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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

Sangay (Ecuador) Ash plumes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars during July-December 2020; larger explosions in September

Ebeko (Russia) Continued explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall; June-November 2020

Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) Intermittent thermal anomalies and small eruptions in May and August 2020

Raung (Indonesia) Explosions with ash plumes and a thermal anomaly at the summit crater, July-October 2020

Nyamuragira (DR Congo) Numerous thermal anomalies and gas emissions from the lava lake through November 2020

Sinabung (Indonesia) Explosions begin again on 8 August 2020; dome growth confirmed in late September

Heard (Australia) Persistent thermal anomalies in the summit crater from June through October 2020

Sabancaya (Peru) Daily explosions produced ash plumes, SO2 plumes, and thermal anomalies during June-September 2020

Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) Frequent small phreatic explosions with intermittent ash plumes during April-September 2020

Fuego (Guatemala) Daily explosions, ash emissions, and block avalanches during August-November 2020

Kikai (Japan) Explosion on 6 October 2020 and thermal anomalies in the crater

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Intermittent ash plumes, thermal anomalies, and SO2 emissions in April-September 2020



Sangay (Ecuador) — January 2021 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars during July-December 2020; larger explosions in September

Sangay is one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador with the current eruptive period continuing since 26 March 2019. Activity at the summit crater has been frequent since August 1934, with short quiet periods between events. Recent activity has included frequent ash plumes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars. This report summarizes activity during July through December 2020, based on reports by Ecuador's Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN), ash advisories issued by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), webcam images taken by Servicio Integrado de Seguridad ECU911, and various satellite data.

Overall activity remained elevated during the report period. Recorded explosions were variable during July through December, ranging from no explosions to 294 reported on 4 December (figure 80), and dispersing mostly to the W and SW. SO2 was frequently detected using satellite data (figure 81) and was reported several times to be emitting between about 770 and 2,850 tons/day. Elevated temperatures at the crater and down the SE flank were frequently observed in satellite data (figure 82), and less frequently by visual observation of incandescence. Seismic monitoring detected lahars associated with rainfall events remobilizing deposits emplaced on the flanks throughout this period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. A graph showing the daily number of explosions at Sangay recorded during July through December 2020. Several dates had no recorded explosions due to lack of seismic data. Data courtesy of IG-EPN (daily reports).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. Examples of stronger SO2 plumes from Sangay detected by the Sentinel 5P/TROPOMI instrument, with plumes from Nevado del Ruiz detected to the north. The image dates from left to right are 31 August 2020, 17 September 2020, 1 October 2020 (top row), 22 November 2020, 3 December 2020, 14 December 2020 (bottom row). Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. This log radiative power MIROVA plot shows thermal output at Sangay during February through December 2020. Activity was relatively constant with increases and decreases in both energy output and the frequency of thermal anomalies detected. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity during July-August 2020. During July activity continued with frequent ash and gas emission recorded through observations when clouds weren’t obstructing the view of the summit, and Washington VAAC alerts. There were between one and five VAAC alerts issued most days, with ash plumes reaching 570 to 1,770 m above the crater and dispersing mostly W and SE, and NW on two days (figure 83). Lahar seismic signals were recorded on the 1st, 7th, three on the 13th, and one on the 19th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Gas and ash plumes at Sangay during July 2020, at 0717 on the 17th, at 1754 on the 18th, and at 0612 on the 25th. Bottom picture taken from the Macas ECU 911 webcam. All images courtesy of IG-EPN daily reports.

During August there were between one and five VAAC alerts issued most days, with ash plumes reaching 600 to 2,070 m above the crater and predominantly dispersing W, SW, and occasionally to the NE, S, and SE (figure 84). There were reports of ashfall in the Alausí sector on the 24th. Using seismic data analysis, lahar signals were identified after rainfall on 1, 7, 11-14, and 21 August. A lava flow was seen moving down the eastern flank on the night of the 15th, resulting in a high number of thermal alerts. A pyroclastic flow was reported descending the SE flank at 0631 on the 27th (figure 85).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. This 25 August 2020 PlanetScope satellite image of Sangay in Ecuador shows an example of a weak gas and ash plume dispersing to the SW. Courtesy of Planet Labs.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. A pyroclastic flow descends the Sangay SE flank at 0631 on 27 August 2020. Webcam by ECU911, courtesy of courtesy of IG-EPN (27 August 2020 report).

Activity during September-October 2020. Elevated activity continued through September with two significant increases on the 20th and 22nd (more information on these events below). Other than these two events, VAAC reports of ash plumes varied between 1 and 5 issued most days, with plume heights reaching between 600 and 1,500 m above the crater. Dominant ash dispersal directions were W, with some plumes traveling SE, S, SE, NE, and NW. Lahar seismic signals were recorded after rainfall on 1, 2, 5, 8-10, 21, 24, 25, 27, and 30 September. Pyroclastic flows were reported on the 19th (figure 86), and incandescent material was seen descending the SE ravine on the 29th. There was a significant increase in thermal alerts reported throughout the month compared to the July-August period, and Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showed a lava flow down the SE flank (figure 87).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Pyroclastic flows descended the flank of Sangay on 19 (top) and 20 (bottom) September 2020. Webcam images by ECU911 from the city of Macas, courtesy of IG-EPN (14 August 2018 report).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. The thermal signature of a lava flow is seen on SW flank of Sangay in this 8 September 2020 Sentinel-2 thermal satellite image, indicated by the white arrow. False color (urban) satellite image (bands 12, 11, 4) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Starting at 0420 on the morning of 20 September there was an increase in explosions and emissions recorded through seismicity, much more energetic than the activity of previous months. At 0440 satellite images show an ash plume with an estimated height of around 7 km above the crater. The top part of the plume dispersed to the E and the rest of the plume went W. Pyroclastic flows were observed descending the SE flank around 1822 (figure 88). Ash from remobilization of deposits was reported on the 21st in the Bolívar, Chimborazo, Los Ríos, Guayas and Santa Elena provinces. Ash and gas emission continued, with plumes reaching up to 1 km above the crater. There were seven VAAC reports as well as thermal alerts issued during the day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. An eruption of Sangay on 22 September 2020 produced a pyroclastic flow down the SE flank and an ash plume that dispersed to the SW. PlanetScope satellite image courtesy of Planet Labs.

Ash plumes observed on 22 September reached around 1 km above the crater and dispersed W to NW. Pyroclastic flows were seen descending the SE flank (figure 89) also producing an ash plume. A BBC article reported the government saying 800 km2 of farmland had experienced ashfall, with Chimborazo and Bolívar being the worst affected areas (figure 90). Locals described the sky going dark, and the Guayaquil was temporarily closed. Ash plume heights during the 20-22 were the highest for the year so far (figure 91). Ash emission continued throughout the rest of the month with another increase in explosions on the 27th, producing observed ash plume heights reaching 1.5 km above the crater. Ashfall was reported in San Nicolas in the Chimborazo Province in the afternoon of the 30th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. A pyroclastic flow descending the flank of Sangay on 22 September 2020. Webcam image by ECU911 from the city of Macas, courtesy of IG-EPN (Sangay Volcano Special Report - 2020 - No 5, 22 September 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Ashfall from an eruption at Sangay on 22 September 2020 affected 800 km2 of farmland and nearby communities. Images courtesy of EPA and the Police of Ecuador via Reuters (top-right), all via the BBC.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. Ash plume heights (left graph) at Sangay from January through to late September, with the larger ash plumes during 20-22 September indicated by the red arrow. The dominant ash dispersal direction is to the W (right plot) and the average speed is 10 m/s. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Sangay Volcano Special Report - 2020 - No 5, 22 September 2020).

Thermal alerts increased again through October, with a lava flow and/or incandescent material descending the SE flank sighted throughout the month (figure 92). Pyroclastic flows were seen traveling down the SE flank during an observation flight on the 6th (figure 93). Seismicity indicative of lahars was reported on 1, 12, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, and 28 October associated with rainfall remobilizing deposits. The Washington VAAC released one to five ash advisories most days, noting plume heights of 570-3,000 m above the crater; prevailing winds dispersed most plumes to the W, with some plumes drifting NW, N, E to SE, and SW. Ashfall was reported in Alausí (Chimborazo Province) on the 1st and in Chunchi canton on the 10th. SO2 was recorded towards the end of the month using satellite data, varying between about 770 and 2,850 tons on the 24th, 27th, and 29th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. A lava flow descends the SE flank of Sangay on 2 October 2020. Webcam images courtesy of ECU 911.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 93. A pyroclastic flow descends the Sangay SE flank was seen during an IG-EPN overflight on 6 October 2020. Photo courtesy of S. Vallejo, IG-EPN.

Activity during November-December 2020. Frequent ash emission continued through November with between one and five Washington VAAC advisories issued most days (figure 94). Reported ash and gas plume heights varied between 570 and 2,700 m above the crater, with winds dispersing plumes in all directions. Thermal anomalies were detected most days, and incandescent material from explosions was seen on the 26th. Seismicity indicating lahars was registered on nine days between 15 and 30 November, associated with rainfall events.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 94. Examples of gas and ash plumes at Sangay during November 2020. Webcam images were published in IG-EPN daily activity reports.

Lahar signals associated with rain events continued to be detected on ten out of the first 18 days of November. Ash emissions continued through December with one to five VAAC alerts issued most days. Ash plume heights varied from 600 to 1,400 m above the crater, with the prevailing wind direction dispersing most plumes W and SW (figure 95). Thermal anomalies were frequently detected and incandescent material was observed down the SE flank on the 3rd, 14th, and 30th, interpreted as a lava flow and hot material rolling down the flank. A webcam image showed a pyroclastic flow traveling down the SE flank on the 2nd (figure 96). Ashfall was reported on the 10th in Capzol, Palmira, and Cebadas parishes, and in the Chunchi and Guamote cantons.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 95. Examples of ash plumes at Sangay during ongoing persistent activity on 9, 10, and 23 December 2020. Webcam images courtesy of ECU 911.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. A nighttime webcam image shows a pyroclastic flow descending the SE flank of Sangay at 2308 on 2 December 2020. Image courtesy of ECU 911.

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

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico (IG-EPN), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec); ECU911, Servicio Integrado de Seguridad ECU911, Calle Julio Endara s / n. Itchimbía Park Sector Quito – Ecuador. (URL: https://www.ecu911.gob.ec/; Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/Ecu911Macas/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); 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/); Planet Labs, Inc. (URL: https://www.planet.com/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); BBC News “In pictures: Ash covers Ecuador farming land” Published 22 September 2020 (URL: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-54247797).


Ebeko (Russia) — December 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

50.686°N, 156.014°E; summit elev. 1103 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continued explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall; June-November 2020

Volcanism at Ebeko, located on the N end of the Paramushir Island in the Kuril Islands, has been ongoing since October 2016, characterized by frequent moderate explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk (7 km ESE) (BGVN 45:05). Similar activity during this reporting period of June through November 2020 continues, consisting of frequent explosions, dense ash plumes, and occasional ashfall. Information for this report primarily comes from the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) and satellite data.

Activity during June was characterized by frequent, almost daily explosions and ash plumes that rose to 1.6-4.6 km altitude and drifted in various directions, according to KVERT reports and information from the Tokyo VAAC advisories using HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery and KBGS (Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service) seismic data. Satellite imagery showed persistent thermal anomalies over the summit crater. On 1 June explosions generated an ash plume up to 4.5 km altitude drifting E and S, in addition to several smaller ash plumes that rose to 2.3-3 km altitude drifting E, NW, and NE, according to KVERT VONA notices. Explosions on 11 June generated an ash plume that rose 2.6 km altitude and drifted as far as 85 km N and NW. Explosions continued during 21-30 June, producing ash plumes that rose 2-4 km altitude, drifting up to 5 km in different directions (figure 26); many of these eruptive events were accompanied by thermal anomalies that were observed in satellite imagery.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Photo of a dense gray ash plume rising from Ebeko on 22 June 2020. Photo by L. Kotenko (color corrected), courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

Explosions continued in July, producing ash plumes rising 2-5.2 km altitude and drifting for 3-30 km in different directions. On 3, 6, 15 July explosions generated an ash plume that rose 3-4 km altitude that drifted N, NE, and SE, resulting in ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk. According to a Tokyo VAAC advisory, an eruption on 4 July produced an ash plume that rose up to 5.2 km altitude drifting S. On 22 July explosions produced an ash cloud measuring 11 x 13 km in size and that rose to 3 km altitude drifting 30 km SE. Frequent thermal anomalies were identified in satellite imagery accompanying these explosions.

In August, explosions persisted with ash plumes rising 1.7-4 km altitude drifting for 3-10 km in multiple directions. Intermittent thermal anomalies were detected in satellite imagery, according to KVERT. On 9 and 22 August explosions sent ash up to 2.5-3 km altitude drifting W, S, E, and SE, resulting in ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk. Moderate gas-and-steam activity was reported occasionally during the month.

Almost daily explosions in September generated dense ash plumes that rose 1.5-4.3 km altitude and drifted 3-5 km in different directions. Moderate gas-and-steam emissions were often accompanied by thermal anomalies visible in satellite imagery. During 14-15 September explosions sent ash plumes up to 2.5-3 km altitude drifting SE and NE, resulting in ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk. On 22 September a dense gray ash plume rose to 3 km altitude and drifted S. The ash plume on 26 September was at 3.5 km altitude and drifted SE (figure 27).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Photos of dense ash plumes rising from Ebeko on 22 (left) and 26 (right) September 2020. Photos by S. Lakomov (color corrected), IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

During October, near-daily ash explosions continued, rising 1.7-4 km altitude drifting in many directions. Intermittent thermal anomalies were identified in satellite imagery. During 7-8, 9-10, and 20-22 October ashfall was reported in Severo-Kurilsk.

Explosions in November produced dense gray ash plumes that rose to 1.5-5.2 km altitude and drifted as far as 5-10 km, mainly NE, SE, E, SW, and ENE. According to KVERT, thermal anomalies were visible in satellite imagery throughout the month. On clear weather days on 8 and 11 November Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed ashfall deposits SE of the summit crater from recent activity (figure 28). During 15-17 November explosions sent ash up to 3.5 km altitude drifting NE, E, and SE which resulted in ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 17 November. Similar ashfall was observed on 22-24 and 28 November due to ash rising to 1.8-3 km altitude (figure 29). Explosions on 29 November sent an ash plume up to 4.5 km altitude drifting E (figure 29). A Tokyo VAAC advisory reported that an ash plume drifting SSE on 30 November reached an altitude of 3-5.2 km.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of a gray-white gas-and-ash plume at Ebeko on 8 (left) and 11 (right) November 2020, resulting in ashfall (dark gray) to the SE of the volcano. Images using “Natural Color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2), courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Photos of continued ash explosions from Ebeko on 28 October (left) and 29 November (right) 2020. Photos by S. Lakomov (left) and L. Kotenko (right), courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows a pulse in low-power thermal activity beginning in early June through early August (figure 30). On clear weather days, the thermal anomalies in the summit crater are observed in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery, accompanied by occasional white-gray ash plumes (figure 31). Additionally, the MODVOLC algorithm detected a single thermal anomaly on 26 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. A small pulse in thermal activity at Ebeko began in early June and continued through early August 2020, according to the MIROVA graph (Log Radiative Power). The detected thermal anomalies were of relatively low power but were persistent during this period. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed gray ash plumes rising from Ebeko on 11 June (top left) and 16 July (bottom left) 2020, accompanied by occasional thermal anomalies (yellow-orange) within the summit crater, as shown on 24 June (top right) and 25 August (bottom right). The ash plume on 11 June drifted N from the summit. Images using “Natural Color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) on 11 June (top left) and 16 July (bottom left) and the rest have “Atmospheric penetration” rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion 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/); Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service, Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS) (URL: http://www.emsd.ru/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent thermal anomalies and small eruptions in May and August 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 current eruptive period began in January 2020 and has been characterized by small explosions, ash plumes, ashfall, a pyroclastic flow, and gas-and-steam emissions. This report covers activity from May to October 2020, which includes small explosions, ash plumes, crater incandescence, and gas-and-steam emissions. 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).

Volcanism at Kuchinoerabujima remained relatively low during May through October 2020, according to JMA. During this time, SO2 emissions ranged from 40 to 3,400 tons/day; occasional gas-and-steam emissions were reported, rising to a maximum of 900 m above the crater. Sentinel-2 satellite images showed a particularly strong thermal anomaly in the Shindake crater on 1 May (figure 10). The thermal anomaly decreased in power after 1 May and was only visible on clear weather days, which included 19 August and 3 and 13 October. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observations identified continued slight inflation at the base of the volcano during the entire reporting period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showed a strong thermal anomaly (bright yellow-orange) in the Shindake crater at Kuchinoerabujima on 1 May 2020 (top left). Weaker thermal anomalies were also seen in the Shindake crater during 19 August (top right) and 3 (bottom left) and 13 (bottom right) October 2020. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Three small eruptions were detected by JMA on 5, 6, and 13 May, which produced an ash plume rising 500 m above the crater on each day, resulting in ashfall on the downwind flanks. Incandescence was observed at night using a high-sensitivity surveillance camera (figure 11). On 5 and 13 May the Tokyo VAAC released a notice that reported ash plumes rising 0.9-1.2 km altitude, drifting NE and S, respectively. On 20 May weak fumaroles were observed on the W side of the Shindake crater. The SO2 emissions ranged from 700-3,400 tons/day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Webcam images of an eruption at Kuchinoerabujima on 6 May 2020 (top), producing a gray ash plume that rose 500 m above the crater. Crater incandescence was observed from the summit crater at night on 25 May 2020 (bottom). Courtesy of JMA (Monthly bulletin report 509, May 2020).

Activity during June and July decreased compared to May, with gas-and-steam emissions occurring more prominently. On 22 June weak incandescence was observed, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions rising 700 m above the crater. Weak crater incandescence was also seen on 25 June. The SO2 emissions measured 400-1,400 tons/day. White gas-and-steam emissions were again observed on 31 July rising to 800 m above the crater. The SO2 emissions had decreased during this time to 300-700 tons/day.

According to JMA, the most recent eruptive event occurred on 29 August at 1746, which ejected bombs and was accompanied by some crater incandescence, though the eruptive column was not visible due to the cloud cover. However, white gas-and-steam emissions could be seen rising 1.3 km above the Shindake crater drifting SW. The SO2 emissions measured 200-500 tons/day. During August, the number of volcanic earthquakes increased significantly to 1,032, compared to the number in July (36).

The monthly bulletin for September reported white gas-and-steam emissions rising 900 m above the crater on 9 September and on 11 October the gas-and-steam emissions rose 600 m above the crater. Seismicity decreased between September and October from 1,920 to 866. The SO2 emissions continued to decrease compared to previous months, totaling 80-400 tons/day in September and 40-300 tons/day in October.

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).


Raung (Indonesia) — December 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Raung

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions with ash plumes and a thermal anomaly at the summit crater, July-October 2020

A massive stratovolcano in easternmost Java, Raung has over sixty recorded eruptions dating back to the late 16th Century. Explosions with ash plumes, Strombolian activity, and lava flows from a cinder cone within the 2-km-wide summit crater have been the most common activity. Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) has installed webcams to monitor activity in recent years. An eruption from late 2014 through August 2015 produced a large volume of lava within the summit crater and formed a new pyroclastic cone in the same location as the previous one. The eruption that began in July 2020 is covered in this report with information provided by PVMBG, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and several sources of satellite data.

The 2015 eruption was the largest in several decades; Strombolian activity was reported for many months and fresh lava flows covered the crater floor (BGVN 45:09). Raung was quiet after the eruption ended in August of that year until July of 2020 when seismicity increased on 13 July and brown emissions were first reported on 16 July. Tens of explosions with ash emissions were reported daily during the remainder of July 2020. Explosive activity decreased during August, but thermal activity didn’t decrease until mid-September. The last ash emissions were reported on 3 October and the last thermal anomaly in satellite data was recorded on 7 October 2020.

Eruption during July-October 2020. No further reports of activity were issued after August 2015 until July 2020. Clear Google Earth imagery from October 2017 and April 2018 indicated the extent of the lava from the 2015 eruption, but no sign of further activity (figure 31). By August 2019, many features from the 2015 eruption were still clearly visible from the crater rim (figure 32).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Little change can be seen at the summit of Raung in Google Earth images dated 19 October 2017 (left) and 28 April 2018 (right). The summit crater was full of black lava flows from the 2015 eruption. Courtesy of Google Earth.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. A Malaysian hiker celebrated his climbing to the summit of Raung on 30 August 2019. Weak fumarolic activity was visible from the base of the breached crater of the cone near the center of the summit crater, and many features of the lava flow that filled the crater in 2015 were still well preserved. Courtesy of MJ.

PVMBG reported that the number and type of seismic events around the summit of Raung increased beginning on 13 July 2020, and on 16 July the height of the emissions from the crater rose to 100 m and the emission color changed from white to brown. About three hours later the emissions changed to gray and white. The webcams captured emissions rising 50-200 m above the summit that included 60 explosions of gray and reddish ash plumes (figure 33). The Raung Volcano Observatory released a VONA reporting an explosion with an ash plume that drifted N at 1353 local time (0653 UTC). The best estimate of the ash cloud height was 3,432 m based on ground observation. They raised the Aviation Color Code from unassigned to Orange. About 90 minutes later they reported a second seismic event and ash cloud that rose to 3,532 m, again based on ground observation. The Darwin VAAC reported that neither ash plume was visible in satellite imagery. The following day, on 17 July, PVMBG reported 26 explosions between midnight and 0600 that produced brown ash plumes which rose 200 m above the crater. Based on these events, PVMBG raised the Alert Level of Raung from I (Normal) to II (Alert) on a I-II-III-IV scale. By the following day they reported 95 explosive seismic events had occurred. They continued to observe gray ash plumes rising 100-200 m above the summit on clear days and 10-30 daily explosive seismic events through the end of July; plume heights dropped to 50-100 m and the number of explosive events dropped below ten per day during the last few days of the month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. An ash plume rose from the summit of Raung on 16 July 2020 at the beginning of a new eruption. The last previous eruption was in 2015. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery and PVMBG.

After a long period of no activity, MIROVA data showed an abrupt return to thermal activity on 16 July 2020; a strong pulse of heat lasted into early August before diminishing (figure 34). MODVOLC thermal alert data recorded two alerts each on 18 and 20 July, and one each on 21 and 30 July. Satellite images showed no evidence of thermal activity inside the summit crater from September 2015 through early July 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery first indicated a strong thermal anomaly inside the pyroclastic cone within the crater on 19 July 2020; it remained on 24 and 29 July (figure 35). A small SO2 signature was measured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite on 25 July.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. MIROVA thermal anomaly data indicated renewed activity on 16 July 2020 at Raung as seen in this graph of activity from 13 October 2019 through September 2020. Satellite images indicated that the dark lines at the beginning of the graph are from a large area of fires that burned on the flank of Raung in October 2019. Heat flow remained high through July and began to diminish in mid-August 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. Thermal anomalies were distinct inside the crater of the pyroclastic cone within the summit crater of Raung on 19, 24, and 29 July 2020. Data is from the Sentinel-2 satellite shown with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

After an explosion on 1 August 2020 emissions from the crater were not observed again until steam plumes were seen rising 100 m on 7 August. They were reported rising 100-200 m above the summit intermittently until a dense gray ash plume was reported by PVMBG on 11 August rising 200 m. After that, diffuse steam plumes no more than 100 m high were reported for the rest of the month except for white to brown emissions to 100 m on 21 August. Thermal anomalies of a similar brightness to July from the same point within the summit crater were recorded in satellite imagery on 3, 8, 13, 18, and 23 August. Single MODVOLC thermal alerts were reported on 1, 8, 12, and 19 August.

In early September dense steam plumes rose 200 m above the crater a few times but were mostly 50 m high or less. White and gray emissions rose 50-300 m above the summit on 15, 20, 27, and 30 September. Thermal anomalies were still present in the same spot in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 2, 7, 12, 17, and 27 September, although the signal was weaker than during July and August (figure 36). PVMBG reported gray emissions rising 100-300 m above the summit on 1 October 2020 and two seismic explosion events. Gray emissions rose 50-200 m the next day and nine explosions were recorded. On 3 October, emissions were still gray but only rose 50 m above the crater and no explosions were reported. No emissions were observed from the summit crater for the remainder of the month. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed a hot spot within the summit crater on 2 and 7 October, but clear views of the crater on 12, 17, and 22 October showed no heat source within the crater (figure 37).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. The thermal anomaly at Raung recorded in Sentinel-2 satellite data decreased in intensity between August and October 2020. It was relatively strong on 13 August (left) but had decreased significantly by 12 September (middle) and remained at a lower level into early October (right). Data shown with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground
Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. A small but distinct thermal anomaly was still present within the pyroclastic cone inside the summit crater of Raung on 7 October 2020 (left) but was gone by 12 October (middle) and did not reappear in subsequent clear views of the crater through the end of October. Satellite imagery of 7 and 12 October processed with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) from 17 October (right) shows no clear physical changes to the summit crater during the latest eruption. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); 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/); Google Earth (URL: https://www.google.com/earth/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Tom Pfeiffer, Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/); MJ (URL: https://twitter.com/MieJamaludin/status/1167613617191043072).


Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — December 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)


Numerous thermal anomalies and gas emissions from the lava lake through November 2020

Nyamuragira (also known as Nyamulagira) is a shield volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a 2 x 2.3 km caldera at the summit. A summit crater lies in the NE part of the caldera. In the recent past, the volcano has been characterized by intra-caldera lava flows, lava emissions from its lava lake, thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam emissions, and moderate seismicity (BGVN 44:12, 45:06). This report reviews activity during June-November 2020, based on satellite data.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed numerous thermal anomalies associated with the volcano during June-November 2020, although some decrease was noted during the last half of August and between mid-October to mid-November (figure 91). Between six and seven thermal hotspots per month were identified by MODVOLC during June-November 2020, with as many as 4 pixels on 11 August. In the MODVOLC system, two main hotspot groupings are visible, the largest being at the summit crater, on the E side of the caldera.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. MIROVA graph of thermal activity (log radiative power) at Nyamuragira during March 2020-January 2021. During June-November 2020, most were in the low to moderate range, with a decrease in power during November. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Sentinel-2 satellite images showed several hotspots in the summit crater throughout the reporting period (figure 92). By 26 July and thereafter, hotspots were also visible in the SW portion of the caldera, and perhaps just outside the SW caldera rim. Gas-and-steam emissions from the lava lake were also visible throughout the period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. Sentinel-2 satellite images of Nyamuragira on 26 July (left) and 28 November (right) 2020. Thermal activity is present at several locations within the summit crater (upper right of each image) and in the SW part of the caldera (lower left). SWIR rendering (bands 12, 8A, 4). 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: 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).


Sinabung (Indonesia) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sinabung

Indonesia

3.17°N, 98.392°E; summit elev. 2460 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions begin again on 8 August 2020; dome growth confirmed in late September

Indonesia’s Sinabung volcano in north Sumatra has been highly active since its first confirmed Holocene eruption during August and September 2010. It remained quiet after the initial eruption until September 2013, when a new eruptive phase began that continued through June 2018. A summit dome emerged in late 2013 and produced a large lava “tongue” during 2014. Multiple explosions produced ash plumes, block avalanches, and deadly pyroclastic flows during the eruptive period. A major explosion in February 2018 destroyed most of the summit dome. After a pause in eruptive activity from September 2018 through April 2019, explosions resumed during May and June 2019. The volcano was quiet again until an explosion on 8 August 2020 began another eruption that included a new dome. This report covers activity from July 2019 through October 2020 with information provided by Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG), referred to by some agencies as CVGHM or the Indonesian Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), and the Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (National Disaster Management Authority, BNPB). Additional information comes from satellite instruments and local news reports.

Only steam plumes and infrequent lahars were reported at Sinabung during July 2019-July 2020. A new eruption began on 8 August 2020 with a phreatic explosion and dense ash plumes. Repeated explosions were reported throughout August; ashfall was reported in many nearby communities several times. Explosions decreased significantly during September, but SO2 emissions persisted. Block avalanches from a new growing dome were first reported in early October; pyroclastic flows accompanied repeated ash emissions during the last week of the month. Thermal data suggested that the summit dome continued growing slowly during October.

Activity during July 2019-October 2020. After a large explosion on 9 June 2019, activity declined significantly, and no further emissions or incandescence was reported after 25 June (BGVN 44:08). For the remainder of 2019 steam plumes rose 50-400 m above the summit on most days, occasionally rising to 500-700 m above the crater. Lahars were recorded by seismic instruments in July, August, September, and December. During January-July 2020 steam plumes were reported usually 50-300 m above the summit, sometimes rising to 500 m. On 21 March 2020 steam plumes rose to 700 m, and a lahar was recorded by seismic instruments. Lahars were reported on 26 and 28 April, 3 and 5 June, and 11 July.

A swarm of deep volcanic earthquakes was reported by PVMBG on 7 August 2020. This was followed by a phreatic explosion with a dense gray to black ash plume on 8 August that rose 2,000 m above the summit and drifted E; a second explosion that day produced a plume that rose 1,000 m above the summit. According to the Jakarta Post, ash reached the community of Berastagi (15 km E) along with the districts of Naman Teran (5-10 km NE), Merdeka (15 km NE), and Dolat Rayat (20 km E). Continuous tremor events were first recorded on 8 August and continued daily until 26 August. Two explosions were recorded on 10 August; the largest produced a dense gray ash plume that rose 5,000 m above the summit and drifted NE and SE (figure 77). The Darwin VAAC reported the eruption clearly visible in satellite imagery at 9.7 km altitude and drifting W. Later they reported a second plume drifting ESE at 4.3 km altitude. After this large explosion the local National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) reported significant ashfall in three districts: Naman Teran, Berastagi and Merdeka. Emissions on 11 and 12 August were white and gray and rose 100-200 m. Multiple explosions on 13 August produced white and gray ash plumes that rose 1,000-2,000 m above the summit. Explosions on 14 August produced gray and brown ash plumes that rose 1,000-4,200 m above the summit and drifted S and SW (figure 77). The Darwin VAAC reported that the ash plume was partly visible in satellite imagery at 7.6 km altitude moving W; additional plumes were moving SE at 3.7 km altitude and NE at 5.5 km altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Numerous explosions were recorded at Sinabung during August 2020. An ash plume rose to 5,000 m above the summit on 10 August (left) and drifted both NE and SE. On 14 August gray and brown ash plumes rose 1,000-4,200 m above the summit and drifted S, SW, SE and NE (right) while ashfall covered crops SE of the volcano. Courtesy of PVMBG (Sinabung Eruption Notices, 10 and 14 August 2020).

White, gray, and brown emissions rose 800-1,000 m above the summit on 15 and 17 August. The next day white and gray emissions rose 2,000 m above the summit. The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume visible at 5.2 km altitude drifting SW. A large explosion on 19 August produced a dense gray ash plume that rose 4,000 above the summit and drifted S and SW. Gray and white emissions rose 500 m on 20 August. Two explosions were recorded seismically on 21 August, but rainy and cloudy weather prevented observations. White steam plumes rose 300 m on 22 August, and a lahar was recorded seismically. On 23 August, an explosion produced a gray ash plume that rose 1,500 m above the summit and pyroclastic flows that traveled 1,000 m down the E and SE flanks (figure 78). Continuous tremors were accompanied by ash emissions. White, gray, and brown emissions rose 600 m on 24 August. An explosion on 25 August produced an ash plume that rose 800 m above the peak and drifted W and NW (figure 79). During 26-30 August steam emissions rose 100-400 m above the summit and no explosions were recorded. Dense gray ash emissions rose 1,000 m and drifted E and NE after an explosion on 31 August. Significant SO2 emissions were associated with many of the explosions during August (figure 80).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. On 23 August 2020 an explosion at Sinabung produced a gray ash plume that rose 1,500 m above the summit and produced pyroclastic flows that traveled 1,000 m down the E and SE flanks. Courtesy of PVMBG (Sinabung Eruption Notice, 23 August 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. An explosion on 25 August 2020 at Sinabung produced an ash plume that rose 800 m above the peak and drifted W and NW. Courtesy of PVMBG (Sinabung Eruption Notice, 25 August 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. Significant sulfur dioxide emissions were measured at Sinabung during August 2020 when near-daily explosions produced abundant ash emissions. A small plume was also recorded from Kerinci on 19 August 2020. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Explosive activity decreased substantially during September 2020. A single explosion reported on 5 September produced a white and brown ash plume that rose 800 m above the summit and drifted NNE. During the rest of the month steam emissions rose 50-500 m above the summit before dissipating. Two lahars were reported on 7 September, and one each on 11 and 30 September. Although only a single explosion was reported, anomalous SO2 emissions were present in satellite data on several days.

The character of the activity changed during October 2020. Steam plumes rising 50-300 m above the summit were reported during the first week and a lahar was recorded by seismometers on 4 October. The first block avalanches from a new dome growing at the summit were reported on 8 October with material traveling 300 m ESE from the summit (figure 81). During 11-13 October block avalanches traveled 300-700 m E and SE from the summit. They traveled 100-150 m on 14 October. Steam plumes rising 50-500 m above the summit were reported during 15-22 October with two lahars recorded on 21 October. White and gray emissions rose 50-1,000 m on 23 October. The first of a series of pyroclastic flows was reported on 25 October; they were reported daily through the end of the month when the weather permitted, traveling 1,000-2,500 m from the summit (figure 82). In addition, block avalanches from the growing dome were observed moving down the E and SE flanks 500-1,500 m on 25 October and 200-1,000 m each day during 28-31 October (figure 83). Sentinel-2 satellite data indicated a very weak thermal anomaly at the summit in late September; it was slightly larger in late October, corroborating with images of the slow-growing dome (figure 84).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. A new lava dome appeared at the summit of Sinabung in late September 2020. Block avalanches from the dome were first reported on 8 October. Satellite imagery indicating a thermal anomaly at the summit was very faint at the end of September and slightly stronger by the end of October. The dome grew slowly between 30 September (top) and 22 October 2020 (bottom). Photos taken by Firdaus Surbakti, courtesy of Rizal.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. Pyroclastic flows at Sinabung were accompanied ash emissions multiple times during the last week of October, including the event seen here on 27 October 2020. Courtesy of PVMBG and CultureVolcan.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Block avalanches from the growing summit dome at Sinabung descended the SE flank on 28 October 2020. The dome is visible at the summit. Courtesy of PVMBG and MAGMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. A very faint thermal anomaly appeared at the summit of Sinabung in Sentinel 2 satellite imagery on 28 September 2020 (left). One month later on 28 October the anomaly was bigger, corroborating photographic evidence of the growing dome. Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Gunung Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano with many lava flows on its flanks. The migration of summit vents along a N-S line gives the summit crater complex an elongated form. The youngest crater of this conical andesitic-to-dacitic edifice is at the southern end of the four overlapping summit craters. The youngest deposit is a SE-flank pyroclastic flow 14C dated by Hendrasto et al. (2012) at 740-880 CE. An unconfirmed eruption was noted in 1881, and solfataric activity was seen at the summit and upper flanks in 1912. No confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to explosive eruptions during August-September 2010 that produced ash plumes to 5 km above the summit.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); 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/); The Jakarta Post, 3rd Floor, Gedung, Jl. Palmerah Barat 142-143 Jakarta 10270 (URL: https://www.thejakartapost.com/amp/news/2020/08/08/mount-sinabung-erupts-again-after-year-of-inactivity.html);Rizal (URL: https://twitter.com/Rizal06691023/status/1319452375887740930); CultureVolcan (URL: https://twitter.com/CultureVolcan/status/1321156861173923840).


Heard (Australia) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Persistent thermal anomalies in the summit crater from June through October 2020

The remote Heard Island is located in the southern Indian Ocean and contains the Big Ben stratovolcano, which has had intermittent activity since 1910. The island’s activity, characterized by thermal anomalies and occasional lava flows (BGVN 45:05), is primarily monitored by satellite instruments. This report updates activity from May through October 2020 using information from satellite-based instruments.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed frequent thermal activity in early June that continued through July (figure 43). Intermittent, slightly higher-power thermal anomalies were detected in late August through mid-October, the strongest of which occurred in October. Two of these anomalies were also detected in the MODVOLC algorithm on 12 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. A small pulse in thermal activity at Heard was detected in early June and continued through July 2020, according to the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power). Thermal anomalies appeared again starting in late August and continued intermittently through mid-October 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed a single thermal anomaly on 3 May. In comparison to the MIROVA graph, satellite imagery showed a small pulse of strong thermal activity at the summit of Big Ben in June (figure 44). Some of these thermal anomalies were accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. Persistent strong thermal activity continued through July. Starting on 2 July through at least 17 July two hotspots were visible in satellite imagery: one in the summit crater and one slightly to the NW of the summit (figure 45). Some gas-and-steam emissions were seen rising from the S hotspot in the summit crater. In August the thermal anomalies had decreased in strength and frequency but persisted at the summit through October (figure 45).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Thermal satellite images of Heard Island’s Big Ben volcano showed strong thermal signatures (bright yellow-orange) sometimes accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions drifting SE (top left) and NE (bottom right) during June 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Thermal satellite images of Heard Island’s Big Ben volcano showed persistent thermal anomalies (bright yellow-orange) near the summit during July through October 2020. During 14 (top left) and 17 (top right) July a second hotspot was visible NW of the summit. By 22 October (bottom right) the thermal anomaly had significantly decreased in strength in comparison to previous months. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; 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).


Sabancaya (Peru) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sabancaya

Peru

15.787°S, 71.857°W; summit elev. 5960 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily explosions produced ash plumes, SO2 plumes, and thermal anomalies during June-September 2020

Sabancaya, located in Peru, is a stratovolcano that has been very active since 1986. The current eruptive period began in November 2016 and has recently been characterized by lava dome growth, daily explosions, ash plumes, ashfall, SO2 plumes, and ongoing thermal anomalies (BGVN 45:06). Similar activity continues into this reporting period of June through September 2020 using information from weekly reports from the Observatorio Vulcanologico INGEMMET (OVI), the Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP), and various satellite data. The Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) issued a total of 520 reports of ongoing ash emissions during this time.

Volcanism during this reporting period consisted of daily explosions, nearly constant gas-and-ash plumes, SO2 plumes, and persistent thermal anomalies in the summit crater. Gas-and-ash plumes rose to 1.5-4 km above the summit crater, drifting up to 35 km from the crater in multiple directions; several communities reported ashfall every month except for August (table 7). Sulfur dioxide emissions were notably high and recorded almost daily with the TROPOMI satellite instrument (figure 83). The satellite measurements of the SO2 emissions exceeded 2 DU (Dobson Units) at least 20 days each month of the reporting period. These SO2 plumes sometimes persisted over multiple days and ranged between 1,900-10,700 tons/day. MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows frequent thermal activity through September within 5 km of the summit crater, though the power varied; by late August, the thermal anomalies were stronger compared to the previous months (figure 84). This increase in power is also reflected by the MODVOLC algorithm that detected 11 thermal anomalies over the days of 31 August and 4, 6, 13, 17, 18, 20, and 22 September 2020. Many of these thermal hotspots were visible in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery, occasionally accompanied by gas-and-steam and ash plumes (figure 85).

Table 7. Persistent activity at Sabancaya during June through September included multiple daily explosions that produced ash plumes rising several kilometers above the summit and drifting in multiple directions; this resulted in ashfall in communities within 35 km of the volcano. Satellite instruments recorded daily SO2 emissions. Data courtesy of OVI-INGEMMET, IGP, and the NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Month Avg. daily explosions by week Max plume heights (km above the crater) Plume drift (km) and direction Communities reporting ashfall Minimum days with SO2 over 2 DU SO2 emissions per day (tons) by week
Jun 2020 20, 10, 9, 13 1.5-4 30 km, SE, S, SW, NE, W, E Chivay, Achoma, Ichupampa, Yanque, and Coporaque, Sallali, Madrigal, Lari, and Ichupampa 28 8,400, 2,200, 3,100, 7,600
Jul 2020 20, 15, 11, 12, 19 2-2.6 15-30 km E, NE, NW, SE, SW, S, W Achoma and Chivay 23 4,400, 6,000, 1,900, 2,100, 5,900
Aug 2020 18, 12, 9, 29 1.7-3.6 20-30 km W, SW, SE, S, E, NW - 20 2,300, 3,800, 5,300, 10,700
Sep 2020 39, 35, 33, 38, 40 1.8-3.5 25-35 km SE, S, SW, W, E, NE, N, NW, W Lari, Achoma, Maca, Chivay, Taya, Huambo, Huanca, and Lluta 28 9,700, 2,600, 8,800, 7,800, 4,100
Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Sulfur dioxide plumes were captured almost daily from Sabancaya during June through September 2020 by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Some of the largest SO2 plumes occurred on 19 June (top left), 5 July (top right), 30 August (bottom left), and 10 September (bottom right) 2020. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. Thermal activity at Sabancaya varied in power from 13 October 2019 through September 2020, but was consistent in frequency, according to the MIROVA graph (Log Radiative Power). A pulse in thermal activity is shown in late August 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed frequent gas-and-steam and ash plumes rising from Sabancaya, accompanied by ongoing thermal activity from the summit crater during June through September 2020. On 23 June (top left) a dense gray-white ash plume was visible drifting E from the summit. On 3 July (top right) and 27 August (bottom left) a strong thermal hotspot (bright yellow-orange) was accompanied by some degassing. On 1 September (bottom right) the thermal anomaly persisted with a dense gray-white ash plume drifting SE from the summit. Images using “Natural Color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) on 23 June 2020 (top left) and the rest have “Atmospheric penetration” rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

OVI detected slight inflation on the N part of the volcano, which continued to be observed throughout the reporting period. Persistent thermal anomalies caused by the summit crater lava dome were observed in satellite data. The average number of daily explosions during June ranged from 18 during 1-7 June to 9 during 15-21 June, which generated gas-and-ash plumes that rose 1.5-4 km above the crater and drifted 30 km SE, S, SW, NE, W, and E (figure 86). The strongest sulfur dioxide emissions were recorded during 1-7 June measuring 8,400 tons/day. On 20 June drone video showed that the lava dome had been destroyed, leaving blocks on the crater floor, though the crater remained hot, as seen in thermal satellite imagery (figure 85). During 22-28 June there were an average of 13 daily explosions, which produced ash plumes rising to a maximum height of 4 km, drifting NE, E, and SE. As a result, ashfall was reported in the districts of Chivay, Achoma, Ichupampa, Yanque, and Coporaque, and in the area of Sallali. Then, on 27 June ashfall was reported in several areas NE of the volcano, which included the districts of Madrigal, Lari, Achoma, Ichupampa, Yanque, Chivay, and Coporaque.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose 1.5-4 km above the crater during June 2020. Images are showing 8 (left) and 27 (right) June 2020. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-24-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 08 al 14 de junio del 2020 and RSSAB-26-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 22 al 28 de junio del 2020).

Slight inflation continued to be monitored in July, occurring about 4-6 km N of the crater, as well as on the SE flank. Daily explosions continued, producing gas-and-ash plumes that rose 2-2.6 km above the crater and drifting 15-30 km E, NE, NW, SE, SW, S, and W (figure 87). The number of daily explosions increased slightly compared to the previous month, ranging from 20 during 1-5 July to 11 during 13-19 July. SO2 emissions that were measured each week ranged from 1,900 to 6,000 tons/day, the latter of which occurred during 6-12 July. Thermal anomalies continued to be observed in thermal satellite data over the summit crater throughout the month. During 6-12 July gas-and-ash plumes rose 2.3-2.5 km above the crater, drifting 30 km SE, E, and NE, resulting in ashfall in Achoma and Chivay.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose 2-3.5 km above the crater during July 2020. Images are showing 7 (left) and 26 (right) July 2020. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-28-2020/INGEMMET Semanal: del 06 al 12 de julio del 2020 and RSSAB-30-2020/INGEMMET Semanal: del 20 al 26 de julio del 2020).

OVI reported continued slight inflation on the N and SE flanks during August. Daily explosive activity had slightly declined in the first part of the month, ranging from 18 during the 3-9 August to 9 during 17-23 August. Dense gray gas-and-ash plumes rose 1.7-3.6 km above the crater, drifting 20-30 km in various directions (figure 88), though no ashfall was reported. Thermal anomalies were observed using satellite data throughout the month. During 24-30 August a pulse in activity increased the daily average of explosions to 29, as well as the amount of SO2 emissions (10,700 tons/day); nighttime incandescence accompanied this activity. During 28-29 August higher levels of seismicity and inflation were reported compared to the previous weeks. The daily average of explosions increased again during 31 August-6 September to 39; nighttime incandescence remained.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose 1.7-3.6 km above the crater during August 2020. Images are showing 1 (left) and 29 (right) August 2020. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-31-2020/INGEMMET Semanal del 27 de julio al 02 de agosto del 2020 and RSSAB-35-2020/INGEMMET Semanal del 24 al 30 de agosto del 2020).

Increased volcanism was reported during September with the daily average of explosions ranging from 33 during 14-20 September to 40 during 28 September-4 October. The resulting gas-and-ash plumes rose 1.8-3.5 km above the crater drifting 25-35 km in various directions (figure 89). SO2 flux was measured by OVI ranging from 2,600 to 9,700 tons/day, the latter of which was recorded during 31 August to 6 September. During 7-13 September an average of 35 explosions were reported, accompanied by gas-and-ash plumes that rose 2.6-3.5 km above the crater and drifting 30 km SE, SW, W, E, and S. These events resulted in ashfall in Lari, Achoma, and Maca. The following week (14-20 September) ashfall was reported in Achoma and Chivay. During 21-27 September the daily average of explosions was 38, producing ash plumes that resulted in ashfall in Taya, Huambo, Huanca, and Lluta. Slight inflation on the N and SE flanks continued to be monitored by OVI. Strong activity, including SO2 emissions and thermal anomalies over the summit crater persisted into at least early October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose 1.8-2.6 km above the crater during September 2020. Images are showing 4 (left) and 27 (right) September 2020. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-36-2020/INGEMMET Semanal del 31 de agosto al 06 de septiembre del 2020 and RSSAB-39-2020/INGEMMET Semanal del 21 al 27 de septiembre del 2020).

Geologic Background. Sabancaya, located in the saddle NE of Ampato and SE of Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. The name Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of Plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of historical eruptions date back to 1750.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Volcanologico del INGEMMET (Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico), Barrio Magisterial Nro. 2 B-16 Umacollo - Yanahuara Arequipa, Peru (URL: http://ovi.ingemmet.gob.pe); Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP), Calle Badajoz N° 169 Urb. Mayorazgo IV Etapa, Ate, Lima 15012, Perú (URL: https://www.gob.pe/igp); Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Meteorológico Nacional-Fuerza Aérea Argentina, 25 de mayo 658, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/inicio.php); 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).


Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Rincon de la Vieja

Costa Rica

10.83°N, 85.324°W; summit elev. 1916 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent small phreatic explosions with intermittent ash plumes during April-September 2020

Rincón de la Vieja is a remote volcanic complex in Costa Rica that contains an acid lake. Frequent weak phreatic explosions have occurred since 2011 (BGVN 44:08). The most recent eruption period began in January 2020, which consisted of small phreatic explosions, gas-and-steam plumes, pyroclastic flows, and lahars (BGVN 45:04). This reporting period covers April through September 2020, with activity characterized by continued small phreatic explosions, three lahars, frequent gas-and-steam plumes, and ash plumes. The primary source of information for this report is the Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA) using weekly bulletins and the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Small, frequent, phreatic explosions were common at Rincón de la Vieja during this reporting period. One to several eruptions were reported on at least 16 days in April, 15 days in May, 8 days in June, 10 days in July, 18 days in August, and 13 days in September (table 5). Intermittent ash plumes accompanied these eruptions, rising 100-3,000 m above the crater and drifting W, NW, and SW during May and N during June. Occasional gas-and-steam plumes were also observed rising 50-2,000 m above the crater rim.

Table 5. Monthly summary of activity at Rincón de la Vieja during April through September 2020. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Month Minimum total days of eruptions Ash plume height (m above the crater) Notable plume drift Gas-and-steam plume height (m above the crater)
Apr 2020 16 200-1,000 - 50-1,500
May 2020 15 200-3,000 W, NW, SW 200-2,000
Jun 2020 8 100-2,000 N -
Jul 2020 10 1,000 - -
Aug 2020 18 500-1,000 - 500
Sep 2020 13 700 - 50

During April small explosions were detected almost daily, some of which generated ash plumes that rose 200-1,000 m above the crater and gas-and-steam emissions that rose 50-1,500 m above the crater. On 4 April an eruption at 0824 produced an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim. A small hydrothermal explosion at 0033 on 11 April, recorded by the webcam in Sensoria (4 km N), ejected water and sediment onto the upper flanks. On 15 April a phreatic eruption at 0306 resulted in lahars in the Pénjamo, Azufrada, and Azul rivers, according to local residents. Several small explosions were detected during the morning of 19 April; the largest phreatic eruption ejected water and sediment 300 m above the crater rim and onto the flanks at 1014, generated a lahar, and sent a gas-and-steam plume 1.5 km above the crater (figure 30). On 24 April five events were recorded by the seismic network during the morning, most of which produced gas-and-steam plumes that rose 300-500 m above the crater. The largest event on this day occurred at 1020, ejecting water and solid material 300 m above the crater accompanied by a gas-and-steam plume rising up to 1 km.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. Webcam image of small hydrothermal eruptions at Rincón de la Vieja on 19 April 2020. Image taken by the webcam in Dos Ríos de Upala; courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Similar frequent phreatic activity continued in May, with ash plumes rising 200-1,500 m above the crater, drifting W, NW, and SW, and gas-and-steam plumes rising up to 2 km. On 5 May an eruption at 1317 produced a gas-and-steam plume 200 m above the crater and a Washington VAAC advisory reported that an ash plume rose to 2.1 km altitude, drifting W. An event at 1925 on 9 May generated a gas-and-steam plume that rose almost 2 km. An explosion at 1128 on 15 May resulted in a gas-and-steam plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim, accompanied by a gray, sediment-laden plume that rose 400 m. On 21 May a small ash eruption at 0537 sent a plume 1 km above the crater (figure 31). According to a Washington VAAC advisory, an ash plume rose 3 km altitude, drifting NW on 22 May. During the early evening on 25 May an hour-long sequence of more than 70 eruptions and emissions, according to OVSICORI-UNA, produced low gas-and-steam plumes and tephra; at 1738, some ejecta was observed above the crater rim. The next day, on 26 May, up to 52 eruptive events were observed. An eruption at 2005 was not visible due to weather conditions; however, it resulted in a minor amount of ashfall up to 17 km W and NW, which included Los Angeles of Quebrada Grande and Liberia. A phreatic explosion at 1521 produced a gray plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater (figure 31). An eruption at 1524 on 28 May sent an ash plume 3 km above the crater that drifted W, followed by at least three smaller eruptions at 1823, 1841, and 1843. OVSICORI-UNA reported that volcanism began to decrease in frequency on 28-29 May. Sulfur dioxide emissions ranged between 100 and 400 tons per day during 28 May to 15 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Webcam images of gray gas-and-steam and ash emissions at Rincón de la Vieja on 21 (left), and 27 (right) May 2020. Both images taken by the webcam in Dos Ríos de Upala and Sensoria; courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

There were eight days with eruptions in June, though some days had multiple small events; phreatic eruptions reported on 1-2, 13, 16-17, 19-20, and 23 June generated plumes 1-2 km above the crater (figure 32). During 2-8 June SO2 emissions were 150-350 tons per day; more than 120 eruptions were recorded during the preceding weekend. Ashfall was observed N of the crater on 4 June. During 9-15 June the SO2 emissions increased slightly to 100-400 tons per day. During 16-17 June several small eruptive events were detected, the largest of which occurred at 1635 on 17 June, producing an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Webcam images of gray gas-and-steam and ash plumes rising from Rincón de la Vieja on 1 (top left), 2 (top right), 7 (bottom left), and 13 (bottom right) June 2020. The ash plume on 1 June rose between 1.5 and 2 km above the crater. The ash plume on 13 June rose 1 km above the crater. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Explosive hydrothermal activity was lower in June-September compared to January-May 2020, according to OVSICORI-UNA. Sporadic small phreatic explosions and earthquakes were registered during 22-25 and 29 July-3 August, though no lahars were reported. On 25 July an eruptive event at 0153 produced an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater. Similar activity continued into August. On 5 and 6 August phreatic explosions were recorded at 0546 and 0035, respectively, the latter of which generated a plume that rose 500 m above the crater. These events continued to occur on 10, 16, 19-20, 22-25, 27-28, and 30-31 August, generating plumes that rose 500 m to 1 km above the crater.

On 3 September geologists observed that the acid lake in the main crater had a low water level and exhibited strong gas emissions; vigorous fumaroles were observed on the inner W wall of the crater, measuring 120°C. Gas-and-steam emissions continued to be detected during September, occasionally accompanied by phreatic eruptions. On 7 September an eruption at 0750 produced an ash plume that rose 50 m above the crater while the accompanying gas-and-steam plume rose 500 m. Several low-energy phreatic explosions occurred during 8-17, 20, and 22-28 September, characterized primarily by gas-and-steam emissions. An eruption on 16 September ejected material from the crater and generated a small lahar. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 100 tons per day during 16-21 September. On 17 September an eruption at 0632 produced an ash plume that rose 700 m above the crater (figure 33). A relatively large eruptive event at 1053 on 22 September ejected material out of the crater and into N-flank drainages.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Webcam image of an eruption plume rising above Rincón de la Vieja on 17 September 2020. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Geologic Background. Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A Plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3,500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/, https://www.facebook.com/OVSICORI/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html).


Fuego (Guatemala) — December 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Fuego

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily explosions, ash emissions, and block avalanches during August-November 2020

Guatemala's Volcán de Fuego has been erupting vigorously since 2002 with reported eruptions dating back to 1531. These eruptions have resulted in major ashfalls, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and damaging lahars, including a series of explosions and pyroclastic flows in early June 2018 that caused several hundred fatalities. Eruptive activity consisting of explosions with ash emissions, block avalanches, and lava flows began again after a short break and has continued; activity during August-November 2020 is covered in this report. Daily reports are provided by the Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH); aviation alerts of ash plumes are issued by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Satellite data provide valuable information about heat flow and emissions.

Summary of activity during August-November 2020. Eruptive activity continued at Fuego during August-November 2020, very similar to that during the first part of the year (table 22). Ash emissions were reported daily by INSIVUMEH with explosions often in the 6-12 per hour range. Most of the ash plumes rose to 4.5-4.7 km altitude and generally drifted SW, W, or NW, although rarely the wind direction changed and sent ash to the S and SE. Multiple daily advisories were issued throughout the period by the Washington VAAC warning aviators about ash plumes, which were often visible on the observatory webcam (figure 136). Some of the communities located SW of the volcano received ashfall virtually every day during the period. Block avalanches descended the major drainages daily as well. Sounds were heard and vibrations felt from the explosions most days, usually 7-12 km away. The stronger explosions could be felt and heard 20 km or more from the volcano. During late August and early September a lava flow was active on the SW flank, reaching 700 m in length during the second week of September.

Table 22. Eruptive activity was consistently high at Fuego throughout August – November 2020 with multiple explosions every hour, ash plumes, block avalanches, and near-daily ashfall in the communities in certain directions within 10-20 km of the volcano. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH daily reports.

Month Explosions per hour Ash Plume Heights (km) Ash plume distance (km) and direction Drainages affected by block avalanches Communities reporting ashfall
Aug 2020 2-15 4.3-4.8 SW, W, NW, S, N, 8-20 km Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Rochela, Finca Palo Verde, Yepocapa, Santa Sofia, El Porvenir, Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo, Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa
Sep 2020 3-16 4.3-4.9 W, SW, NW, N, S, 8-20 km Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo, Yepocapa, Porvenir, Yucales, Ojo de Agua, Finca La Conchita
Oct 2020 3-19 4.1-4.8 SW, W, S, SE, N, E, 10-20 km Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa Panimache I and II, Morelia, Sangre de Cristo, Yepocapa, La Rochela, El Porvenir, Ceilán, Santa Sofía, Yucales, Finca Palo Verde
Nov 2020 4-14 4.0-4.8 S, SW, SE, W, NW, 10-35 km Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa El Jute Panimaché I and II, Sangre de Cristo, Morelia, Ceilan, La Rochela, El Zapote, Santa Sofía, Yucales, San Juan Alotenango, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas y Antigua Guatemala, Palo Verde, El Porvenir, San Pedro Yepocapa, Quisaché, Santa Emilia
Figure (see Caption) Figure 136. Consistent daily ash emissions produced similar looking ash plumes at Fuego during August-November 2020. Plumes usually rose to 4.5-4.8 km altitude and drifted SW. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH.

The frequent explosions, block avalanches, and lava flows produced a strong thermal signal throughout the period that was recorded in both the MIROVA project Log Radiative Power graph (figure 137) and in numerous Sentinel-2 satellite images (figure 138). MODVOLC data produced thermal alerts 4-6 days each month. At least one lahar was recorded each month; they were most frequent in September and October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 137. The MIROVA graph of activity at Fuego for the period from 15 January through November 2020 suggested persistent moderate to high-level heat flow for much of the time. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 138. Atmospheric penetration rendering of Sentinel-2 satellite images (bands 12, 11, 8A) of Fuego during August-November 2020 showed continued thermal activity from block avalanches, explosions, and lava flows at the summit and down several different ravines. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during August-November 2020. The number of explosions per hour at Fuego during August 2020 was most often 7-10, with a few days that were higher at 10-15. The ash plumes usually rose to 4.5-4.8 km altitude and drifted SW or W up to 15 km. Incandescence was visible 100-300 m above the summit crater on most nights. All of the major drainages including the Seca, Santa Teresa, Ceniza, Trinidad, Taniluyá, Las Lajas, and Honda were affected by block avalanches virtually every day. In addition, the communities of Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir, San Pedro Yepocapa, and Sangre de Cristo reported ashfall almost every day. Sounds and vibrations were reported multiple days every week, often up to 12 km from the volcano, but occasionally as far as 20 km away. Lahars carrying blocks of rocks and debris 1-2 m in diameter descended the SE flank in the Las Lajas and Honda ravines on 6 August. On 27 August a lava flow 150 m long appeared in the Ceniza ravine. It increased in length over the subsequent few days, reaching 550 m long on 30 August, with frequent block avalanches falling off the front of the flow.

The lava flow in the Ceniza ravine was reported at 100 m long on 5 September. It grew to 200 m on 7 September and reached 700 m long on 12 September. It remained 200-350 m long through 19 September, although instruments monitored by INSIVUMEH indicated that effusive activity was decreasing after 16 September (figure 139). A second flow was 200 m long in the Seca ravine on 19 September. By 22 September, active flows were no longer observed. The explosion rate varied from a low of 3-5 on 1 September to a high of 12-16 on 4, 13, 18, and 22-23 September. Ash plumes rose to 4.5-4.9 km altitude nearly every day and drifted W, NW, and SW occasionally as far as 20 km before dissipating. In addition to the active flow in the Ceniza ravine, block avalanches persisted in the other ravines throughout the month. Ashfall continued in the same communities as in August, but was also reported in Yucales on 4 September along with Ojo de Agua and Finca La Conchita on 17 September. The Las Lajas, Honda, and El Jute ravines were the sites of lahars carrying blocks up to 1.5 m in diameter on 8 and 18 September. On 19 and 24 September lahars again descended Las Lajas and El Jute ravines; the Ceniza ravine had a lahar on 19 September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 139. Avalanche blocks descended the Ceniza ravine (left) and the Las Lajas ravine (right) at Fuego on 17 September 2020. The webcam that captured this image is located at Finca La Reunión on the SE flank. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (BOLETÍN VULCANOLÓGICO ESPECIAL BEVFGO # 76-2020, 18 de septiembre de 2020, 14:30 horas).

The same activity continued during October 2020 with regard to explosion rates, plume altitudes, distances, and directions of drift. All of the major ravines were affected by block avalanches and the same communities located W and SW of the summit reported ashfall. In addition, ashfall was reported in La Rochela on 2, 3, 7-9 and 30 October, in Ceilán on 3 and 7-9 October, and in Yucales on 5, 14, 18 and 19 October. Multiple strong explosions with abundant ash were reported in a special bulletin on 14 October; high levels of explosive activity were recorded during 16-23 October. Vibrations and sounds were often felt up to 15 km away and heard as far as 25 km from the volcano during that period. Particularly strong block avalanches were present in the Seca and Ceniza ravines on 20, 25, and 30 October. Abundant rain on 9 October resulted in lahars descending all of the major ravines. The lahar in the Las Lajas ravine overflowed and forced the closure of route RN-14 road affecting the community of San Miguel on the SE flank (figure 140). Heavy rains on 15 October produced lahars in the Ceniza, Las Lajas, and Hondas ravines with blocks up to 2 m in diameter. Multiple lahars on 27 October affected Las Lajas, El Jute, and Honda ravines.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 140. Heavy rains on 9 October 2020 at Fuego caused lahars in all the major ravines. Debris from Las Lajas ravine overflowed highway RN-14 near the community of San Miguel on the SE flank, the area devastated by the pyroclastic flow of June 2018. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (BEFGO #96 VOLCAN DE FUEGO- ZONA CERO RN-14, SAN MIGUEL LOS LOTES y BARRANCA LAS LAJAS, 09 de octubre de 2020).

On 8 November 2020 a lahar descended the Seca ravine, carrying rocks and debris up to 1 meter in diameter. During the second week of November 2020, the wind direction changed towards the SE and E and brought ashfall to San Juan Alotenango, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas, and Antigua Guatemala on 8 November. Especially strong block avalanches were noted in the Seca and Ceniza ravines on 14, 19, 24, and 29 November. During a period of stronger activity in the fourth week of November, vibrations were felt and explosions heard more than 20 km away on 22 November and more than 25 km away on 27 November. In addition to the other communities affected by ashfall during August-November, Quisaché and Santa Emilia reported ashfall on 30 November.

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

Information Contacts: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hydrologia (INSIVUMEH), Unit of Volcanology, Geologic Department of Investigation and Services, 7a Av. 14-57, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/ ); 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);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/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html).


Kikai (Japan) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kikai

Japan

30.793°N, 130.305°E; summit elev. 704 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosion on 6 October 2020 and thermal anomalies in the crater

Kikai is a mostly submarine caldera, 19-km-wide, just S of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. At the NW rim of the caldera lies the island of Satsuma Iwo Jima (also known as Satsuma-Iojima and Tokara Iojima), and the island’s highest peak, Iodake, a steep stratovolcano. Recent weak ash explosions at Iodake occurred on 2 November 2019 and 29 April 2020 (BGVN 45:02, 45:05). The volcano is monitored by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and satellite sensors. This report covers the period May-October 2020. During this time, the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Activity at Kikai has been relatively low since the previous eruption on 29 April 2020. During May through October occasional white gas-and-steam emissions rose 0.8-1.3 km above the Iodake crater, the latter of which was recorded in September. Emissions were intermittently accompanied by weak nighttime incandescence, according to JMA (figure 17).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. White gas-and-steam emissions rose 1 km above the crater at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) on 25 May (top) 2020. At night, occasional incandescence could be seen in the Iodake crater, as seen on 29 May (bottom) 2020. Both images taken by the Iwanoue webcam. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, May 2nd year of Reiwa [2020]).

A small eruption at 0757 on 6 October occurred in the NW part of the Iodake crater, which produced a grayish white plume rising 200 m above the crater (figure 18). Faint thermal anomalies were detected in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery in the days just before this eruption (28 September and 3 October) and then after (13 and 23 October), accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions (figures 19 and 20). Nighttime crater incandescence continued to be observed. JMA reported that sulfur dioxide emissions measured 700 tons per day during October, compared to the previous eruption (400-2,000 tons per day in April 2020).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Webcam images of the eruption at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) on 6 October 2020 that produced an ash plume rising 200 m above the crater (top). Nighttime summit crater incandescence was also observed (bottom). Images were taken by the Iwanoue webcam. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, October 2nd year of Reiwa [2020]).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Weak thermal hotspots (bright yellow-orange) were observed at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) during late September through October 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Webcam image of a white gas-and-steam plume rising 1.1 km above the crater at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) on 27 October 2020. Image was taken by the Iwanoue webcam. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, October 2nd year of Reiwa [2020]).

Geologic Background. Kikai is a mostly submerged, 19-km-wide caldera near the northern end of the Ryukyu Islands south of Kyushu. It was the source of one of the world's largest Holocene eruptions about 6,300 years ago when rhyolitic pyroclastic flows traveled across the sea for a total distance of 100 km to southern Kyushu, and ashfall reached the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The eruption devastated southern and central Kyushu, which remained uninhabited for several centuries. Post-caldera eruptions formed Iodake lava dome and Inamuradake scoria cone, as well as submarine lava domes. Historical eruptions have occurred at or near Satsuma-Iojima (also known as Tokara-Iojima), a small 3 x 6 km island forming part of the NW caldera rim. Showa-Iojima lava dome (also known as Iojima-Shinto), a small island 2 km E of Tokara-Iojima, was formed during submarine eruptions in 1934 and 1935. Mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have occurred during the past few decades from Iodake, a rhyolitic lava dome at the eastern end of Tokara-Iojima.

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


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Manam

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash plumes, thermal anomalies, and SO2 emissions in April-September 2020

Manam, located 13 km off the N coast of Papua New Guinea, is a basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano with historical eruptions dating back 400 years. Volcanism has been characterized by low-level ash plumes, occasional Strombolian activity, lava flows, pyroclastic avalanches, and large ash plumes from Main and South, the two active summit craters. The current eruption period has been ongoing since 2014, typically with minor explosive activity, thermal activity, and SO2 emissions (BGVN 45:05). This reporting period updates information from April through September 2020, consisting of intermittent ash plumes from late July to mid-September, persistent thermal anomalies, and SO2 emissions. Information comes from Papua New Guinea's Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), part of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

Explosive activity was relatively low during April through late July; SO2 emissions and low power, but persistent, thermal anomalies were detected by satellite instruments each month. The TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite recorded SO2 emissions, many of which exceeded two Dobson Units, that drifted generally W (figure 76). Distinct SO2 emissions were detected for 10 days in April, 4 days in May, 10 days in June, 4 days in July, 11 days in August, and 8 days in September.

Thermal anomalies recorded by the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system were sparse from early January through June 2020, totaling 11 low-power anomalies within 5 km of the summit (figure 77). From late July through September a pulse in thermal activity produced slightly stronger and more frequent anomalies. Some of this activity could be observed in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (figure 78). Occasionally, these thermal anomalies were accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions or ash plumes, as shown on 28 July. On 17 August a particularly strong hotspot was detected in the S summit crater. According to the MODVOLC thermal alert data, a total of 10 thermal alerts were detected in the summit crater over four days: 29 July (5), 16 August (1), and 3 (1) and 8 (3) September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 76. Distinct sulfur dioxide plumes rising from Manam and drifting generally W were detected using data from the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite on 28 April (top left), 24 May (top right), 16 July (bottom left), and 12 September (bottom right) 2020. Courtesy of the NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Intermittent thermal activity at Manam increased in power and frequency beginning around late July and continuing through September 2020, as shown on the MIROVA Log Radiative Power graph. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing a persistent thermal anomaly (yellow-orange) at Manam’s summit craters (Main and South) each month during April through August; sometimes they were seen in both summit craters, as shown on 8 June (top right), 28 July (bottom left), and 17 August (bottom right). A particularly strong anomaly was visible on 17 August (bottom right). Occasional gas-and-steam emissions accompanied the thermal activity. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during mid-July slightly increased compared to the previous months. On 16 July seismicity increased, fluctuating between low and moderate RSAM values through the rest of the month. In Sentinel-2 satellite imagery a gray ash plume was visible rising from the S summit crater on 28 July (figure 78). RSAM values gradually increased from a low average of 200 to an average of 1200 on 30 July, accompanied by thermal hotspots around the summit crater; a ground observer reported incandescent material was ejected from the summit. On 31 July into 1 August ash plumes rose to 4.3 km altitude, accompanied by an incandescent lava flow visible at the summit, according to a Darwin VAAC advisory.

Intermittent ash plumes continued to be reported by the Darwin VAAC on 1, 6-7, 16, 20, and 31 August. They rose from 2.1 to 4.6 km altitude, the latter of which occurred on 31 August and drifted W. Typically, these ash plumes extended SW, W, NW, and WSW. On 11 September another ash plume was observed rising 2.4 km altitude and drifting W.

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

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Geohazards Management Division, Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), PO Box 3386, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea; Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 27, Number 09 (September 2002)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Karymsky (Russia)

3-km-high plumes, seismicity, and three new lava flows through September 2002

Krakatau (Indonesia)

Seismic activity increases during mid-August 2002; Alert Level remains at 2

Mauna Loa (United States)

Following 9 years of slow deflation, quicker inflation since mid-May 2002

Merapi (Indonesia)

Frequent lava avalanches; plumes up to 550 m above summit

Semeru (Indonesia)

Higher-than-normal seismic and explosive activity during June-September 2002

Sheveluch (Russia)

Growing lava dome, seismicity, and plumes up to 7 km high

Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom)

Mid-to-late 2002 dome growth and the start of NE-traveling pyroclastic flows

Talang (Indonesia)

Plume reached up to 100 m above the crater during July 2002

Tangkuban Parahu (Indonesia)

First elevated seismicity since 1992

Witori (Papua New Guinea)

Continued lava flows and deformation; monitoring network installed



Karymsky (Russia) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Karymsky

Russia

54.049°N, 159.443°E; summit elev. 1513 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


3-km-high plumes, seismicity, and three new lava flows through September 2002

Frequent plumes (including 15 April and 9 July ash clouds to 3.0 km above the volcano), a new intracrater cone, and a 1.3-km-long lava flow were seen during 1 January-9 July 2002 (BGVN 27:03 and 27:06). This report first highlights events described in 10 July-September 2002 updates. During this interval Karymsky produced 3-km-tall plumes, restless seismicity, and three new lava flows. Next, a separate section of this report presents photos of Karymsky and adjacent Akademia Nauk caldera taken in September 2000 and in May 2002. This report also cites a fundamental reference volume on the topic of the 1996 eruption, Fedotov (1998), which includes a preface and ten papers.

Activity during 10 July-September 2002. Seismicity during this interval generally stood well above background levels, very often at a value of ~10 earthquakes per hour. During nearly every week of the reporting interval, geophysicists suggested that the character of the seismicity might indicate weak ash-and-gas explosions and avalanches. Weak thermal anomalies were often observed on AVHRR satellite imagery and, in the majority of cases, no ash was detected. In contrast, satellite imagery on 25 July indicated a possible, small, SW-directed ash plume. On 26 July, a thermal anomaly reached 2 pixels in size.

During 27 July-2 August, local, shallow seismic events decreased, dropping from 250 to 150 events per day. During 30 August-6 September and 13-24 September there were 200-300 local shallow earthquakes occurring per day (compared to 150-250 per day in August). In early September estimates suggested that explosions rose ~1 km above the summit.

Observations on 8 September revealed three new small lava flows on the volcano's S and SE slopes. On satellite imagery a thermal anomaly was visible but ash was not. The character of the seismicity indicated ash-and-gas explosions rising ~1 km above the volcano and gas blow-outs. On 16 September at 1217 a short-lived explosion created an ash-and-gas plume; observers on an aircraft aloft estimated the plume top's height at ~3 km altitude.

Photographs and brief retrospective on the 1996 eruption. Figures 10 and 11 provide overviews of the Karymsky stratovolcano (also written as Pra-Karymsky) and adjacent areas to the S on 26 September 2000 and 10 May 2002 respectively. Both these aerial photos were provided by Victor Ivanov (Russian Academy of Sciences). The former was taken ~4 years after the complex 1996 eruption (see BGVN 21:01-21:03 and 21:05; and Fedotov, 1998).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. An aerial photo taken on 26 September 2000 looking towards the SSE and showing Karymsky stratovolcano (cone on the right), the low-lying portion of Akademia Nauk caldera containing Karymsky lake (in the upper center of the photo), Karymsky river (bright, light-colored zone cutting diagonally across the center and left), and Belyankin volcano (arc-shaped, in the upper-right corner). Prominent cliffs, part of the N-facing amphitheater of Dvor volcano, curve across the terrain well outboard of the stratovolcano (lower left-hand margin). The Karymsky river drains the lake from an outlet at the head of a conspicuous bay. The distance from the cone's summit to the lake's nearest margin is ~ 5 km. Courtesy of Victor Ivanov.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. An aerial photo with Karymsky stratovolcano in the foreground, shot looking towards the S on 10 May 2002. Snow blankets considerable areas and ice covers Karymsky lake. During 1996-2000 many lava flows covered the stratovolcano's SW slope. On 10 May there were fresh andesitic lavas descending the W flank reaching ~ 1.3 km in length and ~ 300 m in maximum width (labeled "2002 lavas" and "Front"). Haze in this photo is partly due to erupted ash suspended in the atmosphere. A separate photo the same day captured Karymsky with a billowing, light-colored plume (figure 9 above). Courtesy of Victor Ivanov.

In overview, that eruption consisted of a 1 January 1996 earthquake swarm (with events to M 6.9) followed a day later with simultaneous eruptions from two vents 6 km apart, one at the stratovolcano's summit, the other at Akademia Nauk caldera in the N end of Karymsky lake. The latter consisted of a submarine phreatomagmatic eruption that deposited a low conical ring composed of pyroclastics. The subaerial portion of those deposits encircled the vent forming a ~600-m-wide crater in the cone's center. The cone also extended to the lake shore, thus forming a peninsula. The eruptive event included or was associated with base surges, tsunamis, surface ruptures, and secondary eruptions on the new peninsula. The eruption also left the lake with pH of 3.2 and its outlet into the Karymsky river obstructed by the new deposits. Several months later the new deposits eroded, resulting in massive mudflows down the Karymsky river. At the submarine vent eruptive products were predominantly basaltic; some fine ash was andesitic; late-stage rhyolites occasionally formed inclusions within basalts and bombs with basaltic jackets.

The photos were taken from perspectives on the volcano's N side. Several months after the dam-breaking event, the partly eroded pyroclastic deposits took the form of a squat U-shaped peninsula with two arms extending hundreds of meters into the lake. The circular segment along the middle of the peninsula's shoreline is part of the original cone's arcuate rim. Towards the left of the peninsula lies a conspicuous bay that leads to the outflow channel and the Karymsky river (the latter is most apparent on figure 10). Figure 11 shows that two years later the pyroclastic deposits in the lake more closely resemble lines rather than broad zones due to the partial cover of ice and snow.

The 1996 eruption at Karymsky and the Akademia Nauk caldera may have been a response to the injection of fresh basaltic magma from a deeper magmatic source. Later stages of the eruption at Karymsky have continued more than 6 years through this reporting interval.

During the underwater eruption in 1996 all of the lake's ice was broken and melted. Along the lake shore many new hot springs appeared. After the underwater eruption on the bottom of the lake many sources of heat and degassing appeared. The eruption triggered an ecological catastrophe during which all fish in the lake died.

During the winter 1996-1997 the water of the lake remained warm and devoid of ice. Usually ice completely disappears only in June or July. Lake ice returned in subsequent winters. Figure 10 (26 September 2000) shows light-colored patterns on the lake's surface that signify the presence of local ice accumulating there with the approach of winter. Figure 11 documents the dominance of ice on Karymsky lake's surface, still intact from the previous winter when photographed. The May 2002 lake surface also contained some ice-free zones. Their presence suggested the continued existence of post-eruptive heat sources on the lake bottom. These areas were possibly rich in algae and micro-organisms.

Reference. S. A. Fedotov, S.A., 1998, The 1996 eruption in the Karymsky volcanic center and related events: Special issue of Volcanology and Seismology, v. 19, no. 5, p. 521-767 (L.N. Rykunov, Ed. in Chief; Preface and 10 papers; English translation), Gordon & Breach Science Publishers (ISBN 0742-0463).

Geologic Background. Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south. The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.

Information Contacts: Olga Chubarova, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia; Victor Ivanov, Institute of Volcanology Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia.


Krakatau (Indonesia) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismic activity increases during mid-August 2002; Alert Level remains at 2

A thick white plume reached 25 m above the summit several times during October through December 2001. During 27 August 2001 through 16 September 2001 at Krakatau, available seismic data were dominated by explosions and shallow volcanic earthquakes (table 1). The seismograph broke on 16 September 2001 but was repaired by 26 August 2002, when it showed a slight increase over the previous interval when data were available. No surface activity accompanied the increased seismicity. Volcanic events decreased during early September. The volcano remained at Alert Level 2 through at least 8 September.

Table 1. Earthquakes registered at Krakatau during 27 August 2001 through 8 September 2002. The seismic system was down during 16 September 2001-25 August 2002. Courtesy of VSI.

Date Deep volcanic (A-type) Shallow volcanic (B-type) Explosion Small Explosion Tectonic Infrasonic
27 Aug-02 Sep 2001 0 93 79 1051 0 0
03 Sep-09 Sep 2001 17 155 2040 269 1 1507
10 Sep-13 Sep 2001 26 159 23 347 0 22
26 Aug-01 Sep 2002 30 162 0 0 2 0
02 Sep-08 Sep 2002 2 4 0 0 3 0

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


Mauna Loa (United States) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Mauna Loa

United States

19.475°N, 155.608°W; summit elev. 4170 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Following 9 years of slow deflation, quicker inflation since mid-May 2002

Mauna Loa is the southern-most volcano on the island of Hawaii. Following the last eruption of Mauna Loa, during March-April 1984 (SEAN 09:03), there have been several periods of inflation and deflation at the volcano's summit caldera, Moku`aweoweo. As of September 2002, Mauna Loa has remained non-eruptive (figure 14) for 18.5 years. The pattern of deformation at Moku`aweoweo abruptly changed in mid-May 2002 from deflation to inflation, lasting until at least September 2002. An archive of deformation and seismic data from Mauna Loa dating back to the 1970s provides an example of the volcano's pre-eruptive and precursory behavior.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Oblique shaded-relief map (N at top) showing the location of the city of Hilo and the five volcanoes that built the island of Hawaii. The young growing submarine volcano Loihi is not shown. When including the submarine portions of Hawaii attributed to Mauna Loa, it ranks as Earth's largest active volcano, encompassing 51 percent of the island's surface area and comprising a volume over ~ 65,000 km3. Courtesy HVO.

After the last Bulletin report about Mauna Loa in July 1991(BGVN 16:07) the volcano's summit continued to gradually inflate as it had since the 1984 eruption. This trend reversed in 1993-1994 when distances across the caldera shortened by as much as 7 cm, and leveling surveys in 1996 and 2000 measured more than 7 cm of subsidence SE of the caldera.

Beginning on 24 April 2002 at 0645 a notable cluster of deep earthquakes (darkest circles in figure 15) occurred in a 52-hour period. The earthquakes ended on 26 April at 1045. Many of the epicenters plotted within or close to the caldera's SW margin. The earthquakes ranged in depth from 26 to 43 km and in magnitude from 1.1 to 1.7. Several shallow earthquakes preceded this cluster; the largest, a magnitude 2.5 event on 21 April at 1931, was located ~3 km beneath the SW rift zone. After the cluster, several deep long-period events were recorded beneath the SW rift zone. At that time data from the continuous tiltmeter, dilatometer, and nearly continuous global positioning system (GPS) stations failed to suggest significant deformation of Moku`aweoweo caldera, upper-rift zones, or outer flanks.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Plot showing the magnitudes, locations, and depths of earthquakes registered at Mauna Loa during 7 April- 26 September 2002. Following the swarm of deep earthquakes during 24-26 April (dark circles), seismicity was somewhat elevated.

Inflation. HVO maintains several continuously recording GPS stations installed in 1999 (figure 16). Beginning in late April or early May 2002, deformation data began to show signs of renewed activity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Map showing the several GPS stations HVO maintains on Mauna Loa as of September 2002. HVO plans to install several additional stations (white dots), on indefinite loan from Stanford University. Courtesy HVO.

Figure 17 shows the change in distance between MOKP and MLSP GPS stations, located on opposite sides of Moku`aweoweo. The increased distance between the two stations was interpreted to represent inflation of the summit magma reservoir, centered ~5 km below the caldera. The small amount of extension marks a noticeable change from the pattern of deflation during the preceding 9 years. GPS measurements also revealed that the summit area had inflated about 2 cm, consistent with swelling.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Graph showing the change in distance between GPS stations MOKP and MLSP, located on opposite sides of Moku'aweoweo caldera, as seen during 4 October 2000-30 September 2002. Distance across Moku'aweoweo began to increase by 5-6 cm/year starting in late April-May 2002. Courtesy HVO.

The switch from slow deflation to more rapid inflation occurred around 12 May. GPS data indicated lengthening at a rate of 5-6 cm per year. Therefore, as of 26 September the caldera had widened about 2 cm since 12 May. Measurements at GPS stations farther out on the flanks showed that swelling occurred at more than the summit, in particular, the upper part of the SE flank was moving outward.

In order to test the precision of the GPS measurements, HVO compared the GPS data against dry-tilt method data at the summit, an independent means to measure ground deformation using land-surveying instruments, deployed at regularly visited stations. These confirmed the GPS results, though with less precision.

Electronic-tiltmeter data obtained at the Moku'aweoweo tiltmeter were also analyzed for changes in tilt direction. No significant volcanic tilt was recorded that deviated from the diurnal signal corresponding to daily temperature fluctuations, or an annual signal corresponding to seasonal temperature changes.

During the inflationary period, seismicity at Mauna Loa was at a somewhat elevated level following the 24-26 April earthquake cluster. But, it remained far lower than it was the months prior to the 1975 and 1984 eruptions.

May-September 2002 unrest in comparison to activity since 1974. For Mauna Loa these data sets are available: electric distance meter (EDM) measurements since about 1975, GPS observations since 1999, dry-tilt observations since 1975, and seismicity since 1974. The capability to detect unrest at Mauna Loa has increased in the past few years with the installation of many new, continuously recording electronic tiltmeters, GPS receivers, and strainmeters (figure 18).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Map showing locations of continuously recording instruments for measuring deformation and seismicity at Mauna Loa as of September 2002. This map omits many additional benchmarks used in various deformation surveys. Courtesy HVO.

Figure 19 shows the distance measured across Moku`aweoweo caldera between MOKP and MSLP benchmarks by EDM during 1975 to September 2002, and by GPS beginning in 1999. Abrupt extensions associated with the 1975 and 1984 eruptions were caused by the rise of magma from the summit reservoir to the surface. During the 1984 eruption, the summit area subsided rapidly as lava erupted. When the eruption stopped, the summit reservoir again began to inflate in response to the influx of magma, as indicated by the increasing distance between the two benchmarks until about1993. Inflation did not occur again until early May 2002 when the slow contraction across the summit changed abruptly to extension. This extension rate is the highest since immediately after the 1984 eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. The change in distances across Moku`aweoweo caldera at Mauna Loa, between MOKP and MSLP benchmarks (see map inset) as measured by electronic distance meter since about 1975 to September 2002 and by GPS receivers since 1999. Note the abrupt change from contraction to extension in May 2002. Courtesy HVO.

GPS measurements have only been made at Mauna Loa since 1999, but in that relatively short time an abrupt change in ground movement has been recorded (figure 20). Measurements made during January 1999-May 2002 show small velocities of ground displacement towards the SW. In contrast, during May-September 2002 the direction of ground motion changed from a fairly uniform, southeastward movement to a predominately radial pattern. In addition, the rate of ground motion increased by 5 to 10 times.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Velocities of ground displacement measured by GPS stations on Mauna Loa during 1999 to 12 May 2002 (light lines) and 12 May to 21 September 2002 (black lines). The arrows represent the speed and direction of motion. The tips of the arrows representing the actual motion point lie somewhere within the uncertainty ellipses. Courtesy HVO.

Ground tilt away from the caldera occurs when magma accumulates beneath the surface. Although electronic measurements provide much more precise readings, the dry-tilt method remains in use at HVO after 35 years for several reasons. First, the measurements can be made nearly anywhere at any time. Second, they are not subject to long-term instrument drift. Lastly, they provide an independent corroboration of measurements made by more sophisticated modern instruments. Dry-tilt measurements revealed the following: inflation between the 1975 and 1984 eruptions (figure 21a), inflation after the 1984 eruption, continuing until 1993 (figure 21b), and deflation from 1993 through March (probably May) 2002 (figure 21c). After March (probably May), the tilt returned to an inflationary pattern (figure 21d). The most recent pattern of inflation is based on only two sets of measurements, and the tilt varies, with some smaller arrows pointing inward, so it is much less certain than the past patterns. Still, the radial pattern strongly suggests that inflation is occurring.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Rates of ground tilt measured in the summit region of Mauna Loa during 1975 to September 2002. Arrows point in the direction of downward tilt rate of the ground surface; arrow lengths show the amount of tilt in microradians (note scale bars). A) inflation during 1975-1984, between the last two eruptions at Mauna Loa; b) inflation after the 1984 eruption to 1993; c) deflation during 1993 to March (probably May) 2002; and d) a general return to inflation until at least September 2002. Courtesy HVO.

HVO's telemetered seismographic network recorded significant changes in seismicity before the Mauna Loa eruptions in 1975 and 1984 (figure 22). The short-term forecasts of these eruptions were based in large part on precursory activity. Both eruptions were preceded by an increase in earthquakes at intermediate depths NE of Moku`aweoweo, and then by an increase in shallower earthquakes beneath Mauna Loa's summit. From the 1984 eruption until late April 2002, approximately 30 earthquakes were located per year beneath Mauna Loa's summit and upper flanks. Rates of seismicity moderately increased beginning in late April 2002, particularly at depths greater than 15 km (figure 22d). As of 29 September 2002, 100 earthquakes were recorded in 2002 below the summit and upper flanks of the volcano, 83 of which occurred after mid-April. This rate is markedly higher than those of previous years, but it is still well below the rates seen prior to the last two eruptions. Before an eruption becomes imminent, HVO scientists expect that rates of shallow seismicity will elevate to levels much higher than those observed in late September 2002.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Monthly earthquakes (bars, scales at left) and cumulative numbers of located earthquakes (curves, scales at right), separated into three depth ranges, within or beneath Mauna Loa between 1974 and 29 September 2002. The earthquakes shown occurred beneath Mauna Loa's summit and upper flanks and had magnitudes greater than 1.0. Part "a" shows all earthquakes; "b", shallow earthquakes (0 to 5 km deep); "c", intermediate earthquakes (5 to 15 km deep); and "d", deep earthquakes (greater than 15 km deep). Courtesy HVO.

References. Moore J G, Clague D A, Holcomb R T, Lipman P W, Normark W R, Torresan M E, 1989. Prodigous submarine landslides on the Hawaiian Ridge. J Geophys Res, 94: 17,465-17,484; Lockwood J P, Lipman P W, 1987. Holocene eruptive history of Mauna Loa volcano. U S Geol Surv Prof Pap, 1350: 509-535.

Geologic Background. Massive Mauna Loa shield volcano rises almost 9 km above the sea floor to form the world's largest active volcano. Flank eruptions are predominately from the lengthy NE and SW rift zones, and the summit is cut by the Mokuaweoweo caldera, which sits within an older and larger 6 x 8 km caldera. Two of the youngest large debris avalanches documented in Hawaii traveled nearly 100 km from Mauna Loa; the second of the Alika avalanches was emplaced about 105,000 years ago (Moore et al. 1989). Almost 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is covered by lavas less than 4000 years old (Lockwood and Lipman, 1987). During a 750-year eruptive period beginning about 1500 years ago, a series of voluminous overflows from a summit lava lake covered about one fourth of the volcano's surface. The ensuing 750-year period, from shortly after the formation of Mokuaweoweo caldera until the present, saw an additional quarter of the volcano covered with lava flows predominately from summit and NW rift zone vents.

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/).


Merapi (Indonesia) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent lava avalanches; plumes up to 550 m above summit

During 17 July-1 September, seismicity at Merapi was dominated by avalanche earthquakes. SO2 emissions varied, and generally white, thin, low-pressure plumes rose up to 550 m above the summit. Glowing avalanches traveled 2.6 km, moving towards headwaters of the Sat, Lamat, Senowo, and Bebeng rivers (table 16). On 2 July two pyroclastic flows traveled 0.5 km toward the upstream of the Sat river. One low-frequency earthquake occurred during late August. The temperature of Gendol crater was 734-755°C, and the Woro crater was 418-435°C. Merapi remained at Alert Level 2.

Table 16. Seismicity, SO2 emissions, plume and lava-avalanche observations at Merapi during 17 June-1 September 2002. Courtesy VSI.

Date Avalanche Multiphase Tectonic SO2* MI Plumes (heights are above the summit) and lava avalanches
17 Jun-23 Jun 2002 247 6 7 107, 56-197, 174 +0.76 White, thin, low-pressure plume rose 400 m; 65 glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.5 km to the Sat, Lamat and Senowo rivers.
24 Jun-30 Jun 2002 318 3 16 87, 56-172, 134 -- White, thin, low-pressure plume rose 500 m; 68 glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.5 km to the Sat, Lamat and Senowo rivers.
01 Jul-07 Jul 2002 226 4 6 113, 73-167, 134 on 6 July +0.59 White, thin, low-pressure plume rose 550 m; 60 glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.6 km to the Sat, Lamat, Senowo, and Bebeng rivers.
08 Jul-14 Jul 2002 180 -- 12 85, 65-118, 86 on 11 July +2.56 White, thin, low-pressure plume rose 550 m; glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.6 km to the Sat, Lamat, Senowo, and Bebeng rivers.
15 Jul-21 Jul 2002 201 2 4 117, 76-143, 122 on 16 July -1.15 White, thick low-pressure plume rose 390 m; glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.5 km to the Sat, Lamat, Senowo, and Bebeng rivers.
22 Jul-28 Jul 2002 220 -- 10 80, 46-167, 135 on 28 July -1.69 White, thick low-pressure plume rose 350 m; 92 glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.5 km to the Sat, Lamat, Senowo, and Bebeng rivers.
29 Jul-04 Aug 2002 237 3 7 145, 62-210, 162 on 4 August +1.68 White, thin medium-pressure plume rose 394 m; 42 glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.6 km to the Sat, Lamat, Senowo, and Bebeng rivers.
05 Aug-11 Aug 2002 184 1 4 106, 56-123, 155 on 5 August -1.89 White, thick, low-pressure plume rose 525 m; 53 glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.5 km to the Sat, Lamat, Senowo, and Bebeng rivers.
12 Aug-18 Aug 2002 191 -- 6 87, 61-115, 93 on 14 August +0.13 White, thin, low-pressure plume rose 300 m; 40 glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.5 km to the Sat, Lamat, and Senowo rivers.
19 Aug-25 Aug 2002 187 15 11 129, 92-154, 137 on 24 August +0.13 White, thin, low-pressure plume rose 350 m; 16 glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.5 km to the Sat, Lamat, and Senowo rivers.
26 Aug-01 Sep 2002 311 4 3 127, 85-190, 157 on 26 August -0.22 White, thin, low-pressure plume rose 400 m; glowing lava avalanches traveled 2.5 km to the Sat, Lamat, and Senowo rivers.

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

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


Semeru (Indonesia) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Higher-than-normal seismic and explosive activity during June-September 2002

During 17 June-8 September, activity at Semeru was higher than normal. Seismicity was dominated by explosion and avalanche earthquakes. Volcanic and tectonic earthquakes also occurred, along with occasional tremor episodes (table 9). During June and July, and on 6 August, when fog did not obscure the view, observers reported that lava avalanches traveled toward Besuk Kembar river at distances of ~750 m from the crater rim. At times during July explosions produced white ash plumes that reached 300-500 m above the crater. During mid-August to early September, a white-gray ash plume rose 400-500 m above the crater. On 8 September at 1947 an ash explosion ejected glowing material ~150 m toward the upper stream of Besuk Kembar river. Semeru remained at Alert Level 2.

Table 9. Earthquakes and tremor registered at Semeru during 17 June-8 September 2002. Courtesy VSI.

Date Volcanic Explosion Avalanche Tremor (max. amp.)
17 Jun-23 Jun 2002 -- 670 75 --
24 Jun-30 Jun 2002 -- 782 83 1
01 Jul-07 Jul 2002 -- 714 76 1
08 Jul-14 Jul 2002 -- 898 77 --
15 Jul-21 Jul 2002 -- 670 83 --
22 Jul-28 Jul 2002 4 B-type 696 88 3 (1-4 mm)
29 Jul-04 Aug 2002 -- 744 92 (1-4 mm)
05 Aug-11 Aug 2002 1 B-type 668 106 --
12 Aug-18 Aug 2002 -- 696 67 --
19 Aug-25 Aug 2002 2 A-type 734 108 --
26 Aug-01 Sep 2002 1 B-type 845 115 --
02 Sep-08 Sep 2002 1 A-type 640 57 --

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

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


Sheveluch (Russia) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Growing lava dome, seismicity, and plumes up to 7 km high

Last discussed through May 2002 (BGVN 27:05), Shiveluch went on to display mostly mild eruptive activity, punctuated by occasional larger outbursts, during the interval from mid-June through early October 2002. During this reporting period, a lava dome continued to grow in the active crater, both ash-bearing and dominantly gas emissions occurred, and seismicity remained above background levels. Plumes reached up to 7 km above the lava dome (table 3). Earthquakes reached up to M 2.7 at depths of 0-10 km. Other local shallow seismic signals occurred that indicated possible weak gas-and-ash explosions and avalanches. Episodes of weak spasmodic tremor were registered. Thermal anomalies were visible on AVHRR satellite imagery throughout the report period (table 4) but no ash was detected in any image.

Table 3. Plumes reported at Shiveluch during 14 June-11 October 2002. All visual observations and recordings were made from Klyuchi town. Cloudy weather prevented observations on some days. Courtesy KVERT.

Date Plume type Height above dome Comment
15 Jun 2002 Ash and gas ~1000 m Shallow seismic events registered; no strong explosions
16 Jun 2002 Gas and steam 300 m --
19 Jun 2002 Ash and gas ~1500 m Shallow seismic events registered; no strong explosions
20 Jun 2002 Gas and steam 100 m --
20 Jun 2002 Gas and steam 900 m Extended 10 km to the SW
22-24, 26-27 Jun 2002 Gas and steam 1000-3000 m Extended 10 km to the SW on 22-23, 26-27 June
30 Jun-02 Jul 2002 Gas and steam 800-2000 m Extended 10 km to the E
06, 08-10 Jul 2002 Ash and gas ~1000-1500 m One to three explosions per day accompanied by rock avalanches/pyroclastic flows (recorded on video)
06-10 Jul 2002 Gas and steam 200-1500 m Extended 10 km to the E on 7-9 July
12-13, 16 Jul 2002 Gas and steam 1500-2000 m --
13 Jul 2002 Ash-poor ~1000 m Short-lived explosions (recorded on video)
19 Jul 2002 Gas and steam 50 m --
19-20 Jul 2002 Gas and steam 400-500 m --
22 Jul 2002 Likely ash-rich ~7 km Small, circular (~10 km in diameter), appeared to be centered over summit; no strong explosive event identified; no ash reported
23-25 Jul 2002 Steam/aerosol -- Possibly a little fine ash; observed in satellite images
24-25 and early 26 Jul 2002 Gas and steam 1500 m Extended 10 km to the SSE, SSW, and SW; visual observation revealed no ash plumes
30 Jul 2002 -- ~3000 m Visual observation; accompanied by short-lived explosion; possible small amount of ash
26-27 Jul 2002 Gas and steam 1500 m Extended 10 km to the SE on 28 July
27 Jul 2002 Ash and gas 1500 m Short-lived explosive eruption
28 Jul 2002 Gas and steam 200 m --
29 Jul 2002 Ash and gas ~3000 m Short-lived explosive eruption; possible small amount of ash observed above low clouds
06-07 Aug 2002 Ash and steam 1500-3000 m Four short-lived explosive eruptions sent ash-poor plumes to 1500-3000 m above dome (recorded on video)
14 Aug 2002 Gas and steam 1500 m --
15 Aug 2002 Ash and gas ~2000 m --
16-17 Aug 2002 Gas and steam 300-400 m --
17 Aug 2002 Ash and gas ~1000 m Short-lived explosion observed
18, 22 Aug 2002 Gas and steam 1200-4000 m Extended 10 km to the W and SW on 17-18, 22 August
23, 28 Aug 2002 Gas and steam 1000-1500 m --
25 Aug 2002 Gas and steam 200 m --
25 Aug 2002 Ash and gas ~1500 m Short-lived explosion
31 Aug 2002 Gas and steam 100 m --
03 Sep 2002 Gas and steam 400 m --
05 Sep 2002 Ash and gas ~2000 m Short-lived explosion
08 Sep 2002 Ash and gas ~1500-~2000 m Short-lived explosions; plumes extended to the E
08-09 Sep 2002 Gas and steam 300-1500 m --
09 Sep 2002 Ash and gas ~1000-~3500 m Short lived explosions
11 Sep 2002 Ash and gas ~1500 m Short-lived explosions
15 Sep 2002 Ash and gas ~1000 m Short-lived explosions
16-17 Sep 2002 Gas and steam 100 m --
17 Sep 2002 Ash and gas ~3000 m Short-lived explosion
17-18 Sep 2002 Ash and gas ~2000 m --
24 Sep 2002 Gas and steam ~5000 m Short-lived explosions
26 Sep 2002 Ash and gas 100-700 m --
06 Oct 2002 Ash and gas ~1000 m At 2100 a glow from hot lava was observed at the dome area (recorded on video)

Table 4. Thermal anomalies recognized in AVHRR satellite imagery at Shiveluch during 14 June-11 October 2002. On some days, clouds obscured the view or there were no passes over the volcano. Unless noted, all images came from the AVHRR satellite. Courtesy KVERT.

Date Number of pixels Max band-3 temp. (°C) Background (°C) Comment
15 Jun 2002 4 -- -- Faint plumes to SE for 53-130 km observed 15-16 June; no ash detected
16 Jun 2002 4 49.5 0 Most intense 15-20 June; no ash detected
20 Jun 2002 4 -- -- --
22-26 Jun 2002 2-5 38-43 0 to 17 Steam plumes trailed 40-75 km observed 22, 25, 27 June (no direction given); no ash detected
29 Jun; 01, 04 Jul 2002 1-4 1-2 pixels at 49 -5 to 26 No ash detected
06-11 Jul 2002 1-4 2 pixels at 49 1 to 10 Plumes extended 30-200 km to the E observed 8-9 July; no ash detected
13, 16 Jul 2002 5-7 36.9-45 5 to 10 No ash detected
19-20, 24-early 26 Jul 2002 1-7 18.5-49.5 -5 to 22 No ash detected
26, 28 Jul; 01 Aug 2002 1-4 38-49 5 to 10 On 28 July and 1 August small steam plumes extended to the sincerely and 35 km to the NW, respectively
06-07 Aug 2002 5 20-21 0 to 4 Small steam plumes extended 30 km to the SW and 55 km to the NW (observed in satellite images); no ash detected
10, 12-13, 15 Aug 2002 1-4 ~30 -- No ash or steam-and-gas plumes detected
16-17, 19, 22 Aug 2002 Two 6 46-49 -- On 22 August at 0718 a steam-and-gas plume extended 35 km to the SW
23-24, 28 Aug 2002 2-4 20-44 -- --
29 Aug 2002 5 2 pixels at 49.44 ~15 Steam-and-gas plume extended ~68 km to the SW; no ash detected
30-31 Aug 2002 1-5 37-39 ~3 morning No ash detected
02-04 Sep 2002 -- -- ~15 afternoon --
08, 09, 12, 13 Sep 2002 2-5 2.8-36.5 ~-18 to 0 No ash detected
14-17 Sep 2002 2-6 39.64-49.5 ~-3 to 20 On 16 September a small plume extended ~34 km to the SE; on 17 September a plume extended ~127 km to the ESE; no ash detected
21, 24, 25 Sep 2002 3-4 -- -- No ash detected (NOAA12 and NOAA16 satellite images)
24 Sep 2002 1-4 18-44.8 ~-10 No ash detected
27, 30 Sep; 01-03 Oct 2002 2-4 -- -- On 2 October a steam-and-gas plume extended 80 km to the SE (NOAA12 and NOAA16 satellite images)
02 Oct 2002 2-3 40.46 to 45-48 ~-10 to -3 Faint plume extended 15 km to the SE; no ash detected
05-07 Oct 2002 2-8 36.81-49.35 ?14 to 0 On 6 October a plume extended 111 km to the SE; no ash detected

The Level of Concern Code was Yellow ("volcano is restless") throughout the reporting period, except for a few days starting 30 July and again early in August when Code Orange ("volcano is in eruption or eruption may occur at any time") was declared.

Summary of recent activity. Except when the summit was obscured by clouds, ash-and-gas or gas-and-steam plumes were seen visually almost daily (table 3). These plumes, frequently accompanied by short-lived explosions and avalanches, typically rose 1-3 km above the summit with occasional plumes rising as high as 7-10 km.

Similarly, satellite imagery (principally AVHRR) reported significant thermal anomalies on an almost daily basis with an extent of several (1-6) pixels, reaching maximum, band-3 temperatures of 20-49°C and frequently associated with steam or aerosol plumes, some extending over 100 km from the volcano.

From mid-June to late-July, numerous earthquakes were recorded, typically M 1.7 to 2.4 and several reaching M 2.7. At 2000 on 29 July, four earthquakes (M 2.1-2.3) occurred and the intensity of volcanic tremor increased noticeably in comparison with the previous days. The following day (30 July), the Level of Concern was raised from Yellow to Orange, but it returned to Yellow when the tremor amplitude decreased over the following two days. However, the activity level increased again during subsequent days and the level was raised again to Orange.

During 12-16 August, about 10 earthquakes of magnitude 1.7-2.4 occurred. Along with smaller earthquakes and many other local seismic signals, these probably indicated ash and gas explosions (at a rate of 1-3 a day, to heights of 1500-2500 m above the dome). However, the Level of Concern was returned to Yellow by the end of the week.

Through the remainder of the period, many earthquakes up to M 2.7 occurred, frequent gas-and-steam plumes rose as high as 5 km above the dome, and thermal anomalies of 6-8 pixels were observed as were gas/steam plumes that extended 80-120 km. On 25 September, continuous spasmodic tremor prevailed for 27 minutes.

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

Information Contacts: Olga Chubarova, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia; Tom Miller and Dave Schneider, Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA, 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://www.avo.alaska.edu/).


Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Soufriere Hills

United Kingdom

16.72°N, 62.18°W; summit elev. 915 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Mid-to-late 2002 dome growth and the start of NE-traveling pyroclastic flows

The Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) reported that during mid-May through mid-September 2002, seismicity at Soufrière Hills was dominated by rockfall signals. Four volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes were reported during the first week of June and nine during the week of 9-16 August. SO2 emission rates were measured using Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometers (DOAS). SO2 fluxes generally remained at moderate levels. High fluxes occurred at times, such as during rockfall activity on 12 August (up to 690 t/day). On 6 September SO2 emissions were low at 42-170 t/day, although levels increased to 170-518 t/day through 13 September (table 41).

Table 41. Seismicity at Soufrière Hills during 10 May-13 September 2002. "--" indicates that the information was not reported. Courtesy MVO.

Date Rockfall Long-period Long-period / Rockfall Hybrid SO2 flux (metric tons/day)
10 May-17 May 2002 553 127 99 5 --
17 May-24 May 2002 532 77 111 1 --
24 May-31 May 2002 497 57 93 6 --
31 May-07 Jun 2002 129 20 4 6 --
07 Jun-14 Jun 2002 135 20 3 12 247-955
14 Jun-21 Jun 2002 226 14 10 17 14-15 Jun: ~170-520; 16-17 Jun: ~90-350; 19 Jun: ~600-690; 20-21 Jun: ~90-350
21 Jun-28 Jun 2002 102 6 2 19 22-23 Jun: ~170-520; 24 Jun: ~90-260; 25-26 Jun: ~170-350; 26-28 Jun: ~90-170
28 Jun-05 Jul 2002 42 6 5 11 --
05 Jul-12 Jul 2002 108 6 2 17 10-12 Jul: ~90-260
12 Jul-19 Jul 2002 151 3 4 8 13-14 Jul: 90; 15-19 Jul: ~130-220
19 Jul-26 Jul 2002 250 92 28 15 22-26 Jul: 175-250
26 Jul-02 Aug 2002 260 118 32 3 ~90-270
02 Aug-09 Aug 2002 313 138 52 23 Max: 690; avg: 380
09 Aug-16 Aug 2002 209 87 8 5 86-430; 12 Aug: ~690 during rockfall activity
16 Aug-23 Aug 2002 231 44 5 1 16-18 Aug: 170-340; 19-23 Aug: 170-600
23 Aug-30 Aug 2002 287 31 9 0 170-340
30 Aug-06 Sep 2002 453 63 9 1 170-432
06 Sep-13 Sep 2002 308 63 2 0 6 Sep: 42-170; 7-13 Sep: 170-518

During mid-May, growth of the summit lava dome continued to be concentrated on the E flank, giving rise to numerous rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows in the upper reached of the Tar River Valley. Pyroclastic flows were observed moving NE in the uppermost part of Tuitt's Ghaut during an observation flight on the morning of May 13. This was the first indication that pyroclastic flows generated on the NE flank of the active dome were able to flow into this drainage system. This new direction of flow was possible after the 29 July collapse scar had become largely buried on this side of the dome. The summit region of the active dome was visible briefly on several occasions during late May. It had a broad blocky appearance, and growth seemed to have become concentrated on the SE, giving rise to rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows on the SE flank of the dome. There was little activity on the NE flank of the dome during the last week of May.

Very clear conditions during 31 May-3 June provided the first good views of the summit region for several months, revealing that since early April a large lobe had been extruded on the dome's upper SE side. The lobe was ~150 m across and reached 1,023 m altitude. The upper surface of the lobe had a spiny though slab-like appearance. Since the dome was last seen, it had developed a small lobe-like protrusion on the summit's W side. Minor June rockfalls occurred on the dome's E and W sectors.

During mid-June, although the dome was mostly covered by clouds, photos of the summit area were captured on many days by the remote digital camera at White's Yard. Despite the low level of rockfall and seismic activity, the massive extrusion lobe on the SE side of the dome continued to grow steadily. Most of the upper surface of the active lobe had the smooth form of a whale's back; it also contained a low-angle spine directed upwards towards the SE. The free face at the front of the lobe on the SE side was steep and blocky in appearance. A theodolite survey of the dome taken during a brief period of clear weather on 11 June measured these altitudes: the general summit area of the active lobe stood at 1,025-1,030 m, and the top of the spine, at 1,048 m.

Rockfall activity increased abruptly on the night of 14 June and remained moderately high until the 18th, when it declined once more. Rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows were produced by material collapsing off the E face of the dome. Several small pyroclastic flows were also produced on the NE flank and were observed flowing into the upper part of Tuitt's Ghaut. By late June, growth of the extrusion lobe on the SE side of the dome appeared to have stagnated. Rockfall activity decreased abruptly on the afternoon of 22 June and declined to very low levels during 25-28 June.

No change in dome morphology occurred during early to mid-July. Rockfall activity on the dome increased slightly on the morning of 3 July, and a small, low ash cloud drifted over Plymouth around 1000. This followed several hours of heavy rain during the night, which was associated with substantial mudflows in the center of Plymouth. Rockfalls increased slightly during 6-8 July, before decreasing to very low levels through 12 July.

Observations of the dome on 15 July suggested that dome growth was continuing at a very low rate. Growth was concentrated on the SE part of the dome, at the lobe that was active during mid- to late June. The level of rockfall activity from this active lobe increased slightly on 15 July, with a small pyroclastic flow at 0800 directed down the Tar River Valley.

A swarm of low-amplitude long-period (LP) earthquakes began on 19 July and increased in strength during the following four days. The swarm continued at an elevated level until it began to decrease slightly during 31 July-2 August.

Observations of the dome on 21 July indicated that significant growth had recommenced, with the extrusion of a new lobe on the NE side of the summit region. Growth of the new extrusion lobe gave rise to rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows off the NE flank of the dome. On the morning of 23 July a minor collapse produced small but continuous pyroclastic flows for about an hour. These mainly flowed into the upper parts of Tuitt's Ghaut and down White's Ghaut for about half the distance to the coast. A few also flowed into the upper part of the Tar River Valley. A similar event, lasting for ~20 minutes, occurred in the early hours on the morning of 26 July.

On the morning of 1 August observations revealed that the new extrusion lobe on the N side of the summit had a broad whaleback form. Growth of this lobe was directed N and, around 2-4 August, the lobe crumbled repeatedly, producing rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows in Tuitt's Ghaut. Limited activity occurred on the NW part of the dome, although one small pyroclastic flow descended the notch between the central and NW buttresses. Individual rocks also reached upper Tyre's Ghaut (behind Gage's Mountain). During 6-9 August, rockfall activity declined substantially due to the lobe becoming more coherent and not collapsing. By mid-August, talus had accumulated in the upper reaches of Tuitt's Ghaut and small pyroclastic flows occurred in both Tuitt's and White's Ghauts. The active lobe also shed more talus into the notch in the NW sector of the old dome, which leads towards Tyre's Ghaut.

Rockfall talus continued to accumulate in the upper reaches of Tuitt's Ghaut during 16-23 August, and there were overspills of talus from the N side of the Tar River Valley into the two tributaries of White's Ghaut. The NE buttress, a remnant of the old dome complex from mid-1997, was now completely buried. Erosion of the E edge of the central buttress continued. Talus continued to slowly accumulate in the notch in the NW sector of the old dome, which leads towards Tyre's Ghaut. During intense rainfall early on 21 August, a small collapse occurred in the Tar River Valley of the talus that had accumulated on the SE sector of the dome during April-May 2002.

During late August, small pyroclastic flows were mainly concentrated on the NE flank where they had been channeled into the upper reaches of Tuitt's Ghaut; although some had spilled eastwards along the N side of the Tar River Valley. Talus also continued to accumulate in the notch in the NW sector of the old dome, which leads towards Tyre's Ghaut. Torrential rainfall produced mudflows in the Belham Valley in the early hours of 28 August.

During early September, growth continued to be focused on the N side of the dome complex although it had become more centralized and the summit height now exceeded 1,050 m. Otherwise the focus of activity remained concentrated on the NE flank, with frequent rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows. Most of these were channeled into the upper reaches of Tuitt's Ghaut; although some had spilled eastwards along the N side of the Tar River Valley.

During mid-September, dome growth remained centralized, and the summit height exceeded 1,050 m. Otherwise the focus of activity remained concentrated on the E flank, with frequent rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows. Around 6-8 September most of these spilled eastwards along the N side of the Tar River Valley, although by 12-13 September activity appears to have refocused northwards onto Tuitt's Ghaut, with subordinate amounts continuing to spill eastwards into the Tar River Valley.

During the reporting interval, the daytime entry zone (DTEZ) remained open, weather permitting. MVO warned that activity could increase suddenly, with dangerous situations developing quickly. Protective masks were to be worn in ashy conditions and the Belham Valley was to be avoided during and after heavy rainfall due to the possibility of mudflows. Access was prohibited to Plymouth, Bramble airport, and points closer to the volcano; including a marine exclusion zone around the southern part of the island ~3 km beyond the coastline, extending from Trant's Bay in the E to Garibaldi Hill on the W.

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

Information Contacts: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Mongo Hill, Montserrat, West Indies (URL: http://www.mvo.ms/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/).


Talang (Indonesia) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Talang

Indonesia

0.979°S, 100.681°E; summit elev. 2575 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Plume reached up to 100 m above the crater during July 2002

During 17 June-28 July 2002 at Talang a generally white, thin plume rose 25-100 m above the crater and drifted E. [Throughout July the activity was described as a "white-thin ash plume."] Hot spring temperatures ranged from 43 to 64°C. No seismic data were available because of a broken seismograph. Talang remained at Alert Level 2.

Geologic Background. Talang, which forms a twin volcano with the extinct Pasar Arbaa volcano, lies ESE of the major city of Padang and rises NW of Dibawah Lake. Talang has two crater lakes on its flanks; the largest of these is 1 x 2 km wide Danau Talang. The summit exhibits fumarolic activity, but which lacks a crater. Historical eruptions have mostly involved small-to-moderate explosive activity first documented in the 19th century that originated from a series of small craters in a valley on the upper NE flank.

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


Tangkuban Parahu (Indonesia) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Tangkuban Parahu

Indonesia

6.77°S, 107.6°E; summit elev. 2084 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


First elevated seismicity since 1992

The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) reported that Tangkubanparahu reactivated during late August 2002. On 2 September the Alert Level was raised to 2, following an elevated number of earthquakes that were registered during the previous two weeks. The temperatures of Domas and Ratu craters increased ~2-4°C; Domas crater was at 74-93°C and Ratu crater at 95-100°C. No visual changes accompanied the temperature increase inside the craters, but several animals were found dead in Ratu crater. Seismicity totals for the week of 26 August-1 September were three deep-volcanic (A-type), 172 shallow-volcanic (B-type), and 12 tectonic earthquakes. During 2-8 September, four A-type, 224 B-type, and two tectonic earthquakes were registered.

Geologic Background. Gunung Tangkuban Parahu is a broad shield-like stratovolcano overlooking Indonesia's former capital city of Bandung. The volcano was constructed within the 6 x 8 km Pleistocene Sunda caldera, which formed about 190,000 years ago. The volcano's low profile is the subject of legends referring to the mountain of the "upturned boat." The Sunda caldera rim forms a prominent ridge on the western side; elsewhere the rim is largely buried by deposits of the current volcano. The dominantly small phreatic eruptions recorded since the 19th century have originated from several nested craters within an elliptical 1 x 1.5 km summit depression.

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


Witori (Papua New Guinea) — September 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Witori

Papua New Guinea

5.576°S, 150.516°E; summit elev. 724 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continued lava flows and deformation; monitoring network installed

The eruption that began at Pago on 3 August with significant ash plumes (BGVN 27:07) had produced lava flows from multiple vents NW of the main crater by early September (BGVN 27:08). This report provides additional details of fieldwork by the Japanese Disaster Relief Team noted in the last issue. Varied information from a United Nations report on 27 September has been distributed into appropriate sections below.

Observations of recent activity. The United Nations reported on 27 September that the volcano continued to emit steam and a thin vapor plume from vents near the summit and that the plume drifted to the NW over the Hoskins Peninsula. Lava continued to flow into the wider Witori Caldera basin, but was contained by its wall. Low-level seismicity and slow ground deformation along the W part of the caldera floor also continued. Monitoring about 3 km SW of the summit has shown a slight uplift.

While enroute from Kavieng to Port Moresby, Dave Innes (acting First Officer of an Air Niugini Fokker F-28, Captain Alex Porter in command) photographed Pago around 1230 on 14 September from an altitude of about 8.5 km (28,000 feet) while the volcano was quiet (figure 5). Later in the month Innes noted that the volcano had been putting out little more than "smoke," but on the 30th he and Captain Seymour (another Air Niugini F-28 commander) put in an "ash-sighting chit" when they saw that it was fairly active. He reports that the "smoke" stayed over the whole center section of the N coast of New Britain through to the following day (1 October).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Aerial photograph of Pago around 1230 on 14 September 2002. Dark lava flows can be seen extending NNW from the crater towards the upper center of the view. The lighter-colored fan-shaped area in the center (N of the crater) is most likely ash-covered vegetation; previous ash plumes blew in that direction. Courtesy of David Innes, Air Niugini.

The "ash-sighting chit" noted by Innes is an internal Air Niugini Volcanic Volcanic Activity Report. This is a company variation of the ICAO VAR (section one) which is separate from the formal reporting process. Crews transitting known hot-spots fill out the form, rip off the white copy (which looks like a receipt or "chit" ), and put it in a box at crewing in Port Moresby. Pilots arriving to commence flights can then see what their colleagues had seen the last time someone passed that way.

Volcano monitoring. As noted in the UN report, the assistance of technical teams from Japan and the United States was achieved through the efforts of the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory from East New Britain, which is overseeing scientific efforts. The government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has set up a Kimbe Volcanological Observatory to coordinate the scientific work on Pago, and ultimately to monitor and evaluate the threat posed by West New Britain's three other active volcanoes.

Installing a volcanic monitoring system on Pago had been long-planned as part of a cooperative program between the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP), with funding from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and Geoscience Australia to provide assistance to PNG. However, the current eruption accelerated those plans. On 5 September, at the invitation of the PNG government a 3-person team from VDAP departed the United States with equipment for a telemetered monitoring network consisting of five seismometers (one 3-component instrument) and three real-time GPS stations. The network was installed with the assistance of personnel from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory, and the VDAP team returned on 13 October after the network was operational and sending telemetered data to the observatory in Kimbe.

Civil Defence. The following information is from a situation report issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on 27 September. This report was based on information provided by OCHA's Regional Disaster Response Adviser in Kimbe, working alongside the PNG National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and the AusAID team that is supporting the West New Britain Provincial Disaster Committee.

Of the 15,000 inhabitants of the affected part of the Hoskins Peninsula, the region close to the crater and in the arc to the NW, ~13,000 have been evacuated since early August; the remainder are still living in their villages, looking after property, and engaged in limited cultivation.

Although only a few millimeters of ash has fallen even in the worst affected areas, it is a fine volcanic ash with high silica content, which poses a serious hazard to aviation. Hoskins Airport has therefore been closed since early August, shutting off the direct link to Port Moresby and the flow of tourists that helps support the provincial economy. It is only possible to reach Kimbe by sea, or by light aircraft to Bialla and then three hours drive along the rough coast road, only passable in the dry season.

Current understanding of the risk is based on incomplete scientific evidence, and it will be at least 3 months before sufficient data can be gathered and analyzed to enable a decent hazard assessment. Consequently the Provincial Disaster Committee (PDC) has not permitted the permanent return of the evacuees to their villages. The lack of cheap transport also restricts such activities and would complicate and delay any larger scale evacuation if this became necessary. The seasonal shift in the prevailing winds during October will place another 8,000-9,000 people at risk in any future ash ejection.

National and provincial disaster managers are preparing contingency plans for three possible scenarios. The first scenario is that eruptive activity continues as at present through the wet season, with ashfall affecting a further 8,000 people; the second is that it becomes more explosive with pyroclastic flows impacting an area up to 15 km from the volcano; the worst case scenario is a caldera-forming eruption, potentially affecting up to 30,000 people within a 30 km radius.

Observations during 25 August-3 September made by the Japanese Team. The Japanese Disaster Relief Team, including two seismologists from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and a geologist from the Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, was dispatched to Pago during 25 August through 3 September 2002. Observations were carried out with support from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) and governmental agencies of both Japan and Papua New Guinea, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). A brief report of their observations is provided below. The Team extends their thanks to Chris Mckee, Hassan El-kherbotly, Isolde Macatol, and Ima Itikarai of RVO for their great assistance with the research activities.

On 27 August aerial inspections were made from a helicopter and a survey of air-fall tephra was done. Work the next day included the installation of a seismograph, infrared surveys from a helicopter, and field surveys of air-fall deposits. New lava was sampled on the 29th. Additional aerial inspections were accomplished on the 30th, and the seismograph was picked up. Fieldwork on 31 August consisted of sampling older lava.

During this work, the following observations were noted. 1) Two craters and four lava vents are aligned NW-SE from the middle slope NW of the Pago Central Cone to the Witori caldera. 2) New lava descending from each of the four vents forms complex lobes. The largest amount of lava erupted from the lowest vent, changing its flow direction to the NE and SW due to the caldera wall. 3) No eruption column was seen, though bluish white-colored fumarolic gas was being emitted. Sulfur was deposited on the crater rim. 4) A fault perpendicular to the crater line could be seen in the middle and W of the crater line. 5) The thickness of air-fall deposit is ~2 mm at a spot 10.5 km N of the craters (Rikau), and <1 mm at the Hoskins Air Port 18 km to the NE.

A distinct thermal anomaly was observed in an infrared image at the lowest crater (figure 6), with a maximum temperature of about 350°C, indicating vigorous upwelling of lava. The lowermost part of the lava, the flow front, was also a high-temperature zone.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Thermal image of Pago showing recent lava flows and areas of active lava emission from the lowest vent on 28 August 2002. Low-temperature near-background values beyond the extent of the lava flows have been combined into a single shade to better define the area of lava flows. View is approximately to the SE. Courtesy of the Japanese Disaster Relief Team.

Seismicity was stable, but without doubt exceeds its background level, although only about 40 hours of data were recorded. Approximately 20-30 small seismic events, mainly high-frequency B-type earthquakes (BL events, predominant frequency of ~3-4 Hz), were detected per hour. The S-P time of about 1.6s and polarity of first motions suggest that the seismic waves came from the direction of the lava, possibly from near the vents. Besides these BL events, there were seismic events with more complex waveforms. They might be a succession of BL events or caused by rockfalls at the edge of the lava flows. No notable swarm-type activity occurred during the observation period.

Geologic Background. The 5.5 x 7.5 km Witori caldera on the northern coast of central New Britain contains the young historically active cone of Pago. The Buru caldera cuts the SW flank of Witori volcano. The gently sloping outer flanks of Witori volcano consist primarily of dacitic pyroclastic-flow and airfall deposits produced during a series of five major explosive eruptions from about 5600 to 1200 years ago, many of which may have been associated with caldera formation. The post-caldera Pago cone may have formed less than 350 years ago. Pago has grown to a height above that of the Witori caldera rim, and a series of ten dacitic lava flows from it covers much of the caldera floor. The youngest of these was erupted during 2002-2003 from vents extending from the summit nearly to the NW caldera wall.

Information Contacts: Ima Itikarai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), PO Box 386, Rabaul, E.N.B.P., Papua New Guinea; Japanese Disaster Relief Team: Kohichi Uhira, Volcanological Division, Seismological and Volcanological Department, Japan Meteorological Agency, 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8122, Japan; Akimitsu Takagi, Meteorological Research Institute of Japan Meteorological Agency, 1-1 Nagamine, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0052, Japan; Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, Volcano Research Center (VRC), Earthquake Research Institute (ERI), University of Tokyo, 1130032 111, Yayoi, Bunkyoku, Tokyo (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations, New York, NY 10017 USA (URL: https://reliefweb.int/); C. Dan Miller, Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, US Geological Survey, Cascades Volcano Observatory, 1300 Southeast Cardinal Court, Building 10, Suite 100, Vancouver, Washington 98683, USA (URL: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/); David Innes, Air Niugini, PO Box 7186, Boroko, Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea (URL: http://www.airniugini.com.pg/).

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