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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

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Minor explosive activity, continued thermal activity, and SO2 emissions, October 2019-March 2020.

Stromboli (Italy) Strombolian activity continues at both summit crater areas, September-December 2019

Semeru (Indonesia) Ash plumes and thermal anomalies continue during September 2019-February 2020

Popocatepetl (Mexico) Dome growth and destruction continues along with ash emissions and ejecta, September 2019-February 2020

Santa Maria (Guatemala) Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continue, September 2019-February 2020

Villarrica (Chile) Brief increase in explosions, mid-September 2019; continued thermal activity through February 2020

Semisopochnoi (United States) Intermittent small explosions detected in December 2019 through mid-March 2020

Ubinas (Peru) Explosions produced ash plumes in September 2019; several lahars generated in January and February 2020

Yasur (Vanuatu) Strombolian activity continues during June 2019 through February 2020

Cleveland (United States) Intermittent thermal anomalies and lava dome subsidence, February 2019-January 2020

San Miguel (El Salvador) Small ash emissions during 22 February 2020

Ambrym (Vanuatu) Fissure eruption in December 2018 produces an offshore pumice eruption after lava lakes drain



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

Manam

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor explosive activity, continued thermal activity, and SO2 emissions, October 2019-March 2020.

Manam is a basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano that lies 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea; it has a 400-year history of recorded evidence for recurring low-level ash plumes, occasional Strombolian activity, lava flows, pyroclastic avalanches, and large ash plumes from Main and South, the two active summit craters. The current eruption, ongoing since June 2014, produced multiple large explosive eruptions during January-September 2019, including two 15-km-high ash plumes in January, repeated SO2 plumes each month, and another 15.2 km-high ash plume in June that resulted in ashfall and evacuations of several thousand people (BGVN 44:10).

This report covers continued activity during October 2019 through March 2020. Information about Manam is primarily provided by Papua New Guinea's Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), part of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM). This information is supplemented with aviation alerts from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). MODIS thermal anomaly satellite data is recorded by the University of Hawai'i's MODVOLC thermal alert recording system, and the Italian MIROVA project; sulfur dioxide monitoring is done by instruments on satellites managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Satellite imagery provided by the Sentinel Hub Playground is also a valuable resource for information about this remote location.

A few modest explosions with ash emissions were reported in early October and early November 2019, and then not again until late March 2020. Although there was little explosive activity during the period, thermal anomalies were recorded intermittently, with low to moderate activity almost every month, as seen in the MODIS data from MIROVA (figure 71) and also in satellite imagery. Sulfur dioxide emissions persisted throughout the period producing emissions greater than 2.0 Dobson Units that were recorded in satellite data 3-13 days each month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. MIROVA thermal anomaly data for Manam from 17 June 2019 through March 2020 indicate continued low and moderate level thermal activity each month from August 2019 through February 2020, after a period of increased activity in June and early July 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume in visible satellite imagery moving NW at 3.1 km altitude on 2 October 2019. Weak ash emissions were observed drifting N for the next two days along with an IR anomaly at the summit. RVO reported incandescence at night during the first week of October. Visitors to the summit on 18 October 2019 recorded steam and fumarolic activity at both of the summit craters (figure 72) and recent avalanche debris on the steep slopes (figure 73).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Steam and fumarolic activity rose from Main crater at Manam on 18 October 2019 in this view to the south from a ridge north of the crater. Google Earth inset of summit shows location of photograph. Courtesy of Vulkanologische Gesellschaft and Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Volcanic debris covered an avalanche chute on the NE flank of Manam when visited by hikers on 18 October 2019. Courtesy of Vulkanologische Gesellschaft and Claudio Jung, used with permission.

On 2 November, a single large explosion at 1330 local time produced a thick, dark ash plume that rose about 1,000 m above the summit and drifted NW. A shockwave from the explosion was felt at the Bogia Government station located 40 km SE on the mainland about 1 minute later. RVO reported an increase in seismicity on 6 November about 90 minutes before the start of a new eruption from the Main Crater which occurred between 1600 and 1630; it produced light to dark gray ash clouds that rose about 1,000 m above the summit and drifted NW. Incandescent ejecta was visible at the start of the explosion and continued with intermittent strong pulses after dark, reaching peak intensity around 1900. Activity ended by 2200 that evening. The Darwin VAAC reported a discrete emission observed in satellite imagery on 8 November that rose to 4.6 km altitude and drifted WNW, although ground observers confirmed that no eruption took place; emissions were only steam and gas. There were no further reports of explosive activity until the Darwin VAAC reported an ash emission in visible satellite imagery on 20 March 2020 that rose to 3.1 km altitude and drifted E for a few hours before dissipating.

Although explosive activity was minimal during the period, SO2 emissions, and evidence for continued thermal activity were recorded by satellite instruments each month. The TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite captured evidence each month of SO2 emissions exceeding two Dobson Units (figure 74). The most SO2 activity occurred during October 2019, with 13 days of signatures over 2.0 DU. There were six days of elevated SO2 each month in November and December, and five days in January 2020. During February and March, activity was less, with smaller SO2 plumes recording more than 2.0 DU on three days each month. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery recorded thermal anomalies at least once from one or both of the summit craters each month between October 2019 and March 2020 (figure 75).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. SO2 emissions at Manam exceeded 2 Dobson Units multiple days each month between October 2019 and March 2020. On 3 October 2019 (top left) emissions were also measured from Ulawun located 700 km E on New Britain island. On 30 November 2019 (top middle), in addition to a plume drifting N from Manam, a small SO2 plume was detected at Bagana on Bougainville Island, 1150 km E. The plume from Manam on 2 December 2019 drifted ESE (top right). On 26 January 2020 the plume drifted over 300 km E (bottom left). The plumes measured on 29 February and 4 March 2020 (bottom middle and right) only drifted a few tens of kilometers before dissipating. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, and 8a) showed thermal anomalies at one or both of Manam’s summit craters each month during October 2019-March 2020. On 17 October 2019 (top left) a bright anomaly and weak gas plume drifted NW from South crater, while a dense steam plume and weak anomaly were present at Main crater. On 25 January 2020 (top right) the gas and steam from the two craters were drifting E; the weaker Main crater thermal anomaly is just visible at the edge of the clouds. A clear image on 5 March 2020 (bottom left) shows weak plumes and distinct thermal anomalies from both craters; on 20 March (bottom right) the anomalies are still visible through dense cloud cover that may include steam from the crater vents as well. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical 1807-m-high basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These "avalanche valleys" channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent historical eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Geohazards Management Division, Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), PO Box 3386, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea; 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); Vulkanologische Gesellschaft (URL: https://twitter.com/vulkanologen/status/1194228532219727874, https://twitter.com/vulkanologen/status/1193788836679225344); Claudio Jung, (URL: https://www.facebook.com/claudio.jung.1/posts/10220075272173895, https://www.instagram.com/jung.claudio/).


Stromboli (Italy) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Stromboli

Italy

38.789°N, 15.213°E; summit elev. 924 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian activity continues at both summit crater areas, September-December 2019

Near-constant fountains of lava at Stromboli have served as a natural beacon in the Tyrrhenian Sea for at least 2,000 years. Eruptive activity at the summit consistently occurs from multiple vents at both a north crater area (N area) and a southern crater group (CS area) on the Terrazza Craterica at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a large scarp that runs from the summit down the NW side of the volcano-island (figure 168). Periodic lava flows emerge from the vents and flow down the scarp, sometimes reaching the sea; occasional large explosions produce ash plumes and pyroclastic flows. Thermal and visual cameras that monitor activity at the vents are located on the nearby Pizzo Sopra La Fossa, above the Terrazza Craterica, and at multiple locations on the flanks of the volcano. Detailed information for Stromboli is provided by Italy's Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) as well as other satellite sources of data; September-December 2019 is covered in this report.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 168. This shaded relief map of Stromboli’s crater area was created from images acquired by drone on 9 July 2019 (In collaboration with GEOMAR drone group, Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany). Inset shows Stromboli Island, the black rectangle indicates the area of the larger image, the black curved and the red hatched lines indicate, respectively, the morphological escarpment and the crater edges. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 50/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Settimanale, 02/12/2019 - 08/12/2019, data emissione 10/12/2019).

Activity was very consistent throughout the period of September-December 2019. Explosion rates ranged from 2-36 per hour and were of low to medium-high intensity, producing material that rose from less than 80 to over 150 m above the vents on occasion (table 7). The Strombolian activity in both crater areas often sent ejecta outside the crater rim onto the Terrazza Craterica, and also down the Sciara del Fuoco towards the coast. After the explosions of early July and late August, thermal activity decreased to more moderate levels that persisted throughout the period as seen in the MIROVA Log Radiative Power data (figure 169). Sentinel-2 satellite imagery supported descriptions of the constant glow at the summit, revealing incandescence at both summit areas, each showing repeating bursts of activity throughout the period (figure 170).

Table 7. Monthly summary of activity levels at Stromboli, September-December 2019. Low-intensity activity indicates ejecta rising less than 80 m, medium-intensity is ejecta rising less than 150 m, and high-intensity is ejecta rising over 200 m above the vent. Data courtesy of INGV.

Month Activity
Sep 2019 Explosion rates varied from 11-36 events per hour and were of low- to medium intensity (producing 80-120 m high ejecta). Lapilli and bombs were typical from the N area, and coarse and finer-grained tephra (lapilli and ash) were most common in the CS area. The Strombolian activity in both crater areas often sent ejecta outside the crater rim onto the terrace, and also down the Sciara del Fuoco towards the coast.
Oct 2019 Typical Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosions rates varied from 2-21 events per hour. Low intensity activity was common in the N area (ejecta less than 80 m high) and low to moderate intensity activity was typical in the CS area, with a few explosions rising over 150 m high. Lapilli and bombs were typical from the N area, and coarse and finer-grained tephra (lapilli and ash) were most common in the CS area. Some of the explosions sent ejecta down the Sciara del Fuoco.
Nov 2019 Typical Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosion rates varied from 11-23 events per hour with ejecta rising usually 80-150 m above the vents. Occasional explosions rose 250 m high. In the N area, explosions were generally low intensity with coarse material (lapilli and bombs). In many explosions, ejecta covered the outer slopes of the area overlooking the Sciara del Fuoco, and some blocks rolled for a few hundred meters before stopping. In the CS area, coarse material was mixed with fine and some explosions sent ejecta onto the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco.
Dec 2019 Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosion rates varied from 12-26 per hour. In the N area, explosion intensity was mainly medium-low (less than 150 m) with coarse ejecta while in the CS area it was usually medium-high (more than 150 m) with both coarse and fine ejecta. In many explosions, debris covered the outer slopes of the area overlooking the Sciara del Fuoco, and some blocks rolled for a few hundred meters before stopping. Spattering activity was noted in the southern vents of the N area.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 169. Thermal activity at Stromboli was high during July-August 2019, when two major explosions occurred. Activity continued at more moderate levels through December 2019 as seen in the MIROVA graph of Log Radiative Power from 8 June through December 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 170. Stromboli reliably produced strong thermal signals from both of the summit vents throughout September-December 2019 and has done so since long before Sentinel-2 satellite imagery was able to detect it. Image dates are (top, l to r) 5 September, 15 October, 20 October, (bottom l to r) 14 November, 14 December 2019, and 3 January 2020. Sentinel-2 imagery uses Atmospheric penetration rendering with bands 12, 11, and 8A, courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

After a major explosion with a pyroclastic flow on 28 August 2019, followed by lava flows that reached the ocean in the following days (BGVN 44:09), activity diminished in early September to levels more typically seen in recent times. This included Strombolian activity from vents in both the N and CS areas that sent ejecta typically 80-150 m high. Ejecta from the N area generally consisted of lapilli and bombs, while the material from the CS area was often finer grained with significant amounts of lapilli and ash. The number of explosive events remained high in September, frequently reaching 25-30 events per hour. The ejecta periodically landed outside the craters on the Terrazza Craterica and even traveled partway down the Sciara del Fuoco. An inspection on 7 September by INGV revealed four eruptive vents in the N crater area and five in the S crater area (figure 171). The most active vents in the N area were N1 with mostly ash emissions and N2 with Strombolian explosions rich in incandescent coarse material that sometimes rose well above 150 m in height. In the S area, S1 and S2 produced jets of lava that often reached 100 m high. A small cone was observed around N2, having grown after the 28 August explosion. Between 11 and 13 September aerial surveys with drones produced detailed visual and thermal imagery of the summit (figure 172).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 171. Video of the Stromboli summit taken with a thermal camera on 7 September 2019 from the Pizzo sopra la Fossa revealed four active vents in the N area and five active vents in the S area. Images prepared by Piergiorgio Scarlato, courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 37.2/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 10/09/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 172. An aerial drone survey on 11 September 2019 at Stromboli produced a detailed view of the N and CS vent areas (left) and thermal images taken by a drone survey on 13 September (right) showed elevated temperatures down the Sciara del Fuoco in addition to the vents in the N and CS areas. Images by E. De Beni and M. Cantarero, courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 37.5/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 13/09/2019).

Strombolian activity from the N crater on 28 September and 1 October 2019 produced blocks and debris that rolled down the Sciara del Fuoco and reached the ocean (figure 173). Explosive activity from the CS crater area sometimes produced ejecta over 150 m high (figure 174). A survey on 26 November revealed that a layer of ash 5-10 cm thick had covered the bombs and blocks that were deposited on the Pizzo Sopra la Fossa during the explosions of 3 July and 28 August (figure 175). On the morning of 27 December a lava flow emerged from the CS area and traveled a few hundred meters down the Sciara del Fuoco. The frequency of explosive events remained relatively constant from September through December 2019 after decreasing from higher levels during July and August (figure 176).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 173. Strombolian activity from vents in the N crater area of Stromboli produced ejecta that traveled all the way to the bottom of the Sciara del Fuoco and entered the ocean. Top images taken 28 September 2019 from the 290 m elevation viewpoint by Rosanna Corsaro. Bottom images captured on 1 October from the webcam at 400 m elevation. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 39.0/2019 and Rep. No. 40.3, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 29/09/2019 and 02/10/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 174. Ejecta from Strombolian activity at the CS crater area of Stromboli rose over 150 m on multiple occasions. The webcam located at the 400 m elevation site captured this view of activity on 8 November 2019. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 45.5/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 08/11/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 175. The Pizzo Sopra la Fossa area at Stromboli was covered with large blocks and pyroclastic debris on 6 September 2019, a week after the major explosion of 28 August (top). By 26 November, 5-10 cm of finer ash covered the surface; the restored webcam can be seen at the far right edge of the Pizzo (bottom). Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 49/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Settimanale, 25/11/2019 - 01/12/2019, data emissione 03/12/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 176. The average hourly frequency of explosive events at Stromboli captured by surveillance cameras from 1 June 2019 through 5 January 2020 remained generally constant after the high levels seen during July and August. The Total value (blue) is the sum of the average daily hourly frequency of all explosive events produced by active vents.

Geologic Background. Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period took place between about 13,000 and 5,000 years ago. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild Strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.

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


Semeru (Indonesia) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes and thermal anomalies continue during September 2019-February 2020

Semeru is a stratovolcano located in East Java, Indonesia containing an active Jonggring-Seloko vent at the Mahameru summit. Common activity has consisted of ash plumes, pyroclastic flows and avalanches, and lava flows that travel down the SE flank. This report updates volcanism from September 2019 to February 2020 using primary information from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

The dominant activity at Semeru for this reporting period consists of ash plumes, which were frequently reported by the Darwin VAAC. An eruption on 10 September 2019 produced an ash plume rising 4 km altitude drifting WNW, as seen in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery. Ash plumes continued to rise during 13-14 September. During the month of October the Darwin VAAC reported at least six ash plumes on 13, 14, 17-18, and 29-30 October rising to a maximum altitude of 4.6 km and moving primarily S and SW. Activity in November and December was relatively low, dominated mostly by strong and frequent thermal anomalies.

Volcanism increased in January 2020 starting with an eruption on 17 and 18 January that sent a gray ash plume up to 4.6 km altitude (figure 38). Eruptions continued from 20 to 26 January, producing ash plumes that rose up to 500 m above the crater that drifted in different directions. For the duration of the month and into February, ash plumes occurred intermittently. On 26 February, incandescent ejecta was ejected up to 50 m and traveled as far as 1000 m. Small sulfur dioxide emissions were detected in the Sentinel 5P/TROPOMI instrument during 25-27 February (figure 39). Lava flows during 27-29 February extended 200-1,000 m down the SE flank; gas-and-steam and SO2 emissions accompanied the flows. There were 15 shallow volcanic earthquakes detected on 29 February in addition to ash emissions rising 4.3 km altitude drifting ESE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Ash plumes rising from the summit of Semeru on 17 (left) and 18 (right) January 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia and via Ø.L. Andersen's Twitter feed (left).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. Small SO2 plumes from Semeru were detected by the Sentinel 5P/TROPOMI instrument during 25 (left) and 26 (right) February 2020. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed relatively weak and intermittent thermal anomalies occurring during May to August 2019 (figure 40). The frequency and power of these thermal anomalies significantly increased during September to mid-December 2019 with a few hotspots occurring at distances greater than 5 km from the summit. These farther thermal anomalies to the N and NE of the volcano do not appear to be caused by volcanic activity. There was a brief break in activity during mid-December to mid-January 2020 before renewed activity was detected in early February 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. Thermal anomalies were relatively weak at Semeru during 30 April 2019-August 2019, but significantly increased in power and frequency during September to early December 2019. There was a break in activity from mid-December through mid-January 2020 with renewed thermal anomalies around February 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The MODVOLC algorithm detected 25 thermal hotspots during this reporting period, which took place during 25 September, 18 and 21 October 2019, 29 January, and 11, 14, 16, and 23 February 2020. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery shows intermittent hotspots dominantly in the summit crater throughout this reporting period (figure 41).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery detected intermittent thermal anomalies (bright yellow-orange) at the summit of Semeru, which included some lava flows in late January to early February 2020. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); 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/); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com).


Popocatepetl (Mexico) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Popocatepetl

Mexico

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Dome growth and destruction continues along with ash emissions and ejecta, September 2019-February 2020

Frequent historical eruptions have been reported from Mexico's Popocatépetl going back to the 14th century. Activity increased in the mid-1990s after about 50 years of quiescence, and the current eruption, ongoing since January 2005, has included numerous episodes of lava-dome growth and destruction within the 500-m-wide summit caldera. Multiple emissions of steam and gas occur daily, rising generally 1-3 km above the summit at about 5,400 m elevation; many contain small amounts of ash. Larger, more explosive events with ash plumes and incandescent ejecta landing on the flanks occur frequently. Activity through August 2019 was typical of the ongoing eruption with near-constant emissions of water vapor, gas, and minor ash, as well as multiple explosions with ash plumes and incandescent blocks scattered on the flanks (BGVN 44:09). This report covers similar activity from September 2019 through February 2020. Information comes from daily reports provided by México's Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED); ash plumes are reported by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Satellite visible and thermal imagery and SO2 data also provide helpful observations of activity.

Activity summary. Activity at Popocatépetl during September 2019-February 2020 continued at the high levels that have been ongoing for many years, characterized by hundreds of daily low-intensity emissions that included steam, gas, and small amounts of ash, and periods with multiple daily minor and moderate explosions that produce kilometer-plus-high ash plumes (figure 140). The Washington VAAC issued multiple daily volcanic ash advisories with plume altitudes around 6 km for many, although some were reported as high as 8.2 km. Hundreds of minutes of daily tremor activity often produced ash emissions as well. Incandescent ejecta landed 500-1,000 m from the summit frequently. The MIROVA thermal anomaly data showed near-constant moderate to high levels of thermal energy throughout the period (figure 141).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 140. Emissions continued at a high rate from Popocatépetl throughout September 2019-February 2020. Daily low-intensity emissions numbered usually in the hundreds (blue, left axis), while less frequent minor (orange) and moderate (green) explosions, plotted on the right axis, occurred intermittently through November 2019, and increased again during February 2020. Data was compiled from CENAPRED daily reports.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 141. MIROVA log radiative power thermal data for Popocatépetl from 1 May 2019 through February 2020 showed a constant output of moderate energy the entire time. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Sulfur dioxide emissions were measured with satellite instruments many days of each month from September 2019 thru February 2020. The intensity and drift directions varied significantly; some plumes remained detectable hundreds of kilometers from the volcano (figure 142). Plumes were detected almost daily in September, and on most days in October. They were measured at lower levels but often during November, and after pulses in early and late December only small plumes were visible during January 2020. Intermittent larger pulses returned in February. Dome growth and destruction in the summit crater continued throughout the period. A small dome was observed inside the summit crater in late September. Dome 85, 210-m-wide, was observed inside the summit crater in early November. Satellite imagery captured evidence of dome growth and ash emissions throughout the period (figure 143).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 142. Sulfur dioxide emissions from Popocatépetl were frequent from September 2019 through February 2020. Plumes drifted SW on 7 September (top left), 30 October (top middle), and 21 February (bottom right). SO2 drifted N and NW on 26 November (top right). On 2 December (bottom left) a long plume of sulfur dioxide hundreds of kilometers long drifted SW over the Pacific Ocean while the drift direction changed to NW closer to the volcano. The SO2 plumes measured in January (bottom center) were generally smaller than during the other months covered in this report. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 143. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Popocatépetl during November 2019-February 2020 provided evidence for ongoing dome growth and explosions with ash emissions. Top left: a ring of incandescence inside the summit crater on 8 November 2019 was indicative of the growth of dome 85 observed by CENAPRED. Top middle: incandescence on 8 December inside the summit crater was typical of that observed many times during the period. Top right: a dense, narrow ash plume drifted N from the summit on 17 January 2020. Bottom left: Snow cover made ashfall on 6 February easily visible on the E flank. On 11 February, the summit crater was incandescent and nearly all the snow was covered with ash. Bottom right: a strong thermal anomaly and ash emission were captured on 21 February. Bottom left and top right images use Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); other images use Atmospheric penetration rendering to show infrared signal (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during September-November 2019. On 1 September 2019 minor ashfall was reported in the communities of Atlautla, Ozumba, Juchitepec, and Tenango del Aire in the State of Mexico. The ash plumes rose less than 2 km above the summit and incandescent ejecta traveled less than 100 m from the summit crater. Twenty-two minor and three moderate explosions were recorded on 4-5 September along with minor ashfall in Juchitepec, Tenango del Aire, Tepetlixpa, and Atlautla. During a flyover on 5 September, officials did not observe a dome within the crater, and the dimensions remained the same as during the previous visit (350 m in diameter and 150 m deep) (figure 144). Ashfall was reported in Tlalmanalco and Amecameca on 6 September. The following day incandescent ejecta was visible on the flanks near the summit and ashfall was reported in Amecameca, Ayapango, and Tenango del Aire. The five moderate explosions on 8 September produced ash plumes that rose as high as 2 km above the summit, and incandescent ejecta on the flanks. Explosions on 10 September sent ejecta 500 m from the crater. Eight explosions during 20-21 September produced ejecta that traveled up to 1.5 km down the flanks (figure 145). During an overflight on 27 September specialists from the National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED ) of the National Coordination of Civil Protection and researchers from the Institute of Geophysics of UNAM observed a new dome 30 m in diameter; the overall crater had not changed size since the overflight in early September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 144. CENAPRED carried out overflights of Popocatépetl on 5 (left) and 27 September (right) 2019; the crater did not change in size, but a new dome 30 m in diameter was visible on 27 September. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Sobrevuelo al volcán Popocatépetl, 05 y 27 de septiembre).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 145. Ash plumes at Popocatépetl on 19 (left) and 20 (right) September 2019 rose over a kilometer above the summit before dissipating. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 19 y 20 de septiembre).

Fourteen explosions were reported on 2 October 2019. The last one produced an ash plume that rose 2 km above the summit and sent incandescent ejecta down the E slope (figure 146). Ashfall was reported in the municipalities of Atlautla Ozumba, Ayapango and Ecatzingo in the State of Mexico. Explosions on 3 and 4 October also produced ash plumes that rose between 1 and 2 km above the summit and sent ejecta onto the flanks. Additional incandescent ejecta was reported on 6, 7, 15, and 19 October. The communities of Amecameca, Tenango del Aire, Tlalmanalco, Cocotitlán, Temamatla, and Tláhuac reported ashfall on 10 October; Amecameca reported more ashfall on 12 October. On 22 October slight ashfall appeared in Amecameca, Tenango del Aire, Tlalmanalco, Ayapango, Temamatla, and Atlautla.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 146. Incandescent ejecta at Popocatépetl traveled down the E slope on 2 October 2019 (left); an ash plume two days later rose 2 km above the summit (right). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 2 y 4 de octubre).

During 2-3 November 2019 there was 780 minutes of tremor reported in four different episodes. The seismicity was accompanied by ash emissions that drifted W and NW and produced ashfall in numerous communities, including Amecameca, Juchitepec, Ozumba, Tepetlixpa, and Atlautla in the State of México, in Ayapango and Cuautla in the State of Morelos, and in the municipalities of Tlahuac, Tlalpan, and Xochimilco in Mexico City. A moderate explosion on 4 November sent incandescent ejecta 2 km down the slopes and produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted NW. Minor ashfall was reported in Tlalmanalco, Amecameca, and Tenango del Aire, State of Mexico. Similar ash plumes from explosions occurred the following day. Scientists from CENAPRED and the Institute of Geophysics of UNAM observed dome number 85 during an overflight on 5 November 2019. It had a diameter of 210 m and was 80 m thick, with an irregular surface (figure 147). Multiple explosions on 6 and 7 November produced incandescent ejecta; a moderate explosion late on 11 November produced ejecta that traveled 1.5 km from the summit and produced an ash plume 2 km high (figure 148). A lengthy period of constant ash emission that drifted E was reported on 18 November. A moderate explosion on 28 November sent incandescent fragments 1.5 km down the slopes and ash one km above the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 147. A new dome was visible inside the summit crater at Popocatépetl during an overflight on 5 November 2019. It had a diameter of 210 m and was 80 m thick. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Sobrevuelo al volcán Popocatépetl, 05 de noviembre).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 148. Ash emissions and explosions with incandescent ejecta continued at Popocatépetl during November 2019. The ash plume on 1 November changed drift direction sharply a few hundred meters above the summit (left). Incandescent ejecta traveled 1.5 km down the flanks on 11 November (right). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 1 y 12 de noviembre).

Activity during December 2019-February 2020. Throughout December 2019 weak emissions of steam and gas were reported daily, sometimes with minor amounts of ash, and minor explosions were only reported on 21 and 27 December. On 21 December two new high-resolution webcams were installed around Popocatépetl, one 5 km from the crater at the Tlamacas station, and the second in San Juan Tianguismanalco, 20 km away. Ash emissions and incandescent ejecta 800 m from the summit were observed on 25 December (figure 149). Incandescence at night was reported during 27-29 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 149. Incandescent ejecta moved 800 m down the flanks of Popocatépetl during explosions on 25 December 2019 (left); weak emissions of steam, gas, and minor ash were visible on 27 December and throughout the month. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 25 y 27 de diciembre).

Continuous emissions of water vapor and gas with low ash content were typical daily during January 2020. A moderate explosion on 9 January produced an ash plume that rose 3 km from the summit and drifted NE. In addition, incandescent ejecta traveled 1 km from the crater rim. A minor explosion on 21 January produced a 1.5-km-high plume with low ash content and incandescent ejecta that fell near the crater (figure 150). The first of two explosions late on 27 January produced ejecta that traveled 500 m and a 1-km-high ash plume. Constant incandescence was observed overnight on 29-30 January.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 150. Although fewer explosions were recorded at Popocatépetl during January 2020, activity continued. An ash plume on 19 January rose over a kilometer above the summit (top left). A minor explosion on 21 January produced a 1.5-km-high plume with low ash content and incandescent ejecta that fell near the crater (top right). Smaller emissions with steam, gas, and ash were typical many days, including on 22 (bottom left) and 31 (bottom right) January 2019. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 19, 21, 22 y 31 de enero).

A moderate explosion on 5 February 2020 produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted NNE. Explosions on 10 and 13 February sent ejecta 500 m down the flanks (figure 151). During an overflight on 18 February scientists noted that the internal crater maintained a diameter of 350 m and its approximate depth was 100-150 m; the crater was covered by tephra. For most of the second half of February the volcano had a continuous emission of gases with minor amounts of ash. In addition, multiple explosions produced ash plumes that rose 400-1,200 m above the crater and drifted in several different directions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 151. Ash emissions and explosions continued at Popocatépetl during February 2020. Dense ash drifted near the snow-covered summit on 6 February (top left). Incandescent ejecta traveled 500 m down the flanks on 13 February (top right). Ash plumes billowed from the summit on 18 and 22 February (bottom row). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl, 6, 15, 18 y 22 de febrero).

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 Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED), Av. Delfín Madrigal No.665. Coyoacan, México D.F. 04360, México (URL: http://www.cenapred.unam.mx/), Daily Report Archive http://www.cenapred.unam.mx:8080/reportesVolcanGobMX/BuscarReportesVolcan); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); 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).


Santa Maria (Guatemala) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Santa Maria

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continue, September 2019-February 2020

The dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex on the W flank of Guatemala's Santa María volcano has been growing and actively erupting since 1922. Ash explosions, pyroclastic, and lava flows have emerged from Caliente, the youngest of the four vents in the complex, for more than 40 years. A lava dome that appeared within the summit crater of Caliente in October 2016 has continued to grow, producing frequent block avalanches down the flanks. Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continued during September 2019-February 2020, the period covered in this report, with information primarily from Guatemala's INSIVUMEH (Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meterologia e Hidrologia) and the Washington VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Center).

Constant fumarolic activity with steam and gas persisted from the Caliente dome throughout September 2019-February 2020. Explosions occurred multiple times per day, producing ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 3.1-3.5 km and usually drifted a few kilometers before dissipating. Several lahars during September and October carried volcanic blocks, ash, and debris down major drainages. Periodic ashfall was reported in communities within 10 km of the volcano. An increase in thermal activity beginning in November (figure 101) resulted in an increased number of observations of incandescence visible at night from the summit of Caliente through February 2020. Block avalanches occurred daily on the flanks of the dome, often reaching the base, stirring up small clouds of ash that drifted downwind.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 101. The MIROVA project graph of thermal activity at Santa María from 12 May 2019 through February 2020 shows a gradual increase in thermal energy beginning in November 2019. This corresponds to an increase in the number of daily observations of incandescence at the summit of the Caliente dome during this period. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Constant steam and gas fumarolic activity rose from the Caliente dome, drifting W, usually rising to 2.8-3.0 km altitude during September 2019. Multiple daily explosions with ash plumes rising to 2.9-3.4 km altitude drifted W or SW over the communities of San Marcos, Loma Linda Palajunoj, and Monte Claro (figure 102). Constant block avalanches fell to the base of the cone on the NE and SE flanks. The Washington VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery on 10 September at 3.1 km altitude drifting W. On 14 September another plume was spotted moving WSW at 4.6 km altitude which dissipated quickly; the webcam captured another plume on 16 September. Ashfall on 27 September reached about 1 km from the volcano; it reached 1.5 km on 29 September. Lahars descended the Rio Cabello de Ángel on 2 and 24 September (figure 102). They were about 15 m wide, and 1-3 m deep, carrying blocks 1-2 m in diameter.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 102. A lahar descended the Rio Cabello de Ángel at Santa Maria and flowed into the Rio Nima 1 on 24 September 2019. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 21 al 27 de septiembre de 2019).

Througout October 2019, degassing of steam with minor gases occurred from the Caliente summit, rising to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and generally drifting SW. Weak explosions took place 1-5 times per hour, producing ash plumes that rose to 3.2-3.5 km altitude. Ashfall was reported in Monte Claro on 2 October. Nearly constant block avalanches descended the SE and S flanks, disturbing recent layers of fine ash and producing local ash clouds. Moderate explosions on 11 October produced ash plumes that rose to 3.5 km altitude and drifted W and SW about 1.5 km towards Río San Isidro (figure 103). The following day additional plumes drifted a similar distance to the SE. The Washington VAAC reported an ash emission visible in satellite imagery at 4.9 km altitude on 13 October drifting NNW. Ashfall was reported in Parcelamiento Monte Claro on 14 October. Some of the block avalanches observed on 14 October on the SE, S, and SW flanks were incandescent. Ash drifted 1.5 km W and SW on 17 October. Ashfall was reported near la finca Monte Claro on 25 and 28 October. A lahar descended the Río San Isidro, a tributary of the Río El Tambor on 7 October carrying blocks 1-2 m in diameter, tree trunks, and branches. It was about 16 m wide and 1-2 m deep. Additional lahars descended the rio Cabello de Angel on 23 and 24 October. They were about 15 m wide and 2 m deep, and carried ash and blocks 1-2 m in diameter, tree trunks, and branches.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 103. Daily ash plumes were reported from the Caliente cone at Santa María during October 2019, similar to these from 30 September (left) and 11 October 2019 (right). Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 28 de septiembre al 04 de octubre de 2019; Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 05 al 11 de octubre de 2019).

During November 2019, steam plumes rose to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and generally drifted E. There were 1-3 explosions per hour; the ash plumes produced rose to altitudes of 3.1-3.5 km and often drifted SW, resulting in ashfall around the volcanic complex. Block avalanches descended the S and SW flanks every day. On 4 November ashfall was reported in the fincas (ranches) of El Faro, Santa Marta, El Viejo Palmar, and Las Marías, and the odor of sulfur was reported 10 km S. Incandescence was observed at the Caliente dome during the night of 5-6 November. Ash fell again in El Viejo Palmar, fincas La Florida, El Faro, and Santa Marta (5-6 km SW) on 7 November. Sulfur odor was also reported 8-10 km S on 16, 19, and 22 November. Fine-grained ash fell on 18 November in Loma Linda and San Marcos Palajunoj. On 29 November strong block avalanches descended in the SW flank, stirring up reddish ash that had fallen on the flanks (figure 104). The ash drifted up to 20 km SW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 104. Ash plumes rose from explosions multiple times per day at Santa Maria’s Santiaguito complex during November 2019, and block avalanches stirred up reddish clouds of ash that drifted for many kilometers. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH. Left, 11 November 2019, from Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 09 al 15 de noviembre de 2019. Right, 29 November 2019 from BOLETÍN VULCANOLÓGICO ESPECIAL BESTG# 106-2019, Guatemala 29 de noviembre de 2019, 10:50 horas (Hora Local).

White steam plumes rising to 2.9-3.0 km altitude drifted SE most days during December 2019. One to three explosions per hour produced ash plumes that rose to 3.1-3.5 km altitude and drifted W and SW producing ashfall on the flanks. Several strong block avalanches sent material down the SW flank. Ash from the explosions drifted about 1.5 km SW on 3 and 7 December. The Washington VAAC reported a small ash emission that rose to 4.9 km altitude and drifted WSW on 8 December, and another on 13 December that rose to 4.3 km altitude. Ashfall was reported up to 10 km S on 24 December. Incandescence was reported at the dome by INSIVUMEH eight times during the month, significantly more than during the recent previous months (figure 105).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 105. Strong thermal anomalies were visible in Sentinel-2 imagery at the summit of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex on 19 December 2019. Image uses Atmospheric Penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during January 2020 was similar to that during previous months. White plumes of steam rose from the Caliente dome to altitudes of 2.7-3.0 km and drifted SE; one to three explosions per hour produced ash plumes that rose to 3.2-3.4 km altitude and generally drifted about 1.5 km SW before dissipating. Frequent block avalanches on the SE flank caused smaller plumes that drifted SSW often over the ranches of San Marcos and Loma Linda Palajunoj. On 28 January ash plumes drifted W and SW over the communities of Calaguache, El Nuevo Palmar, and Las Marías. In addition to incandescence observed at the crater of Caliente dome at least nine times, thermal anomalies in satellite imagery were detected multiple times from the block avalanches on the S flank (figure 106).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 106. Incandescence at the summit and in the block avalanches on the S flank of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex was visible in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 8 and 13 January 2020. Atmospheric penetration rendering images (bands 12, 11, 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The Washington VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery at 4.6 km altitude drifting W on 3 February 2020. INSIVUMEH reported constant steam degassing that rose to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and drifted SW. In addition, 1-3 weak to moderate explosions per hour produced ash plumes to 3.1-3.5 km altitude that drifted about 1 km SW. Small amounts of ashfall around the volcano’s perimeter was common. The ash plumes on 5 February drifted NE over Santa María de Jesús. On 8 February the ash plumes drifted E and SE over the communities of Calaguache, El Nuevo Palmar, and Las Marías. Block avalanches on the S and SE flanks of Caliente dome continued, creating small ash clouds on the flank. Incandescence continued frequently at the crater and was also observed on the S flank in satellite imagery (figure 107).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 107. Incandescence at the summit and on the S flank of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex was frequent during February 2020, including on 2 (left) and 17 (right) February 2020 as seen in Sentinel-2 imagery. Atmostpheric Penetration rendering imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

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


Villarrica (Chile) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Villarrica

Chile

39.42°S, 71.93°W; summit elev. 2847 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Brief increase in explosions, mid-September 2019; continued thermal activity through February 2020

Historical eruptions at Chile's Villarrica, documented since 1558, have consisted largely of mild-to-moderate explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. An intermittently active lava lake at the summit has been the source of Strombolian activity, incandescent ejecta, and thermal anomalies for several decades; the current eruption has been ongoing since December 2014. Continuing activity during September 2019-February 2020 is covered in this report, with information provided by the Southern Andes Volcano Observatory (Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur, OVDAS), part of Chile's National Service of Geology and Mining (Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, SERNAGEOMIN), and Projecto Observación Villarrica Internet (POVI), part of the Fundacion Volcanes de Chile, a research group that studies volcanoes across Chile.

A brief period of heighted explosive activity in early September 2019 caused SERNAGEOMIN to raise the Alert Level from Yellow to Orange (on a four-color scale of Green-Yellow-Orange-Red) for several days. Increases in radiative power were visible in the MIROVA thermal anomaly data during September (figure 84). Although overall activity decreased after that, intermittent explosions were observed at the summit, and incandescence continued throughout September 2019-February 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery indicated a strong thermal anomaly from the summit crater whenever the weather conditions permitted. In addition, ejecta periodically covered the area around the summit crater, and particulates often covered the snow beneath the narrow gas plume drifting S from the summit (figure 85).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. Thermal activity at Villarrica from 28 May 2019 through February 2020 was generally at a low level, except for brief periods in August and September 2019 when larger explosions were witnessed and recorded in seismic data and higher levels of thermal activity were noted by the MIROVA project. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Natural-color (top) and Atmospheric penetration (bottom) renderings of three different dates during September 2019-February 2020 show typical continued activity at Villarica during the period. Dark ejecta periodically covered the snow around the summit crater, and streaks of particulate material were sometimes visible on the snow underneath the plumes of bluish gas drifting S from the volcano (top images). Persistent thermal anomalies were recorded in infrared satellite data on the same dates (bottom images). Dates recorded are (left to right) 28 September 2019, 20 December 2019, and 1 January 2020. Natural color rendering uses bands 4,3, and 2, and Atmospheric penetration rendering uses bands 12, 11, and 8a. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

SERNAGEOMIN raised the Alert Level from Green to Yellow in early August 2019 due to the increase in activity that included incandescent ejecta and bombs reaching 200 m from the summit crater (BGVN 44:09). An increase in seismic tremor activity on 8 September was accompanied by vigorous Strombolian explosions reported by POVI. The following day, SERNAGEOMIN raised the Alert Level from Yellow to Orange. Poor weather prevented visual observations of the summit on 8 and 9 September, but high levels of incandescence were observed briefly on 10 September. Incandescent ejecta reached 200 m from the crater rim late on 10 September (figure 86). Activity increased the next day with ejecta recorded 400 m from the crater, and the explosions were felt 12 km from the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. A new pulse of activity at Villarrica reached its maximum on 10 (left) and 11 (right) September 2019. Incandescent ejecta reached 200 m from the crater rim on 10 September and up to 400 m the following day. Courtesy of POVI (Volcan Villarrica, Resumen grafico del comportamiento, Septiembre 2019 a enero 2020).

Explosions decreased in intensity by 13 September, but avalanches of incandescent material were visible on the E flank in the early morning hours (figure 87). Small black plumes later in the day were interpreted by POVI as the result of activity from landslides within the crater. Fine ash deposited on the N and NW flanks during 16-17 September was attributed to wind moving ash from within the crater, and not to new emissions from the crater (figure 88). SERNAGEOMIN lowered the Alert Level to Yellow on 16 September as tremor activity decreased significantly. Activity continued to decrease during the second half of September; incandescence was moderate with no avalanches observed, and intermittent emissions with small amounts of material were noted. Degassing of steam plumes rose up to 120 m above the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. By 13 September 2019, a decrease in activity at Villarrica was apparent. Incandescence (red arrow) was visible on the E flank of Villarrica early on 13 September (left). Fine ash, likely from small collapses of new material inside the vent, rose a short distance above the summit later in the day (right). Courtesy of POVI (Volcan Villarrica, Resumen grafico del comportamiento, Septiembre 2019 a Enero 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. Fine-grained material covered the summit of Villarrica on 17 September 2019. POVI interpreted this as a result of strong winds moving fine ash-sized particles from within the crater and depositing them on the N and NW flanks. Courtesy of POVI (Volcan Villarrica, Resumen grafico del comportamiento, Septiembre 2019 a enero 2020).

Low-altitude degassing was typical activity during October-December 2019; occasionally steam and gas plumes rose 300 m above the summit, but they were generally less than 200 m high. Incandescence was visible at night when weather conditions permitted. Occasional Strombolian explosions were observed in the webcam (figure 89). During January and February 2020, similar activity was reported with steam plumes observed to heights of 300-400 m above the summit, and incandescence on nights where the summit was visible (figure 90). A drone overflight on 19 January produced a clear view into the summit crater revealing a 5-m-wide lava pit about 120 m down inside the crater (figure 91).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. Activity continued at a lower level at the summit of Villarrica from October-December 2019. The 30-m-wide vent at the bottom of the summit crater (120 m deep) of Villarrica (left) was emitting wisps of bluish gas on 30 October 2019. Sporadic Strombolian explosions ejected material around the crater rim on 12 December (right). Courtesy of POVI (Volcan Villarrica, Resumen grafico del comportamiento, Septiembre 2019 a enero 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Small explosive events were recorded at Villarrica during January and February 2020, including these events on 4 (left) and 18 (right) January where ejecta reached about 50 m above the crater rim. Courtesy of POVI (Volcan Villarrica, Resumen grafico del comportamiento, Septiembre 2019 a Enero 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. An oblique view into the bottom of the summit crater of Villarrica on 19 January 2020 was captured by drone. The diameter of the lava pit was calculated at about 5 m and was about 120 m deep. Image copyright by Leighton M. Watson, used with permission; courtesy of POVI (Volcan Villarrica, Resumen grafico del comportamiento, Septiembre 2019 a Enero 2020).

Geologic Background. Glacier-clad Villarrica, one of Chile's most active volcanoes, rises above the lake and town of the same name. It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain. A 6-km-wide caldera formed during the late Pleistocene. A 2-km-wide caldera that formed about 3500 years ago is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesitic cone at the NW margin of the Pleistocene caldera. More than 30 scoria cones and fissure vents dot the flanks. Plinian eruptions and pyroclastic flows that have extended up to 20 km from the volcano were produced during the Holocene. Lava flows up to 18 km long have issued from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions, documented since 1558, have consisted largely of mild-to-moderate explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. Glaciers cover 40 km2 of the volcano, and lahars have damaged towns on its flanks.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), Avda Sta María No. 0104, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.sernageomin.cl/); Proyecto Observación Villarrica Internet (POVI) (URL: http://www.povi.cl/); 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); Leighton M. Watson, Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1272, USA (URL: https://earthsciences.uoregon.edu/).


Semisopochnoi (United States) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Semisopochnoi

United States

51.93°N, 179.58°E; summit elev. 1221 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent small explosions detected in December 2019 through mid-March 2020

Semisopochnoi is a remote stratovolcano located in the western Aleutians dominated by an 8 km-wide caldera containing the small (100 m diameter) Fenner Lake and a three-cone cluster: a northern cone known as the North cone of Mount Cerberus, an eastern cone known as the East cone of Mount Cerberus, and a southern cone known as the South cone of Mount Cerberus. Previous volcanism has included small explosions, ash deposits, and gas-and-steam emissions. This report updates activity during September 2019 through March 2020 using information from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO). A new eruptive period began on 7 December 2019 and continued until mid-March 2020 with activity primarily focused in the North cone of Mount Cerberus.

During September-November 2019, low levels of unrest were characterized by intermittent weeks of elevated seismicity and gas-and-steam plumes visible on 8 September, 7-8 October, and 24 November. On 6 October an SO2 plume was visible in satellite imagery, according to AVO.

Seismicity increased on 5 December and was described as a strong tremor through 7 December. This tremor was associated with a small eruption on 7 December; intermittent explosions occurred and continued into the night. Increased seismicity was recorded throughout the rest of the month while AVO registered small explosions during 11-19 December. On 11-12 December, a gas-and-steam plume possibly containing some of ash extended 80 km (figure 2). Two more ash plumes were observed on 14 and 17 December, the latter of which extended 15 km SE. Sentinel-2 satellite images show gas-and-steam plumes rising from the North Cerberus crater intermittently at the end of 2019 and into early 2020 (figure 3).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Sentinel-2 satellite image showing a gray ash plume extending up to 17 km SE from the North Cerberus crater on 11 December 2019. Image taken by Hannah Dietterich; courtesy of AVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Sentinel-2 satellite images of gas-and-steam plumes at Semisopochnoi from late November 2019 through mid-March 2020. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The month of January 2020 was characterized by low levels of unrest due to intermittent low seismicity. Small explosions were reported during 14-17 February and a gas-and-steam plume was visible on 26 February. Seismic unrest occurred between 18 February-7 March. Gas-and-steam plumes were visible on 1, 9, 14-17, 20, and 21 March (figure 4). During 15-17 March, small explosions occurred, according to AVO. Additionally, clear satellite images showed gas-and-steam emissions and minor ash deposits around North Cerberus’ crater rim. After 17 March the explosions subsided and ash emissions were no longer observed. However, intermittent gas-and-steam emissions continued and seismicity remained elevated through the end of the month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Satellite image of Semisopochnoi showing degassing within the North Cerberus crater on 22 March 2020. Image taken by Matt Loewen; courtesy of AVO.

Geologic Background. Semisopochnoi, the largest subaerial volcano of the western Aleutians, is 20 km wide at sea level and contains an 8-km-wide caldera. It formed as a result of collapse of a low-angle, dominantly basaltic volcano following the eruption of a large volume of dacitic pumice. The high point of the island is 1221-m-high Anvil Peak, a double-peaked late-Pleistocene cone that forms much of the island's northern part. The three-peaked 774-m-high Mount Cerberus volcano was constructed during the Holocene within the caldera. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the northern flank of Cerberus appear younger than those on the southern side. Other post-caldera volcanoes include the symmetrical 855-m-high Sugarloaf Peak SSE of the caldera and Lakeshore Cone, a small cinder cone at the edge of Fenner Lake in the NE part of the caldera. Most documented historical eruptions have originated from Cerberus, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone within the caldera could have been active during historical time.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667 USA (URL: https://avo.alaska.edu/), b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://dggs.alaska.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Ubinas (Peru) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ubinas

Peru

16.355°S, 70.903°W; summit elev. 5672 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions produced ash plumes in September 2019; several lahars generated in January and February 2020

Ubinas, located 70 km from the city of Arequipa in Peru, has produced frequent eruptions since 1550 characterized by ash plumes, ballistic ejecta (blocks and bombs), some pyroclastic flows, and lahars. Activity is focused at the summit crater (figure 53). A new eruptive episode began on 24 June 2019, with an ash plume reaching 12 km altitude on 19 July. This report summarizes activity during September 2019 through February 2020 and is based on agency reports and satellite data.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. A PlanetScope satellite image of Ubinas on 16 December 2019. Courtesy of PlanetLabs.

Prior to September 2019 the last explosion occurred on 22 July. At 2145 on 1 September moderate, continuous ash emission occurred reaching nearly 1 km above the crater. An explosion produced an ash plume at 1358 on the 3rd that reached up to 1.3 km above the summit; six minutes later ashfall and lapilli up to 1.5 cm in diameter was reported 6 km away, with ashfall reported up to 8 km away (figure 54 and 55). Three explosions produced ash plumes at 0456, 0551, and 0844 on 4 September, with the two later ash plumes reaching around 2 km above the crater. The ash plume dispersed to the south and ashfall was reported in Ubinas, Tonohaya, San Miguel, Anascapa, Huatahua, Huarina, and Matalaque, reaching a thickness of 1 mm in Ubinas.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. An eruption at Ubinas produced an ash plume up to 1.3 km on at 1358 on 3 September 2019. Courtesy of INGEMMET.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Ash and lapilli fall up to 1.5 cm in diameter was reported 6 km away from Ubinas on 3 September 2019 (top) and an Ingemmet geologist collects ash samples from the last three explosions. Courtesy of INGEMMET.

During 8-9 September there were three explosions generating ash plumes to less than 2.5 km, with the largest occurring at 1358 and producing ashfall in the Moquegua region to the south. Following these events, gas and water vapor were continuously emitted up to 1 km above the crater. There was an increase in seismicity during the 10-11th and an explosion produced a 1.5 km high (above the crater) ash plume at 0726 on the 12th, which dispersed to the S and SE (figure 56). During 10-15 September there was continuous emission of gas (blue in color) and steam up to 1.5 km above the volcano. Gas emission, thermal anomalies, and seismicity continued during 16-29 September, but no further explosions were recorded.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. An explosion at Ubinas on 12 September 2019 produced an ash plume to 1.5 km above the volcano. The ash dispersed to the S and SE. Courtesy of IGP.

Throughout October activity consisted of seismicity, elevated temperatures within the crater, and gas emissions reaching 800 to 1,500 m above the crater. No explosions were recorded. Drone footage released in early October (figure 57) shows the gas emissions and provided a view of the crater floor (figure 58). On the 15th IGP reported that the likelihood of an eruption had reduced.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. IGP flew a fixed-wing drone over Ubinas as part of their monitoring efforts. This photograph shows gas emissions rising from the summit crater, published on 7 October 2019. Courtesy of IGP.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Drone image showing gas emissions and the summit crater of Ubinas. Image taken by IGP staff and released on 7 October 2019; courtesy of IGP.

Similar activity continued through early November with no reported explosions, and the thermal anomalies were no longer detected at the end of November (figure 59), although a faint thermal anomaly was visible in Sentinel-2 data in mid-December (figure 60). A rockfall occurred at 1138 on 13 November down the Volcanmayo gorge.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. This MIROA Log Radiative Power plot shows increased thermal energy detected at Ubinas during August through November 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite image showing elevated temperatures in the Ubinas crater on 16 December 2019. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

There were no explosions during January or February 2020, with seismicity and reduced gas emissions continuing. There was a small- to moderate-volume lahar generated at 1620 on 4 January down the SE flank. A second moderate- to high-volume lahar was generated at 1532 on 24 February, and three more lahars at 1325 and 1500 on 29 February, and at 1601 on 1 March, moved down the Volcanmayo gorge and the Sacohaya river channel. The last three lahars were of moderate to large volume.

Geologic Background. A small, 1.4-km-wide caldera cuts the top of Ubinas, Perú's most active volcano, giving it a truncated appearance. It is the northernmost of three young volcanoes located along a regional structural lineament about 50 km behind the main volcanic front. The growth and destruction of Ubinas I was followed by construction of Ubinas II beginning in the mid-Pleistocene. The upper slopes of the andesitic-to-rhyolitic Ubinas II stratovolcano are composed primarily of andesitic and trachyandesitic lava flows and steepen to nearly 45 degrees. The steep-walled, 150-m-deep summit caldera contains an ash cone with a 500-m-wide funnel-shaped vent that is 200 m deep. Debris-avalanche deposits from the collapse of the SE flank about 3,700 years ago extend 10 km from the volcano. Widespread Plinian pumice-fall deposits include one of Holocene age about 1,000 years ago. Holocene lava flows are visible on the flanks, but historical activity, documented since the 16th century, has consisted of intermittent minor-to-moderate explosive eruptions.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Volcanologico del INGEMMET (Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico), Barrio Magisterial Nro. 2 B-16 Umacollo - Yanahuara Arequipa, Peru (URL: http://ovi.ingemmet.gob.pe); Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP), Calle Badajoz N° 169 Urb. Mayorazgo IV Etapa, Ate, Lima 15012, Perú (URL: https://www.gob.pe/igp); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Planet Labs, Inc. (URL: https://www.planet.com/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Yasur (Vanuatu) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Yasur

Vanuatu

19.532°S, 169.447°E; summit elev. 361 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian activity continues during June 2019 through February 2020

Yasur has remained on Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 0-4) since 18 October 2016, indicating "Major Unrest; Danger Zone remains at 395 m around the eruptive vents." The summit crater contains several active vents that frequently produce Strombolian explosions and gas plumes (figure 60). This bulletin summarizes activity during June 2019 through February 2020 and is based on reports by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), visitor photographs and videos, and satellite data.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. The crater of Yasur contains several active vents that produce gas emissions and Strombolian activity. Photo taken during 25-27 October 2019 by Justin Noonan, used with permission.

A VMGD report on 27 June described ongoing Strombolian explosions with major unrest confined to the crater. The 25 July report noted the continuation of Strombolian activity with some strong explosions, and a warning that volcanic bombs may impact outside of the crater area (figure 61).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. A volcanic bomb (a fluid chunk of lava greater than 64 mm in diameter) that was ejected from Yasur. The pattern on the surface shows the fluid nature of the lava before it cooled into a solid rock. Photo taken during 25-27 October 2019 by Justin Noonan, used with permission.

No VMGD report was available for August, but Strombolian activity continued with gas emissions and explosions, as documented by visitors (figure 62). The eruption continued through September and October with some strong explosions and multiple active vents visible in thermal satellite imagery (figure 63). Strombolian explosions ejecting fluid lava from rapidly expanding gas bubbles were recorded during October, and likely represented the typical activity during the surrounding months (figure 64). Along with vigorous degassing producing a persistent plume there was occasional ash content (figure 65). At some point during 20-29 October a small landslide occurred along the eastern inner wall of the crater, visible in satellite images and later confirmed to have produced ashfall at the summit (figure 66).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. Different views of the Yasur vents on 7-8 August 2019 taken from a video. Strombolian activity and degassing were visible. Courtesy of Arnold Binas, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 63. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images show variations in detected thermal energy emitting from the active Yasur vents on 18 September and 22 December 2019. False color (bands 12, 11, 4) satellite images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 64. Strombolian explosions at Yasur during 25-27 October 2019. Large gas bubbles rise to the top of the lava column and burst, ejecting volcanic bombs – fluid chunks of lava, out of the vent. Photos by Justin Noonan, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 65. Gas and ash emissions rise from the active vents at Yasur between 25-27 October 2019. Photos by Justin Noonan, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. Planet Scope satellite images of Yasur show a change in the crater morphology between 20 and 29 October 2019. Copyright of Planet Labs.

Continuous explosive activity continued in November-February with some stronger explosions recorded along with accompanying gas emissions. Gas plumes of sulfur dioxide were detected by satellite sensors on some days through this period (figure 67) and ash content was present at times (figure 68). Thermal anomalies continued to be detected by satellite sensors with varying intensity, and with a reduction in intensity in February, as seen in Sentinel-2 imagery and the MIROVA system (figures 69 and 70).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. SO2 plumes detected at Yasur by Aura/OMI on 21 December 2019 and 31 January 2020, drifting W to NW, and on 14 and 23 February 2020, drifting W and south, and NWW to NW. Courtesy of Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, NASA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. An ash plume erupts from Yasur on 20 February 2020 and drifts NW. Courtesy of Planet Labs.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images show variations in detected thermal energy in the active Yasur vents during January and February 2020. False color (bands 12, 11, 4) satellite images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. The MIROVA thermal detection system recorded persistent thermal energy emitted at Yasur with some variation from mid-May 2019 to May 2020. There was a reduction in detected energy after January. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Geologic Background. Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous Strombolian and Vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, this mostly unvegetated pyroclastic cone has a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. The active cone is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera, and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.

Information Contacts: Geo-Hazards Division, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management, Private Mail Bag 9054, Lini Highway, Port Vila, Vanuatu (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/, https://www.facebook.com/VanuatuGeohazardsObservatory/); 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); Planet Labs, Inc. (URL: https://www.planet.com/); 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/); Justin Noonan (URL: https://www.justinnoonan.com/, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justinnoonan_/); Doro Adventures (Twitter: https://twitter.com/DoroAdventures, URL: http://doroadventures.com/).


Cleveland (United States) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Cleveland

United States

52.825°N, 169.944°W; summit elev. 1730 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent thermal anomalies and lava dome subsidence, February 2019-January 2020

Cleveland is a stratovolcano located in the western portion of Chuginadak Island, a remote island part of the east central Aleutians. Common volcanism has included small lava flows, explosions, and ash clouds. Intermittent lava dome growth, small ash explosions, and thermal anomalies have characterized more recent activity (BGVN 44:02). For this reporting period during February 2019-January 2020, activity largely consisted of gas-and-steam emissions and intermittent thermal anomalies within the summit crater. The primary source of information comes from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) and various satellite data.

Low levels of unrest occurred intermittently throughout this reporting period with gas-and-steam emissions and thermal anomalies as the dominant type of activity (figures 30 and 31). An explosion on 9 January 2019 was followed by lava dome growth observed during 12-16 January. Suomi NPP/VIIRS sensor data showed two hotspots on 8 and 14 February 2019, though there was no evidence of lava within the summit crater at that time. According to satellite imagery from AVO, the lava dome was slowly subsiding during February into early March. Elevated surface temperatures were detected on 17 and 24 March in conjunction with degassing; another gas-and-steam plume was observed rising from the summit on 30 March. Thermal anomalies were again seen on 15 and 28 April using Suomi NPP/VIIRS sensor data. Intermittent gas-and-steam emissions continued as the number of detected thermal anomalies slightly increased during the next month, occurring on 1, 7, 15, 18, and 23 May. A gas-and-steam plume was observed on 9 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. The MIROVA graph of thermal activity (log radiative power) at Cleveland during 4 February 2019 through January 2020 shows increased thermal anomalies between mid-April to late November 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) confirmed intermittent thermal signatures occurring in the summit crater during March 2019 through October 2019. Some gas-and-steam plumes were observed accompanying the thermal anomaly, as seen on 17 March 2019 and 8 May 2019. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

There were 10 thermal anomalies observed in June, and 11 each in July and August. Typical mild degassing was visible when photographed on 9 August (figure 32). On 14 August, seismicity increased, which included a swarm of a dozen local earthquakes. The lava dome emplaced in January was clearly visible in satellite imagery (figure 33). The number of thermal anomalies decreased the next month, occurring on 10, 21, and 25 September. During this month, a gas-and-steam plume was observed in a webcam image on 6, 8, 20, and 25 September. On 3-6, 10, and 21 October elevated surface temperatures were recorded as well as small gas-and-steam plumes on 4, 7, 13, and 20-25 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Photograph of Cleveland showing mild degassing from the summit vent taken on 9 August 2019. Photo by Max Kaufman; courtesy of AVO/USGS.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Satellite image of Cleveland showing faint gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit crater. High-resolution image taken on 17 August 2019 showing the lava dome from January 2019 inside the crater (dark ring). Image created by Hannah Dietterich; courtesy of AVO/USGS and DigitalGlobe.

Four thermal anomalies were detected on 3, 6, and 8-9 November. According to a VONA report from AVO on 8 November, satellite data suggested possible slow lava effusion in the summit crater; however, by the 15th no evidence of eruptive activity had been seen in any data sources. Another thermal anomaly was observed on 14 January 2020. Gas-and-steam emissions observed in webcam images continued intermittently.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows intermittent weak thermal anomalies within 5 km of the crater summit during mid-April through November 2019 with a larger cluster of activity in early June, late July and early October (figure 30). Thermal satellite imagery from Sentinel-2 also detected weak thermal anomalies within the summit crater throughout the reporting period, occasionally accompanied by gas-and-steam plumes (figure 31).

Geologic Background. The beautifully symmetrical Mount Cleveland stratovolcano is situated at the western end of the uninhabited Chuginadak Island. It lies SE across Carlisle Pass strait from Carlisle volcano and NE across Chuginadak Pass strait from Herbert volcano. Joined to the rest of Chuginadak Island by a low isthmus, Cleveland is the highest of the Islands of the Four Mountains group and is one of the most active of the Aleutian Islands. The native name, Chuginadak, refers to the Aleut goddess of fire, who was thought to reside on the volcano. Numerous large lava flows descend the steep-sided flanks. It is possible that some 18th-to-19th century eruptions attributed to Carlisle should be ascribed to Cleveland (Miller et al., 1998). In 1944 Cleveland produced the only known fatality from an Aleutian eruption. Recent eruptions have been characterized by short-lived explosive ash emissions, at times accompanied by lava fountaining and lava flows down the flanks.

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


San Miguel (El Salvador) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

San Miguel

El Salvador

13.434°N, 88.269°W; summit elev. 2130 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small ash emissions during 22 February 2020

San Miguel, locally known as Chaparrastique, is a stratovolcano located in El Salvador. Recent activity has consisted of occasional small ash explosions and ash emissions. Infrequent gas-and-steam and ash emissions were observed during this reporting period of June 2018-March 2020. The primary source of information for this report comes from El Salvador's Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET) and special reports from the Ministero de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN) in addition to various satellite data.

Based on Sentinel-2 satellite imagery and analyses of infrared MODIS data, volcanism at San Miguel from June 2018 to mid-February was relatively low, consisting of occasional gas-and-steam emissions. During 2019, a weak thermal anomaly in the summit crater was registered in thermal satellite imagery (figure 27). This thermal anomaly persisted during a majority of the year but was not visible after September 2019; faint gas-and-steam emissions could sometimes be seen rising from the summit crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of a faint but consistent thermal anomaly at San Miguel during 2019. Images with "Atmospheric penetration" (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Volcanism was prominent beginning on 13-20 February 2020 when SO2 emissions exceeded 620 tons/day (typical low SO2 values are less than 400 tons/day). During 20-21 February the amplitude of microearthquakes increased and minor emissions of gas-and-steam and SO2 were visible within the crater (figure 28). According to SNET and special reports from MARN, on 22 February at 1055 an ash cloud was visible rising 400 m above the crater rim (figure 29), resulting in minor ashfall in Piedra Azul (5 km SW). That same day RSAM values peaked at 550 units as recorded by the VSM station on the upper N flank, which is above normal values of about 150. Seismicity increased the day after the eruptive activity. Minor gas-and-steam emissions continued to rise 400 m above the crater rim during 23-24 February; the RSAM values fell to 33-97 units. Activity in March was relatively low; some seismicity, including small magnitude earthquakes, occurred during the month in addition to SO2 emissions ranging from 517 to 808 tons/day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Minor gas-and-steam emissions rising from the crater at San Miguel on 21 February 2020. Courtesy of Ministero de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Gas-and-steam and ash emissions rising from the crater at San Miguel on 22 February 2020. Courtesy of Ministero de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN).

Geologic Background. The symmetrical cone of San Miguel volcano, one of the most active in El Salvador, rises from near sea level to form one of the country's most prominent landmarks. The unvegetated summit rises above slopes draped with coffee plantations. A broad, deep crater complex that has been frequently modified by historical eruptions (recorded since the early 16th century) caps the truncated summit, also known locally as Chaparrastique. Radial fissures on the flanks of the basaltic-andesitic volcano have fed a series of historical lava flows, including several erupted during the 17th-19th centuries that reached beyond the base of the volcano on the N, NE, and SE sides. The SE-flank flows are the largest and form broad, sparsely vegetated lava fields crossed by highways and a railroad skirting the base of the volcano. The location of flank vents has migrated higher on the edifice during historical time, and the most recent activity has consisted of minor ash eruptions from the summit crater.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET), Ministero de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN), Km. 5½ Carretera a Nueva San Salvador, Avenida las Mercedes, San Salvador, El Salvador (URL: http://www.snet.gob.sv/ver/vulcanologia); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Ambrym (Vanuatu) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambrym

Vanuatu

16.25°S, 168.12°E; summit elev. 1334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Fissure eruption in December 2018 produces an offshore pumice eruption after lava lakes drain

Ambrym is an active volcanic island in the Vanuatu archipelago consisting of a 12 km-wide summit caldera. Benbow and Marum are two currently active craters within the caldera that have produced lava lakes, explosions, lava flows, ash, and gas emissions, in addition to fissure eruptions. More recently, a submarine fissure eruption in December 2018 produced lava fountains and lava flows, which resulted in the drainage of the active lava lakes in both the Benbow and Marum craters (BGVN 44:01). This report updates information from January 2019 through March 2020, including the submarine pumice eruption during December 2018 using information from the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) and research by Shreve et al. (2019).

Activity on 14 December 2018 consisted of thermal anomalies located in the lava lake that disappeared over a 12-hour time period; a helicopter flight on 16 December confirmed the drainage of the summit lava lakes as well as a partial collapse of the Benbow and Marum craters (figure 49). During 14-15 December, a lava flow (figure 49), accompanied by lava fountaining, was observed originating from the SE flank of Marum, producing SO2 and ash emissions. A Mw 5.6 earthquake on 15 December at 2021 marked the beginning of a dike intrusion into the SE rift zone as well as a sharp increase in seismicity (Shreve et al., 2019). This intrusion extended more than 30 km from within the caldera to beyond the east coast, with a total volume of 419-532 x 106 m3 of magma. More than 2 m of coastal uplift was observed along the SE coast due to the asymmetry of the dike from December, resulting in onshore fractures.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 49. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Ambrym before the December 2018 eruption (left), and during the eruption (right). Before the eruption, the thermal signatures within both summit craters were strong and after the eruption, the thermal signatures were no longer detected. A lava flow was observed during the eruption on 15 December. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Shreve et al. (2019) state that although the dike almost reached the surface, magma did not erupt from the onshore fractures; only minor gas emissions were detected until 17 December. An abrupt decrease in the seismic moment release on 17 December at 1600 marked the end of the dike propagation (figure 50). InSAR-derived models suggested an offshore eruption (Shreve et al., 2019). This was confirmed on 18-19 December when basaltic pumice, indicating a subaqueous eruption, was collected on the beach near Pamal and Ulei. Though the depth and exact location of the fissure has not been mapped, the nature of the basaltic pumice would suggest it was a relatively shallow offshore eruption, according to Shreve et al. (2019).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 50. Geographical timeline summary of the December 2018 eruptive events at Ambrym. The lava lake level began to drop on 14 December, with fissure-fed lava flows during 14-15 December. After an earthquake on 15 December, a dike was detected, causing coastal uplift as it moved E. As the dike continued to propagate upwards, faulting was observed, though magma did not breach the surface. Eventually a submarine fissure eruption was confirmed offshore on 18-19 December. Image modified from Shreve et al. (2019).

In the weeks following the dike emplacement, there was more than 2 m of subsidence measured at both summit craters identified using ALOS-2 and Sentinel-1 InSAR data. After 22 December, no additional large-scale deformation was observed, though a localized discontinuity (less than 12 cm) measured across the fractures along the SE coast in addition to seismicity suggested a continuation of the distal submarine eruption into late 2019. Additional pumice was observed on 3 February 2019 near Pamal village, suggesting possible ongoing activity. These surveys also noted that no gas-and-steam emissions, lava flows, or volcanic gases were emitted from the recently active cracks and faults on the SE cost of Ambrym.

During February-October 2019, onshore activity at Ambrym declined to low levels of unrest, according to VMGD. The only activity within the summit caldera consisted of gas-and-steam emissions, with no evidence of the previous lava lakes (figure 51). Intermittent seismicity and gas-and-steam emissions continued to be observed at Ambrym and offshore of the SE coast. Mével et al. (2019) installed three Trillium Compact 120s posthole seismometers in the S and E part of Ambrym from 25 May to 5 June 2019. They found that there were multiple seismic events, including a Deep-Long Period event and mixed up/down first motions at two stations near the tip of the dike intrusion and offshore of Pamal at depths of 15-20 km below sea level. Based on a preliminary analysis of these data, Mével et al. (2019) interpreted the observations as indicative of ongoing volcanic seismicity in the region of the offshore dike intrusion and eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 51. Aerial photograph of Ambrym on 12 August 2019 showing gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit caldera. Courtesy of VMGD.

Seismicity was no longer reported from 10 October 2019 through March 2020. Thermal anomalies were not detected in satellite data except for one in late April and one in early September 2019, according to MODIS thermal infrared data analyzed by the MIROVA system. The most recent report from VMGD was issued on 27 March 2020, which noted low-level unrest consisting of dominantly gas-and-steam emissions.

References:

Shreve T, Grandin R, Boichu M, Garaebiti E, Moussallam Y, Ballu V, Delgado F, Leclerc F, Vallée M, Henriot N, Cevuard S, Tari D, Lebellegard P, Pelletier B, 2019. From prodigious volcanic degassing to caldera subsidence and quiescence at Ambrym (Vanuatu): the influence of regional tectonics. Sci. Rep. 9, 18868. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-55141-7.

Mével H, Roman D, Brothelande E, Shimizu K, William R, Cevuard S, Garaebiti E, 2019. The CAVA (Carnegie Ambrym Volcano Analysis) Project - a Multidisciplinary Characterization of the Structure and Dynamics of Ambrym Volcano, Vanuatu. American Geophysical Union, Fall 2019 Meeting, Abstract and Poster V43C-0201.

Geologic Background. Ambrym, a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera, is one of the most active volcanoes of the New Hebrides Arc. A thick, almost exclusively pyroclastic sequence, initially dacitic then basaltic, overlies lava flows of a pre-caldera shield volcano. The caldera was formed during a major Plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1,900 years ago. Post-caldera eruptions, primarily from Marum and Benbow cones, have partially filled the caldera floor and produced lava flows that ponded on the floor or overflowed through gaps in the caldera rim. Post-caldera eruptions have also formed a series of scoria cones and maars along a fissure system oriented ENE-WSW. Eruptions have apparently occurred almost yearly during historical time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents. However, from 1850 to 1950, reporting was mostly limited to extra-caldera eruptions that would have affected local populations.

Information Contacts: Geo-Hazards Division, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management, Private Mail Bag 9054, Lini Highway, Port Vila, Vanuatu (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/, https://www.facebook.com/VanuatuGeohazardsObservatory/); 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/).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 28, Number 07 (July 2003)

Managing Editor: Edward Venzke

Anatahan (United States)

Observations of deposits from the eruptive sequence that began 10 May 2003

Arenal (Costa Rica)

September 2000-October 2001 eruptions include pyroclastic flows

Awu (Indonesia)

Elevated seismicity during last half of 2000

Bezymianny (Russia)

26 July 2003 ash plume to 8-11 km altitude

Chikurachki (Russia)

Infrequent observations suggest weaker eruptions continued in July 2003

Colima (Mexico)

Small explosions produced, including two on 17 July; absence of lava flows

Dieng Volcanic Complex (Indonesia)

Mud bubbling and outflows at Sileri crater that reached 50 m beyond crater rim

Gamalama (Indonesia)

Ashfall from 31 July eruption coats Ternate; pyroclastic flow

Kanlaon (Philippines)

1-km-high plume of ash-laden steam on 10-11 July 2003

Karangetang (Indonesia)

June 2003 ash plumes and two lava avalanches

Karymsky (Russia)

May-July ash plumes; affiliated seismicity and satellite thermal anomalies

Klyuchevskoy (Russia)

Gas-and-steam plumes June-August with occassional ash plumes

Krakatau (Indonesia)

Foggy weather and low seismicity

Leroboleng (Indonesia)

June-July ash plumes reported by pilots may be the first eruptions in 122 years

Negro, Cerro (Nicaragua)

Slumbering volcano yields uneventful seismic and fumarolic temperature data

Papandayan (Indonesia)

After the explosions of November 2002, seismicity and eruptions waned

Semeru (Indonesia)

Ash plumes, pyroclastic flows, and high seismicity continue through June

Sheveluch (Russia)

Lava dome growth and ash-and-gas plumes to 5 km high

Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom)

Changes in activity style and dome growth since February 2002

Stromboli (Italy)

Flank eruption finished as of 22 July; activity resumed at summit craters on 17 April

Yellowstone (United States)

Geyser basin heats up, affecting thermal features



Anatahan (United States) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Anatahan

United States

16.35°N, 145.67°E; summit elev. 790 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Observations of deposits from the eruptive sequence that began 10 May 2003

Anatahan erupted on the evening of 10 May 2003 (BGVN 28:04). The volcano, which forms the uninhabited Anatahan Island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), had no recorded historical eruptions. This report provides observations from a 25 July 2003 report (updated 31 July 2003) by the University of Tokyo Earthquake Research Institute (ERI) documenting fieldwork by their team during 16-19 July 2003. During the inspection, the volcano was quiet, with only weak steaming at the active crater. Seismicity reported by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Emergency Management Office continued into early August.

Tephra deposits. The recent eruption left recognizable tephra deposits consisting mainly of pumice-bearing brown ash in a lower unit and fine gray ash in an upper unit (figure 10). Both the upper and lower units consist of many sub-layers. At the village (NW end of the island) the total thickness of brown ash was 20 cm and gray ash was 3 cm.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Section of tephra seen just S of Anatahan's active crater on 18 July showing deposits laid down in the eruptions that began in May 2003. The section contains a lower (brown) pumice-fall deposit (~ 25 cm thick) covered by multiple layers (~ 20 cm thick) of gray ash from phreatic eruptions. Courtesy of S. Nakada, University of Tokyo.

At the SE part of the island tephra deposits were less than 3 cm thick. Although grass and trees did not show heat damage, plastic bottles had melted. The outer S slope of the active crater in the E caldera was thickly covered by gray ash. Many rills and gullies developed on these deposits due to the impermeable nature of the gray ash, which typically consisted of very fine particles. Occasionally the observers noted partly broken, stripped trees on the slopes, with a thick cover of gray tephra accumulated on the side facing the active crater. Tephra was ~20 cm thick near the crater rim and pumice-bearing tephra below was ~25 cm thick. The latter included blocks and fragments of pumice.

Inside the W caldera, tephra deposits reached a thickness of up to 1 m. Gray ash was deposited most thickly NW of the crater. Pumice-bearing tephra was thickest in the WSW direction from the crater. The latter is consistent with the drift direction of eruption plumes in the earliest stage shown by satellite images (BGVN 28:06). Although most of the trees had survived falling pumice early during the eruption, they were toppled by the strong lateral movement of gray ash during the phreatic phase.

Crater observations. The mid-July fieldwork included two days of helicopter inspection; observers saw only steaming at the active crater. That crater occupied the S part of the E crater, which lies inside the E caldera. The S wall of the active crater extended directly into the wall of the E crater. The new crater was ~300 m across and ~100 m deep, with the deepest part in the S containing a dried-out mud pool.

A mound-like but rugged-ridged lava dome protruded along the active crater's inner N periphery (figure 11). The surface of this recently erupted dome lay beneath a thick cover of gray ash associated with the phreatic eruption. Infrared camera images indicate that it remained at higher temperature than deposits outside the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Aerial view showing the steaming crater at Anatahan from the NW on 19 July 2003. The lava dome (center left) lies inside the crater. A pyroclastic cone had developed on the N side, surrounding the crater. Courtesy of S. Nakada, University of Tokyo.

The dome may have been broken by explosive eruptions in mid-June when high seismic and visual activities were reported. Products of a reamed-out dome may have been broken into small clasts, widely dispersed, and buried by later deposits. On the other hand, neither bombs nor blocks were clearly visible on the floors of either the E crater (outside the pyroclastic cone) or in the E caldera. Thus, the absence of large blocks of lava dome around the active crater could suggest that the original dimensions of the lava dome may have been small and that the dome had undergone comparatively little sculpting by later explosions.

A low pyroclastic cone developed on the crater's N side (figure 11). The maximum thickness of newly deposited tephra exposed in a gully through this cone reached ~20 m.

Chemistry and degassing of magma. Pumice from this eruption was crystal-poor and light to dark brown in color. A pumice block with a light-brown crust and dark-brown vesicular core collected from the pumice-fall layer just S of the active crater was analyzed by x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy at ERI. The crust and core parts were separately analyzed; each contained 61 weight percent SiO2.

Observers saw blue- to purple-colored gas escaping the active crater and smelled a strong rotten-egg near the S rim of the E caldera on 18 July. Instrumental concentration estimates measured 2-4 ppm SO2 and 0.5 ppm H2S. The SO2 emission rate remained moderate to low throughout the inspection; the total SO2 flux was probably less than several thousand tons a day, similar to that at Sakurajima, Japan.

Ongoing activity, July into early August. According to CNMI reports, volcanic tremor and other seismicity at Anatahan persisted through July and into August 2003 at a relatively low level. On 1 August the Anatahan seismic station registered a small swarm of a dozen or so long-period (LP) events of approximate magnitude 1; similar swarms occurred on 4 and 5 August. Several hundred small (LP) events occurred during 5-6 August. The number of small LP events was greater than that of previous days, but the overall energy release appears not to have increased significantly. No LP events were recorded on 7 August.

Geologic Background. The elongate, 9-km-long island of Anatahan in the central Mariana Islands consists of a large stratovolcano with a 2.3 x 5 km compound summit caldera. The larger western portion of the caldera is 2.3 x 3 km wide, and its western rim forms the island's high point. Ponded lava flows overlain by pyroclastic deposits fill the floor of the western caldera, whose SW side is cut by a fresh-looking smaller crater. The 2-km-wide eastern portion of the caldera contained a steep-walled inner crater whose floor prior to the 2003 eruption was only 68 m above sea level. A submarine cone, named NE Anatahan, rises to within 460 m of the sea surface on the NE flank, and numerous other submarine vents are found on the NE-to-SE flanks. Sparseness of vegetation on the most recent lava flows had indicated that they were of Holocene age, but the first historical eruption did not occur until May 2003, when a large explosive eruption took place forming a new crater inside the eastern caldera.

Information Contacts: Setsuya Nakada and Teruyuki Kato, Volcano Research Center, Earthquake Research Institute (ERI), University of Tokyo (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Takeshi Matsushima, Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (SEVO), Kyushu University, Japan; Juan Takai Camacho and Ramon Chong, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Emergency Management Office, P.O. Box 10007, Saipan, MP 96950, USA (URL: http://www.cnmihsem.gov.mp/).


Arenal (Costa Rica) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Arenal

Costa Rica

10.463°N, 84.703°W; summit elev. 1670 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


September 2000-October 2001 eruptions include pyroclastic flows

During September 2000-October 2001 Arenal issued frequent Strombolian eruptions, occasional avalanches, and several episodes with sizable pyroclastic flows (PFs). Crater D remained fumarolic, with the eruptive activity centered at crater C. Crater C also emitted lava flows (as many as three simultaneously) down Arenal's NE-NW sides. In some cases the site of pyroclastic-flow (PF) generation came from outside crater C, emerging where lava flows perched on the slopes, broke open, and violently released blocks, ash, and gas (block-and-ash flows).

In September-November 2000, OVSICORI-UNA reports noted that the lava flows that began after the 23 August PFs descended the N flank, and during that month had fronts at ~900 m elevation. Sporadic avalanches broke off the lava flow fronts. One such episode at 0630 on 11 September 2000 produced a small ash column. September-November ash columns remained under 500 m above crater C. In September and later months cold loose debris came down parts of the edifice, entering the drainages Calle de Arenas, Manolo, Guillermina, and the larger Tabacón and Agua Caliente rivers.

Deformation, as measured by surveys of the distance network, lacked significant changes during August 2000-November 2000. However, between December and April 2001 there were sudden changes in line length, on the order of a centimeter on all lines, and most appreciable on NE-sector lines. The N-NE sectors are also where most of the lava flows and avalanche instability has occurred. Deformation and tilt changes through 2001 were otherwise described as minor.

Two noteworthy PFs, in August 2000 and March 2001, did not correlate with short-term increases in precursory seismicity. Crater C emitted Strombolian eruptions and N-directed lava flows in late February, and produced PFs during March 2001.

Eruptive episode of late March 2001. During 24 and 26 March 2001 PFs descended Arenal (figure 95) in a series of pulses traveling NNE towards Cedeño lake. Both reports from ICE and OVSICORI-UNA presented the eruptive time as about 1245 on the 24th and continuing until about 1600, with OVSICORI-UNA reporting under six pulses and ICE reporting under 10 pulses. ICE reported that the strongest pulses took place at 1258, 1331, and 1400. After that, the pulses became more frequent but of minor size.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 95. Annotated photograph of Arenal's N flanks showing the sketched-in outline of March 2001 pyroclastic-flow (PF) paths. The lower margins of the March 2001 PFs branched into transverse lobes, but the "main lobe" contained the bulk of the deposited material. The 23 August 2000 PFs descended to 620 m elevation, ~ 40-100 m lower, but Cedeño lake and the distal ends of the various PF deposits are absent from this photo. The PFs of March 2001 also produced some erosion on the upper walls of crater C. At the distal end, fine material was deposited atop the August 2000 PF deposits. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

ICE reports concluded that PFs reappeared on the 25th, with four pulses between 1348 and 1430. In contrast, OVSICORI-UNA's March report did not conclude that PFs occurred on the 25th and only described pulses on 24 and 26 March. ICE described PFs on the 26th as occurring in fewer than 8 pulses, between the hours of 0917 and 1400. OVSICORI-UNA stated that on the 26th there were fewer than three pulses in the early afternoon. It is clear that a series of PFs occurred over the 3-day (24-26 March) period, with few or none on the 25th.

Seismic signals interpreted by OVSICORI-UNA as PFs typically had durations lasting 100-200 seconds. This provided some measure of their time of origin and descent. These workers found that some very large (up to 36 x 17 x 5 m) incandescent blocks yielded temperatures of over 700°C two days after emplacement. They also reported that on Arenal's slopes the PFs excavated a gully 4 m wide by 500 m long. Field observations also disclosed that PFs or other processes removed part of the summit area, including segments of the cone's upper raised walls.

OVSICORI-UNA noted that the largest PFs accompanied dense clouds of lofted fine ash carried SW. The most distant ash fell over the main entrance to the park, in a pueblo known as El Castillo, and as far as 12 km from the source. OVSICORI-UNA scientists reported the lowest margins of the PFs reached ~660 m elevation.

Field work by ICE scientists Guillermo Alvarado and Francisco Arias revealed PF deposits forming three lobes. The main one was 10-50 m wide and reached 2 km in length. It reached down to 720 m elevation and covered 240,000 m3. When investigated (at an unstated date), its temperature measured over 200°C. The PFs had devastated 6-10 hectares (1 hectare is 104 m2) of primary forest, and the PFs, or related ash fall, heat, or singeing gases, had affected another 15 hectares. After the PFs diminished, lava flows began to escape following the same channel, their fronts later attaining ~1,400 m elevation.

This 24-26 March 2001 episode of PFs was judged to have been of smaller magnitude than the episode of 23 August 2000, a day when 27 pulses of PFs were observed, also directed towards lake Cedeño (BGVN 25:07 and 25:08). On that occasion two people died and another was seriously injured. The March 2001 PFs were without reported injuries or fatalities, although the affected zone was somewhat similar.

According to the ICE report, Alvarado and Arroyo (2000) listed five occasions when Arenal discharged a sequence of PFs for longer than one day (17-21 June 1975, 21-22 February 1989, 9-10 December 1991, 29-30 September 1996, and 19-20 August 1997). Only the sequence during 17-21 June 1975 and their interpretation of one during 24-26 March 2001 lasted more than 2 days. PFs in both of these multi-day sequences attained runout distances of over 1 km; by comparison, the flows during 1989 and 1996 did not surpass half kilometer runout distances. The longest PF occurred in 1975, reaching a 3.5 km runout distance, with the PF's distal portions following the Tabacón river.

April-December 2001. In their report for April 2001 OVSICORI-UNA reported that a lava flow had emerged from crater C decending along the path of the previous month's PFs, with lavas extending from the crater rim to the lava's front at ~1,400 m elevation. Blocks falling off the front reached 950 m elevation in N and NE directions. By the end of May 2001 OVSICORI-UNA noted the descending lavas took the form of three distinct flows that each crossed a different portion of crater C's rim. The three flows continued during June. At that time a sudden change was noted at a thermal spring along the Tabacón valley (NW of Arenal's summit). Its surface dropped by ~60 cm; the temperature of the spring remained stable, however, at 52°C. Deformation in the first half of 2001 showed only minor changes in both surveyed lines and tilt meters. The precise leveling lines on the W flank continued to show deflation on the order of 7 µrad/year.

OVSICORI-UNA stated that on 16 June at 0610 a small PF erupted. Although it failed to cause reported damage, it descended the NW flank in the direction of Balneario de Tabacón (a popular lodging and spa complex with thermal pools) situated farther downslope. During July two of the lava flows (the N- and NE-flank lavas) erupted during May and June stopped progressing. Meanwhile, the third lava flow, which exited crater C on the NW flank, remained active and mobile. During July and August, the eruptive vigor stood at modest levels; still, some eruption columns during July rose 500 m. The August and September reports stated that the one remaining actively progressing lava flow reached 950 and then 900 m elevation, respectively. It descended the same channel followed by the 16 July PF but had advanced little if any farther through October.

More PFs on 19 September 2001, during 1633-1640, and at 1646, were generated by lateral loosening of the lava flow at ~1,300 m elevation; it reached ~900 m elevation. The larger had an associated coffee-colored, mushroom-shaped cloud reaching more than 1 km in height. The associated ash cloud blew SE. PFs descended again on 18 October at 1035 from ~1,200 m elevation NE to 900 m elevation. Winds carried the associated ash cloud W.

Reference. Alvarado, G.E., and Arroyo, I., 2000, The pyroclastic flows of Arenal (Costa Rica) between 1975 and 2000: Origin, frequency, distribution and related hazards: Bulletin Osivam, v. 12, no. 23-24, p. 39-53.

Geologic Background. Conical Volcán Arenal is the youngest stratovolcano in Costa Rica and one of its most active. The 1670-m-high andesitic volcano towers above the eastern shores of Lake Arenal, which has been enlarged by a hydroelectric project. Arenal lies along a volcanic chain that has migrated to the NW from the late-Pleistocene Los Perdidos lava domes through the Pleistocene-to-Holocene Chato volcano, which contains a 500-m-wide, lake-filled summit crater. The earliest known eruptions of Arenal took place about 7000 years ago, and it was active concurrently with Cerro Chato until the activity of Chato ended about 3500 years ago. Growth of Arenal has been characterized by periodic major explosive eruptions at several-hundred-year intervals and periods of lava effusion that armor the cone. An eruptive period that began with a major explosive eruption in 1968 ended in December 2010; continuous explosive activity accompanied by slow lava effusion and the occasional emission of pyroclastic flows characterized the eruption from vents at the summit and on the upper western flank.

Information Contacts: E. Fernández, E. Duarte, E. Malavassi, R. Sáenz, V. Barboza, R. Van der Laat, T. Marino, E. Hernández, and F. Chavarría, Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (OVSICORI-UNA); Jorge Barquero and Wendy Sáenz, Laboratorio de Química de la Atmósfera (LAQAT), Depto. de Química, Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica; María Martínez (at both affiliations above); Orlando Vaselli and Franco Tassi, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, Via La Pira 4, 50121 Florence, Italy; Ivonne Arroyo and Guillermo Alvarado, Observatorio Sismológico y Vulcanológico de Arenal y Miravalles (OSIVAM) Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Apdo 10032-San José, Costa Rica; Mauricio Mora, Sección de Sismología, Vulcanología y Exploración Geofísica, Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), Apdo. 214-2060 San José, Costa Rica.


Awu (Indonesia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Awu

Indonesia

3.689°N, 125.447°E; summit elev. 1318 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Elevated seismicity during last half of 2000

The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) issued reports of activity at Awu during June-July 2000, November-December 2002, and more recently during January-early March 2003, all of which are summarized here.

During June 2000, VSI reported an increase in seismicity, especially deep volcanic earthquakes (table 1). Satellite-relayed monitoring (by ARGOS) showed an increase in seismic energy beginning on 18 May 2000; deformation data showed inflation of ~800 µrad since 23 May.

Table 1. Seismicity reported at Awu during 13 June 2000-2 March 2003. Courtesy VSI.

Date Deep Volcanic (A-type) Shallow Volcanic (B-type) Tectonic
13 Jun-19 Jun 2000 21 -- 161
25 Jul-30 Jul 2000 389 -- 135
17 Oct 2002 3 -- --
20 Oct 2002 1 -- --
05 Nov 2002 1 -- --
07 Nov 2002 1 -- --
09 Nov-12 Nov 2002 ~2/day -- --
11 Nov 2002 2 -- 33
12 Nov 2002 2 -- 28
13 Nov 2002 -- -- 22
14 Nov 2002 -- -- 23
15 Nov 2002 56 25 18
16 Nov 2002 2 12 26
17 Nov 2002 1 1 36
19 Nov-24 Nov 2002 12 5 129
23 Dec-29 Dec 2002 1 -- 196
06 Jan-12 Jan 2003 4 -- 161
13 Jan-19 Jan 2003 2 -- 114
20 Jan-26 Jan 2003 3 -- 151
27 Jan-02 Feb 2003 4 -- 121
03 Feb-09 Feb 2003 5 -- 125
10 Feb-16 Feb 2003 1 -- 95
17 Feb-23 Feb 2003 2 -- 155

During 14-16 October 2002, tremor was recorded and was followed by a felt tectonic earthquake with an amplitude of I-II MMI on 10 October. Soon after the tremor activity decreased, volcanic earthquakes began to be recorded (table 1). VSI reported a significant increase in seismicity during mid-November 2002; volcanic earthquakes that normally occurred less than five times per day occurred 81 times on 15 November. Activity decreased to normal levels by late 2002. Visual observations of the summit did not reveal significant changes. Volcanic earthquakes continued during January-early March 2003 (table 1). Awu remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Geologic Background. The massive Gunung Awu stratovolcano occupies the northern end of Great Sangihe Island, the largest of the Sangihe arc. Deep valleys that form passageways for lahars dissect the flanks of the volcano, which was constructed within a 4.5-km-wide caldera. Powerful explosive eruptions in 1711, 1812, 1856, 1892, and 1966 produced devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused more than 8000 cumulative fatalities. Awu contained a summit crater lake that was 1 km wide and 172 m deep in 1922, but was largely ejected during the 1966 eruption.

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


Bezymianny (Russia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


26 July 2003 ash plume to 8-11 km altitude

According to visual observation from the city of Klyuchi by Yu. Demyanchuk, a large explosive eruption of Bezymianny began at 2120 on 26 July 2003; a later report from KVERT (Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team) indicated that the eruption began at 2057. An ash plume rose up to 8-11 km and extended to the W, WNW, and SW. A large pyroclastic flow probably formed.

Prior to the eruption, a weak thermal anomaly was noted on satellite images from 6 July. Two shallow earthquakes of M 1.8 registered on 23 and 25 July.

Satellite data revealed plumes extending WNW at 2122 and 2300 on 26 July, to distances of 31 km and 86 km, respectively. Longer plumes were reported on 27 July to 192 km at 0305 and 217 km at 0445. At 1102 on 27 July, an 8-pixel thermal anomaly was observed with a temperature of 31°C on a background of 10°C. The ash cloud was ~250-300 km W of the vent. At 1258 that day a 5-pixel thermal anomaly was noted with a temperature of 50°C on a background of 35°C. The ash cloud was unchanged, and was also detected at 1325. At 1240 probable pyroclastic deposits were identified on the SE flank.

Satellite observations also noted that at 2058 on 27 July, a 10-pixel thermal anomaly yielded a temperature of 29°C on a background of 9°C. At 0246 on 28 July a 2-to 6-pixel thermal anomaly yielded a temperature of 33°C on a background of 5°C. At 2216 there was a 1-pixel thermal anomaly without accompanying ash. At 0246 and 0715 on 28 July, 2-to 6-pixel thermal anomalies were noted, with temperatures of 33° and 39°C on a background of 5° and 16°C, respectively. No ash was recorded for either event.

No seismicity was registered on 27-30 July, and no visual information was available because of meteorological clouds. Thermal anomalies of 1-to 3-pixels with a temperature of 16-25°C on backgrounds from -3° to 5° C, were observed on 28-29 July, 31 July, and 1 August. No seismicity was registered from 31 July-3 August, in part because of the seismicity due to a large volcanic tremor at nearby Klyuchevskoy. According to visual data, gas-steam plumes extended ~15 km to the NW on 2 August. Clouds obscured the volcano on other days.

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), a cooperative program of the Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia, the Kamchatka Experimental and Methodical Seismological Department (KEMSD), GS RAS (Russia), and the Alaska Volcano Observatory (USA); Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.


Chikurachki (Russia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Chikurachki

Russia

50.324°N, 155.461°E; summit elev. 1781 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Infrequent observations suggest weaker eruptions continued in July 2003

The eruption of the Chikurachki volcano that began on 18 April 2003 continued into mid-July. Ash explosions, possibly up to 4 km above the crater, diminished, and by 3 July only rose up to 2 km above the crater. The volcano is remote, being ~60 km from Severo-Kurilsk on Paramushir Island. It also lacks seismic instruments, and the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) receives only occasional reports from Severo-Kurilsk.

According to a report from Leonid Kotenko of Severo-Kurilsk, ash explosions up to 500 m above the crater were observed from Shelekhov bay during 1930-2310 on 27 May. Ash plumes extended 70-80 km to the NE. At 0900 on 28 May, an ash plume rose 4 km above the crater and extended over 100 km to the NE. From 1030 on the same day, the plume heights decreased to 500 m above the crater. On 29 May, low-level ash plumes extended 15-20 km to the NE. In the afternoon of 29 May, an ash plume rose ~1.2 km above the crater, extended over Severo-Kurilsk, and ash fell on the town. Explosions occurred continually.

MODIS (moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer) Terra and Aqua Goddard images from 1105 and 1235 on 30 May, depicted a faint, small ash cloud trending to the E. Clouds obscured the volcano on the other days in later May.

Kotenko reported on 6 June that the eruption continued. On 8 June, an ash plume extended 25-30 km to the SSE. On 9-10 June, the plume did not rise more than 500 m above the volcano and extended SSE. Ash fell on the Podgorny settlement, located at a distance of ~20 km SSE of the volcano. The observers from Shelekhov bay had noted more strong explosions during the night than in the day-time.

In the AVHRR (advanced very-high resolution radiometer) image at 1308 on 6 June, a narrow weak ash plume was observed extending to the SE for about 100 km from the volcano. In MODIS Goddard Terra images at 1100 on 8 June and at 1145 on 9 June, a narrow plume was seen extending to the SE for ~100 km. In the AVHRR image at 1245 on 9 June, this plume was also seen, but no ash was detected. Clouds obscured the volcano on the other days.

According to observers from Shelekhov settlement, on 15-16 June an ash plume was observed constantly at the volcano summit. The plume did not rise upwards, but was bent down the flanks of the volcano by a strong wind. On 17 June, observers saw a short gas-steam plume bent by a gale-force wind. On 18 June, Kotenko reported that the eruption continued. On other days, clouds obscured the volcano and prevented observation. According to the last report from Severo-Kurilsk, on 17-25 June, when the weather was good, fishermen from Shelekhovo bay observed only gas-steam activity from the volcano.

By 3 July, KVERT reported that the eruption of Chikurachki had possibly finished. According to satellite data from the USA and Russia, no activity of the volcano was noted from 25 June through 11 July.

Geologic Background. Chikurachki, the highest volcano on Paramushir Island in the northern Kuriles, is actually a relatively small cone constructed on a high Pleistocene volcanic edifice. Oxidized basaltic-to-andesitic scoria deposits covering the upper part of the young cone give it a distinctive red color. Frequent basaltic plinian eruptions have occurred during the Holocene. Lava flows from 1781-m-high Chikurachki reached the sea and form capes on the NW coast; several young lava flows also emerge from beneath the scoria blanket on the eastern flank. The Tatarinov group of six volcanic centers is located immediately to the south of Chikurachki, and the Lomonosov cinder cone group, the source of an early Holocene lava flow that reached the saddle between it and Fuss Peak to the west, lies at the southern end of the N-S-trending Chikurachki-Tatarinov complex. In contrast to the frequently active Chikurachki, the Tatarinov volcanoes are extensively modified by erosion and have a more complex structure. Tephrochronology gives evidence of only one eruption in historical time from Tatarinov, although its southern cone contains a sulfur-encrusted crater with fumaroles that were active along the margin of a crater lake until 1959.

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


Colima (Mexico) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Colima

Mexico

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small explosions produced, including two on 17 July; absence of lava flows

Explosive activity at Colima continued in May and July 2003. A small explosive eruption reported at 1024 on 2 May 2003 produced an ash cloud visible on satellite imagery and monitoring cameras, but rising to no more than 500 m above the crater. The Mexico City Meteorological Watch Office stated that the plume moved SW of the summit at 5-10 knots (9-18 km/hour). The Washington VAAC described the plume as very small.

Nick Varley pointed out on 18 May that the GVP / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 7-13 May 2003 incorrectly reported lava flows at Colima. He noted that "No lava has been produced since the beginning of March [2003]. The current activity comprises small explosions, on average some 25 per day, some containing ash. The dispersal of the ash is limited to approximately 7 km from the summit."

More significant explosions were reported on 17 July 2003. The first, at 0527, threw incandescent material 500 m high and an ash column to ~3 km height that blew SW . Small forest fires caused by the incandescent material 2.5-4 km SW of the crater suggested that the explosion was also directed to this sector. An explosion at 1400 on 17 July, produced an ash-laden cloud 1,000 m high, again dispersing SW. The seismic energy released by the 0527 explosion was reported to be less than half that released in the 1999 explosions.

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

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico de la Universidad de Colima, Colima, Col., 28045, México (URL: https://portal.ucol.mx/cueiv/); Nick Varley, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Colima Av. 25 de Julio 965, Col. San Sebastian Apdo. postal 25, Colima, CP 28045, México.


Dieng Volcanic Complex (Indonesia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Dieng Volcanic Complex

Indonesia

7.2°S, 109.879°E; summit elev. 2565 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Mud bubbling and outflows at Sileri crater that reached 50 m beyond crater rim

According to the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), on 20 July 2003 mud poured from Sileri crater. The crater contains a lake and boiling mud pots, and has been the site of small-to-moderate historical eruptions. The incident of 20 July occurred at night and sent mud as far as 25 m S of the crater rim. On 21 July, a temperature measurement of the crater recorded 74°C, no striking increase from earlier measurements.

On the morning of 24 July, another mud outpouring from the crater covered an area up to 50 m N and E of the crater rim. Activity then continued with small areas of mud bubbling and ejecta thrown 1 m high at the middle of the crater. Neither of the mud-outpouring events were recorded on the seismometer 1.1 km S of the crater. The volcano's hazard status was raised to level 2 on 22 July.

Geologic Background. The Dieng plateau in the highlands of central Java is renowned both for the variety of its volcanic scenery and as a sacred area housing Java's oldest Hindu temples, dating back to the 9th century CE. The Dieng volcanic complex consists of two or more stratovolcanoes and more than 20 small craters and cones of Pleistocene-to-Holocene age over a 6 x 14 km area. Prahu stratovolcano was truncated by a large Pleistocene caldera, which was subsequently filled by a series of dissected to youthful cones, lava domes, and craters, many containing lakes. Lava flows cover much of the plateau, but have not occurred in historical time, when activity has been restricted to minor phreatic eruptions. Toxic gas emissions are a hazard at several craters and have caused fatalities. The abundant thermal features and high heat flow make Dieng a major geothermal prospect.

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


Gamalama (Indonesia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Gamalama

Indonesia

0.8°N, 127.33°E; summit elev. 1715 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ashfall from 31 July eruption coats Ternate; pyroclastic flow

According to the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), at 0300 on 31 July 2003, six type-A volcanic earthquakes were recorded. At 0600 the cloud issuing from the crater became thicker, but the gas pressure remained modest and similar to that normally seen. A series of explosive eruptions that began at 1434 sent a dark gray ash column 500-1,000 m high that drifted E toward Sultan Baabulah airport. A second explosion at 1625 produced a dark-gray ash column with strong gas pressure. The ash column rose 1-2 km above rim and drifted E carrying glowing material.

At 1627 a pyroclastic flow into Togorar valley on the NE flank traveled as much as 1 km but did not reach the village. A continuous blasting sound accompanied a series of ash emissions. Between 1704-1812, a dark gray ash column rose to 1,000-1,500 m, then during 1850-2200 a white-gray ash plume rose to 500 m. Several white gas plumes rose 10-150 m from 2209 through 0600 on 1 August. A steady glow was observed from 0200-0400.

After the initial outbursts, during 0000-1430 on 1 August, seismometers registered seven tectonic earthquakes, 16 shallow volcanic earthquakes, and two deep volcanic earthquakes. Continuous tremor also registered, with a maximum amplitude of 29-30 mm. Ashfall was 1-3 cm thick in the E part of the area, and some of the local population was evacuated.

According to local officials, Ternate (the regional capital, ~7 km E of Gamalama) was covered with thick ash. There were no reports of casualties or damage. The hazard status was set at level 3 starting at 1250 on 31 July and raised to the maximum, level 4, at 0000 the next day.

VSI reported that the last eruption occurred in 1996 from the main crater, followed by a pyroclastic flow to the E.

Geologic Background. Gamalama is a near-conical stratovolcano that comprises the entire island of Ternate off the western coast of Halmahera, and is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. The island was a major regional center in the Portuguese and Dutch spice trade for several centuries, which contributed to the thorough documentation of Gamalama's historical activity. Three cones, progressively younger to the north, form the summit. Several maars and vents define a rift zone, parallel to the Halmahera island arc, that cuts the volcano. Eruptions, recorded frequently since the 16th century, typically originated from the summit craters, although flank eruptions have occurred in 1763, 1770, 1775, and 1962-63.

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


Kanlaon (Philippines) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Kanlaon

Philippines

10.412°N, 123.132°E; summit elev. 2435 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


1-km-high plume of ash-laden steam on 10-11 July 2003

Ash ejections were reported at Canlaon (also spelled Kanlaon) on 10 and 11 July 2003. At 1735 on 10 July a column of ash-laden steam, described as a moderate to strong dirty white color, was seen rising from the volcano to a height of 1 km by observers in Kanlaon City. The cloud drifted to the NW, SW, and NE, with an area within a 4-km radius from the crater affected by ashfall. The explosion registered as a low-frequency volcanic earthquake. Prior to this activity, two low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and two low-frequency short-duration harmonic tremors were recorded by the seismograph at Kanlaon Volcano Station. The phreatic activity continued as of 2000 that night.

Two ash ejections were reported on 11 July, from 0620 to 0624 and 0658 to 0705. Dirty white steam rose up to 1.3 km above the crater and drifted to the SW. The seismic network recorded six low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and three low-frequency short-duration harmonic tremors.

The alert status remained at Level 1 and PHIVOLCS reiterated its warning to the public not to venture within the 4 km radius Permanent Danger Zone.

Geologic Background. Kanlaon volcano (also spelled Canlaon), the most active of the central Philippines, forms the highest point on the island of Negros. The massive andesitic stratovolcano is dotted with fissure-controlled pyroclastic cones and craters, many of which are filled by lakes. The largest debris avalanche known in the Philippines traveled 33 km SW from Kanlaon. The summit contains a 2-km-wide, elongated northern caldera with a crater lake and a smaller, but higher, historically active vent, Lugud crater, to the south. Historical eruptions, recorded since 1866, have typically consisted of phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ashfalls near the volcano.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, PHIVOLCS Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue, Univ. of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/).


Karangetang (Indonesia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


June 2003 ash plumes and two lava avalanches

Karangetang was the scene of volcanic and seismic unrest during early June 2003. The volcano produced ash plumes up to 400 m high and two lava avalanches.

In reports from the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), activity for the week of 2-8 June 2003 was characterized by emissions of white-to-dark gray colored ash from the S crater, rising to 400 m. Observers at night noted a red glow up to 25 m over the crater. In the N crater, a white-colored gas emission rose to 150 m. During this week, a lava avalanche that occurred in the direction of the Batang river reached as far as 1000 m from the crater. There was a decrease in multiphase earthquakes compared to the previous week, but an increase in shallow volcanic earthquakes.

During the week of 9-15 June, white-colored gas emissions came from both the N and the S craters. Observers at night noted a continued red glow up to 25 m over the crater. Another lava avalanche occurred, this time traveling in the direction of the Beha river as far as 1000 m and toward the Batu Awang river as far as 250 m from the crater. There were increases in volcanic earthquakes and avalanche events.

The seismic record for 2-8 June suggested 11 deep volcanic earthquakes, 348 shallow volcanic earthquakes, 233 multiphase earthquakes, 46 emission earthquakes, 110 avalanches, and 26 tectonic earthquakes. The seismic record for 9-15 June noted 32 deep volcanic earthquakes, 438 shallow volcanic earthquakes, one explosion event, 228 multiphase earthquakes, 21 emission earthquakes, 447 avalanches, and 20 tectonic events. The volcano remained at alert level 2 (on a scale reaching a maximum of 4).

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

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


Karymsky (Russia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Karymsky

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


May-July ash plumes; affiliated seismicity and satellite thermal anomalies

Dark ash was observed on the NE, SE, and W flanks of the volcano on 30 May in a MODIS (moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer) Terra image. Intermittent explosive eruptive activity at Karymsky occurred from early June into mid-August 2003, with seismic activity above background levels. Between 90 and 270 local shallow events occurred per day. The character of the seismicity indicated that ash-and-gas explosions to heights of 1,000-2,000 m above the volcano (2,500-3,500 m altitude) and gas blow-outs possibly occurred. On the morning of 17 July a strong, long duration (86 minutes), seismic event occurred that possibly resulted from a large pyroclastic flow or the onset of a new lava emission. Satellite data confirmed the continuing activity (table 3).

Table 3. Thermal anomalies at Karymsky from AVHHR (advanced very-high resolution radiometer) satellite images and visual observation during June and July 2003. Courtesy Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT).

Date(s) Thermal Anomaly (pixels) Comments
03 Jun 2003 2 (faint) No ash plume observed
22-24 Jun 2003 1-4 --
27 Jun 2003 -- Short narrow plume to NE
28-30 Jun 2003 1-4 --
04, 06-09 Jul 2003 1-4 --
14-15 Jul 2003 2-3 --
13, 16 Jul 2003 2-5 No ash plumes observed
19 Jul 2003 -- Ash plume to SW
25, 27-29 Jul 2003 1-3 --

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Gas-and-steam plumes June-August with occassional ash plumes

Eruptions continued at Kliuchevskoi during late 2002 through mid-2003, with typical plume heights estimated at several hundred meters and occasionally reaching ~2 km above the volcano (eg., early July and August 2003). Above-background seismicity prevailed during most or all the reporting interval.

The volcano (also spelled Klyuchevskoy) was last reported on in BGVN 28:02, and vol. 27, no. 11, issues discussing events through 4 March 2003. This report relies heavily on tabled data to convey observations from as far back as 3 December 2002, providing some further details during the 3 December-4 March 2003 interval of overlap with the earlier reports. The source reports came from the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) and were communicated via the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO). Table 9 summarizes recent plume observations, while table 10 summarizes recent earthquake and intermittent spasmodic volcanic tremor, basically above-background seismicity affiliated with ongoing eruptive unrest.

Table 9. Plumes visible at Kliuchevskoi during December 2002 through mid-April 2003. Courtesy KVERT.

Date Plume details
30 Nov-2 and 4 Dec 2002 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 100-400 m above crater and extended 10 km SE, E, W, and N.
03 Dec 2002 Gas-and-steam plumes rose ~1,300 m above crater and extended N and NE (NNE ~15 km from Russian satellite data).
05, 09, 12 Dec 2002 Gas-and-steam plumes rose ~100 m above crater and extended 3-10 km E and SE.
10-11 Dec 2002 Gas-and-steam plumes rose ~1,500 m above crater and extended N and NE.
13-16, 18 Dec 2002 Gas-and-steam plumes rose ~100-800 m above crater and extended 5-10 km E and SE.
17, 19 Dec 2002 Gas-and-steam plumes rose ~1,000-1,500 m above crater and extended 10 km E.
19, 21, 23 Dec 2002 Gas-and-steam plumes rose ~1,000-2,000 m above crater and extended to E, S, and N.
24 Dec 2002 (0100 UTC) Gas-and-ash explosion rose ~4,000 m above crater and plume extended WSW.
04 Jan 2003 (2125 UTC) Gas-and-steam plume rose ~1,000 m above crater and extended 20 km NE.
05, 07, 09 Jan 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 10 m above crater.
08 Jan 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 1,000 m above crater.
11-13, 15 Jan 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 50-300 m above crater (very narrow plume extended 30-50 km NNE from US satellite data).
24, 27 Jan 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 1,000 m above crater and extended 10 km NE (24 Jan) and SE (27 Jan).
25-26, 28-29 Jan 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 100-300 m above crater.
01-03 Feb 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 100-300 m above crater (extended 30 km NNE from Russian satellite data).
04 Feb 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 1,300 m above crater and extended 10 km NE.
09 Feb 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 1,500 m above crater and extended 10 km N.
10 Feb 2003 Narrow gas-and-steam plume extending 25 km N.
11, 13, 18-19 Feb 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 50 m above crater.
15-17 Feb 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 1,000 m above crater.
22-26 Feb 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 200 m above crater.
23 Feb 2003 Gray sector (perhaps ash deposits) showed up on MODIS satellite data from Russia on the SE part of summit.
05 Mar 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 300 m above crater.
10-13 Mar 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 50 m above crater.
16 Mar 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes extended 25-40 km W (from US and Russian satellite data).
18-19 Mar 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 700-1,500 m above crater (extended less than 30 km W on 19 Mar, from US and Russian satellite data).
21-22 and 24-25 Mar 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose up to 300-1,000 m above crater and and extended 5-30 km in all directions (extended 30 km NNW on 21 Mar and 100 km NNE on 24 Mar, from US and Russian satellite data).
22 Mar 2003 Gas-and-steam explosions with ash-poor plumes that rose up to 200 m above the crater.
28-30 Mar, 02 Apr 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose up to 50-300 m above crater and extended in all directions 5-20 km (10 km NW on 28 Mar, from US and Russian satellite data).
05 Apr 2003 Gas-and-steam plumes rose up to 300 m above crater and extended 10 km E.
07 Apr 2003 Weak fumarolic activity observed.
15-16 Apr 2003 Series of ash plumes rose up to 300 m above crater and extended 10 km E.

Table 10. Earthquakes and intermittent spasmodic volcanic tremor registered at Kliuchevskoi during December 2002 through mid-April 2003. Courtesy of KVERT.

Date Earthquakes per day (~30 km depth) Intermittent tremor (in terms of geophone velocity)
28 Nov-01 Dec 2002 8-13 ~0.8 x 10-6 m/s.
02-04 Dec 2002 24-33 ~0.8 x 10-6 m/s.
05-12 Dec 2002 12-24 ~0.5-0.7 x 10-6 m/s.
13-19 Dec 2002 6-12 0.5-0.7 x 10-6 m/s.
19-25 Dec 2002 6-9 ~0.6-0.7 x 10-6 m/s.
24 Dec 2002 -- Gas-and-ash explosion at 0010 UTC.
03-04 Jan 2003 9, 10 ~0.5-0.7 x 10-6 m/s.
05-09 Jan 2003 10-13; one M 1.75 earthquake Increased from 0.55 x 10-6 m/s on 5-7 Jan to 0.7 x 10-6 m/s on 8 Jan.
10-12 Jan 2003 12-18 0.4-0.75 x 10-6 m/s.
13-15 Jan 2003 33-35 0.4-0.75 x 10-6 m/s.
16-23 Jan 2003 -- 0.4-0.6 x 10-6 m/s.
16-19 Jan 2003 Increased from 44 to 90 --
20-22 Jan 2003 Gradually decreased from 35 to 21 --
24-31 Jan 2003 10-22; 18 M 1.25 earthquakes 0.3-0.5 x 10-6 m/s.
01-06 Feb 2003 16-39; 15 M 2.0-2.2 earthquakes 0.4-0.6 x 10-6 m/s.
01 Feb 2003 -- 1.26 x 10-6 m/s from 0311 to 2400 UTC.
06-12 Feb 2003 17-30; 17 M 2.0-2.1 earthquakes 0.5-0.7 x 10-6 m/s.
13-20 Feb 2003 14-81; six M 2.0-2.2 earthquakes 0.4-0.7 x 10-6 m/s (on 14 Feb, continuous tremor increased to 0.9 x 10-6 m/s).
20-27 Feb 2003 10-14; 16 M 2.0-2.2 earthquakes 0.4-0.6 x 10-6 m/s (from 1140 UTC 26 Feb, continuous tremor increased to 0.95 x 10-6 m/s).
28 Feb-06 Mar 2003 5-11; three M 2.0-2.2 earthquakes 0.5-0.8 x 10-6 m/s.
06-13 Mar 2003 6-11; 12 M 2.0-2.2 earthquakes 0.5-0.8 x 10-6 m/s (6-9 Mar)
10-13 Mar 2003 -- 1.1-1.3 x 10-6 m/s.
13-20 Mar 2003 7-9; seven M 2.0-2.1 earthquakes 0.5-1.5 x 10-6 m/s.
14 Mar 2003 -- 1.5 x 10-6 m/s.
20-24 Mar 2003 6-9 --
20-26 Mar 2003 26 on 25 Mar, 41 on 26 Mar; 16 M 2.0-2.2 earthquakes 1.0-2.8 x 10-6 m/s.
28 Mar-03 Apr 2003 24-63 0.7-1.4 x 10-6 m/s.
04-10 Apr 2003 10-15; 14 M 2.0-2.2 earthquakes 1.5-3.7 x 10-6 m/s.
15 Apr 2003 ~70 Up to 4.0 x 10-6 m/s.

Unrest continued during June 2003. Seismicity was above background and continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor tended to increase slowly and consistently. Earthquakes, both at 30 km and shallow depths, continued to register. The character of seismicity also indicated that weak gas-ash explosions possibly occurred. Table 11 summarizes thermal observations.

Table 11. Kliuchevskoi thermal anomalies and plumes observed via Russian and United States satellites, 2 June-11 August 2003. Courtesy of KVERT.

Date Thermal Anomaly (pixels) Comments
02 Jun 2003 -- Gas-and-steam plume rose 400 m above volcano.
03 Jun 2003 3 --
06-07 Jun 2003 -- Ash-poor plume extending S 30-80 km; explosions sent ash-gas plumes to 50-500 m above volcano.
07-08 Jun 2003 weak --
09 Jun 2003 -- Ash on NNE flank.
13, 16, 19 Jun 2003 1-4 Four-pixel anomaly with max temp of 46°C in a background of -1°C; ash-poor plumes 50-500 m above volcano.
23 Jun 2003 3 Possible ash deposits on SE flank; gas-and-steam plumes to 50-700 m above volcano.
28 Jun, 02 Jul 2003 3 Ash-poor plumes to 100 m above volcano); separate and continuous ash plumes to 1,000 m above volcano; plumes extended to E.
04-06 Jul 2003 1-2 Gas-and-steam with ash-poor plume extending 100 km to ESE; separate ash explosions to 2,000 m above volcano.
15-16 Jul 2003 1-2 Separate or series ash explosions to 1,000 m above volcano; strong ash explosions to 2,000 m above volcano.
20-24 Jul 2003 1-4 Gas-and-steam plumes rose from 100-1,000 m above volcano and extended 15 km to SW.
27-29 Jul,01 Aug 2003 1-4 Temperature from 12 to 50°C in a background of -5 to 20°C; gas and steam plumes rose 500-700 m and extended 5 km SW.
01, 04-07 Aug 2003 2-6 Gas-and-steam plumes rose 800-2,000 m above volcano and extended to NW and, later, S.
09, 11 Aug 2003 2-3 --

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Foggy weather and low seismicity

According to reports from the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), no visual observations were made this month due to foggy weather. The volcano remained at alert level 2 for the month. They also noted that relatively few volcanic and tectonic earthquakes were recorded during the weeks of 2-8 and 9-15 June 2003. Specifically, the 2-8 June record consisted of 9 deep volcanic earthquakes, 19 shallow volcanic earthquakes, and 5 tectonic earthquakes; the record of 9-15 June consisted of 6 deep volcanic earthquakes, 17 shallow volcanic earthquakes, and 4 tectonic earthquakes.

In the week of 16-22 June, a significant increase in shallow volcanic earthquakes was observed, although no tectonic earthquakes were recorded. The sesimic record for that week showed 11 deep volcanic earthquakes and 63 shallow volcanic earthquakes. Both volcanic and tectonic earthquakes were recorded for the week of 23-29 June, with 7 deep volcanic earthquakes, 61 shallow volcanic earthquakes, and 2 tectonic earthquakes detected.

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

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


Leroboleng (Indonesia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Leroboleng

Indonesia

8.365°S, 122.833°E; summit elev. 1095 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


June-July ash plumes reported by pilots may be the first eruptions in 122 years

The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) provided a series of pilot reports on Leroboleng. Confirmation from observers on the ground are pending.

At 1038 on 26 June 2003 aviators reportedly saw an ash plume rise to ~1.8 km altitude. An aircraft crew advised that the activity appeared to be increasing. Ash was not visible on satellite imagery. Another report stated that an ash plume was visible above Leroboleng at 1606 on 14 July at ~2.5 km altitude. Ash was not visible on satellite imagery and at that time VSI personnel could not observe the volcano. An alleged eruption on 29 July at 0900 lasted 10 minutes and sent an ash cloud to ~7.3 km altitude.

Geologic Background. Leroboleng volcano, also known as Lereboleng or Lewono, lies at the eastern end of a 4.5-km-long, WSW-ESE-trending chain of three volcanoes straddling a narrow peninsula in NE Flores Island. The summit of Gunung Leroboleng contains 29 small fissure-controlled craters, two containing lakes. A small lava dome occupies one of the craters. Most of the craters originated along three N-S-trending fissures immediately east of the summit of the volcano. The largest crater, 250-m-wide Ili Gelimun, is located SSE of the summit and fed lava flows from a lower south-flank vent. Explosive eruptions were reported from Burak crater during the 19th century.

Information Contacts: 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/).


Cerro Negro (Nicaragua) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Cerro Negro

Nicaragua

12.506°N, 86.702°W; summit elev. 728 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Slumbering volcano yields uneventful seismic and fumarolic temperature data

Seismic activity has been monitored at Cerro Negro for the past 15 months. From April 2002 seismicity remained low with eight earthquakes registered in May and June. Earthquake activity was moderate in August (32), September (28), and October (28); no earthquakes were registered in November or December. Activity increased again in January 2003, when 91 tectonic events were registered. Activity dropped in February to 14 tectonic events but increased again in March (44 tectonic earthquakes, two of which were located underneath Cerro Negro), April (45), and May (41 volcano-tectonic earthquakes). Tremors remained low (5 RSAM units).

Gas emissions and fumarole temperatures measured by hand-held infrared instrument (table 3) were also monitored over this period. A visit on 12 April 2002 by Pedro Perez of INETER, Eliecer Duarte and Eric Fernandez of OVSICORI-UNA, Costa Rica, and Franco Tassi and Orlando Vaselli of the University of Florence, Italy, found that fumarole temperatures were down from February. Monthly visits to the volcano started in June 2002.

Table 3. Temperatures (°C) of fumaroles (identified by number) at Cerro Negro, June 2002-May 2003. Fumaroles 2-4 are in the crater formed in 1995. Courtesy of INETER.

Date Fumarole 1 Fumarole 2 Fumarole 3 Fumarole 4 Fumarole 6 Fumarole 7 Fumarole 8
05 Jun 2002 252 -- -- -- -- -- --
28 Aug 2002 255 -- -- -- -- 184 189
09 Sep 2002 257 -- -- -- 175 184 189
18 Oct 2002 326 -- -- -- 157 223 188
21 Nov 2002 475 564 245 475 -- -- --
22 Nov 2002 448 479 200 207 -- -- --
05 Dec 2002 403 508 385 208 -- -- 316 / 278
09 Jan 2003 402 486 494 402 -- -- --
10 Feb 2003 402 486 494 402 -- -- --
21 Mar 2003 468 -- -- -- -- -- --
04 Apr 2003 388 -- -- -- -- -- --
03 May 2003 399 78.6 226 -- 239 203 255

On 5 June, following heavy rain, steam was observed exiting the fissure SE of the volcano. Observations on 18 July noted abundant gas emissions at all fumaroles and a strong scent of sulfur around the entire crater. Emissions continued on the SE fissure and in Este del Cerro La Mula. On 28 August, Perez observed gas emissions at fumarole 4 and a continued sulfur odor. Falling rocks were observed in the inner crater. Few gas emissions were observed on 9 September and 18 October, but the strong scent of sulfur persisted. No landslides were observed. Gas emissions were observed at the fumaroles of Este del Cerro La Mula with greater abundance than in previous months.

Perez visited again on 21 November and during 25-27 November, accompanied by Matthias Frische, Kris Garofalo, Thor Hansten, and Boo Gall (GEOMAR Germany). The maximum measured temperature in the new crater was 564°C and for fumarole 1 of the old crater the temperature was 334°C.

The sampling that began in November continued in the following months. On 5 December temperatures continued to be high in the cone formed in 1995. The maximum fumarole temperature on the new cone was 494°C. The visit on 10 February included more sampling, but no physical change was observed at the volcano. Recorded temperatures did not vary from those made in January. Temperature measurements at fumarole 1 on 21 March 2003 revealed an increase of 66°C from February. On 30 and 31 March there was a slight increase of 20 RSAM units and officials observed the volcano for several hours, witnessing no anomolies. On 4 April more temperature measurements and gas sampling were performed and rock was noted to be loosening in fumarole 4. On 3 May the temperatures of the fumaroles located within the crater were constant with respect to the previous months, with the exception of fumarole 6, which had an increase of 100°C. Strong gas emissions were observed in parts of the inner crater.

Geologic Background. Nicaragua's youngest volcano, Cerro Negro, was created following an eruption that began in April 1850 about 2 km NW of the summit of Las Pilas volcano. It is the largest, southernmost, and most recent of a group of four youthful cinder cones constructed along a NNW-SSE-trending line in the central Marrabios Range. Strombolian-to-subplinian eruptions at intervals of a few years to several decades have constructed a roughly 250-m-high basaltic cone and an associated lava field constrained by topography to extend primarily NE and SW. Cone and crater morphology have varied significantly during its short eruptive history. Although it lies in a relatively unpopulated area, occasional heavy ashfalls have damaged crops and buildings.

Information Contacts: Pedro Perez, Armando Saballos, and Aduardo Mayorga, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado 1761, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/).


Papandayan (Indonesia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Papandayan

Indonesia

7.32°S, 107.73°E; summit elev. 2665 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


After the explosions of November 2002, seismicity and eruptions waned

On 11 November 2002, ash eruptions occurred at Papandayan (BGVN 27:11 and figure 8). Subsequently, seismic and eruptive activity waned, although gas emission continued (ending 4 May 2003). Lessening seismicity and volcanism in January 2003 resulted in a reduction of the hazard status from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1 to 4, where 4 is the highest). Reduction in the activity continued through the beginning of May 2003 at which time the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI) terminated its weekly reporting on Papandayan.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Photograph of the new crater at Papandayan formed on 11 November 2002; by 8 December it was no longer active and was filled by water. The crater diameter is ~ 300 m. Courtesy of VSI.

During December 2002, white-gray ash plume was emitted continually from Baru crater and rose 150-400 m to the NE. [After the week of 16-22 December only gas plumes were emitted (described as "white ash emission").] As the activity level reduced (table 2) the typical height of the plume dropped from 150-400 m during December and early January 2003 to 75-250 m by late-January.

Table 2. Weekly seismic events at Papandayan from 2 December 2002 to 4 May 2003. Courtesy of VSI.

Date Deep Shallow Tectonic Avalanches
02 Dec-08 Dec 2002 9 10 17 --
09 Dec-15 Dec 2002 1 25 -- --
16 Dec-22 Dec 2002 1 20 21 --
23 Dec-29 Dec 2002 3 16 12 --
30 Dec-05 Jan 2003 28 42 29 --
06 Jan-12 Jan 2003 11 21 33 7
13 Jan-19 Jan 2003 7 11 16 12
20 Jan-26 Jan 2003 14 30 29 --
27 Jan-02 Feb 2003 8 25 30 --
03 Feb-09 Feb 2003 3 18 12 1
10 Feb-16 Feb 2003 -- 14 18 2
17 Feb-23 Feb 2003 3 24 17 3
24 Feb-02 Mar 2003 2 1 3 --
03 Mar-09 Mar 2003 -- 1 -- 7
10 Mar-16 Mar 2003 1 10 16 --
17 Mar-23 Mar 2003 2 8 24 --
24 Mar-30 Mar 2003 2 10 14 --
31 Mar-06 Apr 2003 3 15 33 --
07 Apr-13 Apr 2003 1 8 9 --
14 Apr-20 Apr 2003 2 12 16 --
21 Apr-27 Apr 2003 8 5 23 --
28 Apr-04 May 2003 2 7 3 --

Two explosions occurred at 0700 on 4 December and at 1758 on 8 December 2002, and another occurred at 1758 on 12 December. During the week of 2-8 December, shallow volcanic earthquakes decreased, while deep volcanic and tectonic earthquakes increased. During the subsequent week, shallow earthquakes increased, while deep earthquakes decreased (table 2). Insignificant lahars occurred at Cibeureum Gede and Ciparugpug rivers at 1600 on 13 December and at 1700 on 14 December. The movement of stepped landslides on the wall of Nangklak crater were recorded on the seismograph throughout most of December; the last landslide occurred at 1154 on 21 December. The hazard level was reduced to 2 by the week of 13-19 January 2003.

Geologic Background. Papandayan is a complex stratovolcano with four large summit craters, the youngest of which was breached to the NE by collapse during a brief eruption in 1772 and contains active fumarole fields. The broad 1.1-km-wide, flat-floored Alun-Alun crater truncates the summit of Papandayan, and Gunung Puntang to the north gives a twin-peaked appearance. Several episodes of collapse have created an irregular profile and produced debris avalanches that have impacted lowland areas. A sulfur-encrusted fumarole field occupies historically active Kawah Mas ("Golden Crater"). After its first historical eruption in 1772, in which collapse of the NE flank produced a catastrophic debris avalanche that destroyed 40 villages and killed nearly 3000 people, only small phreatic eruptions had occurred prior to an explosive eruption that began in November 2002.

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


Semeru (Indonesia) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes, pyroclastic flows, and high seismicity continue through June

According to the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia (VSI), activity during 24 March-29 June 2003 was continually at a high level. Explosions produced white-gray ash plumes several times per week that rose 300-600 m over the summit. Pyroclastic flows on 27 March had a run-out distance of 3,750 m toward Besuk Bang. More pyroclastic-flow events on 14 and 18 April traveled toward Besuk Bang (3,500 m) and Besuk Kembar (2,500 m). On 11 May a pyroclastic flow entered Besuk Kembar and extended 1,500 m. Seismographs continually recorded earthquake activity (table 12). The hazard status remained at Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4) throughout the report period.

Table 12. Seismicity at Semeru, 24 March-29 June 2003. Courtesy of VSI.

Date Explosion Avalanche Tremor Other Tectonic
24 Mar-30 Mar 2003 794 48 17 1 flood; 12 PF 6
31 Mar-06 Apr 2003 738 28 12 2 shallow; 2 PF 6
07 Apr-13 Apr 2003 698 33 11 7 PF 6
14 Apr-20 Apr 2003 697 70 20 12 PF 7
21 Apr-27 Apr 2003 713 82 16 1 deep volc 9
28 Apr-04 May 2003 651 36 31 1 deep volc 2
05 May-11 May 2003 846 37 27 2 shallow volc; 1 PF 5
12 May-18 May 2003 730 41 38 1 shallow volc 3
19 May-25 May 2003 748 17 17 -- 8
26 May-01 Jun 2003 585 27 26 -- 8
02 Jun-08 Jun 2003 758 29 24 -- 4
09 Jun-15 Jun 2003 600 27 63 2 deep volc 13
16 Jun-22 Jun 2003 711 20 13 1 shallow volc 8
23 Jun-29 Jun 2003 838 33 -- -- 4

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

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


Sheveluch (Russia) — July 2003 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 ash-and-gas plumes to 5 km high

Eruptive activity continued during May-August 2003, including growth of a lava dome in the active crater. Seismic activity continued to remain above background levels, and shallow earthquakes at a depth of 5 km were recorded with magnitudes in the range of 1.8-2.8. Several short-lived explosive eruptions each week sent ash-gas plumes to heights of 2,500-5,000 m above the dome. Intermittent spasmodic volcanic tremor was registered. Satellite data on thermal anomalies are shown in table 7.

Table 7. US and Russian satellite data summarizing thermal anomalies associated with Sheveluch from late May to early August 2003. Courtesy of Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT).

Date(s) Thermal Anomaly (pixels) Comments
30 May 2003 1-4 No ash plumes observed.
06-09 Jun 2003 1-6 Gas/steam plumes rose 100-700 m above dome and extended E.
13-14, 16-17 Jun 2003 1-6 Gas/steam plume rose 100 m above dome and extended 5 km NE.
21-22 Jun 2003 1-4 Gas/steam plumes rose 100 m above dome.
28-30 Jun, 02 Jul 2003 1-5 Gas/steam plumes rose 100 m above dome.
05-06, 10 Jul 2003 1-2 Gas/steam plumes rose 500 m above dome.
11, 13-16 Jul 2003 1-2 Gas/steam plumes rose 200-800 m above dome.
19-22, 24 Jul 2003 1-2 Gas/steam plumes rose 500-600 m above dome.
27, 31 Jul, 01 Aug 2003 1-3 Temperatures of 10-19°C in background of 0-5°C; gas/steam plumes rose 100 m above dome.
08-10 Aug 2003 2-3 --

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

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


Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Soufriere Hills

United Kingdom

16.72°N, 62.18°W; summit elev. 915 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Changes in activity style and dome growth since February 2002

Although detailed reports about the activity and monitoring of Soufrière Hills are provided on a regular basis by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, this report contains observations made by visitors Stephen O'Meara and Robert Benward. They monitored Soufrière Hills visually and, using some novel electronics, collected data and images for 12 days beginning on 7 February 2003. This visit was similar to one in February 2002 (BGVN 27:06).

The visual observations took place primarily on Jack Boy Hill, 6 km N of the volcano. At the new Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Benward set up a black and white CCD video camera that took a frame every eight (8) seconds and relayed it to a digital video recorder. The camera's low-light sensitivity provided round-the-clock surveillance of dome activity. However, orographic and rain clouds caused problems, and much of the volcanic activity was away from the camera view.

Since the visit in 2002, the dome had increased significantly in size (figure 56). The rockfalls and pyroclastic flows that dominated the activity in February 2002 were concentrated in the E portions of the dome and the Tar River Valley. In 2003, activity occurred in a broader arc that extended from Tar River in the E to Farrell's Plain in the N. Several pyroclastic flows traveled into Tuitt's Ghaut and the upper reaches of Tyre's Ghaut, and onto Farrell's Plain. These events were captured on the surveillance camera and in higher-definition color video taken from Jack Boy Hill.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. Illustration of dome growth at Soufriere Hills between February 2002 and February 2003. The outline of the volcano's profile in February 2002 is superimposed on a photograph taken at the same location in February 2003. Courtesy of Robert Benward, Volcano Watch International.

The dome was impressive at night. The summit was often crowned with thick, blocky spines and sharp pinnacles. An array of spiny ridges (speckled with incandescence) that lined the upper portions of the dome helped channelize many of the rockfalls and pyroclastic flows, the flow channels remaining incandescent. The glow was strong throughout the observation period, but especially during 13-19 February, when episodes of prolonged activity made the dome appear to be melting like candle wax. The glowing dome could be seen from the northernmost reaches of the island at night. Its light was so intense that a homemade spectrograph (attached to a 3-inch telescope brought by Benward) revealed a continuous spectrum.

O'Meara visually observed the dome through a 60 power, 60 mm refractor scope and noticed two curious phenomena. At one point, a mass of viscous, but mobile, lava pushed out of the downslope edge of an incandescent ridge. It slumped onto the dome and formed a pad of molten material that quickly cooled and solidified into linear veins. The behavior was similar to that of a budding toe of pahoehoe lava where internal pressure forces fluid lava through its cooling skin. O'Meara also observed what appeared to be a tiny lateral explosion from the downslope edge of an incandescent ridge which shot out glowing gas and rock fragments like buckshot from a gun.

A significant difference in the style of eruption from that reported in 2002 was the periodic mass dumping of dome material. During these episodes, dome material calved off the highest portions of the dome, creating a wide avalanche of incandescent material which flowed down much of the dome's visible face in a matter of seconds. These episodes differed from the classical pyroclastic flows in that they produced comparatively little ash, being comprised principally of extremely massive and widespread rock and block fall.

A dramatic episode of rockfall and pyroclastic-flow activity occurred during 1745-2000 on 13 February. Massive movement of large, house-sized blocks, many of which self-destructed during their descent, preceded the pyroclastic flows. The subsequent pyroclastic flow activity was accompanied by roiling steel-gray ash clouds that drifted N. One particularly strong pyroclastic flow created an incandescent channel in Tuitt's Ghaut that glowed long into the night. Smaller pyroclastic flows followed this channel downslope, while larger ones overflowed the channel's levees or changed course. Often, when one flow slowed, another would push through it. At times pieces of incandescent rocks appeared to be sliding down the dome in the flow with no detectable rolling motion. At other times, linear threads of glowing gases appeared to advance like the treads of a tank. Another series of pyroclastic flows during 0614-0730 on 14 February were directed N, and spread out across Farrell's Plain. As in February 2002, the night activity was most spectacular when viewed and videotaped in the near-IR using Benward's homemade nightscope.

One purpose of the visit was to chronicle changes in visible behavior when the full Moon approached Earth and at perigee. With the approach of the full Moon, the team reported an apparent rise in the number of visible indicators, particularly an increase in the number of large and prolonged rockfalls and pyroclastic flows, and in the average number of events per hour. There was an impressive episode of spine growth in the 24 hours near the time of full Moon, similar to that in 2002. The limited duration of the observations, however, thwart conclusions about the relationships between lunar positions and volcanism. Convincing theories require baseline data over a considerably longer time period.

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

Information Contacts: Steve and Donna O'Meara, and Robert Benward, Volcano Watch International, PO Box 218, Volcano, HI 96785, USA.


Stromboli (Italy) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Stromboli

Italy

38.789°N, 15.213°E; summit elev. 924 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Flank eruption finished as of 22 July; activity resumed at summit craters on 17 April

Effusion of lava from vents located at about 600 m elevation on the upper eastern corner of the Sciara del Fuoco decreased in early June and completely stopped between 21 and 22 July. The decreasing effusion rate caused shorter lava flows, which during July did not spread below 600 m elevation. The upper part of the lava flow field, formed since 15 February on the upper Sciara del Fuoco, reached an estimated thickness of more than 50 m as a result of the slower rate.

[After] the 5 April eruption (BGVN 28:04), the summit craters of the volcano [were] blocked by fallout debris obstructing the conduit. [By 17 April the blockage was apparently cleared because] small, occasional, and short-lived explosions of juvenile, hot material were observed at Crater 3 (the SW crater) [that day] during a helicopter survey with a hand-held thermal camera, and at Crater 1 (the NE crater) on 3 May from the SAR fixed camera located at 400 m on the eastern rim of the Sciara del Fuoco.

Strombolian activity from Crater 1 (NE crater) became more frequent and intense in June, and almost continuous in July, with spatter often falling outside the crater. In July, Crater 3 (SW crater) activity consisted mainly of degassing and sporadic ash emissions, with Strombolian explosions becoming more common in the second half of July.

Erosion of the N flank of Crater 1 by landslides in the upper Sciara del Fuoco increased in July, with the 30 December 2002 landslide scar extending backward and upslope, cutting the flank of the cone 50 m below the crater rim.

Geologic Background. Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period took place between about 13,000 and 5,000 years ago. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild Strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.

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


Yellowstone (United States) — July 2003 Citation iconCite this Report

Yellowstone

United States

44.43°N, 110.67°W; summit elev. 2805 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Geyser basin heats up, affecting thermal features

Yellowstone National Park press releases indicated unusual hydrothermal activity at the Norris geyser basin in the NW-central portion of the Park. A press release on 22 July 2003 announced that high ground temperatures and increased thermal activity had resulted in the temporary closure of a portion of the Back Basin.

The press release noted "Norris is the hottest and most seismically active geyser basin in Yellowstone. Recent activity in the Norris geyser basin has included formation of new mud pots, an eruption of Porkchop geyser (dormant since 1989), the draining of several geysers, creating steam vents and significantly increased measured ground temperatures (up to 200°F [93°C]). Additional observations include vegetation dying due to thermal activity and the changing of several geysers' eruption intervals. Vixen geyser has become more frequent and Echinus geyser has become more regular."

A press release on 7 August advised of a hydrothermal monitoring program by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory to begin at Norris geyser basin. The Observatory is a collaborative partnership between the US Geological Survey, the University of Utah, and Yellowstone National Park. It was deploying a temporary network of seismographs, Global Positioning System receivers, and temperature loggers. Goals included identification of hydrothermal steam sources, the relationship of the behavior of Norris geyser basin to the general seismicity, and locating crustal deformation in the caldera.

Geologic Background. The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field developed through three volcanic cycles spanning two million years that included some of the world's largest known eruptions. Eruption of the over 2450 km3 Huckleberry Ridge Tuff about 2.1 million years ago created the more than 75-km-long Island Park caldera. The second cycle concluded with the eruption of the Mesa Falls Tuff around 1.3 million years ago, forming the 16-km-wide Henrys Fork caldera at the western end of the first caldera. Activity subsequently shifted to the present Yellowstone Plateau and culminated 640,000 years ago with the eruption of the over 1000 km3 Lava Creek Tuff and the formation of the present 45 x 85 km caldera. Resurgent doming subsequently occurred at both the NE and SW sides of the caldera and voluminous (1000 km3) intracaldera rhyolitic lava flows were erupted between 150,000 and 70,000 years ago. No magmatic eruptions have occurred since the late Pleistocene, but large hydrothermal eruptions took place near Yellowstone Lake during the Holocene. Yellowstone is presently the site of one of the world's largest hydrothermal systems including Earth's largest concentration of geysers.

Information Contacts: Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, a cooperative arrangement that includesRobert L. Christiansen, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025; Robert B. Smith, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112 USA; Henry Heasler, National Park Service, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168 USA; and others (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/yvo/).

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