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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

Kikai (Japan) Ash explosion on 29 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Dukono (Indonesia) Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

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

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



Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kikai (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kikai

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash explosion on 29 April 2020

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

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

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

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

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. The Iwanogami webcam captured a brief gray-white ash and steam plume rising above the Iodake crater rim on Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) on 29 April 2020 at 0609 local time. The plume rose 1 km above the crater summit. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, April 2nd year of Reiwa [2020]).

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

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


Fuego (Guatemala) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Fuego

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing ash explosions, block avalanches, and intermittent lava flows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hydrologia (INSIVUMEH), Unit of Volcanology, Geologic Department of Investigation and Services, 7a Av. 14-57, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Crelosa, 3ra. avenida. 8-66, Zona 14. Colonia El Campo, Guatemala Ciudad de Guatemala (URL: http://crelosa.com/, post at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P4kWqxU2m0&feature=youtu.be).


Ebeko (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

Date Plume Altitude (km) Plume Distance Plume Directions Other Observations
30 Nov-05 Dec 2019 3 -- NE, E Intermittent explosions.
06-13 Dec 2019 4 -- E Explosions all week. Ashfall in S-K on 10-12 Dec.
15-17 Dec 2019 3 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 16-17 Dec.
22-24 Dec 2019 3 -- NE Explosions.
01-02 Jan 2020 3 30 km N N Explosions. TA over dome on 1 Jan.
03, 05, 09 Jan 2020 2.9 -- NE, SE Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 8 Jan.
11, 13-14 Jan 2020 3 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K.
19-20 Jan 2020 3 -- E Ashfall in S-K on 19 Jan.
24-31 Jan 2020 4 -- E Explosions.
01-07 Feb 2020 3 -- E, S Explosions all week.
12-13 Feb 2020 1.5 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K.
18-19 Feb 2020 2.3 -- SE Explosions.
21, 25, 27 Feb 2020 2.9 -- S, SE, NE Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 22 Feb.
01-02, 05 Mar 2020 2 -- S, E Explosions.
08 Mar 2020 2.5 -- NE Explosions.
13, 17 Mar 2020 2.5 -- NE, SE Bursts of gas, steam, and small amount of ash.
24-25 Mar 2020 2.5 -- NE, W Explosions.
29 Mar-02 Apr 2020 2.2 -- NE, E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 1 Apr. TA on 30-31 Mar.
04-05, 09 Apr 2020 1.5 -- NE Explosions. TA on 5 Apr.
13 Apr 2020 2.5 -- SE Explosions.
18, 20 Apr 2020 -- -- -- TA on 18, 20 Apr.
24 Apr-01 May 2020 3.5 180 km SE on 29 Apr E, SE Explosions all week. Ashfall in S-K on 25-30 Apr.
01-08 May 2020 2.6 -- E Explosions all week. Ashfall in S-K on 3-5 May. TA on 3 May.
08-15 May 2020 4 -- E Explosions. Ashfall in S-K on 8-12 May. TA during 12-14 May.
14-15, 19-21 May 2020 3.6 80 km SW, S, SE during 14, 20-21 May -- Explosions. TA on same days.
22-29 May 2020 4.6 60 km SE E, SE Explosions all week. Ashfall in S-K on 22, 24 May.
29-31 May 2020 4.5 -- E, S Explosions. TA on 30 May.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Photo of ash explosion at Ebeko at 2110 UTC on 28 April 2020, as viewed from Severo-Kurilsk. Courtesy of KVERT (L. Kotenko).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Satellite image of Ebeko from Sentinel-2 on 27 May 2020, showing a plume drifting SE. Image using natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


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

Piton de la Fournaise

France

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, 14 route nationale 3, 27 ème km, 97418 La Plaine des Cafres, La Réunion, France (URL: http://www.ipgp.fr/fr); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); GEO Magazine (AFP story at URL: https://www.geo.fr/environnement/la-reunion-fin-deruption-au-piton-de-la-fournaise-200397); AFP (URL: https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1227140765106622464, Twitter: @AFP, https://twitter.com/AFP); Jeannie Curtis (Twitter: @VolcanoJeannie, https://twitter.com/VolcanoJeannie).


Sabancaya (Peru) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sabancaya

Peru

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Observatorio Volcanologico del INGEMMET (Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico), Barrio Magisterial Nro. 2 B-16 Umacollo - Yanahuara Arequipa, Peru (URL: http://ovi.ingemmet.gob.pe); Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Meteorológico Nacional-Fuerza Aérea Argentina, 25 de mayo 658, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/inicio.php); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Sheveluch (Russia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/).


Dukono (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Dukono

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Etna (Italy) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/it/); Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Météo-France, 42 Avenue Gaspard Coriolis, F-31057 Toulouse cedex, France (URL: http://www.meteo.fr/aeroweb/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Boris Behncke, Sonia Calvari, and Marco Neri, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: https://twitter.com/etnaboris, Image at https://twitter.com/etnaboris/status/1183640328760414209/photo/1).


Merapi (Indonesia) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geologic Background. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time.

Information Contacts: Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG), Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology (URL: http://merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/, Twitter: @BPPTKG); Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/BNPB_Indonesia); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Jamie S. Sincioco, Phillipines (Twitter: @jaimessincioco, Image at https://twitter.com/jaimessincioco/status/1227966075519635456/photo/1).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 30, Number 04 (April 2005)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Anatahan (United States)

Explosive eruption on 6 April 2005 issues highest ash plume recorded here

Awu (Indonesia)

Stable during mid- to late August 2004

Fernandina (Ecuador)

Lava flows down S flank from circumferential vents near caldera rim

Karthala (Comoros)

16 April 2005 seismicity leading to eruption; near-source tephra 1.5 m thick

Lascar (Chile)

4 May 2005 eruption sends ash over 1,000 km SE, ¾ of the way to Buenos Aires

Lengai, Ol Doinyo (Tanzania)

Tall hornito almost reaches summit elevation; more lava spills over rim

Vailulu'u (United States)

ALIA cruise discloses new cone in the summit crater



Anatahan (United States) — April 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Anatahan

United States

16.35°N, 145.67°E; summit elev. 790 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive eruption on 6 April 2005 issues highest ash plume recorded here

Anatahan's third historical eruption began on 5 January 2005, and is described in BGVN 29:12. Further details and satellite images were presented in BGVN 30:02, which covered events until mid-February 2005. A 5-6 April 2005 eruption cloud rose to at least 15 km altitude, which was the highest yet seen at the volcano.

Anatahan erupted almost continuously after 5 January 2005, when it started its third eruption in recorded history. An image collected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite shows atmospheric sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations between 31 January and 4 February 2005 (figure 14). A long SO2 plume extends NE and SW of Anatahan, and the edge of the plume covers Guam (the southernmost island) and the other Mariana Islands immediately to Anatahan's N and S.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Anatahan's atmospheric SO2 as imaged by Aura's OMI instrument on 31 January 2005. The OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) measures SO2 in Dobson Units. Dobson Units, which derive from spectroscopic measurement techniques, can be thought of as the mass of molecules per unit area of Earth's atmospheric column. One Dobson Unit equals 0.0285 grams of SO2 per square meter. The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) that created this image tracks global ozone change and monitors aerosols like sulfates in the atmosphere. It was added to the Aura satellite as part of a collaboration between the Netherlands' Agency for Aerospace Programs and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. NASA describes the Eos system Aura as "A mission dedicated to the health of the Earth's atmosphere." NASA image courtesy Simon Carn (Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)).

Volcanogenic SO2 combines with water to create a sulfuric acid haze. Called "vog," this haze can cause illness and make breathing difficult. Volcanic haze grew so thick during the first week of February that the National Weather Service issued a volcanic haze advisory for Guam, where several illnesses were reported.

After mid-February 2005, eruptive activity at Anatahan steadily declined to less than 5% of the peak level attained since the eruption started on 5 January. Ash eruptions continued, and the 2003 crater floor was almost entirely covered by fresh lava out to a diameter of ~ 1 km. A MODIS image taken at 0115 on 18 February showed a plume of steam and vog extending about ~ 170 km SW of Anatahan. Seismic and acoustic records during the last week of February 2005 showed very low levels of activity. Seismic amplitudes during 23-28 February were similar to those recorded prior to the 5 January eruption. NASA MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) imagery taken on 28 February showed a faint plume of vog and steam trending W of Anatahan.

During the first two weeks of March 2005 volcanic and seismic activity increased relative to the previous weeks. During 14-17 March, seismicity increased and steam rose a few hundred meters above the volcano. The inner E crater had been nearly filled with lava flows and lapilli since early January.

A small eruption began on 18 March at 1544 according to seismic data. On 19 March the Washington VAAC issued an advisory that an ash plume was visible on satellite imagery below 4 km altitude. Small explosions that began late on 20 March lasted for 14 hours. No emissions were visible on satellite imagery, but others were, later in March and April.

A strong outburst apparently began on 21 March, a day when seismicity increased significantly. Seismic amplitudes peaked on the 25th and faded out on the 26th. Near the peak on the 25th, the U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) detected a hot spot on the island on satellite imagery and reported an ash plume briefly reaching ~ 5.8 km altitude. The plume height soon dropped to below 3 km altitude, and by near midday on the 27th the plume had changed from ash and steam to steam and vog. On the 27th the plume extended ~ 240 km SW.

On 5 April at about 2200 seismic signals began to increase slowly, and the Washington VAAC began to see increased ash on satellite imagery. On 6 April 2005 around 0300 an explosive eruption began and produced an ash plume to an initial height of ~ 15.2 km altitude, the highest in recorded history from the volcano. Seismicity peaked at the same time.

The AFWA reported an upper level ash plume at ~ 15.2 km altitude blowing E to SE and a lower level ash plume at ~ 4.6 km altitude blowing SW; the upper plume extended more than 465 km. Earth Probe TOMS data on 6 April at 1046 showed a compact sulfur-dioxide cloud drifting E of Anatahan following the eruption.

Chuck Sayon, the superintendent of American Memorial Park noted, "On Saipan at around 10 AM the skies darkened and light ash started falling . . . park operation[s] have been restricted to indoor activities due to irritation to eyes and breathing as ash starts to lightly coat the area. Schools are closed as well as the airport until further notice . . .."

On 6 April during 0400 to 0900 the seismicity at Anatahan decreased to near background. The seismicity surged for about 1 hour, with amplitudes about one-half those reached during the earlier eruption, and subsequently dropped again to near background. Prior to the 6 April eruption, during 31 March to 4 April the amplitudes of harmonic tremor varied, reaching a 2-month high on the 3rd. Small explosions occurred every one minute to several minutes, probably associated with cinder-cone formation. Steam-and-ash plumes drifted ~ 200 km, and vog drifted ~ 400 km at altitudes below ~ 2.4- 4.6 km.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (in conjunction with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) stated that the "eruption of 6 April 2005 was the largest historical eruption of Anatahan and expelled roughly 50 million cubic meters of ash. The eruption column and the amplitude of harmonic tremor both grew slowly over about 5 hours and both peaked about 0300 on 6 April local time . . .. The peak of the eruption lasted about one hour and then the activity declined rapidly over the following hour."

The 6 April 2005 eruption's plume was captured on satellite images. The image showed a plume that was tan or brown in color and clearly ash laden (figure 15).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. A major eruption from Anatahan on 6 April 2005 sent an ash plume to ~ 15 km. The eruption was considered the largest since Anatahan's first recorded eruption on 10 May 2003. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image was acquired by NASA's Terra satellite at 0035 UTC, about 8 hours after the eruption began. By this time, the ash plume had spread S to entirely cover Saipan and Tinian, islands immediately to the S. Courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response Image Gallery, sponsored in part by NASA.

Figure 16 shows SO2 concentrations in the atmosphere on 7 April 2005, over 30 hours after the large 6 April eruption. SO2 emissions from the eruption were measured by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's EOS/Aura satellite. OMI detects the total column amount of SO2 between the sensor and the Earth's surface and maps this quantity as it orbits the planet. A new perspective on the vertical distribution of the SO2 is revealed by combining the OMI data with coincident measurements made by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), also part of the Aura mission.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Anatahan's 5-6 April 2005 eruption injected significant SO2 high into the atmosphere. This OMI image depicts the concentrations found over 30 hours after the eruption, a time when the SO2 formed two separate zones at distance from the source. Analysis suggests that the westerly zone of SO2 was probably in the lower troposphere and the eastern zone was probably in the upper troposphere or above. Courtesy of Simon Carn.

The MLS data crisscross the OMI image and clearly show that some, but not all, of the SO2 measured by OMI to the volcano's E was in the upper troposphere or above. At these altitudes, SO2—and the sulfate aerosols that form from it—can stay in the atmosphere and affect the climate for a longer period of time. A weaker SO2 signal was also measured in the same region during the nighttime MLS overpass, which crosses the image from upper right to lower left. The daytime data, running from upper left to lower right, coincide with the OMI measurements. The MLS data west of Anatahan show no significant SO2 signal, indicating that the SO2 measured by OMI in this region was in the lower troposphere.

MLS measures thermal emissions from the Earth's limb, so unlike the OMI sensor it also collects data at night. It is designed to measure vertical profiles of atmospheric gases that are important for studying the Earth's ozone layer, climate, and air quality, such as SO2. These images, derived from preliminary, unvalidated OMI and MLS data, show MLS SO2 columns (filled circles) measured every 165 km along the Aura orbit, plotted over the OMI SO2 map. The MLS SO2 columns shown here are derived from profile measurements made from the upper troposphere into the stratosphere (~ 215-0 hPa (hectoPascal, 102 Pa) or ~ 12 km altitude and above), and the circles do not represent the actual size of the MLS footprint, which is roughly 165 x 6 km.

Anatahan's morphological changes were highlighted in before (pre-eruption) versus after (post-eruption) images (figure 17). Seismicity decreased at Anatahan after 6 April and during 7-11 April was at very low levels, near background. On 11 April, a steam-and-ash plume rose ~ 2.7 km altitude and drifted ~ 280 km WSW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Two satellite images of Anatahan cropped and oriented for direct comparison, one from 20 January 2002 (pre-eruption), the other from 27 April 2005 ("post-eruption" in the sense that it was taken after the May 2003 eruption began). The NASA's Earth Observatory website described the pre-eruption image (bottom) as follows: "In 2002, when the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) captured the lower image, the island was made up of two volcanoes whose conjoined summit calderas formed an elliptical valley at the island's center. Aside from occasional tremors, the island was quiet and no eruption had ever been recorded." Green plants, shown on the false-color (infrared-enhanced) image in red, covered the island and filled the caldera at its center. The same website described the post-eruption image (top) as showing that the volcano was still emitting steam and ash on 27 April 2005. The island's center was completely devoid of plants, covered instead by gray volcanic material. Ash appears to have blanketed the western fringe of the island, where a layer of gray covers the underlying vegetation. The light cloud, ash, and steam that cover the island make it difficult to see changes to the caldera, but it appears that the eruptions may have destroyed its southern wall. On higher resolution images, it also appears that volcanic material may have flowed into the Pacific Ocean on the island's S side. Courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory.

Occasional data from Anatahan revealed that seismicity appeared to increase during 24-25 April. During 20-25 April, a continuous thin plume of ash-and-steam rose to less than ~ 3 km altitude and drifted more than 185 km from the volcano. Harmonic tremor dropped dramatically on 1 May after being at high levels for several days. During 27 April to 1 May, the main ash-and-steam plume rose to ~ 3 km altitude According to a news article, the volcanic plume from Anatahan reached Philippine airspace on 4 May.

On 5 May an extensive ash-and-steam plume to 4.5 km altitude was visible in all directions. Ash extended 770 km N, 130 km S (to northern Saipan), and 110 km W. Vog extended in a broad swath from 3,000 km W, over the Philippines, to 1,000 km N of Anatahan. By 9 May harmonic tremor amplitude had decreased to near-background levels, with a corresponding drop in eruptive activity. As of 10 May AFWA was reporting ash to about 3 km altitude extending 400 km W and an area of vog less than half that noted on 5 May.

On 11 May AFWA reported thick ash rising to 4.2 km altitude and moving WNW. The thick ash extended in a triangular shape from the summit 444 km to the WSW through 510 km to the NW. A layer of thin ash at 3 km altitude extended another 1,000 km beyond the thick ash. A broad swath of vog extended over 2,200 km W nearly to the Philippines and over 1,400 km NNW of Anatahan. Although the ash plume diminished over the next few days and was not as thick, it remained significant, rising to 2.4 km and extending 370 km WNW on the 13th. Scientific personnel from the Emergency Management Office and the USGS working the next day at a spot 2-3 km W of the active vent heard a continuous roaring sound. They also saw ash and steam rising by pure convection, not explosively, to 3 km altitude.

Reference. Chadwick, W.W., Embley, R.W., Johnson, P.D., Merlea, S.G., Ristaub, S., and Bobbitta, A., 2005, The submarine flanks of Anatahan volcano, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: Jour. of Volcanology and Geothermal Res. (In press, June 2005).

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: Juan Takai Camacho and Ramon Chong, Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI/EMO), PO Box 100007, Saipan, MP 96950, USA (URL: http://www.cnmihsem.gov.mp/); Simon Carn, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA; Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), U.S. Geological Survey, PO Box 51, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718, USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/); Charles Holliday, U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska 68113, USA; Randy White and Frank Trusdell, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025-3591 USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/nmi/activity/); Saipan Tribune, PMB 34, Box 10001, Saipan, MP 96950, USA (URL: http://www.saipantribune.com/); Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI) team, World Weather Bldg., 5200 Auth Rd Rm 510 (E/SP 22), NOAA/NESDIS, Camp Springs, MD 20748, USA (URL: https://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch, NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/); Chuck Sayon, American Memorial Park, Saipan, MP 96950, USA; NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).


Awu (Indonesia) — April 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Awu

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Stable during mid- to late August 2004

Awu's eruption on 6 June 2004 and its elevated seismicity in early August 2004 was previously reported (BGVN 29:10). This report covers the last half of August 2004, which had not been reported on previously. Since the 6 June eruption, observation of the summit failed to reveal any significant changes (table 3). The hazard status of Awu during this August report remained at Level 2, having been elevated to 4 (the highest on a scale of 1 to 4) at the time of the 6 June eruption and then lowered on 14 June.

Table 3. Seismicity at Awu during August 2004 as reported by DVGHM.

Date Deep Volcanic (A-type) Shallow Volcanic (B-type) Tectonic
09 Aug-15 Aug 2004 -- -- 75
16 Aug-22 Aug 2004 2 1 81
23 Aug-29 Aug 2004 2 -- 102

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, Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (DVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/).


Fernandina (Ecuador) — April 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Fernandina

Ecuador

0.37°S, 91.55°W; summit elev. 1476 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flows down S flank from circumferential vents near caldera rim

On the morning of 13 May 2005, a new eruption started on uninhabited Fernandina volcano (figure 5). Fernandina last erupted in 1995 (figure 6), and had been quiet and seemingly unchanged when a team from the Ecuadorian Institute of Geophysics (IG) flew over it in late March 2005. On 11 May an M 5.0 earthquake occurred with an epicenter ~ 30 km E of Fernandina's center. Only two other earthquakes have been located by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) within 100 km of Fernandina in last 4.5 years (M 4.0 on 23 February 2005 and M 4.6 on 16 April 2005), both having epicenters ~ 70-80 km SE of Fernandina's center. A seismic station, installed by the IG in 1996 on the NE coast of the island, was out of service at the time of eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Sketch map of Fernandina, showing the conspicuous summit caldera, and indicating the flow fields and circumferential vent area from the 13 May 2005 eruption (as mapped on 14 May by airborne reconnaissance and reported by the Charles Darwin Research Station). Key features include the active circumferential fissure vent and two main areas impacted by lava flows. The eastern area contained lava flows still mobile on 14 May; flows to the W had already cooled by 14 May.
On the index map of the Galápagos Islands, the largest island, Isabela, is ~ 130 km long and lies to the E of Fernandina island. "La Cumbre"—Spanish for the summit, peak, or top—has been mistakenly applied to the volcano, apparently because the summit was so labeled on an old map. The island has also been called Narborough. The index map is incomplete in its portrayal of both volcanoes and islands of the archipelago. Revised from BGVN 20:01.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. A 2002 International Space Station photograph of Fernandina, looking obliquely towards the E (N is towards the left). Labels show key features developed in 1995, 1981, and 1968 eruptions. Note the island's coastline in the lower-right corner and along much of the left margin. Despite the steep walls bounding the 850 m deep, 5 x 6.5 km central caldera, it supports both animal and plant populations. Image ISS05E06997 (Visible Earth v1 ID 18002) with contrast enhanced and labels added by Bulletin editors.

Galápagos National Park workers in western Galápagos were apparently the first to witness the eruption, and IG technicians recognized it on satellite imagery. The University of Hawaii presents hotspot images on their website. Their GOES data lacked hotspots at 0930, but a clear and strong one had developed on the S flank by 0945. Francisco Dousdebes (of Metropolitan Touring) placed the eruption's start time at 0935. S-flank hotspots were comparatively extensive by 1015. The Washington VAAC issued their first full advisory at 1315. Their notices reported that the W-directed plume rose to ~ 5 km altitude, and the S-directed plume went to 9 km; both were visible as late as 1745 on 13 May, depicting the leading portions of Fernandina' s ash plume more than 200 km from the volcano

An overflight of the eruption on the 13th by the National Park resulted in a report by Patricio Ramón and Hugo Yepes, and the eruption was confirmed by Washington Tapia, director of the Galápagos National Park. That evening, Galápagos resident Greg Estes telephoned Dennis Geist to report that the eruptive source was a "circumferential vent near [the] summit, S side . . . 6 km long with an eruptive zone 50 m across." It was uncertain how this fissure was related to the 1981 eruption site (figure 2 and SEAN 09:03). IG also noted that tephra had fallen on neighboring Isabela Island, in the areas of the volcanoes Wolf and Ecuador (~ 40 km from the vent, figure 1).

At 0537 on the second morning, 14 May, the Washington VAAC reported low level ash/steam not visible in infrared imagery, but at 0746, 1½ hours after sunrise, a plume of ash extended ~ 130 km to the W and was moving at 18 km/hour at 1,800 m elevation. The GOES thermal anomaly was greatly diminished by 0930, and remained low to non-existent until resumption around 1415. That afternoon, an overflight by Godfrey Merlen, Wacho Tapia, and Alan Tye (Charles Darwin Research Station) resulted in the fullest report to date.

They said that although the vent area was obscured by clouds, topography suggested a 4.5 km long fissure vent near the S rim, with activity having progressed from SW (near the first and uppermost flows of the 1995 radial fissure eruption) to the E (figure 1). The lava flows "had begun to pond on the gentler outer skirt of the island," and were then 5.5 km from the coast (~ 5 km from the vents). They thought it unlikely that the flows would reach the sea. A follow-up news report in El Comercio (Quito) quoted Tapia as identifying five flows down the S flank. Only one remained incandescent. At 1745 on 14 May, Washington VAAC reported a plume remaining to the NW, but—lacking detectable ash—they discontinued advisories. Thermal anomalies on the GOES satellite remained strong, however, until the next morning.

The report also noted that, "As on previous eruptions, such as that on Cerro Azul in 1998, lava passing through vegetated areas has caused small fires, but these have not spread far from the lava tongues themselves before going out. Most of the new flows have passed over unvegetated older lava, and damage to Fernandina's vegetation is limited."

The team also flew over Alcedo volcano on Isabela, where Project Isabela staff had reported increased fumarole activity. Steam was rising from the "new" fumarole sites (active since the 1990s) and from the area of sulfur deposits and fumaroles in the southwestern area of the rim, but this activity did not appear unusual.

On 15 May, the GOES thermal anomaly was gone before noon, but returned near midnight (about 2330), over a smaller area, and it remained through sunrise (0615) on 16 May. Small anomalies were visible the next several nights (when contrast with adjacent cold flows was strongest), but there was no obvious evidence of continued feeding of the new flows.

The complex thermal anomalies detected in MODIS satellite imagery (provided by the University of Hawaii), were abundant around the time of eruption. They spread over Fernandina's rim, in some cases in the caldera, and broadly over the S flank. They continued through at least the rest of May.

The Washington VAAC reported that a weak hotspot started 29 May 2005 at 1945 (30 May at 0145 UTC) and a very short narrow plume of ash and gases appeared in multi-spectral imagery at 2145 (30 May at 0345 UTC). No ground confirmation of an eruption was available, and there was a layer of low-level weather cloud over the island. At that time, the plume appeared to dissipate as it moved away at ~ 18 km/hour.

Geologic Background. Fernandina, the most active of Galápagos volcanoes and the one closest to the Galápagos mantle plume, is a basaltic shield volcano with a deep 5 x 6.5 km summit caldera. The volcano displays the classic "overturned soup bowl" profile of Galápagos shield volcanoes. Its caldera is elongated in a NW-SE direction and formed during several episodes of collapse. Circumferential fissures surround the caldera and were instrumental in growth of the volcano. Reporting has been poor in this uninhabited western end of the archipelago, and even a 1981 eruption was not witnessed at the time. In 1968 the caldera floor dropped 350 m following a major explosive eruption. Subsequent eruptions, mostly from vents located on or near the caldera boundary faults, have produced lava flows inside the caldera as well as those in 1995 that reached the coast from a SW-flank vent. Collapse of a nearly 1 km3 section of the east caldera wall during an eruption in 1988 produced a debris-avalanche deposit that covered much of the caldera floor and absorbed the caldera lake.

Information Contacts: Patricio Ramón and Hugo Yepes, Geophysical Institute (IG), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Apartado 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Alan Tye, Charles Darwin Research Station, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (URL: http://www.darwinfoundation.org/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch, NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/); Tom Simkin, Dept. of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA; National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, DFC, MS 966, Denver, CO 80225-0046, USA (URL: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/); MODIS Thermal Alert System; University of Hawaii and Manoa, 168 East-West Road, Post 602, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu).


Karthala (Comoros) — April 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Karthala

Comoros

11.75°S, 43.38°E; summit elev. 2361 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


16 April 2005 seismicity leading to eruption; near-source tephra 1.5 m thick

After a long period of quiescence following the 1991 phreatic eruption, Karthala's seismicity rebounded starting in July 2000 (BGVN 25:10). In October 2000, more than 20 seismic events per day were recorded.

The local observatory and a key source for this report is the Karthala Volcano Observatory (KVO; Netter and Cheminée, 1997). They maintain close ties with the Centre National de Documentation et de Recherche Scientifique des Comores (CNDRS), Reunion Island University, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Piton de la Fournaise Volcanological Observatory, and various universities in France.

Activity during October 2000-March 2004. Between October 2000 and January 2003, relatively low seismicity was detected beneath Karthala's summit. The seismicity slowly increased. During January instruments recorded 51 earthquakes on the 5th, 58 on the 10th, and 50 on the 11th. During the month of April 2003 instruments registered 732 (i.e. averaging ~ 24 each day).

Seismic instruments detected several short earthquake swarms, each comprised of ~ 150 earthquakes. These swarms took place on 25 March and in April 2003, and each lasted several hours. Moreover, seismologists witnessed another swarm consisting of 183 events on 15 May. Except for that latter swarm, Karthala's seismicity was relatively quiet for 35 days after the 25 April swarm. A photo of the Chahalé crater from the year 2003, well before the April 2005 eruption, appears in figure 6. (For a map of Karthala's summit, see BGVN 16:08.)

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Karthala's ~ 300-m-diameter Chahalé crater as seen on 15 August 2003, more than a year prior to the April 2005 eruption. The photo was shot by the automatic camera located at the summit, looking from the NNE towards the SSW. The 2005 eruption dramatically changed this scene, replacing the green lake seen here with a lava lake, and blanketing considerable areas with tephra. Courtesy of Nicolas Villenueve.

During the time interval from early June 2003 to January 2004 instruments registered three periods with elevated seismicity. The first interval spanned 121 days from June until the end of September 2003 and included 6,315 earthquakes. Within that interval there was a major crisis on 6th September, comprised of 345 events, some being felt by local residents (BGVN 28:08).

The second interval began on 11 October 2003, reaching its peak on 4 January 2004 (253 events) and stopped on 31 January 2004. During this interval of 113 days, instruments registered 4,431 earthquakes. The third interval, during the time period of 3 February to 5 March 2004, contained fewer earthquakes. Instruments recorded 832 events in 31 days with a maximum of 143 events per day. After the third interval, KVO recorded only low seismicity until early 2005, when daily events rose to 50-60.

Eruption during April 2005. A seismic crisis began at 0812 on 16 April. Although instruments initially received only short-period events, starting at 0914 they also registered many long-period ones. From 1055 on 16 April a continuous signal was recorded, which was interpreted as tremor marking the beginning of the eruption. At around 1400 that day inhabitants heard a rumbling coming from the volcano. A few minutes later they observed an ash column above the summit. The first ash-fall deposits began to form around 1600, developing on the island's eastern side. According to the firsts reports, ash deposition increased and continued through the night accompanied by a strong smell of sulfur.

On the morning of 17 April ash falls continued on the eastern part of the island and were heavy enough to require inhabitants to use umbrellas to get about. At midday, Jean-Marc Heintz, a pilot for Comores Aviation, flew over the west flank and observed a large plume in the direction of the Chahalé crater. He also clearly observed airborne molten ejecta.

Around 1300, observers saw a very dark plume, spreading into a mushroom shape and accompanied by lightning flashes. Some inhabitants panicked and fled the island's eastern villages. In the afternoon, residents heard rumbling. During the evening, significant rainfall generated small mudflows, and the rumbling became stronger.

At that time, authorities evacuated some eastern villages (according to Agence France Presse (AFP) this affected ~ 10,000 people). Ash there started to fall on the island's western and northern parts, notably, on the country's capital city of Moroni (~ 10 km NW of the summit) and on the Hahaya airport (~ 20 km N of Moroni, ~ 25 km NW of the summit). Figure 7 shows a photo with the base of a vigorous plume over the E flanks on the afternoon of 17 April.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. A phreatic eruption as seen from Karthala's eastern slopes on the afternoon of 17 April 2005. The vent lies below the white-colored zone in the center-right portion of the photo. With enlargement, many parts of the image record the descent of large pieces of ejecta. Photo credit to school teacher Daniel Hoffschir.

KVO authorities sometimes witnessed a red color at the plume's base, interpreted as a sign of an ongoing magmatic eruption. At 2105 the KVO seismic network recorded a drastic decrease in the amplitude of the tremor. During the night of 17-18 April, wide variations of the tremor amplitude were recorded with a maximum at 0140 on 18 April and a minimum at 0430 on 18 April. Thereafter, the tremor amplitude did not increase. During the night of 17-18 April the plume and falling ash disappeared.

On an overflight of the Chahalé crater at 0830 on 18 April, KVO personnel observed major modifications at the summit (figures 8-10). A lava lake (figure 8) had replaced the water-bearing lake (figure 6) that had occupied the crater since 1991.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. On 18 April 2005 the Karthala eruption generated a lava lake in the Chahalé crater. In this photo, taken the morning of 18 April, considerable portions of the lava lake's surface still remained molten and incandescent.. The lake's surface only remained molten for a few hours. This aerial photo was taken looking from the N. Courtesy of Hamid Soulé.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. A 19 April 2005 aerial photograph of Karthala taken from the SE centered on Chahalé crater. The lava lake's surface had chilled and it emitted white vapor. Much of the summit area displays the recently deposited smooth-surfaced tephra blanket. Courtesy of Nicolas Villenueve.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Tephra deposits left by Karthala's mid-April 2005 eruption altered the landscape and destroyed vegetation. This picture was taken at the entrance to the first caldera on the western trail, viewed looking to the S. Courtesy of Nicolas Villenueve.

On 19 April a new overflight revealed the crater floor containing the lava lake, with its chilled surface emitting steam (figure 13). Lava remained confined to Chahalé crater. Around the caldera area, and particularly on its N, observers saw conspicuous tephra deposits; most of the vegetation had been destroyed (figure 14).

On 20 April a field excursion found that ash deposits varied in thickness from a few millimeters on the coast to ~ 1.5 m at the summit. Near the summit the observers recognized some post-eruptive evaporation and geothermal processes. Specifically, although the lava lake's surface had frozen, there remained sufficient heat under the surface that groundwater migrating towards to the crater's floor evaporated into steam. During another field survey on 8 May, observers noted the renewed presence of lake water inside the crater.

Reference. Netter, C., and Cheminée, J. (eds.), 1997, Directory of Volcano Observatories, 1996-1997: World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO), WOVO/IAVCEI/UNESCO, Paris, 268 p.

Geologic Background. The southernmost and largest of the two shield volcanoes forming Grand Comore Island (also known as Ngazidja Island), Karthala contains a 3 x 4 km summit caldera generated by repeated collapse. Elongated rift zones extend to the NNW and SE from the summit of the Hawaiian-style basaltic shield, which has an asymmetrical profile that is steeper to the S. The lower SE rift zone forms the Massif du Badjini, a peninsula at the SE tip of the island. Historical eruptions have modified the morphology of the compound, irregular summit caldera. More than twenty eruptions have been recorded since the 19th century from the summit caldera and vents on the N and S flanks. Many lava flows have reached the sea on both sides of the island. An 1860 lava flow from the summit caldera traveled ~13 km to the NW, reaching the W coast to the N of the capital city of Moroni.

Information Contacts: Nicolas Villeneuve (CREGUR, Centre de Recherches et d'Etudes en Géographie de l'Université de la Réunion); Hamidou Nassor, and Patrick Bachèlery (LSTUR, Laboratoire des Sciences de la Terre), Université de La Réunion BP 7151, 15 Avenue, René Cassin, 97715 Saint-Denis, Reunion Island; François Sauvestre and Hamid Soulé, CNDRS, BP 169, Moroni, République Fédérale Islamique des Comores (URL: http://volcano.ipgp.jussieu.fr/karthala/stationkar.html).


Lascar (Chile) — April 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Lascar

Chile

23.37°S, 67.73°W; summit elev. 5592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


4 May 2005 eruption sends ash over 1,000 km SE, ¾ of the way to Buenos Aires

Lascar, the most active volcano in northern Chile, erupted on 4 May 2005. Although the eruption was substantial, thus far there is an absence of reports from anyone who saw the eruption at close range. Preliminary assessments came mainly from satellite sensors and distant affects witnessed in Argentina. This report is based on one sent to us by Chilean Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) scientists José Antonio Naranjo and Hugo Moreno, discussing events around 4 May, with brief comments on some of Lascar's behavior in the past several years, and suggestions for future monitoring.

Lascar sits ~ 70 km SW of the intersection between Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia, ~ 300 km inland from the Chilean port city of Antofagasta. This part of the coast lies along the Atacama desert, and on flat terrain tens of kilometers W of Lascar resides a large salt pan, the Salar de Atacama (about 50 x 150 km). The settlement of Toconao is ~ 33 km NW of Lascar. Previous reports discussed field observations during 13 October 2002 to 15 January 2003, and fine ash discharged from fumaroles on 9 December 2003 (BGVN 28:03 and 29:01).

Naranjo and Moreno concluded that at roughly 0400 on 4 May an explosive eruption ejected an ash cloud to a tentative altitude on the order of 10 km that dispersed to the SE. About 2 hours later the cloud began dropping ash on Salta, Argentina. Satellite images portrayed the ash cloud's dispersal. An aviation 'red alert' was issued by the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Center; they saw the plume over Argentina at altitudes of 3-5 km.

Shortly after atmospheric impacts of the 4 May eruption became apparent, the Buenos Aires VAAC notified OVDAS that NW Argentine cities had reported falling ash. These cities, all SE of Lascar, included Jujuy, Salta, Santiago del Estero, and Santa Fe—locations with respective approximate distances from Lascar of 260, 275, 580, and 1,130 km. The Argentine province of Chaco, along the country's NE margin, was also noted as receiving ash. Buenos Aires (~ 1,530 km SE of Lascar) remained ~ 400 km beyond the point of the farthest detected ashfall.

Patricia Lobera, a professor in Talabre, Argentina, 17 km E of Lascar, said that eruption noises were not heard there on the morning of 4 May. When observers saw the plume from Talabre that morning they reportedly thought the plume looked similar to those on previous days.

Remotely sensed hot spots were detected on a GOES satellite image for 0339 (0639 UTC) on 4 May, showing the first evidence of an eruption. In a later image, at 0409, the thermal anomaly had increased, and the image suggested a growing, ash-bearing cloud then trending ~ 23 km to the SE. The thermal anomaly diminished in intensity by 0439, remaining diminished thereafter, but by that time the plume's leading margin extended over ~ 100 km SE and its tail had detached from the volcano. At 0509 the plume reached 170 km SE. According to a press report, at around 0600 ash fell in Salta (~ 275 km SE of Lascar).

Rosa Marquilla, a geologist at the University of Salta, reported that residents there noticed a mist attributed to the eruption, which hung over the city until at least to 1600, after which, the sky gradually cleared. Preliminary description of the petrography of the ash that fell in Salta came from Ricardo Pereyra (University of Salta) who saw crystal fragments (pyroxenes, feldspars, and magnetite) and fragments of volcanic glass containing plagioclase mircrolites. Lithic fragments were not observed.

The OVDAS authors concluded that, apparently since the year 2000, Lascar underwent constant degassing from an open vent within the ~ 780-m-diameter active central crater. Sporadic explosions as in July 2000 and October 2002, and in this case, 4 May 2005, could be due to diverse causes. For example, there may have been temporarily obstructed conduits at depth, local collapses blocking the vent at the crater floor, or fresh magma injection contacting groundwater. Extrusion of a viscous dome lava also might explain the sudden explosions. That circumstance would presumably lead to visibly increased fumarolic output.

Naranjo and Moreno had several suggestions for ongoing monitoring. First, they suggested developing closer long-term contacts, including people able to visually monitor the volcano directly, as well as continued systematic contact with the Buenos Aires VAAC and their satellite analysts. They recommended ongoing relations with the University of Hawaii (MODVOLC) program to remotely sense hot-spots. They went on to suggest a campaign of stereo aerial photography to detect changes in the active crater. They advocated notifying local inhabitants of the possibility of ash falls before another explosive episode. They pointed out that mountaineers should be made aware of elevated risks within 8 km of the active crater.

References. Gardeweg, M., 1989, Informe preliminar sobre la evolución de la erupción del volcán Láscar (II Región): noviembre 1989: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Informe Inédito (unpublished report), 27 p.

Gardeweg, M., and Lindsay, J., 2004, Lascar Volcano, La Pacana Caldera, and El Tatio Geothermal Field: IAVCEI General Assembly Pucón 2004, Field Trip Guide-A2, 32 p.

Gardeweg, M., Medina, E., Murillo, M., and Espinoza, A., 1993, La erupción del 19-20 de abril de 1993: VI informe sobre el comportamiento del volcán Láscar (II Región): Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Informe Inédito (unpublished report), 20 p.

Geologic Background. Láscar is the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes. The andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano contains six overlapping summit craters. Prominent lava flows descend its NW flanks. An older, higher stratovolcano 5 km E, Volcán Aguas Calientes, displays a well-developed summit crater and a probable Holocene lava flow near its summit (de Silva and Francis, 1991). Láscar consists of two major edifices; activity began at the eastern volcano and then shifted to the western cone. The largest eruption took place about 26,500 years ago, and following the eruption of the Tumbres scoria flow about 9000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern edifice, where three overlapping craters were formed. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century, along with periodic larger eruptions that produced ashfall hundreds of kilometers away. The largest historical eruption took place in 1993, producing pyroclastic flows to 8.5 km NW of the summit and ashfall in Buenos Aires.

Information Contacts: José Antonio Naranjo and Hugo Moreno, Programa Riesgo Volcanico, Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria, Avda. Santa Maria 0104, Casilla 1347, Santiago, Chile; Gustavo Alberto Flowers, Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (Buenos Aires VAAC), Servicio Meteorológico Nacional-Fuerza Aérea Argentina, 25 de mayo 658, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/productos.php).


Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania) — April 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Ol Doinyo Lengai

Tanzania

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Tall hornito almost reaches summit elevation; more lava spills over rim

Although lava venting at Ol Doinyo Lengai continued intermittently after February 2004 (BGVN 29:02), no significant changes were detected until July 2004, a time when vigorous venting emitted substantial amounts of the low-viscosity carbonatitic lava typical at this volcano ('flash floods' of lava). This summary report covers the time interval from February 2004 through early February 2005 based on observations made by Frederick Belton, Celia Nyamweru, Bernhard Donth, and Christoph Weber. Websites devoted to Ol Doinyo Lengai, including photographs, information on the evolution, recent history, and current status of the volcano are maintained by Belton, Nyamweru, and Weber.

A map, thermal data, and some new elevation estimates. In February 2005 Weber and others collected location data with a global positioning system (GPS) receiver. Weber used this to create a sketch map of the active crater (figure 82).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. Sketch map of crater features at Ol Doinyo Lengai surveyed with a global positioning system (GPS) during 3-7 February 2005. During the course of the report interval, new vents developed at T49G and T58C (amid the N-central group of hornitos; T49G sits ~ 10 m E of T49B). These new vents produced comparatively vigorous eruptions. Courtesy of Chris Weber (Volcano Expeditions International, VEI).

In July 2004 Belton completed the third of a series of distance measurements across crater outflow areas at the crater rim (table 7). Due to the unusually strong eruption on 15 July 2004 (figure 83), deposits comprising the E overflow widened by 3 or 4 m (growing from 44 to 47 m, figure 82). Later, in January 2005, observers noticed a fourth area of overflows had become established on the N crater rim, with lavas pouring over the rim at two adjacent points there (figure 82).

Table 7. For Ol Doinyo Lengai, the width of the three extant lava outflows at the points where they spilled from the active crater ('overflows,' figure 15), as measured during 2 August 2003-29 July 2004. Two additional small overflows formed later, by January 2005, on the N crater rim. The 3-m E-overflow increase occurred during the eruption of T58C on 15 July 2004. Courtesy of Frederick Belton.

Date NW overflow width E overflow width W overflow width
02 Aug 2003 135 m 44 m 17 m
29 Jun 2004 135 m 44 m 18 m
29 Jul 2004 135 m 47 m 18 m
Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. A time exposure photograph of Ol Doinyo Lengai taken just after sunset on 15 July 2004. At that time the newly formed vent T58C ("Charging Rhino") issued copious lava. This photo was taken looking approximately NW from the SE part of the crater rim. Courtesy of Frederick Belton.

During 3-7 February 2005 Weber and others completed a series of lava and fumarole temperature measurements that appear as tables 8 and 9. The tables indicate the hottest lava and fumarole temperatures at cracks were 588°C (at T49C, February 2004) and 150°C (at T49G, June 2004), respectively. The hornitos T49C and T49G both lie near T49B, a hornito delineated on figure 82.

Table 8. Repeated maximum lava temperatures measured at Ol Doinyo Lengai during 28 August 1999 to 3 February 2005. The measurements were made employing a digital thermometer (TM 914C with a stab feeler of standard K type). The instrument was used in the 0-1200°C mode, and at least four replicate measurements were made at any one spot. Calibration was by the delta-T method; uncertainties were ± 6°C in the 0-750°C range. Courtesy of C. Weber.

Date Location Temperature (°C)
28 Aug 1999 T40 lava lake 529
01 Sep 1999 Pahoehoe flow in a tube near T40 519
01 Sep 1999 Aa flow still in motion at flat terrains (60 cm thick) 516
03 Oct 2000 Pahoehoe flow in a tube near T49B 507
03 Oct 2000 Aa flow still in slow motion at flat terrain (25 cm thick) 496
11 Feb 2004 Pahoehoe flow in a tube near T49G 588
12 Feb 2004 Pahoehoe flow in a tube near T49B 579
13 Feb 2004 Aa flow not in motion anymore at flat terrain (15 cm thick) 490
26 Jun 2004 Pahoehoe flow in slow motion (10 cm thick) flat terrain 560
03 Feb 2005 Pahoehoe flow (15 cm thick) in motion traveling within a levee. 561
03 Feb 2005 Aa flow not in motion anymore at flat terrain (15 cm thick) 520

Table 9. Maximum fumarole temperatures measured at cracks in Ol Doinyo Lengai's crater floor over a series of visits during 28 August 1999 to 4 February 2005. Collected using the digital thermometer with procedures and parameters noted with the previous table. For locations, see map (figure 15). Courtesy of C. Weber.

Date Location Temperature (°C)
28 Aug 1999 F1 70
28 Aug 1999 Near T49 82
03 Oct 2000 Near T49C 75
03 Oct 2000 F1 69
20 Oct 2002 The hottest cracks in the crater floor 124
20 Oct 2002 F1 78
30 Jun 2003 F1 86
30 Jun 2003 Near T49C 76
12 Feb 2004 F1 88
26 Jun 2004 F1 78
26 Jun 2004 Near T49C 150
04 Feb 2005 F1 84

Weber's team GPS measurements suggested a summit elevation of 2,960 ± 5 m. This is consistent with GPS measurements taken in October 2000, by a scientific group led by Joerg Keller, of 2,950-2,960 m (BGVN 25:12). In addition, the tallest hornito in the N-central crater rises to nearly this elevation (see discussion of T49/T56B, below).

During observations in February 2004, Weber measured the tallest hornito at the T49 location (part of T56B) in the center area of the active crater. GPS readings on top of T56B yielded an elevation of 2,886 m. This is only [74 m below the elevation of the summit]. The top of T49 is also ~ 33 m above the adjacent crater floor to the N. In addition, when he measured on 3-7 February, Weber found hornito T58C (a then recent feature) had grown to reach an elevation of ~ 2,870 m.

Observations during February 2004 to February 2005. During February 2004 visits, T56B did not erupt, but instead a new vent erupted at the T49 location (~ 10 m E of T49B, see also BGVN 29:02). This new vent was called T49G (figure 15).

A group from Volcano Expeditions International (VEI) spent 24-30 June 2004 on Lengai and found much of the scene at the vents in the crater similar to that noted in February 2004. They noted that half of the upper 10 m of hornito T56B had collapsed on its E side, and an active lava lake had formed inside this hornito with lava escaping several times through the collapsed opening to its E and flowing out ~ 200 m. The lava was rich in gas with a temperature of 560°C. The hornito T58B was also active and spattered lava many times during these days of observation. Some lava flows from T58B reached about 150 m to the S.

During 2-3 July 2004, Belton observed T58B erupt repeatedly, emitting lava and strombolian displays. The escaping lava flowed S, passing near the base of hornito T47. On 4 July, Belton saw some of the most intense activity of the month. A sequence of lavas erupted on that day and over the next few days. However, events in mid-July and later were also unusually vigorous.

The 4 July 2004 activity included strong strombolian eruptions at T58B and several collapses of its vent area, which released large cascades of lava onto the crater floor. Simultaneously, a tube-fed eruption of pahoehoe lava from the new vent T49G flowed across the NW crater rim to spill down that flank. Early on 5 July numerous eruptions of T58B sent lava flowing toward T47 at an estimated velocity of 10 m/sec. On 6 July, lava flowed out of the lake in T56B and onto the crater floor moving E and entering a cave in T45 for a short distance.

After very low activity during 7-10 July 2004, renewed flows and spatter came out on 11 July from T58B, and frequent but short (usually ~ 2 minute) episodes of loud degassing and spattering issued from the lava lake in T56B. At night, this vent emitted incandescent gas. This pattern continued until the morning of 14 July, when eruptions at T58B became more explosive and it expelled small ash clouds. On the morning of 15 July a collapse in the vent area of T58B released large rapid lava flows to the E. The episodes of degassing and spattering from T56B increased in frequency until 1500 on 15 July, when a small hole formed in the crater floor just E of T58B.

Called T58C, the hole became a newly opened vent. It began emitting visible gas puffs mixed with spatter. At this time the degassing episodes from T56B ceased. T58C then began strong degassing and squirted up intermittent lava fountains. The fountains soon fed a large lava stream moving toward the S crater wall.

By 1600 on 15 July 2004 a paroxysm at T58C was in progress, with lava forming 10- to 12-m-tall fountains and 'flash floods' that completely inundated the central-eastern crater floor (in the area between T56B, T58B, T37, T37B, T45, and T57). T58C also ejected strong jets of ash and gas. Turbulent rivers of lava flowing at more than 10 m/sec swept toward the crater's S wall and its E overflow and completely surrounded T37B and T45. Flow rate from the vent was estimated to peak at 10 m3/s.

The momentum of the rapidly outflowing lava carried it nearly 3 m up the W (upstream) side of T45 and obliterated the large cave within that cone. The associated surge of lava poured over the E crater rim and down the flank. It flooded over a 3 m wide swath of vegetation. This triggered a huge cloud of steam and smoke that resembled a small pyroclastic flow. The smoke cloud was accompanied by a loud sizzling sound. A brush fire burned along the crater rim overflow as additional floods of lava arrived. These larger-than-normal flows lasted for little more than 30 sec and were separated by periods of repose of 5 to 6 min. After sunset, incandescent gas flared from the vent during the repose periods. Weak strombolian activity was seen in T56B.

Early on 16 July 2004 the newly formed T58C was a circular pit ~ 2 m in diameter with lava sloshing violently at a depth of ~ 2 m. Two small sub-vents on the N and S edges of the pit interconnected with the main vent. Activity continued sporadically at T58B and T56B with strombolian activity and lava flows. On 21 July there was an exceptionally strong eruption of T58B with loud explosions, jetting of ash-poor clouds, and spatter thrown to above-average heights. Explosions blasted a new vent in the upper E side of T58B. At least four oval bombs 9-12 cm in length flew through the air, along with a great deal of lapilli and ash. Later examination of the bomb's interiors revealed that they all had an outer zone ~ 1.5- to 2-cm thick and a distinctive inner core.

On 23 July 2004, a sloping ~ 4 m2 oval section of the crater floor immediately SW of the new spatter cone T58C began to steam and vibrate. Tremor increased and ground movement was visible, manifested as a small section of crater floor rapidly pushed outward and then inward several centimeters, like a membrane vibrating in time to the degassing sounds of lava in T58C just behind it. Abruptly this portion of the crater floor broke outward, and a flood of lava ensued. T58C was observed to grow in height through the time when Belton left the crater on 29 July 2004.

Observations during January and February 2005. Donth reported that during his visit on 10 January 2005, hornito T49B erupted to form many effusive lava flows. For the first time, lava escaped over the northern edge of the crater (see figure 15).

During Weber's crater visit, 3-7 February 2005, the hornito T49B actively emitted lava flows that traveled to the N. Pahoehoe lava flows in motion within small levees on flat terrain were measured from 520°C up to a maximum of 561°C (table 3). The fumaroles at F1 had a maximum temperature of 84°C, and at hornito T46, a maximum of 91°C (table 4). No change in distance was measured across the CR1, CR2, and CR3 cracks cutting the upper crater walls. Adding to visitor safety concerns, which include altitude sickness, burns, falls, and impact from ejecta, Weber's team saw a spitting cobra close to the summit. An overflight by plane on 14 February showed no subsequent change, but did give an excellent view of the crater and its central hornitos (figure 16).

A flight on 14 February failed to reveal subsequent changes. But the effort provided an excellent view of the crater and its central hornitos (figure 84).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. An aerial photograph taken looking towards the WSW at the summit crater of Ol Doinyo Lengai on 14 February 2005. The summit, which lies in the upper left corner has a revised elevation based on GPS (see text). In addition, GPS elevations and uncertainties suggest that in 2005 the summit was only marginally higher than the top of the tallest hornito (T56B). Copyrighted photo provided courtesy of T. Schulmeister and C. Weber.

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

Information Contacts: Christoph Weber, Volcano Expeditions International, Muehlweg 11, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany (URL: http://www.v-e-i.de/); Celia Nyamweru, Department of Anthropology, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617, USA (URL: http://blogs.stlawu.edu/lengai/); Frederick Belton, Developmental Studies Department, PO Box 16, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA (URL: http://oldoinyolengai.pbworks.com/); Bernard Donth, Waldwiese 5, 66123 Saarbruecken, Germany.


Vailulu'u (United States) — April 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Vailulu'u

United States

14.215°S, 169.058°W; summit elev. -592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


ALIA cruise discloses new cone in the summit crater

According to Hubert Staudigel (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) and Stanley Hart (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute), Vailulu'u seamount, the most active Samoan submarine volcano, erupted between April 2001 and April 2005. It formed a 293-m-tall lava cone, which was named Nafanua after the Samoan Goddess of War. This new cone had been growing inside the 2-km-wide caldera of Vailulu'u at a minimum rate of about 20 cm/day since April 2001. Nafanua was discovered during a 2005 diving expedition with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) research submersible Pisces V, launched from the University of Hawaii research vessel Kaimikai O Kanaloa (KOK). It is located in the originally 1,000-m-deep W crater of Vailulu'u (figures 5 to 8).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. The route of the 2005 cruise of the research vessel Kilo Moana. Vailulu'u, towards the E end of the Samoan hotspot trail was visited on cruise days 1-4, 4-8 April 2005. Courtesy of H. Staudigel and S. Hart.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Bathymetry of Vailulu'u and nearby Ta'u Island, based on a SeaBeam bathymetric survey performed during R/V Melville's AVON 2 and 3 cruises, augmented with satellite-derived bathymetry from Smith and Sandwell (1996). The inset shows the general location of Vailulu'u with respect to the Samoan Archipelago; two other newly mapped and dredged seamounts (Malumalu and Muli, AVON 3 cruise) are shown as well. Scale: 10' = 18 km. From Hart and others (2000).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Bathymetry of the Vailulu'u crater between the 1999 and 2005 surveys, showing the emergence of Nafanua. Courtesy of H. Staudigel and S. Hart.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Bathymetric map of the Vailulu'u seamount from multibeam data during the April 2005 survey. Note the new inner cone named Nafanua. Contour interval is 20 m. Courtesy of H. Staudigel and S. Hart.

Seismic monitoring during April-June 2000 showed substantial seismicity, ~ 4 earthquakes per day with hypocenters beneath Nafanua (Konter and others, 2004; BGVN 26:06), which can now be interpreted as pre-eruption seismic activity. These observations are consistent with previous reports highlighting the volcanic and hydrothermal activity of Vailulu'u (Hart and others, 2000; Staudigel and others, 2004). The scientists suggested that continued volcanic activity could bring the summit region of Vailulu'u to a water depth of ~ 200 m. At that point, Nafanua would overtop the crater rim and further growth would require a build-up of the lower flanks, areas that rise from the 5,000-m-deep floor of the ocean.

Staudigel and Hart teamed up in April 2005 on the Hawaiian Research Vessel Kilo Moana to study the Samoan hotspot thought to underlie Vailulu'u. They named their expedition ALIA after the ancient twin-hulled canoe that Samoan warriors used to explore the SW Pacific. The Kilo Moana left Pago Pago on 4 April 2005 to study active and extinct underwater volcanoes along the chain of Samoan islands. The expedition investigated previously uncharted seamounts and the submarine portions of some islands, scattered over almost 600 nautical miles, from its most recent and quite active Vailulu'u submarine volcano in the E to Combe Island in the W.

The Nafanua cone was first mapped by using the center beam of the research vessel KOK in several crossings of the W crater. An active hydrothermal system was apparent from evidence such as the murky water that limited visibility during two submersible dives, several microbial biomats covering pillow lavas that were centimeters thick, and a large number of diffuse vents. A dive on 30 March 2005 to examine Nafanua reported "that it must have grown in the last 4 years because CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) crossings in 2001 still were consistent with the old crater morphology ... the basal portion of the cone displayed relatively large pillows, and higher up pillows look almost like very fluid pahoehoe that collapsed and/or transitioned into aa flows. Nafanua . . . grew very fast with abundant breccia material from collapsing and draining pillows, in particular in the summit region."

On 1 April, another dive along the outer flanks of Vailulu'u found that during the up-slope transit, observers saw a few additional areas of active venting and many sites where there had been venting in the past. Large and perfectly formed pillow lavas were present in most sites, with a few areas being dominated by broken talus fragments and some having completely black glassy pillows with no oxidation, apparent evidence for relatively recent formation. The topography was extremely rough, the slope being punctuated with numerous fissure systems and edifices of pillow lava.

A primary plan for the ALIA expedition was to study the water in and around the seamount for several days using a CTD probe. To sample the inside of the volcano for a full tidal cycle, the scientists varied the depth of the CTD between 40 and 930 m (almost to the crater floor), collecting various data, including visibility. At Vailulu'u, the particulates given off by hydrothermal venting are flushed out of its caldera during each tidal cycle into the surrounding water. In 2005, a dense layer of particulates was found in the water within the crater, but the water was clear outside the crater rim. This contrasts with observations seen from the cruise in 2000, when there was a dense ring of particulates around the whole volcano. It appears that in 2005 the particulates were rising above the crater and then later sinking, instead of forming the widespread ring observed in 2000.

In addition, the expedition crew conducted dredging of the new summit of Nafanua. Staudigel and Hart noted that the rocks from the first dredge haul were quite newly formed, containing pristine olivine-phyric volcanic rocks. Abundant large vesicles in the rocks from Nafanua suggest a volatile-rich magma capable of submarine lava fountaining and explosive outgassing in shallower water. Dredging from a second site, outside of Vailulu'u, recovered rocks that were both much older and far less fragile.

References. Hart, S.R., Staudigel, H., Koppers, A.A.P., Blusztajn, J., Baker, E.T., Workman, R., Jackson, M., Hauri, E., Kurz, M., Sims, K., Fornari, D., Saal, A., and Lyons, S., 2000, Vailulu'u undersea volcano: The new Samoa: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3), American Geophysical Union, v. 1, no. 12, doi: 10.1029/2000GC000108.

Konter, J.G., Staudigel, H., Hart, S.R., and Shearer, P.M., 2004, Seafloor seismic monitoring of an active submarine volcano: Local seismicity at Vailulu'u Seamount, Samoa: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3), American Geophysical Union, v. 5, no. 6, QO6007, doi: 10.1029/2004GC000702.

Lippsett, L., 2002, Voyage to Vailulu'u: Searching for Underwater Volcanoes. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Fathom online magazine (URL: http://www.fathom.com/feature/122477/).

Staudigel, H., Hart, S.R., Koppers, A., Constable, C., Workman, R., Kurz, M., and Baker, E.T., 2004, Hydrothermal venting at Vailulu'u Seamount: The smoking end of the Samoan chain: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3), American Geophysical Union, v. 5, no. 2, QO2003, doi: 10.1029/2003GC000626.

Geologic Background. Vailulu'u, a massive basaltic seamount not discovered until 1975, rises 4,200 m from the sea floor to a depth of 590 m about one-third of the way between Ta'u and Rose islands at the E end of the American Samoas. It is considered to mark the current location of the Samoan hotspot. The summit contains a 2-km-wide, 400-m-deep oval-shaped caldera. Two principal rift zones extend E and W from the summit, parallel to the trend of the hotspot. A third less prominent rift extends SE of the summit. The rift zones and escarpments produced by mass wasting phenomena give the seamount a star-shaped pattern. On 10 July 1973, explosions were recorded by SOFAR (hydrophone records of underwater acoustic signals). An earthquake swarm in 1995 may have been related to an eruption. Turbid water above the summit shows evidence of ongoing hydrothermal plume activity.

Information Contacts: Hubert Staudigel, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Univ. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0225, USA (URL: https://earthref.org/whoswho/ER/hstaudigel/, https://igpp.ucsd.edu/); Stanley R. Hart, Woods Holes Oceanographic Institute, Geology and Geophysics Dept., Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA; ALIA Expedition, Samoan Seamounts, R/V Kilo Moana (KM0506), supported by the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (URL: https://earthref.org/ERESE/projects/ALIA/).

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