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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

Sheveluch (Russia) New whaleback dome extruded in late September 2020; intermittent explosions

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



Sheveluch (Russia) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New whaleback dome extruded in late September 2020; intermittent explosions

The ongoing eruption at Sheveluch continued during May-October 2020, characterized by lava dome growth, strong fumarolic activity, and several explosions that generated plumes of resuspended ash. Activity waned between November 2019 and April 2020 (BGVN 45:05), and this less intense level of activity continued during the reporting period (table 15). The volcano is monitored by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT). The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) throughout.

Notable explosions took place on 13 June, 28 June, 2 August, 24 August, and 7-9 October 2020 (table 15), sending ash plumes more than 1 km above the summit that drifted to distances of between 75 and 310 km. Some of the plumes were described by KVERT as being composed of re-suspended ash. On 28 September a large dacitic block of lava, a “whaleback” dome, was first seen being extruded from the eastern part of the larger lava dome in the summit crater (figure 55); it was given the name “Dolphin” by KVERT.

Table 15. Explosions, ash plumes, and extrusive activity at Sheveluch during May-October 2020. Dates and times are UTC, not local. VONA is Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation. Data courtesy of KVERT and the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Dates Plume altitude Drift Distance and Direction Remarks
13 Jun 2020 5 km 120 km NE Webcam captured an explosion. VONA issued.
28 Jun 2020 -- 140 km E Plume of re-suspended ash. VONA issued.
02 Aug 2020 4.5 km SE, E Moderate explosion produced a small ash plume.
24 Aug 2020 -- 75 km ESE Plume of resuspended ash.
28 Sep 2020 -- -- A new lava block extruded from the E part of the lava dome was first visible.
07-09 Oct 2020 -- 310 km SE Plume of re-suspended ash. VONAs issued.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Photo of the Sheveluch summit showing the new lava block (referred to as “Dolphin”) being extruded in eastern part the lava dome on 28 September 2020. Photo by Yu. Demyanchuk; courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

According to KVERT, a thermal anomaly was identified from the lava dome in the summit crater (figure 56) in satellite images every day during the reporting period, except for several days in August and September when weather clouds obscured the view. During the reporting period, thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, recorded hotspots from 2-13 days per month; after June, the number of days with hotspots gradually diminished every month. The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system, also based on analysis of MODIS data, detected frequent anomalies. NASA recorded high levels of sulfur dioxide above or near Sheveluch during several scattered days in May and June by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite, but very little drift was observed.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. Photo showing typical fumarolic activity from the lava dome at Sheveluch on 18 September 2020. Photo by Yu. Demyanchuk; courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

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: 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/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 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/); 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/).


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.

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 25, Number 12 (December 2000)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Dawson Strait Group (Papua New Guinea)

Occasional seismic swarms 1989-99; no eruptive activity

Etna (Italy)

Summary of July to November 2000 notes small lava flows, Strombolian eruptions

Fournaise, Piton de la (France)

12 October-13 November eruption near July eruption site

Inielika (Indonesia)

Explosions eject tephra in first eruption since 1905

Karangetang (Indonesia)

Explosions generate ash plumes, ashfall, lava flows and avalanches

Kelut (Indonesia)

Inflation and increase in crater lake's temperature and surface height

Lengai, Ol Doinyo (Tanzania)

Continued intermittent eruptive activity; scientist burned by lava

Merapi (Indonesia)

Dome failure and growth during January 2001; over 30 pyroclastic flows

Momotombo (Nicaragua)

Previously unreported low activity during March and April 2000

Popocatepetl (Mexico)

December set records in tremor, dome extrusion rates, SO2 flux, and tilt



Dawson Strait Group (Papua New Guinea) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Dawson Strait Group

Papua New Guinea

9.62°S, 150.88°E; summit elev. 500 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Occasional seismic swarms 1989-99; no eruptive activity

During August-October 2000 there were no reports of unusual volcanic activity occurring at Esa'ala (also called the Dawson Strait group). RVO had a 1960s-vintage seismic recorder at Esa'ala until 1994. Since then, maintenance and funding problems have meant it has neither functioned nor been replaced. Discussion with Professor Abe following a seismic survey in the area in the second part of 1999 revealed that he had seen continued seismicity at the Esa'ala base station.

The last notable seismic swarm at Esa'ala before the RVO instrument broke down was in November-December 1992. Another prior swarm of earthquakes took place in mid-December 1989 (BGVN 15:01). RVO maintains a part-time observer at Esa'ala who keeps track of felt earthquakes. He typically reports that no felt earthquakes have occurred.

General References. Davies, H.L., 1973, Fergusson Island, Papua New Guinea-1:250,000 Geological Series: Bur. Miner. Resour. Aust. explan. Notes, SC/56-5.

Smith, I.E.M., 1976, Peralkaline rhyolites from the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, Papua New Guinea, in Johnson, R.W., ed., Volcanism in Australasia: Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 275-285.

Smith, I.E.M., 1981, Young volcanoes in eastern Papua in Johnson, R.W., ed., Cooke-Ravian Volume of Volcanological Papers: Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea Memoir 10, p. 257-265.

Geologic Background. The Dawson Straits, located between eastern Fergusson and western Normanby Islands in the D'Entrecasteaux island group, contains a volcanic field with several centers that define a possible partly submerged caldera. There have been no historical eruptions, but morphology suggests an extremely young age for some lava flows, and the area displays vigorous thermal activity. The most prominent volcanic centers are Mounts Lamonai and Oiau, located about 10 km apart on the SW tip of Fergusson Island. The summit of Lamonai is capped by a steep-walled crater, and rhyolitic lava flows are exposed on the NE side of the cone. The dominantly volcaniclastic Oiau cone has also produced obsidian lava flows. Dobu Island to the south is formed of coalescing volcanic centers and likewise has produced youthful rhyolitic obsidian flows.

Information Contacts: Ima Itikarai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Etna (Italy) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Summary of July to November 2000 notes small lava flows, Strombolian eruptions

This summary of Sistema Poseidon reports covers the period from July to November 2000. The summit craters discharged several minor lava flows, some Strombolian eruptions, and frequent degassing. The Bocca Nuova (BN) vent was particularly active.

During July and well into August the summit craters displayed comparatively low activity. During July at BN three different vents were degassing. During July at NEC emissions came from one primary vent. Emissions were robust on 18 August, and commonly bore light-brown ash.

During late August, Southeast Crater (SEC) renewed emission of a weak lava flow from a fracture on the N side. The lava stream, which flowed into the Valle de Bove, persisted throughout 27 August, and increased progressively on the night of 27-28 August.

At 0135 on 28 August fairly sustained degassing occurred at SEC with initially violent Strombolian emissions. Beginning at about 0600, the explosive Strombolian activity changed rapidly to violent lava fountains, which generated an eruptive cloud rising thousands of meters above the summit. Ash and lapilli fell on the Etna's E slopes. This phase lasted about one hour, and was analogous to what had been observed during episodes in the first half of 2000.

The lava flow, despite appearing larger during the more violent degassing phase, moved little on its farthest-advanced fronts, which along the W face of the Valle del Bove reached to about 2,200-2,300 m elevation. Rather, the flow tended to widen in the zone between 2,800 and 2,700 m. The lava emission rate at the vent appeared to be drastically reduced at the end of this degassing phase.

A new degassing episode was confirmed on 29 August. This was characterized by its brevity and by the way in which it manifested itself, producing explosive Strombolian blasts (rhythmic expulsion of pyroclastics) rather than true lava fountains.

As frequently observed for the last episode, this one also started with a glimmer of light on the N flank of the SEC announcing the beginning of a new lava emission. Eruptive activity increased between 22 and 28 August, while the volcanic tremor first showed a modest increase at 0339 on 29 August, when sporadic explosions from the SEC summit crater began. Only after 0530 did the explosive activity reach a continuous intensity. It concluded at about 0610. Peak activity did not reach the same levels as the preceding phase, but ejected pyroclastics ~200 m above the crater rim. The finer portions were carried several hundred meters and dispersed E, without reaching residential areas.

Observations at the conclusion of the late-August explosive phase showed the new lava flow still spreading over the N flank of the SEC, but new lava had ceased venting. This new flow overrode the one from 28 August, and descended to ~2,100 m on the W face of the Valle del Bove.

The other craters in the volcano's summit area chiefly slowly emitted gas vapors, with the exception of one of BN's vents, which frequently ejected brown ash. The emission of ash from this vent intensified during the week. As September began, BN continued to produce abundant steam and ash emissions, which at times seemed aided by elevated atmospheric humidity and by infiltration of recent precipitation. This effect continued later into September.

In mid-September, BN produced generally mild degassing. During 19, 22, and 23 September nearly continuous ash emission took place. Primarily dark gray and sometimes brownish colored plumes were visible for many kilometers. For the preceding weeks these plumes had vented at two distinct crater cavities on the inside of the BN. The larger cavity lies in BN's center and discharged gaseous blue-white emissions. The smaller cavity lay near BN's internal SW wall, and it expelled ash. During this same time, as in past weeks during the month, the Voragine and Northeast Crater continued to emit abundant steam. The SEC weakly degassed from fumaroles.

October activity continued as in past months with ash emissions at the BN. These were particularly visible on 3-6 October. At night it was possible to observe light coming from the crater cavity on the inside of the BN, suggesting weak Strombolian activity. Mid-October behavior included explosive Strombolian eruptions from both crater cavities; incandescent bombs occasionally fell outside of the crater. Milder episodes occurred on 17 and 21 October. Between 24 and 29 October two stronger episodes took place.

At the Voragine and the NEC, the early days of October showed rather sustained steam emissions, in part accentuated by the first snowfalls and by the elevated humidity on the summit. The SEC displayed mostly fumarolic activity. Later, the Voragine gave off copious steam, but at the SEC and NEC weak degassing occurred.

The last days of October and the early days of November were distinguished by a decline of the explosive Strombolian activity from the two emission points within BN. Strombolian activity sent tephra ~100-150 m high, which still frequently fell outside of the BN crater.

During November, BN continued to produce modest explosive Strombolian activity that sometime spewed incandescent material of moderate size outside the crater walls. Observers continued to note two distinct cavities in BN.

In the early hours of 29 November observers noted the presence of a small lava flow at the base of the SEC. Upon close viewing, observers found that the flow gushed from the base of a fracture on the N sector of the cone at the SEC and continued downslope for ~200 m. Although lava continued to flow in the succeeding days, atmospheric conditions obscured later views of this area. No relevant activity aside from a constant steam emission occurred either at the Voragine or at the NEC during this time.

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 and the Sicilian regional governments, and operated by several scientific institutions (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/en/chi-siamo/la-sezione.html).


Piton de la Fournaise (France) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Piton de la Fournaise

France

21.244°S, 55.708°E; summit elev. 2632 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


12 October-13 November eruption near July eruption site

Piton de la Fournaise erupted several times during 2000; 14 February to 4 March (BGVN 25:01), 23 June to 30 July (BGVN 25:07), and in October. The last eruption in 2000 began on 12 October after two periods of inflation, high pre-eruptive radon emissions, and three weeks of increased seismicity beneath the volcano.

During the two months prior to the eruption, two tiltmeter stations, "Dolomieu Sud," located at the volcano's summit and "Château Fort" on its southern base, showed tilt variations of up to 50 µrad, which indicated a clear inflation of the S flank. In addition, extensometer data at Château Fort showed that fissure openings had significantly increased since the preceding eruption in June 2000. The fissure expansions confirmed that inflation was occurring.

Three weeks prior to the eruption high seismicity occurred under the volcano, with 10 to 20 earthquakes per day. A small seismic crises that consisted of 57 earthquakes occurred on 6 October (figure 56). Thereafter, the number of seismic events returned to the high levels that had been recorded during the previous 3 weeks until the number of earthquakes significantly increased on 12 October, marking the beginning of the eruption. All of the 278 seismic events that occurred between the end of September and 12 October were of very low energy, usually with magnitudes less than 0.7. Only seven earthquakes were recorded with higher magnitudes, ranging between 0.9 and 1.7.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. The number of daily seismic events recorded at seismic stations at Piton de la Fournaise during 10 September through 21 October 2000. Courtesy of OVPDLF.

In addition to increased seismicity, high radon activity was measured at the volcano. Three different probes in soil and old eruption vents at the "Bory" station on the W rim of the summit crater showed a high mean level of radon activity. The "Bory 3" radon probe showed about 40 counts per day, which was 2.7 times higher than during January-May 2000. OVPDLF scientists determined that the high counting rates indicated a general increase in volcanic gas emissions from the volcano, reflecting the presence of degassing magma.

At 0401 on 12 October a seismic crisis began that consisted of 201 low-energy events (figure 56). All but five events had magnitudes less than or equal to 1.1, with the largest being 1.6. The seismic crisis lasted 64 minutes and at 0505 a strong eruption tremor, which was localized on the E flank of the volcano, appeared at the summit stations. Visual observations helped to constrain the eruption site between "Signal de l'Enclos" and "Le Langlois" craters, and above "Piton Pârvédi" crater, which formed during the previous eruption in June 2000 (figure 57). Field observations conducted with a hand-held GPS receiver allowed scientists to precisely locate the two fissures where lava was emitted during the eruption. The smaller fissure (fissure 1) was several tens of meters long, located at 2,260 m in altitude, and emitted a small, 50-100 m long aa lava flow. The other fissure (fissure 2) was 680 m long and ran continuously between 2,220 m and 2,000 m in altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. Sketch map showing the location of craters of the 12 October activity and fissures where lava flows were emitted. PDN (Piton de Neiges) is a coordinate system used on Reunion Island by IGN and other scientists. In general, IGN maps include both PDN and international ellipsoid coordinates. Courtesy of OVPDLF.

Almost all of the lava-flow activity occurred at fissure 2. At 1100 on 12 October, lava fountaining still occurred within the lower 350 m of fissure 2, and lava output was relatively high. A large network of numerous aa lava flows of up to 200 m width traveled down the SE flank of the volcano towards "Piton Pârvédi" and continued in a single, large lava flow for 5.5 km on the southern border of the June lava flow until reaching 400 m in altitude. At 2100 on 13 October, about 40 hours after the eruption began, the rate of lava emission was still high with an estimated rate of 40-60 m3/s. A continuous incandescent lava flow, at least 2 km long, was visible.

The following day volcanic activity was focused on the lower end of fissure 2, and a crater began to build up. It was named "Piton Morgabim." Initially the crater was U-shaped with an opening towards the ESE. Throughout the entire period of activity a permanent lava lake was present within the crater, and lava flows were observed on the downhill (SE) side of the crater. During the first week of November the crater closed so that the lava lake was no longer visible, and the upper crater walls were high and sub-vertical. Several tunnels began to form and a tumulus that was several tens of meters high piled up in front of "Piton Morgabim" (figure 58). Since the end of October pahoehoe lava flows appeared in the upper part of the initial aa lava flows and surrounded "Piton Pârvédi" crater to the N and S.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Photograph of the eruption, taken from the SW at 0943 on 9 November from a helicopter. The photograph shows the initial crater ("Piton Morgabim") and the new vent (circled to the left) and an active incandescent lava flow channel. The pahoehoe lava flows above "Piton Pârvédi" that began in late October can be distinguished (gray area), as well as the tumulus in front of "Piton Morgabim." Courtesy of OVPDLF.

Since 29 October, tremor began to increase until it reached the same high value as during the first minutes of the eruption. Tremor remained at high levels for the following 5 days. Beginning on 5 November strong degassing and liberation of H2S occurred just above "Piton Morgabim." On 8 November the upper crater walls collapsed and the [lava] lake, which was ~40 m in diameter, was visible again. On 9 November an intense explosion occurred ~50 m NW of "Piton Morgabim" crater, and rocks and lava were ejected up to 200 m in altitude. A second vent formed in this area and both it and "Piton Morgabim" were simultaneously active for several tens of hours (figure 58 and 59). From 12 November, explosions and black ash were observed at the upper vent, which were most likely phreatomagmatic features. Lava bombs were ejected up to 250 m away from the vent. Both vents fused together, and the initial crater raised up, finally forming one single large crater named "Piton Morgabim" (figure 59). Figures 16 and 17 show different stages of the vents growing together. During the period of increased tremor, new several-km-long pahoehoe flows formed. Again they surrounded Piton Pârvédi to the N and S and covered large parts of the June 2000 lava flow. In particular, one pahoehoe lava flow extended beyond the front of the June eruption in the "Grand Brûlé" by ~500 m length down to 370 m elevation.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. Photograph of "Piton Morgabim" and a second crater coalescing at Piton de la Fournaise. The photograph was taken on 11 November from the E flank of the volcano. The saddle-shaped separation between the two craters disappeared during the next days. Bright spots to the left and right of the craters were emanations from the lava flow and fissure 2, respectively. Courtesy of P. Morin.

The high level of tremor suddenly disappeared at 2310 on 13 November, marking the end of the eruption. By this time the remaining crater, "Piton Morgabim," was ~100 x 75 m across and 30-40 m deep (figure 60). On 15 November, the lava flow SE of the crater was still hot; a temperature of ~800°C was measured 40 cm below the surface.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Photograph of the surface of the affected area of Piton de la Fournaise after the eruption. The black line shows the outline of the lava flow. Courtesy of OVPDLF.

Basalt samples were collected throughout the eruption. The initial basalt was apheric, near the end of October olivine crystals appeared, and near the end of the eruption the basalt had numerous centimeter-sized olivine crystals.

Digital photos were analyzed in order to map the lava flow and to obtain an estimate of it's erupted volume. The total erupted volume was estimated to be on the order of 5 x 106 m3, which is a typical value for eruptions at Piton de la Fournaise.

Correction. In BGVN 25:07 the area of the entire lava flow from the 23 June-30 July 2000 eruption of Piton de la Fournaise was reported as being 3 x 102 m2, when it was actually 3 x 106 m2.

Geologic Background. The massive Piton de la Fournaise basaltic shield volcano on the French island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Much of its more than 530,000-year history overlapped with eruptions of the deeply dissected Piton des Neiges shield volcano to the NW. Three calderas formed at about 250,000, 65,000, and less than 5000 years ago by progressive eastward slumping of the volcano. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the floor of the calderas and their outer flanks. Most historical eruptions have originated from the summit and flanks of Dolomieu, a 400-m-high lava shield that has grown within the youngest caldera, which is 8 km wide and breached to below sea level on the eastern side. More than 150 eruptions, most of which have produced fluid basaltic lava flows, have occurred since the 17th century. Only six eruptions, in 1708, 1774, 1776, 1800, 1977, and 1986, have originated from fissures on the outer flanks of the caldera. The Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory, one of several operated by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, monitors this very active volcano.

Information Contacts: Thomas Staudacher, Jean Louis Cheminée, Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers, 14 RN3 - Km 27, 97418 La Plaine des Cafres, Réunion, France (URL: http://www.ipgp.fr/fr/ovpf/observatoire-volcanologique-piton-de-fournaise).


Inielika (Indonesia) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Inielika

Indonesia

8.73°S, 120.98°E; summit elev. 1559 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions eject tephra in first eruption since 1905

A minor explosion occurred at 1915 on 11 January 2001. The explosion ejected ash that coated Bajawa (~8 km from the summit) with an ash layer less than 0.5 mm thick. Increased activity after 11 January prompted the VSI to set the volcano's hazard status to 3 (on a scale of 1-4). Three explosions occurred at about 0700 on 13 January, sending ash 300-1,000 m above the crater rim. Workers at the volcano's observatory post, located ~7.5 km from the summit, subsequently heard thundering sounds. Ash, which appeared dense and light in color, blew E to Toa and S to Boya, Bolodio, and Bajawa. By 15 January, a seismograph recorded continuous tremor with an amplitude of 2 mm in addition to 59 explosion earthquakes with amplitudes of 2-14 mm.

Ash emission was ongoing as of 16 January, and ranged from 100 to 1,000 m above the summit. VSI workers observed two new large craters trending SE-NW. The top of the SE crater measured 50 m in diameter, narrowed to 25 m at its base, and was 10 m deep. It emitted an audible sound and ejected an ash plume from its N wall with variable pressure. Winds tended to blow ash toward the S. The NW crater was 20 m in diameter and 1.1 m deep. The temperature of a fumarole measured 95°C, and nearby ground temperature measured 89°C.

During 16-22 January, explosions produced both ash and lapilli. Light gray ash fell around the main crater within a 10-20 m radius. Lapilli, which had a maximum size of 50 cm, fell up to 500 m from the main crater.

Geologic Background. Inielika is a broad, low volcano in central Flores Island that was constructed within the Lobobutu caldera. The complex summit contains ten craters, some of which are lake filled, in a 5 km2 area north of the city of Bajawa. The largest of these, Wolo Runu and Wolo Lega North, are 750 m wide. A phreatic explosion in 1905 formed a new crater, and was the volcano's only eruption during the 20th century. Another eruption took place about a century later, in 2001. A chain of Pleistocene cinder cones, the Bajawa cinder cone complex, extends southward to Inierie.

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


Karangetang (Indonesia) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions generate ash plumes, ashfall, lava flows and avalanches

Heightened activity continued at Karangetang in late December 2000-late January 2001, following a year of frequent activity in 2000 (BGVN 25:11). The main crater and Crater II sent a white, variably-thick ash plume up to 600 m above the summit during 19-25 December. Plume illumination up to 150 m above the craters was visible at night. Lava flows occurred on 21-22 December and reached as far as 1,250 m laterally along the SW flank. The seismic record also showed increased activity with multi-phase earthquakes predominating.

Activity, however, tailed off during 26 December-1 January before increasing again with renewed vigor from 2 to 8 January. At 1258 on 2 January an explosion produced a white-gray ash plume that rose ~500 m above the summit. At 1845 on the same day, workers observed a glowing lava avalanche issuing from the main crater and moving 50 m from the summit down toward the Naitu River. A larger explosion on 7 January sent gray ash 1,500 m above Karangetang. A coeval Strombolian eruption cloud rose 200 m. Ashfall occurred W of the volcano, coating Pahe, Lehi, Mini, and Kinali villages. Lava flowed down to the Tanitu River as far a 1 km from the summit. Tectonic earthquakes dominated seismicity during the week, and a significant number of tremor earthquakes also occurred.

A minor explosion occurred on 10 January; ash rose and subsequently fell back into the crater. Tectonic earthquakes again overshadowed all other types during 9-15 January. At 0845 on 17 January an explosion generated a small ash plume and a lava avalanche. Ash fell on Salili and Beong villages; lava flowed down both the E and W flanks of the volcano. Seismicity remained elevated with earthquake distributions similar to the previous week. The VSI maintained a hazard status of 2 (on a scale of 1-4) for Karangetang throughout the report period.

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

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


Kelut (Indonesia) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Kelut

Indonesia

7.93°S, 112.308°E; summit elev. 1731 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Inflation and increase in crater lake's temperature and surface height

Increasing crater lake temperature, water level, and inflation have been observed since 19 January 2001. Water temperature in the crater lake rose to 47.5-49.1°C. On 21 January water level rose 5 cm. Leveling measurement showed 5.5-6 mm of inflation. During 16-22 January, seismographs recorded 20 tectonic earthquake events. These observations prompted the VSI to increase Kelut's hazard status from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Geologic Background. The relatively inconspicuous Kelut stratovolcano contains a summit crater lake that has been the source of some of Indonesia's most deadly eruptions. A cluster of summit lava domes cut by numerous craters has given the summit a very irregular profile. Satellitic cones and lava domes are also located low on the E, W, and SSW flanks. Eruptive activity has in general migrated in a clockwise direction around the summit vent complex. More than 30 eruptions have been recorded from Gunung Kelut since 1000 CE. The ejection of water from the crater lake during the typically short but violent eruptions has created pyroclastic flows and lahars that have caused widespread fatalities and destruction. After more than 5000 people were killed during an eruption in 1919, an ambitious engineering project sought to drain the crater lake. This initial effort lowered the lake by more than 50 m, but the 1951 eruption deepened the crater by 70 m, leaving 50 million cubic meters of water after repair of the damaged drainage tunnels. After more than 200 deaths in the 1966 eruption, a new deeper tunnel was constructed, and the lake's volume before the 1990 eruption was only about 1 million cubic meters.

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


Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania) — December 2000 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)


Continued intermittent eruptive activity; scientist burned by lava

Activity has continued intermittently since early August 1999 (BGVN 24:11). Celia Nyamweru compiled a report based on observations and interpretations of photographs taken of the crater on various dates between 2 September 1999 and 29 July 2000, and observations made during a 23-26 July 2000 visit to the summit crater. Observations and photos during this period are from the mountain guide Burra Ami Gadiye unless otherwise noted. The report for July 2000 also includes the observations of Fred Belton. A report of fieldwork performed in early October 2000 was prepared by Christoph Weber.

Some cones have been renumbered according to the system agreed on by Nyamweru, Belton, and Weber in October 2000. Under the revised system a new eruption center is assigned a new T-number (e.g. T49). New cones at the flank of an existing cone, and clearly fed by this, will be identified with letters appended to the T-number (e.g T49B, T49C, etc.). This leads to the following renumbering: T52 (formerly T52C), T52B (formerly T52W), T52C (formerly T52E), T37 (formerly T37S), T37B (formerly T37N1), T37C (formerly T37N2), and T37D (formerly T37E and also formerly T5/9). This report reflects the new cone names.

Activity during September-December 1999. Reports and photographs from Gadiye on 2 and 10 September 1999 showed no eruptive activity, almost no dark lava visible, and steaming from cone T47. Colors of the crater floor ranged from white to light gray and light brown, with a slightly darker (chestnut brown) patch of lava around the lower slopes of T45. Small dark patches on the upper slopes of T40 might have been fresh spatter. There were no new cones or significant changes since July 1999. On 10 October Gadiye reported similar activity, plus steam from T37 and T47. A small flat-topped cone W of T37 and T45 may be new, though it is pale gray.

Gadiye's notes from 9 November refer to a cone (most likely T40) throwing out lava. The eruption appeared to be small, with lava bubbling at the top of a hornito on the lower slope of the cone. Some small flows appeared to have come from the central part of the slopes of one or two of the large cones, so possibly there had been some minor activity since 10 October 1999. Joerg Keller reported about a 23 December visit to the crater by Michael Kraml, Ralf Gertisser, Marika Vespa, and Andrea Bull. Patches of relatively fresh looking lava were seen around cones T48 and T49. Between cones T48 and T49 there was a 30-cm-thick layer of natrocarbonatite tear-drop lapilli, relatively fresh in appearance and about a week old. No new cone was present on the W side of the crater floor.

Activity during January-20 July 2000. Gadiye's notes from 2 January refer to "a completely new cone that appeared in December 1999" shown in several photos. In one, he describes it as "throwing out lava violently" although this is not entirely clear from the photograph. This cone, towards the W side of the crater, has been named T51. Most of the crater floor was white to light gray and light brown, with pahoehoe lobes and other well-defined structures. Located close to the W wall, T51 had regular, rather steep slopes and was surrounded with fresh lava. These flows are pahoehoe but appear rather thick in comparison to their length, possibly 10-20 cm thick rather than the 2-5 cm layers observed elsewhere. Emission of steam occurred from several cones in the central cluster.

On 6 January Gadiye noted that very dark fresh-looking lava seemed to originate from a small vent between the E (T37-T45) and W (T47-T49) cone clusters. This may be the beginning of the activity that produced the T52 group described in July 2000. Overall the colors of the crater floor ranged from white to light gray and light brown. The lower slopes of T45 look significantly darker than the pale gray lava surrounding them.

Gadiye's photographs from 24 January showed continued activity from the area between the E and W cone clusters. The source of four long narrow tongues of lava seemed to be a low flat-topped cone between T48 and T37B. Other photographs show a large patch of dark lava between the older cone clusters and possibly a small flow from it towards the NE. Colors of the crater floor ranged from white to light gray, except for the dark patches around T52 and the new flows. The lava at the E overflow was white and showed little or no change since 1999.

Aerial photographs taken on 8 February by Benoit Wangermez showed no visible eruptive activity. No significant changes seemed to have occurred since late January 2000. Gadiye noted no eruptive activity on 12 March. T40 showed little change, there was a small pale brown hornito between T40 and the NW overflow, and T51 was rather pale brown with no sign of dark lava flows around it. Photographs by David Bressler in late April/early May revealed a cone with fresh lava on its slopes, probably T49B. No eruptive activity could be seen on an aerial photograph taken by Nigel Pavitt on 2 May (figure 65). Gadiye also did not report any activity on 7 May. No fresh lava flows were visible in his photographs; the flows originating from the T52 vent(s) were mid-brown in color.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 65. An aerial photograph of Ol Doinyo Lengai taken on 2 May 2000 from the W showing the upper part of the cone with Ketumbeine mountain in the background. The summit crater is white, with no details of individual cones visible. The outer walls on the NW and W side are clearly visible, along with the NW overflow, the breakout lava flow of June 1993 on the W wall, and the numerous erosional gullies that expose white ash. The similarity of color between the weathered lava and the weathered ash in the gullies makes it very difficult to determine how far down the slopes the lava flows have extended. Photograph by Nigel Pavitt; courtesy of Celia Nyamweru.

No activity was obvious in 20 July aerial photographs from Luigi Cantamessa (Geo-Decouverte SA), though some very fresh lava may have been present around T51. A near-vertical view of the crater floor and outer W and NW slopes showed the NW overflow clearly, with very pale brown seeming to extend several hundred meters down the outer slope. The breakout lava flow of June 1993 was also visible on the W slope, and seemed shorter than the NW overflow. A photo taken from over the summit looking N revealed a variety of colors on the crater floor, evidence of many lava flows. One medium-sized brown flow extended S from T46, ending in a broad front of rounded lobes. A near-vertical view with the NW wall in the foreground showed several flows of pale brown and pale gray lava that had moved across the crater rim. The darkest patches on the crater floor were NNW of T49B and W of T51. The patch near T51 was small with very narrow lava tongues radiating outwards. These appeared to be very recent, as such small very narrow flows would not remain dark for very long once the eruption ended.

Activity during 23-30 July 2000. Observations and photographs were made during summit visits by C. Nyamweru (23-26 July) and F. Belton (23-30 July).

Observations made by Nyamweru of the crater floor on 24 July (figure 66) showed that the N part was mostly pale gray, pale brown, or white in color, with no sign of recent lava flows. The youngest lava flows were in the S and E parts of the crater floor. Flow 1, originating from a small vent on the slopes of T46, was probably several weeks old; it still retained its form, pahoehoe surface texture, and a slightly darker brown color than its surroundings. It had recently been partly covered by Flow 2, which was probably less than 24 hours old when Nyamweru's group arrived at the summit on 23 July. On the morning of 23 July it could just be touched with a bare hand; most of the flow was very dark brown with a small amount of whitening around the edges of the slabs. It retained significant warmth and cracking sounds could frequently be heard from within this flow. Flow 2 was ~1.5 m thick with a rough surface composed of broken, tilted pahoehoe slabs, covering much of the S crater floor. It appeared to have originated from the small T37D vent. The lava flowed S and E, surrounding two remnant slabs of the old crater wall and pouring down in a 'lava fall' between T24 and the crater wall to the lower level of the S crater floor. It flowed into T24 and partly buried it, and also flowed around T26, T27, and T30. 'Lava strandlines' were visible around the crater wall E of T24 where the lava lake had been held at a higher level. Flow 3 moved from the N slope of T37B to the N and E to within a few meters of the E overflow. It was still very hot about 1330 on 23 July. Several large blocks of older lava on the upper part of Flow 3 had probably been part of the top of T37B.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. A sketch of crater features at Ol Doinyo Lengai made from the summit on 24 July 2000. Notable features include three recent lava flows, large cracks in the crater floor and walls, and a lapilli field. Courtesy of C. Nyamweru.

The N and W crater floor were crossed by radiating cracks, some of which continued from the floor up through the crater wall. Some of them emitted steam and sulfur fumes, and in places the ground along the cracks was bright yellow with sulfur crystals. Such cracks have long been features of the crater floor, but compared with earlier years there were more of them and they were wider. Nyamweru estimated one crack on the N wall as being ~1 m wide; Belton measured a crack between T40 and T49 and obtained a width of 60 cm and a depth of 4.1 m. Four or five big cracks continued from the floor up onto the N crater wall; this was not something that had been obvious in earlier years. A deep crack extended from T51 across the SW crater floor and up onto the crater wall.

At the NW overflow a photograph taken from the road N of the cone showed what may be a very narrow tongue of white lava (?), not present in July 1999. It appeared to have flowed down a gully in which whitish patches of ash are visible lower down. There is no evidence of major lava flows spilling out of the crater during the last few months, possibly even during the last year. The most recent flows to have crossed the rim may be towards the S end of the overflow, and are small, discolored pahoehoe flows that may have emerged from T51 since January 2000. A crack over 20 cm wide emitting sulfur fumes and steam ran from T49B NW towards the crater rim at the overflow.

In a photograph of the E overflow taken from the road E of the cone no changes were evident since July 1999. However in July 1999 Nyamweru measured the width of this overflow as 22 m, whereas in July 2000 it was 38 m. In July 2000 there was no sign of any fresh lava approaching the overflow apart from Flow 3, which reached within 20 m of the N side of the overflow on 23 July. The low point on the SW rim had changed little since July 1999; small pahoehoe flows from T51 had reached the SW crater wall, but not close to this low point.

T51 was the new cone on the W side of the crater, probably formed in late December 1999. T47/T36/T39 showed little or no change. T46/T44 showed little or no change, but was the source of Flow 1. T48 had collapsed. T49 has been joined by a well-defined cone to its W, called T49B. Three new cones (T52 group) formed E of T48; the western one was a jagged brown cone with no signs of recent activity; the two eastern ones were younger, with smoother shapes and dark gray to black in color, possibly the source of some small lava flows within the last few days. T37B's big open vent had collapsed. The small T37D cone, visible in 1999 photographs, seemed to have been very active in the few days preceding the visit, in particular as the source of Flow 2.

The lapilli field covered an area some tens of meters across, S of T45 and E of T37D. Here the lapilli, well-formed spheres and ovals less than 2 mm in diameter, were black and still warm on 23 July, forming a layer ~8 cm thick. In this area the lapilli overlay some recent lava but in turn were overlain by small pahoehoe flows. Nearby the surface layer of lapilli had already turned white, but below 1-cm depth they were still warm and black. Elsewhere, smaller quantities of lapilli very similar in appearance occurred on the crater floor and on the E crater wall. Lapilli extended ~130 m across the crater floor from the N end of the E overflow, lying in small depressions. In this area the lapilli were pale gray on the afternoon of 23 July. Small amounts of similar gray lapilli were seen on the surface to about a quarter to a third of the way up the SE crater rim.

Belton provided detailed descriptions of the activity at the cones during this period. Activity was nearly continuous at T49B, but varied considerably in nature and intensity. The cone degassed frequently, sometimes emitting loud jets of steam and lava fragments, other times producing a steady output of invisible gases. The degassing alternated with lava splashes that coated the sides of the cone. Eruptions usually occurred 4-5 times per minute. On the night of 23 July cone T49B produced several short aa flows. Rockfall from the top of T49B was also common, with some lava boulders 30 cm in diameter rolling up to 7 m from the base. Throughout the week the summit vent(s) of T49B frequently changed size and location.

The T51 cone built up a low shield in the WNW part of the crater. Lava overflowed from the summit vent of T51 several times during the early morning of 23 July. In a much larger eruption at 1130, lava of very low viscosity cascaded down the N flank and formed pahoehoe flows at its base. A similar but smaller eruption occurred at 1900. From 24 through 27 July cone T51 contained lava at depth (5 m). At 0600 on 28 July a lava pond was 2 m below the rim of the 1-m-diameter summit vent. The pond degassed with increasing vigor and gradually rose closer to the top of the vent. At 1645 lava overflowed the N side, forming channel-fed pahoehoe flows (figure 67). Similar activity continued through the night and into 29 July. Numerous small cones formed above the lava tubes and erupted highly vesicular lava, really nothing more than brown foam. Around 1300 on 29 July surges about once per minute caused the pond to overflow. The eruption continued through 0800 on 30 July (figure 68). One flow traveled 75 m NW to within 16 m of the NW crater rim breach. During the 39 hours of activity, T51 grew in height by at least 1.5 m and its summit vent was reduced in size by ~75%.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. Cone T51 in the Ol Doinyo Lengai summit crater overflowed at 1645 on 28 July, sending lava flows down the N and NW slopes. The shape of the small lava shield that T51 has constructed is apparent here. The summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai is just behind the hornito. Courtesy of F. Belton.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. Photograph showing the summit area of cone T51 in the crater of Ol Doinyo Lengai on the morning of 29 July. After erupting through the night of 28 July, the lava dropped to a lower level inside T51 by 0800 on the 29th. A climb to the top revealed beautiful lava stalactites around the interior rim of the ~ 1-m-diameter summit vent. Courtesy of F. Belton.

At around 1300 on 23 July a short (about one minute) unusually violent eruption from T37B sprayed ejecta ~25 m above the cone. It is probable that this activity also created Flow 3, a fast moving 15-cm-thick flow of ropy lava that moved to the E. Minor activity also occurred in this part of the crater on 25 July between about 1500 and 1600 when a 10-m-long pahoehoe flow emerged from a small ground-level vent just E of T37D.

Activity during October 2000. An expedition organized by Chris Weber from 3 to 11 October 2000 consisted of a film team and four scientists, led by Joerg Keller. Observations were made by J. Keller, A. Zaytsev, D. Wiedenmann, J. Klaudius, D. Szczepanski, M. Szeglat, and C. Weber. The best-known track is on the WNW flank. Two other different routes were taken during descents following the visit (figure 69). The track down the NE flank (named Dorobo-Route) and a second track starting halfway between the W crater wall and the summit and descending the WSW flank to pass the Kirurum crater (named Reck-Route) were followed by different expedition members. An overnight camp was made at the Kirurum crater to give time for fieldwork. GPS data and barometric measurements gave new information about the elevations of various points on Ol Doinyo Lengai. The summit peak is approximately 2,955 m (2,950-2,960 m) elevation, cone C on the N crater rim is approximately 2,835 m, and the crater floor was approximately 2,925 m at the NW and E overflows.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Sketch map of the Ol Doinyo Lengai area showing nearby geographic features and climbing routes, October 2000. Courtesy of C. Weber.

Flow 1 (figure 70) still had a brown appearance, but continued to weather and was lighter in color than on 30 July. The younger Flow 2 was partly black to gray in the joints and cracks of the aa flow field. Some smaller flows around T49 and T49B were slightly black, though probably only a few hours old. Hydration of fresh lava flows (especially under high humidity) can cause a black surface to turn white within 24 hours. NW of T49B another cone appeared after 30 July and was named T49C. T51 was surrounded by flat pahoehoe flows and had grown since 30 July. There was a new cone in the collapsed T48 with some small light gray lava flows close to the cone. During this year many new cracks (at maximum up to 1 m wide and 5 m deep) had opened all across the crater floor. Most of the V-shaped cracks pointed to the T52 and T49 clusters, roughly the center of the major cone concentration. Some of the cracks broke through the crater rim. Other cracks were filled or covered by young lava flows.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. Sketch maps of the Ol Doinyo Lengai crater, October 2000, showing cracks (left) and recent lava flows (right). Courtesy of C. Weber.

Between 1200 and 1350 on 3 October spattering occurred from a small vent in the saddle between T49 and T49B. Two small lava flows were observed at the N and S flank of T49 during that time. At 1350 the W side of T49B collapsed, creating a ~6-m-wide and 5-m-high opening from which a sudden flash flood of lava was released. Parts of the collapsed wall of T49B were washed towards the W as big blocks. Within a few seconds the flow had reached halfway between the cone and the NW overflow. After 5 minutes the flow (Flow 4A) had reached its final extent ~40 m short of the NW overflow (figure 70). The lava flow was up to 5 cm thick and later aa flows were several decimeters thick. Until 8 October lava spattering and small lava flows had nearly closed the gap in the W wall of T49B. On the morning of 9 October at 1035 the W flank again collapsed in the same manner as on 3 October, leaving a 7-m-wide and 7-m-high gap. A flash flood of lava moved NW (Flow 4B) within seconds and stopped just 10 m from the NW overflow, covering Flow 4A. During the afternoon of 9 October T48 had strong degassing and for 10 minutes ejected tear-drop lapilli; no further activity was seen. Right after sunset of 9 October a crack opened at the SSW base of T49C with a noisy gas jet followed by a 10-minute spray of lava droplets and spherical lapilli up to ~10 m high. Small lava flows (Flow 4C) were emitted and moved NW. No more flows were observed through 11 October, but the lava lake inside T49B was splashing and degassing.

Between 3 and 9 October 2000 temperature measurements were made by three different instruments and gave consistent values. A digital thermometer (TM 914C with a K-type stab feeler) was used in the 0-1,200°C mode, taking readings by inserting the feeler 10 cm into still-moving and liquid lavas (10 times on various days) and as deep as possible into the fumaroles (five times on various days). Calibration was by the Delta-T method: values are ± 6°C in the 0-750°C range. All values were recorded by four repeat measurements at one spot. The pahoehoe lava flow (15 m below outflow from the T49B lava pond in an closed lava tube) was at 507°C. An aa flow front in slow motion (shortly after escaping an enclosed lava tube near T49B, 25 cm thick) was 496°C. The fumarole 25 m NNW of T49C in a crater crack towards the rim was at 75°C. The fumarole at the NW overflow inside the old crater rim was at 69°C. The fumarole on the NW flank of T48 was at 95°C.

On the evening of 3 October, one of the scientists (Jurgis Klaudius) accidentally stepped in a fresh but already solid-looking lava flow (~25 cm thick) at the W slope of T49B. This can easily happen in the dark when it is difficult to discern between solid and fresh black flows. In this case it caused a serious second-degree burn around his left ankle up to his lower leg. The lava, at a temperature of about 500°C, burned away all of the light plastic parts of his sport shoe, leaving the leather parts and the sole. On 6 October evacuation was necessary because of the risk of infection. He managed to slide down the steep slopes on his hands and right foot for most of the steep upper track, but was finally carried the rest of the way down in a seat on the shoulders of four porters. He was brought to a hospital in Arusha and then flown to Germany 24 hours later. Klaudius is recovering very well following skin grafts and will not suffer lasting damage.

Lengai is as dangerous as any other active volcano. Activity includes explosive eruptions, suddenly appearing lava fountains, several cone collapses, lava flash floods, and flows of enormous quantity. A lava temperature of 500°C is hot enough to burn someone seriously and because of the very low viscosity, this natrocarbonatite lava is extremely fluid and can flow very fast. Visits are not recommend without a guide.

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: Celia Nyamweru, Department of Anthropology, St. Lawrence University, Canton NY 13617 USA (URL: http://blogs.stlawu.edu/lengai/); Joerg Keller, IMPG, Albert-Ludwig-University Freiburg, Albertstrasse 23b, 79104 Freiburg, Germany; Christoph Weber, Volcano Expeditions International, Friesenstrasse 20, 42107 Wuppertal, Germany (URL: http://www.Vulkanexpeditionen.de); Frederick Belton, 3555 Philsdale Ave., Memphis, TN 38111 USA (URL: http://oldoinyolengai.pbworks.com/); Marc Szeglat (contact for video-film clips), Duelmenerstrasse 11, 46117 Oberhausen, Germany (URL: http://www.vulkane.net).


Merapi (Indonesia) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Dome failure and growth during January 2001; over 30 pyroclastic flows

Eruptive activity increased markedly at Merapi during the period of 26 December 2000-22 January 2001. Instrumental monitoring first recorded a significant increase in seismicity, expressed in both shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes, during 26 December-1 January. Visual observations were hindered during this time because of hazy conditions, and VSI maintained a hazard status of 2 (on a scale of 1-4) for Merapi.

Activity continued to increase during 2-8 January. Atmospheric conditions were clearer, allowing observation of a 1,500-m-high plume above the summit. Lava avalanches flowed ~1 km from the summit down to the Sat River. Seismicity remained high, again with a significant number of shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes, and was dominated by multi-phase and avalanche earthquakes.

During 9-15 January, activity again increased with respect to the previous week. Accordingly, VSI elevated Merapi's hazard status to 3. Observers noted a light-colored, variable-density, low-pressure ash plume that rose 500 m above the summit. Glowing lava avalanches flowed into the headwaters of the Lamat, Sat, and Senowo Rivers, up to 2 km from the summit. On 14 January, 29 pyroclastic flows traveled down the volcano's flanks into the three above-mentioned rivers and reached up to 4 km from their source. During the week, lava avalanches and pyroclastic flows occurred with an average interval of 0.5-1 hours.

Visual observations from several post observatories during 16-22 January revealed ash eruptions, glowing lava flows and avalanches, and pyroclastic flows. Merapi ejected a dense, light-colored ash plume under medium to high pressure. Ash rose 850-1,300 m above the summit, with an estimated emission volume of 95 metric tons/day. Ashfall occurred on the surrounding areas of Babadan, Kaliurang, and Ngepos. Glowing lava avalanches, with more than 150 occurring per day, reached as far as 3.5 km from the summit into the Bebeng, Sat, and Senowo Rivers. Observers suggested more than one source vent for these flows. More than 20 pyroclastic flows occurred daily during the week, sending ash and gas a maximum of 3 km down the Bebeng River, 4.5 km down the Sat River, and an unreported distance down the Senowo River.

The Darwin VAAC issued an ash advisory on 19 January to advise pilots of ash emanating from Merapi. The advisory reported an ash plume up to an altitude of ~3,400 m. Prevailing winds were projected to carry ash to the E or SE; cloud cover prevented any further descriptions.

A new lava dome, termed "2001," grew on top of the 1998 dome that had collapsed around 16 January. Growth appeared continuous with the glowing dome visible at night. Researchers speculated that the failure of the 1998 dome and the instability of the new dome accounted for the high frequency and volume of pyroclastic flows.

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: Dali Ahmad, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/).


Momotombo (Nicaragua) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Momotombo

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Previously unreported low activity during March and April 2000

This report discusses previously unreported information about the activity during March and April 2000. This interval of low activity occurred prior to one with heightened seismicity during May and June 2000 (BGVN 25:06).

The seismic swarm that began in May 2000 reached its peak during 9-11 June when the INETER seismic network registered over 500 earthquakes (BGVN 25:06). Many of the earthquake magnitudes were between 3.4 and 4.1, and the small epicentral area was directly under a geothermal plant on the S slope of the volcano. INETER reported that prior to the seismic activity, in March 2000, seismicity was low, with only two seismic events during the month. They did not visit the volcano during March.

On 9 April, Pierre Delmelle of the Université de Montréal along with local guides visited the volcano's crater. According to Delmelle, the crater was horseshoe-shaped and recent landslides had occurred down the crater's walls. He also noted that the majority of the fumarolic activity took place in the bottom of the crater. Gas was released from the fumaroles with very weak pressure, and temperatures ranged from 100 to 460°C. INETER personnel made a previous trip to the crater interior in September 1998 and found a lack of fresh landslides down the crater walls; fumarolic gas temperatures were 79 to 235°C.

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/); Pierre Delmelle, Département de Géologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada.


Popocatepetl (Mexico) — December 2000 Citation iconCite this Report

Popocatepetl

Mexico

19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


December set records in tremor, dome extrusion rates, SO2 flux, and tilt

Around the end of the year 2000 and in January 2001 Popocatépetl extruded dome lavas at record-setting rates and amassed the largest active dome ever recorded on the volcano. The seismic energy released in one 25-hour interval in mid-December was greater than the accumulated energy for any entire year for which measurements are available. The highest plume of the interval rose to ~8 km above the summit crater.

During late 2000 into January 2001, but particularly in December, tremor reached the biggest amplitudes yet recorded during this multi-year crisis; it was felt by people 12-14 km distant, and one tremor episode prevailed for ~10 hours. Another episode saturated instruments to the point of damage and drove tiltmeters in dramatic oscillations.

Although impressive plumes had been seen before in this crisis, for the first time hot ash and gases began escaping the summit crater regularly, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and mudflows. The longest pyroclastic flow reached a runout distance of ~8 km. Preliminary photo analysis made during episodes of harmonic tremor in mid-December led to lava extrusion-rate estimates that were more than an order of magnitude higher than those typically seen at stratovolcanoes. During mid-December, sulfur dioxide (SO2) fluxes reached ten to twenty times larger than the volcano's typical ~5,000 tons/day.

Although later Bulletin reports will provide more details, what follows here are critical highlights for assessing the behavior through 29 January. The report was provided by Servando de la Cruz-Reyna, Carlos Valdés-Gonzalez, Roberto Quaas-Weppen, and affiliated CENAPRED scientists noted below.

Relative quiet followed by unrest. The previous episode of dome growth took place in February 2000, resulting in the smallest of all domes grown since 1996 (see BGVN 25:01). After a period of relative quiescence, unrest followed at Popocatépetl in early September 2000 (BGVN 25:10). This marked the beginning of a new episode.

September unrest was marked by two seismic observations. First, harmonic tremor appeared in the peak of the exhalation signals. Second, tectono-volcanic earthquakes below the crater were followed by long-duration explosive eruptions that generated higher-altitude plumes. GOES satellite imagery depicted strong thermal anomalies in the crater. Still, only comparatively minor dome growth was detected in mid-September, and this same pattern continued during early November. A variable, somewhat reduced level of activity continued into early December.

Escalation in December 2000. As discussed below, RSAM values climbed precipitously during a 7-day interval in mid-December. Prior to that, on 2 December an ash emission of moderate-to-large size lasted about 90 minutes. On 6 December, nine low-magnitude earthquakes (M ~1.7-2.4) occurred followed by a similar swarm on 8-9 December. These earthquakes, in turn, were followed by a period of low-frequency harmonic tremor that lasted about 5 minutes. Although brief, this tremor had the largest amplitude recorded since this eruptive period began in 1994.

Particularly during December, tiltmeters, for the first time since their installation, registered all of the large tremor signals (figure 30). Tilt oscillation amplitudes were typically in the range of 100 µrad, reaching peak-to-peak values near 200 µrad. Seismicity during 11-18 December was extremely high (figures 31 and 32).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. Tilt at Popocatépetl recorded by various stations for 11-20 December 2000. The large tilt displacements occurred in conjunction with high-amplitude tremor. The x and y directions are neither radial nor strictly tangential in orientation. The two axes lie at right angles on a horizontal plane such that a line 45 degrees away and bisecting both these axes trends through the center of the volcano. Courtesy of CENAPRED.

Eruptive activity increased on 12 December 2000 with frequent ash-bearing emissions (up to 200 per day), some of them reaching about 5-6 km above the volcano's summit. During the following night observers saw incandescence and small amounts of hot debris. Similar activity and longer-duration eruptions during 13-15 December produced light ashfalls on towns around the volcano.

Early on 15 December more episodes of high-amplitude, low-frequency harmonic tremor were detected, lasting a few minutes. At 1404, the low-frequency harmonic tremor grew to a continuous signal, with amplitudes peaking on all the monitoring stations, including the most distant one. These signals were strong enough to be felt by residents 12-14 km away, and to be detected at stations of the Mexican Seismological Network as far as 150 km from the volcano. This tremor episode remained at constant intensity for about 10 hours, and may have stemmed from very high rates of lava extrusion.

Starting early on 16 December activity underwent a dramatic drop that was reversed 16 hours later by a return of low-frequency harmonic tremor of increasing amplitude. This tremor again saturated all monitoring stations; it lasted about 9.5 hours. The amplitudes of the signals were so high that pen drivers and several styli of the paper-drum recorders were damaged. A still-larger tremor episode took place on 18-19 December.

Figures 31 and 32 illustrate the seismic traces and cumulative RSAM data. RSAM peaked during an interval of slightly over 7 days in mid-December, when low-frequency tremor prevailed for ~25 hours and the seismic energy released exceeded that of the rest of the year 2000. Actually, the peak surpassed that accumulated during any previous entire year for which records exist (including 1997, see figure 32).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Paper-drum records from Popocatépetl photographed while laid out on a flat surface. The records depict the record-setting seismic signals at Canario station (PPPN) on 30 June 1997 (labeled "a") and on 18-19 December 2000 (labeled "b"). Some of the records in the latter set (b, central to upper left) were re-scaled when the maximum pen displacement was shifted from 8 cm to 4 cm in order to stop damaging pens and motors during ongoing saturating oscillations. It is clear that the amplitude and duration of the 18-19 December 2000 events greatly exceeded those from 30 June 1997. Prior to mid-December, the 30 June 1997 events represented the largest amplitude tremor seen since 1994. Courtesy of CENAPRED.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Real-time seismic amplitude measurement (RSAM) plots for two Popocatépetl stations for the years 1997-8 and 2000, illustrating the extremely high seismic energy release seen in a time interval just over 7 days long (11-18 December 2000). This interval includes the acute increase seen on 18 December 2000. This ~7-day interval's energy release was eightfold larger than the total annual release in 1997. Courtesy of CENAPRED.

The episodes of quiescence and high-amplitude, low-frequency harmonic tremors occurred in such a pattern that they could be described as a load-and-discharge model, as suggested by the time-predictable model of Shimazaki and Nagata (1980). Using this paradigm, workers forecast the onset of the 18 December eruption and tremor episode.

Aerial photos taken on 16 December showed significant dome growth inside the crater (figure 33) and allowed correlation of the episodes of high amplitude, low-frequency harmonic tremor with periods of lava extrusion at very high rates. Analysis of the photos indicated that the dome grew at an average rate of ~180-200 m3/s during the episodes of intense harmonic tremor. This rate, which was not sustained, was about two orders of magnitude higher than any other previously observed.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. A photograph taken looking into the crater at Popocatépetl, as viewed from the N on 16 December 2000. The substantial glacier on the N side lies covered by ash. Courtesy of CENAPRED.

At Popocatépetl, correlation spectrometer (COSPEC) measurements of SO2 flux have had yearly averages on the order of 5,000 metric tons/day (t/d). In contrast, during 13-19 December the estimates were in excess of 50,000 t/d. On 19 December the reported value was near 100,000 t/d.

Civil authorities were made aware of the high magnitude of the monitoring signals, the very high rate of lava production, and the growth of the largest dome yet observed. This motivated them to constitute, on 15-16 December, an emergency board. They declared a further increase in the alert level and defined a security radius of 13 km. This radius was suggested to include at least some of the most vulnerable towns, like Santiago Xalitzintla (centered ~15 km NE of the crater) and San Pedro Benito Juarez (with a few residences 10 km SE of the crater, but the main town at 12 km from it). Santiago Xalitzintla sits downstream of the E side of the largest glacier along one of the main N-flank drainages. San Pedro Benito Juarez lies on a fracture zone on the SE flank, an area where many of the largest tectono-volcanic earthquakes were located. Additionally, increased deformation was also detected using the geodetic network located on that fault. San Pedro Benito Juarez is an isolated town closest to a notch in the SE crater rim. This notch is believed to have formed by collapse on 24 February 1664 during an eruption similar to the current one.

Preventive evacuation of Santiago Xalitzintla, San Pedro Benito Juarez, and other towns began on late 15 December and early 16 December. The decisions regarding which other towns should be evacuated were made by authorities at the state and municipal level. This caused some towns, well outside the security radius of 13 km, to also be evacuated by decision of their mayors. About 41,000 people left the area. Around half left the region by their own will and means. The other half used resources provided by local civil protection authorities. Of these, ~14,000 accepted transportation to shelters where they remained for about 10 days. Others moved to stay with relatives or friends.

The total volume of fresh lava accumulated within the crater of Popocatépetl was estimated to be between 15 and 19 million cubic meters on 18 December, exceeding the combined volume of all the previous domes (figures 33 and 35). The estimated vertical growth rate of the dome was such that another 20 or 30 hours of tremor associated with the above-mentioned lava production rate could potentially have enabled the dome to begin escaping the confines of the crater. The rate slowed, however, and the dome's upper surface remained well within the crater (figures 33 and 35).

As anticipated by the applying the above-mentioned model, after a three-day period of relative quiescence, on the afternoon of 18 December, a new eruption began. The relatively low-explosivity, yet long-lasting eruption of 18-19 December (figure 34) ejected large amounts of hot debris on the flanks of the volcano in three episodes of incandescent fountaining. Ejected hot debris is believed to have ultimately flowed a maximum distance of 5-6 km from the crater. Some images of these eruptions were distributed by some news media, which had installed cameras around the volcano and broadcast images in real time. After 19 December activity decreased noticeably. The next expected period of unrest, suggested by the time-predictable model to ensue near 23 December (figure 35), did not occur, likely indicating that the rate of magma supply had changed. What was believed to be the first dome-destruction explosion of this episode occurred on 24 December, ejecting incandescent debris to a distance of 3.5 km from the volcano, and producing an ash plume estimated to reach 5 km above the crater. When the nature and size of this event was understood, authorities reduced the security radius to 12 km. No towns lie within that radius, and accordingly many people returned to their homes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. An ash-bearing eruption column rises from Popocatépetl on 19 December 2000, viewed from the N. This kind of activity was common during the energetic mid-December time interval and stimulated international attention (e.g. the media and websites of Reuters, Stromboli Online, and others). Courtesy of CENAPRED.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. Aerial photograph taken looking into the crater at Popocatépetl, as seen from the NE on 23 December. Courtesy of CENAPRED.

Later explosive events failed to excavate substantial portions of the new dome. The current estimate as of 16 January 2001 was that ~10-20% of the new dome volume has been blown out by explosions recorded after 18 December 2000. In many of the previous dome growth-and-destruction episodes since 1996, most of the dome mass has been removed by small to moderate (VEI <= 2) explosions; a similar scenario may play out in the near future.

After several weeks of relative calm, significant activity resumed at Popocatépetl on 22 January. At 1458 a M 2.8 volcano-tectonic earthquake occurred on the E flank. This event was possibly a precursor to a large ash emission that started at 1615, and initially produced an ash plume several kilometers in height. Eight minutes later observers saw a more explosive phase throwing incandescent fragments around the crater. After several more minutes, pyroclastic flows were generated and moved 4-6 km down several ravines on the N flank. Ash emission from the crater was continuous and punctuated by intermittent explosions. By 1640, the ash plume towered more than 8 km above the summit crater. At 1800 fluctuating harmonic tremor, similar to that of December, was registered. At times the signals again reached saturation amplitudes; the tremor could have been associated with magma intrusion into the base of the crater, an idea also suggested to explain previous tremor events. Harmonic tremor lasted for ~30 minutes. Ashfall was documented in Santiago Xalitzintla, Atlixico, and parts of Puebla and Tetela del Volcán. At 2200 it was possible to see ejected incandescent fragments that fell up to 1 km from the crater. On 29 January (figure 36), pyroclastic flows caused some glacial melting. The pyroclastic flows initially reached up to 8 km from their source, halting in the drainage upstream of Santiago Xalitzintla. They triggered some glacial melting and in early February their deposits were remobilized and came to rest about 15 km from the crater, about 2 km upstream of Santiago Xalitzintla. As of 29 January Popocatépetl remained at a Stage 3 Yellow alert.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. Popocatépetl on 29 January photographed looking S. The image captured the forceful ejection of an ash-laden cloud. Courtesy of CENAPRED.

Reference. Shimazaki and Nagata,1980, Time-predictable recurrence model for large earthquakes: Geophys Res. Lett. 7, p. 279-282.

Geologic Background. Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since Pre-Columbian time.

Information Contacts: Carlos Valdés-Gonzalez, Roberto Quaas-Weppen, E. Guevara, A. Martinez, G. Castelán, S. Alcocer, C. Gutiérrez, G. Espitia, F. Galicia, M. Galicia, A. Gomez, G. Jiménez, C. Morquecho, J. Ortiz, E. Ramos, H. Romero, Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Delfin Madrigal 665, Col. Pedregal de Santo Domingo, Coyoacán, 04360, México D.F. (URL: https://www.gob.mx/cenapred/); Servando de la Cruz-Reyna, Instituto de Geofisica, UNAM, Coyoacán 04510, México D.F., México.

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