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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

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

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

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

Kikai (Japan) Ash explosion on 29 April 2020

Fuego (Guatemala) Ongoing ash explosions, block avalanches, and intermittent lava flows

Ebeko (Russia) Frequent moderate explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall continue, December 2019-May 2020

Piton de la Fournaise (France) Fissure eruptions in February and April 2020 included lava fountains and flows

Sabancaya (Peru) Daily explosions with ash emissions, large SO2 flux, ongoing thermal anomalies, December 2019-May 2020

Sheveluch (Russia) Lava dome growth and thermal anomalies continue through April 2020, but few ash explosions

Dukono (Indonesia) Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

Etna (Italy) Strombolian explosions and ash emissions continue, October 2019-March 2020

Merapi (Indonesia) Explosions produced ash plumes, ashfall, and pyroclastic flows during October 2019-March 2020



Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kikai (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kikai

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash explosion on 29 April 2020

The Kikai caldera is located at the N end of Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and has been recently characterized by intermittent ash emissions and limited ashfall in nearby communities. On Satsuma Iwo Jima island, the larger subaerial fragment of the Kikai caldera, there was a single explosion with gas-and-steam and ash emissions on 2 November 2019, accompanied by nighttime incandescence (BGVN 45:02). This report covers volcanism from January 2020 through April 2020 with a single-day eruption occurring on 29 April based on reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

Since the last one-day eruption on 2 November 2019, volcanism at Kikai has been relatively low and primarily consisted of 107-170 earthquakes per month and intermittent white gas-and-steam emissions rising up to 1.3 km above the crater summit. Intermittent weak hotspots were observed at night in the summit in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery and webcams, according to JMA (figures 14 and 15).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Weak thermal hotspots (bright yellow-orange) were observed on 7 January (top) and 6 April 2020 (bottom) at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai). Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Incandescence at night on 10 January 2020 was observed at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) in the Iodake crater with the Iwanogami webcam. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, January 2nd year of Reiwa [2020]).

Weak incandescence continued in April 2020. JMA reported SO2 measurements during April were 400-2000 tons/day. A brief eruption in the Iodake crater on 29 April 2020 at 0609 generated a gray-white ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater (figure 16). No ashfall or ejecta was observed after the eruption on 29 April.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. The Iwanogami webcam captured a brief gray-white ash and steam plume rising above the Iodake crater rim on Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) on 29 April 2020 at 0609 local time. The plume rose 1 km above the crater summit. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, April 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).


Fuego (Guatemala) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Fuego

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing ash explosions, block avalanches, and intermittent lava flows

Fuego is a stratovolcano in Guatemala that has been erupting since 2002 with historical eruptions that date back to 1531. Volcanism is characterized by major ashfalls, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and lahars. The previous report (BGVN 44:10) detailed activity that included multiple ash explosions, ash plumes, ashfall, active lava flows, and block avalanches. This report covers this continuing activity from October 2019 through March 2020 and consists of ash plumes, ashfall, incandescent ejecta, block avalanches, and lava flows. The primary source of information comes from the Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

Summary of activity October 2019-March 2020. Daily activity persisted throughout October 2019-March 2020 (table 20) with multiple ash explosions recorded every hour, ash plumes that rose to a maximum of 4.8 km altitude each month drifting in multiple directions, incandescent ejecta reaching a 500 m above the crater resulting in block avalanches traveling down multiple drainages, and ashfall affecting communities in multiple directions. The highest rate of explosions occurred on 7 November with up to 25 per hour. Dominantly white fumaroles occurred frequently throughout this reporting period, rising to a maximum altitude of 4.5 km and drifting in multiple directions. Intermittent lava flows that reached a maximum length of 1.2 km were observed each month in the Seca (Santa Teresa) and Ceniza drainages (figure 128), but rarely in the Trinidad drainage. Thermal activity increased slightly in frequency and strength in late October and remained relatively consistent through mid-March as seen in the MIROVA analysis of MODIS satellite data (figure 129).

Table 20. Activity summary by month for Fuego with information compiled from INSIVUMEH daily reports.

Month Ash plume heights (km) Ash plume distance (km) and direction Drainages affected by avalanche blocks Villages reporting ashfall
Oct 2019 4.3-4.8 km 10-25 km, W-SW-S-NW Seca, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Trinidad, El Jute, Honda, and Las Lajas Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Porvenir, Finca Palo Verde, La Rochela, San Andrés Osuna, Sangre de Cristo, and San Pedro Yepocapa
Nov 2019 4.0-4.8 km 10-20 km, W-SW-S-NW Seca, Taniluyá, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, and Ceniza Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Porvenir, Sangre de Cristo, Finca Palo Verde, and San Pedro Yepocapa
Dec 2019 4.2-4.8 km 10-25 km, W-SW-S-SE-N-NE Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, and Las Lajas Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, Panimaché I and II, La Rochela, and San Andrés Osuna
Jan 2020 4.3-4.8 km 10-25 km, W-SW-S-N-NE-E Seca, Ceniza, Taniluyá, Trinidad, Honda, and Las Lajas Morelia, Santa Sofía, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, Panimaché I and II, El Porvenir, Finca Palo Verde, Rodeo, La Rochela, Alotenango, El Zapote, Trinidad, La Reina, Ceilán
Feb 2020 4.3-4.8 km 8-25 km, W-SW-S-SE-E-NE-N-NW Seca, Ceniza, Taniluya, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, La Rochela, El Zapote, and San Andrés Osuna Panimache I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofia, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, Rodeo, La Reina, Alotenango, Yucales, Siquinalá, Santa Lucia, El Porvenir, Finca Los Tarros, La Soledad, Buena Vista, La Cruz, Pajales, San Miguel Dueñas, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Escobar, San Pedro las Huertas, Antigua, La Rochela, and San Andrés Osuna
Mar 2020 4.3-4.8 km 10-23 km, W-SW-S-SE-N-NW Seca, Ceniza, Trinidad, Taniluyá, Las Lajas, Honda, La Rochela, El Zapote, San Andrés Osuna, Morelia, Panimache, and Santa Sofia San Andrés Osuna, La Rochela, El Rodeo, Chuchu, Panimache I and II, Santa Sofia, Morelia, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir, Sangre de Cristo, La Cruz, San Pedro Yepocapa, La Conchita, La Soledad, Alotenango, Aldea la Cruz, Acatenango, Ceilan, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Las Lajas, Trinidad, Seca, and Honda
Figure (see Caption) Figure 128. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Fuego between 21 November 2019 and 20 March 2020 showing lava flows (bright yellow-orange) traveling generally S and W from the crater summit. An ash plume can also be seen on 21 November 2019, accompanying the lava flow. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 129. Thermal activity at Fuego increased in frequency and strength (log radiative power) in late October 2019 and remained relatively consistent through February 2020. In early March, there is a small decrease in thermal power, followed by a short pulse of activity and another decline. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity during October-December 2019. Activity in October 2019 consisted of 6-20 ash explosions per hour; ash plumes rose to 4.8 km altitude, drifting up to 25 km in multiple directions, resulting in ashfall in Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Finca Palo Verde, La Rochela and San Andrés Osuna. The Washington VAAC issued multiple aviation advisories for a total of nine days in October. Continuous white gas-and-steam plumes reached 4.1-4.4 km altitude drifting generally W. Weak SO2 emissions were infrequently observed in satellite imagery during October and January 2020 (figure 130) Incandescent ejecta was frequently observed rising 200-400 m above the summit, which generated block avalanches that traveled down the Seca (W), Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), El Jute, Honda, and Las Lajas (SE) drainages. During 3-7 October lahars descended the Ceniza, El Mineral, and Seca drainages, carrying tree branches, tree trunks, and blocks 1-3 m in diameter. During 6-8 and 13 October, active lava flows traveled up to 200 m down the Seca drainage.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 130. Weak SO2 emissions were observed rising from Fuego using the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Top left: 17 October 2019. Top right: 17 November 2019. Bottom left: 20 January 2020. Bottom right: 22 January 2020. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

During November 2019, the rate of explosions increased to 5-25 per hour, the latter of which occurred on 7 November. The explosions resulted in ash plumes that rose 4-4.8 km altitude, drifting 10-20 km in the W direction. Ashfall was observed in Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Porvenir, Sangre de Cristo, Finca Palo Verde, and San Pedro Yepocapa. Multiple Washington VAAC notices were issued for 11 days in November. Continuous white gas-and-steam plumes rose up to 4.5 km altitude drifting generally W. Incandescent ejecta rose 100-500 m above the crater, generating block avalanches in Seca, Taniluyá, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, and Ceniza drainages. Lava flows were observed for a majority of the month into early December measuring 100-900 m long in the Seca and Ceniza drainages.

The number of explosions in December 2019 decreased compared to November, recording 8-19 per hour with incandescent ejecta rising 100-400 m above the crater. The explosions generated block avalanches that traveled in the Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, and Las Lajas drainages throughout the month. Ash plumes continued to rise above the summit crater to 4.8 km drifting up to 25 km in multiple directions. The Washington VAAC issued multiple daily notices almost daily in December. A continuous lava flow observed during 6-15, 21-22, 24, and 26 November through 9 December measured 100-800 m long in the Seca and Ceniza drainages.

Activity during January-March 2020. Incandescent Strombolian explosions continued daily during January 2020, ejecting material up to 100-500 m above the crater. Ash plumes continued to rise to a maximum altitude of 4.8 km, resulting in ashfall in all directions affecting Morelia, Santa Sofía, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, Panimaché I and II, El Porvenir, Finca Palo Verde, Rodeo, La Rochela, Alotenango, El Zapote, Trinidad, La Reina, and Ceilán. The Washington VAAC issued multiple notices for a total of 12 days during January. Block avalanches resulting from the Strombolian explosions traveled down the Seca, Ceniza, Taniluyá, Trinidad, Honda, and Las Lajas drainages. An active lava flow in the Ceniza drainage measured 150-600 m long during 6-10 January.

During February 2020, INSIVUMEH reported a range of 4-16 explosions per hour, accompanied by incandescent material that rose 100-500 m above the crater (figure 131). Block avalanches traveled in the Santa Teresa, Seca, Ceniza, Taniluya, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, La Rochela, El Zapote, and San Andrés Osuna drainages. Ash emissions from the explosions continued to rise 4.8 km altitude, drifting in multiple directions as far as 25 km and resulting in ashfall in the communities of Panimache I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofia, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, Rodeo, La Reina, Alotenango, Yucales, Siquinalá, Santa Lucia, El Porvenir, Finca Los Tarros, La Soledad, Buena Vista, La Cruz, Pajales, San Miguel Dueñas, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Escobar, San Pedro las Huertas, Antigua, La Rochela, and San Andrés Osuna. Washington VAAC notices were issued almost daily during the month. Lava flows were active in the Ceniza drainage during 13-20, 23-24, and 26-27 February measuring as long as 1.2 km.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 131. Incandescent ejecta rose several hundred meters above the crater of Fuego on 6 February 2020, resulting in block avalanches down multiple drainages. Courtesy of Crelosa.

Daily explosions and incandescent ejecta continued through March 2020, with 8-17 explosions per hour that rose up to 500 m above the crater. Block avalanches from the explosions were observed in the Seca, Ceniza, Trinidad, Taniluyá, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa, La Rochela, El Zapote, San Andrés Osuna, Morelia, Panimache, and Santa Sofia drainages. Accompanying ash plumes rose 4.8 km altitude, drifting in multiple directions mostly to the W as far as 23 km and resulting in ashfall in San Andrés Osuna, La Rochela, El Rodeo, Chuchu, Panimache I and II, Santa Sofia, Morelia, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir, Sangre de Cristo, La Cruz, San Pedro Yepocapa, La Conchita, La Soledad, Alotenango, Aldea la Cruz, Acatenango, Ceilan, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Las Lajas, Trinidad, Seca, and Honda. Multiple Washington VAAC notices were issued for a total of 15 days during March. Active lava flows were observed from 16-21 March in the Trinidad and Ceniza drainages measuring 400-1,200 m long and were accompanied by weak to moderate explosions. By 23 March, active lava flows were no longer observed.

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); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Crelosa, 3ra. avenida. 8-66, Zona 14. Colonia El Campo, Guatemala Ciudad de Guatemala (URL: http://crelosa.com/, post at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P4kWqxU2m0&feature=youtu.be).


Ebeko (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent moderate explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall continue, December 2019-May 2020

The current moderate explosive eruption of Ebeko has been ongoing since October 2016, with frequent ash explosions that have reached altitudes of 1.3-6 km (BGVN 42:08, 43:03, 43:06, 43:12, 44:12). Ashfall is common in Severo-Kurilsk, a town of about 2,500 residents 7 km ESE, where the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) monitor the volcano. During the reporting period, December 2019-May 2020, the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

During December 2019-May 2020, frequent explosions generated ash plumes that reached altitudes of 1.5-4.6 km (table 9); reports of ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk were common. Ash explosions in late April caused ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk during 25-30 April (figure 24), and the plume drifted 180 km SE on the 29th. There was also a higher level of activity during the second half of May (figure 25), when plumes drifted up to 80 km downwind.

Table 9. Summary of activity at Ebeko, December 2019-May 2020. S-K is Severo-Kurilsk (7 km ESE of the volcano). TA is thermal anomaly in satellite images. In the plume distance column, only plumes that drifted more than 10 km are indicated. Dates based on UTC times. Data courtesy of KVERT.

Date Plume Altitude (km) Plume Distance Plume Directions Other Observations
30 Nov-05 Dec 2019 3 -- NE, E Intermittent explosions.
06-13 Dec 2019 4 -- E Explosions all week. Ashfall in S-K on 10-12 Dec.
15-17 Dec 2019 3 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 16-17 Dec.
22-24 Dec 2019 3 -- NE Explosions.
01-02 Jan 2020 3 30 km N N Explosions. TA over dome on 1 Jan.
03, 05, 09 Jan 2020 2.9 -- NE, SE Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 8 Jan.
11, 13-14 Jan 2020 3 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K.
19-20 Jan 2020 3 -- E Ashfall in S-K on 19 Jan.
24-31 Jan 2020 4 -- E Explosions.
01-07 Feb 2020 3 -- E, S Explosions all week.
12-13 Feb 2020 1.5 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K.
18-19 Feb 2020 2.3 -- SE Explosions.
21, 25, 27 Feb 2020 2.9 -- S, SE, NE Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 22 Feb.
01-02, 05 Mar 2020 2 -- S, E Explosions.
08 Mar 2020 2.5 -- NE Explosions.
13, 17 Mar 2020 2.5 -- NE, SE Bursts of gas, steam, and small amount of ash.
24-25 Mar 2020 2.5 -- NE, W Explosions.
29 Mar-02 Apr 2020 2.2 -- NE, E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 1 Apr. TA on 30-31 Mar.
04-05, 09 Apr 2020 1.5 -- NE Explosions. TA on 5 Apr.
13 Apr 2020 2.5 -- SE Explosions.
18, 20 Apr 2020 -- -- -- TA on 18, 20 Apr.
24 Apr-01 May 2020 3.5 180 km SE on 29 Apr E, SE Explosions all week. Ashfall in S-K on 25-30 Apr.
01-08 May 2020 2.6 -- E Explosions all week. Ashfall in S-K on 3-5 May. TA on 3 May.
08-15 May 2020 4 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 8-12 May. TA during 12-14 May.
14-15, 19-21 May 2020 3.6 80 km SW, S, SE during 14, 20-21 May -- Explosions. TA on same days.
22-29 May 2020 4.6 60 km SE E, SE Explosions all week. Ashfall in S-K on 22, 24 May.
29-31 May 2020 4.5 -- E, S Explosions. TA on 30 May.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Photo of ash explosion at Ebeko at 2110 UTC on 28 April 2020, as viewed from Severo-Kurilsk. Courtesy of KVERT (L. Kotenko).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Satellite image of Ebeko from Sentinel-2 on 27 May 2020, showing a plume drifting SE. Image using natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) 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/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Piton de la Fournaise (France) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Piton de la Fournaise

France

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Fissure eruptions in February and April 2020 included lava fountains and flows

Piton de la Fournaise is a massive basaltic shield volcano on the French island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean. Recent volcanism is characterized by multiple fissure eruptions, lava fountains, and lava flows (BGVN 44:11). The activity during this reporting period of November 2019-April 2020 is consistent with the previous eruption, including lava fountaining and lava flows. Information for this report comes from the Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF) and various satellite data.

Activity during November 2019-January 2020 was relatively low; no eruptive events were detected, according to OVPF. Edifice deformation resumed during the last week in December and continued through January. Seismicity significantly increased in early January, registering 258 shallow earthquakes from 1-16 January. During 17-31 January, the seismicity declined, averaging one earthquake per day.

Two eruptive events took place during February-April 2020. OVPF reported that the first occurred from 10 to 16 February on the E and SE flanks of the Dolomieu Crater. The second took place during 2-6 April. Both eruptive events began with a sharp increase in seismicity accompanied by edifice inflation, followed by a fissure eruption that resulted in lava fountains and lava flows (figure 193). MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed the two eruptive events occurring during February-April 2020 (figure 194). Similarly, the MODVOLC algorithm reported 72 thermal signatures proximal to the summit crater from 12 February to 6 April. Both of these eruptive events were accompanied by SO2 emissions that were detected by the Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI instrument (figures 195 and 196).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 193. Location maps of the lava flows on the E flank at Piton de la Fournaise on 10-16 February 2020 (left) and 2-6 April 2020 (right) as derived from SAR satellite data. Courtesy of OVPF-IPGP, OPGC, LMV (Monthly bulletins of the Piton de la Fournaise Volcanological Observatory, February and April 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 194. Two significant eruptive events at Piton de la Fournaise took place during February-April 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power). Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 195. Images of the SO2 emissions during the February 2020 eruptive event at Piton de la Fournaise detected by the Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI satellite. Top left: 10 February 2020. Top right: 11 February 2020. Bottom left: 13 February 2020. Bottom right: 14 February 2020. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 196. Images of the SO2 emissions during the April 2020 eruptive event at Piton de la Fournaise detected by the Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI satellite. Left: 4 April 2020. Middle: 5 April 2020. Right: 6 April 2020. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

On 10 February 2020 a seismic swarm was detected at 1027, followed by rapid deformation. At 1050, volcanic tremors were recorded, signaling the start of the eruption. Several fissures opened on the E flank of the Dolomieu Crater between the crater rim and at 2,000 m elevation, as observed by an overflight during 1300 and 1330. These fissures were at least 1 km long and produced lava fountains that rose up to 10 m high. Lava flows were also observed traveling E and S to 1,700 m elevation by 1315 (figures 197 and 198). The farthest flow traveled E to an elevation of 1,400 m. Satellite data from HOTVOLC platform (OPGC - University of Auvergne) was used to estimate the peak lava flow rate on 11 February at 10 m3/s. By 13 February only one lava flow that was traveling E below the Marco Crater remained active. OVPF also reported the formation of a cone, measuring 30 m tall, surrounded by three additional vents that produced lava fountains up to 15 m high. On 15 February the volcanic tremors began to decrease at 1400; by 16 February at 1412 the tremors stopped, indicating the end of the eruptive event.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 197. Photo of a lava flow and degassing at Piton de la Fournaise on 10 February 2020. Courtesy of OVPF-IPGP.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 198. Photos of the lava flows at Piton de la Fournaise taken during the February 2020 eruption by Richard Bouchet courtesy of AFP News Service.

Volcanism during the month of March 2020 consisted of low seismicity, including 21 shallow volcanic tremors and near the end of the month, edifice inflation was detected. A second eruptive event began on 2 April 2020, starting with an increase in seismicity during 0815-0851. Much of this seismicity was located on the SE part of the Dolomieu Crater. A fissure opened on the E flank, consistent with the fissures that were active during the February 2020 event. Seismicity continued to increase in intensity through 6 April located dominantly in the SE part of the Dolomieu Crater. An overflight on 5 April at 1030 showed lava fountains rising more than 50 m high accompanied by gas-and-steam plumes rising to 3-3.5 km altitude (figures 199 and 200). A lava flow advanced to an elevation of 360 m, roughly 2 km from the RN2 national road (figure 199). A significant amount of Pele’s hair and clusters of fine volcanic products were produced during the more intense phase of the eruption (5-6 April) and deposited at distances more than 10 km from the eruptive site (figure 201). It was also during this period that the SO2 emissions peaked (figure 196). The eruption stopped at 1330 after a sharp decrease in volcanic tremors.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 199. Photos of a lava flow (left) and lava fountains (right) at Piton de la Fournaise during the April 2020 eruption. Left: photo taken on 2 April 2020 at 1500. Right: photo taken on 5 April 2020 at 1030. Courtesy of OVPF-IPGP (Monthly bulletin of the Piton de la Fournaise Volcanological Observatory, April 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 200. Photo of the lava fountains erupting from Piton de la Fournaise on 4 April 2020. Photo taken by Richard Bouchet courtesy of Geo Magazine via Jeannie Curtis.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 201. Photos of Pele’s hair deposited due to the April 2020 eruption at Piton de la Fournaise. Samples collected near the Gîte du volcan on 7 April 2020 (left) and a cluster of Pele’s hair found near the Foc-Foc car park on 9 April 2020 (right). Courtesy of OVPF-IPGP (Monthly bulletin of the Piton de la Fournaise Volcanological Observatory, April 2020).

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

Information Contacts: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, 14 route nationale 3, 27 ème km, 97418 La Plaine des Cafres, La Réunion, France (URL: http://www.ipgp.fr/fr); 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); GEO Magazine (AFP story at URL: https://www.geo.fr/environnement/la-reunion-fin-deruption-au-piton-de-la-fournaise-200397); AFP (URL: https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1227140765106622464, Twitter: @AFP, https://twitter.com/AFP); Jeannie Curtis (Twitter: @VolcanoJeannie, https://twitter.com/VolcanoJeannie).


Sabancaya (Peru) — June 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 with ash emissions, large SO2 flux, ongoing thermal anomalies, December 2019-May 2020

Although tephrochronology has dated activity at Sabancaya back several thousand years, renewed activity that began in 1986 was the first recorded in over 200 years. Intermittent activity since then has produced significant ashfall deposits, seismic unrest, and fumarolic emissions. A new period of explosive activity that began in November 2016 has been characterized by pulses of ash emissions with some plumes exceeding 10 km altitude, thermal anomalies, and significant SO2 plumes. Ash emissions and high levels of SO2 continued each week during December 2019-May 2020. The Observatorio Vulcanologico INGEMMET (OVI) reports weekly on numbers of daily explosions, ash plume heights and directions of drift, seismicity, and other activity. The Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) issued three or four daily reports of ongoing ash emissions at Sabancaya throughout the period.

The dome inside the summit crater continued to grow throughout this period, along with nearly constant ash, gas, and steam emissions; the average number of daily explosions ranged from 4 to 29. Ash and gas plume heights rose 1,800-3,800 m above the summit crater, and multiple communities around the volcano reported ashfall every month (table 6). Sulfur dioxide emissions were notably high and recorded daily with the TROPOMI satellite instrument (figure 75). Thermal activity declined during December 2019 from levels earlier in the year but remained steady and increased in both frequency and intensity during April and May 2020 (figure 76). Infrared satellite images indicated that the primary heat source throughout the period was from the dome inside the summit crater (figure 77).

Table 6. Persistent activity at Sabancaya during December 2019-May 2020 included multiple daily explosions with ash plumes that rose several kilometers above the summit and drifted in many directions; this resulted in ashfall in communities within 30 km of the volcano. Satellite instruments recorded SO2 emissions daily. Data courtesy of OVI-INGEMMET.

Month Avg. Daily Explosions by week Max plume Heights (m above crater) Plume drift (km) and direction Communities reporting ashfall Min Days with SO2 over 2 DU
Dec 2019 16, 13, 5, 5 2,600-3,800 20-30 NW Pinchollo, Madrigal, Lari, Maca, Achoma, Coporaque, Yanque, Chivay, Huambo, Cabanaconde 27
Jan 2020 10, 8, 11, 14, 4 1,800-3,400 30 km W, NW, SE, S Chivay, Yanque, Achoma 29
Feb 2020 8, 11, 20, 19 2,000-2,200 30 km SE, E, NE, W Huambo 29
Mar 2020 14, 22, 29, 18 2,000-3,000 30 km NE, W, NW, SW Madrigal, Lari, Pinchollo 30
Apr 2020 12, 12, 16, 13, 8 2,000-3,000 30 km SE, NW, E, S Pinchollo, Madrigal, Lari, Maca, Ichupampa, Yanque, Chivay, Coporaque, Achoma 27
May 2020 15, 14, 6, 16 1,800-2,400 30 km SW, SE, E, NE, W Chivay, Achoma, Maca, Lari, Madrigal, Pinchollo 27
Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. Sulfur dioxide anomalies were captured daily from Sabancaya during December 2019-May 2020 by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Some of the largest SO2 plumes are shown here with dates listed in the information at the top of each image. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 76. Thermal activity at Sabancaya declined during December 2019 from levels earlier in the year but remained steady and increased slightly in frequency and intensity during April and May 2020, according to the MIROVA graph of Log Radiative Power from 23 June 2019 through May 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Sabancaya confirmed the frequent ash emissions and ongoing thermal activity from the dome inside the summit crater during December 2019-May 2020. Top row (left to right): On 6 December 2019 a large plume of steam and ash drifted N from the summit. On 16 December 2019 a thermal anomaly encircled the dome inside the summit caldera while gas and possible ash drifted NW. On 14 April 2020 a very similar pattern persisted inside the crater. Bottom row (left to right): On 19 April an ash plume was clearly visible above dense cloud cover. On 24 May the infrared glow around the dome remained strong; a diffuse plume drifted W. A large plume of ash and steam drifted SE from the summit on 29 May. Infrared images use Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a), other images use Natural Color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The average number of daily explosions during December 2019 decreased from a high of 16 the first week of the month to a low of five during the last week. Six pyroclastic flows occurred on 10 December (figure 78). Tremors were associated with gas-and-ash emissions for most of the month. Ashfall was reported in Pinchollo, Madrigal, Lari, Maca, Achoma, Coporaque, Yanque, and Chivay during the first week of the month, and in Huambo and Cabanaconde during the second week (figure 79). Inflation of the volcano was measured throughout the month. SO2 flux was measured by OVI as ranging from 2,500 to 4,300 tons per day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose several kilometers above the summit. Left image is from 5 December and right image is from 11 December 2019. Note pyroclastic flows to the right of the crater on 11 December. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-49-2019/INGEMMET Semana del 2 al 8 de diciembre de 2019 and RSSAB-50-2019/INGEMMET Semana del 9 al 15 de diciembre de 2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. Communities to the N and W of Sabancaya recorded ashfall from the volcano the first week of December and also every month during December 2019-May 2020. The red zone is the area where access is prohibited (about a 12-km radius from the crater). Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-22-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 25 al 31 de mayo del 2020).

During January and February 2020 the number of daily explosions averaged 4-20. Ash plumes rose as high as 3.4 km above the summit (figure 80) and drifted up to 30 km in multiple directions. Ashfall was reported in Chivay, Yanque, and Achoma on 8 January, and in Huambo on 25 February. Sulfur dioxide flux ranged from a low of 1,200 t/d on 29 February to a high of 8,200 t/d on 28 January. Inflation of the edifice was measured during January; deformation changed to deflation in early February but then returned to inflation by the end of the month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. Ash plumes rose from Sabancaya every day during January and February 2020. Left: 11 January. Right: 28 February. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-02-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 06 al 12 de enero del 2020 and RSSAB-09-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 24 de febrero al 01 de marzo del 2020).

Explosions continued during March and April 2020, averaging 8-29 per day. Explosions appeared to come from multiple vents on 11 March (figure 81). Ash plumes rose 3 km above the summit during the first week of March and again the first week of April; they were lower during the other weeks. Ashfall was reported in Madrigal, Lari, and Pinchollo on 27 March and 5 April. On 17 April ashfall was reported in Maca, Ichupampa, Yanque, Chivay, Coporaque, and Achoma. Sulfur dioxide flux ranged from 1,900 t/d on 5 March to 10,700 t/d on 30 March. Inflation at depth continued throughout March and April with 10 +/- 4 mm recorded between 21 and 26 April. Similar activity continued during May 2020; explosions averaged 6-16 per day (figure 82). Ashfall was reported on 6 May in Chivay, Achoma, Maca, Lari, Madrigal, and Pinchollo; heavy ashfall was reported in Achoma on 12 May. Additional ashfall was reported in Achoma, Maca, Madrigal, and Lari on 23 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. Explosions at Sabancaya on 11 March 2020 appeared to originate simultaneously from two different vents (left). The plume on 12 April was measured at about 2,500 m above the summit. Courtesy of OVI-INGEMMET (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-11-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 9 al 15 de marzo del 2020 and RSSAB-15-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 6 al 12 de abril del 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. Explosions dense with ash continued during May 2020 at Sabancaya. On 11 and 29 May 2020 ash plumes rose from the summit and drifted as far as 30 km before dissipating. Courtesy of OVI-INGEMMET (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya , RSSAB-20-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 11 al 17 de mayo del 2020 and RSSAB-22-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 25 al 31 de mayo 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); 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); 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/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Sheveluch (Russia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava dome growth and thermal anomalies continue through April 2020, but few ash explosions

The eruption at Sheveluch has continued for more than 20 years, with strong explosions that have produced ash plumes, lava dome growth, hot avalanches, numerous thermal anomalies, and strong fumarolic activity (BGVN 44:05). During this time, there have been periods of greater or lesser activity. The most recent period of increased activity began in December 2018 and continued through October 2019 (BGVN 44:11). This report covers activity between November 2019 to April 2020, a period during which activity waned. The volcano is monitored by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) and Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

During the reporting period, KVERT noted that lava dome growth continued, accompanied by incandescence of the dome blocks and hot avalanches. Strong fumarolic activity was also present (figure 53). However, the overall eruption intensity waned. Ash plumes sometimes rose to 10 km altitude and drifted downwind over 600 km (table 14). The Aviation Color Code (ACC) remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale), except for 3 November when it was raised briefly to Red (the highest level).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. Fumarolic activity of Sheveluch’s lava dome on 24 January 2020. Photo by Y. Demyanchuk; courtesy of KVERT.

Table 14. Explosions and ash plumes at Sheveluch during November 2019-April 2020. Dates and times are UTC, not local. Data courtesy of KVERT and the Tokyo VAAC.

Dates Plume Altitude (km) Drift Distance and Direction Remarks
01-08 Nov 2019 -- 640 km NW 3 November: ACC raised to Red from 0546-0718 UTC before returning to Orange.
08-15 Nov 2019 9-10 1,300 km ESE
17-27 Dec 2019 6.0-6.5 25 km E Explosions at about 23:50 UTC on 21 Dec.
20-27 Mar 2020 -- 45 km N 25 March: Gas-and-steam plume containing some ash.
03-10 Apr 2020 10 km 526 km SE 8 April: Strong explosion at 1910 UTC.
17-24 Apr 2020 -- 140 km NE Re-suspended ash plume.

KVERT reported thermal anomalies over the volcano every day, except for 25-26 January, when clouds obscured observations. During the reporting period, thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm recorded hotspots on 10 days in November, 13 days in December, nine days in January, eight days in both February and March, and five days in April. The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system, also based on analysis of MODIS data, detected numerous hotspots every month, almost all of which were of moderate radiative power (figure 54).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. Thermal anomalies at Sheveluch continued at elevated levels during November 2019-April 2020, as seen on this MIROVA Log Radiative Power graph for July 2019-April 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

High sulfur dioxide levels were occasionally recorded just above or in the close vicinity of Sheveluch by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite, but very little drift was observed.

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); 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/).


Dukono (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Dukono

Indonesia

1.693°N, 127.894°E; summit elev. 1229 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

The ongoing eruption at Dukono is characterized by frequent explosions that send ash plumes to about 1.5-3 km altitude (0.3-1.8 km above the summit), although a few have risen higher. This type of typical activity (figure 13) continued through at least March 2020. The ash plume data below (table 21) were primarily provided by the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC). During the reporting period of October 2019-March 2020, the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Table 21. Monthly summary of reported ash plumes from Dukono for October 2019-March 2020. The direction of drift for the ash plume through each month was highly variable; notable plume drift each month was only indicated in the table if at least two weekly reports were consistent. Data courtesy of the Darwin VAAC and PVMBG.

Month Plume Altitude (km) Notable Plume Drift
Oct 2019 1.8-3 Multiple
Nov 2019 1.8-2.3 E, SE, NE
Dec 2019 1.8-2.1 E, SE
Jan 2020 1.8-2.1 E, SE, SW, S
Feb 2020 2.1-2.4 S, SW
Mar 2020 1.5-2.3 Multiple
Figure (see Caption) Figure 13.Satellite image of Dukono from Sentinel-2 on 12 November 2019, showing an ash plume drifting E. Image uses natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

During the reporting period, high levels of sulfur dioxide were only recorded above or near the volcano during 30-31 October and 4 November 2019. High levels were recorded by the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instrument aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite on 30 October 2019, in a plume drifting E. The next day high levels were also recorded by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite on 31 October (figure 14) and 4 November 2019, in plumes drifting SE and NE, respectively.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Sulfur dioxide emission on 31 October 2019 drifting E, probably from Dukono, as recorded by the TROPOMI instrument aboard the Sentinel-5P satellite. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Geologic Background. Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the north-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. This complex volcano presents a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of the summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); 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).


Etna (Italy) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian explosions and ash emissions continue, October 2019-March 2020

Mount Etna is a stratovolcano located on the island of Sicily, Italy, with historical eruptions that date back 3,500 years. The most recent eruptive period began in September 2013 and has continued through March 2020. Activity is characterized by Strombolian explosions, lava flows, and ash plumes that commonly occur from the summit area, including the Northeast Crater (NEC), the Voragine-Bocca Nuova (or Central) complex (VOR-BN), the Southeast Crater (SEC, formed in 1978), and the New Southeast Crater (NSEC, formed in 2011). The newest crater, referred to as the "cono della sella" (saddle cone), emerged during early 2017 in the area between SEC and NSEC. This reporting period covers information from October 2019 through March 2020 and includes frequent explosions and ash plumes. The primary source of information comes from the Osservatorio Etneo (OE), part of the Catania Branch of Italy's Istituo Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologica (INGV).

Summary of activity during October 2019-March 2020. Strombolian activity and gas-and-steam and ash emissions were frequently observed at Etna throughout the entire reporting period, according to INGV and Toulouse VAAC notices. Activity was largely located within the main cone (Voragine-Bocca Nuova complex), the Northeast Crater (NEC), and the New Southeast Crater (NSEC). On 1, 17, and 19 October, ash plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 5 km. Due to constant Strombolian explosions, ground observations showed that a scoria cone located on the floor of the VOR Crater had begun to grow in late November and again in late January 2020. A lava flow was first detected on 6 December at the base of the scoria cone in the VOR Crater, which traveled toward the adjacent BN Crater. Additional lava flows were observed intermittently throughout the reporting period in the same crater. On 13 March, another small scoria cone had formed in the main VOR-BN complex due to Strombolian explosions.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows multiple episodes of thermal activity varying in power from 22 June 2019 to March 2020 (figure 286). The power and frequency of these thermal anomalies significantly decreased between August to mid-September. The pulse of activity in mid-September reflected a lava flow from the VOR Crater (BGVN 44:10). By late October through November, thermal anomalies were relatively weaker and less frequent. The next pulse in thermal activity reflected in the MIROVA graph occurred in early December, followed by another shortly after in early January, both of which were due to new lava flows from the VOR Crater. After 9 January the thermal anomalies remained frequent and strong; active lava flows continued through March accompanied by Strombolian explosions, gas-and-steam, SO2, and ash emissions. The most recent distinct pulse in thermal activity was seen in mid-March; on 13 March, another lava flow formed, accompanied by an increase in seismicity. This lava flow, like the previous ones, also originated in the VOR Crater and traveled W toward the BN Crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 286. Multiple episodes of varying activity at Etna from 22 June 2019 through March 2020 were reflected in the MIROVA thermal energy data (Log Radiative Power). Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity during October-December 2019. During October 2019, VONA (Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation) notices issued by INGV reported ash plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 5 km on 1, 17, and 19 October. Strombolian explosions occurred frequently. Explosions were detected primarily in the VOR-BN Craters, ejecting coarse pyroclastic material that fell back into the crater area and occasionally rising above the crater rim. Ash emissions rose from the VOR-BN and NEC while intense gas-and-steam emissions were observed in the NSEC (figure 287). Between 10-12 and 14-20 October fine ashfall was observed in Pedara, Mascalucia, Nicolosi, San Giovanni La Punta, and Catania. In addition to these ash emissions, the explosive Strombolian activity contributed to significant SO2 plumes that drifted in different directions (figure 288).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 287. Webcam images of ash emissions from the NE Crater at Etna from the a) CUAD (Catania) webcam on 10 October 2019; b) Milo webcam on 11 October 2019; c) Milo webcam on 12 October 2019; d) M.te Cagliato webcam on 13 October 2019. Courtesy of INGV (Report 42/2019, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 07/10/2019 - 13/10/2019, data emissione 15/10/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 288. Strombolian activity at Etna contributed to significant SO2 plumes that drifted in multiple directions during the intermittent explosions in October 2019. Top left: 1 October 2019. Top right: 2 October 2019. Middle left: 15 October 2019. Middle right: 18 October 2019. Bottom left: 13 November 2019. Bottom right: 1 December 2019. Captured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel 5P satellite, courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

The INGV weekly bulletin covering activity between 25 October and 1 November 2019 reported that Strombolian explosions occurred at intervals of 5-10 minutes from within the VOR-BN and NEC, ejecting incandescent material above the crater rim, accompanied by modest ash emissions. In addition, gas-and-steam emissions were observed from all the summit craters. Field observations showed the cone in the crater floor of VOR that began to grow in mid-September 2019 had continued to grow throughout the month. During the week of 4-10 November, Strombolian activity within the Bocca Nuova Crater was accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. The explosions in the VOR Crater occasionally ejected incandescent ejecta above the crater rim (figures 289 and 290). For the remainder of the month Strombolian explosions continued in the VOR-BN and NEC, producing sporadic ash emissions. Isolated and discontinuous explosions in the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) also produced fine ash, though gas-and-steam emissions still dominated the activity at this crater. Additionally, the explosions from these summit craters were frequently accompanied by strong SO2 emissions that drifted in different directions as discrete plumes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 289. Photo of Strombolian activity and crater incandescence in the Voragine Crater at Etna on 15 November 2019. Photo by B. Behncke, taken by Tremestieri Etneo. Courtesy of INGV (Report 47/2019, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 11/11/2019 - 17/11/2019, data emissione 19/11/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 290. Webcam images of summit crater activity during 26-29 November and 1 December 2019 at Etna. a) image recorded by the high-resolution camera on Montagnola (EMOV); b) and c) webcam images taken from Tremestieri Etneo on the southern slope of Etna showing summit incandescence; d) image recorded by the thermal camera on Montagnola (EMOT) showing summit incandescence at the NSEC. Courtesy of INGV (Report 49/2019, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 25/11/2019 - 01/12/2019, data emissione 03/12/2019).

Frequent Strombolian explosions continued through December 2019 within the VOR-BN, NEC, and NSEC Craters with sporadic ash emissions observed in the VOR-BN and NEC. On 6 December, Strombolian explosions increased in the NSEC; webcam images showed incandescent pyroclastic material ejected above the crater rim. On the morning of 6 December a lava flow was observed from the base of the scoria cone in the VOR Crater that traveled toward the adjacent Bocca Nuova Crater. INGV reported that a new vent opened on the side of the saddle cone (NSEC) on 11 December and produced explosions until 14 December.

Activity during January-March 2020. On 9 January 2020 an aerial flight organized by RAI Linea Bianca and the state police showed the VOR Crater continuing to produce lava that was flowing over the crater rim into the BN Crater with some explosive activity in the scoria cone. Explosive Strombolian activity produced strong and distinct SO2 plumes (figure 291) and ash emissions through March, according to the weekly INGV reports, VONA notices, and satellite imagery. Several ash emissions during 21-22 January rose from the vent that opened on 11 December. According to INGV’s weekly bulletin for 21-26 January, the scoria cone in the VOR crater produced Strombolian explosions that increased in frequency and contributed to rapid cone growth, particularly the N part of the cone. Lava traveled down the S flank of the cone and into the adjacent Bocca Nuova Crater, filling the E crater (BN-2) (figure 292). The NEC had discontinuous Strombolian activity and periodic, diffuse ash emissions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 291. Distinct SO2 plumes drifting in multiple directions from Etna were visible in satellite imagery as Strombolian activity continued through March 2020. Top left: 21 January 2020. Top right: 2 February 2020. Bottom left: 10 March 2020. Bottom right: 19 March 2020. Captured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel 5P satellite, courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 292. a) A map of the lava field at Etna showing cooled flows (yellow) and active flows (red). The base of the scoria cone is outlined in black while the crater rim is outlined in red. b) Thermal image of the Bocca Nuova and Voragine Craters. The bright orange is the warmest temperature measure in the flow. Courtesy of INGV, photos by Laboratorio di Cartografia FlyeEye Team (Report 10/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 24/02/2020 - 01/03/2020, data emissione 03/03/2020).

Strombolian explosions continued into February 2020, accompanied by ash emissions and lava flows from the previous months (figure 293). During 17-23 February, INGV reported that some subsidence was observed in the central portion of the Bocca Nuova Crater. During 24 February to 1 March, the Strombolian explosions ejected lava from the VOR Crater up to 150-200 m above the vent as bombs fell on the W edge of the VOR crater rim (figure 294). Lava flows continued to move into the W part of the Bocca Nuova Crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 293. Webcam images of A) Strombolian activity and B) effusive activity fed by the scoria cone grown inside the VOR Crater at Etna taken on 1 February 2020. C) Thermal image of the lava field produced by the VOR Crater taken by L. Lodato on 3 February (bottom left). Image of BN-1 taken by F. Ciancitto on 3 February in the summit area (bottom right). Courtesy of INGV; Report 06/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 27/01/2020 - 02/02/2020, data emissione 04/02/2020 (top) and Report 07/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 03/02/2020 - 09/02/2020, data emissione 11/02/2020 (bottom).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 294. Photos of the VOR intra-crater scoria cone at Etna: a) Strombolian activity resumed on 25 February 2020 from the SW edge of BN taken by B. Behncke; b) weak Strombolian activity from the vent at the base N of the cone on 29 February 2020 from the W edge of VOR taken by V. Greco; c) old vent present at the base N of the cone, taken on 17 February 2020 from the E edge of VOR taken by B. Behncke; d) view of the flank of the cone, taken on 24 February 2020 from the W edge of VOR taken by F. Ciancitto. Courtesy of INGV (Report 10/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 24/02/2020 - 01/03/2020, data emissione 03/03/2020).

During 9-15 March 2020 Strombolian activity was detected in the VOR Crater while discontinuous ash emissions rose from the NEC and NSEC. Bombs were found in the N saddle between the VOR and NSEC craters. On 9 March, a small scoria cone that had formed in the Bocca Nuova Crater and was ejecting bombs and lava tens of meters above the S crater rim. The lava flow from the VOR Crater was no longer advancing. A third scoria cone had formed on 13 March NE in the main VOR-BN complex due to the Strombolian explosions on 29 February. Another lava flow formed on 13 March, accompanied by an increase in seismicity. The weekly report for 16-22 March reported Strombolian activity detected in the VOR Crater and gas-and-steam and rare ash emissions observed in the NEC and NSEC (figure 295). Explosions in the Bocca Nuova Crater ejected spatter and bombs 100 m high.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 295. Map of the summit crater area of Etna showing the active vents and lava flows during 16-22 March 2020. Black hatch marks indicate the crater rims: BN = Bocca Nuova, with NW BN-1 and SE BN-2; VOR = Voragine; NEC = North East Crater; SEC = South East Crater; NSEC = New South East Crater. Red circles indicate areas with ash emissions and/or Strombolian activity, yellow circles indicate steam and/or gas emissions only. The base is modified from a 2014 DEM created by Laboratorio di Aerogeofisica-Sezione Roma 2. Courtesy of INGV (Report 13/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 16/03/2020 - 22/03/2020, data emissione 24/03/2020).

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

Information Contacts: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/it/); Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Météo-France, 42 Avenue Gaspard Coriolis, F-31057 Toulouse cedex, France (URL: http://www.meteo.fr/aeroweb/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/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Boris Behncke, Sonia Calvari, and Marco Neri, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: https://twitter.com/etnaboris, Image at https://twitter.com/etnaboris/status/1183640328760414209/photo/1).


Merapi (Indonesia) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions produced ash plumes, ashfall, and pyroclastic flows during October 2019-March 2020

Merapi is a highly active stratovolcano located in Indonesia, just north of the city of Yogyakarta. The current eruption episode began in May 2018 and was characterized by phreatic explosions, ash plumes, block avalanches, and a newly active lava dome at the summit. This reporting period updates information from October 2019-March 2020 that includes explosions, pyroclastic flows, ash plumes, and ashfall. The primary reporting source of activity comes from Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG, the Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology, a branch of PVMBG) and Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM).

Some ongoing lava dome growth continued in October 2019 in the NE-SW direction measuring 100 m in length, 30 m in width, and 20 m in depth. Gas-and-steam emissions were frequent, reaching a maximum height of 700 m above the crater on 31 October. An explosion at 1631 on 14 October removed the NE-SW trending section of the lava dome and produced an ash plume that rose 3 km above the crater and extended SW for about 2 km (figures 90 and 91). The plume resulted in ashfall as far as 25 km to the SW. According to a Darwin VAAC notice, a thermal hotspot was detected in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery. A pyroclastic flow associated with the eruption traveled down the SW flank in the Gendol drainage. During 14-20 October lava flows from the crater generated block-and-ash flows that traveled 1 km SW, according to BPPTKG.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. An ash plume rising 3 km above Merapi on 14 October 2019.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. Webcam image of an ash plume rising above Merapi at 1733 on 14 October 2019. Courtesy of BPPTKG via Jaime S. Sincioco.

At 0621 on 9 November 2019, an eruption produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater and drifted W. Ashfall was observed in the W region as far as 15 km from the summit in Wonolelo and Sawangan in Magelang Regency, as well as Tlogolele and Selo in Boyolali Regency. An associated pyroclastic flow traveled 2 km down the Gendol drainage on the SE flank. On 12 November aerial drone photographs were used to measure the volume of the lava dome, which was 407,000 m3. On 17 November, an eruption produced an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater, resulting in ashfall as far as 15 km W from the summit in the Dukun District, Magelang Regency (figure 92). A pyroclastic flow accompanying the eruption traveled 1 km down the SE flank in the Gendol drainage. By 30 November low-frequency earthquakes and CO2 gas emissions had increased.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. An ash plume rising 1 km above Merapi on 17 November 2019. Courtesy of BPPTKG.

Volcanism was relatively low from 18 November 2019 through 12 February 2020, characterized primarily by gas-and-steam emissions and intermittent volcanic earthquakes. On 4 January a pyroclastic flow was recorded by the seismic network at 2036, but it wasn’t observed due to weather conditions. On 13 February an explosion was detected at 0516, which ejected incandescent material within a 1-km radius from the summit (figure 93). Ash plumes rose 2 km above the crater and drifted NW, resulting in ashfall within 10 km, primarily S of the summit; lightning was also seen in the plume. Ash was observed in Hargobinangun, Glagaharjo, and Kepuharjo. On 19 February aerial drone photographs were used to measure the change in the lava dome after the eruption; the volume of the lava had decreased, measuring 291,000 m3.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 93. Webcam image of an ash plume rising from Merapi at 0516 on 13 February 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia and PVMBG.

An explosion on 3 March at 0522 produced an ash plume that rose 6 km above the crater (figure 94), resulting in ashfall within 10 km of the summit, primarily to the NE in the Musuk and Cepogo Boyolali sub-districts and Mriyan Village, Boyolali (3 km from the summit). A pyroclastic flow accompanied this eruption, traveling down the SSE flank less than 2 km. Explosions continued to be detected on 25 and 27-28 March, resulting in ash plumes. The eruption on 27 March at 0530 produced an ash plume that rose 5 km above the crater, causing ashfall as far as 20 km to the W in the Mungkid subdistrict, Magelang Regency, and Banyubiru Village, Dukun District, Magelang Regency. An associated pyroclastic flow descended the SSE flank, traveling as far as 2 km. The ash plume from the 28 March eruption rose 2 km above the crater, causing ashfall within 5 km from the summit in the Krinjing subdistrict primarily to the W (figure 94).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 94. Images of ash plumes rising from Merapi during 3 March (left) and 28 March 2020 (right). Images courtesy of BPPTKG (left) and PVMBG (right).

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 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive 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 during historical time.

Information Contacts: Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG), Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology (URL: http://merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/, Twitter: @BPPTKG); Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); 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/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/BNPB_Indonesia); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Jamie S. Sincioco, Phillipines (Twitter: @jaimessincioco, Image at https://twitter.com/jaimessincioco/status/1227966075519635456/photo/1).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 27, Number 10 (October 2002)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Bezymianny (Russia)

A one-pixel thermal anomaly on 16-17 November 2002

Etna (Italy)

A flank eruption started on 27 October; lava vented at N- and S-flank fissures

Izu-Torishima (Japan)

Mid-August 2002 plumes, larger crater, and discolored water

Lengai, Ol Doinyo (Tanzania)

Lava exits crater at 3 points during January 2001-September 2002

Nyamuragira (DR Congo)

Multi-vent eruption, 25 July-27 September 2002; regional earthquake

Nyiragongo (DR Congo)

New fissure vents and lava fountains; largest regional earthquake in 30 years

Panarea (Italy)

Increased submarine fumarolic activity near Panarea Island

Popocatepetl (Mexico)

Small explosions, earthquakes, and tremor during July-October 2002

Ruang (Indonesia)

Eruption on 25 September 2002 sends ash to at least 5 km

Veniaminof (United States)

Volcanic unrest, uncertain low-level eruptive activity in September 2002



Bezymianny (Russia) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

55.972°N, 160.595°E; summit elev. 2882 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


A one-pixel thermal anomaly on 16-17 November 2002

The last reported activity at Bezymianny included a 4-km plume and thermal anomalies visible on satellite imagery during December 2001 and January 2002 (BGVN 26:12). No further reports were issued until mid-November 2002.

On 18 November KVERT raised the Concern Color Code at Bezymianny from Green to Yellow after a 1-pixel thermal anomaly was observed on various satellite images on 16 and 17 November. The closest telemetered seismic stations, situated on Kliuchevskoi, 13.5 km from Bezymianny's lava dome, only recorded several shallow seismic events at Bezymianny: 13 in August and September, and 3 in October. High seismic activity at Kliuchevskoi made it difficult to separate Bezymianny's seismic events from Kliuchevskoi's. According to AVHRR satellite images the thermal anomaly had a temperature of 18°C in a background of -30°C.

Geologic Background. Prior to its noted 1955-56 eruption, Bezymianny had been considered extinct. The modern volcano, much smaller in size than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi, was formed about 4700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11,000-7000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955-56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large horseshoe-shaped crater that was formed by collapse of the summit and an associated lateral blast. Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.

Information Contacts: Olga Girina, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia; Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709.


Etna (Italy) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


A flank eruption started on 27 October; lava vented at N- and S-flank fissures

At 2225 on 26 October 2002 a swarm of earthquakes was recorded by the seismic network of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) in the Catania sector. Three hours after the swarm began, Etna started a new flank eruption. Until 1 November, ~500 shocks registered. The seismic swarm preceded and accompanied explosive activity in the summit area.

A survey at 0400 on 27 October found that two eruptive fissures had opened on Etna's N and S flanks; they were still propagating up- and down-slope when observed. Fire fountains escaped at both fissures.

At that time, lava flows started to pour from the lower part of the N-flank fissure, causing concern on Etna's N flank around Piano Provenzana. At the lower end of this fissure, two major flows spread NE and E. The NE flow stopped on 31 October after having traveled 2 km, behavior congruent with an observed decline in the effusion rate.

The E flow slowed down until 1 November, but it continued moving and crusting over in the middle portion of the flow field until 3 November. Scientists from INGV-CT conducted a helicopter-based aerial survey, using helicopters from the Civil Protection, and deploying a FLIR TM 695 thermal camera. Survey results showed a few sectors of solid crust and suggested the initial formation of a lava tube on this lava flow, which completely stopped on 5 November. The ski station and tourist shops on Piano Provenzana were first destroyed by the earthquakes, and then surrounded by lava flows. The flows also caused fire that engulfed parts of the pine forest. Flow mapping (shown on the INGV website) was limited by both the presence of fire around the flow fronts and ash clouds masking most of the flow field, and only the use of the FLIR TM 695 thermal camera allowed views of the active lava flows.

The N fissure opened between 2,500 and 2,350 m elevation, an area close to the fissure developed in the year 1809. The current N-flank fissure is a few kilometers long and expanded NE following the NE Rift Zone.

A lava flow from the S-flank fissure started ~12 hours after the N one. It spread SW and split in two branches around Monte Nero, following the same path as one of the 2001 lava branches. The S flows stopped on 31 October, having reached a total length of about 2 km. Fire fountains and phreatomagmatic activity decreased in intensity with time and disappeared at the N fissure, but were still continuing on the S fissure.

The S fissure, which opened at 2700 m elevation, traveled N20°W, and occurred a few hundred meters W of the 2001 S-fissure field, between Monte Frumento Supino and Cisternazza (a map appears at the INGV website, see below). Spatter falling around the S-fissure's vents formed two cinder cones at about 2,030 m elevation. Fire fountains from these vents were initially 100-300 m high, producing an ash plume and abundant ashfall on Etna's S flank. In 3 days the city of Catania received ~2.5 kg/m2 of ash due to strong winds from the N. This disrupted the local airport and caused problems with travel.

The high amount of gas released by the summit vents and at the 2,750-m cone (up to 25,000 tons/day), and the continuing explosive activity at the S vent, suggest a long duration for this eruptive event (figure 96).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. SO2 released from Etna during January 2001-1 December 2002. Courtesy INGV.

Editor's note: Summaries of Etna activity from recent issues of the Bulletin have been prepared by our staff without the benefit of crafted summaries in English. As such, the contributors found them deficient in clarity of translation. For greater clarity and more technical details consult journal publications and the INGV website.

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

Information Contacts: Sonia Calvari, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/).


Izu-Torishima (Japan) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Izu-Torishima

Japan

30.484°N, 140.303°E; summit elev. 394 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Mid-August 2002 plumes, larger crater, and discolored water

Following ship-based reports of activity at Tori-shima on 11 August 2002, scientists from the Japanese Meterological Agency overflew the area the next day when they observed and photographed ash plumes being erupted from the crater (BGVN 27:07). According to the Japan Coast Guard (via JMA), the activity continued as of 1200 on 14 August; the plume reached ~1.2-1.5 km above sea level on 13 August (figure 3), and ~900 m on 14 August. Emissions were observed from three active areas along the western inner-wall of the summit crater. The crater appeared to have widened. By 21 August, the Japan Coast Guard reported that Izu-Tori-shima no longer "smoked" and only weak steaming was seen in the southern portion of the crater. Faintly discolored sea surface was observed around the island.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Izu-Tori-Shima plume on 13 August 2002. Courtesy Air Force Weather Agency.

Geologic Background. The circular, 2.7-km-wide island of Izu-Torishima in the southern Izu Islands is capped by an unvegetated summit cone formed during an eruption in 1939. Fresh lava flows from this eruption form part of the northern coastline of the basaltic-to-dacitic edifice. The volcano is referred to as Izu-Torishima to distinguish it from the several other Japanese island volcanoes called Torishima ("Bird Island"). The main cone is truncated by a 1.5-km-wide caldera that contains two central cones, of which 394-m-high Ioyama is the highest. Historical eruptions have also occurred from flank vents near the north coast and offshore submarine vents. A 6-8 km wide submarine caldera lies immediately to the north.

Information Contacts: Tomonori Kannno and Hitoshi Yamasato, Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), Volcanological Division, 1-3-4 Ote-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/); Volcano Research Center (VRC), Earthquake Research Institute (ERI), University of Tokyo (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); U.S. Air Force Weather Agency, Offutt AFB, NE 68113-4039, USA.


Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Ol Doinyo Lengai

Tanzania

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava exits crater at 3 points during January 2001-September 2002

In 2001-2002 the crater at Ol Doinyo Lengai has become filled with lava. The thin lava flows (nearly devoid of silica and extremely low viscosity) have begun to regularly spill over three points on the crater rim, descending hundreds of meters downslope. The crater, whose high ground was once considered suitable for camping, is no longer free from sudden inundation by lava. Activity through December 2000 was reported in BGVN 25:12.

This report chronicles many visits to the volcano between January 2001 and September 2002. Fred Belton compiled reports of multiple field parties during July 2001 and May-September 2002. Other visitors are noted in the text. Jörg Keller and Aoife McGrath contributed some observations, photos, a reference, and lab data on whole-rock chemistry.

Observations during January 2001. Paul Hloben contributed the following report. "We visited Lengai 15-17 January 2001. The place was very wet, and most of the soda coating the crater floor and cones had washed away or was in solution within the crater floor and cones. The entire crater was sandy brown and muddy (except recent lava flows, which were brown or gray and rock-hard). Older cones were just soil-brown in color, like gigantic termite mounds. [In contrast, in dry conditions, older lavas generally look white in color.] At that time only two cones were active . . . one nearest the camp site located at the path leading down the volcano."

"The [T51] cone was too high for lava flows (to escape) or for viewing what was happening inside, but we heard continuous blows every 10-20 seconds. Further on (towards the crater's center) there resided twin partially collapsed cones [newly developed features between T49 and T48, figure 71]. They harbored two active ponds (the lava level was ~1.5 m below the collapsed crust at the adjacent point of access and overview). The ponds were interconnected, with lava and gas surges occurring approximately every 20-30 seconds independently in each pond. The smaller pond (on the N) was ~1-2 m in diameter. The larger pond was about 4-5 m in diameter, but not easy to see due to heat blows that forced us to retreat; we could observe it best during the night as it was glowing."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. A sketch map of the crater at Ol Doinyo Lengai reflecting conditions seen up to 9 August 2002. In the rapidly changing landscape of the crater, some of the features may have been short-lived; some labeled features may not have existed at the same times. The lava ponds seen by Hloben in January 2001 are not shown, although some of their locations may coincide with later features. The inset shows lava flows active during 4-9 August 2002 (areas with a vertical striped pattern in the crater's W and central sectors). Chris Weber provided the base map; Fred Belton compiled field observations by multiple workers and made revisions on this base map.

Comparison of field maps indicates that the larger of the two adjacent ponds stood in an area later identified as T55 (figure 71). Apparently fresh flows had recently cooled and stopped. They crossed the outflow on the NW crater rim and descended hundreds of meters down the flanks.

Observations during June 2001. Bob Carson and a group of 18 from Whitman College used the guide services of Burra Ami Gadiye to access the summit on 28 June. Carson's report follows. "We climbed on 28 June 2001 and spent from about 0800 to 1245 in the active southern crater. The crater floor was covered with about twenty steep-sided spatter cones and countless pahoehoe flows (some of the longer flows are aa-like near their toes). Radial cracks on the young surface of the crater floor penetrate the older rocks of the crater rim.

"Spatter cone T40B had been active on 27 June, sending ~10-cm-thick pahoehoe flows ~10 m from the vent; access to moisture was turning the edges of the still-warm black natrocarbonatite flows white. Later a slightly explosive eruption spewed tiny glassy spheres of tephra (1-2 mm in diameter) onto the surface of the 27 June pahoehoe flows. Spatter cone T40B sounded like a steam engine for the entire time we were near the volcano's summit. From about 1130 to 1200 on 28 June this cone erupted spatter, throwing blobs of tar-looking lava about 2 m into the air; the blobs landed on the side of the spatter cone making lava stalactites and short pahoehoe flows so that the cone looked like a giant sand castle."

Observations during July 2001. A visit by Fred Belton, Roberto Carniel, Marco Fulle, Andrew Locock, and four others during 23-30 July 2001 revealed that most of the previous year's morphologic changes occurred in the NW third of the crater. For example, T51 was 12 m tall, twice the previous year's height. T51B represented a new spatter cone just SE of T51, that contained a low rim overhanging a pit crater. Another new cone (T53) stood ~40 m NW of T40, but was inactive. Comprising a ~4 m tall rounded cone, T53 contained a hooded cave feeding a solidified open lava lake and lava channels that had flowed N. T40 had grown several meters toward the W. T40C, also new, was a white-to-gray 5-m-tall cone just SW of T40. T49B was white with a rounded summit, standing ~6 m tall. T49C was a broad cone of about the same height; it was first noted by C. Weber in October 2000. The new feature T49D was slightly lower than T49B and had vertical sides ringed with shallow grooves. T49E, probably the newest vent, formed an oval, 15 x 6 m low-rimmed crater just below the N flank of T49C.

On 23 July, T49E contained a frothy lava lake that drained N through a lava channel and frequently overflowed its E rim. By 0630 on 24 July the lava lake's surface had completely crusted over. During the day T49E inflated as lava entered and pushed up its solid surface. Early on 25 July the lake's solid surface had been lifted nearly 1 m above its position of the previous evening. It made continuous cracking and popping noises, and small rocks fell from its rim as it became increasingly engorged with lava. Cracks abruptly opened in its NW side and released copious flows of fluid lava. The filling/draining cycle was repeated twice more that day and several times on 26 July. The most interesting event occurred at 1710 on 25 July when a 3 m section of T49E's side collapsed, releasing a sudden flood of fluid lava that swept large blocks up to 9 m from their original positions (figure 72).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. On 25 July 2001 Lengai's ~ 2-m tall, spatter cone T49E underwent a flank collapse over a ~ 3-m-wide sector. This NE-looking photo captured the scene at a late stage of the failure. Lava can be seen escaping the cone through fractures in its disintegrating wall. The entire wall collapsed outward immediately after the photo was made. The volume of material involved in the collapse (both cooled rock wall and molten lava that swept away T49E's side) was on the order of 15-25 m3. Fred Belton, who took this picture, was standing on T49C. Standing on the crater floor just beyond T49E is Roby Carniel, who ran to safety as the failure took place. Courtesy of F. Belton.

During 27-28 July 2001 an eruption occurred that far exceeded the volume and duration of typical lava eruptions. Estimates of lava output were 5 m3/s during the greatest outflow and no less than 1 m3/s at anytime during the first 30 hours of the eruption. At 0630 on 27 July, pencil-wide streams of light gray, comparitively transparent lava flowed from T49E. T49E's lava output increased at 1113, and T49C erupted from its summit vent. At 1430 lava from those vents reached the NW crater rim overflow. Then, T49C ceased erupting, while T49D began to emit spatter from a small hole in its N side and T49B began to overflow from its summit vent. T49B developed a large dome fountain and T49D began ejecting a narrow fan of spatter at a 30° angle.

At 1510 the previously solid surface of T49E abruptly released fountains 1-2 m high, and T49C began erupting clots of spatter every 10 seconds. Thus, four vents were erupting simultaneously. Highly fluid lava flowed in meter-wide channels toward the NW, E, and S. Lava crossed the NW crater rim overflow and cascaded hundreds of meters down the NW flank of Lengai. Lava did not cross the E rim of Lengai because it flowed into a fissure in the crater floor ~25 m NW of the E rim overflow, at a rate of ~1 m3/s. About 1 hour later a vent opened on the E flank of Lengai ~12 m below the rim overflow area and released torrents of lava that flowed far down the flank and started brush fires. Destruction of a seismic station (established 4 m E of the fissure by Joshua Jones, Univ. of Washington) was narrowly averted thanks to the fissure's absorption of the lava flow and Carniel and Locock moving the equipment to a more secure location on the crater rim.

After sunset, spectacular orange fountains played steadily from T49B and T49D. Jets of incandescent gas appeared as flames 1-2 m high above the vent of T49C. By 0600 on 28 July the lava fountain from T49B was diminished but T49D continued to feed a large lava channel toward the E. Width of the channel exceeded 1 m, and depth of the fluid lava within it varied in the range 0.5-1 m. During all of 28 July lava flowed hundreds of meters down a gully on Lengai's E flank after emerging from the channel and the crater-floor fissure, both of which had been enlarged by thermal erosion. During the afternoon, the vigor of T49D's activity gradually diminished and its lava became increasingly frothy. Early on 29 July the eruption ceased and there was no further activity before observers left at 0715 on 30 July. J. Jones revisited the crater on 31 July and 6 August 2001 but saw no activity or fresh lava flows.

Observations during February-September 2002. During 3-7 February 2002, several members of the Societe de Volcanologie Geneve observed lava flows and strong fountains from the T49 complex and reported a new overflow of lava on the W crater rim (Bessard, 2002).

Aoife McGrath climbed the volcano on 26 May 2002 and reported continual small-scale eruptions at T49B. A new spatter cone had formed ~30 m SW of T49B and, according to mountain guide Burra Ami Gadiye, was about 4 months old.

During 18-22 June 2002, Christoph Weber, Jurgis Klaudius, and a film team observed the crater (figures 73 and 74). Fresh lava had flowed 120 m W from T49B and several recent 20-80 m flows originated from T46. Fresh lava was also seen on T37B, and fresh lapilli covered T48, a feature that was audibly active at depth. A new vent, designated T54, was visible between T46 and the W-rim overflow. It was an open solidified lava pond with a 40 m overflow to the W, which covered flows that had passed over the W rim in February 2002. Since August 2001, the diameter of the T49 complex had greatly increased, and there were more and hotter (>125°C) fumaroles in the crater. During this visit, spatter cones T49D, T51B, and T52C were no longer visible.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. N-looking view labeling key features in the central-western crater of Ol Doinyo Lengai, as photographed on an 18-22 June 2002 crater visit. Courtesy of Chris Weber and Jurgis Klaudius.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. View of Ol Doinyo Lengai's entire crater as seen from the summit region (looking N) during 18-22 June 2002. Courtesy of Chris Weber and Jurgis Klaudius.

During a five-hour period on 18 June lava spattered up to 3 m above the top of T49B (figure 75) and produced a 50-m lava flow to the NE. On 19 June spattering from T49B occurred several times until 1615, after which no further activity was seen through 22 June. On 22 June the team witnessed a ~10 m3 section of the crater wall in an area below the summit collapse into the crater. On each day there were 2-3 discrete tremors of about 1-cm amplitude, accompanied by gunshot sounds. They were distinctly different events from the continuous tremors caused by subsurface lava movement.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. A lone photographer with a tripod photographs Ol Doinyo Lengai's vent T49B as it emits spatter in June 2002. The zone of airborne spatter is not visible on the photograph. A fresh lava flows passes close to the photograher. Courtesy of Christoph Weber.

During the first half of July 2002 Jörg Keller was working near Lengai. He noted that until his departure on 14 July, a number of visitors returning from the summit reported either no activity or slight spattering from two cones.

During 4-9 August 2002, Fred Belton, Sven Dahlgren, Jeff Brown, and seven others observed four new spatter cones that had formed between 22 June and 4 August. One of these new cones was T55. Inactive when visited, T55 formed a white cone under 2 m tall containing a wide crater. T56, black and active, was ~7 m tall including a distinctive thin spire rising ~2 m above the summit. T57, ~4 m tall, was partly black but inactive. T57B stood ~7 m tall and was covered by fresh black lava. T54, documented by Weber on 21 June, had disappeared. Older cones such as T37B, T49B, and T49C had grown significantly since 2001 and towered above the N half of the crater rim.

Throughout the visit, T57B ejected clots of lava, expelled loud gas puffs, and produced thick clinkery aa flows. T56 spattered intermittently, T48 erupted pahoehoe lava from vents near its NW base, and T44 and T46 also produced spatter and a few short flows.

At around noon on 4 August a new vent, T49F, abruptly opened in rough, steaming ground near the W base of T49B. The eruption began with noisy ejection of spherical lapilli to a height of ~7 m and fluid lava to a height of 1 m. Throughout the day, the vent erupted at intervals of 1-2 hours, ejecting clouds of lapilli and forming aa lava flows that moved slowly W and NW to the crater rim area. Around 0200 on 5 August T49F eruptions dramatically increased in height and volume. Fountains played to at least 15 m and produced a flood of fluid pahoehoe that flowed W with great speed, destroying a supply camp. Similar eruptions continued for the next 28 hours, at first about two hours apart with gradually lengthening periods of repose between eruptions.

A typical T49F eruption consisted of lava first flowing or spattering from the low, open vent, then the abrupt onset of violent fountains that played for 2-4 minutes to a height of 10-15 m at a ~60° angle toward the W, and finally a decrease in fountain height and the draining of lava back into the vent. The final draining accompanied loud noises that to J. Brown sounded like "sheet metal being bent." By the afternoon of 5 August the site of the supply camp was under at least 1 m of thick pahoehoe slabs. The area just W of the vent was more than ankle deep in 2-8-mm-diameter spherical lapilli. Three vigorous fountaining episodes at T49F the night of 5 August started brush fires along the W crater rim. After dawn on 6 August, T49F's activity gradually waned, completely stopping by evening.

On 7 and 8 August T49F was completely inactive, thin pahoehoe lava flowed from T48, and T57B produced meter-thick clinkery aa flows. In the central crater there was an exceptionally strong smell of sulfur that at times made breathing uncomfortable, continuous low-pitched audible vibrations, and frequent hard bumps and tremors underfoot, especially near T57B and T56.

At about 2300 on 8 August a fissure ~12 m in length opened between T52B and T56 and began erupting a curtain of fire 6-8 m high with nearly continuous violent explosions. After midnight observers began to see an elongated spatter cone containing an extremely vigorous lava lake, whose surface rose ~0.3 m/hour. The new cone (T58) gradually merged with the flanks of T52B and T56. By 0830, T58 was over 2 m tall and its lava lake measured ~5 x 9 m. Lava bubbles over 2 m in diameter burst every 1-3 seconds and the activity showed no sign of abating when observers left at 0830 on 9 August. A photo from 17 August by Jean Bahr documented that T58 had grown to ~10 m in height and had a wide circular summit vent.

On 26 September 2002, Celia Nyamweru and twenty St. Lawrence University students visited the crater during 0630-0830. Lava spattered from T55 at 10-20 second intervals. Highly fluid pahoehoe lava emerged from the lower N slope of T49 and moved across other recent flows, probably from the previous night, which had passed between T40 and T40C and partially surrounded T53. Lava had accumulated against the N wall of the crater rim (then only 5 m high) and was heard flowing into a crack in the wall. The visitors could not see where the lava was going, but the next morning (27 September) as they were leaving the area by road a grass fire (started by lava?) was visible on the cone's upper NW slope. A local Maasai woman said that she had heard a loud noise from the volcano in the night. However, no activity was visible from the lowland N of Lengai.

Nyamweru's team observed one big crack, with steam, sulfur fumes, and black and yellow staining, running NW across the NW crater floor near T53. Other cracks on the NE floor were up to 30 or 40 cm wide and ran into cracks in the crater wall that were not steaming. The cones T26, T27, and T30 were still visible at the base of the S crater wall, surrounded by younger but deeply weathered lavas. The rim of T30 was less than 3 m above the lava surface, but its circular pit was still very well defined. In the NE segment of the crater floor a big blocky flow, brown and crumbly, bordered the NE wall for a considerable distance. It may have originated from T57 or T57B. Many cones from all parts of the crater were gently emitting steam, including T51, T45, T37, T30, and T47. The SE crater floor was very heavily weathered, with no sign of any fresh lava. There were a couple of patches of ground (each a shallow depression about 50 m2) that seemed to be the sites of former standing water. The depressions were floored with very fine pale brown clay/mud, which showed some fine layers and some areas with polygonal cracks. This seemed to be 'sediment' washed off the weathered lava by rain.

The most striking features of the topography were the extent to which the central crater floor has been built up. Except for the big wall to the S that rises to the summit, the topographic expression of the outer crater wall has diminished considerably (table 3). This impression was reinforced on 27 September when at a point about 10 km E of Lengai, they could look back and see the tops of several spatter cones showing above the eastern crater wall.

Table 3. Lava escaped Ol Doinyo Lengai's summit crater at three spots on the rim descending over the NW, E, and W sides. Visitors to the summit recorded these widths at each of the crater outlets. Courtesy of C. Nyamweru and F. Belton.

Date Location Overflow width (m)
30 Jul 2001 NW rim 106
30 Jul 2001 E rim 33
26 Sep 2002 NW rim 135
26 Sep 2002 E rim 39
26 Sep 2002 W rim 12

Jörg Keller provided photographs showing the evolution of the crater from 1988 through the present, emphasizing the progressive upward growth of the crater floor (figure 76). The sequence shows how the volcano has reached a critical stage where extremely fluid lavas can pour down the flanks.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 76. A suite of photographs showing Lengai's crater evolution, 1988-2002. The photographs were taken from the same position with respect to the summit (looking toward the N). Courtesy Jörg Keller and Jurgis Klaudius.

Whole-rock chemistry. Lengai's lavas have been analyzed by several techniques. High-precision XRF (x-ray fluorescence) analyses (table 4) were cross-checked and confirmed with ICP and ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer) instruments. The geochemistry of these lavas are of interest because of their unusual low-silica natrocarbonatite compositions.

Table 4. Natrocarbonatite compositions at Ol Doinyo Lengai for lavas erupted in 1988, 1995, and 2000. Analyses were by XRF. * From Keller and Krafft, 1990. Courtesy of Jürg Keller and Aoife McGrath.

Sample OL 102* OL 122 OL 148
Eruption Date 1988 1995 2000
SiO2 0.16 0.53 0.24
TiO2 0.02 0.02 0.02
Al2O3 b.d. 0.13 0.01
Fe2O3t 0.28 0.91 0.37
MnO 0.38 0.39 0.46
MgO 0.38 0.39 0.46
CaO 14.02 16.25 14.61
SrO 1.42 1.4 1.42
BaO 1.6 1.25 1.71
Na2O 32.22 32.22 32.64
K2O 8.38 7.52 8.41
P2O5 0.85 0.93 0.72
CO2 31.55 32.7 30.9
Cl 3.4 3.16 4.53
SO3 3.72 2.23 2.35
F 2.5 2.57 3.47
H2O 0.56 0.01 0.01
- O = F, Cl -1.82 -1.91 -2.48
Total 99.62 100.7 99.85

Safety warnings. Deep radial cracks in the crater floor present a serious risk to visitors walking in the crater of Ol Doinyo Lengai, especially at night. Some of the cracks may be hidden by thin lava flows. Protective eyeglasses should be worn near any type of activity. In 2001 an observer without glasses was hit in one eye by spatter and escaped serious injury because his eye was closed at the moment of impact. He sustained second-degree burns on both eyelids.

Camping inside the active N crater has become much more dangerous due to increased crater floor steepness that allows lava from the central spatter cones to reach the crater rim very quickly. Around 0200 on 5 August 2002, fluid pahoehoe lava from the T49F vent destroyed a supply camp and injured Paul Mongi, a Tanzanian guide. One of Belton's websites gives credit to guides like Mongi, who have aided numerous visitors. (Mongi has recovered from second-degree burns on one foot, sustained when lava ignited his sleeping bag.) Lava invaded the camp in spite of a small ridge separating the camp from the crater floor. No location in the active crater is safe from lava flows. Sudden outbreaks of explosive lava fountains are also a serious risk. On 8 August 2002 two observers walked across the site of the T58 fissure eruption little more than an hour before the activity began. Contributors recommended that camps be set up in the inactive S crater, a 15 minute walk away.

References. Keller, J., and Krafft, M., 1990, Effusive natrocarbonatite activity of Oldoinyo Lengai, June 1988, Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 52, no. 8, p. 629-645.

Bessard, Yves, 2002, Ol Doinyo Lengai: Société de Volcanologie-Geneve (SVG), no. 22 (April 2002), p. 2-10 (URL: http://www.volcans.ch/).

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

Information Contacts: Fred Belton, Developmental Studies, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA (URL: http://oldoinyolengai.pbworks.com/); Paul Hloben, P.O. Box 71860, Bryanston 2021, South Africa; Bob Carson, Department of Geology, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA 99362, USA; Burra Ami Gadiye, c/o Sengo Safari Tours, P.O. Box 207, Arusha, Tanzania, Africa; Roberto Carniel, Dip. Georisorse e Territorio, Universita' di Udine Via Cotonificio, 114-33100 Udine, Italy (URL: http://www.swisseduc.ch/stromboli/); Sven Dahlgren, Fylkeshuset, Svend Foynsgt 9, 3126 Tonsberg, Norway; Marco Fulle, Osservatorio Astronomico, Via Tiepolo 11, I-34131 Trieste, Italy (URL: http://www.swisseduc.ch/stromboli/); Jörg Keller, Universitaet Freiburg, Albertstr. 23b, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany; Aoife McGrath, Senior Exploration Geologist, Geita Gold Mine, P.O. Box 532, Geita, Mwanza, Tanzania; Jurgis Klaudius, Institut für Mineralogie, Petrologie und Geochemie, Albertstr. 23 B, 79104 Freiburg, Germany; Andrew Locock, Dept. of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA; Celia Nyamweru, Dept. of Anthropology, St. Lawerence University, Canton, NY 13617, USA (URL: http://blogs.stlawu.edu/lengai/); Joshua Jones, Department of Earth & Space Sciences, Box 351310, Seattle, WA 98195-1310, USA; Jean M. Bahr, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, 411 Weeks Hall, 1215 W Dayton St. Madison, WI 53706, USA (URL: http://geoscience.wisc.edu/geoscience/people/faculty/jean-bahr/); Christoph Weber, Volcano Expeditions International, Muehlweg 11, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany (URL: http://www.Vulkanexpeditionen.de/).


Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Multi-vent eruption, 25 July-27 September 2002; regional earthquake

An eruption began at Nyamuragira on 25 July 2002 (BGVN 27:07). Flights on 1 and 3 August confirmed that the eruption was continuing at a high rate, but another look on 27 September showed that the eruption had ceased. An unusually large earthquake (Mw 6.1-6.2) and its aftershock (Mw 5.5) struck the region on 24 October 2002.

During 6-8 August a team composed of scientists from the Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) (Kaseraka Mahinda and François Lukaya) and a UN-OCHA consultant volcanologist (Jacques Durieux) made a survey trip to the active eruption site of Nyamuragira. The team landed by helicopter in the summit caldera, reached the eruption site by foot, and spent 24 hours on the scene.

The team saw the eruption at 0330 on 25 July with lava venting at 3 different fractures, or fracture systems. One fracture was open in the central caldera, and lava flows had covered a major part of the floor and partially filled the pit crater (Crater B). Another fracture was active on the S flank, with lava fountains and one lava flow traveling towards the SW. This fracture was active during the first hours of the eruption only.

N-flank fractures had opened and extended for ~2 km, reaching from the crater rim (2,959 m) down to an elevation of ~2,540 m. At the beginning of the activity, lava fountains appeared along the fractures and spatter accumulated around them. Numerous lava flows (pahoehoe and aa) were emitted from several points of the fracture system. Both the fountaining and the presence of multiple fissure vents followed Nyamuragira's usual eruptive pattern.

On 6 August only the lower part of the fracture was active; a cone (several hundreds meters long, ~70 m high) contained three very active lava fountains ejecting scoria to an altitude of ~100 m. From a breach in the lowest part of the cone (on the S), very fast moving lava flowed NE. At that time the lava extrusion rate was ~3 x 106 m3 per day, a typical value at this volcano. The activity of fountaining and lava emission regained some intensity at the beginning of the night but dropped dramatically during the early morning of 7 August. At that time, only one weak lava fountain remained active in the new crater. Decreasing tremor registered across GVO's seismic network, and low tremor prevailed on the morning of 8 August.

An overflight on 27 September confirmed the end of this eruptive episode when observers failed to see any still-active lava flow and the eruptive cones displayed only fumaroles. At that time, however, weak tremor still consistently registered, with slightly less at Nyamuragira (Katale station) than at Nyiragongo (Rusayo station). Nyamuragira also was the scene of a greater number of high frequency (HF) and long-period (LP) earthquakes.

A large tectonic earthquake (Mw 6.1-6.2; mb 5.8; Ms 6.3), one of the two largest in at least 30 years, occurred on 24 October. A second large-magnitude event (Mw 5.5) occurred about an hour later. For further details on these events, see the text and tables in the section "Regional seismicity" within the report on Nyiragongo in this Bulletin.

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: Kasereka Mahinda and François Lukaya, Goma Volcano Observatory, Departement de Geophysique, Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Lwiro, D.S. Bukavu, DR Congo; Jacques Durieux, Resident Volcanologist, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations, New York, NY 10017 USA (URL: https://reliefweb.int/).


Nyiragongo (DR Congo) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New fissure vents and lava fountains; largest regional earthquake in 30 years

An expedition visited the summit of Nyiragongo during 17-18 May 2002 to look for possible extrusive activity (BGVN 27:05). During the visit, a small lava fountain was observed on the floor of the crater.

A team ascended to the summit by foot during 16-17 July 2002. As they climbed the team first observed a gray-black plume at 2,700 m elevation, and began to clearly smell SO2 at 3,100 m. From the crater rim (3,425 m) the inner crater was only partially visible because of dense fog and the dark plume. Sounds of molten lava (fountains and spatters) falling on rocks were heard. Despite the extremely poor visibility, it was possible, around 0600, to witness some lava fountaining. The height was estimated as 100 m above the crater floor. During the night, a continuous and strong ashfall affected the upper part of the volcano. On the morning of 17 July the ashfall had ended and only a white plume exited the crater. It was clear that the lower and central part of the crater was extremely active and the presence of a new lava lake was suspected.

On 20 July, the Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) reported that during the previous weeks, episodes of tremor (some lasting for 23 hours per day) were recorded on several seismic stations around the volcano. Because of poor atmospheric conditions, no helicopter flights were organized. From very limited views through clouds, a white to gray plume was suspected to rise above the crater.

A series of Nyiragongo crater observations were made in September and October of 2002. During 29-30 September the level of the bottom of the crater was stable and occupied by accumulated debris. The crater also contained several vents, the largest of which continued to eject gases at very high pressure. The red coloration of the plume at night was attributed by the GVO to Strombolian explosions and combustion of gases. Burned plants were seen on the crater's E side. An 8 October flight found the crater to be entirely filled by visible vapor as a result of magma degassing. An 11 October flight revealed a new crack at the top of Nyiragongo (at 01°36.840' S and 029°14.505' E), trending in an E-W direction. Scientists conducted gas measurements on 12 October on the ground at Kibunga (Binza); the sampled gases lacked indications of deep origin.

Dario Tedesco indicated that during the two nights preceding a large earthquake on 24 October (see "Regional seismicity" below), incandescence was visible above Nyiragongo's crater from Goma. Witnesses also reported that around this time they saw projections of incandescent lava rising above the crater's confines (perhaps signifying a particularly intense episode of lava fountaining).

Regional seismicity. During 29 September-5 October, GVO noted a slight decrease in high-frequency (HF) and a strong increase in long-period (LP) seismicity compared to mid-August. Specifically, a total of 260 HF and 1,024 LP earthquakes occurred during the week (compared to 290 HF and 287 LP events during 18-24 August). Volcanic tremor was registered at all seismic stations (except in Lwiro), consistent with the eruption at Nyamuragira and a gas plume at Nyiragongo. The tremor was slightly less significant at Nyamuragira (Katale station) than at Nyiragongo (Rusayo station). The spatial distribution of the epicenters revealed that the LP earthquakes were mostly located in the vicinity of Nyamuragira. In contrast, HF epicenters were dispersed, occurring both in the N, at Virunga and Masisi, and in the S, at Lake Kivu. Located magmatic and HF earthquakes tended to be distributed to the E of Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo, at depths of 5-15 km. Tremor, practically constant in amplitude, duration (several hours per day), and temporal distribution, registered at Katale and Rusayo stations. The tremor was taken to indicate great activity at Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo. At each volcano, there was a negative correlation between the abundance of tremor and presence of LP swarms.

During 6-12 October, GVO noted a total of 342 HF and 996 LP earthquakes. Magmatic and HF earthquakes at Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo yielded hypocenters at 5-20 km depths. Other observations of seismicity were similar to the previous week.

A tectonic earthquake was felt in Goma and surrounding areas on 8 October 2002. The region had been the scene of an unusual number of recent earthquakes (table 4). The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) catalog for 2002 included an anomalously large swarm of tectonic earthquakes in the area, including many events over M 4 during January 2002. Epicenters in the January swarm were commonly within 50 km, and in one case 6 km, of Nyiragongo. The 8 October earthquake mentioned above is absent from table 4, perhaps because of insufficient magnitude or depth.

Table 4. A list containing all earthquakes of M 2 or greater within 200 km of Nyiragongo during 1 January 2002-26 November 2002. Data courtesy of US Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) catalog of historical and preliminary data; Bruce Presgrave (NEIC) first noted the anomalously large number of earthquakes in January 2002. Magnitudes include mb, Ms, Mw, and Mn; all are computed magnitudes (where available). Moment magnitude (Mw) is a preferred magnitude scale for large earthquakes; it is in common use, computed from a long-period body- and mantle-wave moment tensor-inversion method. Surface-wave magnitude (Ms) is computed from the vertical component of surface waves of 20-second period; Ms does not increase beyond magnitude 8, and thus indicates smaller values than some other magnitude scales for large earthquakes (not a big factor here). Body-wave magnitude (mb) is computed using short-period P waves; for large natural earthquakes it is generally less uniform and reliable than the moment magnitude. The Mn magnitude, sometimes labeled MbLg, is computed from the vertical component of 1-second Lg seismic-waves (short-period surface waves).

Date Coordinates (decimal degrees) mb Ms Other magnitude Radial distance (km)
04 Jan 2002 0.136°S, 29.758°E 4.8 4.5 -- 162
17 Jan 2002 1.629°S, 29.152°E 4.3 -- 4.30 Mn 16
17 Jan 2002 1.684°S, 29.077°E 4.7 -- 4.90 Mn 26
18 Jan 2002 1.578°S, 29.031°E 4.2 -- 4.70 Mn 25
18 Jan 2002 1.780°S, 29.076°E 4.3 -- 4.70 Mn 34
18 Jan 2002 1.662°S, 28.866°E 4.2 -- -- 45
19 Jan 2002 1.761°S, 28.969°E 3.9 -- 4.40 Mn 41
19 Jan 2002 1.931°S, 29.579°E 4.6 -- 4.70 Mn 58
19 Jan 2002 1.879°S, 29.059°E 4.2 -- 4.40 Mn 44
20 Jan 2002 1.681°S, 28.981°E 4.9 4.6 5.20 Mn 34
20 Jan 2002 1.641°S, 29.042°E 3.9 -- 4.40 Mn 26
20 Jan 2002 1.599°S, 29.050°E 4.2 -- 4.60 Mn 23
20 Jan 2002 1.726°S, 29.168°E 3.8 -- 4.20 Mn 24
21 Jan 2002 1.726°S, 28.854°E 4.6 -- 4.90 Mn 49
21 Jan 2002 1.505°S, 28.941°E 4.2 -- 4.50 Mn 34
21 Jan 2002 1.776°S, 29.041°E 4.9 4.5 5.10 Mn 36
21 Jan 2002 1.903°S, 29.117°E 4.7 -- 5.10 Mn 44
22 Jan 2002 1.787°S, 28.971°E 4.0 -- 4.30 Mn 42
22 Jan 2002 1.746°S, 29.095°E 3.9 -- 4.50 Mn 30
22 Jan 2002 1.515°S, 28.993°E 4.9 4.7 5.20 Mn 28
22 Jan 2002 1.551°S, 28.995°E 4.4 -- 4.70 Mn 28
22 Jan 2002 1.461°S, 29.249°E 4.2 -- 4.60 Mn 6
30 Jan 2002 1.633°S, 28.886°E -- -- 4.60 Mn 42
11 Feb 2002 1.386°S, 29.010°E 4.4 -- -- 30
09 Sep 2002 2.567°S, 28.867°E 4.5 -- -- 123
24 Oct 2002 1.899°S, 28.904°E 5.8 6.3 6.10-6.20 Mw 56
24 Oct 2002 1.988°S, 28.875°E 5.3 5.5 5.50 Mw 66

A violent earthquake (Mw 6.1-6.2), one of the two largest in at least 30 years in this area, occurred at 0808 on 24 October (table 4). GVO reported that it was felt in surrounding areas, including Rutshuru, Goma, Bukavu, Butare, Kigali, and Bujumbura. GVO's seven operating seismic stations (Lwiro, Goma, Kunene, Katale, Kubumba, Rusayo, and Bulengo) recorded the earthquake but the high amplitude of the signals caused saturations, thwarting attempts to use local data to obtain rapid, meaningful solutions for seismic parameters. A second large-magnitude event (Mw 5.5) occurred about an hour later. Both earthquakes struck SW of Nyiragongo, at distances of 56 and 66 km (tables 4 and 5).

Table 5. A list containing earthquakes of M 5 or greater located within 300 km of Nyiragongo during 1 January 1973-26 November 2002. Earthquake depths were typically ~10-33 km. Data courtesy of US Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) catalog of historical and preliminary data. See the previous table caption for a discussion of the magnitude types.

Date Coordinates (decimal degrees) mb Ms Other magnitude Radial distance (km)
21 Nov 1973 3.607°S, 28.186°E 5.1 -- -- 258
25 Apr 1974 0.995°N, 30.091°E 5.0 -- -- 292
06 Jan 1977 2.509°S, 28.702°E 5.3 -- -- 124
14 Apr 1977 2.456°S, 28.940°E 5.2 -- -- 108
29 Dec 1977 0.013°S, 29.683°E 4.8 5.4 -- 175
29 Jan 1978 3.929°S, 29.350°E 5.3 -- -- 266
25 Oct 1979 3.412°S, 29.070°E 5.2 -- -- 209
09 Jan 1980 3.445°S, 27.442°E 5.0 4.6 -- 292
21 May 1981 2.698°S, 28.661°E 5.0 -- -- 145
20 Jul 1981 2.709°S, 28.461°E 5.0 4.0 -- 157
09 Jan 1982 1.671°S, 28.338°E 5.0 -- -- 102
03 Jul 1982 3.737°S, 28.951°E 5.2 -- -- 246
04 Jul 1982 3.778°S, 28.917°E 5.0 -- -- 251
15 Jan 1983 0.513°N, 30.199°E 5.2 4.1 -- 247
24 Sep 1983 1.563°S, 28.381°E 5.2 -- -- 96
04 Sep 1990 0.479°S, 29.085°E 5.0 5.0 -- 116
18 Sep 1990 4.060°S, 29.483°E 5.0 4.3 -- 281
05 Feb 1994 0.593°S, 30.037°E 5.8 6.0 6.20 Mw 249
29 Apr 1995 1.315°S, 28.605°E 5.1 4.9 -- 75
24 Mar 1996 0.565°N, 30.169°E 5.0 -- 5.40 Mw 251
02 Mar 2000 2.582°S, 27.826°E 5.4 4.5 -- 196
02 Mar 2000 2.371°S, 28.026°E 5.0 4.1 -- 165
29 Jun 2001 0.292°N, 29.972°E 5.0 4.4 5.30 Mw 215
20 Jan 2002 1.681°S, 28.981°E 4.9 4.6 -- 34
21 Jan 2002 1.776°S, 29.041°E 4.9 4.5 5.10 Mn 36
21 Jan 2002 1.903°S, 29.117°E 4.7 -- 5.10 Mn 44
22 Jan 2002 1.515°S, 28.993°E 4.9 4.7 5.20 Mn 28
24 Oct 2002 1.899°S, 28.904°E 5.8 6.3 6.10-6.20 Mw 56
24 Oct 2002 1.988°S, 28.875°E 5.3 5.5 5.50 Mw 66

Soon after the earthquakes, a GVO team measured the temperature and composition of gas released from fractures on the S flank of Nyiragongo and along the N shore of Lake Kivu. No significant changes were found with respect to the measurements taken in the previous days.

Damage was reported at Bukavu (fissures in house walls), Lwiro (some houses destroyed, roof of the seismic station collapsed, and walls of laboratories fissured), Mugeri (a church destroyed), Goma (several house walls fissured, and a truck accident killed two people), and Kigali (walls of several houses fissured, and a school wall collapsed, causing panic).

Since earthquakes commonly occur and are expected to occur again in the future in the active rift, GVO recommended an education campaign discussing seismic hazards and response related to Africa's Great Lakes region.

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

Information Contacts: Kavotha Kalendi Sadaka, Celestin Kasereka, Jean-Pierre Bajope, Mathieu Yalire, and Paolo Papale, Goma Volcano Observatory, Departement de Geophysique, Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Lwiro, D.S. Bukavu, DR Congo; Jacques Durieux, Dario Tedesco, and Jack Lockwood, Groupe d'Etude des Volcans Actifs, 6, rue des Razes, 69320 Feyzin, France; Bruce Presgrave, National Earthquake Information Center, P.O. Box 25046, MS 966, Lakewood, CO 80225, USA (URL: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/); United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations, New York, NY 10017, USA (URL: https://reliefweb.int/).


Panarea (Italy) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Panarea

Italy

38.638°N, 15.064°E; summit elev. 399 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increased submarine fumarolic activity near Panarea Island

On 3 November 2002, fishermen reported strong exhalative phenomena in the Lisca Bianca-Bottaro-Lisca Nera area, E of Panarea Island (figure 1). They described boiling seawater, dead fish, and an intense sulfur smell. On 4 November, scientists of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) carried out aerial and sea surveys between Panarea and the Lisca Bianca-Dattilo-Bottaro islets from a Civil Protection helicopter and a Coast Guard boat.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Bathymetric map of the Panarea Island area, showing the area of degassing in November 2002. Modified from Gabbianelli et. al. (1990); courtesy of INGV.

In three distinct areas between Lisca Bianca and Lisca Nera (figure 2), discolored water was visible, accompanied by intense gas bubbling. The first area, located W of Lisca Bianca, had three distinct degassing points in which bubbles with diameters of some meters reached the sea surface. A second area stretched SSE from W of Bottaro; on the sea surface there was only one point where vigorous outbursts of meter-sized bubbles were noted (figure 3). The third and smallest area was just SW of the second one. Water depths in all three areas are shallower than 30 m.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Bathymetric map and location of degassing points on 4 November 2002. Modified from Gabbianelli et. al. (1996); courtesy of INGV.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Aerial photo of the Lisca Bianca-Bottaro-Lisca Nera-Panarea Island area with evident water discoloration phenomena on 4 November 2002. Courtesy of INGV.

During the preliminary survey, INGV scientists recorded thermal images of the sea surface. Direct pH and temperature measurements were carried out at different depths, and seawater samples were collected. Neither temperature measurements nor thermal images identified appreciable thermal anomalies, because water temperatures (22-23°C) near the degassing points were similar to those close to the island's pier. Conversely, pH values were about 5.6-5.7, significantly lower than typical seawater values.

A field survey was also carried out in the Calcara Beach area, where fumarolic activity has been known since the Roman Age. No anomalies were detected in either the fumarolic flux or in the measured temperature (100°C). Finally, field and aerial surveys were performed in order to exclude the occurrence of ground fissuring or other related anomalous phenomena on Panarea Island.

On 5 November the aerial survey highlighted a remarkable decrease in the intensity of exhalation activity and a sharp reduction of the area affected by water discoloration. In particular, gas bubbling was restricted to the area W of Bottaro. Repeated thermal investigations did not find any significant anomaly. Vigorous bubbling and water discoloration further decreased in the following days.

Seismicity. In the early morning on 3 November the INGV seismic station PAN recorded a swarm of microseisms close to Panarea. PAN, in the E part of the island, is equipped with a 1-Hz vertical seismometer. Although isolated micro-events were recorded beginning at 0253 GMT, the most intense phase of the swarm, in terms of number of events, occurred between 0337 and 0500 GMT. During the swarm, geophysicists noted some hundreds of micro-events with average durations of 8 seconds and magnitudes generally less than 1. After the climax, isolated events continued. Overall, there were a few events with magnitudes between 1 and 1.5; it was impossible to locate their hypocenters because they were not detected at stations more distant from the island. According to S-P arrival time differences, the source could lay within a radius of 2-3 km from the island. The spectrum of the events analyzed shows a broad frequency content, with dominant peaks from 5 to 16 Hz.

Background. Panarea, the smallest island of the Aeolian volcanic arc in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea, is located ~30 km SW of Stromboli. Panarea is a cone-shaped edifice rising from 1,700 m below sea level to 421 m at Punta del Corvo peak. The subaerial portion of the island was built by prevailing effusive activity and emplacement of domes from 149 to 124 Ka (Calanchi et al., 1999). A second stage, during which pyroclastic activity prevailed, occurred between 59 and 13 Ka (Losito, 1989). As of November 2002 the only volcanic activity consists of a broad fumarolic field in a submarine crater, whose rim is inferred by the semicircular distribution of the islets of Dattilo, Lisca Bianca, Bottaro, and Lisca Nera (Gabbianelli et al., 1990, Italiano and Nuccio, 1991). Panarea and the Aeolian Islands are monitored by the Istiuto Nazioanle di Geofisica e Vulcanologias, Sezz. Catania and Palermo.

References. Calanchi, N., Tranne, C.A., Lucchini, F., Rossi, P.L., and Villa, I.M., 1999, Explanatory notes to the geological map (1:10000) of Panarea and Basiluzzo islands (Aeolian arc. Italy): Acta Vulcanologica, v. 11, no. 2, p. 223-243.

Gabbianelli, G., Gillot, P.Y., Lanzafame, G., Romagnoli, C., and Rossi, P.L., 1990, Tectonic and volcanic evolution of Panarea (Aeolian Islands, Italy): Marine Geology, v. 92, p. 313-326.

Gabbianelli, G., Cortecci, G., Capra, A., Giacomelli, L., Pompilio, M., and Rossi, P.L., 1996, Lineamenti geo-vulcanologici ed ambientali del'area craterica sottomarina di Dattilo-Lisca Bianca (Isola di Panarea, Arcipelago Eoliano) in Caratterizzazione ambientale marina del sistema Eolie e dei bacini limitrofi di Cefalù e Gioia (EOCUMM 95) (edited by Faranda, F.M., and Povero, P.): Data Report, p. 455-462.

Italiano, F., and Nuccio, P.M., 1991, Geochemical investigation of submarine volcanic exhalations to the east of Panarea, Aeolian Islands, Italy: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 46, p. 125-141.

Losito, R., 1989, Stratigrafia, caratteri deposizionali e aree sorgenti dei Tufi Bruni delle Isole Eolie: Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Bari University, 92 p.

Geologic Background. The mostly submerged Panarea volcanic complex lies about midway between Stromboli and Lipari in the eastern part of the Aeolian Islands. Panarea, the smallest island in the Aeolian Archipelago, lies on the western side of a shallow platform whose shelf margin is at about 130 m depth. A series of small islands breach the surface to form the Central Reefs, the rim of a crater 2 km E of Panarea, whose shallow submerged floor contains Roman ruins. The submerged Secca dei Pesci lava dome lies at the SE end of the platform, and the rhyolitic Basiluzzo lava dome rises 165 m above the surface at the NE end, along a ridge trending towards Stromboli volcano. The complex was constructed in two main stages: an initial effusive activity phase that produced lava domes, and an explosive stage. The youngest subaerial airfall-tephra deposits are dated to about 20,000 years ago; a date of less then 10,000 BP on a lava flow is uncertain. Vigorous hydrothermal activity has continued at fumarolic fields at several locations on the submerged platform; submarine hydrothermal explosions have occurred in historical time.

Information Contacts: Susanna Falsaperla, Luigi Lodato, and Massimo Pompilio, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Sezione di Catania (INGV), Piazza Roma, 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/en/).


Popocatepetl (Mexico) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Popocatepetl

Mexico

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small explosions, earthquakes, and tremor during July-October 2002

During July-October 2002, volcanic activity at Popocatépetl consisted of small-to-moderate, but at times explosive, eruptions of steam, gas, and generally minor amounts of ash. Explosions on 1 and 2 July produced ash plumes that reached 2 km and 700 m above the crater, respectively. Volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes (M 1.8-2.9) occurred almost daily. The earthquakes were located mostly to the S and E at depths up to 8 km beneath the crater. Isolated episodes of low-amplitude harmonic tremor were registered, typically for a few hours daily.

The Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED) reported that during most of July through mid-August, up to 25 small-to-moderate emissions per day were accompanied by steam, gas, and sometimes small amounts of ash. The number of exhalations per day increased during 22-24 July (43, 80, and 55) and 15-17 August (68, 58, and 70). Around 25-45 exhalations occurred per day through the end of August. During September and October, no more than 26 exhalations were registered per day.

Activity reported by CENAPRED in July was probably related to changes in morphology of the intracrater dome (BGVN 27:02 and 27:06). Compared to an aerial photo taken on 29 April (figure 46), an image on 22 May 2002 (figure 47) showed that the dome had diminished in size.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Vertical aerial photo of Popocatépetl taken on 29 April 2002. The top of the image is generally towards the N. Courtesy CENAPRED.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 47. Vertical aerial photo of Popocatépetl taken on 22 May 2002. The photo provided evidence that the dome was diminished in size compared to 29 April 2002 (figure 46). The top of the image is generally towards the NNW. Courtesy CENAPRED.

CENAPRED stated that future activity could consist of isolated minor explosions with emission of incandescent fragments out to short distances from the crater or emissions of variable quantities of ash. The Alert Level remained at 2, and CENAPRED recommended that people avoid the zone extending out to 12 km from the crater, although the road between Santiago Xalitzintla (Puebla) and San Pedro Nexapa (Mexico State), including Paso de Cortés, remained open for controlled traffic.

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

Information Contacts: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Delfin Madrigal 665, Col. Pedregal de Santo Domingo, Coyoacan, 04360, Mexico D.F. (URL: https://www.gob.mx/cenapred/).


Ruang (Indonesia) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Ruang

Indonesia

2.3°N, 125.37°E; summit elev. 725 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption on 25 September 2002 sends ash to at least 5 km

The last reported activity at Ruang occurred when Qantas Airlines pilots observed an eruption around 1600 on 27 June 1996 (BGVN 21:08). A resulting plume moved W and reached an altitude of ~6 km. However, the eruption was not visible in GMS satellite imagery. The last known confirmed eruption at Ruang occurred in 1949.

A drastic increase of seismic events - from 3 to 24 events/day - was observed on 24 September by the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI). The next day, people near the volcano reported hearing a noise, and ash eruptions began by 0100. By 0300 ash emissions were continuous, and ash began falling around Ruang island and the nearby island of Tagulandang. Observers reported that the sounds accompanying the eruption were weak. By 0400 more than 1,000 people living near the volcano were evacuated to a nearby island. Around 0800, the Alert Level advanced to the highest status (level 4).

The first strong eruption commenced at 1140 on 25 September, producing thick black clouds that rose 3 km. Ten minutes later, a second eruption sent ash clouds rising 5 km. At 1210 the activity subsided enough to observe glowing material on E flank. The specific eruption site has not been firmly established. It has been presumed by VSI that it originated from "Crater II" or "where the 1949 lava originated (E side of summit)." The eruption column was reported from ground-based observations as rising to at least 5 km, and by Darwin VAAC advisories as rising to about 17 km. According to the Darwin VAAC, satellite imagery revealed that the ash cloud drifted westward to Borneo and Sumatra. Satellite images from NOAA showed the plume drifting SW with other components drifting W (figure 1). By 30 September the volcano was quiet with only a thin white plume rising about 100 m. The Alert Level was reduced from 4 to 3 on 30 September 2002.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Satellite imagery on 25 September 2002 showed a large eruption plume from Ruang. The volcano's location is shown by the arrow. The plume appears to branch into SW- and W-drifting components. Courtesy NOAA.

Geologic Background. Ruang volcano, not to be confused with the better known Raung volcano on Java, is the southernmost volcano in the Sangihe Island arc, north of Sulawesi Island. The 4 x 5 km island volcano rises to 725 m across a narrow strait SW of the larger Tagulandang Island. The summit contains a crater partially filled by a lava dome initially emplaced in 1904. Explosive eruptions recorded since 1808 have often been accompanied by lava dome formation and pyroclastic flows that have damaged inhabited areas.

Information Contacts: Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, P.O. Box 735, Darwin, NT 0801 Australia; NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch, Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA.


Veniaminof (United States) — October 2002 Citation iconCite this Report

Veniaminof

United States

56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Volcanic unrest, uncertain low-level eruptive activity in September 2002

On 10 September 2002 the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) detected 1-minute-long pulses of low-frequency tremor arriving every 2-5 minutes on several seismic stations at Veniaminof. This type of seismicity is indicative of volcanic unrest. Retrospective analysis of seismic data suggested that tremor began as early as 8 September. The overall level of seismicity decreased through late September, but remained above the background level established during the summer of 2002.

On 24 September, residents of Perryville, 35 km S of the volcano, reported and photographed small bursts of steam, possibly containing minor amounts of ash, rising just above the historically active intracaldera cinder cone. Without additional observations, AVO could not determine if this indicated very low-level eruptive activity or vigorous steaming from the cone. On several occasions of relatively clear weather conditions, AVO observed no signs of elevated temperature or ash emission on satellite imagery.

A satellite image recorded on 2 October suggested an apparent gray, diffuse deposit extending across the caldera from the historically active intracaldera cinder cone. This could reflect a small explosion, vigorous steam emission, or redistribution of material on the cone by strong winds. No thermal anomalies were observed on satellite imagery. AVO considered the activity at Veniaminof to be minor, but the exact nature of the unrest remained unknown. Due to the continuing seismicity and reports of unusual steaming, the Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.

Geologic Background. Veniaminof, on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3,700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.

Information Contacts: 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.

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