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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

Erta Ale (Ethiopia) Thermal anomalies persist in the summit crater during May-September 2020

Merapi (Indonesia) Eruptions in April and June 2020 produced ash plumes and ashfall

Semeru (Indonesia) Ash plumes, lava flows, avalanches, and pyroclastic flows during March-August 2020

Kavachi (Solomon Islands) Discolored water plumes observed in satellite imagery during early September 2020

Krakatau (Indonesia) Eruption ends in mid-April 2020, but intermittent thermal anomalies continue

Raung (Indonesia) Eruptions confirmed during 2012- 2013; lava fills inner crater in November 2014-August 2015

Klyuchevskoy (Russia) Strombolian activity, gas-and-steam and ash plumes, and a lava flow during June-early July 2020

Fuego (Guatemala) Ongoing explosions, ash plumes, lava flows, and lahars during April-July 2020

Nishinoshima (Japan) Major June-July eruption of lava, ash, and sulfur dioxide; activity declines in August 2020

Turrialba (Costa Rica) New eruptive period on 18 June 2020 consisted of ash eruptions

Etna (Italy) Effusive activity in early April; frequent Strombolian explosions and ash emissions during April-July 2020

Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania) Multiple lava flows within the summit crater; September 2019-August 2020



Erta Ale (Ethiopia) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Erta Ale

Ethiopia

13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thermal anomalies persist in the summit crater during May-September 2020

Erta Ale is an active basaltic volcano in Ethiopia, containing multiple active pit craters in the summit and southeastern caldera. Volcanism has been characterized by lava flows and large lava flow fields since 2017. This report describes continued thermal activity in the summit caldera during May through September 2020 using information from various satellite data.

Volcanism at Erta Ale was relatively low from May to early August 2020. Across all satellite data, thermal anomalies were identified for a total of 2 days in May, 7 days in June, 4 days in July, 11 days in August, and 15 days in September. Beginning in early June and into September 2020 the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity graph provided by the MIROVA system identified a small cluster of thermal anomalies in the summit area after a brief hiatus from early January 2020 (figure 99). By mid-August, a small pulse of thermal activity was detected by the MIROVA (Middle Infrared Observation of Volcanic Activity) system. Many of these thermal anomalies were seen in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery on clear weather days from June to September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 99. A small cluster of thermal anomalies were detected in the summit area of Erta Ale (red dots) during June-September 2020 as recorded by the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity data (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of MIROVA.

On 12 June a minor thermal anomaly was observed in the S pit crater; a larger anomaly was detected on 17 June in the summit caldera where there had been a previous lava lake (figure 100). In mid-August, satellite data showed thermal anomalies in both the N and S pit craters, but by 5 September only the N crater showed elevated temperatures (figure 101). The thermal activity in the N summit caldera persisted through September, based on satellite data from NASA VIIRS and Sentinel Hub Playground.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 100. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery of Erta Ale on 17 June 2020 showing a strong thermal anomaly in the summit caldera. Sentinel-2 satellite image with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 101. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery of Erta Ale showing thermal anomalies in the N and S pit craters on 21 (top left), 26 (top right), and 31 (bottom left) August 2020. On 5 September (bottom right) only the anomaly in the N crater remained. Sentinel-2 satellite image with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

Information Contacts: 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); NASA Worldview (URL: https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/).


Merapi (Indonesia) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

7.54°S, 110.446°E; summit elev. 2910 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptions in April and June 2020 produced ash plumes and ashfall

Merapi, located just north of the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is a highly active stratovolcano; the current eruption began in May 2018. Volcanism has recently been characterized by lava dome growth and collapse, small block-and-ash flows, explosions, ash plumes, ashfall, and pyroclastic flows (BGVN 44:10 and 45:04). Activity has recently consisted of three large eruptions in April and June, producing dense gray ash plumes and ashfall in June. Dominantly, white gas-and-steam emissions have been reported during April-September 2020. The primary reporting source of activity comes from Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG, the Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology, a branch of PVMBG), the 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 at Merapi dominantly consisted of frequent white gas-and-steam emissions that generally rose 20-600 m above the crater (figure 95). On 2 April an eruption occurred at 1510, producing a gray ash plume that rose 3 km above the crater, and accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions up to 600 m above the crater. A second explosion on 10 April at 0910 generated a gray ash plume rising 3 km above the crater and drifting NW, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions rising 300 m above the crater (figure 96). Activity over the next six weeks consisted primarily of gas-and-steam emissions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 95. Gas-and-steam emissions were frequently observed rising from Merapi as seen on 3 April (left) and 4 August (right) 2020. Courtesy of BPPTKG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. Webcam image showed an ash plume rising 3 km above the crater of Merapi at 0917 on 10 April 2020. Courtesy of BPPTKG and MAGMA Indonesia.

On 8 June PVMBG reported an increase in seismicity. Aerial photos from 13 June taken using drones were used to measure the lava dome, which had decreased in volume to 200,000 m3, compared to measurements from 19 February 2020 (291,000 m3). On 21 June two explosions were recorded at 0913 and 0927; the first explosion lasted less than six minutes while the second was less than two minutes. A dense, gray ash plume reached 6 km above the crater drifting S, W, and SW according to the Darwin VAAC notice and CCTV station (figure 97), which resulted in ashfall in the districts of Magelang, Kulonprogo, and as far as the Girimulyo District (45 km). During 21-22 June the gas-and-steam emissions rose to a maximum height of 6 km above the crater. The morphology of the summit crater had slightly changed by 22 June. Based on photos from the Ngepos Post, about 19,000 m3 of material had been removed from the SW part of the summit, likely near or as part of the crater rim. On 11 and 26 July new measurements of the lava dome were taken, measuring 200,000 m3 on both days, based on aerial photos using drones. Gas-and-steam emissions continued through September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 97. Webcam image showed an ash plume rising 6 km above the crater of Merapi at 0915 on 21 June 2020. Courtesy of BPPTKG.

Geologic Background. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2,000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequent growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG), Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology (URL: http://merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/, Twitter: @BPPTKG); Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/).


Semeru (Indonesia) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

8.108°S, 112.922°E; summit elev. 3657 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes, lava flows, avalanches, and pyroclastic flows during March-August 2020

Semeru in eastern Java, Indonesia, has been erupting almost continuously since 1967 and is characterized by ash plumes, pyroclastic flows, lava flows and lava avalanches down drainages on the SE flanks. The Alert Level has remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4) since May 2012, and the public reminded to stay outside of the general 1-km radius from the summit and 4 km on the SSE flank. This report updates volcanic activity from March to August 2020, using primary information from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), and satellite data.

Activity at Semeru consisted of dominantly dense white-gray ash plumes rising 100-600 m above the crater, incandescent material that was ejected 10-50 m high and descended 300-2,000 from the summit crater, and lava flows measuring 500-1,000 m long. Two pyroclastic flows were also observed, extending 2.3 km from the summit crater in March and 2 km on 17 April.

During 1-2 March gray ash plumes rose 200-500 m above the crater, accompanied by incandescent material that was ejected 10-50 m above the Jonggring-Seloko Crater. Lava flows reaching 500-1,000 m long traveled down the Kembar, Bang, and Kobokan drainages on the S flank. During 4-10 March ash plumes up to 200 m high were interspersed with 100-m-high white gas-and-steam plumes. At the end of a 750-m-long lava flow on the S flank, a pyroclastic flow that lasted 9 minutes traveled as far as 2.3 km. During 25-31 March incandescent material found at the end of the lava flow descended 700-950 m from the summit crater (figure 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed lava avalanches descending the SSE flank on 26 March 2020. Images using short-wave infrared (SWIR, bands 12, 8A, 4) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Incandescent material continued to be observed in April, rising 10-50 m above the Jonggring-Seloko Crater. Some incandescent material descended from the ends of lava flows as far as 700-2,000 m from the summit crater. Dense white-gray ash plumes rose 100-600 m above the crater drifting N, SE, and SW. During 15-21 April incandescent lava flows traveled 500-1,000 m down the Kembar, Bang, and Kobokan drainages on the S flank. On 17 April at 0608 a pyroclastic flow was observed on the S flank in the Bang drainage measuring 2 km (figure 43). During 22-28 April lava blocks traveled 300 m from the end of lava flows in the Kembar drainage.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. A pyroclastic flow at Semeru on 17 April 2020 moving down the S flank toward Besuk Bang. Photo has been color corrected. Courtesy of PVMBG.

Similar activity continued in May, with incandescent material from lava flows in the Kembar and Kobokan drainages descending a maximum distance of 2 km during 29 April-12 May, and 200-1,200 m in the Kembar drainage during 13-27 May, accompanied by dense white-gray ash plumes rising 100-500 m above the crater drifting in different directions. White gas-and-steam plumes rose 300 m above the crater on 26-27 May. Dense white-to-gray ash plumes were visible most days during June, rising 100-500 m above the crater and drifting in various directions. During 3-9 June incandescent material from lava flows descended 200-1,600 m in the Kembar drainage.

Activity in July had decreased slightly and consisted of primarily dense white-gray ash plumes that ranged from 200-500 m above the crater and drifted W, SW, N, and S. Weather conditions often prevented visual observations. On 7 July an ash plume at 0633 rose 400 m drifting W. Similar ash activity was observed in August rising 200-500 m above the crater. On 14 and 16 August a Darwin VAAC advisory stated that white-gray ash plumes rose 300-400 m above the crater, drifting W and WSW; on 16 August a thermal anomaly was observed in satellite imagery. MAGMA Indonesia reported ash plumes were visible during 19-31 August and rose 200-400 m above the crater, drifting S and SW.

Hotspots were recorded by MODVOLC on 11, 6, and 7 days during March, April, and May, respectively, with as many as four pixels in March. Thermal activity decreased to a single hotspot in July and none in August. The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system recorded numerous thermal anomalies at the volcano during March-July; a lower number was recorded during August (figure 44). The NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide page showed high levels of sulfur dioxide above or near Semeru on 18, 24-25, and 29-31 March, and 9 April.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Thermal anomalies at Semeru detected during March-June 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Geologic Background. Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises above coastal plains to the south. Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas. A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE. Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano.

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 (Multiplatform Application for Geohazard Mitigation and Assessment in Indonesia), PVMBG, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); 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/); 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).


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

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes observed in satellite imagery during early September 2020

Kavachi is an active submarine volcano in the SW Pacific, located in the Solomon Islands south of Gatokae and Vangunu islands. Volcanism has been characterized by phreatomagmatic explosions that ejected steam, ash, and incandescent bombs. The previous report described discolored water plumes extending from a single point during early 2018 and April 2020 (BGVN 45:05); similar activity was recorded for this current reporting period covering May through September 2020 and primarily using satellite data.

Activity at Kavachi is most frequently observed through satellite images and typically consists of discolored submarine plumes. On 2 September 2020 a slight yellow discoloration in the water was observed extending E from a specific point (figure 22). Similar faint plumes continued to be recorded on 5, 7, 12, and 17 September, each of which seemed to be drifting generally E from a point source above the summit where previous activity has occurred. On 7 September the discolored plume was accompanied by white degassing and possibly agitated water on the surface at the origin point (figure 22).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Sentinel-2 satellite images of a discolored plume (light yellow) at Kavachi beginning on 2 September (top left) and continuing through 17 September 2020 (bottom right). The light blue circle on the 7 September image highlights the surface degassing and source of the discolored water plume. The white arrow on the bottom right image is pointing to the faint discolored plume. Images with “Natural color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption ends in mid-April 2020, but intermittent thermal anomalies continue

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. Presently, the caldera is underwater, except for three surrounding islands (Verlaten, Lang, and Rakata) and the active Anak Krakatau that was constructed within the 1883 caldera and has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927. 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). A larger explosion in December 2019 produced the beginnings of a new cone above the surface of crater lake (BGVN 45:02). The previous report (BGVN 45:06) described activity that included Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, and crater incandescence. This report updates information from June through September 2020 using information primarily from Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, also known as Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) and satellite data.

A VONA notice from PVMBG reported that the last eruptive event at Krakatau was reported on 17 April 2020, though the eruptive column was not observed. Activity after that was relatively low through September 2020, primarily intermittent diffuse white gas-and-steam emissions, according to PVMBG. No activity was reported during June-August, except for minor seismicity. During 11-13, 16, and 18 September, the CCTV Lava93 webcam showed intermittent white gas-and-steam emissions rising 25-50 m above the crater.

The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) graph of MODIS thermal anomaly data showed intermittent hotspots within 5 km of the crater from May through September (figure 113). Some of these thermal hotspots were also detected in Suomi NPP/VIIRS sensor data. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed faint thermal anomalies in the crater during June; no thermal activity was detected after June (figure 114).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 113. Intermittent thermal activity at Anak Krakatau from 13 October 2019-September 2020 shown on a MIROVA Low Radiative Power graph. The power of the thermal anomalies decreased after activity in April but continued intermittently through September. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 114. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing a faint thermal anomaly in the crater during 1 (left) and 11 (right) June 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/); 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); NASA Worldview (URL: https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/).


Raung (Indonesia) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Raung

Indonesia

8.119°S, 114.056°E; summit elev. 3260 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptions confirmed during 2012- 2013; lava fills inner crater in November 2014-August 2015

A massive stratovolcano in easternmost Java, Raung has over sixty recorded eruptions dating back to the late 16th Century. Explosions with ash plumes, Strombolian activity, and lava flows from a cinder cone within the 2-km-wide summit crater have been the most common activity. Visual reports of activity have often come from commercial airline flights that pass near the summit; Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) has installed webcams to monitor activity in recent years. An eruption in 2015 produced a large volume of lava within the summit crater and formed a new pyroclastic cone in the same location as the previous one. Confirmation and details of eruptions in 2012, 2013, and 2014-2015 are covered in this report with information provided by PVMBG, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), several sources of satellite data, and visitors to the volcano.

Newly available visual and satellite information confirm eruptions at Raung during October 2012-January 2013, June-July 2013, and extend the beginning of the 2015 eruption back to November 2014. The 2015 eruption was the largest in several decades; Strombolian activity was reported for many months and fresh lava flows covered the crater floor. Raung was quiet after the 2015 eruption ended in August of that year until July 2020.

Eruption during October 2012-January 2013. A MODVOLC thermal alert appeared inside the summit crater of Raung on 14 October 2012, followed by another four alerts on 16 October. Multiple daily alerts were reported on many days through 8 November, most within the main crater. Single alerts appeared on 29 November and 1 December 2012 (figure 9). PVMBG raised the Alert Level on 17 October from 1 to 2 due to increased seismicity and raised it further to Level 3 on 22 October. A local news report by Aris Yanto indicted that a minor Strombolian eruption occurred inside the crater on 19 October. Strombolian activity was also observed inside the inner crater on 5 November 2012 by visitors (figure 10); they reported loud rumbling sounds that could be heard up to 15 km from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Thermal activity at Raung during October and November 2012 included multiple days of multi-pixel anomalies, with almost all activity concentrated within the summit crater. Strombolian activity was observed on 5 November. Image shows all pixels from 23 September-1 December 2012. Courtesy of MODVOLC.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Strombolian activity was observed inside the inner crater of Raung on 5 November 2012 by visitors. They reported loud rumbling sounds that could be heard up to 15 km from the crater. Photo by Galih, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

The Darwin VAAC issued an advisory of an eruption plume to 9.1 km altitude reported at 0237 UTC on 8 November 2012. In a second advisory about two hours later they noted that an ash plume was not visible in satellite imagery. A press article released by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) indicated that gray ash plumes were observed on 6 January 2013 that rose 300 m above the summit crater rim. Incandescence was observed around the crater and thundering explosions were heard by nearby residents.

Eruption during June-July 2013. Two MODVOLC thermal alerts were measured inside the summit crater on 29 June 2013. A photo taken on 21 July showed minor Strombolian activity at the inner crater (figure 11). A weak SO2 anomaly was detected in the vicinity of Raung by the OMI instrument on the Aura satellite on 27 July. Thermal alerts were recorded on 29 and 31 July. When Google Earth imageryrom 14 March 2011 created by Maxar Technologies is compared with imagery from 29 July 2013 captured by Landsat/Copernicus, dark tephra is filling the inner crater in the 2013 image; it was not present in 2011 (figure 12).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Strombolian activity was observed inside the inner crater at the summit of Raung on 21 July 2013. Photo by Agus Kurniawan, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Satellite imagery from Google Earth showing the eroded pyroclastic cone inside the summit crater of Raung on 14 March 2011 (left) and 29 July 2013 (right). Dark tephra deposits filling the inner crater in the 2013 image were not present in 2011. The crater of the pyroclastic cone is 200 m wide; N is to the top of the images. Courtesy of Google Earth.

Eruption during November 2014-August 2015. Information about this eruption was previously reported (BGVN 41:12), but additional details are provided here. Landsat-8 imagery from 28 October 2014 indicated clear skies and little activity within the summit crater. Local observers reported steam plumes beginning in mid-November (figure 13). MODVOLC thermal alerts within the summit crater were issued on 28 and 30 November, and then 15 alerts were issued on seven days in December. Thermal Landsat-8 imagery from cloudy days on 29 November and 15 December indicated an anomaly over the area of the pyroclastic cone inside the summit crater (figure 14).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Local observers reported steam plumes at Raung beginning in mid-November 2014; this one was photographed on 17 November 2014. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Satellite evidence of new eruptive activity at Raung first appeared on 29 November 2014. The true color-pansharpened Landsat-8 image of Raung from 28 October 2014 (left) shows the summit crater and an eroded pyroclastic cone with its own crater (the inner crater) with no apparent activity. Although dense meteoric clouds on 29 November (center) and 15 December 2014 (right) blocked true color imagery, thermal imagery indicated a thermal anomaly from the center of the pyroclastic cone on both dates. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

In January 2015 the MODVOLC system identified 25 thermal anomalies in MODIS data, with a peak of eight alerts on 8 January. Visitors to the summit crater on 6 January witnessed explosions from the inner crater approximately every 40 minutes that produced gas and small amounts of ash and tephra. They reported lava flowing continuously from the inner crater onto the larger crater floor, and incandescent activity was seen at night (figure 15). Landsat-8 images from 16 January showed a strong thermal anomaly covering an area of fresh lava (figure 16).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Visitors to the summit crater of Raung on 6 January 2015 witnessed explosions from the inner crater approximately every 40 minutes that produced abundant gas and small amounts of ash and tephra. Lava was flowing continuously from the inner crater onto the larger crater floor, and incandescent activity was observed at night. Photos by Sofya Klimova, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. On a clear 16 January 2015, Landsat-8 satellite imagery revealed fresh lava flows NW of the pyroclastic cone within the summit crater at Raung. A strong thermal anomaly matches up with the dark material, suggesting that it flowed NW from within the pyroclastic cone. Left image is true color-pansharpened rendering, right image is thermal rendering. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Satellite images were obscured by meteoric clouds during February 2015, but PVMBG reported gray and brown plumes rising 300 m multiple times and incandescence and rumbling on 14 February. Visitors to the summit crater during the second half of February reported Strombolian activity with lava fountains from the inner crater, at times as frequently as every 15 minutes (figure 17). Loud explosions and rumbling were heard 10-15 km away. MODVOLC thermal alerts stopped on 25 February and did not reappear until late June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. A report issued on 25 February 2015 from visitors to the summit of Ruang noted large Strombolian explosions with incandescent ejecta and lava flowing across the crater floor. The fresh lava on the crater floor covered a noticeably larger area than that shown in early January (figure 15). Photo by Andi, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

PVMBG raised the Alert Level to 2 in mid-March 2015. Weak thermal anomalies located inside and NW of the pyroclastic cone were present in satellite imagery on 21 March. PVMBG reported gray and brown emissions during March, April, and May rising as high as 300 m above the crater. Landsat imagery from 22 April showed a small emission inside the pyroclastic cone, and on 8 May showed a clearer view of the fresh black lava NW and SW of the pyroclastic cone (figure 18).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Fresh lava was visible in Landsat-8 satellite imagery in April and May 2015 at Raung. A small emission was present inside the pyroclastic cone at the summit of Raung on 22 April 2015 (left). Fresh dark material is also evident in the SW quadrant of the summit crater that was not visible on 16 January 2015. A clear view on 8 May 2015 also shows the extent of the fresh black material around the pyroclastic cone (right). The summit crater is 2 km wide. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Nine MODVOLC thermal alerts appeared inside the summit crater on 21 June 2015 after no alerts since late February, suggesting an increase in activity. The Darwin VAAC issued the first ash advisory for 2015 on 24 June noting an aviation report of recent ash. The following day the Ujung Pandang Meteorological Weather Office (MWO) reported an ash emission drifting W at 3.7 km altitude. The same day, 25 June, Landsat-8 imagery clearly showed a new lava flow on the W side of the crater and a strong thermal anomaly. The thermal data showed a point source of heat widening SW from the center of the crater and a second point source of heat that appeared to be inside the pyroclastic cone. A small ash plume was visible over the cone (figure 19). Strombolian activity and ash plumes were reported by BNPB and PVMBG in the following days. On 26 June the Darwin VAAC noted the hotspot had remained visible in infrared imagery for several days. PVMBG reported an ash emission to 3 km altitude on 29 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. A new lava flow and strong thermal anomaly appeared inside the summit crater of Raung on 25 June 2015 in Landsat-8 imagery. The new flow was visible on the W side of the crater. The darker area extending SW from the rising ash plume is a shadow. The thermal data showed a point source of heat widening SW from the center of the crater and spreading out in the SW quadrant and a second point source of heat on the flank of the pyroclastic cone. Left image is True color-pansharpened rendering, and right image is thermal rendering. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity increased significantly during July 2015 (BGVN 41:12). Ash plumes rose as high as 6.7 km altitude and drifted hundreds of kilometers in multiple directions, forcing multiple shutdowns at airports on Bali and Lombok, as well as Banyuwangi and Jember in East Java. The Darwin VAAC issued 152 ash advisories during the month. Ashfall was reported up to 20 km W during July and 20-40 km SE during early August. Visitors to the summit in early July observed a new pyroclastic cone growing inside the inner crater from incandescent ejecta and dense ash emissions (figure 20). Landsat-8 imagery from 11 July showed a dense ash plume drifting SE, fresh black lava covering the 2-km-wide summit caldera floor, and a very strong thermal anomaly most intense at the center near the pyroclastic cone and cooler around the inner edges of the crater (figure 21). On 12 July, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a view of an ash-and-gas plume drifting hundreds of kilometers SE from Raung (figure 22).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. A new pyroclastic cone was growing inside the inner crater at the summit of Raung when photographed by Aris Yanto in early July 2015. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Landsat-8 imagery of Raung during July 2015 indicated dense ash emissions and a large thermal anomaly caused by fresh lava. On 11 July a dense ash plume drifted SE and a strong thermal anomaly was centered inside the summit crater. The 2-km-wide crater floor was covered with fresh lava (compare with 25 June image in figure 19). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. On 12 July 2015 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a natural-color view of a plume of ash and volcanic gases drifting hundreds of kilometers SE from Raung. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

A satellite image on 20 July showed fresh incandescent lava covering the floor of the summit crater and a dense ash plume drifting N from the summit (figure 23). Incandescent ejecta emerged from two vents on the new pyroclastic cone inside the inner crater on 26 July (figure 24). On 27 July a dense ash plume was visible again in satellite imagery drifting NW and the hottest part of the thermal anomaly was in the SE quadrant of the crater (figure 25). Substantial SO2 plumes were recorded by the OMI instrument on the Aura satellite during July and early August 2015 (figure 26).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. A satellite image of the summit of Raung on 20 July 2015 showed fresh, incandescent lava covering the floor of the summit crater and a dense ash plume drifting N from the summit. Thermal activity on the NE flank was likely the result of incandescent ejecta from the crater causing a fire. Image created by DigitalGlobe, captured by WorldView3, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Incandescent ejecta emerged from two vents on the new pyroclastic cone growing inside the inner crater of Raung on 26 July 2015. Photo by Vianney Tricou, used with permission, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Landsat-8 imagery of Raung during July 2015 indicated dense ash emissions and large thermal anomalies from fresh lava. The 2-km-wide crater floor was fully covered with fresh lava by 11 July. On 27 July the dense ash plume was drifting NW and the highest heat was concentrated in the SE quadrant of the crater. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Substantial plumes of sulfur dioxide from Raung were measured by the OMI instrument on the AURA satellite during July and August 2015. The first plumes were measured in mid-June; they intensified during the second half of July and the first week of August, but had decreased by mid-August. Wind directions were highly variable throughout the period. The date is recorded above each image. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Page.

Significant ash emissions continued into early August 2015 with numerous flight cancellations. The Darwin VAAC reported ash plumes rising to 5.2 km altitude and extending as far as 750 km SE during the first two weeks in August (figure 27). Satellite imagery indicated a small ash plume drifting W from the center of the crater on 12 August and weak thermal anomalies along the E and S rim of the floor of the crater (figure 28). The summit crater was covered with fresh lava on 14 August when viewed by visitors, and ash emissions rose a few hundred meters above the crater rim from a vent in the SW side of the pyroclastic cone (figure 29). The visitors observed pulsating ash emissions rising from the SW vent on the large double-crater new cinder cone. The larger vent to the NE was almost entirely inactive except for two small, weakly effusive vents on its inner walls.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. A dense ash plume drifted many kilometers S from Raung on 2 August 2015 in this view from nearly 100 km W. Incandescence at the summit indicated ongoing activity from the major 2015 eruption. In the foreground is Lamongan volcano whose last known eruption occurred in 1898. Courtesy of Øystein Lund Andersen, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Landsat-8 satellite imagery of Raung indicated a small ash plume drifting W from the center of the crater on 12 August 2015. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. The summit crater of Raung on 14 August 2015 was filled with fresh lava from an eruption that began in November 2014. Ash emissions from a vent in the side of the newly grown pyroclastic cone within the crater rose a few hundred meters above the crater rim. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

The lengthy sequence of multiple daily VAAC reports that began in late June ended on 16 August 2015 with reports becoming more intermittent and ash plume heights rising to only 3.7-3.9 km altitude. Multiple discontinuous eruptions to 3.9 km altitude were reported on 18 August. The plumes extended about 100 km NW. The last report of an ash plume was from an airline on 22 August noting a low-level plume 50 km NW. Two MODVOLC alerts were issued that day. By 28 August only a very small steam plume was present at the center of the crater; the southern half of the edge of the crater floor still had small thermal anomalies (figure 30). The last single MODVOLC thermal alerts were on 29 August and 7 September. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 on 24 August 2015, and further lowered to 1 on 20 October 2016.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. By 28 August 2015 only a very small steam plume was present at the center of the summit crater of Raung, and the southern half of the edge of the crater floor only had weak thermal anomalies from cooling lava. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Raung, one of Java's most active volcanoes, is a massive stratovolcano in easternmost Java that was constructed SW of the rim of Ijen caldera. The unvegetated summit is truncated by a dramatic steep-walled, 2-km-wide caldera that has been the site of frequent historical eruptions. A prehistoric collapse of Gunung Gadung on the W flank produced a large debris avalanche that traveled 79 km, reaching nearly to the Indian Ocean. Raung contains several centers constructed along a NE-SW line, with Gunung Suket and Gunung Gadung stratovolcanoes being located to the NE and W, respectively.

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/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/); 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/); 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/);Google Earth (URL: https://www.google.com/earth/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/, https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/86213/eruption-of-raung-volcano); Tom Pfeiffer, Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/); Aris Yanto (URL: https://www.exploredesa.com/2012/11/mount-raung-produce-of-vulcanic-ash-plume-and-continue-eruption/); DigitalGlobe (URL: https://www.maxar.com/, https://twitter.com/Maxar/status/875449111398547457); Øystein Lund Andersen (URL: https://twitter.com/OysteinVolcano/status/1194879946042142726, http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com).


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian activity, gas-and-steam and ash plumes, and a lava flow during June-early July 2020

Klyuchevskoy is a frequently active stratovolcano located in northern Kamchatka. Historical eruptions dating back 3,000 years have included more than 100 flank eruptions with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks. The previous report (BGVN 45:06) described ash plumes, nighttime incandescence, and Strombolian activity. Strombolian activity, ash plumes, and a strong lava flow continued. This report updates activity from June through August 2020 using weekly and daily reports from the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory (VAAC), and satellite data.

Moderate explosive-effusive activity continued in June 2020, with Strombolian explosions, frequent gas-and-steam emissions that contained some amount of ash, and an active lava flow. On 1 June a gas-and-steam plume containing some ash extended up to 465 km SE and E. The lava flow descended the SE flank down the Apakhonchich chute (figure 43). Occasionally, phreatic explosions accompanied the lava flow as it interacted with snow. Intermittent ash plumes, reported throughout the month by KVERT using video and satellite data and the Tokyo VAAC using HIMAWARI-8 imagery, rose to 5.5-6.7 km altitude and drifted in different directions up to 34 km from the volcano. On 12 and 30 June ash plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 6.7 km. On 19 June, 28-30 June, and 1-3 July some collapses were detected alongside the lava flow as it continued to advance down the SE flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Gray ash plumes (left) and a lava flow descending the Apakhonchich chute on the SE flank, accompanied by a dark ash plume and Strombolian activity (right) were observed at the summit of Klyuchevskoy on 10 June 2020. Courtesy of E. Saphonova, IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

During 1-3 July moderate Strombolian activity was observed, accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions containing ash and a continuous lava flow traveling down the Apakhonchich chute on the SE flank. On 1 July a Tokyo VAAC advisory reported an ash plume rising to 6 km altitude and extending SE. On 3 July the activity sharply decreased. KVERT reported there was some residual heat leftover from the lava flow and Strombolian activity that continued to cool through at least 13 July; KVERT also reported frequent gas-and-steam emissions, which contained a small amount of ash through 5 July, rising from the summit crater (figure 44). The weekly KVERT report on 16 July stated that the eruption had ended on 3 July 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Fumarolic activity continued in the summit crater of Klyuchevskoy on 7 July 2020. Courtesy of KSRS ME, Russia, KVERT.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows frequent and strong thermal activity within 5 km of the summit crater from March through June followed by a sharp and sudden decline in early July (figures 45). A total of six weak thermal anomalies were detected between July and August. According to the MODVOLC thermal algorithm, a total of 111 thermal alerts were detected at or near the summit crater from 1 June to 1 July, a majority of which were due to the active lava flow on the SE flank and Strombolian explosions in the crater. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery frequently showed the active lava flow descending the SE flank as a strong thermal anomaly, sometimes even through weather clouds (figure 46). These thermal anomalies were also recorded by the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity data on a MIROVA graph, showing a strong cluster during June to early July, followed by a sharp decrease and then a hiatus in activity (figure 47).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Thermal activity at Klyuchevskoy was frequent and strong during February through June 2020, according to the MIROVA graph (Log Radiative Power). Activity sharply decreased during July through August with six low-power thermal anomalies. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images show the strong and persistent lava flow (bright yellow-orange) originating from the summit crater at Klyuchevskoy from 1 June through 1 July 2020. The lava flow was active in the Apakhonchich chute on the SE flank. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 47. Strong clusters of thermal anomalies were detected in the summit at Klyuchevskoy (red dots) during January through June 2020, as recorded by the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity data (bands 12, 11, 8A). Activity sharply decreased during July through August with few low-power thermal anomalies. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); 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/); 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/); 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).


Fuego (Guatemala) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Fuego

Guatemala

14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing explosions, ash plumes, lava flows, and lahars during April-July 2020

Fuego, located in Guatemala, is a stratovolcano that has been erupting since 2002 with historical eruptions dating back to 1531. Volcanism is characterized by major ashfalls, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and lahars. The previous report (BGVN 45:04) described recent activity that included multiple ash explosions, block avalanches, and intermittent lava flows. This report updates activity from April through July 2020 that consisted of daily explosions, ash plumes, block avalanches ashfall, intermittent lava flows, and lahars. The primary source of information comes from the Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

Summary of activity during April-July 2020. Daily activity throughout April-July 2020 was characterized by multiple hourly explosions, ash plumes that rose to a maximum of 4.9 km altitude, incandescent pulses that reached 600 m above the crater, block avalanches into multiple drainages, and ashfall affecting nearby communities (table 21). The highest rate of explosions occurred on 2 and 3 April and 2 May with up to 16 explosions per hour. White degassing occurred frequently during the reporting period, rising to a maximum altitude of 4.5 km and drifting in multiple directions. Intermittent lava flows were observed each month in the Seca (Santa Teresa) and Ceniza drainages (figure 132); the number of flows decreased in June through July, which is represented in the MIROVA analysis of MODIS satellite data, where the strength and frequency of thermal activity slightly decreased (figure 133). Occasional lahars were detected descending several drainages on the W and SE flanks, sometimes carrying tree branches and large blocks up to 1 m in diameter.

Table 21. Activity summary by month for Fuego with information compiled from INSIVUMEH daily reports.

Month Number of explosions per hour Ash plume heights (km) Ash plume distance (km) and direction Drainages affected by block avalanches Villages reporting ashfall
Apr 2020 5-16 4.3-4.9 km 8-20 km E, NE, SE, W, NW, SW, S, N Taniluyá, Ceniza, Las Lajas, Trinidad, Seca, Honda, and Santa Teresa Morelia, Panimaché I and II, Sangre de Cristo, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, San Pedro Yepocapa, Las Cruces Quisache, La Rochela, Ceylan, and Osuna
May 2020 4-16 4.3-4.9 km 10-17 km S, SW, W, N, NE, E, SE Trinidad, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Las Lajas, Santa Teresa, Seca, and Honda Panimaché I, La Rochela, Ceilán, Morelia, San Andrés Osuna, Finca Palo Verde, Santa Sofía, Seilán, San Pedro Yepocapa, Alotenango, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas, and Antigua Guatemala
Jun 2020 3-15 4.2-4.9 km 10-25.9 km E, SE, S, N, NE, W, SW, NW Seca, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Santa Teresa and Honda San Pedro Yepocapa, Sangre de Cristo, Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir, Yucales, Santa Emilia, Santa Sofía
Jul 2020 1-15 4-4.9 km 10-24 km W, NW, SW, S, NE Trinidad, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Honda, Las Lajas, Seca, and Santa Teresa Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, and El Porvenir
Figure (see Caption) Figure 132. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Fuego between 9 April 2020 and 13 July 2020 showing lava flows (bright yellow-orange) traveling generally S and W from the summit crater. Some lava flows were accompanied by gas emissions (9 April, 9 May, and 24 May 2020). Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 133. Thermal activity at Fuego was persistent and strong from 16 September through late May 2020, according to the MIROVA graph (Log Radiative Power). From early to mid-June activity seemed to stop briefly before resuming again at a lower rate. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity during April-May 2020. Activity in April 2020 consisted of 5-16 explosions per hour, generating ash plumes that rose 4.3-4.9 km altitude and drifted 8-20 km in multiple directions. Ashfall was reported in Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW), Las Cruces Quisache (8 km NW), La Rochela, Ceylan, Osuna (12 km SW). The Washington VAAC issued multiple aviation advisories for a total of six days in April. Intermittent white gas-and-steam emissions reached 4.1-4.5 km altitude drifting in multiple directions. Incandescent ejecta was frequently observed rising 75-400 m above the crater; material ejected up to 600 m above the crater on 11 April. These constant explosions produced block avalanches that traveled down the Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza (SSW), Las Lajas (SE), Trinidad (S), Seca (W), Honda, and Santa Teresa (W) drainages. Effusive activity was reported on 6-13 and 15 April from the summit vent, traveling 150-800 m down the Ceniza drainage, accompanied by block avalanches in the front of the flow up to 1 km. Crater incandescence was also observed.

On 19-20 April a new lava flow descended the Ceniza drainage measuring 200-400 long, generating incandescent block avalanches at the front of the flow that moved up to 1 km. On 22 April lahars descended the Honda, Las Lajas, El Juté (SE), Trinidad, Ceniza, Taniluyá, Mineral, and Seca drainages and tributaries in Guacalate, Achiguate, and Pantaleón. During the evening of 23 April the rate of effusive activity increased; observatory staff observed a second lava flow in the Seca drainage was 170 m long and incandescent blocks from the flow traveled up to 600 m. Two lava flows in the Ceniza (130-400 m) and Seca (150-800 m) drainages continued from 23-28 April and had stopped by 30 April. On 30 April weak and moderate explosions produced ash plumes that rose 4.5-4.7 km altitude drifting S and SE, resulting in fine ashfall in Panimaché I, Morelia, Santa Sofía (figure 134).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 134. Photo of a small ash plume rising from Fuego on 30 April 2020. Photo has been slightly color corrected. Courtesy of William Chigna, CONRED.

During May 2020, the rate of explosion remained similar, with 4-16 explosions per hour, which generated gray ash plumes that rose 4.3-4.9 km altitude and drifted 10-17 km generally W and E. Ashfall was observed in Panimaché I, La Rochela, Ceilán, Morelia, San Andrés Osuna, Finca Palo Verde, Santa Sofía, Seilán, San Pedro Yepocapa, Alotenango (8 km ENE), Ciudad Vieja (13.5 km NE), San Miguel Dueñas (10 km NE), and Antigua Guatemala (18 km NE). The Washington VAAC issued volcanic ash advisory notices on six days in May. White gas-and-steam emissions continued, rising 4-4.5 km altitude drifting in multiple directions. Incandescent ejecta rose 100-400 m above the crater, accompanied by some crater incandescence and block avalanches in the Trinidad, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Las Lajas, Santa Teresa, Seca, and Honda drainages that moved up to 1 km and sometimes reached vegetated areas.

During 8-11 May a new 400 m long lava flow was detected in the Ceniza drainage, accompanied by constant crater incandescence and block avalanches traveling up to 1 km, according to INSIVUMEH. On 8 and 17 May moderate to strong lahars descended the Santa Teresa and Mineral drainages on the W flank and on 21 May they descended the Las Lajas drainage on the E flank and the Ceniza drainage on the SW flank. During 20-24 May a 100-400 m long lava flow was reported in the Ceniza drainage alongside degassing and avalanches moving up to 1 km and during 25-26 May a 150 m long lava flow was reported in the Seca drainage.

Activity during June-July 2020. The rate of explosions in June 2020 decreased slightly to 3-15 per hour, generating gray ash plumes that rose 4.2-4.9 km altitude and drifted 10-26 km in multiple directions (figure 135). As a result, intermittent ashfall was reported in San Pedro Yepocapa, Sangre de Cristo, Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Yucales (12 km SW), Santa Emilia, Santa Sofia, according to INSIVUMEH. VAAC advisories were published on eight days in June. Degassing persisted in the summit crater that rose 4.1-4.5 km altitude extending in different directions. Crater incandescence was observed occasionally, as well as incandescent pulses that rose 100-300 m above the crater. Block avalanches were observed descending the Seca, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Santa Teresa, and Honda drainages, which could sometimes carry blocks up to 1 km in diameter.

On 2 June at 1050 a weak to moderate lahar was observed in the Las Lajas drainage on the SE flank. On 5 June, more lahars were detected in the Seca and Mineral drainages on the W flanks. A new lava flow was detected on 12 June, traveling 250 m down the Seca drainage on the NW flank, and accompanied by constant summit crater incandescence and gas emissions. The flow continued into 14 June, lengthening up to 300 m long. On 24 June weak and moderate explosions produced ash plumes that rose 4.3-4.7 km altitude drifting W and SW (figure 135). On 29 June at 1300 a weak lahar was reported in the Seca, Santa Teresa, and Mineral drainages on the W flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 135. Examples of small ash plumes at Fuego on 15 (left) and 24 (right) June 2020. Courtesy of William Chigna, CONRED.

Daily explosions and ash plumes continued through July 2020, with 1-15 explosions per hour and producing consistent ash plumes 4-4.9 km altitude drifting generally W for 10-24 km. These explosions resulted in block avalanches that descended the Trinidad, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Honda, Las Lajas, Seca, and Santa Teresa drainages. The number of white gas emissions decrease slightly compared to previous months and 4-4.4 km altitude. VAAC advisories were distributed on twenty different days in July. Incandescent ejecta was observed rising 100-350 m above the crater. Occasional ashfall was observed in Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, and El Porvenir, according to INSIVUMEH.

On 4 July in the early morning, a lava flow began in the Seca drainage, which also produced some fine ash particles that drifted W. The lava flow continued into 5 July, measuring 150 m long. On the same day, weak to moderate lahars traveled only 20 m, carrying tree branches and blocks measuring 30 cm to 1 m. On 14, 24, and 29 July more lahars were generated in the Las Lajas drainages on the former date and both the Las Lajas and El Jute drainages on the two latter dates.

Geologic Background. Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is also one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between Fuego and Acatenango to the north. Construction of Meseta dates back to about 230,000 years and continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. Collapse of Meseta may have produced the massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit, which extends about 50 km onto the Pacific coastal plain. Growth of the modern Fuego volcano followed, continuing the southward migration of volcanism that began at the mostly andesitic Acatenango. Eruptions at Fuego have become more mafic with time, and most historical activity has produced basaltic rocks. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hydrologia (INSIVUMEH), Unit of Volcanology, Geologic Department of Investigation and Services, 7a Av. 14-57, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/); 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); William Chigna, CONRED (URL: https://twitter.com/william_chigna).


Nishinoshima (Japan) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Nishinoshima

Japan

27.247°N, 140.874°E; summit elev. 25 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Major June-July eruption of lava, ash, and sulfur dioxide; activity declines in August 2020

Japan’s Nishinoshima volcano, located about 1,000 km S of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Arc, erupted above sea level in November 2013 after 40 years of dormancy. Activity lasted through November 2015 and returned during mid-2017, continuing the growth of the island with ash plumes, ejecta, and lava flows. A short eruptive event in July 2018 produced a small lava flow and vent on the side of the pyroclastic cone. The next eruption of ash plumes, incandescent ejecta, and lava flows began in early December 2019, resulting in significant growth of the island. This report covers the ongoing activity from March-August 2020 when activity decreased. Information is provided primarily from Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) monthly reports and the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), which makes regular overflights to make observations.

Renewed eruptive activity that began on 5 December 2019 continued during March-August 2020 but appeared to wane by the end of August. Major lava flows covered all sides of the island, with higher levels of activity during late June and early July. Ash emissions increased significantly during June and produced dense black ash plumes that rose up to 6 km altitude in early July. Explosive activity produced lightning and incandescent jets that rose 200 m and large bombs that fell to the base of the pyroclastic cone. Lava flow activity diminished at the end of July. Ash emissions decreased throughout August and appeared to cease after 27 August 2020. The MIROVA plot clearly reflects the high levels of thermal activity between December 2019 and August 2020 (figure 80); this event was reported by JMA as the largest eruption recorded to date. Sulfur dioxide emissions were very high during late June through early August, producing emissions that drifted across much of the western Pacific region.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. The MIROVA plot of thermal activity at Nishinoshima from 14 October 2019 through August 2020 indicates the high levels between early December 2019 and late July 2020 that resulted from the eruption of numerous lava flows on all flanks of the pyroclastic cone, significantly enlarging the island. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) conducted overflights of Nishinoshima on 9 and 15 March 2020 (figure 81). During both visits they observed eruptive activity from the summit crater, including ash emissions that rose to an altitude of approximately 1,000 m and lava flowing down the N and SE flanks (figure 82). Large ejecta was scattered around the base of the pyroclastic cone. The lava flowing north had reached the coast and was producing vigorous steam as it entered the water on 9 March; whitish gas emissions were visible on the N flank of the cone at the source of the lava flow (figure 83). On 9 March yellow-green discolored water was noted off the NE shore. The lava flow on the SE coast produced a small amount of steam at the ocean entry point and a strong signal in thermal imagery on 15 March (figure 84). Multiple daily MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued during 1-10, 17-24, and 27-30 March. Landsat-8 visual and thermal imagery on 30 March 2020 confirmed that thermal anomalies on the N and SE flanks of the volcano continued.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. The Japan Coast Guard conducted an overflight of Nishinoshima on 9 March 2020 and observed ash emissions rising 1,000 m above the summit and lava flowing into the ocean off the N flank of the island. Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard (JCG) and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. Lava flows at Nishinoshima during February and March 2020 were concentrated on the N and SE flanks. The areas in blue indicate topographical changes due to lava flows and pyroclastic deposits from the previous measurement. The growth of the SE-flank flow decreased during March while the N-flank flow rate increased significantly. Left image shows changes between 14 and 28 February and right image shows the differences between 28 February and 13 March. The correlated image analysis uses ALOS-2 / PALSAR-2 and is carried out with the cooperation of JAXA through the activities of the Satellite Analysis Group of the Volcano Eruption Prediction Liaison Committee. The software was developed by the Japan National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention and uses the technical data C1-No 478 of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Courtesy of JAXA and JMA (Volcanic activity commentary material on Nishinoshima, March 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Vigorous steam emissions on the N flank of Nishinoshima on 9 March 2020 were caused by the active flow on the N flank. Whitish steam and gas midway up the flank indicated the outlet of the flow. Ash emissions rose from the summit crater and drifted E. Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. Infrared imagery from 15 March 2020 at Nishinoshima showed the incandescent lava flow on the SE flank (foreground), blocks of ejecta scattered around the summit and flanks of the pyroclastic cone, and the active N-flank flow (left). Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard and JMA.

Ash emissions were not observed at Nishinoshima during JCG overflights on 6, 16, and 19 April 2020, but gas-and-steam emissions were noted from the summit crater, and a yellow discoloration interpreted by JMA to be sulfur precipitation was observed near the top of the pyroclastic cone. The summit crater was larger than during previous visits. Steam plumes seen each of those days on the N and NE coasts suggested active ocean entry of lava flows (figure 85). A lava flow was observed emerging from the E flank of the cone and entering the ocean on the E coast on 19 and 29 April (figure 86). During the overflight on 29 April observers noted lava flowing southward from a vent on the E flank of the pyroclastic cone. A narrow, brown, ash plume was visible on 29 April at the summit crater rising to an altitude of about 1,500 m. Thermal observations indicated continued flow activity throughout the month. Multiple daily MODVOLC thermal alerts were recorded during 2-6, 10-11, 17-23, and 28-30 April. Significant growth of the pyroclastic cone occurred between early February and late April 2020 (figure 87).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Multiple entry points of lava flowed into the ocean producing jets of steam along the N flank of Nishinoshima on 6 April 2020. Courtesy of JCG and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Lava flowed down the E flank of Nishinoshima from a vent below the summit on 19 April 2020. The ocean entry produced a vigorous steam plume (left). Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. The pyroclastic cone at Nishinoshima grew significantly in size between 4 February (left), 9 March (middle), and 19 April 2020 (right). View is to the E. Courtesy of JMA and JCG.

Infrared satellite imagery from 17 May 2020 showed a strong thermal anomaly at the summit and hot spots on the NW flank indicative of flows. Visible imagery confirmed emissions at the summit and steam plumes on the NW flank (figure 88). Gray ash plumes rose to about 1,800 m altitude on 18 May during the only overflight of the month made by the Japan Coast Guard. In addition, white gas emissions rose from around the summit area and large blocks of ejecta were scattered around the base of the pyroclastic cone (figure 89). Steam from ocean-entry lava on the N flank was reduced from previous months, but a new flow moving NW into the ocean was generating a steam plume and a strong thermal signature. Multi-pixel thermal alerts were measured by the MODVOLC system on 1-3, 9-10, 13-15, 18, and 26-30 May. Sulfur dioxide emissions had been weak and intermittent from March through early May 2020 but became more persistent during the second half of May. Although modest in size, the plumes were detectible hundreds of kilometers away from the volcano (figure 90).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. Landsat-8 satellite imagery of Nishinoshima from 17 May 2020 confirmed continued eruptive activity. Visible imagery showed emissions at the summit and steam plumes on the NW flank (left) and infrared imagery showed a strong thermal anomaly at the summit and anomalies on the NW flank indicative of lava flows (right). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. Lava continued to enter the ocean at Nishinoshima during May 2020. A new lava flow on the NW flank produced a strong steam plume at an ocean entry (left) on 18 May 2020. In addition to a light gray plume of gas and ash, steaming blocks of ejecta were visible on the flanks of the pyroclastic cone. The strong thermal signature of the NW-flank flow in infrared imagery that same day showed multiple new lobes flowing to the ocean (right). Courtesy of JCG and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Small but distinct SO2 emissions from Nishinoshima were recorded by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite during the second half of May 2020. The plumes drifted tens to hundreds of kilometers away from the volcano in multiple directions as the wind directions changed. Nishinoshima is about 1,000 kilometers S of Tokyo. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Activity increased significantly during June 2020. Satellite imagery from 2 June revealed two intense thermal anomalies at the summit indicating a new crater, and lava flows active on the NW and NE flanks, all showing gas or steam emissions (figure 91). Dense brown and gray ash emissions were observed rising from the summit crater during JCG overflights on 7 and 15 June (figure 92). Plumes reached at least 1,500 m altitude, and ejecta reached the base of the pyroclastic cone. Between 5 and 19 June the lava flow on the WNW coast slowed significantly, while the flows to the N and E became significantly more active (figure 93). The Tokyo VAAC reported the first ash plume since mid-February on 12 June rose to 2.1 km and drifted NE. On 14 June they reported an ash plume extending E at 2.7 km altitude. Dense emissions continued to drift N and E at 2.1-2.7 km altitude until the last week of the month. The JCG overflight on 19 June observed darker ash emissions than two weeks earlier that drifted at least 180 km NE (figure 94) and incandescent tephra that exploded from the enlarged summit area where three overlapping craters trending E-W had formed.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. Landsat-8 satellite imagery on 2 June 2020 confirmed ongoing activity at Nishinoshima. Lava produced ocean-entry steam on the NE coast; a weak plume on the NW coast suggested reduced activity in that area (left). In addition, a dense steam plume drifted E from the summit, while a fainter plume adjacent to it also drifted E. The infrared image (right) indicated two intense anomalies at the summit, and weaker anomalies from lava flows on the NW and NE flanks. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. Lava flows at Nishinoshima entered the ocean on the N and NE coasts (left) on 7 June 2020, and dense, gray ash emissions rose to at least 1,500 m altitude. Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 93. The lava flow on the WNW coast of Nishinoshima slowed significantly in early June 2020, while the flows to the N and E covered large areas of those flanks between 5 and 19 June. The areas in blue indicate topographical changes due to lava flows and pyroclastic deposits from the previous measurement. Left image shows the differences between 22 May and 5 June and right image shows changes between 5 and 19 June. The correlated image analysis uses ALOS-2 / PALSAR-2 and is carried out with the cooperation of JAXA through the activities of the Satellite Analysis Group of the Volcano Eruption Prediction Liaison Committee. The software was developed by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention and uses the technical data C1-No 478 of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Courtesy of JAXA and JMA (Volcanic activity commentary material on Nishinoshima, June 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 94. Ash emissions and explosive activity at Nishinoshima increased significantly during the second half of June. Dense black ash rose to 2.4 km altitude and drifted at least 180 km to the NE on 19 June 2020. Vigorous white steam plumes rose from the ocean on the E flank where a lava flow entered the ocean. Courtesy of JCG.

The Tokyo VAAC reported ash emissions that rose to 4.6 km altitude and drifted NE on 25 June. For the remainder of the month they rose to 2.7-3.9 km altitude and drifted N and NE. By the time of the JCG overflight on 29 June, the new crater that had opened on the SW flank had merged with the summit crater (figure 95). Dense black ash emissions rose to 3.4 km altitude and drifted NE, lava flowed down the SW flank into the ocean producing violent steam explosions, and incandescent tephra was scattered at least 200 m from the base of the pyroclastic cone from ongoing explosive activity (figure 96). Multiple layers of recent flow activity were visible along the SW coast (figure 97). Yellow-green discolored water encircled the entire island with a width of 1,000 m.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 95. The new crater on the SW flank of Nishinoshima had merged with the summit crater by 29 June 2020. Courtesy of JCG and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. Dense black ash emissions rose to 3.4 km altitude and drifted NE from the summit of Nishinoshima on 29 June 2020. Lava flowed down the SW flank into the ocean producing steam explosions, and incandescent tephra was scattered at least 200 m from the base of the pyroclastic cone from ongoing explosive activity at the summit (inset). Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 97. Different textures of lava flows were visible along the SW flank of Nishinoshima on 29 June 2020. The active flow appeared dark brown and blocky, and produced steam explosions at the ocean entry site (right). Slightly older, brownish-red lava (center) still produced steam along the coastline. Courtesy of JCG.

MODVOLC thermal alerts reached their highest levels of the period during June 2020 with multi-pixel alerts recorded on most days of the month. Sulfur dioxide emissions increased steadily throughout June to the highest levels recorded for Nishinoshima; by the end of the month plumes of SO2 were drifting thousands of kilometers across the Pacific Ocean and being captured in complex atmospheric circulation currents (figure 98).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 98. Sulfur dioxide emissions at Nishinoshima increased noticeably during the second half of June 2020 as measured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Atmospheric circulation currents produced long-lived plumes that drifted thousands of kilometers from the volcano. Nishinoshima is 1,000 km S of Tokyo. Courtesy of NASA Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

By early July 2020, satellite data indicated that the NE quadrant of the island was covered with ash, and a large amount of new lava had flowed down the SW flank, creating fans extending into the ocean (figure 99). The Tokyo VAAC reported ash emissions that rose to 3.7-4.9 km altitude and drifted N during 1-6 July. The altitude increased to 6.1 km during 8 and 9 July, and ranged from 4.6-6.1 km during 10-14 July while the drift direction changed to NE. The marine meteorological observation ship "Ryofu Maru" reported on 11 July that dense black ash was continuously erupting from the summit crater and drifting W at 1,700 m altitude or higher. They observed large volcanic blocks scattered around the base of the pyroclastic cone, and ash falling from the drifting plume. During the night of 11 July incandescent lava and volcanic lightning rose to about 200 m above the crater rim (figure 100).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 99. By early July 2020, satellite data from Nishinoshima indicated that the NE quadrant of the island was covered with ash, and a large amount of new lava had flowed down the SW flank creating fans extending into the ocean. The areas in blue indicate topographical changes due to lava flows and pyroclastic deposits from the previous measurement. Left image shows differences between 5 and 19 June and the right image shows changes between 19 June and 3 July that included abundant ashfall on the NE flank. The correlated image analysis uses ALOS-2 / PALSAR-2 and is carried out with the cooperation of JAXA through the activities of the Satellite Analysis Group of the Volcano Eruption Prediction Liaison Committee. The software was developed by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention and uses the technical data C1-No 478 of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Courtesy of JAXA and JMA (Volcanic activity commentary material on Nishinoshima, June 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 100. High levels of activity were observed at Nishinoshima by crew members aboard the marine meteorological observation ship "Ryofu Maru” on 11 July 2020. Abundant ash emissions filled the sky and tephra fell out of the ash cloud for several kilometers downwind (left, seen from 6 km NE). Incandescent explosions rose as much as 200 m into the night sky (right, seen from 4 km E). Courtesy of JMA.

During 16-26 July 2020 the Tokyo VAAC reported ash emissions at 3.7-5.2 km altitude that drifted primarily N and NE. The vessel "Keifu Maru" passed Nishinoshima on 20 July and crewmembers observed continuing emissions from the summit of dense, black ash. JCG observed an ash plume rising to at least 2.7 km altitude during their overflight of 20 July. A large dome of fresh lava was visible on the SW flank of the island (figure 101). Lower ash emissions from 2.4-3.7 km altitude were reported by the Tokyo VAAC during 27-29 July, but the altitude increased to 5.5-5.8 km during the last two days of the month. During an overflight on 30 July by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, dark and light gray ash emissions rose to 3.0 km altitude, but no flowing lava or large bombs were observed. They also noted thick deposits of brownish-gray ash on the N side of the island (figure 102).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 101. JCG observed an ash plume at Nishinoshima rising to at least 2.7 km altitude during their overflight of 20 July 2020. A large dome of fresh lava was visible on the SW flank of the island. Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 102. Ash emissions changed from dark to light gray on 30 July 2020 at Nishinoshima as seen during an overflight by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention. Thick brownish-gray ash was deposited over the lava on the N side of the island. Courtesy of JMA (Information on volcanic activity in Nishinoshima, July 2020).

JMA reported a sharp decrease in the lava eruption rate during July with thermal anomalies decreasing significantly mid-month. Multiple daily MODVOLC thermal alerts were recorded during the first half of the month but were reduced to two or three per day during the last third of July. Throughout July, SO2 emissions were the highest recorded in modern times for Nishinoshima. High levels of emissions were measured daily, producing streams with high concentrations of SO2 that were caught up in rotating wind currents and drifted thousands of kilometers across the Pacific Ocean (figure 103).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 103. Complex atmospheric wind patterns carried the largest SO2 plumes recorded from Nishinoshima thousands of kilometers around the western Pacific Ocean during July 2020. Nishinoshima is about 1,000 km S of Tokyo. Top and bottom left images both show 6 July but at different scales. Courtesy of NASA Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Thermal activity was greatly reduced during August 2020. Only one or two MODVOLC alerts were issued on 11, 18, 20, 21, 29, and 30 August, and no fresh lava flows were observed. The Tokyo VAAC reported ash emissions daily from 1-20 August. Plume heights were 4.9-5.8 km altitude during 1-4 August after which they dropped to 3.9 km altitude through 15 August. A brief pulse to 4.6 km altitude was recorded on 16 August, but then they dropped to 3.0 km or lower through the end of the month and became intermittent. The last ash emission was reported at 2.7 km altitude drifting W on 27 August.

No eruptive activity was observed during the Japan Coast Guard overflights on 19 and 23 August. High temperatures were measured on the inner wall of the summit crater on 19 August (figure 104). Steam plumes rose from the summit crater to about 2.5 km altitude during both visits (figure 105). Yellow-green discolored water was present on 23 August around the NW and SW coasts. No lava flows were observed, and infrared cameras did not measure any surface thermal anomalies outside of the crater. Very high levels of SO2 emissions were measured through 12 August when they began to noticeably decrease (figure 106). By the end of the month, only small amounts of SO2 were measured in satellite data.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 104. A strong thermal anomaly was still present inside the newly enlarged summit crater at Nishinoshima on 19 August 2020. Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 105. Only steam plumes were observed rising from the summit crater of Nishinoshima during the 23 August 2020 overflight by the Japan Coast Guard. Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 106. Sulfur dioxide emissions remained very high at Nishinoshima until 12 August 2020 when they declined sharply. Circulating air currents carried SO2 thousands of kilometers around the western Pacific region. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Geologic Background. The small island of Nishinoshima was enlarged when several new islands coalesced during an eruption in 1973-74. Another eruption that began offshore in 2013 completely covered the previous exposed surface and enlarged the island again. Water discoloration has been observed on several occasions since. The island is the summit of a massive submarine volcano that has prominent satellitic peaks to the S, W, and NE. The summit of the southern cone rises to within 214 m of the sea surface 9 km SSE.

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); Japan Coast Guard (JCG), Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department, 3-1-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8932, Japan (URL: https://www1.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/GIJUTSUKOKUSAI/kaiikiDB/kaiyo18-e1.htm); 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/); 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/); Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency-Earth Observation Research Center (JAXA-EORC), 7-44-1 Jindaiji Higashi-machi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo 182-8522, Japan (URL: http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/); 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/).


Turrialba (Costa Rica) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Turrialba

Costa Rica

10.025°N, 83.767°W; summit elev. 3340 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New eruptive period on 18 June 2020 consisted of ash eruptions

Turrialba is a stratovolcano located in Costa Rica that overlooks the city of Cartago. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2,200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Activity described in the previous report primarily included weak ash explosions and minor ash emissions (BGVN 44:11). This reporting period updates information from November 2019-August 2020; volcanism dominantly consists of ash emissions during June-August, based on information from daily and weekly reports by the Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA) and satellite data.

Volcanism during November 2019 through mid-June was relatively low, dominated by low SO2 emissions (100-300 tons/day) and typical low seismic tremors. A single explosion was recorded at 1850 on 7 December 2019, and two gas-and-steam plumes rose 800 m and 300 m above the crater on 25 and 27 December, respectively. An explosion was detected on 29 January 2020 but did not result in any ejecta. An overflight during the week of 10 February measured the depth of the crater (140 m); since the previous measurements made in February 2019 (220 m), the crater has filled with 80 m of debris due to frequent collapses of the NW and SE internal crater walls. Beginning around February and into at least early May 2020 the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity graph provided by the MIROVA system detected a small cluster of thermal anomalies (figure 52). Some of these anomalies were faintly registered in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery during 10 and 25 April, with a more distinct anomaly occurring on 15 May (figure 53).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. A small cluster of thermal anomalies were detected in the summit area of Turrialba (red dots) during February-May 2020 as recorded by the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity data (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery detected minor gas-and-steam emissions (left) and a weak thermal anomaly (right) in the summit crater at Turrialba on 11 January and 15 May 2020, respectively. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

On 18 June activity increased, which marked the start of a new eruptive period that produced ash emissions rising 100 m above the crater rim at 1714, 1723, and 1818. The next morning, 19 June, two more events at 1023 and 1039 resulted in ash emissions rising 100 m above the crater. During 23-26 June small ash emissions continued to occur each day, rising no higher than 100 m above the crater. A series of small ash eruptions that rose 100 m above the crater occurred during 28 and 29 June; four events were recorded at 0821, 1348, 1739, and 2303 on 28 June and five more were recorded at 0107, 0232, 0306, 0412, and 0818 on 29 June. The two events at 0107 and 0412 were accompanied by ballistics ejected onto the N wall of the crater, according to OVSICORI-UNA.

Almost daily ash emissions continued during 1-7 July, rising less than 100 m above the crater; no ash emissions were observed on 3 July. On 6 July, gas-and-steam and ash emissions rose hundreds of meters above the crater at 0900, resulting in local ashfall. Passive gas-and-steam emissions with minor amounts of ash were occasionally visible during 9-10 July. On 14 July an eruptive pulse was observed, generating brief incandescence at 2328, which was likely associated with a small ash emission. Dilute ash emissions at 1028 on 16 July preceded an eruption at 1209 that resulted in an ash plume rising 200 m above the crater. Ash emissions of variable densities continued through 20 July rising as high as 200 m above the crater; on 20 July incandescence was observed on the W wall of the crater. An eruptive event at 0946 on 29 July produced an ash plume that rose 200-300 m above the crater rim. During 30-31 July a series of at least ten ash eruptions were detected, rising no higher than 200 m above the crater, each lasting less than ten minutes. Some incandescence was visible on the SW wall of the crater during this time.

On 1 August at 0746 an ash plume rose 500 m above the crater. During 4-5 August a total of 19 minor ash emissions occurred, accompanied by ash plumes that rose no higher than 200 m above the crater. OVSICORI-UNA reported on 21 August that the SW wall of the crater had fractured; some incandescence in the fracture zone had been observed the previous month. Two final eruptions were detected on 22 and 24 August at 1253 and 2023, respectively. The eruption on 24 August resulted in an ash plume that rose to a maximum height of 1 km above the crater.

Geologic Background. Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica's Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of Irazú volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive edifice covers an area of 500 km2. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/, https://www.facebook.com/OVSICORI/); 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).


Etna (Italy) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3320 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Effusive activity in early April; frequent Strombolian explosions and ash emissions during April-July 2020

Etna, located on the island of Sicily, Italy, is a stratovolcano that has had historical eruptions dating back 3,500 years. Its most recent eruptive period began in September 2013 and has continued through July 2020, characterized by Strombolian explosions, lava flows, and ash plumes. Activity has commonly originated from the summit areas, including the Northeast Crater (NEC), the Voragine-Bocca Nuova (or Central) complex (VOR-BN), the Southeast Crater (SEC, formed in 1978), and the New Southeast Crater (NSEC, formed in 2011). The newest crater, referred to as the "cono della sella" (saddle cone), emerged during early 2017 in the area between SEC and NSEC. Volcanism during this reporting period from April through July 2020 includes frequent Strombolian explosions primarily in the Voragine and NSEC craters, ash emissions, some lava effusions, and gas-and-steam emissions. Information primarily comes from weekly reports by the Osservatorio Etneo (OE), part of the Catania Branch of Italy's Istituo Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologica (INGV).

Summary of activity during April-July 2020. Degassing of variable intensity is typical activity from all summit vents at Etna during the reporting period. Intra-crater Strombolian explosions and ash emissions that rose to a maximum altitude of 5 km on 19 April primarily originated from the Voragine (VOR) and New Southeast Crater (NSEC) craters. At night, summit crater incandescence was occasionally visible in conjunction with explosions and degassing. During 18-19 April small lava flows were observed in the VOR and NSEC craters that descended toward the BN from the VOR Crater and the upper E and S flanks of the NSEC. On 19 April a significant eruptive event began with Strombolian explosions that gradually evolved into lava fountaining activity, ejecting hot material and spatter from the NSEC. Ash plumes that were produced during this event resulted in ashfall to the E of Etna. The flows had stopped by the end of April; activity during May consisted of Strombolian explosions in both the VOR and NSEC craters and intermittent ash plumes rising 4.5 km altitude. On 22 May Strombolian explosions in the NSEC produced multiple ash plumes, which resulted in ashfall to the S. INGV reported that the pit crater at the bottom of BN had widened and was accompanied by degassing. Explosions with intermittent ash emissions continued during June and July and were primarily focused in the VOR and NSEC craters; mild Strombolian activity in the SEC was reported in mid-July.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows multiple episodes of thermal activity throughout the reporting period (figure 296). In early April, the frequency and power of the thermal anomalies began to decrease through mid-June; in July, they had increased in power again but remained less frequent compared to activity in January through March. According to the MODVOLC thermal algorithm, a total of seven alerts were detected in the summit craters during 10 April (1), 17 April (1), 24 April (2), 10 July (1), 13 July (1), and 29 July (1) 2020. These thermal hotspots were typically registered during or after a Strombolian event. Frequent Strombolian activity contributed to distinct SO2 plumes that drifted in different directions (figure 297).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 296. Multiple episodes of varying thermal activity at Etna from 14 October 2019 through July 2020 were reflected in the MIROVA data (Log Radiative Power). In early April, the frequency and power of the thermal anomalies decreased through mid-June. In July, the thermal anomalies increased in power, but did not increase in frequency. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 297. Distinct SO2 plumes from Etna were detected on multiple days during April to July 2020 due to frequent Strombolian explosions, including, 24 April (top left), 9 May (top right), 25 June (bottom left), and 21 July (bottom right) 2020. Captured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel 5P satellite, courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Activity during April-May 2020. During April, INGV reported Strombolian explosions that produced some ash emissions and intra-crater effusive activity within the Voragine Crater (VOR) and abundant degassing from the New Southeast Crater (NSEC), Northeast Crater (NEC), and from two vents on the cono della sella (saddle cone) that were sometimes accompanied by a modest amount of ash (figure 298). At night, summit crater incandescence was observed in the cono della salla. The Strombolian activity in the VOR built intra-crater scoria cones while lava flows traveled down the S flank of the largest, main cone. On 18 April effusive activity from the main cone in the VOR Crater traveled 30 m toward the Bocca Nuova (BN) Crater; the pit crater at the bottom of the BN crater had widened compared to previous observations. A brief episode of Strombolian explosions that started around 0830 on 19 April in the NSEC gradually evolved into modest lava fountaining activity by 0915, rising to 3 km altitude and ejecting bombs up to 100 m (figure 299). A large spatter deposit was found 50 m from the vent and 3-4 small lava flows were descending the NSEC crater rim; two of these summit lava flows were observed at 1006, confined to the upper E and S flanks of the cone. Around 1030, one or two vents in the cono della sella produced a gas-and-steam and ash plume that rose 5 km altitude and drifted E, resulting in ashfall on the E flank of Etna in the Valle del Bove, as well as between the towns of Zafferana Etnea (10 km SE) and Linguaglossa (17 km NE). At night, flashes of incandescence were visible at the summit. By 1155, the lava fountaining had gradually slowed, stopping completely around 1300. The NEC continued to produce gas-and-steam emissions with some intra-crater explosive activity. During the week of 20-26 April, Strombolian activity in the VOR intra-crater scoria cone ejected pyroclastic material several hundred meters above the crater rim while the lava flows had significantly decreased, though continued to travel on the E flank of the main cone. Weak, intra-crater Strombolian activity with occasional ash emissions and nightly summit incandescence were observed in the NSEC (figure 300). By 30 April there were no longer any active lava flows; the entire flow field had begun cooling. The mass of the SO2 emissions varied in April from 5,000-15,000 tons per day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 298. Photos of Strombolian explosions at Etna in the Voragine Crater (top left), strong degassing at the Northeast Crater (NEC) (top right), and incandescent flashes and Strombolian activity in the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) seen from Tremestieri Etneo (bottom row) on 10 April 2020. Photos by Francesco Ciancitto (top row) and Boris Behncke (bottom row), courtesy of INGV.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 299. Strombolian activity at Etna’s “cono della sella” of the NSEC crater on 19 April 2020 included (a-b) lava fountaining that rose 3 km altitude, ejecting bomb-sized material and a spatter deposit captured by the Montagnola (EMOV) thermal camera. (c-d) An eruptive column and increased white gas-and-steam and ash emissions were captured by the Montagnola (EMOV) visible camera and (e-f) were also seen from Tremestieri Etneo captured by Boris Behncke. Courtesy of INGV (Report 17/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 13/04/2020 – 19/04/2020, data emissione 21/04/2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 300. Webcam images showing intra-crater explosive activity at Etna in the Voragine (VOR) and New Southeast Crater (NSEC) on 24 April 2020 captured by the (a-b) Montagnola and (c) Monte Cagliato cameras. At night, summit incandescence was visible and accompanied by strong degassing. Courtesy of INGV (Report 18/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 20/04/2020 – 26/04/2020, data emissione 28/04/2020).

Strombolian explosions produced periodic ash emissions and ejected mild, discontinuous incandescent material in the VOR Crater; the coarse material was deposited onto the S flank of BN (figure 301). Pulsating degassing continued from the summit craters, some of which were accompanied by incandescent flashes at night. The Strombolian activity in the cono della sella occasionally produced reddish ash during 3-4 May. During 5 and 8 May, there was an increase in ash emissions at the NSEC that drifted SSE. A strong explosive event in the VOR Crater located E of the main cone produced a significant amount of ash and ejected coarse material, which included blocks and bombs measuring 15-20 cm, that fell on the W edge of the crater, as well as on the S terrace of the BN Crater (figure 302).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 301. Photos of Strombolian explosions and summit incandescence at Etna on 4 May (left) and during the night of 11-12 May. Photos by Gianni Pennisi (left) and Boris Behncke (right, seen from Tremestieri Etneo). Courtesy of INGV.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 302. A photo on 5 May (left) and thermal image on 8 May (right) of Strombolian explosions at Etna in the Voragine Crater accompanied by a dense, gray ash plume. Photo by Daniele Andronico. Courtesy of INGV (Report 20/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 04/05/2020 – 10/05/2020, data emissione 12/05/2020).

On 10 May degassing continued in the NSEC while Strombolian activity fluctuated in both the VOR and NSEC Craters, ejecting ballistics beyond the crater rim; in the latter, some of the blocks fell back in, accumulated on the edge, and rolled down the slopes (figure 303). During the week of 11-17 May, eruptive activity at the VOR Crater was the lowest observed since early March; there were 4-5 weak, low intensity pulses not accompanied by bombs or ashfall in the VOR Crater. Degassing continued in the BN Crater. The crater of the cono della sella had widened further N following collapses due to the Strombolian activity, which exposed the internal wall.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 303. Map of the summit craters of Etna showing the active vents, the area of cooled lava flows (light green), and the location of the widening pit crater in the Bocca Nuova (BN) Crater (light blue circle) updated on 9 May 2020. The base is modified from a 2014 DEM created by Laboratorio di Aerogeofisica-Sezione Roma 2. Black hatch marks indicate the crater rims: BN = Bocca Nuova, with NW BN-1 and SE BN-2; VOR = Voragine; NEC = North East Crater; SEC = South East Crater; NSEC = New South East Crater. Red circles indicate areas with ash emissions and/or Strombolian activity, yellow circles indicate steam and/or gas emissions only. Courtesy of INGV (Report 29/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 06/07/2020 – 12/07/2020, data emissione 14/07/2020).

On 18 May an ash plume from the NSEC rose 4.5 km altitude and drifted NE. Strombolian explosions on 22 May at the NSEC produced multiple ash plumes that rose 4.5 km altitude and drifted S and SW (figure 304), depositing a thin layer of ash on the S slope, and resulting in ashfall in Catania (27 km S). Explosions from the VOR Crater had ejected a deposit of large clasts (greater than 30 cm) on the NE flank, between the VOR Crater and NEC on 23 May. INGV reported that the pit crater in the BN continued to widen and degassing was observed in the NSEC, VOR Crater, and NEC. During the week of 25-31 May persistent visible flashes of incandescence at night were observed, which suggested there was intra-crater Strombolian activity in the SEC and NSEC. The mass of the SO2 plumes varied between 5,000-9,000 tons per day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 304. Photo of repeated Strombolian activity and ash emissions rising from Etna above the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) on 22 May 2020 seen from Zafferana Etnea on the SE flank at 0955 local time. Photo by Boris Behncke, INGV.

Activity during June-July 2020. During June, moderate intra-crater Strombolian activity with intermittent ash emissions continued in the NSEC and occurred more sporadically in the VOR Crater; at night, incandescence of variable intensity was observed at the summit. During the week of 8-14 June, Strombolian explosions in the cono della sella generated some incandescence and rare jets of incandescent material above the crater rim, though no ash emissions were reported. On the morning of 14 June a sequence of ten small explosions in the VOR Crater ejected incandescent material just above the crater rim and produced small ash emissions. On 25 June an overflight showed the developing pit crater in the center of the BN, accompanied by degassing along the S edge of the wall; degassing continued from the NEC, VOR Crater, SEC, and NSEC (figure 305). The mass of the SO2 plumes measured 5,000-7,000 tons per day, according to INGV.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 305. Aerial photo of Etna from the NE during an overflight on 25 June 2020 by the Catania Coast Guard (2 Nucleo Aereo della Guardia Costiera di Catania) showing degassing of the summit craters. Photo captured from the Aw139 helicopter by Stefano Branca. Courtesy of INGV (Report 27/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 22/06/2020 – 28/06/2020, data emissione 30/06/2020).

Similar modest, intra-crater Strombolian explosions in the NSEC, sporadic explosions in the VOR Crater, and degassing in the BN, VOR Crater, and NEC persisted into July. On 2 July degassing in the NEC was accompanied by weak intra-crater Strombolian activity. Intermittent weak ash emissions and ejecta from the NSEC and VOR Crater were observed during the month. During the week of 6-12 July INGV reported gas-and-steam emissions continued to rise from the vent in the pit crater at the bottom of BN (figure 306). On 11 July mild Strombolian activity, nighttime incandescence, and degassing was visible in the SEC (figure 307). By 15 July there was a modest increase in activity in the NSEC and VOR Craters, generating ash emissions and ejecting material over the crater rims while the other summit craters were dominantly characterized by degassing. On 31 July an explosion in the NSEC produced an ash plume that rose 4.5 km altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 306. Photos of the bottom of the Bocca Nuova (BN) crater at Etna on 8 July 2020 showing the developing pit crater (left) and degassing. Minor ash emissions were visible in the background at the Voragine Crater (right). Both photos by Daniele Andronico. Courtesy of INGV (Report 29/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 06/07/2020 – 12/07/2020, data emissione 14/07/2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 307. Mild Strombolian activity and summit incandescence in the “cono della sella” (saddle vent) at the Southeast crater (SEC) of Etna on 11 July 2020, seen from Piano del Vescovo (left) and Piano Vetore (right). Photo by Boris Behncke, INGV.

Geologic Background. Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.

Information Contacts: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/it/); 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/); 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/); Boris Behncke, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy.


Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ol Doinyo Lengai

Tanzania

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Multiple lava flows within the summit crater; September 2019-August 2020

Ol Doinyo Lengai, located near the southern end of the East African Rift in Tanzania, is a stratovolcano known for its unique low-temperature carbonatitic lava. Frequent eruptions have been recorded since the late 19th century. Activity primarily occurs in the crater offset to the N about 100 m below the summit where hornitos (small cones) and pit craters produce lava flows and spattering. Lava began overflowing various flanks of the crater in 1993. The eruption transitioned to significant explosive activity in September 2007, which formed a new pyroclastic cone inside the crater. Repeated ash emissions reached altitudes greater than 10 km during March 2008. By mid-April 2008 explosive activity had decreased. In September new hornitos with small lava flows formed on the crater floor. The most recent eruptive period began in April 2017 and has been characterized by spattering confined to the crater, effusive activity in the summit crater, and multiple lava flows (BGVN 44:09). Effusive activity continued in the summit crater during this reporting period from September 2019 through August 2020, based on data and images from satellite information.

Throughout September 2019 to August 2020, evidence for repeated small lava flows was recorded in thermal data and satellite imagery. A total of seven low-level pulses of thermal activity were detected within 5 km from the summit in MIROVA data during September 2019 (1), February (2), March (2), and August (2) 2020 (figure 207). Sentinel-2 satellite imagery also provided evidence of multiple lava flows within the summit crater throughout the reporting period. On clear weather days, intermittent thermal anomalies were observed in thermal satellite imagery within the summit crater; new lava flows were detected due to the change in shape, volume, and location of the hotspot (figure 208). During a majority of the reporting period, the thermal anomaly dominantly appeared in the center of the crater, though occasionally it would also migrate to the SE wall, as seen on 3 February, the E wall on 12 July, or the NE wall on 31 August. In Natural Color rendering, fresh lava flows appear black within the crater that quickly cools to a white-brown color. These satellite images showed the migration of new lava flows between February, March, and June (figure 209). The flow on 8 February occurs in the center and along the W wall of the crater; the flow on 9 March is slightly thinner and is observed in the center and along the E wall of the crater; finally, the flow on 17 June is located in the center and along the N wall of the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 207. Seven low-level pulses of thermal activity within 5 km of the summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai were recorded in the MIROVA thermal data between September 2019 to August 2020; one in early September 2019, two in February, two in March, and two in August 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 208. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Ol Doinyo Lengai from November 2019 to August 2020 show intermittent thermal anomalies (bright yellow-orange) within the summit crater. The location of these anomalies occasionally changes, indicating new lava flows. Images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 209. Sentinel-2 satellite images of new lava flows within the summit crater at Ol Doinyo Lengai during 8 February (left), 9 March (middle), and 17 June (right) 2020. Lava flows appear black in the center of the crater that changes in volume and location from February to June. Images with “Natural Color” (bands 4, 3, 2) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

During August, multiple lava flows were detected in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. On relatively clear days, lava flows were visible in the middle of the summit crater, occasionally branching out to one side of the crater (figure 210). On 6 August, a thin lava flow branched to the E flank, which became thicker by 11 August. On 16 and 21 August, the lava remained mostly in the center of the crater. A large pulse of fresh lava occurred on 31 August, extending to the NW and SE sides of the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 210. Sentinel-2 images of multiple new lava flows at Ol Doinyo Lengai during August 2020. When visible in the first half of August, dark lava is concentrated in the center and E side of the crater; by the end of August the lava flows had reached the NW side of the crater. Images with “Natural Color” (bands 4, 3, 2) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

Information Contacts: 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).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 25, Number 06 (June 2000)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Cameroon (Cameroon)

Explosive eruptions and a lava flow from two vents starting on 29 May

Colima (Mexico)

Low seismicity August 1999-May 2000; frequent explosions and evacuations

Copahue (Chile-Argentina)

Frequent ash explosions and acidic mudflows starting on 1 July

Etna (Italy)

Frequent Strombolian eruptions and high gas emissions March-June 2000

Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador)

Minor ash eruptions; partial collapse of January 2000 dome on 12 July

Hekla (Iceland)

Clarification of NASA airborne plume experiments on 29 February 2000

Irazu (Costa Rica)

Feeble microseismicity continues into early 2000

Kilauea (United States)

During May-July 2000, continued frequent surface flows and earthquakes

Lascar (Chile)

Ash eruption on 20-21 July

Miyakejima (Japan)

Magma intrusion within W flank and explosive eruption on 7 July

Momotombo (Nicaragua)

Increased seismic activity in June

Santa Maria (Guatemala)

January 2000 lava flow goes 2.5 km down S flank

Sheveluch (Russia)

Short-lived explosive eruptions 30 June-3 July

Soputan (Indonesia)

During May-July 2000, continued dome growth, lava flows, and several explosions

Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom)

Dome growth continues, reaches 950 m high during May-July 2000

Toya (Japan)

Eruption decreasing in intensity; precursors to 31 March eruption



Cameroon (Cameroon) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Cameroon

Cameroon

4.203°N, 9.17°E; summit elev. 4095 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive eruptions and a lava flow from two vents starting on 29 May

Mt. Cameroon began erupting during the night of 28 May 2000. On 29 May, following a violent explosion, red-tinged fumaroles were observed at an elevation of 3,300 m. On May 30, an earthquake shook the provincial capital of Buea, located to the SE of the volcano. Volcanic ash and gases that were vented during the course of the eruption were blown to the W coast by NE winds.

The eruption occurred at two principle sites separated by 3 km. These sites lie on the central portion of the upper SE flank, upslope of the town of Buea and in the vicinity of vents active in 1904 and 1922. The first site, located at latitude 04°12'40" N and longitude 09°10'45" E and an elevation of 4,000 m, is composed of two craters aligned NE to SW. Juvenile material comprises less than 1% of the total volume of the pyroclastic material surrounding the vents. The larger pyroclasts were found farther away from the vent, while the finer material was deposited closest to the crater. The NE crater, with slopes that are fissured and unstable, showed relatively little activity compared with its neighbor to the SW. The eruption at the SW crater was characterized by sporadic explosions of gas and pyroclastic materials, including juvenile materials such as volcanic bombs, blocks, and scoria. There were no lava flows reported from this site.

The second vent lies at 04°11'15" N and 09°10' E at an elevation of 3,300 m. This site consists of a large open fissure oriented at N 40° E. The following features at the site run NE to SW along the fissure: two lava lakes surrounded by spatter cones, two craters in the process of forming cones with fluid lava, and several hectometer-sized (104 m2) fissure lava flows. The spatter cones are about 40 m from the associated lava lake.

The NE lava lake forms a 60 x 40 m ellipse. This lava lake was the source of the lava flows that moved towards the ocean to the S and away from many of the inhabited parts of the volcano's flanks. There were sporadic explosions at the lava lakes.

Contrary to some media reports that suggested the lava was advancing at rates up to 20-25 m/hour, a scientist from the Ministry of Territorial Administration reported that the lava moved at ~5 m/hour. The scientist also indicated that the lava flows were far from populated areas.

However, on 8 June, various news reports placed the lava flows within 5-7 km of the town of Buea. Reuters reported on 9 June that geologist Isaac Konifer Nijah, a member of a scientific team monitoring the volcano, considered the Buea area a high risk zone. Concern for the residents in this town prompted an evacuation plan for ~3,000 residents to the towns of Limbe to the SW and Tiko to the SE. However, the evacuation plan was not implemented because on 10 June the lava front halted its advance on the town.

The BBC reported that on 19 June, the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Peter Mafany Musonge, visited the village of Bokwango, which is on the outskirts of Buea. News reports stated that at this point the lava flows were 4 km from the edge of the village. However, no new activity had been reported by seismologists for several days preceding the visit.

Thanks to Pierre Vincent and the company ELF Aquitaine, an initially proprietary report on Mount Cameroon geology, eruptions, and hazards (including a geological map) were recently made available to the Smithsonian (Vincent, 1980). The same author has some earlier published work on this volcano (Vincent, 1971).

References. Vincent, Pierre M., 1980, GNL Project in Cameroon, geology and volcanology of Mount Cameroon: Report for ELF Aquitaine (in French), 11 p., appendices, and map (plate).

Vincent, Pierre M., 1971, New data about Cameroon Mountain volcano: 6th Colloquium on African Geology, Leicester, UK, April 1971, Jour. Geol. Soc. London 127, p. 414-415.

Geologic Background. Mount Cameroon, one of Africa's largest volcanoes, rises above the coast of west Cameroon. The massive steep-sided volcano of dominantly basaltic-to-trachybasaltic composition forms a volcanic horst constructed above a basement of Precambrian metamorphic rocks covered with Cretaceous to Quaternary sediments. More than 100 small cinder cones, often fissure-controlled parallel to the long axis of the 1400 km3 edifice, occur on the flanks and surrounding lowlands. A large satellitic peak, Etinde (also known as Little Cameroon), is located on the S flank near the coast. Historical activity was first observed in the 5th century BCE by the Carthaginian navigator Hannon. During historical time, moderate explosive and effusive eruptions have occurred from both summit and flank vents. A 1922 SW-flank eruption produced a lava flow that reached the Atlantic coast, and a lava flow from a 1999 south-flank eruption stopped only 200 m from the sea. Explosive activity from two vents on the upper SE flank was reported in May 2000.

Information Contacts: US State Department, 2201 C St., NW, Washington, DC 20520 USA (URL: http://www.state.gov/); BBC (URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/); Reuters (URL: http://www.reuters.com).


Colima (Mexico) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Colima

Mexico

19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Low seismicity August 1999-May 2000; frequent explosions and evacuations

The following summarizes activity at Colima during the period from August 1999 to May 2000. As previously mentioned (BGVN 24:08), outbursts occurred on 5 and 17 July 1999. However, in the months that followed, August 1999 through May 2000, little activity occurred on Colima. Microearthquakes, sporadic eruptions and lahars were the most common events during these months.

During August through December 1999 Colima maintained low levels of seismicity, with few explosions or mudflows. Due to heavy precipitation on 2 September a lahar traveled under the Cordoban bridge without causing damage. Residents of Yerbabuena, La Becerrera, and Rancho El Jabali were told to avoid activities on the S-flank stream beds of the Cordoban, La Lumbre, San Antonio, and Montegrande rivers.

Landslides and lahars on the S and SW flanks during 5-6 September were quickly dispersed into La Lumbre and Cordoban drainages due to intense rains. Other monitored parameters showed no significant changes. During the week of 10 September seismicity remained low, with no degassing events or important explosions noted.

On 6 October at about 0120, residents from the village La Yerbabuena (8 km SW of the summit) reported a very short and light ashfall. The ashfall lasted only a few minutes, and prior to the fall residents reportedly heard "jet" sounds coming from the crater. Before the described events, the telemetered seismic network alerted the civil protection authorities, who then notified nearby villages of the activity. At 1700 on 12 October there were ground reports of an eruption that sent an ash cloud ~6 km.

During the first two weeks of November Colima ejected steam-and-ash an average of once per day. The estimated height of the columns varied from 200 to 1,000 m above the summit. Neither ballistic ejecta nor pyroclastic flows were observed. On 17 December seismicity remained stable, but some fumarolic and explosive emissions took place.

Beginning in January and continuing through May, ash explosions and steam emissions became frequent. Seismicity on 18 March remained low, yet Colima continued to produce fumes and explosions that were considered to be a high risk to the surrounding population. The evacuation of populations within a radius of 6.5-8.5 km from the summit was maintained by the State Systems of Civil Protection and the Mexican Army. After some explosions on 25 May these evacuations were again enforced.

Geologic Background. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the high point of the complex) on the north and the historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of late-Pleistocene cinder cones is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, producing thick debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions have destroyed the summit (most recently in 1913) and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.

Information Contacts: Colima Volcano Observatory, University of Colima, Ave. 25 de Julio 965, Colima 28045 México (URL: https://portal.ucol.mx/cueiv/).


Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Copahue

Chile-Argentina

37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent ash explosions and acidic mudflows starting on 1 July

An eruption of Copahue (figure 5) began on 1 July 2000. Ash-and-gas emissions, which have continued into late July, are considered to be Copahue's most vigorous activity in the past century. Reports were received from geologists in Argentina and Chile. Except where otherwise noted, Argentine geologists Adriana Bermúdez (CONICET) and Daniel Delpino (Civil Defense of Neuquén Province) reported information for 1-9 July, and Chilean geologists José Naranjo and Gustavo Fuentealba (both of SERNAGEOMIN) reported information from 10-13 July. The scientists submitted joint reports beginning on 13 July. All time references are to Argentina local time; Chilean time is one hour earlier (GMT - 4 hours).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Preliminary geologic map of Copahue, showing outlines of Pliocene and Pleistocene calderas and post-caldera lava flows. Contour interval, 100 m. Modified from a previous map in BGVN 17:10. Courtesy of A. Bermúdez and D. Delpino.

Initial explosions, 1-2 July. Although visibility was poor in late June, at 0030 and at 0430 on 1 July local Argentine police and gendarmerie (National Guard) reported ash mixed with heavy snowfall, as well as a strong sulfur smell. At around 1145, lapilli and ashfall became heavier, eventually covering the snow and the products of previous eruptions around the summit. At 1200 the gendarmerie reported lapilli falling 7.5 km NE of the volcano, in the village of Copahue, Argentina. The alert status was set at yellow; the village's emergency committee restricted tourist access and helped to evacuate 200 people.

Explosions continued throughout 2 July with increasing intensity. Lapilli, ash, and sporadic bombs (15 cm in diameter) fell 8-9 km E on the town of Caviahue, Argentina, with up to 15 cm of materials from the day's explosions eventually being deposited in some areas (figure 6). Until 2345 there were explosions of varying intensities. Preliminary results of an examination of the deposits revealed that they were composed of a very fine silica, sulfur particles, accidental rock fragments from the conduit, and juvenile materials. In Caviahue, visibility was practically zero due to ash particles in the air, and heavy ashfall cut off power for several hours. By midday, eruption plumes blowing SE reached Loncopué, a small village 50 km from the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Ashfall from the frequent eruptions that began [1 July] at Copahue and heavy snowfall have affected the reliability of power and potable water resources in the town of Caviahue, a popular ski area 8-9 km E of the volcano. Although the town is no longer under official evacuation, many inhabitants have not returned to battle current conditions. Courtesy of A. Bermúdez and D. Delpino.

Alert status was raised to orange on 2 July when ash was dispersed as far as 100 km away from the crater and the plume covered a total area of 2,000 km2. Maximum ash accumulation of 3-5 cm occurred over an area of 6 km2, including the town of Caviahue and the W sector of Lake Caviahue. Due to the ashfall, the surface of Lake Caviahue changed color from its normal deep blue to gray-green, and a water sample taken had a pH of 2.l.

Tests by Argentine geologists on ash samples deposited in Caviahue revealed a grain-size distribution of 15% coarse ash (> 1 mm), 80% fine ash (0.5-1.0 mm), and 5% fine ash dust (< 0.5 mm). The coarse ash contained a small quantity of juvenile and lapilli-sized (3-6 mm) accidental fragments; the juvenile materials were dark gray vitric scoria. Non-juvenile accessory materials accounted for 7-10% of the coarse ash and consisted primarily of white-gray silica from the bottom of the crater lake. The fine ash-sized particles had similar components and characteristics.

Irregularly shaped dark gray scoriae, 3-8 cm in size, were found as far as 12 km N of the crater; scoriae completely covered the area within a 1.0-1.5 km radius around the crater. The scoriae contained spherical vesicles 3-5 mm in diameter. Cooling cracks marked the scoriae's surfaces and their shapes had been modified during flight.

Ashfall was also reported 60 km SE of the volcano in the town of Loncopué, where the stream closest to the volcano had cloudy brown-gray waters.

Continuing activity through 25 July. Activity decreased after 2345 on 2 July. The only explosion of 3 July, at 1720 in the main crater, deposited tephra on the flanks and generated a dense, dark gray ash plume that blew NW and produced a local ashfall. According to the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, the ash plume reached an altitude of 10.6 km and blew NE. On 4 July there were explosions at 1030, 1830, and 2000. In the town of Caviahue, Delpino noted a strong sulfur smell and great booming sounds that caused windows to shake. A dark gray ash plume rose 2 km above the summit. Bermúdez and Delpino reported that at 0020 on 5 July a new cycle of rhythmic explosions began; by 1325 a total of 37 explosions had occurred. The biggest explosion, at 0515, generated a pyroclastic surge down the E and N slopes.

A report was received on 5 July from Ralco-Lepoy, a town 30 km SW of the volcano, indicating that dead fish had washed up along the banks of the Lomín river. The Lomín, as well as the Agrio river, which drain the acidic, active crater, were marked by a deep, dark-colored gully but there was no evidence of lahars. However, it is possible that ashfall covered up the evidence. The dead fish found along the Lomín River on 5 July confirmed that acidic mudflows from the crater had been channeled down this river. Chilean geologists Naranjo and Fuentealba recommended that states bordering the Lomín river (to the SW) and Queuco to Trapa-Trapa (to the N) be alerted that an acidic mudflow was moving down the river. Accordingly, authorities noted that inhabitants should be evacuated outside of an enforced safety radius. It was also recommended that professionals regularly measure the pH of affected Lomín drainages, meteorological reports be kept up to date, and that town officials periodically reevaluate the yellow alert.

Naranjo and Fuentealba also noted that at 2030 on 5 July a patrol of carabineros (Chilean National Guard) approached the volcano on horseback and observed small dark ash emissions moving SE from the volcano.

Observers in Argentina during the night of 5-6 July reported an incandescent pyroclastic emission flowing down the cone and, at one point, a white light emanating from the crater for ~15 seconds. In the same time interval, gendarmerie officers from Copahue village described "an orange-red light coming up from the crater." It is thought that the light was produced when magma rose to the surface but did not spill over the crater walls. They also noted the vertical ejection of large incandescent blocks that fell back into the crater, as well as smaller incandescent fragments that fell onto the volcano's slopes, rolled downhill, and broke up into smaller pieces.

On 6 July, Delpino reported to Naranjo and Fuentealba from Caviahue that the eruption was Strombolian with explosion pulses every 1-2 hours. Winds blew ash S of Caviahue without any ashfall in the town. There was no evidence of lahars or floods. Throughout the morning of 6 July snow continued, and there was zero visibility of the volcano.

Bermúdez and Delpino reported that during 0100-1020 on 7 July, loud explosions and ash emissions occurred at 15-minute intervals. At about 2000, the wind changed, blowing W, and ash began falling over Caviahue. About 1 mm of ashfall was observed from 20 km W of the crater.

The same day, ice blocks 15-20 cm in diameter, as well as ash and lapilli, were carried down the swollen Agrio river from the volcano's permanent ice cap. At 1300, a sample of the river water taken at the bridge near Caviahue had a pH of 2, and at 2000 a sample from the same location had a pH of 1.5. The Dulce stream source lies 4.5 km E of the cone and it flows 5.5 km W of the cone into Lake Caviahue. Ashfall altered the stream's typical pH of 7 to a pH of 2.5. Preliminary investigations by Argentina's Provincial Water Division also indicated an increased iron content.

A loud explosion summit at 0300 on 8 July awakened citizens of Caviahue; a day-long ash emission moved SE through clear skies. On 9 July at 0100 a glowing light was seen over the crater, but cloud cover obscured visual observations throughout the day.

Naranjo and Fuentealba reported that on 10 July, explosions were gray to dark brown and it is thought that the ash fell over a 25 km2 area to the W, in the direction of Chile. Ash reached the summit of neighboring Callaqui volcano, covering it in gray ash. Samples from this ashfall taken 4 km W of the active crater were found to contain juvenile volcanic glass fragments, 0.3-0.5 mm in diameter.

During 1200-1230 on 12 July, a Chilean overflight revealed that explosions inside the active crater (El Agrio) occurred at 1- to 3-minute intervals, ejecting fine material up to 500 m above the crater. This material was dispersed via a plume of fine ash and gases moving NNE for more than 250 km. Observers reported that 1-2 mm of fine ash was deposited in the village of Copahue. Throughout the day, activity increased and, at 2300, there was an explosion heard in Caviahue that was thought to have deposited 1-2 cm of ash 5 km NNE of Copahue. On 12 July, scientists noted that Copahue was in an eruptive phase of lower intensity (a Volcano Explosivity Index, VEI, of 1) compared to that seen on 1-2 July (an inferred VEI of 2).

At 1100 on 13 July, explosions generated white-gray to bluish gas emissions rising 200-300 m over the crater. A gas cloud with a strong sulfur odor remained trapped in the Agrio valley over a 10 km2 area; it later descended, and strong winds spread it over a 20 km2 area. At 2310, an explosion produced a 1-km-high plume and incandescent fragments were ejected onto the flanks of the cone reaching up to 1 km from the crater. The plume covered Caviahue, obscuring the moon, but there was no ashfall on the town.

A Chilean helicopter flight on the morning of 13 July observed explosions emitting pale gray ash columns up to 300 m above the crater rim. Winds dispersed the ash ENE to Caviahue. Carabineros sampling water at the source of the Lomín river found it slightly acidic (pH = 5-6).

At 1250 on 13 July, an eruption plume that rose 3-5 km over the crater was reported by military and civilian pilots. The column dispersed to the NE and was a reddish-brown color. Reports from Caviahue stated that on 15 July the eruption stayed at the same intensity as previous days, and fine ash was dispersed to the N. Ash samples from 13 July were found to have an andesitic composition and to include juvenile fragments, the presence of which indicates the volcano's potential to produce even larger explosions. Water samples from the Lomín river on the same date revealed high fluorine and sulfate levels.

At 1700-1730 on 16 July, and also between 0300 and 0400 on 17 July, a dusting of ash fell over Caviahue and there was a strong sulfur smell in the air. At 0905 on 18 July, a civilian pilot reported a pale gray ash column at 3.5-4 km above sea level (just over the top of the cordillera) dispersed over 10 km to the volcano's NNW. At this time, the ongoing eruptions were considered to be of VEI 1. Ash from the weak explosions was dispersed by low winds as it escaped from the crater.

At 2206 on 19 July, members of the gendarmerie reported that a series of explosions continued to generate columns of ash and water vapor 0.5-1.0 km above the crater. The plumes dispersed to the NE depositing a fine dusting of ash over the village of Copahue. A strong sulfurous odor was reported at 2100 in Caviahue. On 20 July activity remained low, and no noises or odors were detected. Winds carried the gas-and-ash plume NNE, depositing a light ashfall over the N sector of Caviahue.

On 21 July, light ashfall dusted Caviahue and, although the crater was obscured, ash columns were sighted rising above the summit and through the clouds to heights of 700-1,000 m. At 1048 (Argentina), Caviahue residents heard a series of rhythmic explosions occurring every 2-5 minutes for one hour. The plume carried ash NNE toward Trapa-Trapa. The volcano was obscured by cloud cover on 22 July but intermittent explosions continued emitting ash plumes carried NE toward Trapa-Trapa.

A seismological team from the Southern Andes Volcanological Observatory (OVDAS) installed a portable seismic station on 21 July at a spot ~2 km NNW of the active crater in the vicinity of Trapa-Trapa, Chile. After taking 15 hours of readings, the team left on 23 July after cold temperatures had prematurely reduced battery power. These readings were fortunately during a time of elevated activity, and registered seismic events generally correlated with visual observations. Despite this similarity, it was impossible to establish an exact correlation between the periodicity of the explosions (occurring every 1-3 minutes) and their microseismic signals at distance.

During the stay of the seismic team, no ashfall was reported in the Queco river region and no correlation was established between seismicity and sporadic thundering sounds reported by villagers in the area. These sounds have been attributed to chunks of the ice cap breaking off and rolling down Copahue's flanks. Due to over 3 m of snowfall, access to the area is difficult.

Explosions of low to intermediate intensity continued emitting ash-and-gas plumes on 23 July. The clouds continued to partially obscure the volcano, but at 1930 an ash column blew E toward Caviahue. On 24 July, the active crater was producing small explosions and dark gray ash emissions; a dusting of ash fell over Caviahue. When the Argentina gendarmerie and the Chilean carabineros compared respective observations no discrepancies were found.

Two pilots reported a strong sulfur odor at 1.8-2.1 km altitude, ~250 km WSW of Copahue on 25 July. At 1000 another pilot reported an ash plume extending 200 km WNW from the summit; plume height was ~2 km and width was 10-15 km. Although this explosion was not seen from Caviahue, a light ashfall fell over the town.

Due to the continued frequent ashfalls over Caviahue, town officials decided to reestablish a yellow alert. The prolonged fall of fluorine-rich ash has posed a possible problem for grazing animals in the affected fields, but heavy snowfall has made it less likely that vegetation will absorb the fluorine.

Background. Volcan Copahue is a composite cone constructed along the Chile-Argentina border. The cone lies within an 8-km-wide caldera formed 0.6 million years ago at a spot near the NW rim of the Pliocene, 20 x 15 km Del Agrio caldera. Copahue's eastern summit crater, part of a 2-km-long, ENE-WSW line of nine craters, contains an acidic crater lake (also referred to as Del Agrio) and displays intense fumarolic activity. Infrequent explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 18th century. Eruptions in 1992 and 1995 produced several phreatic and phreatomagmatic explosions and emissions that contained higher levels of water vapor but lower ash particle content than the current eruption. The current eruption has been of longer duration than either of the previous two.

The Agrio river emerges from a crack in the edifice of the volcano 50 m below the active El Agrio crater. The river water is highly acidic and has a yellow color. Near Caviahue, the Agrio river enters the Caviahue lake basin. The lake is formed by 2 glacial finger lakes over a 9.2 km2 area and is a reservoir of acidic water.

Most residents of Copahue village leave each winter, but Caviahue's population of 400 can grow to 10,000 during the ski season. Eruption-related damage has cut off power and potable water, and there remains an inability to keep ski slopes cleared of ash. In late July there were reportedly only about 419 people staying in Caviahue.

Geologic Background. Volcán Copahue is an elongated composite cone constructed along the Chile-Argentina border within the 6.5 x 8.5 km wide Trapa-Trapa caldera that formed between 0.6 and 0.4 million years ago near the NW margin of the 20 x 15 km Pliocene Caviahue (Del Agrio) caldera. The eastern summit crater, part of a 2-km-long, ENE-WSW line of nine craters, contains a briny, acidic 300-m-wide crater lake (also referred to as El Agrio or Del Agrio) and displays intense fumarolic activity. Acidic hot springs occur below the eastern outlet of the crater lake, contributing to the acidity of the Río Agrio, and another geothermal zone is located within Caviahue caldera about 7 km NE of the summit. Infrequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions from the crater lake have ejected pyroclastic rocks and chilled liquid sulfur fragments.

Information Contacts: Adriana Bermúdez, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) and the National University of Comahue, Buenos Aires 1400, Neuquén Capital, Argentina; Daniel Delpino, Advisor to the Civil Defense of Neuquén Province, Argentina and the National University of Comahue, Buenos Aires 1400, Neuquén Capital, Argentina; José Naranjo, National Geology and Mining Service (SERNAGEOMIN), P.O. Box 10465, Avda. Santa Maria 0104, Providencia, Santiago, Chile; Gustavo Fuentealba, Southern Andes Volcanological Observatory (OVDAS), SERNAGEOMIN, P.O. Box 10465, Avda. Santa Maria 0104, Providencia, Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, Argentina (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/ VAAC/OTH/AG/messages.html).


Etna (Italy) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3320 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent Strombolian eruptions and high gas emissions March-June 2000

Between March and June 2000, Etna's activity was characterized by several Strombolian eruptions and high gas emissions predominantly at the Southeast Crater (SEC). Sixty-four strong eruptive episodes have occurred since the new eruptive series began on 26 January 2000 (BGVN 25:03), with 19 episodes between March and June. The information for the following report is based on official weekly monitoring reports posted on the Poseidon website.

Activity during 29 March-April. Through March lava flows and ash emissions occurred frequently, and on 29 March at about 1900, lava flows were generated on the S sector of the SEC. Shortly after 0730 on 1 April intermittent ash emissions rose to ~3 km and fell on the E flank. An episode on 3 April produced strong rumblings that were felt in the area of Zafferana Etnea, with ashfall in the area of Giardini (NE sector). On 6 April, between 1010 and 1130, explosive activity produced a lava fountain and lava flows. Over the following days the only activity at the volcano was abundant emissions of steam from Bocca Nuova (BN).

On 10 and 11 April, modest Strombolian activity was observed at BN, which became more sporadic in the following days then quieted on the evening of 14 April. On 15 April, at about 1700, weak effusive activity resumed from the vent at the S foot of SEC. At 0928 explosive activity recommenced with abundant lava emission. Ash also erupted from SEC's summit and reached 2 km altitude. Intense but irregular explosive activity was also present at the BN. Activity peaked at 1235 with an eruptive column that enveloped the SEC and rose to an estimated height of 6 km; the column produced abundant fall of ash and lapilli on the E slope. The episode ended abruptly at 1250. During this time Voragine (VOR) exhibited slow steam emission.

At 0545 on 26 April, intense Strombolian activity began and was followed at 0637 by an ash emission that rose several kilometers. In addition, a series of lava flows occurred from the SEC. Beginning at 0723, explosive activity diminished and had ended by 0740. In the following days there were no further eruptive events except for occasional, and sometimes intense, gas emissions from the BN.

Activity during May 2000. During 1-7 May, there was strong gas emission. On 5 May, a strong new gas emission phase began at the SEC, representing the 52nd episode since 26 January 2000. A dense eruptive column rose several kilometers over the volcano's summit and deposited several centimeters of ash on local villages to the SE. At about 1800 the volcanic tremors and eruptive column waned, leaving weak Strombolian activity that ended around 1824. After 5 May, the SEC returned to a state of quiet. The Northeast Crater (NEC) showed intense gas emission, with varied ash content. Weak Strombolian activity persisted at the BN.

Eruptive activity during 8-14 May consisted of abundant steam emissions, mainly from BN and NEC. The BN was the most active crater, emitting copious amounts of steam from at least two vents. The NEC also had abundant steam emissions with varied ash content. Meanwhile, VOR emitted modest amounts of gas and SEC virtually nothing.

During 15-21 May there were four strong gas emissions from the SEC. During the first strong episode, on 15 May, tephra covered the E flank of the volcano. A second episode during the night of 15-16 May consisted of a violent emission of tephra from 2100-2150 that covered the SE flank. The third episode began with Strombolian activity at the SEC then changed rapidly to well-developed lava fountains between 2240 and 2300. Activity abruptly decreased and ended completely within the space of a few minutes. A fourth strong episode occurred about 2145 on 19 May with increased activity from the lava flow on the N flank of the SEC. Violent gas emissions occurred shortly after 2200 and ended within an hour. Significant eruptive activity continued from the NEC, though more discontinuous than during the preceding weeks. The abundant emissions of ash increased significantly beginning 17 May, continuing for several hours. The ash emissions from the NEC were independent of the concurrent increase of volcanic tremors and activity of the SEC, except for occasional temporal coincidence. Steam emissions from the BN were also intense, sometimes associated with weak Strombolian intracrater activity. Slow gas emissions appeared from the VOR.

Two strong episodes occurred at SEC on 23 and 27 May. Activity at the other craters consisted of above normal ash emissions from NEC, intense gas emissions at BN, and weak fumarolic activity at VOR. The 57th eruptive episode of the series began on 23 May with strong explosive activity between 0301 and 0329 accompanied by lava flows down the S flank of the volcano. An episode on 27 May was obscured by poor meteorological conditions.

Activity through June 2000. Two eruptive episodes occurred at SEC on 1 June. First, at 0814, sustained lava fountains began, with some reaching an altitude of 600-700 m before ending around 0832. The column of ash and steam rose for several thousands of meters over the summit and produced a fall of fine pyroclastic material over much of the countryside on Etna's S slope, as far as Catania. At 1930 on 1 June another episode began with a considerable increase in the flow of lava.

On 5 June a strong gas emission at SEC went on for about thirty minutes, during which an ash-and-steam cloud rose to ~3-4 km. The ashfall covered an ample sector of the SE and S region, extending to the Plain of Catania and creating difficulties in air traffic to and from Fonatanrossa and Sigonella airports. As with preceding episodes, the gas emissions were associated with lava flows, primarily on the N slope of the SEC. Just after 1230 on 8 June, an increase in this same lava flow announced another strong gas emission phase beginning with a Strombolian eruption. There was a progressive increase in the explosive activity which reached its peak between 1356 and 1426. The fallout from the eruptive cloud was distributed toward the N.

Another strong gas emission began on 14 June at about 0700 with Strombolian characteristics. Ash emissions reached a climax between 0920 and 0940. On 24 June the 64th episode of activity at SEC occurred when a strong gas emission issued from NEC and VOR. This episode began with an increase of lava flow activity from the fracture on the N flank of the SEC. Later, Strombolian activity at the SEC's summit crater made a transition at about 2130 to a more violent, continuous gas emission phase which reached a peak about 2144, before ending shortly thereafter. After the 24 June activity there were no eruptions the rest of the month, but sporadic ash emissions occurred at all summit craters, particularly at BN and VOR.

Geologic Background. Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.

Information Contacts: Sistema Poseidon, a cooperative project supported by both the Italian Government and the Sicilian Regional Government, and operated by several scientific institutions (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/en/chi-siamo/la-sezione.html).


Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Guagua Pichincha

Ecuador

0.171°S, 78.598°W; summit elev. 4784 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash eruptions; partial collapse of January 2000 dome on 12 July

This report discusses activity at Guagua Pichincha during the months of June and July 2000. A Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) advisory was issued at 1337 on 2 June after a minor ash explosion propelled a plume to 7.3 km altitude above the summit. Another small eruption occurred one week later at 0941 on 9 June. Emissions from this second eruption did not rise more than 5 km, but more earthquakes and rockfalls indicated increasing instability of the January 2000 lava dome.

At 0953 on 12 July the dome experienced a partial collapse on its W side. This is the area of the dome closest to the W opening of the horseshoe-shaped caldera. High on the slope of the volcano's W flank, just below the caldera's opening, is the origin of the Cristál river. A long-period (LP) earthquake with a reduced displacement of 14.5 cm2 probably destabilized the dome and caused the partial collapse. Judging by seismic data, the ash plume may have risen ~12 km above the crater, but cloud cover inhibited visual observations. A strong wind blew most ash W, away from the city of Quito, and very fine ash blanketed the caldera. Seismicity remained low after the eruption, but a slight increase in the number of rockfalls indicated that the dome was still unstable.

Two other events occurred during July. An ash plume was also sighted at 0900 on 23 July at an estimated height of 6.1 km moving W. An aviation notice at 0900 on 24 July described ash from six emissions over the course of the previous night that reached 4.8 km altitude, a height comparable to the volcano's summit elevation.

Over 14,530 LP events were registered in the month of March and this number decreased to 6,892 in April; there was a reported average of 271 LP events daily for the year 2000. The number of monthly explosions dropped to almost zero during the period of January to April; this was the first time there have been so few explosions since the month of July 1998. Volcano-tectonic seismicity also dropped dramatically during January-July 2000, averaging approximately the same number of monthly events as seen prior to activity that began in October 1999. The number of rockfall events has remained high since dome growth began in January 2000; thus far in the year 2000 there has been an average of 72 daily rockfalls. Beginning around June 2000 these events have occurred 100-200 times per day. Two main seismic centers have been inferred at Guagua Pichincha from data; one center is less than 1 km below the crater surface and the second ~2-4 km deeper. Continued fumarolic activity has been moderate but variable.

Geologic Background. Guagua Pichincha and the older Pleistocene Rucu Pichincha stratovolcanoes form a broad volcanic massif that rises immediately to the W of Ecuador's capital city, Quito. A lava dome is located at the head of a 6-km-wide breached caldera that formed during a late-Pleistocene slope failure ~50,000 years ago. Subsequent late-Pleistocene and Holocene eruptions from the central vent in the breached caldera consisted of explosive activity with pyroclastic flows accompanied by periodic growth and destruction of the central lava dome. One of Ecuador's most active volcanoes, it is the site of many minor eruptions since the beginning of the Spanish era. The largest historical eruption took place in 1660, when ash fell over a 1000 km radius, accumulating to 30 cm depth in Quito. Pyroclastic flows and surges also occurred, primarily to then W, and affected agricultural activity, causing great economic losses.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Apartado 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch, NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/); Associated Press.


Hekla (Iceland) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Hekla

Iceland

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Clarification of NASA airborne plume experiments on 29 February 2000

NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) advised that information concerning two flights of their DC-8 aircraft as reported in BGVN 25:02 contained errors and requested that the information be corrected with additional details as follows:

"For approximately seven minutes starting at 0510 during a transit flight on 29 February to Kiruna, Sweden, a NASA DC-8 aircraft with a payload of SOLVE (SAGE III Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment) sensors flew through the plume ~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. The aircraft passed thorough the volcanic ash far N and W, and at a flight level much higher, than the predictions reported by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), London. Instruments measured many in situ trace gases, SO2, HNO3, NO, NOy, O3, volatile and non-volatile aerosols, and aerosol size distribution. The scientific team reported substantial increases in CN, NOy, HNO3, CO, and particle counts, O3 went to nearly zero, H2O increased, and strong scattering layers up to 13 km were detected.

"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."

NASA-DFRC also advised that the statement about the plume being a "very impressive, orange, airfoil-shaped feature in the pre-dawn sky" was erroneous. Post-flight interviews with the pilot indicated that there was no moon out, therefore pitch black sky conditions existed at the time of the encounter. The pilots had no visual evidence of flying into the plume.

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: Gary Shelton, NASA, Dryden Flight Research Center, P.O. Box 273, Edwards, CA 93523-0273 USA.


Irazu (Costa Rica) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Irazu

Costa Rica

9.979°N, 83.852°W; summit elev. 3432 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Feeble microseismicity continues into early 2000

This report covers January-June 2000. In January seismographic station IRZ2 (5 km SW of the active crater) recorded seven small-magnitude earthquakes. During February and March no activity was recorded. In April, May, and June, respectively, IRZ2 recorded 10, 12, and 30 earthquakes. The latter month included low-frequency events.

During May the level of the crater lake decreased by 50 cm. During the dry period, the lake's color was yellow/green, and a significant amount of algae covered its surface. On the lake's NE and S shore lines constant bubbling continued; the temperature of the lake was 18°C. The E, N, and W crater walls continued sliding toward the lake. Fumarolic activity on the NE flank continued at a low level.

In June the crater lake's surface rose 40 cm in comparison to May. The lake color was now green and its surface was still covered by abundant algae. The NE crater wall continued sliding, partly covering some fumaroles while others completely disappeared. Also, along the NE wall three new thermal features appeared with temperatures that fluctuated between 22 and 54°C. On the NE and S shore the bubbling stopped during June.

Geologic Background. Irazú, one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes, rises immediately E of the capital city of San José. The massive volcano covers an area of 500 km2 and is vegetated to within a few hundred meters of its broad flat-topped summit crater complex. At least 10 satellitic cones are located on its S flank. No lava flows have been identified since the eruption of the massive Cervantes lava flows from S-flank vents about 14,000 years ago, and all known Holocene eruptions have been explosive. The focus of eruptions at the summit crater complex has migrated to the W towards the historically active crater, which contains a small lake of variable size and color. Although eruptions may have occurred around the time of the Spanish conquest, the first well-documented historical eruption occurred in 1723, and frequent explosive eruptions have occurred since. Ashfall from the last major eruption during 1963-65 caused significant disruption to San José and surrounding areas.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica.


Kilauea (United States) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During May-July 2000, continued frequent surface flows and earthquakes

The period from 1 May through 17 July 2000 was characterized by frequent surface flows and earthquakes. On 9 May a thick steam and sulfur dioxide fume formed SW of Pu`u `O`o; such fumes, or vog, have often obscured the crater for the past few months. The prominent fumes came from skylights (holes in roofs of lava tubes) along the active tubes leading to a narrow dark aa flow that emerged onto the surface on 6-7 May.

On 15 May lava broke frequently onto the surface, widening the active flow field toward the E. During 16-25 May very little activity took place. On 26 May at 0457, heavy vog hung over Pulama pali and slowly drifted downslope. The ocean entry at Waha`ula remained vigorous over the past several weeks, building a bench 40-45 m seaward of the former coastline (figure 147).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 147. Map of Kilauea showing lava flows (black) on Pulama pali and the coastal plain active since October 1999 through 1 July 2000, as well as flows erupted earlier from Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha. Courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

On the afternoon of 29 May two successive earthquakes occurred on Kilauea's S flank. The earthquakes had a preliminary magnitude of 4 and were felt in the town of Hilo 45 km NW of Kilauea.

Observations of the Pu`u `O`o cone on 1 June revealed no significant changes in the crater or collapse pits on the S and W flanks (figure 148). On the E crater rim, gentle "sloshing" sounds were heard, indicating lava at a shallow level. Direct observation into the vent was prevented by heavy fume. The Pu`u `O`o crater contains three pond vents and two hornitos. Most of these originated during September-November 1999 intracrater activity. Since then the crater has often been obscured by fume, but occasionally HVO observers have witnessed active lava within these vents.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 148. A diagram of the Pu`u `O`o cone and surroundings at Kilauea as of March 2000 showing the area covered by lava since February 1997 during episode 55 (light gray). Inside the crater of Pu`u `O`o, the "trough" is the drained lava pond of September-October 1999. The central portion of the trough was briefly filled with active lava in February 2000. Puka Nui is the prominent collapse pit on the SW flank of Pu`u `O`o, which was floored with lava during September-October 1999. Puka Nui is a slowly expanding collapse crater that has consumed part of the tephra cone and surrounding shield on Pu`u `O`o's SW flank. Flank vents active in 1997 have built the south shield, minishield, and 55 cone. Courtesy of Steven Brantley and Christina Heliker, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The S shield (figure 148) has about 20 m of relief; the minishield, less than 10 m. The episode 55 cone was about 10 m high; yet has subsided into a slowly expanding collapse crater. The cracks adjacent to the pit wall show the expansion of the 55 cone's pit. These cracks are as wide as 1-2 m and some have slight vertical offsets. Major subsidence occurs in abrupt stages. Entire collapse craters 10-30 m deep and 50 m across form in a few hours or less. The cracked ground then remains stable for weeks or months. The W gap, which formed in January 1997, is the result of the subsidence along the E-rift axis. An E-rift intrusion in September 1999 led to a temporary shutdown of volcanic activity at Pu`u `O`o. When activity resumed, new small spatter cones were active briefly, shedding the lava flows shown as 1999 flows on the sketch map.

Throughout the week of 11-17 June activity remained stable. Lava continued to flow to the sea from Waha`ula entry, and from the entry to its W. Surface lava flows were visible sporadically on Pulama pali and elsewhere. Volcanic tremor near Pu`u `O`o remained weak to moderate.

On 13 June rain cleared vog from Holei Pali and enabled good views of the flow field in the morning. Lava continued to enter the ocean, not only at the Waha`ula entry but also at other entries a few hundred meters to the W (figure 147). Surface flows were apparent several hundred meters inland, and visitors reported breakouts near the western edge of the present flow field for the past several days. Pulama pali remained dark, but the fumes rolling down the pali came from active lava tubes feeding the active ocean entries and surface breakouts. Due to rain clouds and volcanic gas in the crater center, Pu`u `O`o was dark on the morning of 14 June. Seismicity was low across the island. Volcanic tremor near Pu`u `O`o remained weak to moderate. Kilauea's summit tilt and the tilt near and on Pu`u `O`o and all along the E rift zone were flat and stable.

Two moderate steam plumes rose from coastal entries on the afternoon of 15 June. Summit and rift-zone tilt remained steady, volcanic tremor at Pu`u `O`o was moderate and continued, and there was no unusual earthquake activity. Apparently on 15 June the eruption continued through tubes, with relatively little entering the sea.

On 16-17 June the lava bench at the Waha`ula entry was 30-50 m wide. On top of Pulama pali lava moved through the tube at a speed of ~10 km/hour. On 17 June, from 1330 to 1415, observations during a helicopter flight revealed more lava on the flow field a few hundred meters inland of Waha`ula. As movement of lava continued in Waha`ula, for the first time in several weeks a surface breakout was visible on Pulama pali between 1830 and 2030 on the evening of 17 June. The lava appeared from a distance to be aa and moved slowly down the middle third of the pali, near the eastern edge of the flow field W of Royal Gardens. On the evening of 17 June the Waha`ula entry , and another entry ~800 m to the W became active for several hours.

No breakouts were visible on 20 June on Waha`ula, Pulama pali, or the coastal flat. Fume continued to blanket the flow path down the pali. Above Pulama pali a new ledge was observed on 25 June, only ~1 m below the surface, at 642 m elevation. The ledge indicated that the level of lava in the tube rose temporarily and then subsided, and a breakout was observed at 686 m elevation.

During July there were frequent surface flows. On 6 July a substantial new pahoehoe flow began from a breakout point at about 200 m elevation on Pulama pali. The flow was ~500 m long and 150-200 m wide. Lava continued to spill into the sea at three sites. The most vigorous entry remained at Waha`ula, which generated two steam plumes on 6 July. The Kamokuna entry, the westernmost active bench, was less vigorous than Waha`ula but created a substantially larger steam plume. During mid-day 16 July, several entries were active: Waha`ula was the most active and Kamokuna the second most active. Several moderate-size surface flows were active in the eastern part of the flow field, between Royal Gardens and the coast. Heavy fume continued to flow down Pulama pali above the lava tube system.

Overall the seismicity and volcanic tremor for the months of May through July remained moderate and stable in the area around Kilauea's summit. Within the summit of Kilauea activity has remained slightly elevated.

Background. Kilauea is one of five coalescing volcanoes that comprise the island of Hawaii. Historically its eruptions originate primarily from the summit caldera or along one of the lengthy E and SW rift zones that extend from the caldera to the sea. The latest Kilauea eruption began in January 1983 along the E rift zone. The eruption's early phases, or episodes, occurred along a portion of the rift zone that extends from Napau Crater on the uprift end (towards the summit) to ~8 km E on the downrift end (towards the sea). Activity eventually centered on the area and crater that was later named Pu`u `O`o.

Between July 1986 and January 1992, the Kupaianaha lava lake was active ~3 km NE of Pu`u `O`o. It was during this period that the town of Kalapana and a majority of the 181 homes lost were destroyed. In December 1991, one month prior to the shutdown of Kupaianaha, eruptive activity returned to Pu`u `O`o. More than 1 km3 of lava has erupted during the 14 years of activity (January 1983-January 1997).

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

Information Contacts: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), U.S. Geological Survey, PO Box 51, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718, USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/).


Lascar (Chile) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Lascar

Chile

23.37°S, 67.73°W; summit elev. 5592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash eruption on 20-21 July

At about 1044 on 20 July 2000, an eruption began at Lascar volcano that lasted until 1509. The Washington VAAC reported an ash advisory at 1509 for an ash plume that extended 660 km to the E, stretching from N Chile across S Bolivia and N Argentina and into W central Paraguay. At that time, the plume was traveling at speeds of up to 130 km/hour, reached altitudes of 10.7-13.7 km, and was reported to be 103 km wide.

Residents of the village of Jama, located 60 km ENE of the volcano on the Argentina-Chile border, reported feeling an earthquake before seeing a white mushroom cloud that rose 4-5 km high and rapidly blew E, depositing 1-2 mm of ash over the village. Several explosions were felt and heard 160 km ESE in San Antonio de los Cobres, but there were no reports of any injuries or damage. Activity continued into 21 July with small explosions producing plumes 200-300 m above the summit. The volcano is in a sparsely populated area so no evacuations were necessary.

According to Matthews and others (1997) Lascar has undergone four recognized cycles between 1984 and 1993. In each of these cycles, a lava dome is extruded in the active crater accompanied by vigorous degassing through high-temperature, high-velocity fumaroles on and around the dome. The dome then subsides into the conduit while the velocity and gas output of the fumaroles decrease; the cycle ends with violent explosive activity. No new lava was immediately extruded after the dome collapsed in the explosive 1993 eruption, thus breaking the previous pattern.

Background. Lascar is the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes; it is characterized by its persistent fumarolic activity, steam eruptions, and occasional vulcanian eruptions. The andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano contains six overlapping summit craters along a NE-SW trend.

Matthews and others (1997) discussed Lascar's evolution in four phases starting at ~50 ka. During phase I, an edifice was established on the E side, and pyroxene andesite lavas erupted. Phase II saw the development of the W edifice with a subglacial andesitic eruption, and the destruction of a substantial dome, arguably the volcano's most explosive event. In Phase III, a stratocone was constructed and a major andesitic explosive eruption generated scoria flows, known as the Tumbres deposits, dated at 9.2 ka. Phase IV activity shifted back to the E, leaving pyroclastic deposits dated at 7.1 ka. Prominent Phase IV lava flows extended NW and were later truncated by the formation of three deep collapse craters that mark the W migration of the active center. The current active vent discharges in the deepest of these craters, which is 800 m in diameter and 300 m deep. Frequent explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century.

Reference. Matthews, S.J., Gardeweg, M.C., and Sparks, R.S.J., 1997, The 1894 to 1996 cyclic activity of Lascar Volcano, northern Chile: cycles of dome growth, dome subsidence, degassing and explosive eruptions: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 59, p. 72-82.

Geologic Background. Láscar is the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes. The andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano contains six overlapping summit craters. Prominent lava flows descend its NW flanks. An older, higher stratovolcano 5 km E, Volcán Aguas Calientes, displays a well-developed summit crater and a probable Holocene lava flow near its summit (de Silva and Francis, 1991). Láscar consists of two major edifices; activity began at the eastern volcano and then shifted to the western cone. The largest eruption took place about 26,500 years ago, and following the eruption of the Tumbres scoria flow about 9000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern edifice, where three overlapping craters were formed. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century, along with periodic larger eruptions that produced ashfall hundreds of kilometers away. The largest historical eruption took place in 1993, producing pyroclastic flows to 8.5 km NW of the summit and ashfall in Buenos Aires.

Information Contacts: José Viramonte, Universidad Nacional de Salta and CONICET, Buenos Aires 177 -4400 Salta, Argentina; George Stephens, NOAA Operational Significant Events Imagery Support Team, World Weather Bldg., 5200 Auth Road, Rm. 510, NOAA/NESDIS, Camp Springs, MD 20748 (URL: https://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/); Associated Press.


Miyakejima (Japan) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Miyakejima

Japan

34.094°N, 139.526°E; summit elev. 775 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Magma intrusion within W flank and explosive eruption on 7 July

The 27 June 2000 water discoloration ~1 km off the W shore of the island of Miyake-jima (BGVN 25:05) prompted considerable investigation. Remote Operation Vehicle (ROV) work and multi-beam side-scan sonar revealed fractures and what appeared to be three ocean-floor craters around the area of discoloration. Crustal deformation found in this region implies that cracks have opened under the W flank of the volcano. Magma intrusion was confirmed to have occurred in the W flank of the volcano around the time of the 27 June event. The absence of scoria or other eruptive products makes it likely that the event was thermal water released due to intrusion.

Magma intrusion is also thought to be the cause of a series of earthquakes that began on 26 June. Hypocenters migrated from a central position under the island in a curve to the W, NW, and N, reaching a position ~70 km NNW of the island by 21 July (figure 5).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. A map showing Miyake-jima (lower right-hand corner) and the NW migration of hypocenters, 26 June-21 July 2000. Hypocenters were centered under the summit when activity began and then migrated to a submarine location ~ 10 km NW. This movement was thought to be related to magma intruding to the W. Labels for the higher-magnitude events indicate the month/day, magnitude, and hypocenter depth. Courtesy of the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Miyake-jima's mayor, Naoyuki Hirose, lifted the evacuation order for the SE district of Tsubota on 29 June, permitting hundreds of the almost 2,000 evacuees to return home. Approximately half of the island's population of 4,000 had been evacuated on 26 June.

At 0414 on 7 July, an eruption from the summit crater sent ash and rock into the sky; plumes dispersed ash over wide areas of the island. The eruption continued until 1110 and about 140 residents had to be evacuated from the N sector of the island to protect them from heavy ashfall. A second eruption at 1550 sent an ash column 1 km above the crater, ejected rocks, and produced loud booming noises. On 8 July there was a weak yellow-colored emission. Closer inspection of this last eruption revealed that very little material had been ejected, but a pit crater ~200 m in diameter and 100-200 m deep had formed. It is thought that the pit crater marked an empty cavity left when magma progressed from the summit area and intruded to the W.

The month-long crisis (figure 5) involved more than 17,500 earthquakes, including 5,480 strong enough to be felt by humans. The Miyake-jima earthquake swarm included a 7 July, M 5.2 event centered 25 km NW of Miyake-jima under the young volcanic islands of Nii-jima and Kozu-shima at 10 km depth, and a 1 July, M 6.4 event that killed one man on Kozu-shima by rockfall.

Geologic Background. The circular, 8-km-wide island of Miyakejima forms a low-angle stratovolcano that rises about 1,100 m from the sea floor in the northern Izu Islands about 200 km SSW of Tokyo. The basaltic volcano is truncated by small summit calderas, one of which, 3.5 km wide, was formed during a major eruption about 2,500 years ago. Parasitic craters and vents, including maars near the coast and radially oriented fissure vents, dot the flanks of the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions have occurred since 1085 CE at vents ranging from the summit to below sea level, causing much damage on this small populated island. After a three-century-long hiatus ending in 1469, activity has been dominated by flank fissure eruptions sometimes accompanied by minor summit eruptions. A 1.6-km-wide summit caldera was slowly formed by subsidence during an eruption in 2000; by October of that year the crater floor had dropped to only 230 m above sea level.

Information Contacts: Geological Survey of Japan, Higashi 1-1-3, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305 Japan; Japan Meteorological Agency, Tokyo, Japan; Associated Press; Reuters.


Momotombo (Nicaragua) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Momotombo

Nicaragua

12.423°N, 86.539°W; summit elev. 1270 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increased seismic activity in June

Seismicity remained stable between November 1999 and April 2000. In May 2000 a seismic swarm began near the volcano, and in June there was heightened seismicity.

During 9-11 June the INETER seismic network registered over 500 earthquakes near Momotombo, 100 of which were located. Many of the earthquakes were between M 3.4 and 4.1 (figure 8), and occurred at depths less than 5 km. The small epicentral area was directly under a geothermal plant on the S slope of the volcano, between Momotombo's crater and the coast of Lake Managua. A similar area was the site of seismic swarms in past years, with the most recent occurrence in May 2000. Some of the earthquakes on 9 June were felt by the personnel of the geothermal plant 5 km SW of the crater and one was felt by several people in the town of Nagarote. INETER stated that an eruption could affect the geothermal plant's 96 employees, as well as residents of towns bordering the volcano. Continuous seismic tremor was also observed at the volcano, which was attributed to volcanic processes rather than movements at tectonic faults. The number of seismic events began to decrease on 11 June. From 12 to 13 June, 60 earthquakes occurred with seven epicenters located. In comparison, 150 earthquakes occurred from 9 to 10 June with 38 epicenters located. After 13 June the number of earthquakes gradually decreased to normal levels.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Locations of earthquake epicenters at Momotombo with magnitudes less than 3.8 (circles), and magnitudes between 3.8 and 4.1 (stars) from 9 to 16 June 2000. Courtesy of INETER.

Julio Alvarez, Jorge Cross, Arming Saballos (all INETER/Vulcanología), and Eduardo Mayorga visited the volcano on 15 June to measure the temperature of fumaroles in the crater zone. Temperature measurements conducted at fumaroles in the volcano's dome yielded values between 255 and 933 °C (figure 9). The highest temperature was found near the N edge of the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Sketch of Momotombo's active crater showing fumarole temperatures on 15 June 2000. Areas of fumarolic activity are gray. View is towards the S; the crater is ~ 150 m wide. Courtesy of INETER.

Geologic Background. Momotombo is a young stratovolcano that rises prominently above the NW shore of Lake Managua, forming one of Nicaragua's most familiar landmarks. Momotombo began growing about 4500 years ago at the SE end of the Marrabios Range and consists of a somma from an older edifice that is surmounted by a symmetrical younger cone with a 150 x 250 m wide summit crater. Young lava flows extend down the NW flank into the 4-km-wide Monte Galán caldera. The youthful cone of Momotombito forms an island offshore in Lake Managua. Momotombo has a long record of Strombolian eruptions, punctuated by occasional stronger explosive activity. The latest eruption, in 1905, produced a lava flow that traveled from the summit to the lower NE base. A small black plume was seen above the crater after a 10 April 1996 earthquake, but later observations noted no significant changes in the crater. A major geothermal field is located on the south flank.

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/).


Santa Maria (Guatemala) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Santa Maria

Guatemala

14.757°N, 91.552°W; summit elev. 3745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


January 2000 lava flow goes 2.5 km down S flank

A blocky lava flow fed from the Caliente vent, active since July 1999 (see BGVN 24:12), had advanced nearly 2.5 km by the end of January 2000. The thermal anomaly related to this flow as measured on the 23 January Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) is ~2,370 m long and 60-120 m wide. The flow extended S down the flank of the Santiaguito dome complex before being deflected SW by a low ridge and moving over the top of the 1986-89 flow (figure 29). A ~50 m-wide axial zone of the flow was very steep with a front slope of 60-70°. This ~30-m high axial zone advanced downward and collapsed into the sheer-sided ravine that forms the upper reaches of the Río Nimá II. The marginal flow front is ~18 m thick and its slope is smaller (~32°). As 2- to 5-m-wide sections of the flow front moved, minor collapses occurred at a rate of 1 to 2 per minute. Ash clouds generated by these collapses had temperatures of 185°C, and flow temperatures as high as 531°C were measured at a freshly exposed section of the axial zone. Temperatures for the blocky crust capping the flow front were lower, typically 34-76°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Sketch map of Santiaguito showing the January 2000 location of the blocky lava flow that began in July 1999. Also marked are lava flows emplaced between 1990 and 1999, as identified from an analysis of a Thematic Mapper time-series of 13 images. Using this time series the blocky flow which breached the 1902 crater rim is believed to have occurred during 1996-97, where "a" indicates the new aggradation load supply to Río Nimá I. Courtesy of Eddie Sánchez, Otoniel Matías, Andy Harris, Luke Flynn, Bill Rose, James Vallance, Edouard Gegout.

On 23 January, the Caliente vent was full. The 23 January ETM+ image shows this zone as an intense, thermal anomaly, 120-150 m in diameter. Small ash eruptions occurred at a rate of 1-2 events per hour producing ash plumes that extended kilometers above the vent. More powerful events generated small pyroclastic flows as well as rock falls. Both the dome and upper flow area collapse frequently produced audible rock falls that could be heard from a distance of ~1.5 km. Thirty-seven (37) rockfalls were heard on 23 January; 7 of which were incandescent as hot blocks from the dome and upper flow bounced down the flank of the dome.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is part of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rise above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The sharp-topped, conical profile is cut on the SW flank by a 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit to the lower flank, and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The renowned Plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four vents, with activity progressing W towards the most recent, Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Information Contacts: Eddie Sánchez and Otoniel Matías, Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hydrología (INSIVUMEH), Ministerio de Communicaciones, Transporte y Obras Publicas, 7A Avenida 14-57, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Andy Harris and Luke Flynn, IGP/SOEST, University of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA; Bill Rose, Department of Geological Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA; James Vallance, Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6, Canada; Edouard Gegout, c/o European Volcanological Society, C.P.1-1211 Geneva 17, Switzerland.


Sheveluch (Russia) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Short-lived explosive eruptions 30 June-3 July

During June-July 2000 seismicity was generally at background levels with occasional weak fumarolic activity; the hazard level was Green. However at 0447 on 30 June, visual reports indicated a short-lived explosive eruption and an ash-gas plume that rose to about 8 km altitude; in response, the hazard status was raised to Yellow. Similar reports indicated that a short-lived explosive eruption at 1644 on 1 July sent and an ash-gas plume to ~6 km altitude. The mushroom-shaped plume extended to the W and at 2034, satellite imagery showed the arched plume extending 70 km NW. At 1728 on 1 July seismic data indicated a less intensive short-lived explosion, and on 2 July several weak explosions occurred and a gas-steam plume rose 300-700 m extending 3-5 km to the W and E. On 3 July seismicity under the volcano returned to background levels and the hazard status was reduced to Green.

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

Information Contacts: Olga Chubarova, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia; Tom Miller, Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/).


Soputan (Indonesia) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


During May-July 2000, continued dome growth, lava flows, and several explosions

This report covers the period of 1 May to 3 July 2000. Tiltmeter readings from 1-3 May showed a decrease in both the x-axis (25 µrad) and y-axis (40 µrad on the SW side of the summit, indicating deformation due to magma rising towards the surface. Magma continued to rise, but there was no increase in earthquakes registered at the Soputan Post Observatory (SPO) in Maliku. Nevertheless, seismic data from both satellite-telemetered and SPO's instruments contained an increasing trend in cumulative energy that could have been the result of tectonic earthquakes. A 5 May MR 6.5 earthquake in Banggai, ~325 km SW of Soputan, is thought to have been a precursor to a 13 May eruption.

At 1250 on 13 May, an eruption began with the ejection of incandescent materials and the emission of a thick, black ash cloud that rose 1,000 m above the summit and drifted NE. There were reports of ashfall up to 2 cm thick in the towns of Malompar and Tombatu, ~9 km S of the summit.

In the weeks following this event, seismicity remained elevated, with tectonic earthquakes dominating activity. Sporadic emissions of thin, white ash-and-steam plumes rose up to 100 m, but no explosions were reported. By 22 June, scientists were reporting several small explosions and avalanches, as well as a significant increase in the number of volcanic tremors and avalanche earthquakes.

At 1200 on 1 July, continuous tremor earthquakes reached amplitudes of 20-50 mm. Later that day, at 2232, two loud booms were heard and at 2255, lava was seen flowing up to 200 m to the W of Soputan's summit, covering over 13-14 May lava flows. Lightning was also seen around the crater and the rising plume. At 0200 on 2 July, Strombolian lava fountains were seen spewing lava 10-50 m above the crater. Later in the day, a thick gray ash plume was seen as it reached ~1,000 m altitude and slowly changed color to a dark brown. The volcano continued to produce ash plumes and persistent booming that indicated explosions were taking place although they could not be seen. The number of earthquakes reached over 100 events per day, indicating that lava dome growth continued. Observations made at both SPO and the Lokon Post Observatory, ~30 km N in Tomohon, gave the government reason to have concern for inhabitants' safety and, on 3 July, the alert level was raised from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 4).

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

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/).


Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Soufriere Hills

United Kingdom

16.72°N, 62.18°W; summit elev. 915 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Dome growth continues, reaches 950 m high during May-July 2000

This report covers activity from 26 May to 21 July 2000. During this interval, the lava dome continued to grow; however, between 26 May and 2 June, the direction of the dome's growth changed. Although it continued to grow vertically, the majority of growth appears to have redirected from the E and NE to the S and possibly the W.

Visual observations were severely limited due to clouds throughout the early part of this period. However, during the week of 23-30 June a "rough, spiny area" appeared high on the E face of the dome at the top of the Tar River Valley. The week of 9-16 June, the dome grew to about 914 m. By 25 June, the dome had surpassed the height attained prior to the 20 March 2000 collapse. During this event, instruments for measuring dome volume were damaged. Observations from 30 June through 7 July showed that the area of dome growth had changed to a more slab-like appearance. A new area of spiny growth was first seen on 10 July. This growth appeared on the NE flank at 940 m elevation, which was thought to be the highest point on the dome. On 17 July, a large area of new growth was reported on the S and W sectors of the dome, attaining a height of 950 m.

Pyroclastic flows were reported to the ENE in the Tar River, between 9 and 16 June. The following week, pyroclastic flows were reported in the Gages valley to the W. Additional pyroclastic flows during the week of 7 July went NE into the upper Tar valley; some, if not all, of the flow material originated from the remains of the 1995-98 dome. On 21 July at 0620, there was a small pyroclastic flow with an explosive start. During an observation flight later that day, evidence of pyroclastic flows was observed to the SW in the upper region of the White River valley.

Rockfalls occurred throughout the reporting period (table 34). However, the week of 23 to 30 June was characterized by nearly constant rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows. These rockfalls were concentrated on the E side of the dome and talus accumulated much more slowly to the S above the White River. Prior to this, during the week of 9 to 16 June, the rockfalls occurred almost exclusively in the Tar River valley. During 30 June to 14 July, rockfalls occurring to the E of the dome were infrequent despite the presence of large blocks at the top of the steep E slope. The majority of the rockfall events at this point were occurring to the S and to the W of the dome.

Table 34. Seismic data for Soufriere Hills during 26 May-21 July 2000. Courtesy of MVO.

Week Rockfall signals Hybrid Volcano-tectonic Long-period Total
26 May-02 Jun 2000 131 54 3 2 190
02 Jun-09 Jun 2000 243 172 1 78 494
09 Jun-16 Jun 2000 326 49 1 76 452
16 Jun-23 Jun 2000 147 11 1 77 236
23 Jun-30 Jun 2000 315 4 4 157 480
30 Jun-07 Jul 2000 264 47 1 114 426
07 Jul-14 Jul 2000 131 103 5 68 307
14 Jul-21 Jul 2000 189 24 4 15 232

Seismic records (table 1) revealed a sharp increase in the number of long-period (LP) earthquakes after 2 June. The frequency of LP events continued to increase until its peak during 23-30 June. This same week marked the low point in the number of hybrid earthquakes. The number of volcano-tectonic earthquakes increased towards the end of the reporting period.

A steady production of ash during the week of 9-16 June maintained a dilute ash plume that moved W towards Plymouth and off the coast. Neither this ash plume nor the smaller ash clouds produced by rockfalls during the preceding weeks affected the inhabited parts of the island. During the week of 30 June to 7 July, abundant steaming was observed on the W flanks of the dome. The following week, steaming occurred on the N side between the main masses of the old dome. During this same week, ash venting was also observed from the S side of the dome.

The sharp increase in the number of LP and hybrid earthquakes after 2 June was taken to indicate increasing pressure in the dome. In addition, the dome's filling in of the crater on all sides suggests that rockfalls and pyroclastic flows will increase in the future. These events are expected to affect not only the Tar River valley, but also several other surrounding valleys, particularly Tuitt's Ghaut, White River valley, and Gages valley. These observations also lead to increased concern over the possibility of a substantial dome collapse in the near future.

Geologic Background. The complex, dominantly andesitic Soufrière Hills volcano occupies the southern half of the island of Montserrat. The summit area consists primarily of a series of lava domes emplaced along an ESE-trending zone. The volcano is flanked by Pleistocene complexes to the north and south. English's Crater, a 1-km-wide crater breached widely to the east by edifice collapse, was formed about 2000 years ago as a result of the youngest of several collapse events producing submarine debris-avalanche deposits. Block-and-ash flow and surge deposits associated with dome growth predominate in flank deposits, including those from an eruption that likely preceded the 1632 CE settlement of the island, allowing cultivation on recently devegetated land to near the summit. Non-eruptive seismic swarms occurred at 30-year intervals in the 20th century, but no historical eruptions were recorded until 1995. Long-term small-to-moderate ash eruptions beginning in that year were later accompanied by lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows that forced evacuation of the southern half of the island and ultimately destroyed the capital city of Plymouth, causing major social and economic disruption.

Information Contacts: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Mongo Hill, Montserrat, West Indies (URL: http://www.mvomrat.com/).


Toya (Japan) — June 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Toya

Japan

42.544°N, 140.839°E; summit elev. 733 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption decreasing in intensity; precursors to 31 March eruption

Usu's multi-vent NW-flank eruption that began on 31 March 2000 continued until at least 10 July (see previous report and map in BGVN 25:03). By 10 July the eruption had lost considerable vigor. The last noteworthy ash fall took place on 6 April; a small one occurred on 7 April. Several excellent reports were published rapidly by the Geological Survey of Hokkaido (GSH, 2000a, b). This article provides a summary of those Japanese-language reports as well as excerpts from a formal statement discussing Usu's behavior through 10 July. Satellite imagery also provided ashfall data. The active dome and associated vent group was incorrectly spelled "Konpira-yama" in previous Bulletin reports. According to formal rules of translation this name should be "Kompira-yama."

Prior to the eruption, geological mapping and bore holes had delineated portions of Usu's edifice and surrounding subsurface, enabling workers to draw a generalized cross section (figure 22). In addition to these background studies, as Usu entered an eruptive phase on 31 March a comprehensive suite of monitoring instruments were in place.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. A schematic cross section across the flank of Usu showing boreholes, subsurface rock units (unlabeled), and areas of the two active vent groups with their plumes. The schematic illustrates the inferred zone of phreatic eruptions, estimated at 200-1000 m in depth. The groundwater surface was drawn as the distinctly heavier line connecting to the Toya lake on the right and at a depth of a few tens of meters above the "0" datum on the left). Arrows show the idealized paths of groundwater moving through the rock. After GSH (2000a, b).

Four days prior to the eruption, groundwater levels in instrumented wells (the potentiometric surface) around the volcano began to change (figure 23). A day or two later, these perturbations escalated rapidly. Data from five wells (figure 23) show that at least four underwent roughly synchronous offsets that grew to reach the 2- to 10-m range. These dramatic offsets were inferred to have been driven by the influx of magma. Also, water temperatures increased at hot springs. The level of the groundwater surface in the instrumented wells peaked near the time the eruption started. For the wells with post-eruptive data on figure 23, the groundwater surface began a comparatively gradual steady decrease soon after the eruption started. Ancillary details on well locations and behavior appear in the cited reports.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Perturbations to the groundwater surface level in monitored water wells around the time of the initial Usu eruptions; common vertical scale bar at upper right shows relative magnitude of displacement with strong offset beginning around 27 March 2000. Small arrow labeled "3/31" indicates the point of initial eruption (31 March 2000). After GSH (2000a, b).

Global Positioning System (GPS) data helped predict the 31 March eruption. GPS station KMK is near Hokkaido's N coast and ~7 km E of Usu's active vent groups. KMK was compared with three other stations near Usu beginning around 30 March (figure 24). The comparison revealed large vertical motions-tens of centimeters per day- including some beginning on 29 March (not shown). Figure 24 shows how the rates of vertical motion declined in early April at all three close-in stations. The reports also noted horizontal motions measuring tens of centimeters per day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Relative vertical position of the land surface near Usu during 30 March-9 May 2000. The comparison is between three close-in GPS stations with respect to station KMK, ~ 7 km E of the Kompira-yama and western Nishi-yama vent groups. After GSH (2000a, b).

Clear precursory seismicity appeared at Usu (figure 25). The maxima, ~150 earthquakes in a 2-hour interval (i.e., ~75 earthquakes/hour), occurred ~1 day prior to the eruption. The eruptive pulses on 1 April took place during an interval with comparatively low seismicity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Seismic overview of Usu for 28 March to 7 April 2000 portraying multifold increases in the number of earthquakes prior to the 31 March eruption. Bars are for 2-hour intervals with the maximum values representing ~75 earthquakes/hour. The arrows indicate the date of the first three eruptions of the episode. For comparison, the perturbations of hydraulic head were strongest during 27-31 March. After GSH (2000a, b).

Figure 26 provides a graphical summary of the episode's eight modest but identifiable ash falls. Most of the ash blew E, but an eruption on 1 April blew SE and one on 4 April blew N. GSH (2000a) features a time line for the two vent groups in eruption, graphically portraying 31 March-7 April plume observation. Figure 27 presents a sample of this larger time line: the portion for 1 April 2000. Figures such as this provide a particularly apt summary of complex phenomena.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Limits of ash fall distribution seen for Usu's outbursts (31 March-7 April 2000). The date convention is month/day. After GSH, 2000a, b.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. A time line of activity at Usu on 1 April 2000 portraying the character of eruptive plumes from the Kompira-yama (upper line) and western Nishi-yama (lower line) vent groups. Plume symbols are shown in two sizes and colors, representing larger (>1-km-tall), smaller (< 1-km-tall), black, and white plumes. The shaded area bracketed by a solid line above (about 1145-1545) indicates an interval of dominantly visual plume observations. The arrow at 11:30 represents the time of onset for an eruption. The given compass directions (eg., E~SE) indicate the direction of ashfall from the vent groups. The original full-length version (31 March-7 April, in Japanese) includes numerous other notes and comments. After GSH (2000a).

Committee's announcement. The Usu eruption committee chaired byYoshiaki Ida made a formal announcement on 10 July. They noted that on this date Usu's phreatic eruption continued at the Kompira-yama and western Nishi-yama vent groups, but the supply of magma from depth had almost ceased. Accordingly, they anticipated a gradual decrease in volcanism.

The committee indicated that the current eruption occurred due to upward movement of magma from depths of ~10 km reaching a shallow reservoir around 4-5 km. Portions of the shallow reservoir traveled NW and then to the vents where magma escaped. The committee noted that on 10 July uplift still continued at western Nishi-yama (~5 cm/day) but that its areal extent and rate were decreasing. The committee noted that by 10 July small faults associated with the eruption ceased moving. They appeared as visible fault traces cutting across roads and other infrastructure (see photos in GSH, 2000a, b).

The committee also noted that the early phases of the eruption had ejected portions of juvenile material, whereas by 10 July the eruptions mainly discharged steam. Similarly, with time, cloud height and explosive vigor decreased. On 10 July Nishi-yama still gave off intermittent weak ash; Kompira-yama still emitted loud blasts with glowing volcanic rocks. But by this time such activities had decreased and ballistic bombs continued to fall several hundred meters from the Kompira-yama vent group. Earthquakes continued on the SW flank of Usu, but by 10 July they became increasingly scarce. The committee suggested a pyroclastic surge was unlikely in the near future .

Satellite imagery. A satellite image from 3 April shows Usu's ash blanketing parts of the largely snow-covered landscape (figure 28). The image caption states that the team planned to image Usu every 3-4 days. The images were captured on ASTER (The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer), a Japanese-built instrument that obtains high-resolution (15-90 m2/pixel) images at 14 wavelengths from visible to thermal infrared. ASTER registers land surface temperature, emissivity, reflectance, and elevation; it flies on the Terra platform where it serves as a zoom lens for the other Terra instruments. ASTER has the ability to change viewing angles, enabling it to make stereoscopic images and detailed terrain height models. NASA terms the Terra satellite the flagship of the EOS mission. The latter is an effort to better understand planet Earth's atmosphere, land, and oceans, as well as their interactions with solar radiation and with one another.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. A false-color image taken on 3 April by the Terra satellite's ASTER instrument showing the ash-darkened snow resulting from complex eruptions at Usu volcano's multiple vents. N is towards the top of the image. Usu and many of the visible deposits lie immediately S of Lake Toya, a circular 10-km-diameter caldera lake with a central island. The Pacific Ocean lies towards the S (the image's lower left-hand corner) and in this region enters Uchiura-Wan bay. (ASTER record identification, 257). Courtesy of NASA.

References. Geological Survey of Hokkaido (GSH), 2000a, Observations of Usu's volcanic eruption, 2000, Preliminary Report (in Japanese), 53 p. (in color on the GSH website and available as a 47 M file.

Geological Survey of Hokkaido (GSH), 2000b, Usu eruption in 2000, GSH News, 2000, 5, vol. 16, (ISSN 1345-1138), (text and captions in Japanese), 4 p. (1 additional sheet with 8 color plates)

Geologic Background. Usuzan, one of Hokkaido's most well-known volcanoes, is a small stratovolcano located astride the southern topographic rim of the 110,000-year-old Toya caldera. The center of the 10-km-wide, lake-filled caldera contains Nakajima, a group of forested Pleistocene andesitic lava domes. The summit of the basaltic-to-andesitic edifice of Usu is cut by a somma formed about 20-30,000 years ago when collapse of the volcano produced a debris avalanche that reached the sea. Dacitic domes erupted along two NW-SE-trending lines fill and flank the summit caldera. Three of these domes, O-Usu, Ko-Usu and Showashinzan, along with seven crypto-domes, were erupted during historical time. The 1663 eruption of Usu was one of the largest in Hokkaido during historical time. The war-time growth of Showashinzan from 1943-45 was painstakingly documented by the local postmaster, who created the first detailed record of growth of a lava dome.

Information Contacts: Masahiro Yahata, Geological Survey of Hokkaido, Kita 19, Nishi 12, Kita-Ku, Sapporo, 060-0819, Japan; Yoshiaki Ida, University of Tokyo, Earthquake Research Institute, Yayoi 1-1-1 Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 113, Japan; NASA Terra Project, NASA Goddard SFC, MC 613, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA (URL: https://terra.nasa.gov/); Yasushi Yamaguchi, Japan Outreach Center for ASTER, Nagoya University, Earth & Planetary Sci Dept/Faculty Sci, Furou-cho Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-01; Usu Volcano Observatory, Institute of Seismology and Volcanology, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University, Sohbetsu-cho, Usu-gun, Hokkaido, 052-0103, Japan (URL: http://www.sci.hokudai.ac.jp/isv/english/).

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