black ash clouds were blown E. A pilot who overflew the crater the week before 26 June (M. Bornir), reported that about half the crater was a bubbling black mass, two lava fountains were ejecting black material high into the air at short intervals, a new cone had formed, and smoke was abundant along the crater walls. Small light-colored plumes were seen from the surrounding area on the morning of 26 June, but when a group from St. Lawrence Univ arrived in mid-afternoon, they saw only a few small puffs of ash or steam from the summit at 1818-1821.

On 27 June, C. Nyamweru, C. Shrady, T. Coburn, and G. Cornwell (St. Lawrence Univ), Jumanne Juma (Dorobo Safaris Ltd.), and Danieli Kirway were unable to reach the crater rim from the W. No ash clouds were observed, but steam was seen at or near the W rim and a strong smell of sulfur was occasionally detected far down the outer slopes. A light dusting of fine gray ash on the outer slopes, increasing slightly in thickness towards the rim, covered leaves, spider webs, and small stones. Much of the vegetation near the summit was brown and dead. Steep rock slabs a few hundred meters below the rim were covered with several centimeters of loose ash, making climbing very difficult. The gap between the buttes had been blocked by a rockslide, apparently related to the 15 June lava flow. The dimensions of the lava flow were not measured, but the solid, cold surface was composed of broken slabs, some of which had pahoehoe structures.

Shrady, Coburn, and Cornwell, together with Thad Peterson and J. Juma, reached the E crater rim around 0830 on 29 June; they descended into the crater and remained until just after noon. Most of the crater floor (figure 29) was covered by dark, very fresh lava with both blocky and ropy textures. Much of it was still warm, and small pahoehoe flows were moving on the E half of the main crater floor. Lava flows were especially thick to the S, where the crater floor is now higher than cone T14 in the N. A large slab of the S crater wall near T24 had split from the rim and was standing free on the crater floor. Steam and sulfur fumes were escaping from several areas, particularly the E and N walls; only small amounts of steam were escaping along the W wall. The source of the 15 June lava flow was not determined.

Liquid lava was also erupting from a new vent (T23) just S of T20, with lava fragments being thrown 3-7 m above the rim of the vent at a rate of 4-8 bursts/min. The vent consisted of an outer, smooth, regular conical structure (white in color and higher on the W) surrounding smaller, black cones from which liquid lava was bursting. Activity continued throughout the morning, increasing in frequency and strength by noon, when clots of lava were being thrown 10 m high. The activity sounded like ocean surf, and there was a continuous dull rumble from below the vent. No lava flows issued from T23 that morning, but a very recent flow extended N from between T8 and T14. Lava flows from T23 have covered earlier flows NE of T20.

T20 had grown taller than T5/T9, previously the tallest feature, which was unchanged from February, although the top of the cone was steaming. The upper parts of T8 and T14 were visible, but had some sulfur staining and were surrounded by lava flows from other vents. T8 also exhibited some steam emission and occasional gas bursts. The E side of the T14 cone had collapsed, and was steaming weakly. Vent T24, wider than T20 but not as high, had a partly collapsed open top; its NW wall had collapsed, and it was the source of a large, 7-8 m thick flow of blocky lava (figure 29). On 29 June this flow was not moving, but fragments were falling down the flow front and its color was still dark. A sound similar to flowing water emerged from somewhere below T24. Vent T25, a circular fresh-looking black cone on the floor of the former 'Southern Depression,' was the source of a large flow of blocky lava that covered much of the S crater floor, though no liquid lava was present on 29 June. Feature T26 is a large black half-cone close to the base of the S crater wall, below the summit. Not active on the morning of 29 June, it might have been the source of volcanic bombs (up to 10 cm long) found on the crater floor and on the surface of fairly young lava flows, and possibly the source of some of the ash on the outer slopes. Vent T21 and dome T22, first seen on 8 June, were not observed.

On 3 July (1030-1100), Nyamweru and Shrady flew over the summit under clear conditions. No liquid lava could be seen bubbling in any of the vents or flowing on the crater floor, though much of the S and E parts of the crater were very black. Vegetation was brown on the inner crater walls and high on the outer slopes of the cone. Moderate amounts of steam were escaping from the W and N crater rim, from T20, and from the lower slopes of T5/T9. Sulfur odor could be detected from the aircraft. White ash covered much of the summit, extinct S crater, and the SE slopes, overlying the older gray ash.

Geologic Background. The symmetrical Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only volcano known to have erupted carbonatite tephras and lavas in historical time. The prominent stratovolcano, known to the Maasai as "The Mountain of God," rises abruptly above the broad plain south of Lake Natron in the Gregory Rift Valley. The cone-building stage ended about 15,000 years ago and was followed by periodic ejection of natrocarbonatitic and nephelinite tephra during the Holocene. Historical eruptions have consisted of smaller tephra ejections and emission of numerous natrocarbonatitic lava flows on the floor of the summit crater and occasionally down the upper flanks. The depth and morphology of the northern crater have changed dramatically during the course of historical eruptions, ranging from steep crater walls about 200 m deep in the mid-20th century to shallow platforms mostly filling the crater. Long-term lava effusion in the summit crater beginning in 1983 had by the turn of the century mostly filled the northern crater; by late 1998 lava had begun overflowing the crater rim.

Information Contacts: C. Nyamweru and C. Shrady, St. Lawrence Univ; Thad Peterson and J. Juma, Dorobo Safaris Ltd., Arusha; B. Gadiye, Sengo Safaris Ltd., Arusha; D. Kirway, Monduli, Tanzania; M. Bornir, Nairobi, Kenya; T. Berhault and D. Chevallier, France.


Loihi (United States) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Loihi

United States

18.92°N, 155.27°W; summit elev. -975 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Five hours of seismicity on 11 July

A flurry of seismicity occurred from Loihi for ~5 hours on the evening of 11 July 1993; only of few events were locatable, the largest was M 2.9. [Originally in Kilauea report.]

Geologic Background. Loihi seamount, the youngest volcano of the Hawaiian chain, lies about 35 km off the SE coast of the island of Hawaii. Loihi (which is the Hawaiian word for "long") has an elongated morphology dominated by two curving rift zones extending north and south of the summit. The summit region contains a caldera about 3 x 4 km wide and is dotted with numerous lava cones, the highest of which is about 975 m below the sea surface. The summit platform includes two well-defined pit craters, sediment-free glassy lava, and low-temperature hydrothermal venting. An arcuate chain of small cones on the western edge of the summit extends north and south of the pit craters and merges into the crests prominent rift zones. Deep and shallow seismicity indicate a magmatic plumbing system distinct from that of Kilauea. During 1996 a new pit crater was formed at the summit, and lava flows were erupted. Continued volcanism is expected to eventually build a new island; time estimates for the summit to reach the sea surface range from roughly 10,000 to 100,000 years.

Information Contacts: P. Okubo, HVO.


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Manam

Papua New Guinea

4.08°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Moderate eruption produces ashfall, pyroclastic flows, and lava flows

"Activity reached a high level in mid-July with a paroxysmal eruption on 14 July from Southern Crater. Activity was then low through the end of the month.

"From 1 to 4 July, both Main and Southern craters released occasional small emissions of mostly white vapours with no audible sounds or night glow. Mild, deep-seated eruptive activity began at Southern Crater on 5 July with occasional forceful emissions of white-grey, ash-laden clouds rising several hundred meters above the summit, accompanied by sub-continuous weak-to-loud roaring and rumbling noises. Rapid degassing started on 7 July with incandescent Strombolian projections up to ~100 m above the summit and rocks cascading down the headwall into SW Valley. This level of activity continued until 11 July, and then declined slightly.

"Activity at Southern Crater intensified at 1200 on 14 July as a new eruptive phase began with continuous strong emission of dark ash-laden clouds. The basaltic scoria-and-ash column reportedly rose to about 11 km and was accompanied by continuous loud roaring sounds. Moderate-heavy ash and scoria fall occurred from 1300 to 2000 on the W flank. Heavy tephra fall caused several hours of partial darkness on the W side of the volcano. The maximum measured ash-fall thickness of 80 mm was recorded between the coastal villages of Yacca and Kuluguma (5 km NW), damaging vegetation and food gardens. No casualties were reported. About 2 mm of ashfall occurred on the mainland at Awar Plantation (20 km W) and Watam village (30 km NW). Ashfall was detected as far as 90 km NW of the volcano. Weather satellite imagery indicated that the emission plume was oriented SW from the volcano and was ~170 km long at 1630 on 14 July.

"Small pyroclastic flows, generated at 1300, descended into SW Valley and stopped 3 km from the coast. At about 1820, moderate-to-large pyroclastic flows in SE Valley stripped and burned vegetation from the upper banks of the valley and along its course before reaching the sea, 5 km from the summit. Lava flows followed the pyroclastic flows into SE and SW Valleys. The largest of the lava flows was in SW Valley, and was ~2.5 km long, 40 m wide, and 3-4 m thick, terminating 3 km from the coast. The level of activity at Southern Crater declined on 15 July and stayed at a low level until the end of the month. Activity consisted of the release of white and blue vapour in small amounts with no audible noises or night glow.

"Main Crater activity remained low throughout the month with the emission of mostly white vapour in small-to-moderate volumes on 6, 16, and 31 July, while moderate volumes of white-grey ash and vapours were released between 7 and 15 July. The seismograph was not operational during most of July. Measurements from water-tube tiltmeters during 1993 have fluctuated over a range of a few microradians, although there may be a slight inflationary trend. The 14 July eruption appears to have had little or no effect on the tilt measurements."

Geologic Background. The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These valleys channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most observed eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.

Information Contacts: B. Talai, R. Stewart, and C. McKee, RVO.


Masaya (Nicaragua) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

11.985°N, 86.165°W; summit elev. 594 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash eruption precedes formation of lava lake; fumarole temperatures rise

In the last week of March 1993 a fissure was observed to open in the bottom of Santiago crater, with no associated seismic activity. Enlargement of the fissure to 10 m in diameter was accompanied by high-pressure gas emissions. In the first week of April, an earthquake swarm occurred approximately 3 km E of Masaya City; the largest event was M 2.7. At the same time, minor microearthquake activity was registered beneath Santiago crater (1-2 events/day). On 16 June a small ash eruption in the late afternoon lasted for about 13 minutes. That same night incandescence was observed in the bottom of the Santiago crater (BGVN 18:06).

A 7-8 m diameter vent with liquid lava splashing at a depth of about 30-40 m was present on 20 June according to a report by Alain Creusot (BGVN 18:06). An additional report from Creusot indicates that an incandescent hole that had opened above the lava lake was 1-2 m larger in late July. A significant increase in gas emission has maintained a plume rising from the crater. As of 28 June, the temperature of gas emissions from the crater had increased. INETER reported that fumarole temperatures have generally been around 50°C since the beginning of the year, but have now increased to almost 250°C. Seismicity has generally remained low, with a slight increase on 4 July.

Geologic Background. Masaya is one of Nicaragua's most unusual and most active volcanoes. It lies within the massive Pleistocene Las Sierras caldera and is itself a broad, 6 x 11 km basaltic caldera with steep-sided walls up to 300 m high. The caldera is filled on its NW end by more than a dozen vents that erupted along a circular, 4-km-diameter fracture system. The Nindirí and Masaya cones, the source of historical eruptions, were constructed at the southern end of the fracture system and contain multiple summit craters, including the currently active Santiago crater. A major basaltic Plinian tephra erupted from Masaya about 6,500 years ago. Historical lava flows cover much of the caldera floor and there is a lake at the far eastern end. A lava flow from the 1670 eruption overtopped the north caldera rim. Masaya has been frequently active since the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, when an active lava lake prompted attempts to extract the volcano's molten "gold." Periods of long-term vigorous gas emission at roughly quarter-century intervals have caused health hazards and crop damage.

Information Contacts: Oscar Leonel Urbina, Departamento de Volcanes, INETER; Alain Creusot, Instituto Nicaraguense de Energía, Managua, Nicaragua.


Seguam (United States) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Seguam

United States

52.315°N, 172.51°W; summit elev. 1054 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash eruptions to 2,400 m height; lava flow

Heavy ash eruptions rising 900-1,200 m were reported the morning of 31 July by the U.S. Coast Guard. A lava flow was also noted. According to these observers, the volcano was still erupting sporadically on 10 August, with light- to dark-gray ash plumes rising 2,400 m above the summit. Reports from Atka Island (~110 km W) indicate that weather conditions have frequently prevented observations.

Geologic Background. The elliptical, 11.5 x 24 km island of Seguam, lying between Amlia and Amukta Islands in the central Aleutians, contains two calderas with Holocene post-caldera cones. Growth of the basaltic-to-rhyolitic Wilcox volcano on the east side of the island during the late Pleistocene was followed by edifice collapse and an associated ignimbrite eruption about 9000 years ago, leaving a horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the west, inside which a rhyolitic cone was constructed. The 3 x 4 km wide westernmost caldera has a central scoria cone, Pyre Peak, which rises above the caldera rim and is the source of most of the historical eruptions of Seguam volcano. A very young basaltic field surrounds Pyre Peak, and lava flows partially fill the caldera and reach the southern coast. Older Holocene lava flows were erupted from vents within the eastern caldera, and a monogenetic Holocene cone forms Moundhill volcano on the eastern tip of the island.

Information Contacts: AVO.


Sheveluch (Russia) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

56.653°N, 161.36°E; summit elev. 3283 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Gas-and-steam plume continues

A gas-and-steam plume was observed on the afternoon of 29 July rising to 3 km above the crater and extending >50 km S. Similar activity, with a gas-and-steam column rising 1-6 km above the rim, has persisted since the 22 April eruption. The volcano has also remained seismically active. Seismicity registered at a station 8 km from the volcano increased 23-24 and 28-29 July, then decreased after 1 August. Weather conditions prevented visual observations of the summit in early August.

Geologic Background. The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. The summit of roughly 65,000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes dot its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.

Information Contacts: S. Zharinov, IVGG.


Tongariro (New Zealand) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Tongariro

New Zealand

39.157°S, 175.632°E; summit elev. 1978 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Fumarole temperatures decrease

The following ... is based on fieldwork in late March and early May 1993. "Activity in the crater of Ngauruhoe has declined further over the past year and is at an all time low since records were first kept. Fumarole temperatures have decreased to 90°C after remaining stable at 94°C (boiling point for altitude) since 1986. No volcanic deformation was identified by surveys to points on the crater rim and at the base of the mountain."

Geologic Background. Tongariro is a large volcanic massif, located immediately NE of Ruapehu volcano, that is composed of more than a dozen composite cones constructed over a period of 275,000 years. Vents along a NE-trending zone extending from Saddle Cone (below Ruapehu) to Te Maari crater (including vents at the present-day location of Ngauruhoe) were active during several hundred years around 10,000 years ago, producing the largest known eruptions at the Tongariro complex during the Holocene. North Crater stratovolcano is truncated by a broad, shallow crater filled by a solidified lava lake that is cut on the NW side by a small explosion crater. The youngest cone, Ngauruhoe, is also the highest peak.

Information Contacts: B. Christenson, I. Nairn, P. Otway, and B. Scott, IGNS, Wairakei.


Unzendake (Japan) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Unzendake

Japan

32.761°N, 130.299°E; summit elev. 1483 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Exogenous dome growth continues; increased seismicity

Exogenous growth at dome 11 . . . continued through early August (figure 57). Partial collapses generated about 10 pyroclastic flows/day to the E and NE, leaving a relatively stable part of dome 11 over the remnants of dome 4. No damage was caused by pyroclastic flows in July. Ash-laden plumes from the former Jigokuato crater, rising as high as 1 km, have frequently been observed since mid-July. Volcanic tremor at the summit area increased after 22 July, but no surface changes have been observed.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. Sketch map of the lava dome complex at Unzen, early August 1993. Note that N is to the right. Courtesy of S. Nakada.

During growth of dome 11, the E part was pushed outward and has collapsed frequently. A ramp structure formed, and lavas were successively overridden by later flows, like dominoes. The thickness of dome 11 decreased toward the front and lengthened, maintaining the ramp structure. This implies that stretching and sliding along the basal plane are the main reasons for the lengthening of the dome. The E arm of the dome was 400 m long, 150 m wide, and 50 m thick by the end of July, and had grown to 500 m in length by 7 August. Geologists estimated a growth rate of ~200,000 m3/day, with the eruption rate close to 250,000 m3/day.

On 19 July, 32 seismically recorded pyroclastic flows moved E along the Mizunashi Valley, the largest daily count in the month. The series began at 0354 and continued until midnight, including larger flows with seismic durations of 130 seconds at 0415 and 0428, 150 seconds at 0405 and 1131, and 170 seconds at 1700. The largest pyroclastic flow of the series occurred at 1821, with a duration of 190 seconds, and traveled 5.3 km E, crossing Route 57 (figure 58). The road was closed in late June after another pyroclastic flow crossed it. The front of the pyroclastic flow extended 100 m beyond the road, which is the farthest distance a pyroclastic flow has traveled from the active crater during the current period of activity. The longest pyroclastic flows, from W of dome 11, traveled 5.5 km on 8 June and 15 September 1991. There were a total of 353 seismically detected pyroclastic flows in July . . . . The number of evacuees from Shimabara and Fukae has remained unchanged at 3,617 since early July.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Map showing distribution of pyroclastic-flow and debris-flow deposits at Unzen from 1991 through early August 1993. Courtesy of S. Nakada.

The frontal part of the 19 July pyroclastic-flow deposit was as narrow as a few tens of meters, and as long as 1 km (figure 58). Deposits were distributed along a narrow gully within older pyroclastic-flow and debris-flow deposits. A video taken of the 19 July pyroclastic flow showed that the front lobes of the growing ash cloud protruded intermittently from the main mass of the ash cloud for the last 1 km. Ground vibrations, usually recorded by seismometers during movement of block-and-ash flows, had stopped before this event. Deposits at the front of this flow were deficient in large lava blocks, which are common 2 km closer to the source, indicating that these may be a type of pyroclastic-surge deposit.

Seismicity at the lava dome complex was unchanged before and during the pyroclastic-flow activity. Low seismicity at the dome complex, about 20 events/day, was followed by a burst of activity that began on 26 July and culminated with 2,604 events on 7 August, the highest daily count in the present period of volcanism. The previous high was 632 on 11 September 1992. Seismicity gradually declined through 11 August, but remained high at about 800 events/day. Aerial inspections on 3, 5, and 8 August showed no unusual changes on the surface of the dome complex, which continued growing at a rate of 2-3 x 105 m3/day. A total of 1,034 microearthquakes was recorded in July, more than double the total of 506 in June.

Heavy rainfall during the rainy season has frequently caused debris flows along the Nakao and Mizunashi rivers. Debris flows on 4-5 July damaged 25 houses, and another 83 houses were damaged on 16-18 July. Debris flows during the current activity have damaged 1,409 houses. During periods of heavy rainfall, mayors of Shimabara and Fukae issued temporary evacuation orders to 5,000-9,000 residents along the rivers.

Geologic Background. The massive Unzendake volcanic complex comprises much of the Shimabara Peninsula east of the city of Nagasaki. An E-W graben, 30-40 km long, extends across the peninsula. Three large stratovolcanoes with complex structures, Kinugasa on the north, Fugen-dake at the east-center, and Kusenbu on the south, form topographic highs on the broad peninsula. Fugendake and Mayuyama volcanoes in the east-central portion of the andesitic-to-dacitic volcanic complex have been active during the Holocene. The Mayuyama lava dome complex, located along the eastern coast west of Shimabara City, formed about 4000 years ago and was the source of a devastating 1792 CE debris avalanche and tsunami. Historical eruptive activity has been restricted to the summit and flanks of Fugendake. The latest activity during 1990-95 formed a lava dome at the summit, accompanied by pyroclastic flows that caused fatalities and damaged populated areas near Shimabara City.

Information Contacts: JMA; S. Nakada, Kyushu Univ.


Veniaminof (United States) — July 1993 Citation iconCite this Report

Veniaminof

United States

56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash and steam eruption begins on 30 July; Strombolian activity

After 6 years of quiet, eruptive activity resumed on 30 July. Observers in Perryville . . . reported seeing black clouds ejected from the summit beginning at 1430 on 30 July and continuing into early August. A white steam cloud was present during the intervals between black emissions. A small eruption plume was observed on satellite imagery by the U.S. National Weather Service on 30 July, but none were seen in the following days. On the morning of 31 July, Perryville observers saw a gray cloud rising from the volcano and extending to the S. Commercial airline pilots on 2 August observed continued intermittent venting of black ash with a low ash cloud rising nearly 300 m.

Pilot reports on 3 August indicated that black ash was erupting from the summit vent of the intracaldera cone at 30-60 second intervals to a height of 2,400-3,000 m above sea level (840 m above the vent). Pilot reports also described a new steam vent that had formed in the icefield adjacent to the active cone, with the melting perhaps caused by a subglacial lava flow. At mid-day on 3 August, pilots of Reeve Aleutian Airways and personnel from the FWS (Alaska Peninsula/Becharof National Wildlife Refuge) observed the eruption site. They described intermittent ash emission and block ejection from the prominent cinder cone (summit elevation 2,160 m) located within the summit caldera. Material was being thrown an estimated 150-300 m above the cone. Steam was emanating from a depression 180-275 m wide in the glacial ice E of the cone's base. Residents of Port Heiden . . . reported a very light ash fall on the night of 3 August. Residents of Perryville, Chignik, and Chignik Lake, S and E of the volcano, also heard a "rumbling noise" accompanied by a slight tremor at about 2200 that night.

On the morning of 6 August, a resident of Port Heiden observed eruptions of ash and steam occurring at 3-4 minute intervals. These small plumes were reaching only several tens of meters above the summit. There were no reports of ashfall at other nearby villages. On 12 August, a pilot reported ash venting 600-900 m above the crater with the ash cloud carried ENE.

Observations indicate that the eruption is Strombolian (characterized by intermittent bursts of molten material several tens of meters above the vent), similar to previous historical eruptions at this volcano. As this activity continues, occasional ash falls are possible at Perryville and other nearby villages. AVO has no seismic monitoring equipment on Veniaminof and for this reason is not using the Level of Concern Color Code. A scientist from the Geophysical Institute at the Univ of Alaska installed a seismometer in Perryville on 4 August and an additional instrument will be installed closer to the volcano. These should aid efforts to identify future continuing activity.

Geologic Background. Veniaminof, on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3,700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.

Information Contacts: AVO.

Atmospheric Effects

The enormous aerosol cloud from the March-April 1982 eruption of Mexico's El Chichón persisted for years in the stratosphere, and led to the Atmospheric Effects section becoming a regular feature of the Bulletin. Descriptions of the initial dispersal of major eruption clouds remain with the individual eruption reports, but observations of long-term stratospheric aerosol loading will be found in this section.

Atmospheric Effects (1980-1989)  Atmospheric Effects (1995-2001)

Special Announcements

Special announcements of various kinds and obituaries.

Special Announcements  Obituaries

Misc Reports

Reports are sometimes published that are not related to a Holocene volcano. These might include observations of a Pleistocene volcano, earthquake swarms, or floating pumice. Reports are also sometimes published in which the source of the activity is unknown or the report is determined to be false. All of these types of additional reports are listed below by subject.

Additional Reports  False Reports