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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

Nevados de Chillan (Chile) Explosions and pyroclastic flows continue; new dome emerges from Nicanor crater in June 2020

Bagana (Papua New Guinea) Ash plumes during 29 February-2 March and 1 May 2020

Kerinci (Indonesia) Intermittent ash emissions during January-early May 2020

Tinakula (Solomon Islands) Intermittent small thermal anomalies and gas-and-steam plumes during January-June 2020

Ibu (Indonesia) Frequent ash emissions and summit incandescence; Strombolian explosions in March 2020

Suwanosejima (Japan) Frequent explosions, ash plumes, and summit incandescence in January-June 2020

Kadovar (Papua New Guinea) Intermittent ash plumes and persistent summit thermal anomalies, January-June 2020

Sangay (Ecuador) Daily ash plumes and frequent pyroclastic flows produce ashfall and lahars, January-June 2020

Karangetang (Indonesia) Incandescent block avalanches through mid-January 2020; crater anomalies through May

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

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

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



Nevados de Chillan (Chile) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Nevados de Chillan

Chile

36.868°S, 71.378°W; summit elev. 3180 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions and pyroclastic flows continue; new dome emerges from Nicanor crater in June 2020

Nevados de Chillán is a complex of late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes in the Chilean Central Andes. An eruption started with a phreatic explosion and ash emission on 8 January 2016 from a new crater (Nicanor) on the E flank of the Nuevo crater, itself on the NW flank of the large Volcán Viejo stratovolcano. Strombolian explosions and ash emissions continued throughout 2016 and 2017; a lava dome within the Nicanor crater was confirmed in early January 2018. Explosions and pyroclastic flows continued during 2018 and 2019, with several lava flows appearing in late 2019. This report covers continuing activity from January-June 2020 when ongoing explosive events produced ash plumes, pyroclastic flows, and the growth of new dome inside the crater. Information for this report is provided primarily by Chile's Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)-Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), and by the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Explosions with ash plumes rising up to three kilometers above the summit area were intermittent from late January through early June 2020. Some of the larger explosions produced pyroclastic flows that traveled down multiple flanks. Thermal anomalies within the Nicanor crater were recorded in satellite data several times each month from February through June. A reduction in overall activity led SERNAGEOMIN to lower the Alert Level from Orange to Yellow (on a 4-level, Green-Yellow-Orange-Red scale) during the first week of March, although tens of explosions with ash plumes were still recorded during March and April. Explosive activity diminished in early June and SERNAGEOMIN reported the growth of a new dome inside the Nicanor crater. By the end of June, a new flow had extended about 100 m down the N flank. Thermal activity recorded by the MIROVA project showed a drop in thermal energy in mid-December 2019 after the lava flows of September-November stopped advancing. A decrease in activity in January and February 2020 was followed by an increase in thermal and explosive activity in March and April. Renewed thermal activity from the growth of a new dome inside the Nicanor crater was recorded beginning in mid-June (figure 52).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. MIROVA thermal anomaly data for Nevados de Chillan from 8 September 2019 through June 2020 showed a drop in thermal activity in mid-December 2019 after the lava flows of September-November stopped advancing. A decrease in activity in January and February 2020 was followed by an increase in explosive activity in March and April. Renewed thermal activity from the growth of a new dome inside the Nicanor crater was recorded beginning in mid-June. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Weak gas emissions were reported daily during January 2020 until a series of explosions began on the 21st. The first explosion rose 100 m above the active crater; the following day, the highest explosion rose 1.6 km above the crater. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported pulse emissions visible in satellite imagery on 21 and 24 January that rose to 3.9-4.3 km altitude and drifted SE and NE, respectively. Intermittent explosions continued through 26 January. Incandescent ejecta was observed during the night of 28-29 January. The VAAC reported an isolated emission on 29 January that rose to 5.2 km altitude and drifted E. A larger explosion on 30 January produced an ash plume that SERNAGEOMIN reported at 3.4 km above the crater (figure 53). It produced pyroclastic flows that traveled down ravines on the NNE and SE flanks. The Washington VAAC reported on behalf of the Buenos Aires VAAC that an emission was observed in satellite imagery on 30 January that rose to 4.9 km altitude and was moving rapidly E, reaching 15 km from the summit at midday. The altitude of the ash plume was revised two hours later to 7.3 km, drifting NNE and rapidly dissipating. Satellite images identified two areas of thermal anomalies within the Nicanor crater that day. One was the same emission center (CE4) identified in November 2019, and the second was a new emission center (CE5) located 60 m NW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. A significant explosion and ash plume from the Nicanor crater at Nevados de Chillan on 30 January 2020 produced an ash plume reported at 7.3 km altitude. The left image was taken within one minute of the initial explosion. Images posted by Twitter accounts #EmergenciasÑuble (left) and T13 (right); original photographers unknown.

When the weather permitted, low-altitude mostly white degassing was seen during February 2020, often with traces of fine-grained particulate material. Incandescence at the crater was observed overnight during 4-5 February. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported an emission on 14 February visible in the webcam. The next day, an emission was visible in satellite imagery at 3.9 km altitude that drifted E. Episodes of pulsating white and gray plumes were first observed by SERNAGEOMIN beginning on 18 February and continued through 25 February (figure 54). The Buenos Aires VAAC reported pulses of ash emissions moving SE on 18 February at 4.3 km altitude. Ash drifted E the next day at 3.9 km altitude and a faint plume was briefly observed on 20 February drifting N at 3.7 km altitude before dissipating. Sporadic pulses of ash moved SE from the volcano on 22 February at 4.3 km altitude, briefly observed in satellite imagery before dissipating. Thermal anomalies were visible from the Nicanor crater in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 23 and 28 February.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. An ash emission at Nevados de Chillan on 18 February 2020 was captured in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery drifting SE (left). Thermal anomalies within the Nicanor crater were measured on 23 (right) and 28 February. Images use Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Only low-altitude degassing of mostly steam was reported for the first half of March 2020. When SERNAGEOMIN lowered the Alert Level from Orange to Yellow on 5 March, they reduced the affected area from 5 km NE and 3 km SW of the crater to a radius of 2 km around the active crater. Thermal anomalies were recorded at the Nicanor crater in Sentinel-2 imagery on 4, 9, 11, 16, and 19 March (figure 55). A new series of explosions began on 19 March; 44 events were recorded during the second half of the month (figure 56). Webcams captured multiple explosions with dense ash plumes; on 25 and 30 March the plumes rose more than 2 km above the crater. Fine-grained ashfall occurred in Las Trancas (10 km SW) on 25 March. Pyroclastic flows on 25 and 30 March traveled 300 m NE, SE, and SW from the crater. Incandescence was observed at night multiple times after 20 March. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported several discrete pulses of ash that rose to 4.3 km altitude and drifted SE on 20 and 21 March, SW on 25 March, and SE on 29 and 30 March. Another ash emission rose to 5.5 km altitude later on 30 March and drifted SE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Sentinel-2 Satellite imagery of Nevados de Chillan during March 2020 showed thermal anomalies on five different dates at the Nicanor crater, including on 9, 11, and 16 March. A second thermal anomaly of unknown origin was also visible on 11 March about 2 km SW of the crater (center). Images use Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. Forty-four explosive events were recorded at Nevados de Chillan during the second half of March 2020 including on 19 March. Courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN webcams and chillanonlinenoticia.

In their semi-monthly reports for April 2020, SERNAGEOMIN reported 94 explosive events during the first half of the month and 49 during the second half; many produced dense ash plumes. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported frequent intermittent ash emissions during 1-13 April reaching altitudes of 3.7-4.3 km (figure 57). They reported the plume on 8 April visible in satellite imagery at 7.3 km altitude drifting SE. An emission on 13 April was also visible in satellite imagery at 6.1 km altitude drifting NE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery captured a strong thermal anomaly and an ash plume drifting SE from Nevados de Chillan on 10 April 2020. Image uses Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

During the second half of April 2020, SERNAGEOMIN reported that only one plume exceeded 2 km in height; on 21 April, it rose to 2.4 km above the crater (figure 58). The Buenos Aires VAAC reported isolated pulses of ash on 18, 26, 28, and 30 April. During the second half of April SERNAGEOMIN also reported that a pyroclastic flow traveled about 1,200 m from the crater rim down the SE flank. The ash from the pyroclastic flow drifted SE and S as far as 3.5 km. Satellite images showed continued activity from multiple emission centers around the crater. Pronounced scarps were noted on the internal walls of the crater, attributed to the deepening of the crater from explosive activity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Tens of explosions were reported at Nevados de Chillan during the second half of April 2020 that produced dense ash plumes. The plume on 21 April rose 2.4 km above the Nicanor crater. Photo by Josefa Carrasco Acuña from San Fabián de Alico; posted by Noticias Valpo Express.

Intermittent explosive activity continued during May 2020. The plumes contained abundant particulate material and were accompanied by periodic pyroclastic flows and incandescent ejecta around the active crater, especially visible at night. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported several sporadic weak ash emissions during the first week of May that rose to 3.7-5.2 km altitude and drifted NE. SERNAGEOMIN reported that only one explosion produced an ash emission that rose more than two km above the crater during the first two weeks of the month; on 6 May it rose to 2.5 km above the crater and drifted NE. They also observed pyroclastic flows on the E and SE flanks that day. Additional pyroclastic flows traveled 450 m down the S flank during the first half of the month, and similar deposits were observed to the N and NE. Satellite observations showed various emission points along the NW-trending lineament at the summit and multiple erosion scarps. Major erosion was noted at the NE rim of the crater along with an increase in degassing around the rim.

During the second half of May 2020 most of the ash plumes rose less than 2 km above the crater; a plume from one explosion on 22 May rose 2.2 km above the crater; the Buenos Aires VAAC reported the plume at 5.5 km altitude drifting NW (figure 59). Continuing pyroclastic emissions deposited material as far as 1.5 km from the crater rim on the NNW flank. There were also multiple pyroclastic deposits up to 500 m from the crater directed N and NE during the period. SERNAGEOMIN reported an increase in steam degassing between Nuevo-Nicanor and Nicanor-Arrau craters.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. Explosions produced dense ash plumes and pyroclastic flows at Nevados de Chillan multiple times during May 2020 including on 22 May. Courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN.

Webcam images during the first two weeks of June 2020 indicated multiple incandescent explosions. On 3 and 4 June plumes from explosions reached heights of over 1.25 km above the crater; the Buenos Aires VAAC reported them drifting NW at 3.9 km altitude. Incandescent ejecta on 6 June rose 760 m above the vent and drifted NE. In addition, pyroclastic flows were distributed on the N, NW, E and SE flanks. Significant daytime and nighttime incandescence was reported on 6, 9, and 10 June (figure 60). The VAAC reported emission pulses on 6 and 9 June drifting E and SE at 4.3 km altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Multiple ash plumes with incandescence were reported at Nevados de Chillan during the first ten days of June 2020 including on 6 June, after which explosive activity decreased significantly. Courtesy of SERNAGEOMIIN and Sismo Alerta Mexicana.

SERNAGEOMIN reported that beginning on the afternoon of 9 June 2020 a tremor-type seismic signal was first recorded, associated with continuous emission of gas and dark gray ash that drifted SE (figure 61). A little over an hour later another tremor signal began that lasted for about four hours, followed by smaller discrete explosions. A hybrid-type earthquake in the early morning of 10 June was followed by a series of explosions that ejected gas and particulate matter from the active crater. The vent where the emissions occurred was located within the Nicanor crater close to the Arrau crater; it had been degassing since 30 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. A tremor-type seismic signal was first recorded on the afternoon of 9 June 2020 at Nevados de Chillan. It was associated with the continuous emission of gas and dark gray ash that drifted SE, and incandescent ejecta visible after dark. View is to the S, courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN webcam, posted by Volcanology Chile.

After the explosions on the afternoon of 9 June, a number of other nearby vents became active. In particular, the vent located between the Nuevo and Nicanor craters began emitting material for the first time during this eruptive cycle. The explosion also generated pyroclastic flows that traveled less than 50 m in multiple directions away from the vent. Abundant incandescent material was reported during the explosion early on 10 June. Deformation measurements showed inflation over the previous 12 days.

SERNAGEOMIN identified a surface feature in satellite imagery on 11 June 2020 that they interpreted as a new effusive lava dome. It was elliptical with dimensions of about 85 x 120 m. In addition to a thermal anomaly attributed to the dome, they noted three other thermal anomalies between the Nuevo, Arrau, and Nicanor craters. They reported that within four days the base of the active crater was filled with effusive material. Seismometers recorded tremor activity after 11 June that was interpreted as associated with lava effusion. Incandescent emissions were visible at night around the active crater. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery recorded a bright thermal anomaly inside the Nicanor crater on 14 June (figure 62).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. A bright thermal anomaly was recorded inside the Nicanor crater at Nevados de Chillan on 14 June 2020. SERNAGEOMIN scientists attributed it to the growth of a new lava dome within the crater. Image uses Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

A special report from SERNAGEOMIN on 24 June 2020 noted that vertical inflation had increased during the previous few weeks. After 20 June the inflation rate reached 2.49 cm/month, which was considered high. The accumulated inflation measured since July 2019 was 22.5 cm. Satellite imagery continued to show the growth of the dome, and SERNAGEOMIN scientists estimated that it reached the E edge of the Nicanor crater on 23 June. Based on these images, they estimated an eruptive rate of 0.1-0.3 m3/s, about two orders of magnitude faster than the Gil-Cruz dome that emerged between December 2018 and early 2019.

Webcams revealed continued low-level explosive activity and incandescence visible both during the day and at night. By the end of June, webcams recorded a lava flow that extended 94 m down the N flank from the Nicanor crater and continued to advance. Small explosions with abundant pyroclastic debris produced recurring incandescence at night. Satellite infrared imagery indicated thermal radiance from effusive material that covered an area of 37,000 m2, largely filling the crater. DEM analysis suggested that the size of the crater had tripled in volume since December 2019 due largely to erosion from explosive activity since May 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed a bright thermal anomaly inside the crater on 27 June.

Geologic Background. The compound volcano of Nevados de Chillán is one of the most active of the Central Andes. Three late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes were constructed along a NNW-SSE line within three nested Pleistocene calderas, which produced ignimbrite sheets extending more than 100 km into the Central Depression of Chile. The largest stratovolcano, dominantly andesitic, Cerro Blanco (Volcán Nevado), is located at the NW end of the group. Volcán Viejo (Volcán Chillán), which was the main active vent during the 17th-19th centuries, occupies the SE end. The new Volcán Nuevo lava-dome complex formed between 1906 and 1945 between the two volcanoes and grew to exceed Volcán Viejo in elevation. The Volcán Arrau dome complex was constructed SE of Volcán Nuevo between 1973 and 1986 and eventually exceeded its height.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), Avda Sta María No. 0104, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.sernageomin.cl/, https://twitter.com/Sernageomin); 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/); Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Meteorológico Nacional-Fuerza Aérea Argentina, 25 de mayo 658, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/inicio.php); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); #EmergenciasÑuble (URL: https://twitter.com/urgenciasnuble/status/1222943399185207296); T13, Channel 13 Press Department (URL: https://twitter.com/T13/status/1222951071443771394); Chillanonlinenoticia (URL: https://twitter.com/ChillanOnline/status/1240754211932995595); Noticias Valpo Express (URL: https://twitter.com/NoticiasValpoEx/status/1252715033131388928); Sismo Alerta Mexicana (URL: https://twitter.com/Sismoalertamex/status/1269351579095691265); Volcanology Chile (URL: https://twitter.com/volcanologiachl/status/1270548008191643651).


Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Bagana

Papua New Guinea

6.137°S, 155.196°E; summit elev. 1855 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes during 29 February-2 March and 1 May 2020

Bagana lies in a nearly inaccessible mountainous tropical rainforest area of Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea and is primarily monitored by satellite imagery of ash plumes and thermal anomalies. After a state of elevated activity that lasted through December 2018 (BGVN 43:05, 44:06, 44:12), the volcano entered a quieter period that persisted through at least May 2020. This report focuses on activity between December 2019 and May 2020.

Atmospheric clouds often obscured satellite views of the volcano during the reporting period. When the volcano could be observed, light-colored gas plumes were often observed (figure 43). Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reported that during 29 February-2 March ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8-2.1 km and drifted SW and N. On 1 May an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km and drifted NW and W. According to both Darwin VAAC volcanic ash advisories, the Aviation Color Code was Orange (second highest of four hazard levels).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Sentinel-2 image of Bagana, showing a gas plume drifting SE on 13 March 2020, during a period when the Darwin VAAC had not reported any ash explosions (Natural Color rendering, bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

During the reporting period, the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system recorded only intermittent thermal anomalies, all of which were of low radiative power. Sulfur dioxide emissions detected by satellite-based instruments over this reporting period were at low levels.

Geologic Background. Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.

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


Kerinci (Indonesia) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kerinci

Indonesia

1.697°S, 101.264°E; summit elev. 3800 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash emissions during January-early May 2020

Kerinci is a stratovolcano located in Sumatra, Indonesia that has been characterized by explosive eruptions with ash plumes and gas-and-steam emissions. The most recent eruptive episode began in April 2018 which has included intermittent explosions and ash plumes. The previous report (BGVN 44:12) described more recent activity consisting of intermittent gas-and-steam and ash plumes which occurred during June through early November 2019. This volcanism continued through May 2020, though little to no activity was reported during December 2019. The primary source of information for this report comes from Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

Activity during December 2019 consisted of white gas-and-steam emissions rising 100-500 m above the summit. White and brown emissions continued intermittently through May 2020, rising to a maximum altitude of 1 km above the summit on 14 April. During 3-6 and 8-9 January 2020, the Darwin VAAC and PVMBG issued notices reporting brown volcanic ash rising 150-600 m above the summit drifting S and ESE (figure 19). PVMBG published a VONA notice on 24 January at 0828 reporting ash rising 400 m above the summit. Brown emissions continued intermittently throughout the reporting period. On 1 February, volcanic ash was observed rising 300-960 m above the summit and drifting NE; PVMBG reported continuing brown emissions during 1-3 February. During 16-17 February, two VONA notices reported that brown ash plumes rose 150-400 m above the summit and drifted SW accompanied by consistent white gas-and-steam emissions (figure 20).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Brown ash plume rose 500-600 m above Kerinci on 4 January 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia via Øystein Lund Andersen.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. White gas-and-steam emissions rose 400 m above Kerinci on 19 February 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia via Øystein Lund Andersen.

During 1-16 and 25-26 March 2020 brown ash emissions were frequently observed rising 100-500 m above the summit drifting in multiple directions. During 6-8 and 10-15, April brown ash emissions were reported 50-1,000 m above the summit. The most recent Darwin VAAC and VONA notices were published on 14 April, reporting volcanic ash rising 400 and 600 m above the summit, respectively; however, PVMBG reported brown emissions rising up to 1,000 m. By 25-27 April brown ash emissions rose 50-300 m above the summit. Intermittent white gas-and-steam emissions continued through May. The last brown emissions seen in May were reported on the 7th rising 50-100 m above the summit.

Geologic Background. Gunung Kerinci in central Sumatra forms Indonesia's highest volcano and is one of the most active in Sumatra. It is capped by an unvegetated young summit cone that was constructed NE of an older crater remnant. There is a deep 600-m-wide summit crater often partially filled by a small crater lake that lies on the NE crater floor, opposite the SW-rim summit. The massive 13 x 25 km wide volcano towers 2400-3300 m above surrounding plains and is elongated in a N-S direction. Frequently active, Kerinci has been the source of numerous moderate explosive eruptions since its first recorded eruption in 1838.

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/); 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/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com, images at https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse/status/1213658331564269569/photo/1 and https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse/status/1230419965209018369/photo/1).


Tinakula (Solomon Islands) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Tinakula

Solomon Islands

10.386°S, 165.804°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent small thermal anomalies and gas-and-steam plumes during January-June 2020

Tinakula is a remote stratovolcano located 100 km NE of the Solomon Trench at the N end of the Santa Cruz. In 1971, an eruption with lava flows and ash explosions caused the small population to evacuate the island. Volcanism has previously been characterized by an ash explosion in October 2017 and the most recent eruptive period that began in December 2018 with renewed thermal activity. Activity since then has consisted of intermittent thermal activity and dense gas-and-steam plumes (BGVN 45:01), which continues into the current reporting period. This report updates information from January-June 2020 using primary source information from various satellite data, as ground observations are rarely available.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed weak, intermittent, but ongoing thermal activity during January-June 2020 (figure 41). A small cluster of slightly stronger thermal signatures was detected in late February to early March, which is correlated to MODVOLC thermal alert data; four thermal hotspots were recorded on 20, 27, and 29 February and 1 March. However, observations using Sentinel-2 satellite imagery were often obscured by clouds. In addition to the weak thermal signatures, dense gas-and-steam plumes were observed in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery rising from the summit during this reporting period (figure 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Weak thermal anomalies at Tinakula from 26 June 2019 through June 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were intermittent and clustered more strongly in late February to early March.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery shows ongoing gas-and-steam plumes rising from Tinakula during January through May 2020. Images with atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8a) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Three distinct thermal anomalies were observed in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery on 22 January, 11 April, and 6 May 2020, accompanied by some gas-and-steam emissions (figure 43). The hotspot on 22 January was slightly weaker than the other two days, and was seen on the W flank, compared to the other two that were observed in the summit crater. According to MODVOLC thermal alerts, a hotspot was recorded on 6 May, which corresponded to a Sentinel-2 thermal satellite image with a notable anomaly in the summit crater (figure 43). On 10 June no thermal anomaly was seen in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery due to the presence of clouds; however, what appeared to be a dense gas-and-steam plume was extending W from the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing a weak thermal activity (bright yellow-orange) on 22 January 2020 on the W flank of Tinakula (top) and slightly stronger thermal hotspots on 11 April (middle) and 6 May (bottom) in at the summit, which are accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. Images with atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8a) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The small 3.5-km-wide island of Tinakula is the exposed summit of a massive stratovolcano at the NW end of the Santa Cruz islands. Similar to Stromboli, it has a breached summit crater that extends from the summit to below sea level. Landslides enlarged this scarp in 1965, creating an embayment on the NW coast. The satellitic cone of Mendana is located on the SE side. The dominantly andesitic volcano has frequently been observed in eruption since the era of Spanish exploration began in 1595. In about 1840, an explosive eruption apparently produced pyroclastic flows that swept all sides of the island, killing its inhabitants. Frequent historical eruptions have originated from a cone constructed within the large breached crater. These have left the upper flanks and the steep apron of lava flows and volcaniclastic debris within the breach unvegetated.

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).


Ibu (Indonesia) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ibu

Indonesia

1.488°N, 127.63°E; summit elev. 1325 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent ash emissions and summit incandescence; Strombolian explosions in March 2020

Ibu is an active stratovolcano located along the NW coast of Halmahera Island in Indonesia. Volcanism has recently been characterized by frequent ash explosions, ash plumes, and small lava flows within the crater throughout 2019 (BGVN 45:01). Activity continues, consisting of frequent white-and-gray emissions, ash explosions, ash plumes, and lava flows. This report updates activity through June 2020, using data from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), and various satellites.

Volcanism during the entire reporting period dominantly consisted of white-and-gray emissions that rose 200-800 m above the summit drifting in multiple directions. The ash plume with the maximum altitude of 13.7 km altitude occurred on 16 May 2020. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery detected multiple smaller hotspots within the crater throughout the reporting period.

Continuous ash emissions were reported on 6 February rising to 2.1 km altitude drifting E, accompanied by a hotspot visible in infrared satellite imagery. On 16 February, a ground observer reported an eruption that produced an ash plume rising 800 m above the summit drifting W, according to a Darwin VAAC notice. Ash plumes continued through the month, drifting in multiple directions and rising up to 2.1 km altitude. During 8-10 March, video footage captured multiple Strombolian explosions that ejected incandescent material and produced ash plumes from the summit (figures 21 and 22). Occasionally volcanic lightning was observed within the ash column, as recorded in video footage by Martin Rietze. This event was also documented by a Darwin VAAC notice, which stated that multiple ash emissions rose 2.1 km altitude drifting SE. PVMBG published a VONA notice on 10 March at 1044 reporting ash plumes rising 400 m above the summit. PVMBG and Darwin VAAC notices described intermittent eruptions on 26, 28, and 29 March, all of which produced ash plumes rising 300-800 m above the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Strombolian explosions recorded at the crater summit of Ibu during 8-10 March 2020 ejected incandescent ejecta and a dense ash plume. Video footage copyright by Martin Rietze, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Strombolian explosions recorded at the crater summit of Ibu during 8-10 March 2020 ejected incandescent ejecta and ash. Frequent volcanic lightning was also observed. Video footage copyright by Martin Rietze, used with permission.

A majority of days in April included white-and-gray emissions rising up to 800 m above the summit. A ground observer reported an eruption on 9 April, according to a Darwin VAAC report, and a hotspot was observed in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery. Minor eruptions were reported intermittently during mid-April and early to mid-May. On 12 May at 1052 a VONA from PVMBG reported an ash plume 800-1,100 m above the summit. A large short-lived eruption on 16 May produced an ash plume that rose to a maximum of 13.7 km altitude and drifted S, according to the Darwin VAAC report. By June, volcanism consisted predominantly of white-and-gray emissions rising 800 m above the summit, with an ash eruption on 15 June. This eruptive event resulted in an ash plume that rose 1.8 km altitude drifting WNW and was accompanied by a hotspot detected in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery, according to a Darwin VAAC notice.

The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system detected frequent hotspots during July 2019 through June 2020 (figure 23). In comparison, the MODVOLC thermal alerts recorded a total of 24 thermal signatures over the course of 19 different days between January and June. Many thermal signatures were captured as small thermal hotspots in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery within the crater (figure 24).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Thermal anomalies recorded at Ibu from 2 July 2019 through June 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were frequent and consistent in power. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) showed occasional thermal hotspots (bright orange) in the Ibu summit crater during January through June 2020. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The truncated summit of Gunung Ibu stratovolcano along the NW coast of Halmahera Island has large nested summit craters. The inner crater, 1 km wide and 400 m deep, contained several small crater lakes through much of historical time. The outer crater, 1.2 km wide, is breached on the north side, creating a steep-walled valley. A large parasitic cone is located ENE of the summit. A smaller one to the WSW has fed a lava flow down the W flank. A group of maars is located below the N and W flanks. Only a few eruptions have been recorded in historical time, the first a small explosive eruption from the summit crater in 1911. An eruption producing a lava dome that eventually covered much of the floor of the inner summit crater began in December 1998.

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/); 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); Martin Rietze, Taubenstr. 1, D-82223 Eichenau, Germany (URL: https://mrietze.com/, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5LzAA_nyNWEUfpcUFOCpJw/videos, video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMkfT1e4HQQ).


Suwanosejima (Japan) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Suwanosejima

Japan

29.638°N, 129.714°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent explosions, ash plumes, and summit incandescence in January-June 2020

Suwanosejima is an active stratovolcano located in the northern Ryukyu Islands. Volcanism has previously been characterized by Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, and summit incandescence (BGVN 45:01), which continues to occur intermittently. A majority of this activity originates from vents within the large Otake summit crater. This report updates information during January through June 2020 using monthly reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

During 3-10 January 2020, 13 explosions were detected from the Otake crater rising to 1.4 km altitude; material was ejected as far as 600 m away and ashfall was reported in areas 4 km SSW, according to JMA. Occasional small eruptive events continued during 12-17 January, which resulted in ash plumes that rose 1 km above the crater rim and ashfall was again reported 4 km SSW. Crater incandescence was visible nightly during 17-24 January, while white plumes rose as high as 700 m above the crater rim.

Nightly incandescence during 7-29 February, and 1-6 March, was accompanied by intermittent explosions that produced ash plumes rising up to 1.2 km above the crater rim (figure 44); activity during early February resulted in ashfall 4 km SSW. On 19 February an eruption produced a gray-white ash plume that rose 1.6 km above the crater (figure 45), resulting in ashfall in Toshima village (4 km SSW), according to JMA. Explosive events during 23-24 February ejected blocks onto the flanks. Two explosions were recorded during 1-6 March, which sent ash plumes as high as 900-1,000 m above the crater rim and ejected large blocks 300 m from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Surveillance camera images of summit incandescence at Suwanosejima on 29 January (top left), 21 (middle left) and 23 (top right) February, and 25 March (bottom left and right) 2020. Courtesy of JMA (Monthly bulletin reports 511, January, February, and March 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Surveillance camera images of which and white-and-gray gas-and-steam emissions rising from Suwanosejima on 5 January (top), 19 February (middle), and 24 March 2020 (bottom). Courtesy of JMA (Monthly bulletin reports 511, January, February, and March 2020).

Nightly incandescence continued to be visible during 13-31 March, 1-10 and 17-24 April, 1-8, 15-31 May, 1-5 and 12-30 June 2020; activity during the latter part of March was relatively low and consisted of few explosive events. In contrast, incandescence was frequently accompanied by explosions in April and May. On 28 April at 0432 an eruption produced an ash plume that rose 1.6 km above the crater rim and drifted SE and E, and ejected blocks as far as 800 m from the crater. The MODVOLC thermal alerts algorithm also detected four thermal signatures during this eruption within the summit crater. An explosion at 1214 on 29 April caused glass in windows to vibrate up to 4 km SSW away while ash emissions continued to be observed following the explosion the previous day, according to the Tokyo VAAC.

During 1-8 May explosions occurred twice a day, producing ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and ejecting material 400 m from the crater. An explosion on 29 May at 0210 produced an off-white plume that rose as high as 500 m above the crater rim and ejected large blocks up to 200 m above the rim. On 5 June an explosion produced gray-white plumes rising 1 km above the crater. Small eruptive events continued in late June, producing ash plumes that rose as high as 900 m above the crater rim.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed relatively stronger thermal anomalies in late February and late April 2020 with an additional six weaker thermal anomalies detected in early January (2), early February (1), mid-April (2), and mid-May (1) (figure 46). Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery in late January through mid-April showed two distinct thermal hotspots within the summit crater (figure 47).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Prominent thermal anomalies at Suwanosejima during July-June 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) occurred in late February and late April. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 47. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing small thermal anomalies (bright yellow-orange) from two locations within the Otake summit crater at Suwanosejima. Images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanosejima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. The summit is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanosejima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from Otake, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted until 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, and the SW crater produced two lava flows that reached the western coast. At the end of the eruption the summit of Otake collapsed forming a large debris avalanche and creating the horseshoe-shaped Sakuchi caldera, which extends to the eastern coast. The island remained uninhabited for about 70 years after the 1813-1814 eruption. Lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884. Only about 50 people live on the island.

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/); 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).


Kadovar (Papua New Guinea) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kadovar

Papua New Guinea

3.608°S, 144.588°E; summit elev. 365 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash plumes and persistent summit thermal anomalies, January-June 2020

The steeply sloped 1.4-km-diameter Kadovar Island is located in the Bismark Sea offshore from the mainland of Papua New Guinea about 25 km NNE from the mouth of the Sepik River. Its first confirmed observed eruption began in early January 2018, with ash plumes and lava extrusion resulting in the evacuation of around 600 residents from the N side of the island (BGVN 43:03). A dome appeared at the base of the E flank during March-May 2018 (Planka et al., 2019); by November activity had migrated to a new dome growing near the summit on the E flank. Pulsating steam plumes, thermal anomalies, and periodic ash emissions continued throughout 2019 (BGVN 44:05, 45:01), and from January-June 2020, the period covered in this report. Information was provided by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), satellite sources, and photographs from visitors.

Activity during January-June 2020. Intermittent ash plumes, pulsating gas and steam plumes, and thermal anomalies continued at Kadovar during January-June 2020. MIROVA thermal data suggested persistent low-level anomalies throughout the period (figure 45). Sentinel-2 satellite data confirmed thermal anomalies at the summit on 5 and 25 January 2020, and an ash emission on 20 January (figure 46). Persistent pulsating steam plumes were visible whenever the skies were clear enough to see the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Persistent low-level thermal activity at Kadovar was recorded in the MIROVA graph of radiative power from 2 July 2019 through June 2020. The island location is mislocated in the MIROVA system by about 5.5 km SE due to older mis-registered imagery; the anomalies are all on the island. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Sentinel-2 satellite data confirmed thermal anomalies at the summit of Kadovar on 5 (left) and 25 January 2020, and an ash emission and steam plume that drifted SE on 20 January (center). Pulsating steam-and-gas emissions left a trail in the atmosphere drifting SE for several kilometers on 25 January (right). Left image uses Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a), center and right images use Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

On 2 February 2020 the Darwin VAAC reported a minor eruption plume that rose to 1.5 km altitude and drifted ESE for a few hours. Another plume was clearly discernible in satellite imagery on 5 February at 2.1 km altitude moving SE. RVO issued an information bulletin on 7 February reporting that, since the beginning of January, the eruption had continued with frequent Vulcanian explosions from the Main Vent with a recurrence interval of hours to days. Rocks and ash were ejected 300-400 m above the vent. Rumbling could be heard from Blupblup (Rubrub) island, 15 km E, and residents there also observed incandescence at night. On clear days the plume was sometimes visible from Wewak, on the mainland 100 km W. Additional vents produced variable amounts of steam. The Darwin VAAC reported continuous volcanic ash rising to 1.5 km on 22 February that extended ESE until it was obscured by a meteoric cloud; it dissipated early the next day. A small double ash plume and two strong thermal anomalies at the summit were visible in satellite imagery on 24 February (figure 47).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 47. Ash emissions and thermal anomalies continued at Kadovar during February 2020. Two small plumes of ash or dense steam rose from the summit on 24 February 2020, seen in this Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) on the left. The same image rendered in Atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8a) on the right shows two thermal anomalies in the same locations as the ash plumes. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The Darwin VAAC reported continuous ash emissions beginning on 13 March 2020 that rose to 1.5 km altitude and drifted SE. The plume was visible intermittently in satellite imagery for about 36 hours before dissipating. During April, pulsating steam plumes rose from two vents at the summit, and thermal anomalies appeared at both vents in satellite data (figure 48). Small but distinct SO2 anomalies were visible in satellite data on 15 and 16 April (figure 49).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 48. Steam plumes and thermal anomalies continued at Kadovar during April 2020. Top: A thermal anomaly at the summit accompanied pulsating steam plumes that drifted several kilometers SE before dissipating on 4 April 2020. Bottom left: Two gas-and-steam plumes drifted E from the summit on 9 April. Bottom right: Two adjacent thermal anomalies were present near the summit on 19 April. Top and bottom right images use Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a), bottom left image uses Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 49. Small but distinct SO2 anomalies were detected at Kadovar on 15 and 16 April 2020 with the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Nearby Manam often produces larger SO2 plumes that obscure evidence of activity at Kadovar. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Two summit vents remained active throughout May and June 2020, producing pulsating steam plumes that were visible for tens of kilometers and thermal anomalies visible in satellite data (figure 50). A strong thermal anomaly was visible beneath meteoric clouds on 8 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 50. During May and June 2020 thermal and plume activity continued at Kadovar. Top: Gas-and-steam plumes drifted NW from two sources at the summit of Kadovar on 19 May 2020. Bottom left: Two thermal anomalies marked the E rim of the summit crater on 28 June 2020. Bottom right: A zoomed out view of the same 28 June image shows pulsating steam plumes drifting 10 km NW from Kadovar. Top image is Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Bottom images are Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a) of Sentinel-2 images. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Visitor observations on 21 October 2019. Claudio Jung visited Kadovar on 21 October 2019. Shortly before arriving on the island an ash plume rose tens of meters above the summit and drifted W (figure 51). From the NW side of the summit crater rim, Jung saw the actively growing dome on the side of a larger dome, and steam and gas issuing from the growing dome (figure 52). The crater rim was covered with dead vegetation, ash, and large bombs from recent explosions (figure 53). The summit dome had minor fumarolic activity around the summit area and dead vegetation halfway up the flank (figure 54) while the fresh blocky lava of the actively growing dome on the E side of the summit produced significant steam and gas emissions. The growing dome produced periodic pulses of dense steam during his visit (figure 55).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 51. Views looking S show the shoreline dome at the base of the E flank of Kadovar that was active during March-May 2018 (left), and an ash plume drifting W from the summit dome located on the E side of the summit crater (right) on 21 October 2019. Copyrighted photos courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. A panorama looking SE from the crater rim of Kadovar on 21 October 2019 shows the actively growing dome on the far left with a narrow plume of steam and gas being emitted. A large dome fills the summit crater; the crater rim is visible on the right. Copyrighted photo courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. The crater rim of Kadovar on 21 October 2019 was covered with dead vegetation, ash, and large bombs from recent explosions. Person is sitting on a large bomb; weak fumarolic activity is visible along the rim. Copyrighted photo courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. The summit dome of Kadovar on 21 October 2019 had minor fumarolic activity around most of its summit and dead vegetation half-way up the flank (left). The dead tree stumps suggest that vegetation covered the lower half of the dome prior to the eruption that began in January 2018. The fresh blocky lava of the actively growing dome on the E side of the summit dome produced significant steam and gas emissions (right). Copyrighted photos courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Dense steam from the growing dome on the E side of the summit drifted W from Kadovar on 21 October 2019. Copyrighted photo courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.

Reference: Planka S, Walter T R, Martinis S, Cescab S, 2019, Growth and collapse of a littoral lava dome during the 2018/19 eruption of Kadovar Volcano, Papua New Guinea, analyzed by multi-sensor satellite imagery, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 388, 15 December 2019, 106704, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.106704.

Geologic Background. The 2-km-wide island of Kadovar is the emergent summit of a Bismarck Sea stratovolcano of Holocene age. It is part of the Schouten Islands, and lies off the coast of New Guinea, about 25 km N of the mouth of the Sepik River. Prior to an eruption that began in 2018, a lava dome formed the high point of the andesitic volcano, filling an arcuate landslide scarp open to the south; submarine debris-avalanche deposits occur in that direction. Thick lava flows with columnar jointing forms low cliffs along the coast. The youthful island lacks fringing or offshore reefs. A period of heightened thermal phenomena took place in 1976. An eruption began in January 2018 that included lava effusion from vents at the summit and at the E coast.

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Geohazards Management Division, Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), PO Box 3386, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea; 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/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); 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/); NASA 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/); Claudio Jung (URL: https://www.instagram.com/jung.claudio/).


Sangay (Ecuador) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

2.005°S, 78.341°W; summit elev. 5286 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily ash plumes and frequent pyroclastic flows produce ashfall and lahars, January-June 2020

Frequent activity at Ecuador's Sangay has included pyroclastic flows, lava flows, ash plumes, and lahars reported since 1628. Its remoteness on the east side of the Andean crest make ground observations difficult; remote cameras and satellites provide important information on activity. The current eruption began in March 2019 and continued through December 2019 with activity focused on the Cráter Central and the Ñuñurco (southeast) vent; they produced explosions with ash plumes, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows and block avalanches. In addition, volcanic debris was remobilized in the Volcan river causing significant damming downstream. This report covers ongoing similar activity from January through June 2020. Information is provided by Ecuador's Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN), and a number of sources of remote data including the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), the Italian MIROVA Volcano HotSpot Detection System, and Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. Visitors also provided excellent ground and drone-based images and information.

Throughout January-June 2020, multiple daily reports from the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) indicated ash plumes rising from the summit, generally 500-1,100 m. Each month one or more plumes rose over 2,000 m. The plumes usually drifted SW or W, and ashfall was reported in communities 25-90 km away several times during January-March and again in June. In addition to explosions with ash plumes, pyroclastic flows and incandescent blocks frequently descended a large, deep ravine on the SE flank. Ash from the pyroclastic flows rose a few hundred meters and drifted away from the volcano. Incandescence was visible on clear nights at the summit and in the ravine. The MIROVA log radiative power graph showed continued moderate and high levels of thermal energy throughout the period (figure 57). Sangay also had small but persistent daily SO2 signatures during January-June 2020 with larger pulses one or more days each month (figure 58). IG-EPN published data in June 2020 about the overall activity since May 2019, indicating increases throughout the period in seismic event frequency, SO2 emissions, ash plume frequency, and thermal energy (figure 59).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. This graph of log radiative power at Sangay for 18 Aug 2018 through June 2020 shows the moderate levels of thermal energy through the end of the previous eruption in late 2018 and the beginning of the current one in early 2019. Data is from Sentinel-2, courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Small but persistent daily SO2 signatures were typical of Sangay during January-June 2020. A few times each month the plume was the same or larger than the plume from Columbia’s Nevado del Ruiz, located over 800 km NE. Image dates are shown in the header over each image. Courtesy of NASA’s Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. A multi-parameter graph of activity at Sangay from May 2019 to 12 June 2020 showed increases in many types of activity. a) seismic activity (number of events per day) detected at the PUYO station (source: IG-EPN). b) SO2 emissions (tons per day) detected by the Sentinel-5P satellite sensor (TROPOMI: red squares; source: MOUNTS) and by the IG-EPN (DOAS: green bars). c) height of the ash plumes (meters above crater) detected by the GOES-16 satellite sensor (source: Washington VAAC). d) thermal emission power (megawatt) detected by the MODIS satellite sensor (source: MODVOLC) and estimate of the accumulated lava volume (million M3, thin lines represent the error range). Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán Sangay - 2020 - N°3, “Actualización de la actividad eruptiva”, Quito, 12 de junio del 2020).

Activity during January-March 2020. IG-EPN and the Washington VAAC reported multiple daily ash emissions throughout January 2020. Gas and ash emissions generally rose 500-1,500 m above the summit, most often drifting W or SW. Ashfall was reported on 8 January in the communities of Sevilla (90 km SSW), Pumallacta and Achupallas (60 km SW) and Cebadas (35 km WNW). On 16 January ash fell in the Chimborazo province in the communities of Atillo, Ichobamba, and Palmira (45 km W). Ash on 28 January drifted NW, with minor ashfall reported in Púngala (25 km NW) and other nearby communities. The town of Alao (20 km NW) reported on 30 January that all of the vegetation in the region was covered with fine white ash; Cebadas and Palmira also noted minor ashfall (figure 60).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Daily ash plumes and repeated ashfall were reported from Sangay during January 2020. Top left: 1 January 2020 (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-2, JUEVES, 2 ENERO 2020). Top right: 20 January 2020 (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-21, MARTES, 21 ENERO 2020). Bottom left: 26 January-1 February 2020 expedition (Martes, 18 Febrero 2020 12:21, EXPEDICIÓN AL VOLCÁN SANGAY). Bottom right: 30 January 2020, minor ashfall was reported in the Province of Chimborazo (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 006, JUEVES, 30 ENERO 2020). Courtesy of IG-EPN.

A major ravine on the SE flank has been the site of ongoing block avalanches and pyroclastic flows since the latest eruption began in March 2019. The pyroclastic flows down the ravine appeared incandescent at night; during the day they created ash clouds that drifted SW. Satellite imagery recorded incandescence and dense ash from pyroclastic flows in the ravine on 7 January (figure 61). They were also reported by IG on the 9th, 13th, 26th, and 28th. Incandescent blocks were reported in the ravine several times during the month. The webcam captured images on 31 January of large incandescent blocks descending the entire length of the ravine to the base of the mountain (figure 62). Large amounts of ash and debris were remobilized as lahars during heavy rains on the 25th and 28th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Sangay from 7 January 2020 clearly showed a dense ash plume drifting W and ash and incandescent material from pyroclastic flows descending the SE-flank ravine. Left image uses natural color (bands 4, 3, 2) rendering and right images uses atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. Pyroclastic flows at Sangay produced large trails of ash down the SE ravine many times during January 2020 that rose and drifted SW. Top left: 9 January (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-9, JUEVES, 9 ENERO 2020). Top right: 13 January (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-14, MARTES, 14 ENERO 2020). On clear nights, incandescent blocks of lava and pyroclastic flows were visible in the ravine. Bottom left: 16 January (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-17, VIERNES, 17 ENERO 2020). Bottom right: 31 January (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 007, VIERNES, 31 ENERO 2020). Courtesy of IG-EPN.

Observations by visitors to the volcano during 9-17 January 2020 included pyroclastic flows, ash emissions, and incandescent debris descending the SE flank ravine during the brief periods when skies were not completely overcast (figure 63 and 64). More often there was ash-filled rain and explosions heard as far as 16 km from the volcano, along with the sounds of lahars generated from the frequent rainfall mobilizing debris from the pyroclastic flows. The confluence of the Rio Upano and Rio Volcan is 23 km SE of the summit and debris from the lahars has created a natural dam on the Rio Upano that periodically backs up water and inundates the adjacent forest (figure 65). A different expedition to Sangay during 26 January-1 February 2020 by IG personnel to repair and maintain the remote monitoring station and collect samples was successful, after which the station was once again transmitting data to IG-EPN in Quito (figure 66).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 63. Hikers near Sangay during 9-17 January 2020 witnessed pyroclastic flows and incandescent explosions and debris descending the SE ravine. Left: The view from 40 km SE near Macas showed ash rising from pyroclastic flows in the SE ravine. Right: Even though the summit was shrouded with a cap cloud, incandescence from the summit crater and from pyroclastic flows on the SE flank were visible on clear nights. Courtesy of Arnold Binas, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 64. The steep ravine on the SE flank of Sangay was hundreds of meters deep in January 2020 when these drone images were taken by members of a hiking trip during 9-17 January 2020 (left). Pyroclastic flows descended the ravine often (right), coating the sides of the ravine with fine, white ash and sending ash billowing up from the surface of the flow which resulted in ashfall in adjacent communities several times. Courtesy of Arnold Binas, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 65. Debris from pyroclastic flows that descended the SE Ravine at Sangay was carried down the Volcan River (left) during frequent rains and caused repeated damming at the confluence with the Rio Upano (right), located 23 km SE of the summit. These images show the conditions along the riverbeds during 9-17 January 2020. Courtesy of Arnold Binas, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. An expedition by scientists from IG-EPN to one of the remote monitoring stations at Sangay during 26 January-1 February 2020 was successful in restoring communication to Quito. The remote location and constant volcanic activity makes access and maintenance a challenge. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Martes, 18 Febrero 2020 12:21, EXPEDICIÓN AL VOLCÁN SANGAY).

During February 2020, multiple daily VAAC reports of ash emissions continued (figure 67). Plumes generally rose 500-1,100 m above the summit and drifted W, although on 26 February emissions were reported to 1,770 m. Ashfall was reported in Macas (40 km SE) on 1 February, and in the communities of Pistishi (65 km SW), Chunchi (70 km SW), Pumallacta (60 k. SW), Alausí (60 km SW), Guamote (40 km WNW) and adjacent areas of the Chimborazo province on 5 February. The Ecuadorian Red Cross reported ash from Sangay in the provinces of Cañar and Azuay (60-100 km SW) on 25 February. Cebadas and Guamote reported moderate ashfall the following day. The communities of Cacha (50 km NW) and Punín (45 km NW) reported trace amounts of ashfall on 29 February. Incandescent blocks were seen on the SE flank multiples times throughout the month. A pyroclastic flow was recorded on the SE flank early on 6 February; additional pyroclastic flows were observed later that day on the SW flank. On 23 February a seismic station on the flank recorded a high-frequency signal typical of lahars.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. Steam and ash could be seen drifting SW from the summit of Sangay on 11 February 2020 even though the summit was hidden by a large cap cloud. Ash was also visible in the ravine on the SE flank. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground, natural color (bands 4, 3, 2) rendering.

A significant ash emission on 1 March 2020 was reported about 2 km above the summit, drifting SW. Multiple ash emissions continued daily during the month, generally rising 570-1,170 m high. An emission on 12 March also rose 2 km above the summit. Trace ashfall was reported in Cebadas (35 km WNW) on 12 March. The community of Huamboya, located 40 km ENE of Sangay in the province of Morona-Santiago reported ashfall on 17 March. On 19 and 21 March ashfall was seen on the surface of cars in Macas to the SE. (figure 68). Ash was also reported on the 21st in de Santa María De Tunants (Sinaí) located E of Sangay. Ash fell again in Macas on 23 March and was also reported in General Proaño (40 km SE). The wind changed direction the next day and caused ashfall on 24 March to the SW in Cuenca and Azogues (100 km SW).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. Ashfall from Sangay was reported on cars in Huamboya on 17 March 2020 (left) and in Macas on 19 March (right). Courtesy IG-EPN, (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 024, MARTES, 17 MARZO 2020 and #IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 025, JUEVES, 19 MARZO 2020).

Incandescence from the dome at the crater and on the SE flank was noted by IG on 3, 4, and 13 March. Remobilized ash from a pyroclastic flow was reported drifting SW on 13 March. The incandescent path of the flow was still visible that evening. Numerous lahars were recorded seismically during the month, including on days 5, 6, 8, 11, 15, 30 and 31. Images from the Rio Upano on 11 March confirmed an increase from the normal flow rate (figure 69) inferred to be from volcanic debris. Morona-Santiago province officials reported on 14 March that a new dam had formed at the confluence of the Upano and Volcano rivers that decreased the flow downstream; by 16 March it had given way and flow had returned to normal levels.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Images from the Rio Upano on 11 March 2020 (left) confirmed an increase from the normal flow rate related to lahars from Sangay descending the Rio Volcan. By 16 March (right), the flow rate had returned to normal, although the large blocks in the river were evidence of substantial activity in the past. Courtesy of IG (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 018, MIÉRCOLES, 11 MARZO 2020 and #IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 023, LUNES, 16 MARZO 2020).

Activity during April-June 2020. Lahar activity continued during April 2020; they were reported seven times on 2, 5, 7, 11, 12, 19, and 30 April. A significant reduction in the flow of the Upano River at the entrance bridge to the city of Macas was reported 9 April, likely due to a new dam on the river upstream from where the Volcan river joins it caused by lahars related to ash emissions and pyroclastic flows (figure 70). The flow rate returned to normal the following day. Ash emissions were reported most days of the month, commonly rising 500-1,100 m above the summit and drifting W. Incandescent blocks or flows were visible on the SE flank on 4, 10, 12, 15-16, and 20-23 April (figure 71).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. A significant reduction in the flow of the Upano River at the entrance bridge to the city of Macas was reported on 9 April 2020, likely due to a new dam upstream from lahars related to ash emissions and pyroclastic flows from Sangay. Courtesy of IG-EPN (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 032, JUEVES, 9 ABRIL 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. Incandescent blocks rolled down the SE ravine at Sangay multiple times during April 2020, including on 4 April (left). Pyroclastic flows left two continuous incandescent trails in the ravine on 23 April (right). Courtesy of IG-EPN (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-95, SÁBADO, 4 ABRIL 2020 and INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-114, JUEVES, 23 ABRIL 2020).

Activity during May 2020 included multiple daily ash emissions that drifted W and numerous lahars from plentiful rain carrying ash and debris downstream. Although there were only a few visible observations of ash plumes due to clouds, the Washington VAAC reported plumes visible in satellite imagery throughout the month. Plumes rose 570-1,170 m above the summit most days; the highest reported rose to 2,000 m above the summit on 14 May. Two lahars occurred in the early morning on 1 May and one the next day. A lahar signal lasted for three hours on 4 May. Two lahar signals were recorded on the 7th, and three on the 9th. Lahars were also recorded on 16-17, 20-22, 26-27, and 30 May. Incandescence on the SE flank was only noted three times, but it was cloudy nearly every day.

An increase in thermal and overall eruptive activity was reported during June 2020. On 1 and 2 June the webcam captured lava flows and remobilization of the deposits on the SE flank in the early morning and late at night. Incandescence was visible multiple days each week. Lahars were reported on 4 and 5 June. The frequent daily ash emissions during June generally rose to 570-1,200 m above the summit and drifted usually SW or W. The number of explosions and ash emissions increased during the evening of 7 June. IG interpreted the seismic signals from the explosions as an indication of the rise of a new pulse of magma (figure 72). The infrasound sensor log from 8 June also recorded longer duration tremor signals that were interpreted as resulting from the descent of pyroclastic flows in the SE ravine.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Seismic and infrasound signals indicated increased explosive and pyroclastic flow activity at Sangay on 7-8 June 2020. Left: SAGA station (seismic component) of 7 and 8 June. The signals correspond to explosions without VT or tremor signals, suggesting the rise of a new magma pulse. Right: SAGA station infrasound sensor log from 8 June. The sharp explosion signals are followed a few minutes later (examples highlighted in red) by emergent signals of longer duration, possibly associated with the descent of pyroclastic material in the SE flank ravine. Courtesy if IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán Sangay - 2020 - N°3, “Actualización de la actividad eruptiva”, Quito, 12 de junio del 2020).

On the evening of 8 June ashfall was reported in the parish of Cebadas and in the Alausí Canton to the W and SW of Sangay. There were several reports of gas and ash emissions to 1,770 m above the summit the next morning on 9 June, followed by reports of ashfall in the provinces of Guayas, Santa Elena, Los Ríos, Morona Santiago, and Chimborazo. Ashfall continued in the afternoon and was reported in Alausí, Chunchi, Guamote, and Chillanes. That night, which was clear, the webcam captured images of pyroclastic flows down the SE-flank ravine; IG attributed the increase in activity to the collapse of one or more lava fronts. On the evening of 10 June additional ashfall was reported in the towns of Alausí, Chunchi, and Guamote (figure 73); satellite imagery indicated an ash plume drifting W and incandescence from pyroclastic flows in the SE-flank ravine the same day (figure 74).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Ashfall from Sangay was reported in Alausí (top left), Chunchi (top right) and Guamote (bottom) on 10 June 2020. Courtesy of IG-EPN (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 049, MIÉRCOLES, 10 JUNIO 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. Incandescent pyroclastic flows (left) and ash plumes that drifted W (right) were recorded on 10 June 2020 at Sangay in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Ashfall continued on 11 June and was reported in Guayaquil, Guamote, Chunchi, Riobamba, Guaranda, Chimbo, Echandía, and Chillanes. The highest ash plume of the report period rose to 2,800 m above the summit that day and drifted SW. That evening the SNGRE (Servicio Nacional de Gestion de Riesgos y Emergencias) reported ash fall in the Alausí canton. IG noted the increase in intensity of activity and reported that the ash plume of 11 June drifted more than 600 km W (figure 75). Ash emissions on 12 and 13 June drifted SW and NW and resulted in ashfall in the provinces of Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, and Bolívar. On 14 June, the accumulation of ash interfered with the transmission of information from the seismic station. Lahars were reported each day during 15-17 and 19-21 June. Trace amounts of ashfall were reported in Macas to the SE on 25 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. The ash plume at Sangay reported on 11 June 2020 rose 2.8 km above the summit and drifted W according to the Washington VAAC and IG (left). Explosions and high levels of incandescence on the SE flank were captured by the Don Bosco webcam (right). Courtesy of IG-EPN (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 055, JUEVES, 11 JUNIO 2020 and INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-164, VIERNES, 12 JUNIO 2020).

During an overflight of Sangay on 24 June IG personnel observed that activity was characterized by small explosions from the summit vent and pyroclastic flows down the SE-flank ravine. The explosions produced small gas plumes with a high ash content that did not rise more than 500 m above the summit and drifted W (figure 76). The pyroclastic flows were restricted to the ravine on the SE flank, although the ash from the flows rose rapidly and reached about 200 m above the surface of the ravine and also drifted W (figure 77).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 76. A dense ash plume rose 500 m from the summit of Sangay on 24 June 2020 and drifted W during an overflight by IG-EPN personnel. The aerial photograph is taken from the SE; snow-covered Chimborazo is visible behind and to the right of Sangay. Photo by M Almeida, courtesy of IG EPN (Jueves, 02 Julio 2020 10:29, INFORME DEL SOBREVUELO AL VOLCÁN SANGAY EL 24 DE JUNIO DE 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Pyroclastic flows descended the SE flank ravine at Sangay during an overflight by IG-EPN personnel on 24 June 2020. Ash from the pyroclastic flow rose 200 m and drifted W, and infrared imagery identified the thermal signature of the pyroclastic flow in the ravine. Photo by M Almeida, IR Image by S Vallejo, courtesy of IG EPN (Jueves, 25 Junio 2020 12:24, SOBREVUELO AL VOLCÁN SANGAY).

Infrared imagery taken during the overflight on 24 June identified three significant thermal anomalies in the large ravine on the SE flank (figure 78). Analysis by IG scientists suggested that the upper anomaly 1 (125°C) was associated with explosive activity that was observed during the flight. Anomaly 2 (147°C), a short distance below Anomaly 1, was possibly related to effusive activity of a small flow, and Anomaly 3 (165°C) near the base of the ravine that was associated with pyroclastic flow deposits. The extent of the changes at the summit of Sangay and along the SE flank since the beginning of the eruption that started in March 2019 were clearly visible when images from May 2019 were compared with images from the 24 June 2020 overflight (figure 79). The upper part of the ravine was nearly 400 m wide by the end of June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. A thermal image of the SE flank of Sangay taken on 24 June 2020 indicated three thermal anomalies. Anomaly 1 was associated with explosive activity, Anomaly 2 was associated with effusive activity, and Anomaly 3 was related to pyroclastic-flow deposits. Image prepared by S Vallejo Vargas, courtesy of IG EPN (Jueves, 02 Julio 2020 10:29, INFORME DEL SOBREVUELO AL VOLCÁN SANGAY EL 24 DE JUNIO DE 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. Aerial and thermal photographs of the southern flank of the Sangay volcano on 17 May 2019 (left: visible image) and 24 June 2020 (middle: visible image, right: visible-thermal overlay) show the morphological changes on the SE flank, associated with the formation of a deep ravine and the modification of the summit. Photos and thermal image by M Almeida, courtesy of IG EPN (Jueves, 02 Julio 2020 10:29, INFORME DEL SOBREVUELO AL VOLCÁN SANGAY EL 24 DE JUNIO DE 2020).

Geologic Background. The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador's volcanoes and its most active. The steep-sided, glacier-covered, dominantly andesitic volcano grew within horseshoe-shaped calderas of two previous edifices, which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. It towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash have been sculpted by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of a historical eruption was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The almost constant activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN), Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); 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/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); 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); Arnold Binas (URL: https://www.doroadventures.com).


Karangetang (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

2.781°N, 125.407°E; summit elev. 1797 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Incandescent block avalanches through mid-January 2020; crater anomalies through May

The Karangetang andesitic-basaltic stratovolcano (also referred to as Api Siau) at the northern end of the island of Siau, north of Sulawesi, Indonesia, has had more than 50 observed eruptions since 1675. Frequent explosive activity is accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars, and lava-dome growth has created two active summit craters (Main to the S and Second Crater to the N). Rock avalanches, observed incandescence, and satellite thermal anomalies at the summit confirmed continuing volcanic activity since the latest eruption started in November 2018 (BGVN 44:05). This report covers activity from December 2019 through May 2020. Activity is monitored by Indonesia's Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM, or the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation), and ash plumes are monitored by the Darwin VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Center). Information is also available from MODIS thermal anomaly satellite data through both the University of Hawaii's MODVOLC system and the Italian MIROVA project.

Increased activity that included daily incandescent avalanche blocks traveling down the W and NW flanks lasted from mid-July 2019 (BGVN 44:12) through mid-January 2020 according to multiple sources. The MIROVA data showed increased number and intensity of thermal anomalies during this period, with a sharp drop during the second half of January (figure 40). The MODVOLC thermal alert data reported 29 alerts in December and ten alerts in January, ending on 14 January, with no further alerts through May 2020. During December and the first half of January incandescent blocks traveled 1,000-1,500 m down multiple drainages on the W and NW flanks (figure 41). After this, thermal anomalies were still present at the summit craters, but no additional activity down the flanks was identified in remote satellite data or direct daily observations from PVMBG.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. An episode of increased activity at Karangetang from mid-July 2019 through mid-January 2020 included incandescent avalanche blocks traveling down multiple flanks of the volcano. This was reflected in increased thermal activity seen during that interval in the MIROVA graph covering 5 June 2019 through May 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. An episode of increased activity at Karangetang from mid-July 2019 through mid-January 2020 included incandescent avalanche blocks traveling up to 1,500 m down drainages on the W and NW flanks of the volcano. Top left: large thermal anomalies trend NW from Main Crater on 5 December 2019; about 500 m N a thermal anomaly glows from Second Crater. Top center: on 15 December plumes of steam and gas drifted W and SW from both summit craters as seen in Natural Color rendering (bands 4,3,2). Top right: the same image as at top center with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a) shows hot zones extending WNW from Main Crater and a thermal anomaly at Second Crater. Bottom left: thermal activity seen on 14 January 2020 extended about 800 m WNW from Main Crater along with an anomaly at Second Crater and a hot spot about 1 km W. Bottom center: by 19 January the anomaly from Second Crater appeared slightly stronger than at Main Crater, and only small anomalies appeared on the NW flank. Bottom right: an image from 14 March shows only thermal anomalies at the two summit craters. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

A single VAAC report in early April noted a short-lived ash plume that drifted SW. Intermittent low-level activity continued through May 2020. Small SO2 plumes appeared in satellite data multiple times in December 2019 and January 2020; they decreased in size and frequency after that but were still intermittently recorded into May 2020 (figure 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Small plumes of sulfur dioxide were measured at Karangetang with the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite multiple times during December 2019 (top row). They were less frequent but still appeared during January-May 2020 (bottom row). Larger plumes were also detected from Dukono, located 300 km ESE at the N end of North Maluku. Courtesy of Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

PVMBG reported in their daily summaries that steam plumes rose 50-150 m above the Main Crater and 25-50 m above Second Crater on most days in December. The incandescent avalanche activity that began in mid-July 2019 also continued throughout December 2019 and January 2020 (figure 43). Incandescent blocks from the Main Crater descended river drainages (Kali) on the W and NW flanks throughout December. They were reported nearly every day in the Nanitu, Sense, and Pangi drainages, traveling 1,000-1,500 m. Incandescence from both craters was visible 10-25 m above the crater rim most nights.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Incandescent block avalanches descended the NW flank of Karangetang as far as 1,500 m frequently during December 2019 and January 2020. Left image taken 13 December 2019, right image taken 6 January 2020 by PVMBG webcam. Courtesy of PVMBG, Oystein Anderson, and Bobyson Lamanepa.

A few blocks were noted traveling 800 m down Kali Beha Barat on 1 December. Incandescence above the Main crater reached 50-75 m during 4-6 December. During 4-7 December incandescent blocks appeared in Kali Sesepe, traveling 1,000-1,500 m down from the summit. They were also reported in Kali Batang and Beha Barat during 4-14 December, usually moving 800-1,000 m downslope. Between 5 and 14 December, gray and white plumes from Second Crater reached 300 m multiple times. During 12-15 December steam plumes rose 300-500 m above the Main crater. Activity decreased during 18-26 December but increased again during the last few days of the month. On 28 December, incandescent blocks were reported 1,500 m down Kali Pangi and Nanitu, and 1,750 m down Kali Sense.

Incandescent blocks were reported in Kali Sesepi during 4-6 January and in Kali Batang and Beha Barat during 4-8 and 12-15 January (figure 44); they often traveled 800-1,200 m downslope. Activity tapered off in those drainages and incandescent blocks were last reported in Kali Beha Barat on 15 January traveling 800 m from the summit. Incandescent blocks were also reported traveling usually 1,000-1,500 m down the Nanitu, Sense, and Pangi drainages during 4-19 January. Blocks continued to occasionally descend up to 1,000 m down Kali Nanitu through 24 January. Pulses of activity occurred at the summit of Second Crater a few times in January. Steam plumes rose 25-50 m during 8-9 January and again during 16-31 January, with plumes rising 300-400 m on 20, 29, and 31 January. Incandescence was noted 10-25 m above the summit of Second Crater during 27-30 January.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Incandescent material descends the Beha Barat, Sense, Nanitu, and Pangi drainages on the NW flank of Karangetang in early January 2020. Courtesy of Bobyson Lamanepa; posted on Twitter on 6 January 2020.

Activity diminished significantly after mid-January 2020. Steam plumes at the Main Crater rose 50-100 m on the few days where the summit was not obscured by fog during February. Faint incandescence occurred at the Main Crater on 7 February, and steam plumes rising 25-50 m from Second Crater that day were the only events reported there in February. During March, steam plumes persisted from the Main Crater, with heights of over 100 m during short periods from 8-16 March and 25-30 March. Weak incandescence was reported from the Main Crater only once, on 25 March. Very little activity occurred at Second Crater during March, with only steam plumes reported rising 25-300 m from the 22nd to the 28th (figure 45).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Steam plumes at Karangetang rose over 100 m above both summit craters multiple times during March, including on 26 March 2020. Courtesy of PVMBG and Oystein Anderson.

The Darwin VAAC reported a continuous ash emission on 4 April 2020 that rose to 2.1 km altitude and drifted SW for a few hours before dissipating. Incandescence visible 25 m above both craters on 13 April was the only April activity reported by PVMBG other than steam plumes from the Main Crater that rose 50-500 m on most days. Steam plumes of 50-100 m were reported from Second Crater during 11-13 April. Activity remained sporadic throughout May 2020. Steam plumes from the Main Crater rose 50-300 m each day. Satellite imagery identified steam plumes and incandescence from both summit craters on 3 May (figure 46). Faint incandescence was observed at the Main Crater on 12 and 27 May. Steam plumes rose 25-50 m from Second Crater on a few days; a 200-m-high plume was reported on 27 May. Bluish emissions were observed on the S and SW flanks on 28 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Dense steam plumes and thermal anomalies were present at both summit craters of Karangetang on 3 May 2020. Sentinel 2 satellite image with Natural Color (bands 4, 3, 2) (left) and Atmospheric Penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a) (right); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Karangetang (Api Siau) volcano lies at the northern end of the island of Siau, about 125 km NNE of the NE-most point of Sulawesi island. The stratovolcano contains five summit craters along a N-S line. It is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, with more than 40 eruptions recorded since 1675 and many additional small eruptions that were not documented in the historical record (Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World: Neumann van Padang, 1951). Twentieth-century eruptions have included frequent explosive activity sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars. Lava dome growth has occurred in the summit craters; collapse of lava flow fronts have produced pyroclastic flows.

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/); 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); 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/); 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/); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com); Bobyson Lamanepa, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, (URL: https://twitter.com/BobyLamanepa/status/1214165637028728832).


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).


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).


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).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 25, Number 02 (February 2000)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Aira (Japan)

Frequent explosive eruptions continue from Minami-dake

Ambrym (Vanuatu)

Lava lakes disappear, but ash eruptions continue from many active vents

Concepcion (Nicaragua)

Explosions from the crater cause ashfall in late December

Hekla (Iceland)

Fissure eruption; abundant lava flows produced

Iwatesan (Japan)

Tremor event and earthquake swarm on 12 November 1999

Kirishimayama (Japan)

Earthquake swarm during 6-15 November 1999

Mayon (Philippines)

Strong explosions, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows following dome growth

San Cristobal (Nicaragua)

Continued frequent eruptions and ashfall through December 1999

Shishaldin (United States)

Small phreatic explosions during September 1999-January 2000

Telica (Nicaragua)

Lava lake seen in August; sporadic ash explosions August-December

Terceira (Portugal)

Activity in 1999; submarine eruption plume during January-February 2000



Aira (Japan) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Aira

Japan

31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent explosive eruptions continue from Minami-dake

The southern-most cone at Sakura-jima, Minami-dake, manifested increased eruptivity from late October to early November 1999. Following a lull in the second half of November, vigorous activity in December was marked by incandescent columns, large amounts of bomb ejections, and ballistics falling as far as 4 km from the crater.

High eruptive activity occurred in late October and early November 1999. On 31 October the JMA issued a Volcanic Advisory. In early November, 19 eruptions (including 18 explosions) occurred at Minami-dake before activity declined to lower levels later in the month. Activity increased again in early December with a few explosions each day and small numbers of ballistic clasts falling onto the upper slopes. On the afternoon of 10 December JMA issued another Volcanic Advisory. At 0555 this day, Sakura-jima issued a large amount of bombs. Incandescent columns as high as 100 m were accompanied 116 times by volcanic lightning. According to a JMA field inspection, ballistics were scattered 3-4 km away from the Minami-dake crater; the maximum size was 4 cm across. Incandescent columns rose as high as 300 m at 0554 on 24 December and were accompanied by volcanic lightning six times.

Daily numbers of eruptions ranged from 2 to 8 during early- to mid-December; eruptions were mostly explosive. The maximum amplitude of explosion earthquakes recorded at JMA observation point A, 4.6-km WNW of the crater, reached up to 28 µm; the largest value was caused by an explosion at 1301 on 12 December. The plume heights of December explosions ranged from 1,500 m to 2,000 m. Explosions took place on 23 consecutive days between 3 and 25 December. This is the longest record of daily explosions since JMA started observing Sakura-jima in 1955; the previous record was 21 days in 1960. Explosions began again late in the month, with six more on 31 December.

The total of 88 explosions during December 1999 was the second highest monthly count since 1955; the highest was 93 explosions in June 1974. According to the JMA, the total number of eruptions in 1999 was 386, including 237 explosions.

Frequent explosive eruptions continued in early January (figure 21). Explosions on 2 January sent an eruption column to 2,200 m above the crater rim and emitted abundant cinders, as well as bombs that fell midway down the flanks of the volcano. Nine explosive eruptions occurred on 5 January, one of which again ejected cinders and bombs as far as the middle flank of the volcano. The highest plumes in early January reached 2,200 m above the crater rim during explosions at 0821 on 5 January and at 0746 on 14 January. The maximum amplitude of explosion seismic signals at JMA observation point A (4.6 km WNW of the active crater) was 17 µm for the 0513 explosion on 14 January.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Eruption at Sakura-jima at 0900 on 8 January 2000 from 3.5 km SW of the Minami-dake crater. Courtesy of Tatsuro Chiba.

Geologic Background. The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.

Information Contacts: JMA-Fukuoka, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japan; Setsuya Nakada, Volcano Research Center, ERI, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Tatsuro Chiba, Nihon University, Japan (URL: http://www.nihon-u.ac.jp/en/).


Ambrym (Vanuatu) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambrym

Vanuatu

16.25°S, 168.12°E; summit elev. 1334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava lakes disappear, but ash eruptions continue from many active vents

Eruptive activity continued at Ambrym in late 1999 and through January 2000. A volcanic ash advisory regarding this volcano was issued to aviators on 1 November 1999 reporting "smoke and ash" rising to ~1,500 m altitude. Similar notices were issued on 5 and 6 November. [Aviation reports on 9-10 December] described an ash cloud up to 2,700 m altitude.

John Search and Geoff Mackley investigated Ambrym caldera during a 19-28 January 2000 climb. Lava lakes had disappeared from both Benbow and Mbwelesu craters and a new vent had opened inside the previously inactive 1953 crater. A series of earthquakes were registered around Ambrym Island on 27 November 1999. The largest of these was magnitude 7.1. The earthquakes were followed by a month of reduced activity during which there were no reported observations of lava lakes. Landslides were visible in the caldera and ground cracking visible at Benbow, Mbwelesu, and Niri Mbwelesu craters.

Activity at Benbow Crater. Four vents were active inside Benbow. On 19 January a white plume tinged with blue and yellow rose 1,000 m above the crater rim. Twin plumes were visible the next day rising from the S end of the crater at 15 m/s and from the N end of the crater, where they were tinged with brown. Each time the crater was climbed from the S on 22, 23, and 24 January the pit was full of vapor and no sounds were heard. On 25 January the observers lowered themselves into Benbow using 200 m of rope. The floor of the first level was covered with fine brown ash and a shallow brown pond was present in the SW end of the crater. The inner crater was climbed and observations made from its rim. Below the observers was a ledge 120-140 m down covered with ash and containing a 10-m circular vent emitting white vapor. The main vent was 50 m farther down and 40 m in diameter. This was the vent that contained the lava lake in January 1999 (BGVN 24:02). No lava was observed inside this vent and it made no sound. At 1300 a large roar from the vent was followed by brown ash emission. At the NE end of the inner crater was a plume emission from an unseen vent.

The N end of Benbow crater (on the first level) contained another vent that could not be directly observed but regularly emitted light brown ash. On 26 January a loud continuous 30-second degassing heard from the N vent was followed by brown ash emission and rain of small cinders on observers at the S crater edge. From the central pit the vapor was rising at 5 m/s. During the late afternoon two visible atmospheric perturbations were observed above the main vent. The first followed a loud degassing sound and rose at 40 m/s to a height of 200 m above the vent. Rockfalls were also heard during the afternoon. During the night of 26 January twin skyglows of fluctuating intensity were visible above Benbow followed by a large brown ash emission that rose 1,400 m above the crater in 3 minutes.

Activity at Niri Mbwelesu Taten. On both 19 and 20 January light brown or red/brown ash was emitted from the collapse pit and rose 200-250 m. On 21 January a brown pond of water 150 m NE of the pit was bubbling from both fixed and random locations. Active fumaroles were present on a ledge 60 m down. There were large cracks on the SE side and evidence of wall collapse since August 1999. Ash fell on observers in the area N of the pit. On 23 January larger ash emissions occurred about every hour.

On 24 January the collapse pit was entered using ropes. Fumaroles on the ledge 60 m down averaged 64°C. The pit bottom was 120-140 m below the ledge covered in brown ash. Small clouds of ash were emitted occasionally from two large fissures. Bubbles of hot blue vapors, 6 m in diameter, rose past the observer. Continual degassing sounds were heard in the pit, like the sound of waves crashing on the beach. On 26 January from 0600 to 1100 dark gray ash clouds were continually being emitted from the pit. Plumes rose at 8 m/s to a height of 200 m above the pit, filling the caldera in all directions. During the afternoon the pit returned to a low level of activity. On 27 January a continuous emission of brown ash occurred all day to a height of 800 m above the pit.

Activity at Niri Mbwelesu. On 20 January white vapor tinged with blue was constantly emitted to 600 m above crater. During the evening a very intense pulsating night glow was visible. The glow would brighten (sometimes flicker), then rapidly drop to a lower level of illumination. The bright/dim cycle would repeat every 10-15 seconds. On 21 January in the afternoon degassing was heard from the crater rim and during the evening clouds were illuminated 250 m above the crater. Observers on the crater edge felt hot vapor. When the crater was climbed on the evening of 25 January a clearing of the vapor enabled the bottom to be seen 280 m down. A 40-m-diameter vent was visible emitting bright yellow burning gas, radiant heat was felt on the faces of observers, and moderate degassing was heard.

Activity at Mbwelesu. Observations were made of Mbwelesu crater on 21 January. The two lava lakes observed in August 1999 had disappeared (BGVN 24:08). A brown pond surrounded by fumaroles was in the Vent B location, with large amounts of ash and rock to the SE. The sill on the SE edge of the crater had large craters and several large sections (over 10 m) that had broken off and fallen into the crater. The fumarole field 40 m SE of the crater rim had a temperature of 72.7°C. Heavy rains caused waterfalls and rockfalls inside the crater. The crater was otherwise quiet with some vapor emissions from many fumaroles on the floor. Fumaroles were also present in the location of the former lava lake at Vent C.

Activity in the 1953 Crater. The 1953 crater contained two levels. The higher (W half) contained a brown pond. The lower (E half) had developed a deep smoking vent. This was in the location of the green pond observed in August 1999.

Geologic Background. Ambrym, a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera, is one of the most active volcanoes of the New Hebrides Arc. A thick, almost exclusively pyroclastic sequence, initially dacitic then basaltic, overlies lava flows of a pre-caldera shield volcano. The caldera was formed during a major Plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1,900 years ago. Post-caldera eruptions, primarily from Marum and Benbow cones, have partially filled the caldera floor and produced lava flows that ponded on the floor or overflowed through gaps in the caldera rim. Post-caldera eruptions have also formed a series of scoria cones and maars along a fissure system oriented ENE-WSW. Eruptions have apparently occurred almost yearly during historical time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents. However, from 1850 to 1950, reporting was mostly limited to extra-caldera eruptions that would have affected local populations.

Information Contacts: John Seach, PO Box 16, Chatsworth Island, N.S.W. 2469, Australia; Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), MetService, PO Box 722, Wellington, New Zealand (URL: http://www.metservice.co.nz/).


Concepcion (Nicaragua) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Concepcion

Nicaragua

11.538°N, 85.622°W; summit elev. 1700 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions from the crater cause ashfall in late December

Starting around dawn on 23 December, INETER registered low-amplitude seismic tremor at the seismic station located at the foot of Concepción. The seismic signal grew gradually and every few minutes small earthquakes were observed. Due to the increasing seismicity, at 1315 on 24 December INETER informed Civil Defense in Managua of the activity and recommended taking precautions for volcanic gases, ashfall, and, in the event of rain, for lahars or mudflows.

On the morning of 27 December INETER received reports from Lacsa and Aviateca airlines that their pilots had observed emission of material from Concepción rising ~300 m above the crater. Residents of Moyogalpa (at the W foot of the volcano) confirmed moderate activity. Minor amounts of gas and volcanic ash blew towards Moyogalpa.

INETER specialists conducted fieldwork around the volcano on 28 December and confirmed the occurrence of low-level eruptive activity based on their own observations and descriptions by local residents. Activity was characterized by sporadic gas explosions from the crater that ejected small amounts W-blown ash. The seismic instrumentation indicated constant tremor with rare volcanic earthquakes related to the crater explosions.

The level of seismicity had decreased by the morning of 29 December, and continued to decline through 1000 on the 30th. Although volcanic activity had also diminished, an explosion at 1600 on 29 December caused ashfall as far as San Jorge (also known as Rivas, a town 25 km SW of Concepción).

Some pilot reports received on 27 December also indicated possible activity from the adjacent Maderas volcano, which has no known historical activity. INETER observers were unable to confirm these reports during fieldwork in the area. However, another seismic station was installed on Ometepe Island in the SW zone of Maderas, which should help to confirm or refute any future reports of Maderas activity.

Geologic Background. Volcán Concepción is one of Nicaragua's highest and most active volcanoes. The symmetrical basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano forms the NW half of the dumbbell-shaped island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua and is connected to neighboring Madera volcano by a narrow isthmus. A steep-walled summit crater is 250 m deep and has a higher western rim. N-S-trending fractures on the flanks have produced chains of spatter cones, cinder cones, lava domes, and maars located on the NW, NE, SE, and southern sides extending in some cases down to Lake Nicaragua. Concepción was constructed above a basement of lake sediments, and the modern cone grew above a largely buried caldera, a small remnant of which forms a break in slope about halfway up the N flank. Frequent explosive eruptions during the past half century have increased the height of the summit significantly above that shown on current topographic maps and have kept the upper part of the volcano unvegetated.

Information Contacts: Wilfried Strauch and Virginia Tenorio, Dirección General de Geofísica, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado 1761, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/).


Hekla (Iceland) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Hekla

Iceland

63.983°N, 19.666°W; summit elev. 1490 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Fissure eruption; abundant lava flows produced

On 26 February 2000 the WSW-trending, elongated Hekla volcano erupted. A fissure 6-7 km long opened along the SW flank of the Hekla ridge, from which a discontinuous curtain of lava erupted starting at 1819. Just a few minutes later, at 1825, an ash plume reached a height of 11 km and was carried N by light winds. Based on the tremor amplitude the eruption reached peak intensity in the first hour of activity, then gradually declined.

Seismic networks maintained by the Science Institute at the University of Iceland and the Icelandic Meteorological Office recorded short-term precursors. Small earthquakes were first detected by seismographs at various locations during 1655-1707. These gradually increased and the first well-located earthquakes (M 1-2) started at 1729, centered 1-2 km SE of the summit at depths of a few kilometers. A network of borehole strainmeters operated by the Meteorological Office also detected precursory changes associated with magma movements. A decrease in strain build-up rate, signaling a release of magma pressure, was recorded by a strainmeter in a borehole ~15 km from the summit at 1817.

Notice was given to the National Civil Defense and the Civil Aviation Administration about 40 minutes before the eruption, and the public was alerted about the imminent eruption about 15 minutes before it began through national radio broadcasts. Continuous low-frequency tremor began at 1819, at the same time the eruptive cloud was spotted.

Ashfall was reported on 26 February from Grimsey Island, ~70 km off the N coast of Iceland and 300 km N of Hekla. Although small amounts of ash fell in inhabited areas of N Iceland, most fell in uninhabited areas of the island's interior. Seven hours after the eruption's onset the ash deposit 21 km N had a maximum thickness of 4-5 cm.

Lava flows on 27 February covered a large part of the SE flank. That evening a lava stream flowed N from the erupting fissure at a rate of several meters per hour. Another more active lava stream emanated from three craters near the S end of the fissure; the stream was several kilometers long and advancing at ~1 m/minute.

On 28 February an eruption cloud was deflected towards the S by northerly winds. However weather conditions precluded direct observations. Tremor amplitude continued to slowly decline, and the strength of the eruption was decreasing (figure 1). Two eruption clouds were seen at 0500, confirming that activity was ongoing. Although the craters were not visible in the daylight, the most active crater just S of the summit produced three lava streams down the S flanks. Activity in the N declined during the day on 28 February. At 0630 one lava flow had reached the Vatnafjoll mountains at Lambafell, 5 km S of the summit. Advancing at ~2-3 m/hour, the lava front was estimated to be 8-10 m wide. That evening observers watched Strombolian activity in three craters at the southernmost part of the fissure.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Tremor at Hekla during 26-28 February 2000 recorded at Haukadalur, 10 km W. At the beginning of the eruption, 1819 on 26 February, the tremor increased rapidly and reached a maximum at 1850. Tremor then decreased until about 0700 on 27 February and became steady. The tremor was approximately 10 % of the maximum value, on 28 February, but over 10 times greater than the normal value. Courtesy of Páll Halldórsson, Science Institute at the University of Iceland.

Ashfall was reported on the morning of 29 February 35-40 km S in Fljótshlíð. At 0500 volcanic tremor had started to increase and continued until 1000-1100. By about 0800 all activity in the summit had ceased. During the afternoon of 29 February activity at the southernmost end of the fissure increased again, producing eruption clouds ascending above the summit. In the darkness of the evening, three craters at the southernmost end of the fissure produced lava flowing SW. People watching the lava on the NE flanks reported that they could walk on the stopped flow there.

Vigorous Strombolian eruptions and lava flows on the fissure that cuts the SW slopes were seen during a reconnaissance flight on 1 March during 1100-1230. Four main vents and three smaller vents produced explosions at intervals of 4-5 minutes. At the base of the fissure a large tumuli had developed. The lava streams coming out through the opening of the tumuli joined a stream coming from overflows of the uppermost craters. The S-directed lava flows were fed by the crater closest to the summit. The lava field in the S had only advanced ~100 m since 28 February, but on 1 March it was growing toward the E. By 1 March lava had covered approximately 17 km2.

Increased activity was observed in the upper craters on 2 March, although bad weather persisted from 1200 on 1 March until midday on 3 March. There was also constant steaming from the SW craters, and, compared to 1 March, much larger steam clouds rising from the upper craters. At nightfall explosions were observed at ~30-minute intervals. Glowing lava streams were noted on the flank of the mountain on 2 March.

On 3 March a group of scientists reached the SW lava flow at 1300 and found that the lava front was ~10 m wide and advancing very slowly, ~1-2 m/day. While tracing the lava to the W the group noted that at some places the flow was spreading much faster, up to ~1 m/hour. Following the lava flow along its W side, the group reached its origin at the foot of the volcano, where it emerged from the end of the erupting fissure. At the origin, the estimated flow rate was 0.06 m/s, producing about 10 m3/s of lava. Due to the continuous degassing along the lava stream a blue mist was formed. The blue mist was also observed farther E along the flank of the volcano, indicating that lava was still flowing from the crater close to the summit area. The craters in this region fed the lava flow that moved S toward the Vatnafjoll glacier 10 km SE from Hekla. Later in the evening observers reported that lava was still flowing slowly towards Vatnafjoll. Explosive activity in the uppermost crater of the SW-fissure was characterized by small explosions at 10-20 minute intervals that produced white steam clouds with only trace amounts of ash.

Due to bad weather conditions on 4 March, no direct observations could be made of the eruption. Decreasing eruption tremor was detected. On 5 March the lava flow to the SW was still ongoing according to observations made in the afternoon. At sunset, a red pulsing glow was observed in the uppermost craters of the SW-fissure from the town of Selsundsfjall, 15 km SW. Small eruption clouds were observed on 6 March penetrating the weather clouds covering the summit of Hekla.

During a reconnaissance flight between 1730 and 1830 on 6 March the whole fissure was steaming vigorously and all of the lava flows appeared to have stopped. The lava stream in the SW had left behind an empty channel. Neither incandescence nor explosive activity were observed from the craters. Minor tremors continued on 6-7 March, but may have been related to lava degassing in the feeder dike.

At 0844 on 8 March the last eruptive tremor was detected on seismometers. Based on the end of detectable tremor, and with no signs of new eruptive products since 5 March, it was determined that the eruption ended on the morning of 8 March. Lava covered approximately 18 km2; the preliminary estimate of lava production was 0.11 km3.

Plume investigation. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) contained in plumes from Hekla was detected by the Earth Probe TOMS (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer) instrument. TOMS imagery at 1154 on 27 February showed that the volcanic cloud was a narrow plume arcing from the volcano in southern Iceland, then N to Greenland, and finally E towards Norway. The plume primarily contained SO2 because almost all of the ash fell out locally. On 28 February the TOMS imagery indicated that plume stretched out over the Barents Sea and possibly into eastern Russia. By 29 February the SO2 cloud had drifted E in a band along the Norwegian and Russian coasts of the Barents Sea.

During a transit flight on 28 February a SOLVE (SAGE III Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment) mission with an instrument-laden DC-8 aircraft flew through the plume shortly after the eruption ~11.3 km NNE of Iceland at 76°N and 5°W, just off the Greenland coastline. The plume extended up to ~13 km altitude, well into the lower stratosphere. Instruments also measured many in situ trace gases, SO2, HNO3, NO, NOy, O3, and aerosols (volatile and non-volatile), including their size distribution. From about 0508 until 0518 on 29 February the SOLVE aircraft again entered the volcanic cloud. The scientific team reported large enhancements in CN, NOy, HNO3, CO, and particle counts, ozone went to nearly zero, H2O jumped up, and there were strong scattering layers up to 13 km. The plume was a very impressive, orange, airfoil-shaped feature in the pre-dawn sky. The DC-8 engines needed an oil change and new filters after passing through the plume. A flight on 5 March detected enhanced aerosols and SO2 at 1301, but by that time the plume was so diluted that it represented no danger to the aircraft. During the three weeks following the initial encounter the DC-8 detected remnants of the plume trapped within the polar vortex. The resulting analysis concluded that volatile aerosols increased and the sizes of non-volatile large aerosols decreased.

Fluoride analysis. Ash from previous Hekla eruptions has often been the cause of fluorosis in grazing animals. However, during this time of the year most domestic animals are kept indoors, so fluorosis is not expected to become a problem. Freshly fallen ash was measured for soluble fluoride ions (F-). The result was 800-900 mg F/kg. Snow melted by the ash contained about 2,200 mg/l (ppm) of fluoride.

Geologic Background. One of Iceland's most prominent and active volcanoes, Hekla lies near the southern end of the eastern rift zone. Hekla occupies a rift-transform junction, and has produced basaltic andesites, in contrast to the tholeiitic basalts typical of Icelandic rift zone volcanoes. Vatnafjöll, a 40-km-long, 9-km-wide group of basaltic fissures and crater rows immediately SE of Hekla forms a part of the Hekla-Vatnafjöll volcanic system. A 5.5-km-long fissure, Heklugjá, cuts across the 1491-m-high Hekla volcano and is often active along its full length during major eruptions. Repeated eruptions along this rift, which is oblique to most rifting structures in the eastern volcanic zone, are responsible for Hekla's elongated ENE-WSW profile. Frequent large silicic explosive eruptions during historical time have deposited tephra throughout Iceland, providing valuable time markers used to date eruptions from other Icelandic volcanoes. Hekla tephras are generally rich in fluorine and are consequently very hazardous to grazing animals. Extensive lava flows from historical eruptions, which date back to 1104 CE, cover much of the volcano's flanks.

Information Contacts: Freysteinn Sigmundsson, Nordic Volcanological Institute, Grensásvegur 50, IS-108 Reykjavik, Iceland (URL: http://nordvulk.hi.is); Páll Einarsson, Science Institute, University of Iceland, Hofsvallagata 53, IS-107 Reykjavík, Iceland; Ragnar Stefánsson, Icelandic Meteorological Office, Bustadavegur 9, 150 Reykjavík, Iceland (URL: http://www.vedur.is/); Mark Schoeberl, Code 910, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, 20771 USA; Michael Fromm, Computational Physics, Inc., 2750 Prosperity Ave., Suite 600, Fairfax, VA 22031 USA (URL: http://cloud1.arc.nasa.gov/solve/); Arlin Krueger, Code 916, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, 20771 USA.


Iwatesan (Japan) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Iwatesan

Japan

39.853°N, 141.001°E; summit elev. 2038 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Tremor event and earthquake swarm on 12 November 1999

At 1800 on 18 October 1999, the National Coordination Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions reported that the volcano's fumarolic area had expanded and the amount of steam had increased in the western part of Iwate volcano. New fumaroles have been observed since May on the N slopes of Mts. Ubakura-yama and Kurokura-yama and in the western stream of Ojigokudani (inside the erosion caldera). This fumarolic activity has intermittently increased since July, and ground temperatures between Mts. Kurokura-yama and Ubakura-yama also increased with time. Analyses of fumarolic gas collected between Ojigokudani and Mt. Ubakura-yama in August and October revealed a magmatic component. Although GPS measurements showed the end of the elongation trend observed since July, relatively large volcanic earthquakes occurred during May and June. Deep-seated (~30 km depth) low-frequency earthquakes, relatively deep-seated (6-13 km depth) low-frequency earthquakes, and shallow high-frequency earthquakes occurred under the eastern cone of Iwate. However, the overall level of seismicity has decreased compared to 1998 (figure 5).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Daily numbers of earthquakes at Iwate (recorded at the Matsukawa station) during 1 January 1998-13 November 1999. Courtesy of JMA.

On the evening of 12 November JMA issued a Volcano Advisory on Iwate after a 4-minute volcanic tremor (M 2.1) saturated local instruments starting at 2054. The event hypocenter was located 2-3 km below the Ubakura-yama and Kurokura-yama areas of western Iwate (figure 6). An earthquake swarm continued for 2 hours after the tremor event at a rate of 16-20 events/hour. Inspection from the air the following day did not show any major change in fumarolic activity or any deposition of new volcanic ash.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Hypocenters of earthquakes under the western section of Iwate during 11-12 November 1999. Courtesy of JMA.

On the evening of 16 November, the extended National Coordination Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions met in the city of Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, to review the events that occurred on the 12th. They noted that the tremor was similar in shape, amplitude, and duration to one (M 2.4) that occurred on 10 July 1999; hence it was considered likely that the two events occurred in the same place. Changes detected in tilt- and strain-meters located on the flank during the tremor were probably caused by subsurface ground faulting or fluid movement. After the tremor, however, no subsequent changes were observed. Neither the GPS-based, N-S traverse distance across the volcano nor the fumarole temperatures in the Ubakura-yama to Kurokura-yama region changed before or after the event. Fumarolic activity in western Iwate had increased since May as had the number of shallow earthquakes in the Ojigokudani area (erosion caldera). The tremor event on 12 November suggested a continuing possibility of a phreatic explosions in western Iwate.

Geologic Background. Viewed from the east, Iwatesan volcano has a symmetrical profile that invites comparison with Fuji, but on the west an older cone is visible containing an oval-shaped, 1.8 x 3 km caldera. After the growth of Nishi-Iwate volcano beginning about 700,000 years ago, activity migrated eastward to form Higashi-Iwate volcano. Iwate has collapsed seven times during the past 230,000 years, most recently between 739 and 1615 CE. The dominantly basaltic summit cone of Higashi-Iwate volcano, Yakushidake, is truncated by a 500-m-wide crater. It rises well above and buries the eastern rim of the caldera, which is breached by a narrow gorge on the NW. A central cone containing a 500-m-wide crater partially filled by a lake is located in the center of the oval-shaped caldera. A young lava flow from Yakushidake descended into the caldera, and a fresh-looking lava flow from the 1732 eruption traveled down the NE flank.

Information Contacts: Kazuo Sekine, Sendai District Meteorological Observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency, 1-3-15 Gorin, Miyagino-ku, Sendai 983, Japan; Hiroyuki Hamaguchi, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8578 Japan (URL: http://www.sci.tohoku.ac.jp/); Setsuya Nakada, Volcano Research Center, ERI, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Jun-ichi Hirabayashi, Kusatsu-Shirane Volcano Observatory, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kusatsu, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma 377-17 Japan.


Kirishimayama (Japan) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Kirishimayama

Japan

31.934°N, 130.862°E; summit elev. 1700 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Earthquake swarm during 6-15 November 1999

A Volcanic Advisory on Kirishima volcano (figure 4) was issued on 10 November 1999 by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) after seismicity began increasing on 6 November. This is the first advisory at Kirishima since 27 August 1995 (BGVN 20:08 and 20:09). Earthquakes detected at a site 1.7 km SW of Shinmoe-dake totaled 666 during 6-15 November (table 1), peaking at 192 events on the 10th. No volcanic tremor was observed.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Steam from Shinmoe-dake at Kirishima looking towards the SE in 1991. Naka-dake is the adjacent cone with a flat top, and in the background is Ohachi (crater to the right), Takachiho-no-mine (the highest peak in the center), and Futatsuishi (left). Courtesy of T. Kagiyama, ERI.

Table 1. Daily numbers of volcanic earthquake events at Kirishima, 5-15 November 1999. Courtesy of JMA.

Date Volcanic Earthquakes
05 Nov 1999 0
06 Nov 1999 12
07 Nov 1999 16
08 Nov 1999 40
09 Nov 1999 81
10 Nov 1999 192
11 Nov 1999 128
12 Nov 1999 69
13 Nov 1999 86

Geologic Background. Kirishimayama is a large group of more than 20 Quaternary volcanoes located north of Kagoshima Bay. The late-Pleistocene to Holocene dominantly andesitic group consists of stratovolcanoes, pyroclastic cones, maars, and underlying shield volcanoes located over an area of 20 x 30 km. The larger stratovolcanoes are scattered throughout the field, with the centrally located Karakunidake being the highest. Onamiike and Miike, the two largest maars, are located SW of Karakunidake and at its far eastern end, respectively. Holocene eruptions have been concentrated along an E-W line of vents from Miike to Ohachi, and at Shinmoedake to the NE. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 8th century.

Information Contacts: JMA-Fukuoka, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japan; Setsuya Nakada and Tsuneomi Kagiyama, Volcano Research Center, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html).


Mayon (Philippines) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Mayon

Philippines

13.257°N, 123.685°E; summit elev. 2462 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strong explosions, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows following dome growth

Volcanic unrest that began in May 1999, and intermittent explosive eruptions beginning in June 1999, eventually led to growth of a lava dome on 12 February 2000. By 23 February PHIVOLCS had recommended evacuation to 7 km from the summit in the SE and to 6 km for the rest of the volcano. The latter is a permanent danger zone.

At 2206 on 23 February the seismic network detected an explosion-type earthquake that coincided with rumbling and minor ejection of lava fragments from the summit. This earthquake was followed shortly by bright incandescence, indicating that lava emission and ejection had intensified. Low-frequency volcanic earthquakes then occurred beginning at 2217 and lasting until about 2326 when the seismographs began to record harmonic tremor. The tremor became pronounced at about 0034 on 24 February and was accompanied by minor lava fountaining to 50 m above the summit lava dome. The hazard status was raised to Alert Level 4 (hazardous eruption imminent, possible within days) at 0300 on 24 February. No additional evacuation was recommended, but residents within 8 km of the summit were advised to prepare for evacuation.

At 0826 on 24 February another explosion-type earthquake was recorded by the seismographs at Anoling, Sta. Misericordia, and Mayon Resthouse Observatory. The summit was obscured, but at 0829 a pyroclastic flow descended SE towards the Bonga Gully with a run-out distance of ~7.2 km, reaching the distal end of the Bonga fan. The hazard status was then raised to Alert Level 5, (hazardous eruption in progress). Because pyroclastic flows could continue to sweep down along well-incised gullies and channels, especially the Bonga Gully, PHIVOLCS recommended extension of the danger zone to 8 km along the SE sector of Mayon Volcano. Likewise, ashfall was expected mainly W, SW, and NW of the crater.

The SO2 emission rate increased on 24 February to 4,070-5,700 metric tons/day (t/d). Ground deformation measurements showed that the volcanic edifice swelled significantly in the previous two days, consistent with the growth of the lava dome.

By the morning of 25 February activity was mainly lava extrusion, with a flow channeled along the Bonga Gully. COSPEC readings conducted on 24 February reached 13,500 t/d. The abrupt increase in this value may be attributed to the series of highly gas-charged ash ejections comprising the volcanic plume.

Following a quiet interval that started at 1420 on 26 February, more vigorous activity resumed on the evening of the 27th. Seven ash-and-gas explosions occurred between 1950 and 2237, the most significant of which (at 2144 and 2237) were accompanied by lava fountaining with ejection of volcanic bombs. Large incandescent fragments were ejected to ~500 m above the crater rim. Ground deformation measurements showed that the edifice remained inflated. COSPEC readings of SO2 flux remained significantly above normal at 4,900 t/d. Explosion earthquakes and harmonic tremor accompanied the lava fountaining and persisted even when the activity had apparently subsided.

Explosive eruptions during 28 February-1 March. Mayon had another series of explosive eruptions during 0700 to 2100 on 28 February, with the most significant eruptions occurring at 1641, 1732, and 1940. The first explosion produced a 5-6-km-high eruption column and generated a large pyroclastic flow that descended the W portion of the Bonga Gully on the SE flank and entered the Mabinit channel to the S. This was followed by voluminous eruption clouds beginning at 1732 that rose to ~10 km above the summit and generated multiple pyroclastic flows to the SW, S, and SE. Vigorous explosions sustained the eruption column and discharged large volcanic fragments that splattered the upper portions of the cone. Thick ash clouds hovered around the volcano and created frequent lightning discharges.

Most of the ash clouds were eventually carried to the SW and W, affecting Ligao, Guinobatan, and Camalig. However, the pyroclastic flows did not travel beyond the present danger zones. The ash clouds contained high concentrations of sulfur dioxide, with COSPEC-recorded emission rates of 13,000 t/d, as expected for an eruption cloud. Aircraft were warned to avoid lingering ash clouds to the W of the volcano. The E side, towards the Legaspi airport, remained free from volcanic ash, debris, and SO2 emissions.

Electronic distance measurements revealed that the volcano's edifice remained inflated. Such inflation was thought to be caused by the ascent of magma as indicated by the near-continuous seismic tremor associated with active magma transport.

The series of major ash ejections and subsequent pyroclastic flows that occurred along Bonga Gully, Mabinit, and Miisi Channels started at 1641 on 28 February 2000. The maximum height estimated for the vertical ash plume was 12 km during the 1732 event. The approximate runout of the pyroclastic flows reached to ~5-6 km downslope. Severe ashfall occurred in the SW sector of the volcano, especially at Barangay Tumpa in Camalig and Barangays Maninila and Masarawag in Guinobatan. Lava fountaining with ballistic bombs was also frequently observed starting at 1732 with maximum heights estimated at 1 km.

After the vigorous activities late in the afternoon to early evening on 28 February, only quiet effusion of lava was noted during times when the summit was not obscured through the morning of 29 February.

Another series of ash ejections began at 1211 on 29 February. The largest event occurred at 1501 and produced a 14-km-high eruption column. This event also generated several pyroclastic flows that descended all sides of the volcano. Pyroclastic flows that were channeled by gullies in the SW, S, and SE reached up to 5-6 km from the summit. Smaller pyroclastic flows that followed gullies in other sectors stopped ~2-3 km from the crater. Ash from the tall eruption column and from pyroclastic flows drifted to the W and SW. The ash ejections were generally accompanied by rumbling sounds. Vigorous lava fountaining began at 1531 and ballistic projectiles fell within 1.5 km of the crater. Lava flows were observed on 1 March to have reached the 1,000 m elevation, or about 2.3 km from the summit.

COSPEC measurements on 29 February were hampered by thick ash cover. Ground deformation measurements made the morning of 29 February along the Buang and Masarawag EDM lines showed that the volcano edifice remain inflated. Significant potential was noted for lahars along major tributaries draining from the NW due to the presence of ash and pyroclastic-flow deposits, which could be eroded and remobilized during heavy rainfall.

Mayon exhibited another series of eruptions that began on 1 March and produced dense and highly convective ash columns that rose up to 7 km above the summit. Part of the eruption column would occasionally collapse to produce pyroclastic flows that traveled along major gullies around the volcano. Pyroclastic flows were observed along the main gullies facing Anoling. The largest of these pyroclastic flows occurred along Bonga Gully and traveled ~6 km from the crater, while smaller flows at other gullies descended some 4 km downslope. Explosive eruptions produced lava fountaining with discrete ballistic volcanic fragments hurled out to ~500 m above the crater rim. Frequent rumbling accompanied the explosions, which lasted until 1609. By the end of this episode of explosive activity, quiet lava extrusion followed and continued to be observed up to the present. Areas SW and W of the volcano were severely affected by ashfall with the most significant deposition in Camalig, Guinobatan, and Ligao. Minor ash and steam were continuously being generated by lava deposits from the summit crater and Bonga Gully and drifted to the SW and W areas by prevailing winds.

Lava emission phase. Mayon was relatively quiet during 2 March as the seismic network recorded short-duration harmonic tremors and some discrete low-frequency volcanic earthquakes. This departs from the continuous tremor recorded in the past days during periods of relative quiet. The volcano has apparently entered a phase of lava emission with sporadic episodes of minor ash puffs. Ash and steam emission from both the summit crater and new lava flow deposits produced a haze over the SW sector, particularly in the municipalities of Camalig, Guinobatan, and Ligao. SO2-flux measurements on 2 March yielded a value of 14,500 t/d. Ash clouds derived from the new lava flow deposits apparently produced a significant portion of this emission rate. Ground deformation measurements indicated that the volcano deflated slightly following the 1 March ash ejections.

Lava emission with sporadic episodes of minor ash puffs dominated the eruptive activity on 3 March. This relatively quiet state was reflected in the low-level but significant seismicity comprised by short-duration harmonic tremors and some discrete low-frequency volcanic earthquakes. Thick clouds covered the summit area, but below the cloud line and on the middle and lower slopes of the volcano ash clouds and steam emanated from the new lava flows and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A high emission rate of 8,900 t/d SO2 was measured by COSPEC. Much of the ash and steam clouds resulting from this degassing drifted to the W and SW sections of the volcano due to prevailing winds. The haze produced by fine ash suspended in the air temporarily precluded ground deformation measurements.

Potential exists for hot lahar flows due to the presence of highly erodible pyroclastic deposits, which may be remobilized during heavy rainfall. Gullies with confirmed pyroclastic-flow deposits in their headwaters, which may therefore be sites for future lahars, are the Mabinit and Matanag river channels in Legaspi City, Miisi channel in Daraga, Basud-Lidong channel in Sto. Domingo, San Vicente and Buang channels in Tabaco, and the Bulawan channel in Malilipot.

Short-duration harmonic tremors and low-frequency volcanic earthquakes continued on 4 March. This type of seismicity indicated that eruptive activity was limited to quiet lava emission. Ground deformation measurements showed that the volcano was still inflated in its lower portion, while the SO2 emission rate was determined to be at a minimum of 12,100 t/d. Preliminary estimates of the volume of deposits emplaced by the eruptions yielded at least 40 million cubic meters of lava flow and pyroclastic flow deposits. Lava flow deposits account for the major proportion of this estimate.

Activity for the next day was mainly characterized by gentle outpouring of lava. During cloudbreaks the night of 5-6 March, intense glow from the crater and from some portions of the advancing lava flow along the upper and middle Bonga gully were evident. Rockfalls and minor collapses along the length of the flow contributed to some localized ash and steam emission. However, the majority of the thick volcanic plume came from the summit crater which emitted about 8,300 t/d of SO2. The PHIVOLCS seismic network continued to record short-duration harmonic tremors and low-frequency volcanic earthquakes. Ground deformation measurements showed some slight inflation of the volcano on the lower NW flank. The very high sulfur dioxide emission rate, occurrence of tremor and volcanic earthquakes associated with magma ascent, and slight swelling of the Mayon edifice indicate that some ascent of magma is still ongoing. Due to cessation of explosive eruptions, the sky W and SW of the volcano was generally clear of ash.

During 6 March the volcano exhibited quiet lava effusion accompanied by intense crater glow and rolling incandescent materials along the upper and middle reaches of the Bonga Gully. Moderate to strong emission of steam drifted generally to the N from the summit crater. The high steam output also yielded an elevated SO2 emission rate of at least 8,800 t/d. Seismic activity consisted of 11 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and 25 episodes of short-duration tremors. Slight inflation of the lower NW flank of the volcano continued.

At 0746 on 7 March, a parallel collapse of the new lava flow deposit in the upper middle slopes produced a voluminous secondary pyroclastic flow. The billowing ash cloud descended the Bonga Gully to the SE.

The seismic network recorded low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and short-duration harmonic tremors on 7 March. The measured SO2 gas emission rate of 3,900 t/d, although low compared to recent measurements, was still well above the volcano's baseline level. Likewise, ground deformation surveys showed that the edifice was slightly inflated. At night on 7-8 March, when the volcano's summit area was visible, intense crater glow continued.

A PHIVOLCS report on the morning of 9 March noted that since the last eruption of 1 March, a waning trend in Mayon's overall activity has been evident. The number of volcanic earthquakes decreased and remained at unremarkable levels. In addition, tremor associated with emission of lava from the crater ceased. Seismic activity only reflected sporadic surface disturbances such as occasional rockfalls caused by oversteepened slopes. The Electronic Distance Meter (EDM) and precise leveling surveys also showed a return to the baseline levels, indicating a probable deflation of the edifice. Mayon continued to vent a large amount of steam, but the SO2 component measured by COSPEC had decreased. Although the summit and isolated spots on the new lava flow deposits continued to glow at night, this incandescence was attributed to residual heat.

In view of these recent developments at Mayon, PHIVOLCS lowered the volcano status to Alert Level 4. On 9 March the 8-km-radius extended danger zone in the SE quadrant was reduced to 7 km. PHIVOLCS emphasized that the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zones should remain evacuated at all times because of instability of new pyroclastic and lava deposits that may be dislodged towards the lower slopes with resultant secondary explosions and life-threatening secondary pyroclastic flows.

Geologic Background. Beautifully symmetrical Mayon, which rises above the Albay Gulf NW of Legazpi City, is the Philippines' most active volcano. The structurally simple edifice has steep upper slopes averaging 35-40 degrees that are capped by a small summit crater. Historical eruptions date back to 1616 and range from Strombolian to basaltic Plinian, with cyclical activity beginning with basaltic eruptions, followed by longer term andesitic lava flows. Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the approximately 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often devastated populated lowland areas. A violent eruption in 1814 killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.

Information Contacts: Raymundo S. Punongbayan and Ernesto Corpuz, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), C.P. Garcia St. Diliman, Quezon City Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost. gov.ph/).


San Cristobal (Nicaragua) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

San Cristobal

Nicaragua

12.702°N, 87.004°W; summit elev. 1745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continued frequent eruptions and ashfall through December 1999

A new eruption began at about 2200 on 20 November 1999 (figure 4) with a series of explosions that caused ashfall near the volcano. More than 100 people were evacuated from the Hacienda Las Rojas. A commercial airline pilot reported that the ash plume reached about 2.4-3 km altitude. As of the start of this increased activity, the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER) reported that volcanic tremor and sporadic minor ash emissions had occurred for more than a year.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Photograph showing ash emissions from San Cristóbal on the afternoon of 21 November 1999. The view is from the top of Casita volcano, 4 km away. The dark part in the foreground is the edge of the Casita crater. Courtesy of Wilfried Strauch, INETER.

The last previous significant eruptive activity at San Cristóbal began on the night of 19-20 May 1997 and spread fine ash on Chinandega, 18 km W (BGVN 22:05 and 22:06). On 30 October 1998 earth movements on the S flank of Casita volcano (4 km ESE of San Cristóbal) resulted from heavy hurricane rains, killing an estimated 1,560-1,680 people, with hundreds more displaced and several towns and settlements destroyed (BGVN 23:10). The following is based on INETER reports from November through the end of February 2000, with additional information based on crater visits in January and February and satellite imagery of a large eruption plume on 21 February.

Seismic tremor increased during the night of 19-20 November and quickly reached a maximum that was not matched at least through the end of December (figure 5). Tremor amplitude declined throughout 20 November, and then remained at levels of ~25-60% of the 20 November peak until a volcano-tectonic earthquake on 27 November.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. RSAM (real-time seismic amplitude measurement) data showing the relative amplitude of seismic tremor at San Cristóbal recorded at the seismic station near the Hacienda Las Rojas, at the foot of the volcano, 19-28 November 1999. Seismicity began during the night of 19-20 November, although volcanic activity at the surface was not reported until the following night of 20-21 November. Ashfall was reported at dawn on the 21st near the volcano. The high peak at 1520 on 27 November was caused by a volcano-tectonic earthquake. Courtesy of INETER.

Small explosions preceded emissions on 22 November. Activity decreased after the initial eruptions, but a lack of winds caused the ash and gases to remain near the volcano. Concentrations of CO2 and SO2 measured on 22 November at three different sites exceeded the permissible limits established by the World Health Organization (WHO). INETER inspections showed that expelled gas and ash have been accumulating in local communities. However, on 23 November a slight increase in the wind speed facilitated the transport of volcanic material as far as the city of Chinandega 10 km to the SW. That day an observation post was established near the summit of Casita, where INETER staff could make visual observations and measurements of eruption column heights.

Ash emanations during 24-27 November varied in frequency, and the observer at Casita saw ash columns to heights of 100-300 m above the crater during the same period. At 0920 on 27 November a small earthquake (M 2.3) occurred ~2 km underneath the volcano. Volcanic gas monitoring on 24 November showed a significant increase in the concentrations of SO2 in the San Rafael and Las Rojas areas. However, the concentration of CO2 showed a diminution compared to 23 November. Concentrations of SO2 and CO2 decreased again on the 25th, although in some communities the level of SO2 remained unchanged. A correlation spectrometer (COSPEC) for measuring SO2 flux was brought from the INSIVUMEH of Guatemala on 26 November, with the support of the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC).

Seismic tremor amplitude remained fairly stable, around 30-50% of the 20 November peak, during 26 November through 13 December. Seismicity fluctuated, with periods of higher and lower amplitude; a corresponding fluctuation in the ash-and-gas emissions was noted. The amounts of gases emitted by the volcano also showed this correlation, with SO2-flux values that oscillated between 100 and 1,000 tons/day.

By 2 December ash emissions had decreased considerably, although low-level gas emissions remained continuous. There was a slight increase in emissions on 4 December, but activity remained low through the 13th. Higher wind speeds during this period helped keep gas concentrations low in local towns. Seismic tremor began to rise the night of 12-13 December to a high of 70% of the previous peak. On 14 December small amounts of volcanic ash fell in Chinandega. Tremor amplitude returned to ~40% of the peak on 15 December, then decreased to 20-30% of the peak by dawn on the 16th.

Lahars on 16 December 1999. The Civil defense and local residents reported that a mass-flow on the NW side of the volcano on 16 December stopped ~2 km from populated areas. On 21 December, two specialists visited the affected Rancherías region NW of San Cristóbal in the Municipality of Chinandega (Dpto. Chinandega) to investigate the event. According to the meteorological station of Chinandega, 7.9 mm of rain fell from 1824 until 2012; in the first hour strong rains were reported, and from 1920 there were light to moderate rains. Previous strong rains have produced erosion gullies on the slopes of the volcano.

Due to the recent eruptive activity, large amounts of ash and lapilli had accumulated in these gullies; these were mobilized by the rains into lahars. Several sources were identified between 1,400 and 1,500 m elevation. The mobilized material formed a debris flow containing ash and lapilli that carried blocks varying from centimeters to meters in size. The flow quickly cemented into an extremely hard deposit. The material eroded from the highest slopes of San Cristóbal moved along one main gully, leaving a very deep channel and, below 500 m elevation, an extended lobate deposit that reached within ~2 km of the community of Ranchería. The main flow had a length of ~7 km and variable widths between 10 and 150 m; deposit thickness varied from less than 10 cm up to 2 m at the terminus.

Similar events happened on the S slope of the volcano that same day. At least five lahars were visible from the Leon-Chinandega highway.

Minor ash emissions continue. Activity remained consistently low and unchanged until noon on 28 December when earthquakes began. These were centered SE of Casita with magnitudes between 2 and 3.5 and depths of a few kilometers. The occurrence of earthquakes near San Cristóbal is a new phenomenon in the current eruption. Ash emission also increased and small amounts fell in Chinandega.

Seismic tremor on 29 December increased to as high as 40% of the 20 November peak. Small amounts of ash fell in Chinandega and El Viejo. No significant changes in activity were noted on 30 December. Moderate ashfalls were reported near the volcano and in Chinandega. Depending on the wind direction, ashfall sporadically reached the communities of Higueral, 10.5 km NE, and Pelona, 9 km E.

Activity during January-February 2000. Small explosions continued during January with ash and gas emissions (figure 6) and 4,444 registered volcanic earthquakes. Seismicity was higher in the first 17 days of January, but the seismic tremor (RSAM) stayed constant. Between 17 and 23 February activity increased, causing significant ashfall in Chinandega. The number of registered volcanic earthquakes in February was of 1,784.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Ash emissions from San Cristóbal on 13 January 2000. The view is from the summit of Telica volcano. Courtesy of INETER.

Alain Creusot visited the crater on 10 January and observed rhythmic, phreatic explosions, which included rock ejections and ash columns from three vents. At 0600 that day, a violent explosion threw bombs high above the crater rim. Creusot visited the crater again on 4 February and observed a 50-cm-deep ash layer over the crater area and 30-cm depths over the entire summit. Rhythmic phreatic explosions continued and new bombs were observed and sampled on the E crater rim (figure 7). These bombs apparently originated from a Strombolian explosion on 30 January. A third visit on 20 February showed a 1-m-deep ash layer in the crater area and 50-cm depths elsewhere in the summit area. Rocks 50 cm in size had been ejected.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Sketch map of the San Cristóbal summit area showing the new vents within the crater and locations of bombs deposited following an explosion on 30 January 2000. Courtesy of Alain Creusot.

Benjamin van Wyk de Vries noted that GOES images on 21 February showed a long plume extending from San Cristóbal to ~100 km over the Pacific Ocean. He also reported that this was the strongest ash eruption at San Cristóbal since the 1997 eruption. At 1100 on 24 February, a violent explosion threw bombs over the entire summit. A similar explosion and effects occurred at 0900 on the 25th.

Geologic Background. The San Cristóbal volcanic complex, consisting of five principal volcanic edifices, forms the NW end of the Marrabios Range. The symmetrical 1745-m-high youngest cone, named San Cristóbal (also known as El Viejo), is Nicaragua's highest volcano and is capped by a 500 x 600 m wide crater. El Chonco, with several flank lava domes, is located 4 km W of San Cristóbal; it and the eroded Moyotepe volcano, 4 km NE of San Cristóbal, are of Pleistocene age. Volcán Casita, containing an elongated summit crater, lies immediately east of San Cristóbal and was the site of a catastrophic landslide and lahar in 1998. The Plio-Pleistocene La Pelona caldera is located at the eastern end of the complex. Historical eruptions from San Cristóbal, consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been reported since the 16th century. Some other 16th-century eruptions attributed to Casita volcano are uncertain and may pertain to other Marrabios Range volcanoes.

Information Contacts: Wilfried Strauch and Virginia Tenorio, Dirección General de Geofísica, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado 1761, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); Alain Creusot, Instituto Nicaraguense de Energía, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ine.gob.ni/); Benjamin van Wyk de Vries, Departement des Sciences de la Terre, Universite Blaise Pascal, 63038 Clermont-Ferrand, France.


Shishaldin (United States) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Shishaldin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small phreatic explosions during September 1999-January 2000

The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reported on 21 January 2000 that investigations of recent seismic data had revealed evidence for small explosions at Shishaldin. Later detailed study of the seismic records showed that the activity may have begun in as early as late September. The numbers of explosions varied from several to over 200/day, but no steam or ash plumes were observed by airborne or ground observers. Also, no thermal anomaly was observed in satellite imagery, indicating that lava had not reached the surface. It was thought that the explosions were phreatic, caused by the flashing of water to steam; these events may represent a local hazard within a few hundred meters of the vent but do not pose a hazard to aircraft. Small explosions continued at a similar rate through 28 January.

Small low-frequency seismic events, present at Shishaldin since June 1999, gradually increased in amplitude after 28 January, with a noticeable increase during 2-3 February. Seismic data continued to show the presence of small phreatic explosions. Reports of steam plumes were received during the week ending on 2 February, with heights reaching as high as ~900 m above the summit. However, no thermal anomaly was observed in satellite imagery and no seismic tremor was identified; both were seen prior to the last eruptive episode in April and May 1999 (BGVN 24:03, 24:04, 24:08). Due to the increased activity, AVO raised the Level of Concern Color Code to Yellow on 3 February, indicating that the volcano is restless and an eruption may occur.

No appreciable number of seismic events were detected after 4 February; that was also the last day that small explosions were observed. Small low-frequency seismic events continued through 11 February, but at a slower rate and slightly lower amplitude. By 18 February seismic activity had declined significantly with no thermal anomalies or observations of unusual activity, so the hazard status was changed back to Green, indicating normal seismicity and surface activity.

Small low-frequency seismic events and very low-level tremor was recorded through 3 March, although at or below the levels observed in the months prior to the 19 April 1999 eruption. Low-level seismicity continued through the end of March. Vigorous steaming was reported in the second half of March, but no thermal anomaly observed in satellite imagery.

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: http://www.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.


Telica (Nicaragua) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Telica

Nicaragua

12.606°N, 86.84°W; summit elev. 1036 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava lake seen in August; sporadic ash explosions August-December

As of late November 1999, microseismic activity had been occurring at Telica for more than a year. There were phreatic explosions in May and June 1999 (BGVN 24:06). An eruptive phase began in August 1999, generally producing only sporadic small and local ash falls. Intermittent gas-and-ash emissions continued to be reported through December 1999. One of the more vigorous events took place on 29 December, sending ash to several kilometers altitude and inducing falls detected 45 km away.

A noteworthy event began around 0200 on 10 August. Tremor and earthquakes increased abruptly. Small explosions took place in the crater, expelling gas and volcanic ash. Ash fell ~20 km WSW of Telica in the city of Chichigalpa. An interval of relative calm on 12 August lasted approximately one hour. It ended with the gas explosions and ash outbursts starting again at 1315 and continuing until 1515 with ongoing degassing afterwards. According to the summed seismic amplitudes (RSAM values), the greatest activity was between 2000 on 10 August until the morning of 11 August.

Observers saw a lava lake in the crater on 18 August. On that day, INETER's Wilfried Strauch and Armando Saballos, along with visiting North American specialists, climbed Telica to install GPS equipment. Taking advantage of periods of low degassing, they managed to observe the bottom of the new inner crater that had formed in the last few months (figure 11). To their surprise, they saw a lava lake there. In addition they listened to forceful jetting noises probably generated by the water contact with heated material.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11.Photograph from the crater rim at Telica showing the new inner crater, 18 August 1999. Courtesy of Wilfried Strauch, INETER.

On 21 August INETER's Virginia Tenorio and Julio Alvarez climbed the volcano and saw that the inner crater had enlarged; and, in addition they again heard jet-engine-like noises. Abundant escaping gases thwarted views into the inner crater so the visitors could not assess whether a lava lake remained. The same day between 0800 and 0900, residents who live on the SE flank of the volcano felt two rumblings from the volcano. Possibly, this caused the inner crater to enlarge even more.

Several days later seismic tremor increased, but the number of microearthquakes fluctuated, first dropping, then increasing again on the 25th. On 29 August seismic tremor began to drop substantially. Then, however, the number of microearthquakes increased. Telica's eruptive activity is typically associated with slightly increased tremor and over 200 to 300 microearthquakes per day.

During September, a month with 2,116 microearthquakes, gas emanations prevailed until the 10th. A seismic swarm at the beginning of October was followed by a series of explosions with tephra expulsions during 3-15 October. On the 5th, INETER staff on the crater's edge witnessed the discharge of both ash and lava (presumably in the form of bombs). The last similar lava-bearing explosion of this type was in 1988 (SEAN 13:01). On the 12th, W-flank residents reported that on the previous day (at about 1400 on the 11th) they had felt an unusually strong explosion shaking their houses. Later, they witnessed the fall of very fine gray ash. Observers also saw that the inner crater had grown wider than when seen in September. By 12 October the seismic amplitude had decreased to background levels. The number of earthquakes registered for October was 888.

During November the earthquake sum was comparatively low, 144, but that did not signify volcanic quiet. On 19 November, INETER's Julio Alvarez and Virginia Tenorio skirted the volcano along the León-Chinandega highway where they saw an ash column. Erminio Rojas, a farmer on Telica's S flank, told them that in the past few weeks the volcano had almost constantly been expelling gray ash. On 17 November he witnessed a very large explosion that caused an ashfall deposit reaching 2.5 cm thickness near his house, damaging his apples and beans. The observers further noticed that on the crater's SW a possible collapse feature had developed. Burned ash-covered plants lay in the area near the edge of the crater. Ash discharges on 17 November occasionally emitted a noise similar to a gunshot.

On 24 November, Civil defense of León reported a black cloud above Telica. An unusual seismic signal on 28 November prompted a visit to Telica by Tenorio and Strauch, along with Rafael Abelia of the Institute of Geomineras Investigations of Madrid, Spain. When they arrived at the volcano, the group found that a zone of disruption had spread over a great part of the N crater wall, and the edge of the crater was covered with a thick layer of fine dust. This indicated to them that there was no explosion and the cloud that the Civil Defense observed was due to the collapse of the N crater wall. COSPEC measurements conducted on 29 November indicated that the volcano was producing between 50 and 500 metric tons/day of SO2 per day.

During December 1999 there were 1,085 volcanic earthquakes, of which, four were located. INETER's seismic network located several earthquakes that took place underneath the volcano on 14 December with magnitudes between 2 and 2.5. During December, tremor stayed low until the 24th, when it was punctuated by sporadic degassing and smaller ash-bearing discharges. On the 25th, tremor began to rise slowly; on the 28th there occurred an abrupt increase in the seismic signal, four-fold larger than seen during previous days. The morning of 29 December seismicity was high. The same day reports were received describing almost continuous ash-bearing explosions, with WSW-directed tephra falls.

Two large explosions at 0900 on 29 December sent ash to heights of more than 1,000 m above the crater. Besides affecting cities adjacent the volcano, ash was later known to have affected the cities of Posoltega (~16 km SW), Chichigalpa (20 km WSW), Quezalguaque (20 km SSW), Chinandega (35 km WSW), and Corinto (~45 km SW). INETER noted that civil-aviation pilots reported that ash rose up to 5 km, although whether this was an altitude or the height over the 1-km-tall volcano remained undisclosed. Tremor initially stayed high on 30 December but dropped on 31 December. Activity continued into January 2000.

Geologic Background. Telica, one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, has erupted frequently since the beginning of the Spanish era. This volcano group consists of several interlocking cones and vents with a general NW alignment. Sixteenth-century eruptions were reported at symmetrical Santa Clara volcano at the SW end of the group. However, its eroded and breached crater has been covered by forests throughout historical time, and these eruptions may have originated from Telica, whose upper slopes in contrast are unvegetated. The steep-sided cone of Telica is truncated by a 700-m-wide double crater; the southern crater, the source of recent eruptions, is 120 m deep. El Liston, immediately E, has several nested craters. The fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Hervideros de San Jacinto, SE of Telica, form a prominent geothermal area frequented by tourists, and geothermal exploration has occurred nearby.

Information Contacts: Wilfried Strauch and Virginia Tenorio, Dirección General de Geofísica, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado 1761, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/).


Terceira (Portugal) — February 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Terceira

Portugal

38.73°N, 27.32°W; summit elev. 1023 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Activity in 1999; submarine eruption plume during January-February 2000

The submarine eruption that started on December 1998 (BGVN 24:01 and 24:03) from multiple vents along the Serreta Volcanic Ridge, about 10 km W of Terceira Island, Azores, continued through March 2000. Vents along the ridge were very active between December 1998 and September 1999. Activity then declined to very low levels with rare surface manifestations through December 1999. Activity increased again in late January 2000.

Several times during 1999 basaltic lava balloons were observed floating in the eruptive area. These "balloons" are very hot, gas-rich, lava fragments produced from small submarine lava lakes/fountains. During ascent to the surface, magmatic gas exsolves from the hot fragments, increasing the volume of the balloon while the crust is glassy and expansible. Once at the surface, interaction between the hot blocks and seawater produce white steam columns that can be seen from land when meteorological conditions are favorable (figure 5). The blocks eventually sink after the gas escapes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Lava balloon from the Serreta Ridge off Terciera floating on the sea surface and producing white steam column. Courtesy of CVUA.

An oceanographic mission supported by the national Foundation for Science and Technology was carried out in April 1999 to study the geological/geophysical characteristics of the eruption and its impact on local ecosystems. Scientists from the University of Azores, University of Lisbon, University of Algarve, Instituto do Mar, and Instituito Hidrográfico used a remotely operated vehicle that crossed an impressive submarine volcanic plume just above an active eruptive center at about 380 m depth. This plume was formed by volcanic particles of ash and lapilli size along with gas bubbles and lava balloons up to 2 m in diameter.

On 28 January 2000 a yellowish spot was observed at the sea surface above the eruptive area due to the dispersion of a volcanic plume that rose from a new vent located at about 250 m depth (figure 6). The area of water discoloration caused by the plume was visible almost continuously for about a month, reaching a maximum diameter of 8 km on 24 February. The plume was generated by multiple eruptive pulses from different eruptive centers located within a few hundred meters of each other.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Aerial view of the edge of a submarine volcanic ash plume spreading at the sea surface. Courtesy of CVUA.

Seismicity along the ridge related to the eruption continued through the end of March, but at low levels. Since the beginning of this volcanic crisis the physical and chemical parameters of waters and fumarolic gases from Terceira Island have been monitored, with no changes detected. Another submarine eruption took place in this general location in June 1867. At that time five months of strong seismicity destroyed about 200 houses at Serreta.

Geologic Background. Terceira Island contains four stratovolcanoes constructed along a prominent ESE-WNW-trending fissure zone that cuts across the island. Historically active Santa Barbara volcano at the western end of the island is truncated by two calderas. The youngest of these formed about 15,000 years ago. Comenditic lava domes fill and surround the caldera. Pico Alto lies north of the fissure zone in the north-central part of the island and contains a Pleistocene caldera largely filled by lava domes and lava flows. Guilherme Moniz caldera lies along the fissure zone immediately to the south, and 7-km-wide Cinquio Picos caldera at the SE end of the island is the largest in the Azores. Historical eruptions have occurred from Pico Alto, the fissure zone between Pico Alto and Santa Barbara, and from submarine vents west of Santa Barbara. Most Holocene eruptions have produced basaltic-to-rhyolitic lava flows from the fissure zone transecting the island.

Information Contacts: J.L. Gaspar, G. Queiroz, J.M. Pacheco, T. Ferreira, R. Coutinho, M.H. Almeida, and N. Wallenstein, Centre of Volcanology of the Azores University (CVUA), Departamento de Geociencias, Rua da Mae de Deus, 9502 Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal (URL: http://www.uac.pt/).

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