Logo link to homepage

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Shishaldin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Search Bulletin Archive by Publication Date

Select a month and year from the drop-downs and click "Show Issue" to have that issue displayed in this tab.

   

The default month and year is the latest issue available.

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 26, Number 09 (September 2001)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Batur (Indonesia)

White, thin plume to 10 m above crater rim during March and April 2001

Etna (Italy)

Strong June eruptions, a M 3.9 earthquake, copious July-August flank lavas, and a new cone

Fujisan (Japan)

April-May 2001 earthquakes located at 15 km depth NE of the summit

Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador)

Gradual dome growth through March; ash emissions through May 2001

Ijen (Indonesia)

Heightened seismicity through at least September 2001, white-gray plume to ~100 m

Inielika (Indonesia)

Small February-March 2001 ash plumes and generally low seismicity

Ioto (Japan)

In September, a submarine eruption; in October, a phreatic eruption pierces beach

Kilauea (United States)

Branching lava flows, ocean entries, and elevated seismicity into September 2001

Krakatau (Indonesia)

Increase in seismicity during July through August 2001; ash and bomb ejection

Loihi (United States)

Earthquake swarm during 10-13 September 2001

Makian (Indonesia)

Brush fire leads to a falsely alleged 16-17 August 2001 eruption report

West Valley Segment (Canada)

T-wave swarm devoid of tremor during 6-27 September 2001

Whakaari/White Island (New Zealand)

In early 2001, 145°C degassing and an ash plume to ~2 km height



Batur (Indonesia) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Batur

Indonesia

8.242°S, 115.375°E; summit elev. 1717 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


White, thin plume to 10 m above crater rim during March and April 2001

During March and April 2001, a thin-white plume was observed reaching up to 10 m above the crater rim at Batur. During January through April 2001 unspecified categories of monthly earthquakes numbered 6, 10, 20, and 6, respectively; their depths were 2-5 km. Some further details on specific types of March-April earthquakes appear in table 2. Based on these data, the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) lowered the Alert Level from 2 to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) in early May. No further activity has been reported as of September 2001.

Table 2. Seismic activity registered at Batur during March and April 2001. Courtesy of VSI.

Date Deep volcanic (A-type) Shallow volcanic (B-type) Small explosion Tectonic
06 Mar-12 Mar 2001 -- 3 5 14
12 Mar-18 Mar 2001 4 3 3 2
19 Mar-23 Mar 2001 -- 1 -- 10
27 Mar-01 Apr 2001 -- -- 8 7
02 Apr-09 Apr 2001 1 2 5 10
09 Apr-15 Apr 2001 2 -- 2 17
16 Apr-23 Apr 2001 -- 1 2 10

Geologic Background. The historically active Batur is located at the center of two concentric calderas NW of Agung volcano. The outer 10 x 13.5 km wide caldera was formed during eruption of the Bali (or Ubud) Ignimbrite about 29,300 years ago and now contains a caldera lake on its SE side, opposite the satellitic Gunung Abang cone, the topographic high of the complex. The inner 6.4 x 9.4 km wide caldera was formed about 20,150 years ago during eruption of the Gunungkawi Ignimbrite. The SE wall of the inner caldera lies beneath Lake Batur; Batur cone has been constructed within the inner caldera to a height above the outer caldera rim. The Batur stratovolcano has produced vents over much of the inner caldera, but a NE-SW fissure system has localized the Batur I, II, and III craters along the summit ridge. Historical eruptions have been characterized by mild-to-moderate explosive activity sometimes accompanied by lava emission. Basaltic lava flows from both summit and flank vents have reached the caldera floor and the shores of Lake Batur in historical time.

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


Etna (Italy) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strong June eruptions, a M 3.9 earthquake, copious July-August flank lavas, and a new cone

Although Etna's early June 2001 eruptions were unusually vigorous (BGVN 26:08), still more energetic behavior followed. An earthquake swarm took place in mid-July, and large SSE-flank eruptions vented lavas in late July and early August on a scale not seen since 1983.

This report covers mid-June through early August 2001. During this interval, the highest cited lava fountains reached heights of ~ 0.7 km; ash plumes rose 3 km; lava flows stretched ~ 6 km from their source vents (largely, though not exclusively traveling due S); and people constructed earthen berms to constrain lava flows. Etna repeatedly made international news during this period. Outstanding photographs appeared widely; some may be seen on the website of Tom Pfeiffer, who graciously provided several for this report.

The text of this report came from two key sources: 1) reports by Sistema Poseidon covered the interval from 11 June-8 July; 2) a report by Jean-Claude Tanguy, Roberto Clocchiatti, Santo La Delfa, and Giuseppe Patanè for 17 July-early August. The latter group acknowledged the valuable insights from Giovanni Frazzetta of Sistema Poseidon and from local guides, particularly Alfio Mazzaglia, Antonio and Orazio Nicoloso, Alfio Carbonaro, and Giuseppe Mazzaglia. The group also received valuable contributions from Charles Rivière and Giuseppe Scarpinati.

Activity during 11 June-8 July. In the weeks of middle to late June the N-flank of the secondary vent at Southeast Crater (SEC) was very active. There were four eruptive events there during 11-17 June. Between these episodes volcanism was limited to degassing at all of the summit vents and lava outpourings from the SEC N-flank vent. Lava flows reached a length of just over 2 km, descending to elevations of 2,600 m or lower. Some lava fountains were accompanied by brown ash emissions for periods of 10 minutes to several hours. Each fountaining episode commenced with 5-11 hours of buildup, followed by more intense events lasting ~1 hour. Observers in a helicopter on 17 June saw a widening of the interior of Bocca Nuova (BN), primarily in the W sector extending ~20 m back from the former crater rim.

During 18-24 June SEC's N-flank vent produced three vigorous eruptive episodes. The first episode began about 1700 on 19 June and increased gradually in intensity. At 2040 the lava fountains reached ~ 700 m high; these diminished at about 2110, and after 2130 the episode ended.

A second N-flank SEC episode began at about 1700 on 22 June. At 1730 lava fountaining reached a height of ~ 200 m accompanied by brown ash, possibly indicating that the vent had widened. At about 1750, the lava fountain at the secondary vent produced jets up to 10-20 m and lava spattering from the N base, which ultimately widened the lava field. During this time the lava fountain from SEC increased to 300-400 m high. The associated reddish ash plume rose 1-2 km above SEC. At 1800 on 22 June lava fountaining became almost continuous, but without a continuous ash column. At 1810 the ash plume rose to over 3 km, with the quantity of ash in the plume increasing gradually; lava emissions from the secondary vent increased simultaneously. The event diminished rapidly after 1835.

The third episode began on 24 June with a small lava emission at the base of SEC. Unlike the preceding two episodes, this one began with consistent ash emissions from Northeast Crater (NEC), beginning about 1654 on 24 June with pressurized pulses that formed a plume ~1 km high at about 1700. Ash emissions continued for the next few hours and at 1815 Strombolian eruptions began again at SEC. At 1930 explosive activity began at the secondary vent on the N flank of SEC. At 2000 the explosive activity spread to the whole fissure. Lava emissions increased rapidly, and at 2015 lava fountains reached 200 m high. Lava flows at 2045 reached a length of ~ 2-3 km. The episode peaked at about 2030, diminished visibly at 2115, and had ended completely by about 2250.

SEC generated its tenth eruptive episode of the month on 27 June. The strongest part of that event took place during 2120-2200, with Strombolian activity becoming more intense and lava fountains at the summit reaching 400-500 m high. This event ended about 2300. Another event at SEC took place on 29 June, with flashes coming from the NE flank. At NEC, mixed ash and gas emissions continued. A continuous plume was produced over the summit of the volcano, variable according to the wind intensity and extending for a few hundred meters.

During 2-8 July, explosive Strombolian episodes continued at SEC. The periods between events were calm. An eruptive episode on 4 July began with slow lava emission from the N-flank secondary vent, followed by increased Strombolian activity at the summit. Explosions were discontinuous but violent, with fragments of incandescent magma ejected 150-200 m above the crater rim. The secondary N-flank vent produced less explosive activity. The intensity peaked at about 2100 when lava emerging from the summit vent of SEC reached a height of 50-60 m, and explosions sent ejecta to a height of ~400 m. At this time, a lava flow reached a length of ~2 km to the E, heading toward the Valle del Bove. Beginning at 2150 on 4 July, the Strombolian explosions became progressively less frequent although at that time the lava flow was being vigorously fed.

A few days later, tall ash plumes appeared. Activity began on 6 July with the reactivation of the then slow-moving lava flow emerging from SEC's N-flank secondary vent. At about 0600 copious degassing was seen at the SEC, accompanied by sporadic Strombolian explosions. At 0745 an ash-rich eruptive cloud containing lapilli rose 500-600 m. The plume blew E and SE and continued to ascend to 1.5-2.0 km above the crater area. One of the larger outbursts during the reporting interval, the eruption produced widespread ashfalls in the areas of Milo and Zafferana Etnea to Aci Castello and the northern limits of Catania. At about 1000 the explosions became progressively less frequent and strong. The lava flow continued to be well-fed and reached a maximum length of more than 2.5 km. The lava front reached nearly to the base of the W face of the Valle del Bove, not far from Monti Centenari. From 1050 on, the explosive phase diminished, although the lava flow was well-fed until about 0700 on 7 July.

Early on 13 July the 14th SEC event was accompanied by an impressive earthquake swarm, which included a M 3.9 shock felt to the SE, particularly in the coastal town of Acireale. More than 2,000 shocks were recorded during the following two days. Meanwhile, fissures appeared and gradually enlarged on the upper S flank along the 1989-91 fracture zone, a place where unusual fumarolic activity had previously been observed.

Activity during July-August 2001: S-flank fissures. On 17 July another strong eruption from the SEC was followed by lava venting from a fissure near 3,000 m elevation. This spot lay just below the "Sudestino," a small parasitic vent that had appeared last year at the S base of the SE cone, and where incandescence had persisted at a depth of a few tens of centimeters. Weak explosive activity quickly formed small hornitos, and lava flows proceeded SE towards the Valle del Bove depression. In the afternoon of the same day new vents appeared between 2,800 and 2,700 m elevation, along a trend oriented SSW. These vents emitted lava fragments and moderate lava flows that began to invade the area of the upper cable-way station at 2,500 m elevation.

On 18 July at 0120 another new vent opened to the S at 2,100 m elevation. This vent appeared just beside the Sapienza refuge and the lower cable-way station, ~ 200 m upslope from the famous Mt. Silvestri (cinder cones born in 1892 and subsequently visited by millions of tourists). This vent produced a low lava fountain. A sluggish lava flow gradually grew and traveled W of Mt. Silvestri, threatening a restaurant and cutting the SP 92 road. This became the main lava flow that headed S in the direction of Nicolosi, a village 10 km away at 700 m elevation.

On 19 July at about 1800 an explosive vent appeared near 2,600 m elevation above the Montagnola (a large cinder cone born in 1763, which still dominates the landscape and towers over the Sapienza tourist complex). The Montagnola vent area sometimes contains a small ephemeral crater lake that is variously called "Cono del Lago," "Cratere del Lago," and "Montagnola 2" (M2). M2 is ~3 km S of SEC. On 19 July the M2 vent released dense clouds of fine ash that disturbed people on Etna's E and S sides.

On 20 July the fracture zone extended northward, cutting across and beyond the SEC summit. Where it descended the other side of the mountain, it formed a strange, curved fissure that opened at 2,650 m elevation, forming a vent. The fissure followed the northern base of the Valle del Leone depression. This vent emitted a moderate lava flow and built a small hornito.

The climax of the eruption was reached on 21-23 July when phreatomagmatic activity from the M2 vent fed an impressive and continuous ash plume (figure 86). The plume interrupted air traffic at Catania airport and caused disruptions as far away as Syracuse, 100 km S of Etna. By this time the main lava flow from the 2,100-m vent (figures 87 and 88) had reached 1,030 m elevation, ~ 6 km from its source and 4 km from Nicolosi. However, no concern was raised for the little town as the lava fronts had practically stopped advancing on the gentle slope and the effusion rate remained moderate (5-10 m3/s).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. An overview of the scene at Etna during the 2001-eruption climax, which took place on 21-23 July. The upper ash column rises from M2 at the far side of Montagnola. The lower, smaller series of plumes rise from the 2,100-m vents and associated lava flow. This shot was taken on 23 July from astride the 1983 lava flow (foreground) and the Sapienza tourist complex, a facility that sits at ~ 1,900 m elevation on the S flank (buildings on the right). The camera was aimed towards the N to NE. Courtesy of J.C. Tanguy.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. A fissure vent erupting at Etna after sunset on 23 July. The venting occurred at 2,100 m elevation and remained moderate. The scale can be appreciated by noting the row of photographers silhouetted by the plume in the photo's lower right corner. View is towards the E. Courtesy of J.C. Tanguy.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. The main lava flow from Etna's 2,100-m vents. Montagnola lies in the background. The photo was taken from Mount Silvestri with the camera pointed N. Courtesy of J.C. Tanguy.

The Sapienza complex at 1,900 m elevation was more seriously threatened by lava flows. Some of these flows had originated at the 2,700 m vents, and later from effusive vents at the lower base of M2 (near 2,580 m elevation on 26 and 31 July). Earthen barriers protected the buildings; however, the complex was left in a vulnerable hollow between the new lava flows on the E and the 1983 flows on the W.

The highly explosive M2 vent at 2,600 m elevation created a big show beginning with black ash mixed with a few incandescent materials forming jets with the elongate shapes of Cypress trees (figure 89). On 25 July the activity turned magmatic, quickly building a scoria cone ~ 97 m high (based on post-eruption range-finder and altimeter measurements that yielded summit and lower SW base elevations of 2,674 ± 3 m at 2,577 ± 5 m, respectively).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. This scene of a ~ 200-m-tall fountain of lava and associated plumes appeared at Etna at about 1600 local time on 24 July 2001. The fountain emerged from a 150-m-wide crater formed along a fissure at ~ 2,500 m elevation near the summit of the new cone called "Cono del Lago" or "Montagnola 2" (M2). The viewpoint was the cable car station at 2,600 m elevation that was destroyed in an earlier eruption. The photographer was ~ 400 m SE of M2; he used a 90 mm lens. Copyrighted photo provided courtesy of Tom Pfeiffer.

A second climax was reached on 28 July when powerful explosions hurled car-sized lava lumps in a radius of over 500 m. These seriously damaged the upper cable-way station and rattled windows all around the volcano (figure 90).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. At Etna, a photo taken on 28 July captured the newly formed M2 cone discharging molten material from two vents. One vent was at the summit; the other was on M2's NW flank. The next day, Tom Pfeiffer and other photographers saw at least five points of simultaneous discharge. Copyrighted photo provided courtesy of Tom Pfeiffer.

The eruption's waning stages began 1 August. Ash became more and more abundant from the M2 vent, but was driven by considerably decreased pressure. Effusive activity had practically stopped at the 2,580-m-elevation vents. On 2 August both explosive and effusive activity ceased at the 3,000-m-elevation hornitos, and activity began to decrease along the 2,700-m-elevation fissure, except for the lava flow, which remained well fed and headed SW. At the M2 vent ash emissions practically ceased on 6 August and at the 2,100 m vents the last lava flow was observed on 8 August.

This eruption appeared quite unusual in a number of ways. The flank fissure always remained active throughout its entire length, from 2,100 m to 3,000 m elevation and above (small lava flows were seen several times on the NE side of the SEC at 3,100 m elevation, for example, on 24 August. The explosivity of the M2 vent was exceptionally high for Etna. The lavas emitted in the upper region are almost aphyric, whereas products from the M2 and 2,100 m vents are rich in large phenocrysts, including amphibole, and contain numerous inclusions from the sedimentary basement (sandstones). Although further detailed study is needed, this fact led several scientists to suggest that the 2,600-2,100 m part of the fissure represents a separate eruption triggered by upslope activity.

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); Jean-Claude Tanguy, University of Paris 6 and IPGP, 94107 St. Maur des Fossés Cedex, France; Roberto Clocchiatti, CNRS and CEN Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France; Santo La Delfa and Giuseppe Patanè, University of Catania, 55 Corso Italia, 95129 Catania, Italy; Tom Pfeiffer, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Aarhus, C.F. Møllers Allé 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark (URL: http://geo.au.dk/).


Fujisan (Japan) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Fujisan

Japan

35.361°N, 138.728°E; summit elev. 3776 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


April-May 2001 earthquakes located at 15 km depth NE of the summit

Earthquakes increased at Fuji during April-May 2001. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency 67 earthquakes were detected on 30 April. This was the highest daily number since the 53 that occurred on 18 December 2000, even though seismic activity had been relatively low since the beginning of the year. During the week of 3-9 May 2001 the number of weekly earthquakes was as high as 130. Since September 2000 most of the earthquakes were of low magnitude and low frequency. Their hypocenters were NE of the summit at ~15 km depth. The monitoring system of National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention had not detected any other anomalous signs.

Geologic Background. The conical form of Fujisan, Japan's highest and most noted volcano, belies its complex origin. The modern postglacial stratovolcano is constructed above a group of overlapping volcanoes, remnants of which form irregularities on Fuji's profile. Growth of the Younger Fuji volcano began with a period of voluminous lava flows from 11,000 to 8000 years before present (BP), accounting for four-fifths of the volume of the Younger Fuji volcano. Minor explosive eruptions dominated activity from 8000 to 4500 BP, with another period of major lava flows occurring from 4500 to 3000 BP. Subsequently, intermittent major explosive eruptions occurred, with subordinate lava flows and small pyroclastic flows. Summit eruptions dominated from 3000 to 2000 BP, after which flank vents were active. The extensive basaltic lava flows from the summit and some of the more than 100 flank cones and vents blocked drainages against the Tertiary Misaka Mountains on the north side of the volcano, forming the Fuji Five Lakes, popular resort destinations. The last confirmed eruption of this dominantly basaltic volcano in 1707 was Fuji's largest during historical time. It deposited ash on Edo (Tokyo) and formed a large new crater on the east flank.

Information Contacts: National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, 3-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki-ken, 305, Japan (URL: http://www.bosai.go.jp/); Setsuya Nakada, Hidefumi Watanabe, and Shin-ichi Sakai, Volcano Research Center, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Japan Meteorological Agency, Volcanological Division, 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/).


Guagua Pichincha (Ecuador) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Guagua Pichincha

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Gradual dome growth through March; ash emissions through May 2001

This report covers the interval from mid-January through May 2001. The previous report (BGVN 26:01) noted that a new dome ("dome 9") resulted from lava extrusions subsequent to explosions on 23 July 2000.

The volcano remained at Alert Level Yellow throughout the report period. Activity consisted principally of consistent, gradual growth of dome 9 through 26 March when the small number of rockfall signals suggested that the dome was stable. Seismicity and other volcanic activity has been moderate with small rockfalls occurring during February. The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported ash emissions on 18 and 31 March, and again on 25 May; however, none of these were visible on GOES-8 imagery. The ash emission on 25 May rose to ~8.5 km altitude, the highest of those reported. A large number of long-period (LP) earthquakes also occurred during March. More than 806 LP earthquakes were registered during the week of 18-24 March but 460 of these occurred on 18 March in conjunction with the ash emission on that date.

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

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


Ijen (Indonesia) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Ijen

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Heightened seismicity through at least September 2001, white-gray plume to ~100 m

As summarized in table 1, beginning in February and lasting through at least September 2001, Ijen displayed heightened seismicity including tremor, shallow volcanic (B-type) earthquakes, and explosion earthquakes. Deep volcanic (A-type) earthquakes also occurred on a few occasions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4) during most of the report period. Our last report (BGVN 25:10) covered activity through October 2000.

Table 1. Summary of seismicity at Ijen, 30 January-30 September 2001. Measurements in millimeters (mm) indicate amplitudes. Courtesy of the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI).

Date Deep volcanic (A-type) Shallow volcanic (B-type) Small explosion Tectonic Tremor
30 Jan-05 Feb 2001 -- 75 2 6 2 (4 mm)
06 Feb-11 Feb 2001 -- 36 2 6 --
13 Feb-19 Feb 2001 1 30 3 4 --
20 Feb-26 Feb 2001 -- 42 -- 5 --
27 Feb-05 Mar 2001 42 (4 mm) -- -- 5 --
06 Mar-12 Mar 2001 -- 17 -- -- --
12 Mar-18 Mar 2001 -- 27 3 1 --
19 Mar-23 Mar 2001 -- 12 4 -- --
27 Mar-01 Apr 2001 -- 47 1 7 --
02 Apr-08 Apr 2001 -- 13 1 -- 2
09 Apr-15 Apr 2001 -- 9 -- 10 --
16 Apr-23 Apr 2001 1 10 -- 2 --
23 Apr-29 Apr 2001 -- 9 1 7 --
30 Apr-06 May 2001 -- 4 -- 6 --
07 May-13 May 2001 -- 11 -- 3 --
14 May-20 May 2001 -- 3 -- -- --
28 May-03 Jun 2001 -- 9 2 9 discontinuous (0.5-3 mm)
02 Jul-08 Jul 2001 -- 9 2 9 discontinuous (0.5-3 mm)
09 Jul-15 Jul 2001 1 31 2 7 discontinuous (0.5-3 mm)
13 Aug-26 Aug 2001 -- 42 1 6 continuous
27 Aug-02 Sep 2001 -- 16 1 1 continuous
03 Sep-09 Sep 2001 -- 1 5 5 discontinuous
10 Sep-16 Sep 2001 -- 14 -- 4 continuous
17 Sep-23 Sep 2001 -- 13 -- 1 continuous (0.5-3 mm)
24 Sep-30 Sep 2001 -- 14 -- 4 continuous (0.5-3 mm)

During May, a thin-white plume reached to ~50 m above the summit. The Darwin VAAC reported that at 0120 on 15 July sulfur fumes entered the cabin of an aircraft flying from Singapore to Denpasar. At the time, the aircraft was flying at an altitude of ~2.4 km about 15 km SE of Ijen, the suspected source of the sulfur gas. During mid-August, the crater began to produce a white-grey plume. By the end of September, the plume reached up to ~100 m above the summit.

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

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


Inielika (Indonesia) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Inielika

Indonesia

8.73°S, 120.98°E; summit elev. 1559 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small February-March 2001 ash plumes and generally low seismicity

Since the decline in eruptive activity that occurred during 23 January-5 February 2001 (BGVN 26:01), variable seismicity has prevailed. Ash plumes were observed in February and March reaching 10-500 m above the volcano. The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) reported varying amounts of seismicity (table 1). VSI has not reported new eruptive activity at Inielika since May 2001.

Table 1. Seismic activity detected at Inielika during February through May 2001. Courtesy of VSI.

Date Deep volcanic (A-type) Shallow volcanic (B-type) Tectonic
06 Feb-11 Feb 2001 23 7 10
20 Feb-26 Feb 2001 34 15 32
27 Feb-05 Mar 2001 57 19 51
06 Mar-12 Mar 2001 30 6 18
12 Mar-18 Mar 2001 4 1 13
19 Mar-23 Mar 2001 3 -- 9
27 Mar-01 Apr 2001 6 -- --
02 Apr-08 Apr 2001 4 -- 11
09 Apr-15 Apr 2001 7 4 6
16 Apr-23 Apr 2001 5 10 11
25 Apr-01 May 2001 5 10 11

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/).


Ioto (Japan) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Ioto

Japan

24.751°N, 141.289°E; summit elev. 169 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


In September, a submarine eruption; in October, a phreatic eruption pierces beach

A submarine eruption at Iwo-jima, off of the island's SE coast, on 21 September was the first reported volcanic activity since November 1982 when an earthquake swarm and weak steam explosions occurred at Asodai Crater (SEAN 08:04). Approximately 1 month after the submarine eruption on the SE side of the island, a small phreatic eruption occurred at Idogahama, a beach on the NW coast of the island.

At 1015 on 21 September a submarine eruption began off of the SE coast of Iwo-jima, an island inhabited by U.S. and Japanese military personnel approximately 1,250 km S of Tokyo. The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force stationed on Iwo-jima observed the eruption, which was preceded by isolated and continuous tremor beginning on 20 September at 2000. Visible evidence of the eruption consisted of seawater gushing several meters above sea level near the island's SE coast. In addition, the eruption was accompanied by an area of discolored seawater extending 300-400 m in length. During 1000-1100 approximately 30 earthquakes occurred in the active area; the typical rate is one or two earthquakes per hour.

The climax of the eruption occurred during 1300-1500. At about 1300 water gushed ~40 m above sea level and accompanying steam rose to 100-300 m. During 1515-1715, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) personnel observed seawater rising intermittently in two small dark-gray colored areas 50 m apart and 150-200 m from the island's SE coast (Okinahama beach). The two areas were surrounded by zones of bubbling, white-colored water. The water outside the bubbling zone was emerald green in color. A plume of water rose every few to ten minutes in the western-most area. Measurements with an infrared thermometer revealed that the temperatures in these two areas were 33-34°C and 50°C, while the surrounding water was at 27°C. An approximately 8-km-long and 500-m-wide area of discolored water stretched away from the two areas. By 1500 the number of earthquakes decreased from 30 per hour to about ten. During 1600-1700 three eruption sites were visible; at one a pyroclastic cone was slightly above the sea surface (figures 1 and 2).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Photograph showing three activity sites off the SE coast of Iwo-jima on 21 September 2001 during 1600-1700. Water depth in this area is less than 10 m. A pyroclastic cone that rose above the sea surface is visible at the site furthest to the right; at sea level the diameter of the cone was ~10 m. The coast (Okinahama beach) is approximately 150-200 m to the W (right on the photo). Photo courtesy of Mr. Odai, JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Submarine eruption off the SE coast of Iwo-jima on 21 September 2001 during 1600-1700. The arrow indicates the location of the bubbling water shown in figure 1. The photo was taken facing towards the SW coast of the island. Okinahama beach is visible to the right. Photo courtesy of Mr. Odai, JMA.

JMA reported that the day after the eruption, 22 September, volcanic and seismic activity returned to usual levels, with no water plumes observed and 0-4 earthquakes per hour. In addition, the isolated and continuous tremor events that were recorded during the night of 20 September to the morning of 22 September temporarily ceased. After 21 September areas of discolored water were still visible (figure 3). Until about 28 September many earthquakes and tremor were detected. Results are pending from the analysis of floating pumice that was collected along Iwo-jima's coast after the eruption. Until at least 10 October areas of discolored water were occasionally seen; these were smaller than when the submarine eruption began on 21 September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. View of the SE side of Iwo-jima on 22 September during 1300-1400, about 27 hours after the start of a submarine eruption. The arrow indicates the location of bubbling water seen the day before. An area of green and tan discolored water (light water near the coast on the photo) is visible extending an unstated distance along and beyond the SE coast. Photo courtesy of Mr. Nakahori, JMA.

After 21 September there was no volcanic activity at Iwo-jima until 19 October. On the morning of 19 October a small phreatic eruption was observed at Idogahama, a beach on the NW coast of the island. The last reported volcanic activity at Idogahama occurred in March 1982 and consisted of a small phreatic eruptions (SEAN 07:09). The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force observed a grayish-white colored plume rising to 200-300 m above the beach surface for 2-3 minutes starting at about 0725. Another similarly sized plume was observed for 10 minutes starting at 0806. JMA, with support from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Japan Air Self Defense Force, observed the eruption from a helicopter soon after it began.

JMA personnel observed the eruption during 1602-1715 and measured the temperature of the eruption site with an infrared camera. They estimated that the main crater formed during the eruption was about 10 m long and 2-3 m deep. Inside the crater, every 10 minutes intermittent gushing of black water and entrained debris was observed (figure 4). An accompanying white steam plume reached a maximum height of 600 m above the beach during the observations. The temperature inside the crater was 56°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Small phreatic eruption at Idogahama, a beach on the NW coast of Iwo-jima, at 1703 (top) and 1704 (bottom) on 19 October 2001. The crater is about 10 m long and 2-3 m deep. The steam cloud rose to a maximum height of 600 m above the beach. Photo courtesy of Mr. Odai and Mr. Nakahori, JMA.

Geologic Background. Ioto in the central Volcano Islands portion of the Izu-Marianas arc lies within a 9-km-wide submarine caldera. Ioto, Iwojima, and Iojima are among many transliterations of the name. The volcano is also known as Ogasawara-Iojima to distinguish it from several other "Sulfur Island" volcanoes in Japan. The triangular, low-elevation, 8-km-long island narrows toward its SW tip and has produced trachyandesitic and trachytic rocks that are more alkalic than those of other Izu-Marianas arc volcanoes. The island has undergone dramatic uplift for at least the past 700 years accompanying resurgent doming of the caldera. A shoreline landed upon by Captain Cook's surveying crew in 1779 is now 40 m above sea level. The Motoyama plateau on the NE half of the island consists of submarine tuffs overlain by coral deposits and forms the island's high point. Many fumaroles are oriented along a NE-SW zone cutting through Motoyama. Numerous historical phreatic eruptions, many from vents on the west and NW sides of the island, have accompanied the remarkable uplift.

Information Contacts: Setsuya Nakada, Volcano Research Center, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Mr. Odai, Mr. Nakahori, and Tomoyuki Kanno, Volcanological Division, Seismological and Volcanological Department, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100 Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/).


Kilauea (United States) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Kilauea

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Branching lava flows, ocean entries, and elevated seismicity into September 2001

Throughout this reporting interval, December 2000-September 2001, volcanic tremor near Pu`u `O`o and in Kilauea's caldera remained low to moderate. Tiltmeters in the summit area and along the E rift zone showed no deformation. Branching lava flows, occasional sea entries of lava, and several seismic events took place. Small-to-moderate steam plumes originating at the ocean entries were visible on 10 December, on 5, 7, 26, and 30 May, and on 13 June. On 14 August a large steam plume was visible. Sulfur dioxide output from the Pu`u `O`o area was high on 15 May.

Lava flows. Beginning on 17 December 2000, lava moved down the Pulama Pali slope and across the coastal flat, along E, W, and middle branches, through a combination of tubes and surface flows (figure 151).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 151. Map showing lava flows erupted during Kilauea's 1983 to 30 September 2001 activity. The flows active from 17 December 2000 through 30 September 2001 appear in dark gray. Note the strand-like W flow shown extending several kilometers in length and entering the sea at Kamoamoa. Courtesy of HVO.

Lava frequently broke out of the tube system beginning in January and February 2001. One breakout on 23 February along the E side of the flow field at the private access road to the Royal Gardens subdivision was quite substantial; a house in Royal Gardens was destroyed and an abandoned car was half-submerged in lava in front of it.

By mid-March the leading edge of the 1.5-m-wide flow front was within about 300 m of the coastline, headed for the sea E of Kupapa'u Point. During the end of March, activity was robust near the truncated road that formerly accessed Royal Gardens. In that area, surface flows occurred at dozens of points and rapidly inflated. Ground observers reported hearing methane explosions from burning vegetation along the base of the Pulama Pali slope.

During early April 2001, surface activity was confined to a small sluggish flow in the E branch of the flow field; most of the lava was encased in tubes and thus not flowing on the surface. At midday on 29 April, a tongue of lava began to pour into a crack paralleling the shoreline that separated a narrow sea cliff from stable ground inland. Eventually the lava wedged the crack open so much that the unstable block of land fell into the water, generating an explosion that tossed rocks onto dry land.

On 13 May, the active flow was 300-500 m from the nearest house in the Royal Gardens subdivision, but the homes were protected from the lava by a barrier of aa deposited in 1983. On 3 September, a lava flow, ~3.6-5.5 m wide, crossed the viewing-access road W of Kalapana, isolating the viewing area. The road, which was opened on 17 August, was closed on 30 August after about 10,000 visitors had used it over the previous two weeks. The flow across the access road stopped on 5 September, and road crews prepared to reopen it.

Ocean entry. Lava entered the sea on several occasions during this report period. The W arm of the coastal flow reached the sea in late December 2000 then quickly stagnated, remaining barely active as late as September 2001. During 21-29 January 2001 lava entered the sea just W of Kamokuna, and during 25-29 April lava entered the sea a few hundred meters NE of Kupapa`u Point, developing a large bench at the E Kupapa`u entry site.

On the afternoon of 13 May observers found three ocean-entry benches along the SE corner of the active flow field, NE of Kupaupau Point and 120-790 m outside the national park. The benches increased in area and width eastward, from 10 m wide near the boundary to nearly 60 m wide at the eastern bench. The eastern bench was 2 hectares in area, was the most active, and nearly coalesced with the middle bench. Sand beaches 10-15 m wide filled the gaps between the benches. Vigorous venting of lava into the sea occurred at the SE corner of the active flow field during the evening of 13 May.

Lava entered the ocean on several other occasions, including 20 and 31 May, and 2 and 18 June, mostly through the E Kupapa`u entry (figure 152). By 22 May, only the ocean entry at the SE corner of the flow field was active, indicating that lava was still coursing through the system but was confined to tubes for at least most of the way from Pu`u `O`o to the sea. Ocean entry at E Kupapa`u was fairly vigorous during the evening of 14 August, with a large steam plume, an open lava river pouring into the sea, and numerous mild-to-moderate steam explosions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 152. Kilauea view from E of E Kupapa`u ocean entry at dusk on 10 July 2001. The bench was comparatively large, reaching out about 120 m from the sea cliff. Note the new black sand beach formed by deposition of glass created when lava enters the sea. Courtesy of HVO.

Geophysical activity. During 1500-2400 on 6 January 2001, deflation events occurred at Kilauea's summit and at Pu`u `O`o, amounting to ~1.7 µrad and ~2.8 µrad, respectively. The intensity of volcanic tremor increased beneath Kilauea's caldera around the same time, though the tremor remained low-to-moderate in strength.

At about 0625 on 7 January, the tiltmeter near the observatory began to show very rapid inflation, jumping up to ~1.4 µrad in 32 minutes and eventually peaking at ~2.6 µrad by 1323. The sharpest inflation was accompanied by nearly 30 minutes of increased tremor beneath Kilauea's caldera-even above that caused by the deflation event the previous day. By 8 January tilt and seismicity at the summit and Pu`u `O`o appeared to have returned to background levels. On the morning of 11 January, a burst of strong tremor in the caldera lasted about 30 minutes.

A small (~0.4 µrad) deflation occurred shortly before 1230 on 10 February. A weak swarm of shallow earthquakes within the caldera on 18-19 February ended by 20 February. On 20 February at 1317 a M 3.7 earthquake in the summit area was centered ~5 km SE of Halemaumau at a very shallow depth.

A swarm of earthquakes on the NE flank of Mauna Kea occurred during 22-24 February. The earthquakes in the swarm were all about M 3 and came from depths of 2-12 km. During early to mid-March, small low-frequency earthquakes took place below the caldera.

On 7 April tiltmeters recorded a summit deflation up to ~3 µrad. The deflation ended in early afternoon, but the heightened tremor below the caldera continued. The tilt record at Pu`u `O`o cone suggested that it began to deflate on the morning of 6 April at about 0600, stabilized in the afternoon, and started to inflate the morning of 7 April shortly after 0400. This inflation may have eventually led to later eruptive activity on the crater floor.

By 8 April the tiltmeter had recovered ~1.4 µrad and was increasing. Tremor below Kilauea's caldera was nearly at background levels. Starting at about 0200 on the morning of 8 April, the summit began to inflate. By about 0300, the amplitude of tremor and the rate of long-period earthquakes began to decline to nearly background levels. Summit tilt leveled out at about 1000, regaining 2.5 µrad of the 3 µrad lost during the deflation that occurred on 7 April.

A slight deformation of the summit occurred during 23-25 April. In the afternoon of 25 April, a M 4.4 earthquake occurred near the observatory that produced a few small aftershocks during the following week. A swarm of long-period (LP) earthquakes that began beneath Kilauea's caldera on 18 April had nearly ended by 2 May.

Volcanic tremor was higher than normal during 12 and 13 May and small earthquakes were recorded in the caldera. During mid-May, earthquake activity and volcanic tremor near Pu`u `O`o and in Kilauea's caldera were at moderate levels with periods of rather strong ground motion.

On the afternoon of 20 May the largest tilt event to occur at Kilauea in more than 4 years took place. Beginning at 0500 the summit began to slowly deflate (~2 µrad) until about 1630 when it very abruptly began to inflate (~10 µrad). It peaked at 1735 and began to deflate at 1750. The tiltmeter on the cone of Pu`u `O`o, and another one nearby, both recorded sharp inflation starting at about 1650, approximately 20 minutes later than the start of tilt at Kilauea's summit.

At about 1920, a lava pond was observed to be forming in the crater of Pu`u `O`o. The surface lava flows showed no boost from the inflation. Instead, observations on 21 May revealed that the pond had drained.

No earthquakes were felt during the tilt event and no lava erupted in the caldera. The event was accompanied by strong tremor, which ended a prolonged period of small earthquakes in the caldera that had lasted, with a 9-hour break on the night of 18 May, for several days. Small earthquakes of the LP type, suggestive of magma movement, began again in the caldera and gradually increased from 21 to 22 May to a reasonable swarm. The tilt event ended on 22 May, as Kilauea lost most of the positive tilt it had acquired.

Summit tilt started to rise on the afternoon of 22 May at a moderately rapid pace but slowed the morning of 23 May. Pu`u `O`o cone showed some inflation.

On 3 June a pause in volcanic activity may have begun at about 0900 with slow deflation (~2.6 µrad) occurring at the tiltmeter closest to HVO. It ended around 2400 and at 0125 rapid inflation (~2.7 µrad) began with most of the inflation occurring in about 55 minutes. Slow deflation (0.9 µrad) occurred at Pu`u `O`o during 1015-2200 on 3 June, with slow inflation occurring to at least 4 June. Background volcanic tremor at the summit gradually increased starting in mid-morning on 3 June, after deflation had begun. There was no significant change in the tremor at Pu`u `O`o.

Generally weak, steady tremor and related long-period earthquakes continued beneath Kilauea's caldera throughout June. There was a slight increase in long-period caldera earthquakes for several hours on 18 June. Tremor remained weak to moderate near Pu`u `O`o and seismicity was at normal levels elsewhere. On 26 June from about noon until the evening a small amount of deflation occurred at the summit and ~0.5 µrad at Pu`u `O`o cone.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.5 rattled through the lower E rift zone of Kilauea the evening of 16 July at about 1803. Located about halfway between Pahoa and Kapho, the earthquake was shallow (about 1.5 km deep) and felt locally by many residents. A swarm of earthquakes began on 21 July and ended by 25 July. Weak tremor began on 30 July near Pu`u `O`o.

Tremor near Pu`u `O`o was weak- to-moderate during August. During the afternoon of 15 August the intensity of volcanic tremor increased abruptly at both Kilauea's summit and Pu`u `O`o but remained only moderate to low.

On 25 August a small but sharp inflation of Kilauea's summit took place in the morning, amounting to slightly more than 1 µrad. The inflation began a little after 1000 and followed several hours of slow deflation. The inflation was mostly completed by noon, having recovered most of the tilt lost during the deflation. Pu`u `O`o cone underwent a very sharp inflation ~1 hour before the summit began to inflate and, just as at the summit, the inflation of the cone followed several hours of slow deflation. No upswing in seismicity accompanied the ground tilts. Small sharp earthquakes from beneath the summit continued but remained infrequent. As of early September, Kilauea's summit was deflating very slowly.

Lava flow . A summary of statistics of the Pu`u `O`o- Kupaianaha eruption is provided in table 5. Since the start of the eruption in 1983, lava has covered 104 km2, which is just over 7% of Kilauea's land surface. Some areas mantled repeatedly and are now buried beneath more than 30 m of basalt. Kilauea's surface is comparatively young: ~70% is paved with flows younger than 600 years; 90% is younger than 1,100 years.

Table 5. Summary of statistics for the Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha eruption as of the end of the year 2000. Courtesy of HVO.

Description Statistics
Area covered by lava flows during January 1983-31 December 2000 104 km2 (40 square miles)
Net area of new land created along the coastal margin during November 1986-31 December 2000 207 hectares (510 acres)
Net area of new land created along the coastal margin during 2000 only ~7.5 hectares (18.5 acres)
Volume of lava erupted during 1983-2001 2 km3 (0.5 cubic miles)
Structures destroyed during 1983-1991 184
Structures destroyed during 2000 3 (all in Royal Gardens)

An eruption during the 14th century was fed from a vent just E of the summit area and probably continued discharging for about 50 years. Flows from this eruption covered a very large area N of the E rift zone, about 430 km2 (30 percent of Kilauea's land surface). The 2-year-long Mauna Ulu eruptions (1969-71 and 1972-74) covered about 50 km2 and 44 km2, respectively.

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increase in seismicity during July through August 2001; ash and bomb ejection

Eruptive activity at Krakatau through late October 2000 was described in BGVN 26:01. The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) did not report any further activity until mid-March 2001, when the number of shallow volcanic (B-type) earthquakes rose to 79 from 25 the previous week. The number of shallow volcanic earthquakes decreased again in late March to 34. In early April, seismic activity at Krakatau increased again. The seismographs detected 7 deep volcanic (A-type) earthquakes, 54 shallow volcanic earthquakes, and 7 tectonic events.

Local tour operators reported a significant increase in seismic activity at Krakatau beginning during July 2001 and continuing through August. During 9-15 July there were 728 shallow volcanic earthquakes registered. [On 21 July an explosion occurred accompanied by a booming sound. The explosion was recorded by an infrasonic microphone sensor installed at the Pasuaran post observatory.] At the beginning of August the volcano emitted ash to 500 m and ejected ballistics onto the flanks of the main cone.

John Seach visited on 12 August and found that the volcano was not erupting then, but was steaming vigorously on the N side of the summit crater. Pulses of steam every minute reached 20 m above the summit. Lava bombs, 0.5 m in diameter, littered the old crater rim (840 m SE of the of the summit at 167 m elevation) at a density of 1 /m2. The bombs left 1.5-m-diameter impact craters up to 1.5 m in diameter at distances of 1.3 km SE of the summit. The fresh impact craters were caused by both lithic and lava bombs. Observers on a boat 1.5 km W of the volcano noticed a strong sulfur smell. The top 150 m of the active cone was steaming from multiple locations. On the NW side, 60 m below the summit, a fumarole emitted blue gas.

During 3-9 September the number of explosion and volcanic earthquakes increased, but the number of small explosion earthquakes sharply decreased 12-18 September. Krakatau remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

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: 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/); John Seach, P.O. Box 16, Chatsworth Island, NSW 2469, Australia.


Loihi (United States) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Loihi

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Earthquake swarm during 10-13 September 2001

On the afternoon of 10 September 2001 an earthquake swarm began at Loihi. The swarm began with a M 5 earthquake and was followed by M 3.5-4.9 earthquakes until the morning of 11 September. This was the most severe swarm at Loihi since July 1996, when the summit collapsed. Two earthquakes that occurred on 13 September may have also been part of the swarm. The two later earthquakes occurred at 0311 and 0839 and had magnitudes of 4.9 and 4.4, respectively. Most of the earthquakes from 10-13 September were ~12 km deep and located slightly S of Loihi's summit.

Background. Loihi seamount, the youngest volcano of the Hawaiian chain, lies about 35 km off the SE coast of the island of Hawaii. Loihi (which is the Hawaiian word for "long") has an elongated morphology dominated by two curving rift zones extending north and south of the summit. The summit region contains a caldera about 3 x 4 km wide and is dotted with numerous lava cones, the highest of which is about 975 m below the sea surface. Deep and shallow seismicity indicate a magmatic plumbing system distinct from that of Kilauea volcano. Abundant fresh, sediment-free lavas attest to the youthful age of the volcano. During 1996, a new pit crater was formed at the summit of the volcano and lava flows were erupted.

The summit platform includes two well-defined pit craters, sediment-free glassy lava, and low-temperature hydrothermal venting. An arcuate chain of small cones on the W edge of the summit extends N and S of the pit craters and merges into the crests of Loihi's prominent N and S rift zones (Fornari and others, 1988). Continued volcanism is expected to eventually build a new island at Loihi; time estimates for the summit to reach the surface range from roughly 10,000 to 100,000 years.

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

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


Makian (Indonesia) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Makian

Indonesia

0.32°N, 127.4°E; summit elev. 1357 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Brush fire leads to a falsely alleged 16-17 August 2001 eruption report

Makian was falsely alleged to have begun erupting at 1930 on 16 August 2001. The same Jakarta news article also reported that the volcano continued to spew lava on 17 August forcing residents to evacuate. The article also noted that hot ash and debris were ejected to a height of 20 m and dark clouds rose 75 m.

The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) later indicated that the report was false. An observer had mistakenly interpreted the glow from a brush fire as volcanic activity. VSI has not reported any recent volcanic activity at Makian.

Geologic Background. Makian volcano forms a 10-km-wide island near the southern end of a chain of volcanic islands off the west coast of Halmahera and has been the source of infrequent, but violent eruptions that have devastated villages on the island. The large 1.5-km-wide summit crater, containing a small lake on the NE side, gives the peak a flat-topped profile. Two prominent valleys extend to the coast from the summit crater on the north and east sides. Four parasitic cones are found on the western flanks. Eruption have been recorded since about 1550; major eruptions in 1646, 1760-61, 1861-62, 1890, and 1988 caused extensive damage and 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 VAAC, Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, Northern Territory 0811, Australia; Meteorological and Geophysical Agency of Indonesia (Badan Meteorologi dan Geofisika, BMG), Jalan Angkasa I/2 Kemayoran, Jakarta Pusat 10720, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bmg.go.id/), Société Volcanologique Européenne.


West Valley Segment (Canada) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

West Valley Segment

Canada

48.78°N, 128.64°W; summit elev. -2550 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


T-wave swarm devoid of tremor during 6-27 September 2001

At approximately 2030 on 6 September 2001 a large seismic swarm was detected at the N end of the Juan de Fuca Ridge (figure 1). Just N of this point the ridge becomes truncated by the Sovanco Fracture Zone. The seismicity had some of the primary characteristics of magmatic activity, including vigorous swarms of small earthquakes, but did not include any detectable continuous tremor. After the initial event, activity increased and epicenters propagated southward to within 5 km of known hydrothermal vents and drill holes (figure 2). By 27 September, after nearly 14,000 detected earthquakes, seismic activity had slowed to near-background levels (figure 3). During 4-7 October, the Canadian RV Tully visited the site for water column sampling.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. General plate-tectonic map of the NE Pacific Ocean showing the North American, Pacific, Explorer, Juan de Fuca, and Gorda plates. The Juan de Fuca Ridge extends from West Valley to Cleft Segment, along the W margin of the Juan de Fuca plate. The seismic swarm discussed in this report lies within the darkened rectangle. The darkened circle shows the approximate location of the April 2001 Gorda Ridge seismic swarm. Courtesy of Bill Chadwick and NOAA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Epicenter maps illustrating the September 2001 West Valley Segment seismic swarm. Between 12 and 20 September epicenters had clearly migrated south. Coordinates on the map boundaries indicate that by 20 September the swarm's N-S swath extended approximately 30 km. Courtesy of the Vent Acoustics Program.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Histogram of seismic events along the West Valley Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge during 7 September through 2 October 2001. Courtesy of the PMEL Vent Acoustics Program.

The land seismic network operated by the Pacific Geoscience Center of the Geological Survey of Canada recorded and produced moment tensor solutions for several of the larger events, indicating a mixture of normal and strike-slip motion. Strike-slip events are oriented parallel to Juan de Fuca orientation (15°) and are likely associated with the ridge system. The complex interplay between the Nootka fault and the Juan de Fuca volcanic system results in a diffuse triple junction with correspondingly complex stress fields. Further detailed examination of the joint data sets will be required to unravel the total picture. A description of the site can be found in Davis and Villinger (1992).

The general location of the swarm (48.78°N, 128.64°W) was on the eastern edge of a large sedimented feature called Middle Valley. The Juan de Fuca Ridge is located just N of the Gorda Ridge, along the boundary between the Juan de Fuca and Pacific plates. A seismic swarm along the Jackson Segment of the Gorda Ridge (figure 8) occurred in early April 2001 (BGVN 26:08). The seismic activity was detected by NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) T-phase Monitoring System. They access the U.S. Navy's SOund SUrveillance System (SOSUS) to monitor ocean acoustics.

Reference. Davis, E.E., and Villinger, H., 1992, Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Initial Reports, v. 139, p. 9-41.

Geologic Background. The West Valley Segment is the northern-most part of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, intersecting the Sovanco Fracture Zone and offset from the Endeavour Segment to the south.

Information Contacts: Chris Fox and Robert Dziak, Vents Acoustics Program, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), 2115 SE Osu Drive, Newport, OR 97365 USA (URL: https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/eoi/); Garry Rogers, Geological Survey of Canada, GSC Pacific - Sidney Subdivision, Pacific Geoscience Centre, P.O. Box 6000, 9860 West Saanich Road, Sidney, BC V8L 4B2, Canada (URL: http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/); InterRidge Office, Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 1-15-1 Minamidai, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan (URL: http://www.interridge.org/).


Whakaari/White Island (New Zealand) — September 2001 Citation iconCite this Report

Whakaari/White Island

New Zealand

37.52°S, 177.18°E; summit elev. 294 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


In early 2001, 145°C degassing and an ash plume to ~2 km height

This report describes venting of ash and gas that continued at White Island during November 2000 through May 2001. As previously reported, on 27 July 2000, strong seismicity accompanied a short-lived magmatic eruption and produced a new explosion crater. Following the event, the two active vents at White Island emitted an ash plume. The ash content of the plume declined significantly during late August-early September 2000 (BGVN 25:08).

On 9 November 2000 scientists visiting White Island found weak-to-moderate fumarole activity, with the two active vents producing a white steam-and-gas plume. By 16 November, a small new vent SE of the active MH was also steaming. Around that time, the noise from the MH vent was so loud that it could be heard from the beach in still conditions. By mid-December, the steam-and-gas plume rose to an altitude of ~1,250 m, and occasional bursts of low-level tremor occurred. The level of gas emission seemed to have stabilized after the increase that occurred during the previous month.

On 3 January 2001 a volcanologist visiting the site reported that the lake within the 78/90 Crater Complex had enlarged and had a yellowish-brown discoloration with surface slicks and noticeable areas of convection. Fumaroles appeared to be more extensive within the complex. A strong haze of sulphur dioxide gas was evident within the crater. By mid-January the water level near the vents had risen.

Based on reports from White Island tour operators, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (IGNS) stated that on 19 February minor ash eruptions resumed. A light gray plume of fine ash rose ~2 km above the MH vent and drifted towards the mainland. Fine ash was deposited on and near White Island, but only an acid aerosol cloud reached the mainland near the town of Matata (~55 km SW).

During mid-March the steam-and-gas plume was not nearly as noisy as it had been, but it was still very hot, as indicated by the transparency of the bottom of the plume as it exited from the vent. The IGNS received reports from the public of an unusually large gas plume extending over White Island. This large plume, however, was attributed to still wind conditions and cooler air temperatures.

On 19 April a team from IGNS visited White Island and found no significant change from previous visits. The lake was still a yellow/green color, but was somewhat cooler at 28°C. The MH vent was still emitting a considerable volume of steam, but was not as noisy as it had previously been. Steam emerged from the vent at a temperature of 145°C, and reached a height of about 20 m before condensing. No ash was produced.

Heavy rain affected the area around the vents during May 2001 and changed the lake color to gray, but the volcanic activity was essentially unchanged. On 28 May, air waves were recorded by the seismometer, indicating a small surface explosion. Fumaroles continued to be active and produced a high level of water vapor in the crater area.

By July the gas pressure at White Island had decreased. A few isolated, small, low-frequency events were recorded in August. Weak volcanic tremor was recorded in September, but no changes occurred at the surface.

Geologic Background. The uninhabited Whakaari/White Island is the 2 x 2.4 km emergent summit of a 16 x 18 km submarine volcano in the Bay of Plenty about 50 km offshore of North Island. The island consists of two overlapping andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcanoes. The SE side of the crater is open at sea level, with the recent activity centered about 1 km from the shore close to the rear crater wall. Volckner Rocks, sea stacks that are remnants of a lava dome, lie 5 km NW. Descriptions of volcanism since 1826 have included intermittent moderate phreatic, phreatomagmatic, and Strombolian eruptions; activity there also forms a prominent part of Maori legends. The formation of many new vents during the 19th and 20th centuries caused rapid changes in crater floor topography. Collapse of the crater wall in 1914 produced a debris avalanche that buried buildings and workers at a sulfur-mining project. Explosive activity in December 2019 took place while tourists were present, resulting in many fatalities. The official government name Whakaari/White Island is a combination of the full Maori name of Te Puia o Whakaari ("The Dramatic Volcano") and White Island (referencing the constant steam plume) given by Captain James Cook in 1769.

Information Contacts: Brad Scott and Tony Hurst, Wairakei Research Center, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (IGNS), Private Bag 2000, Wairakei, New Zealand (URL: http://www.gns.cri.nz/).

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