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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 05 (May 2005)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Ambrym (Vanuatu)

Steady emissions of SO2 create health problems, destroy crops, and contaminate water

Barren Island (India)

Lava flow and ash discharges seen by Coast Guard personnel on 28 May 2005

Egon (Indonesia)

Three eruptions in February 2005 eject ash and gas

Karangetang (Indonesia)

Ongoing seismicity during January-February 2005; lava avalanche in January

Langila (Papua New Guinea)

Ash emissions and lava flow during April-June 2005

Lascar (Chile)

Further analysis of 4 May 2005 event indicates a phreato-Vulcanian eruption

Long Valley (United States)

Minor seismicity throughout 2004

Manam (Papua New Guinea)

Aircraft encounters airborne gas from 27 January 2005 eruption; infrasonics

Reventador (Ecuador)

Lava flow reaches 4 km from summit, approaching road and petroleum pipeline

Rotorua (New Zealand)

Hydrothermal eruption of 19 April 2005—one of the area's largest since 1948

Whakaari/White Island (New Zealand)

Seismic and hydrothermal activity remain low through June 2005



Ambrym (Vanuatu) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambrym

Vanuatu

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Steady emissions of SO2 create health problems, destroy crops, and contaminate water

Jenifer Piatt, a meteorologist with the Air Force Weather Agency in the Satellite Applications Branch, notified Bulletin staff on 17 June 2005 that haze had appeared near Ambrym on MODIS imagery over the past few days. Over the past several months, this volcano had been emitting SO2 and sometimes light ash. She informed us of several recent news articles that addressed this event and provided several satellite images (figure 14).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Images for 0250 UTC 15 June 2005 (top), and 0240 UTC 17 June 2005 (bottom) disclosing the area around Vanuatu including Ambryn. The images came from NASA's AQUA MODIS satellite with a resolution of 500 m. SO2 plumes from Ambrym are labeled. NASA image courtesy of USAF Weather Agency.

Tony Ligo wrote on 1 June 2005 in the Port Villa Presse that acid rain continued to fall in W Ambrym Island in Vanuatu, even after ash from the volcano had stopped falling. This prompted the provincial secretary general to discuss the need for new water sources. The Vanuatu government, through the department of Rural Water Supply, agreed to provide a drilling rig to the Malampa provincial government to drill on W Ambrym as soon as possible.

The government also recognized the value of scientific and technical data; in order to effectively respond to such environmental problems the government needs to get more young people studying in this area. The article noted that Vanuatu only has one volcanologist, Charley Douglas, with enough background to give accurate data on current activity.

Aid and food have been sent to affected areas on the western coast of the island, and a contingency evacuation plan is required for resettling people should this be necessary in the future. Health issues have been raised regarding hygiene, respiratory problems, asthma, and malnutrition over the past couple of months. Of great concern are health problems particular to children, including exposure to excess fluoride and the consequent risk of bone disease.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Observatory web site reported that Ambrym volcano was the strongest point source of SO2 on the planet for the first months of 2005; it had been steadily emitting SO2 for at least 6 months, and satellite images produced using data collected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite during the first 10 days of March 2005 show high concentrations of SO2 drifting NW.

The web site article noted that "Ambrym is not erupting in the traditional sense with thick ash plumes and explosive bursts of lava, rather it is leaking SO2 gas from active lava lakes in what scientists call 'passive' or 'non-eruptive' emissions. Despite these gentle names, the volcano still threatens the local population. SO2 has a strong smell and can irritate the eyes and nose and make breathing difficult. Higher in the atmosphere, SO2 combines with water to create rain laced with sulfuric acid. On Ambrym, acid rain has destroyed staple crops and contaminated the water supply, leaving communities in need of food aid." In the past, satellites have been able to monitor SO2 emissions only from large eruptions or the most powerful passive degassing. All other SO2 emissions remain at low altitudes and have low SO2 concentrations that were hard to see from space.

On 15 July 2004, NASA launched its Aura satellite carrying the OMI, which is part of a collaboration between the Netherlands' Agency for Aerospace Programs, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and NASA. With greater spatial resolution (the ability to "zoom-in" to see greater detail) and higher sensitivity to SO2 than any previous space-borne sensor, OMI allows scientists to study passive volcanic degassing on a daily basis for the first time.

The image in figure 15 is an example of the instrument's preliminary, uncalibrated, and unvalidated data. This new view of passive volcanic emissions could lead to significant advances in understanding both volcanic eruptions and the impact of SO2 on climate. Changes in passive emissions can be a precursor to explosive eruptions, and thus provide a warning signal that activity may be changing.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. A zone of elevated atmospheric SO2 from Ambrym during the interval 1-10 March 2005. The units on the scale bar reflect SO2 in terms of Dobson Units (DU). (A Dobson Unit represents the physical thickness of the SO2 gas if a 1 cm2 column of the atmosphere were brought to 0EC and 1 atmosphere pressure. A value of 300 Dobson Units equals three millimeters.) To process the OMI spectrometer data, two different pairs of measured UV wavelengths are averaged. The mean of pairs 1 and 2 is written as "P1-P2 mean" on the scale bar. Courtesy of Simon Carn.

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

Information Contacts: Jenifer E. Piatt, HQ Air Force Weather Agency Satellite Applications Branch; Simon Carn, TOMS Volcanic Emissions Group, University of Maryland, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); NASA Earth Observatory Natural Hazards web page (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/).


Barren Island (India) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Barren Island

India

12.278°N, 93.858°E; summit elev. 354 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flow and ash discharges seen by Coast Guard personnel on 28 May 2005

Members of the Indian Coast Guard observed a new eruption on the morning of 28 May 2005. An ash plume originated from a vent on the W side of the summit of the central cone; fresh black lava flows did not reach the sea (figure 10). The eruption continued through at least 6 June. Fresh lava emissions had been noted by Indian Coast Guard personnel who patrol the area regularly. A large amount of steam was emitted due to heavy rainfall onto the hot lava surfaces. Heavy monsoon rains prevented access to the island. However, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) was planning a monitoring program and field expedition to the island.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Photograph of Barren Island erupting on 28 May 2005 taken from a helicopter. The black lava in the foreground is of 1994-95 eruption. A lava flow that did not reach the sea issues from a steaming flank vent. View is towards the ESE. Courtesy of the Indian Coast Guard.

Dornadula Chandrasekharam (Indian Institute of Technology) noted on 6 July that by that date the eruption had ceased, with only steam emissions continuing after three weeks of heavy monsoon rains. The Indian Coast Guard also confirmed to Chandrasekharam that the eruption was first noticed on 28 May, contrary to some press reports indicating that activity was seen on the 27th. Patrol helicopters saw no activity on 25 and 26 May, and did not observe the island on the 27th.

Press reports. A report in the 31 May edition of The Hindu stated that defense forces witnessed intermittent billowing smoke and "flame" from the volcano. The same article referenced a Press Trust of India (PTI) report that military forces that landed on the island "experienced a hot breeze and found themselves stepping on fresh lava" where earlier patrol teams had been able to reach the crater. Another article from The Hindu reported that on 2 June teams of the Indian Coast Guard vessel CG Sagar landed on the island in an inflatable raft while a helicopter hovered overhead. The report described eruptive activity consisting of lava and "fireballs" from the crater every few seconds. The purpose of the expedition was to "collect samples of the lava flowing into the rough sea" that would be given to scientists. Coast Guard members and various other government officials made an aerial survey of the island on 3 June according to a PTI report published in The Hindu the next day. The Lt. Governor of Andaman, Ram Kapse, saw "smoke and lava rising from the crater." Coast Guard sources stated that the volume of "smoke" had increased and lava was still flowing out of the crater.

A report in The Daily Telegrams on 17 February 2005 quoted K.N. Mathur, Director General of the GSI, regarding a scientific visit to Barren Island on 16 February. At that time, Mathur noted, the team observed "no serious volcanic activities on the island." A similar report in the 18 February edition of the Trinity Mirror carried a quote from Mathur that "There is no activity in the crater and it remained as it was found during GSI's last visit in 2003." These media reports were reproduced on the GSI website.

Geologic Background. Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). It is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m. The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high. The caldera, which is open to the sea on the west, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits. Historical eruptions have changed the morphology of the pyroclastic cone in the center of the caldera, and lava flows that fill much of the caldera floor have reached the sea along the western coast.

Information Contacts: Dornadula Chandrasekharam, Department of Earth Sciences, Centre of Studies in Resources Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay 400076, India (URL: http://www.geos.iitb.ac.in/index.php/dc); Geological Survey of India, 27 Jawaharlal Nehru road, Kolkata 700016, India (URL: https://www.gsi.gov.in/); The Daily Telegrams, India; Trinity Mirror, Chennai, India; The Hindu, 859 and 860 Anna Salai, Chennai 600002, Tamil Nadu, India (URL: http://www.hinduonnet.com/); Press Trust of India, PTI Building, 4, Parliament Street, New Delhi 110001, India (URL: http://www.ptinews.com/); Indian Coast Guard, National Stadium Complex, New Delhi 110 001, India.


Egon (Indonesia) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Egon

Indonesia

8.676°S, 122.455°E; summit elev. 1661 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Three eruptions in February 2005 eject ash and gas

Table 2 below tabulates the seismic activity by date of the volcano prior to and subsequent to its eruption on 6 February 2005, but little was reported concerning that event. The volcano erupted again on 7 February. That eruption was accompanied by a strong smell of SO2 or H2S in the villages of Hebing and Hale and apparently rendered a villager unconscious.

Table 2. A summary of counts for different earthquake types (type B volcanic, type A volcanic, emission, low frequency, and tectonic), tremor, amplitude, and Alert Level at Egon volcano. Unreported data indicated by "--". Courtesy of the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (DVGHM) DVGHM.

Date Volcanic B Volcanic A Emission Low-frequency Tectonic Tremor amplitude Alert Level
05 Jan 2005 16 1 7 6 8 2-3 mm 3
06 Jan 2005 48 -- 3 -- 7 1-2 mm 3
Week of 24 Jan 2005 48 1 1 53 18 -- 3
Week of 01 Feb 2005 152 3 -- 109 76 -- --
14 Feb 2005 32 17 -- -- 5 30 mm 4
25-27 Feb 2005 61 4 24 2 19 1 mm 4

On 8 February 2005 a fissure about 1 km long appeared along the southern slope. Vegetation along the fissure's margins had died, indicating that a gas blow out had occurred there. On 14 February 2005 at 1830 another explosion occurred. It was accompanied by significant seismic activity (see table 2). This latest eruption ejected ash and glowing material as high as 50 m above the summit. Volcanic earthquakes were frequent.

Distances increased for electronic distance measurements (EDM) during April, July, and October 2004 and during February 2005 (the last four measurements). During 25-27 February 2005 ash plumes rose to 50 m high. Volcano status remained at alert level 4 (the highest hazard status).

Geologic Background. Gunung Egon, also known as Namang, sits within the narrow section of eastern Flores Island. The barren, sparsely vegetated summit region has a 350-m-wide, 200-m-deep crater that sometimes contains a lake. Other small crater lakes occur on the flanks. A lava dome forms the southern summit. Solfataric activity occurs on the crater wall and rim and on the upper S flank. Reports of eruptive activity prior to explosive eruptions beginning in 2004 are unconfirmed. Emissions were often observed above the summit during 1888-1892. Strong emissions in 1907 reported by Sapper (1917) was considered by the Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World (Neumann van Padang, 1951) to be an historical eruption, but Kemmerling (1929) noted that this was likely confused with an eruption on the same date and time from Lewotobi Lakilaki.

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Hetty Triastuty, Nia Haerani, and Sri Kisyati, Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (DVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro No. 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/).


Karangetang (Indonesia) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing seismicity during January-February 2005; lava avalanche in January

Ongoing seismicity continued at Karangetang during January-February 2005. Lava avalanches were noted on 3 January and during the week of 17-23 January. The volcano was last discussed in a report on thermal alerts and a pilot's report of an ash plume to 7.5 km altitude (BGVN 29:03, which updated through May 2004). Table 11 presents a summary of the reported seismic and other data during January and February 2005.

Table 11. A summary of observations made at Karangatang during 3 January-February 2005. Courtesy of DVGHM.

Date Deep volcanic (A-type) Shallow volcanic (B-type) Multiphase Emission Tremor Amplitude Avalanches Tectonic Alert Level
03 Jan 2005 3 10 2 2 0.5-3 mm 5 8 3
04 Jan 2005 9 4 -- -- 0.5-1 mm -- 7 3
05 Jan 2005 2 11 1 -- -- -- 3 3
17-23 Jan 2005 61 125 6 -- -- 36 36 3

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

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


Langila (Papua New Guinea) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Langila

Papua New Guinea

5.525°S, 148.42°E; summit elev. 1330 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash emissions and lava flow during April-June 2005

Langila was last reported on in BGVN 29:06, as part of a MODIS data summary, although the last prominent event there was on 18 January 2003, when a large explosion produced a thick dark ash column that penetrated the weather clouds over the summit area (BGVN 28:03).

A plume from Langila was visible on satellite imagery on 17 December 2004 according to the Darwin VAAC. The plume reached an unknown height and extended NW.

Between 28 April 2005 and 4 May 2005 the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) received reports of activity at Langila characterized by forceful emissions of thick white to gray ash-laden clouds rising ~ 700-800 m above the summit crater. Occasional continuous rumbling and explosive noises were heard and incandescence was visible at night. During early May, incandescent lava fragments were ejected. Activity increased at about 1300 on 4 May 2005, when white-to-gray ash emissions changed to dark ash clouds. Explosions became frequent, with incandescent lava fragments ejected again, and very bright glow was visible during the night. Around 1200 on 5 May 2005 the color of the ash emissions changed from dark gray to white-to-gray. A lava flow was produced but no further detail is available. Based on information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that ash emissions from Langila rose to ~ 2.1 km altitude on 3 May. A very small plume and a hot spot were visible on satellite imagery. Ash clouds from the eruption were blown generally NW towards Kilenge ~ 100 km away, where light to moderate ashfall was reported.

According to the Darwin VAAC, low-level ash plumes emitted from Langila were visible on satellite imagery during 8-13 June 2005. RVO reported to the Darwin VAAC that moderate eruptive activity was expected to continue.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported that eruptive activity occurred at Langila on 2 June with more ash than normal being emitted from the volcano. Prevailing winds carried most of the initial ashfall to the sea, but lower-level winds redirected the ash back onto the island. About 10,000 people live near the volcano, and there were reports of increased cases of respiratory problems and eye irritation. During an aerial inspection of the area on 6 June 2005, IFRC determined that ~ 3,490 people had been affected by the eruption, mainly in the villages of Aitavala, Masele, Kilenge, Ongaea, Potne, and Sumel, but also to a lesser extent in Vem, Galegale, Tauale, and Laut. Ashfall damaged small food gardens and contaminated some water sources. The provincial government encouraged voluntary evacuation of affected areas.

During 16-17 June 2005, ash plumes from Langila were visible on satellite imagery (figure 4). The heights of the plumes were not reported.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. On 21 June 2005 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying on NASA's Aqua satellite, captured this image of Langila, Ulawun, and Rabaul. At the time MODIS captured this image, Langila showed the biggest plume of volcanic ash, followed by Ulawun. In all cases, winds pushed the ash clouds NW over the ocean. NASA image courtesy Jesse Allen, based on data from the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA.

Geologic Background. Langila, one of the most active volcanoes of New Britain, consists of a group of four small overlapping composite basaltic-andesitic cones on the lower eastern flank of the extinct Talawe volcano. Talawe is the highest volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila volcano was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the north and NE sides of Langila. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded since the 19th century from three active craters at the summit of Langila. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.

Information Contacts: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, Northern Territory 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Langila Volcano Information Bulletin No. 1 (URL: https://reliefweb.int/).


Lascar (Chile) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Lascar

Chile

23.37°S, 67.73°W; summit elev. 5592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Further analysis of 4 May 2005 event indicates a phreato-Vulcanian eruption

The 4 May 2005 early morning eruption of Lascar was described in BGVN 30:04. Note that the time conversion in that issue was in error by 1 hour. The following information is based on a report prepared for Bulletin staff by Jose Viramonte of the Universidad Nacional de Salta, and Lizzette Rodriguez of Michigan Technological University.

Viramonte and Rodriguez estimated that the 4 May 2005 eruption column rose to a height of ~ 10-11 km, based on numerical models of temperature and wind measurements from the Servicio Metereológico Nacional, Argentina at different altitudes at the time of the eruption. The column traveled rapidly to the SE under the influence of the strong tropospheric winds with predominant direction from the NW to the SE.

Residents of the towns of Talabre (located 15 km W of the volcano) and Jama (located 60 km ENE of the volcano) did not report earthquakes or explosions. The Instituto GEONORTE of the Universidad Nacional de Salta reported very fine ashfall at 0545 in the city of Salta, located ~ 285 km SSE of the volcano. Ash sample collection, carried out by GEONORTE personnel for 2.5 hours, measured a rate of 0.4 g/ (m2 h). Grain size analyses of the ash showed a strong mode at diameters of 4-8 phi (0.062-0.003 mm) (figure 29); the ash was composed predominantly of andesitic lithic fragments and broken crystals of two pyroxenes (hyperstene and augite) and plagioclase, with very scarce glass shards.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Histogram of the grain size of ash deposited at the city of Salta by the 4 May 2005 Lascar eruption. Courtesy of Jose Viramonte and Lizzette Rodriguez.

The Buenos Aires VAAC and the Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) processed different bands from MODIS data: b29-b32 for SO2, b31-b32 for ash, and b30-b32 for SO4. The first two band combinations showed the Lascar plume in coincidence with the b5-b4 band combination from NOAA-17 (figure 30).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. NOAA-17 image of a SE-directed plume from Lascar at 1440 UTC (1040 local time), obtained with the difference of channels 4 and 5 from the AVHRR sensor. The plume can be better identified withing the ellipse on higher resolution reproductions. Courtesy of Jose Viramonte and Lizzette Rodriguez.

The grain size and shape of the ash, its composition, and the interpretation of the satellite data, suggest that Lascar volcano had a short phreato-vulcanian eruption.

On May 25, Felipe Aguilera of the Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile, climbed up to the crater of Lascar volcano (figure 31). He reported three new strong fumaroles a few meters from the S border of the crater, and sampled the sulfur sublimates (figure 32). No new bombs or blocks were seen around the crater area.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. View of Lascar's NE crater, looking NE (see arrow, upper left) with fumaroles present along a number of fractures to the N and E sides. The active crater is just out of view in the image foreground. Picture taken by Felipe Aguilera on 25 May 2005. Courtesy of Jose Viramonte and Lizzette Rodriguez.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Schematic diagram showing the position of fumaroles on Lascar after the eruption on 4 May 2005. Also indicated are several new post-eruption fumaroles that developed on the S crater margin. Courtesy of Jose Viramonte and Lizzette Rodriguez.

Recent and future work. A team of scientists from Michigan Technological University, the University of Hawaii, the Universidad Nacional de Salta, the Universidad de Chile, and the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, conducted a field campaign at Lascar from 29 November to 8 December 2004. During this period, SO2 emissions were measured using two mini-UV spectrometers; aerosols were measured using two Microtops II sun photometers, and temperatures of the vent fumaroles were measured using a Forward Looking IR Radiometer (FLIR). Preliminary processing of the gas data showed a decrease since 2003 in the emissions, with SO2 fluxes around 500 tons/day (Rodríguez et al., 2005). This contrasts with the fluxes determined by Mather et al. (2004) on January 2003, which were on the order of 2,300 tons/day. Observations of the SO2 index, using ASTER TIR images, have shown a decrease in the size of the SO2 anomaly from 2000 to the first half of 2004 (Castro Godoy and Viramonte, 2004).

Temperature measurements made at the crater on 2 December 2004 by University of Hawaii scientists using a FLIR indicated low temperatures for the fumarole field, which represented a decrease when compared with the results of direct measurements conducted in October 2002 by Franco Tassi and others (Tassi et al., 2004; BGVN 28:03). Similar observations have been made using ASTER SWIR and TIR images (Silvia Castro, GEOSAR-AR program), which have shown a decrease in the absolute temperatures and the size of the thermal anomaly since October 2002 (Castro Godoy and Viramonte, 2004). Images during the month of April 2005 showed a slight increase in the area and maximum temperature of the anomaly at the beginning of the month, followed by a decrease at the end of April, prior to the eruption. Decreases in the thermal activity have been observed in previous eruptive cycles, prior to explosive events (Oppenheimer et al., 1993; Matthews et al., 1997).

The data collected during the 2004 field campaign will help in the understanding of the pre-eruptive conditions at Lascar. SO2 emission rates on 7 December 2004 will be used to ground truth the satellite data from an ASTER overpass at 1436 UTC (1036 local time), and recently acquired ASTER data will be used to investigate SO2 emissions during the period close to the 4 May 2005 eruption. Scientists from Università degli studi di Firenze (Italy), Universidad Católica del Norte (Chile), and Universidad Nacional de Salta (Argentina) are conducting a systematic gas sample campaign at Lascar and other active volcanoes on the Central Volcanic Zone. Finally, scientists from the Universidad Católica del Norte and the Universidad Nacional de Salta are processing data from Landsat TM and ETM+ images, with the objective of understanding the behavior of Lascar volcano during the 1998-2004 period.

References. Castro Godoy, S. and Viramonte, J.G., 2004, Micro FTIR field measurement for volcanic mapping, SO2 and temperature monitoring using ASTER images in Lascar Volcano, southern central Andes: IAVCEI General Assembly, Book of Abstracts, Pucón, Chile, 14-20 November.

Mather, T.A., Tsanev, V.I., Pyle, D.M., McGonigle, A.J.S., Oppenheimer, C., and Allen, A.G., 2004, Characterization and evolution of tropospheric plumes from Lascar and Villarrica volcanoes, Chile: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 109.

Matthews, S.J., Gardeweg, M.C., and Sparks, R.S.J., 1997, The 1984 to 1996 cyclic activity of Lascar volcano, northern Chile: cycles of dome growth, dome subsidence, degassing and explosive eruptions: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 59, p.72-82.

Oppenheimer, C., Francis, P., Rothery, D., Carlton, D., and Glaze, L., 1993, Interpretation and comparison of volcanic thermal anomalies in Landsat Thematic Mapper infrared data: Volcán Lascar, Chile, 1984-1991: Journal of Geophysical Research, 98, p. 4269-4286.

Rodríguez, L.A., Watson, I.M., Viramonte, J., Hards, V., Edmonds, M., Cabrera, A., Oppenheimer, C., Rose, W.I., and Bluth, G.J.S., 2005, SO2 conversion rates at Lascar and Soufriere Hills volcanoes: 9th Gas Workshop, Palermo, Italy, May 1-10.

Tassi, F., Viramonte, J., Vaselli, O., Poodts, M., Aguilera, F., Martínez, C., Rodríguez, L.A., and Watson, I.M., 2004, First geochemical data from fumarolic gases at Lascar volcano, Chile: 32nd International Geological Congress, Florence, August 20-28, 2004.

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: Raúl Becchio and José G. Viramonte, Instituto GEONORTE and CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Buenos Aires 177, Salta 4400, Argentina (URL: http://www.unsa.edu.ar/); Lizzette A. Rodríguez and Matthew Watson, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA (URL: http://www.geo.mtu.edu/volcanoes/); Felipe Aguilera, Universidad Católica del Norte, Avenida Angamos 0610, Antofagasta, Chile (URL: http://www.ucn.cl/en/carrera/geology/); Silvia Castro Godoy, GEOSAT-AR Project, SEGEMAR, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.segemar.gov.ar/); Matt Patrick and Rob Wright, HIGP-University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://www.higp.hawaii.edu/volcanology.html); Sergio Haspert and Ricardo Valenti, VAAC Buenos Aires - Div. VMSR, Servicio Meteorologico Nacional, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/productos.php).


Long Valley (United States) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Long Valley

United States

37.7°N, 118.87°W; summit elev. 3390 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor seismicity throughout 2004

The relative quiescence in Long Valley caldera that began in early 1999 persisted through 2004 according to the U.S. Geological Survey's weekly reports and the 2004 annual summary of the Long Valley Observatory. Those manuscripts provide the basis for this synopsis. Seismicity in the adjacent Sierra Nevada block S of the caldera gradually died away over the same period, although background levels remained somewhat higher than within the caldera.

The resurgent dome continued to undergo minor fluctuations in deformation as reflected in changes in the lengths of baselines onto the dome. Over the past 6 years, the center of the resurgent dome has sustained the roughly 75-cm uplift that accumulated during the recurring unrest from 1979 through 1999.

Seismicity within both the caldera and the Sierra Nevada block to the S remained low through 2004. The two most notable earthquake sequences within the caldera were a minor swarm at the end of January and the first few days of February in the S moat, and a M 3.0 earthquake on 20 September located at the S margin of the caldera just N of Convict Lake. The latter was the first earthquake greater than M 3.0 within the caldera since the cluster of earthquakes on 4 November 2002, events centered beneath the S moat just S of the Highway 395-203 junction. The swarm in early February 2004 was located in the same general area of the S moat, but the epicenters fell along a SW trend in contrast to the WNW trend shown by most earthquake sequences in that area.

Seismicity within the adjacent Sierra Nevada block continued to be somewhat elevated compared to that in the caldera through 2004. The Sierra Nevada activity included about seven earthquakes over M 3, the largest of which was an M 3.7 earthquake on 12 January 2004 located 2 km E of Red Slate Mountain (19 km S of the caldera and 15 km WSW of Tom's Place). Most of the activity remained concentrated in the NNE-trending aftershock zone associated with the three earthquakes over M 5 during June and July 1998 and May 1999.

The most noteworthy seismic activity in the general vicinity of Long Valley caldera during 2004 was the prolonged earthquake swarm in the Adobe Hills centered roughly 20 km E of Mono Lake and 20 km NNE of Long Valley caldera (figure 30). Its onset was marked by a M 2.3 earthquake at 0002 on 18 September, followed by M 3.2 and 4.1 earthquakes at 0007 and 0008, respectively. Activity intensified through mid-afternoon of 18 September, with M 5.5 and M 5.4 earthquakes at 1602 and 1643, respectively. These produced widely felt shaking in the area from Bridgeport to Bishop. Seismicity declined gradually through the remainder of the year and into early 2005. By the end of December 2004, this Adobe Hill swarm had produced well over 1,000 detectable earthquakes including ~ 48 over M 3 and 6 equal or over M 4.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. All earthquake epicenters detected in the Long Valley region for 2004. Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey, Long Valley Observatory (2005).

The mid-crustal long-period (LP) volcanic earthquakes, which began beneath the SW flank of Mammoth Mountain during the 1989 Mammoth Mountain earthquake swarm, continued through 2004 but at a much reduced rate compared with the peak in LP activity from early 1997 through mid-1998.

In early 2005 seismicity was generally minor (up to M 2.5) in and around the caldera. An M 4.2 earthquake occurred S of Long Valley caldera on 13 March 2005 at 1409. The event, which produced light shaking in Mammoth Lakes and Bishop was located in the Sierra Nevada ~ 12 miles SW of Toms Place near Grinnell Lake. It was followed by a series of 18 aftershocks, the largest which were M 2.8 and M 2.3. The last earthquake of similar magnitude in this area occurred in 1999 on 17 May. In addition to the M 4.2 main shock/aftershock sequence, two other significant earthquakes occurred in the Adobe Hills area E of Mono Lake, and a third occurred on 13 March in the Sierra Nevada S of the caldera, near Mount Baldwin. All three had magnitudes under M 2.0. From that time to mid-June 2005, seismicity was generally in the range of M 1-2, with a very few occurring to M 3.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations measured in the Horseshoe Lake tree-kill area on the S flank of Mammoth Mountain showed no significant changes for 2004 with respect to the past several years. A survey of scattered areas of vegetation die-off and diffuse CO2 flux on the resurgent dome completed in 2004 indicated anomalous CO2 emissions from the kill areas were ~9 metric tons/day (compared with ~ 300 tons/day from Mammoth Mountain). The d13C-CO2 values of the diffuse emissions were similar to values previously reported for CO2 from hot springs and thermal wells around Long Valley, indicating a common source. The areas of elevated CO2 flux tend to be associated with locally elevated soil temperatures. Some of the older areas near the Casa Diablo power plant are likely related to geothermal power production, but development of new areas may reflect a delayed response of the hydrothermal system to the 1997 unrest episode (including an additional 10-cm uplift of the resurgent dome accompanied by intense earthquake swarm activity in the S moat).

Thermal spring discharge in Hot Creek Gorge, which had dropped by about 20% in the last half of 2003, followed by a recovery beginning in January 2004, reached normal discharge values by June 2004. Fluid levels in key monitoring wells continued to decline, with some wells reaching their lowest values since records began in 1985.

Reference. U.S. Geological Survey—Long Valley Observatory, 2005, Long Valley Observatory Quarterly Report, October-December 2004 and Annual Summary for 2004 (URL: http://lvo.wr.usgs.gov/).

Geologic Background. The large 17 x 32 km Long Valley caldera east of the central Sierra Nevada Range formed as a result of the voluminous Bishop Tuff eruption about 760,000 years ago. Resurgent doming in the central part of the caldera occurred shortly afterwards, followed by rhyolitic eruptions from the caldera moat and the eruption of rhyodacite from outer ring fracture vents, ending about 50,000 years ago. During early resurgent doming the caldera was filled with a large lake that left strandlines on the caldera walls and the resurgent dome island; the lake eventually drained through the Owens River Gorge. The caldera remains thermally active, with many hot springs and fumaroles, and has had significant deformation, seismicity, and other unrest in recent years. The late-Pleistocene to Holocene Inyo Craters cut the NW topographic rim of the caldera, and along with Mammoth Mountain on the SW topographic rim, are west of the structural caldera and are chemically and tectonically distinct from the Long Valley magmatic system.

Information Contacts: Long Valley Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd., MS 977, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/calvo/).


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Manam

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Aircraft encounters airborne gas from 27 January 2005 eruption; infrasonics

Manam erupted several times during October to December 2004 and January 2005. A strong eruption on 24 October 2004, preceded by a buildup in seismicity and a felt earthquake, was described in BGVN 29:10. This eruption generated pyroclastic flows, and its plume was imaged from space. The eruption sent ash and condensed water in the form of ice to a maximum height of ~ 15 km altitude. On 10-11 November 2004, a Strombolian eruption occurred; the ash column was estimated to have risen ~ 5-6 km above the crater. On 23-24 November 2004 Manam's main crater ejected glowing lava and discharged an ash cloud that rose ~ 10 km high. A lava flow was also reported to be heading for two villages on the island. Details and reports of eruptions in November and December 2004 were included in BGVN 29:11.

The eruption at Manam on the evening of 27 January 2005 (BGVN 30:02) was more severe than the previous ones during the current eruptive period. During 27-28 January 2005 there were 14 people injured and one person killed at Warisi village. The reports of the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) and the Darwin VAAC, and an analysis of the Manam eruption clouds by Andrew Tupper of the Darwin VAAC, were summarized in BGVN 30:02. In late January, five commercial flights were cancelled from Rabaul, East New Britain, delaying about 100 passengers.

Documented occurrence of olfactory fatigue. A report received from Andrew Tupper discussed an encounter of an aircraft with an airborne gas plume that took place about 2300 UTC on 29 January (0800 on the 30th, East Timor time) reported to him by a pilot. The encounter took place at a considerable distance from Manam, and a map is helpful to visualize the region's geography (figure 21). The incident involved entry into a visibly anomalous, hazy-blue cloud that turned out to contain sulfurous odor (figure 22). Although Tupper and the pilot discussed other possibilities for the cloud's origin, Tupper came to the conclusion that the cloud was volcanic fog (vog) erupted from Manam.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. The airport at Dili, East Timor (Indonesia), located about 2,200 km WSW of Manam.

Key portions of the pilot's message conveyed to us by Tupper follow.

"On descent into Dili, approaching 10,000 feet at 12 nautical miles [~ 3 km altitude and ~ 22 km from the airport] aircraft control levers were pulled back to flight idle just prior to entering a thin layer of smooth stratus cloud [figure 22].

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. The hazy blue cloud that produced a sulfur smell in the cockpit of the plane approaching Dili. The photo was taken by the air crew (names not given).

"Shortly after passing into the cloud, a strange smell was soon noticed in the cockpit; once the accusations of responsibility had passed, it quickly became apparent that the smell was not the result of a bodily function. The smell became very strong, with high sulfur content. As a precaution the Captain directed the First Officer to don his oxygen mask. The smell persisted but began to weaken on descent, and landing was accomplished without incident. After landing, First Officer removed the oxygen mask and noted the smell had remained. The captain had by this time become desensitized to the smell. Upon shutdown, unloading was halted, until such time as the cargo hold could be examined for a source of the smell. No smell remained."

Tupper and the pilot discussed possible sources for the smell. The cloud displayed a distinct blue haze (Tupper commented that "it's difficult to tell from the attached photo whether the blue is all that out-of-the-ordinary, but obviously they thought it interesting enough to take a photo!"). The cloud sat on the hills and appeared to have fog-like characteristics. The pilot described the odor as sharper and more metallic than the smell of H2S (a description consistent with SO2, the odor of which is sometimes described as metallic or akin to a struck-match.

What caused the sulfurous-smelling stratus cloud? The sulfur content may have come from either nearby volcanoes, none of which have been reported as active, or from industrial production (possibly Kupang). Due to a serious dengue outbreak in East Timor, it may have been the result of chemical mosquito control. Many chemical methods of mosquito control are based on sulfur products. Malathion is one such product; it contains mercaptan, which has a strong noxious odor. (Organic compounds with HS bound to carbon are called mercaptans or thiols and those of low molecular weight have strong smells. Small doses of mercaptan are often used to give natural gas a distinctive odor.) One possible way to explain the sulfurous gases was morning fog moving up the hills of Dili in response to anabatic (upslope-blowing) winds, which also carried residual insecticide.

Tupper spoke to or emailed the pilot several more times to get the following other details. The aircraft was an Embraer E120, a 30 seat turbo prop, with 20-25 people on board. The cabin attendant also noticed the smell, but no passengers commented. Despite the speculation about chemicals above, this was the only trip on which the smells had been noticed by the pilot.

According to Claire Witham, human perception of SO2 odor varies depending on the individual's sensitivity, but SO2 is generally perceived between 0.3-1.4 ppm and is easily noticeable at 3 ppm. This is generally below the level where health effects (e.g. respiratory response) might be noted. In general an exposure limit of 1-5 ppm is the threshold for respiratory response in healthy individuals upon exercise or deep breathing, whilst at 3-5 ppm the gas is easily noticeable and may cause a fall in lung function in persons at rest, and increased airway resistance. Asthmatic individuals may respond at much lower concentrations, and prolonged exposure to low concentrations carries increased risk for those with pre-existing heart and lung diseases. A more detailed review of gas hazards and guidelines has just gone online on the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network.

Significant in this event is that the flight crew thought that the smell had dissipated. The First Officer, who was wearing an oxygen mask, remained able to detect that the smell persisted. This indicates that the others in the crew lost their ability recognize that the sulfurous odors remained, a well-know effect of sulfurous gases called olfactory fatigue ('bombarded nerve receptors'), a potentially confusing situation for pilots focused on escaping from a volcanic plume (Wunderman, 2004).

Tupper conducted dispersion modeling of the 27 January 2005 Manam eruption (figure 23). The results suggested that the SO2 cloud from the volcano probably passed over East Timor on the night before the incident and at higher altitudes. This is supported to a limited extent by the preliminary ozone and SO2 monitoring results (figure 24), which suggest that the bulk of the cloud went N, but that part of the cloud traveled over the Banda Sea and passed over East Timor. The low level winds are highly unlikely to have carried the SO2 to East Timor, but there was significant storm activity on the night when the cloud would have passed over. Excluding other explanations on the grounds that the eruption / encounter timing are unlikely to be mere coincidence, the most likely explanation for the flight crew's experience is that some eruption products from Manam were rained out over East Timor on the night of 29 January 2005. If SO2 had been incorporated into ice particles, which then rained out, the particles would have melted and released SO2 at about the level of the encounter, where the temperature was a bit above freezing. According to this scenario, the plane then flew through the resultant vog/stratus the next morning.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. An ash dispersion model for the eruption cloud associated with the eruption of Manam on 27 January 2005. The model takes into account wind at various altitudes and other meteorological data, and predicts the movement of material injected in the atmosphere. The model used, NOAA hysplit, adopted the boundary condition that material was above the volcano between 10 and 24 km altitude starting at 1400 on 27 January. The results shown predict the dispersal for the interval 1200-1400 on 29 January. The model indicates that some material from Manam's 27 January eruption traveled WSW to where the aircraft-gas plume encounter took place. The model is a product of the NOAA Air Resources Lab with this particular run provided by Andrew Tupper.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. A satellite image of atmospheric SO2 burden from Manam made about 12 hours after the 27-28 January 2005 eruption. The image resulted from the NASA Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), which flew over the region on NASA's new Aura satellite. This image was produced from preliminary, uncalibrated data provided by the OMI. The OMI detected a large cloud of SO2 drifting W over the island of New Guinea. The gas is measured in Dobson Units (DU), a reflection of the number of molecules in a square centimeter of the atmosphere. Darker pixels cover the areas of highest concentration, while the lowest concentrations are represented by lighter ones (red and pink, respectively, on the colored electronic version of the Bulletin). If you were to compress all of the SO2 in a column of the atmosphere into a flat layer at standard temperature and pressure, one Dobson Unit would be 0.01 mm (millimeters) thick and would contain 0.0285 grams of SO2 per m2. On January 28, the atmosphere over New Guinea contained up to 50 Dobson Units (red regions), or 1.425 grams of SO2 per square meter. NASA image and caption courtesy Simon Carn, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology.

Infrasound reports. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) is installing a world-wide network of 60 infrasound stations as part of the International Monitoring System (IMS) for detection of nuclear tests. The stations, some of which are already functioning, use microbarographs (acoustic pressure sensors) to detect very low-frequency (0.01-10 Hz) sound waves in the atmosphere produced by natural and anthropogenic events.

The eruption at Manam on 27 January at about 1400 UTC was detected at several infrasound stations around the Pacific (table 3). In one case a signal was received at a distance exceeding 10,000 km. The sound of the explosion took more than ten hours to reach that most distant station, located in Washington state (USA). The difference in the calculated and measured signal azimuths is likely caused by high atmosphere winds, and is reasonable given the great distances that the signal traveled.

Table 3. Arrival times and great circle paths for infrasound signal from Manam eruption on 27 January 2005 received at CTBTO infrasound stations. Azimuth and Distance data are for the calculated great circle path from the station to the volcano. Courtesy of Robert North.

CTBTO Infrasound Station Azimuth (°E of N) Distance (km) Measured signal azimuth (°E of N) Date Arrival time
I07AU Warramunga, Central Australia 35 2079 32 27 Jan 2005 16:00 UTC
I22FR New Caledonia 311 3091 -- -- --
I05AU Tasmania, Australia 356 4270 350 27 Jan 2005 18:30 UTC
I55US Windless Bight, Antarctica 336 8303 335 27 Jan 2005 22:07 UTC
I53US Fairbanks, Alaska 247 9358 252 27 Jan 2005 23:12 UTC
I56US Newport, Washington 273 10920 276 28 Jan 2005 00:34 UTC

Subsequent RVO observations. Although it remained active, Manam calmed considerably during February-May 2005. During the first two weeks of February 2005, emissions from Manam continued. On 15 February 2005, the alert level was reduced from 3 to 2. Mild eruptive activity was observed from Manam's Southern crater during the third week of February. Weak-to-moderate ash explosions rose a few hundred meters above the crater and drifted E and SE, depositing fine ash in areas downwind. Throughout February, seismicity was at low levels, with small low-frequency earthquakes occurring and no volcanic tremor. Throughout March, weak-to-moderate emissions from both the Main and Southern craters continued to produce occasional ash clouds during most days. On 15 March, a thin plume from Manam was visible on satellite imagery. On 24 March, emissions from Main crater rose to ~ 1 km above the summit. On 28 March, a moderate explosion produced an ash plume to a height of ~ 1.2 km above the summit. Ash plumes drifted N, depositing ash on the island. Seismic activity fluctuated between low and moderate, with low-frequency earthquakes recorded.

During April and May 2005, mild eruptive activity continued at the volcano. Manam remained at alert level 2 from February 2005 through at least late May. A thin plume extending 55 km NW on 4 May was seen on satellite imagery by the Darwin VAAC. The ash cloud remained below 3 km altitude.

Reference. Wunderman, R., 2004, Sulfurous odors: A signal of entry into an ash plume—perhaps less reliable for escape, Second International Conference on Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety (Alexandria, Virginia, USA), 21-24 June 2004 (Plenary Session 1: Encounters, Damage, and Socioeconomic Consequences, poster P 1.2, Socioeconomic consequences) (http://www.ofcm.gov/ICVAAS/Proceedings2004/ICVAAS2004-Proceedings.htm).

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

Information Contacts: Andrew Tupper, Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac); Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; David Innes, Flight Safety Office, Air Niugini, PO Box 7186, Boroko, Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea (URL: http://www.airniugini.com.pg/); International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (URL: http://www.ivhhn.org/); Simon Carn, TOMS Volcanic Emissions Group, Univ. of Maryland, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Claire Witham, Meteorology Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK; Robert North, SAIC Monitoring Systems Division, 1953 Gallows Rd., Vienna, VA 22182, USA; NOAA Air Resources Lab (ARL), Room 3316, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA (URL: http://www.arl.noaa.gov/ready/).


Reventador (Ecuador) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Reventador

Ecuador

0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flow reaches 4 km from summit, approaching road and petroleum pipeline

Crisis escalates. Instituto Geofísico (IG) members noted that eruptions at Reventador in Ecuador's eastern cordillera continued into at least early July 2005. Observers documented thick blocky lava flows, occasional Vulcanian explosions, new fumarolic activity on the N flank of the cone, and venting of vapor, gases, and fine ash. This followed a spate of increased seismicity during April to early June 2005. Lava flows had extended 4 km from the summit vent toward the SE, in the direction of the main highway across this region, a route that links the important oilfields in the Amazon basin with Quito, the capital. The lava flows were sequentially numbered (Lava ##3, ##4, etc.).

Lava ##3, a flow that began in November 2004 (BGVN 29:11), advanced slowly and ceased movement by early January 2005. Following relatively low seismic activity in late 2004 and early 2005, the IG monitoring network began to register bands of harmonic tremor starting 1 April (figure 18). Through 8 April 2005, instruments recorded 45 tremor episodes, each lasting 10 to 60 minutes. Dominant frequency peaks were between 1 and 1.5 Hz. Given that strong incandescence was observed by a guard of PetroEcuador from 14 km away, the tremor was interpreted to signal the rise of magma into the upper part of the cone through an open conduit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Seismic events registered at Reventador since August 2004. Courtesy of IG.

Lava ##4 erupted coincident with this strong tremor and was the most important surface manifestation. It was first observed in an overflight on 12 April, escaping from a summit crater conduit that had formed a carapace. It was seen flowing down the SW crater notch onto the cone's flanks and then onto the SW and SE caldera floor. The flow partially covered Lava ##3 (figure 19), resulting in layers of recent lava in some places reaching more than 50 m thick. This emplacement was observed during several days of work on the seismic instrumentation and sampling within the caldera carried out by IG personnel during 19-22 April. During the same overflights, a new fumarole field was observed on the lower S flank of the cone, a spot very close to the upper Reventador River, in the same place where thermal anomalies were observed on 11 March 2005.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Location of lava flows related to eruptive activity within the Reventador caldera since 2002. Photo taken looking at the SE flank on 6 May 2005 by P. Ramón. Provided courtesy of IG.

Starting on 15 May there was an important increase in the intensity of harmonic tremor, often preceded by low frequency (< 1 Hz) long-period events, a conspicuous aspect of behavior that was absent in April. Many of the long-period events, particularly those occurring during 17-21 May, were of such magnitude that they registered at seismic stations on other volcanoes (e.g., Cerro Negro and Guagua Pichincha) more than 100 km distant.After this elevated activity in mid May, there was a decrease in the number of events, dropping to an average of 88 per day. During this period Lava ##4 continued to flow, moving at the rate of about 20 m/day, advancing particularly strongly along the caldera's S wall in a stream channel (Rió Marker) cut through the 2002 pyroclastic deposits. Lava reached 25 meters thick when seen during a 22-23 May visit, during which time strong roars and the sounds of 'many jet planes' blared from the vent. These sounds indicated a strong gas flux, although little vapor was observed. At this time, there was an absence of both explosions and incandescence in the summit crater.

An overflight on 25 May confirmed the emergence of a new flow (Lava ##5). It followed the same route as ##4, but was comprised of three principal lobes. The middle lobe, which represented the most conspicuous and largest volume, advanced down the Río Marker's channel (figure 20).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Lavas 4 and 5 flowing down the Marker's stream channel along the SE margin of Reventador's caldera. Photo taken on 17 June 2005 by P. Ramón. Provided courtesy of IG.

Reventador's activity in June 2005 began with an important swarm of volcano-tectonic and hybrid seismic events—starting on the 2nd and continuing through the 3rd. Of particular note, tremor continued for more than 10 hours, and provided background to the discrete volcano-tectonic and hybrid events Hybrid events had not been registered since November 2004. Following these important swarms, instruments registered strong, full-amplitude bands of spasmodic tremor, comprised to some extent by packages of long-period events lasting for hours to days on end.

During these early days of June, there was an intensification of incandescence in the crater and later, the emission of gases and slight ash. On 8 June, a 100 km long vapor/ash column extended from the volcano into the S part of Quito at ~ 7 km altitude and caused a very slight powdering of ash, which was brought down by a gentle rain and left cars dappled with circular spots.

A trip by IG volcanologists into the caldera on 11-12 June disclosed strong Strombolian fountaining in the summit crater. Lava ##5 continued to flow atop the stalled Lava ##4. Measurements of SO2 flux with a mini-DOAS (differential optical absorption spectroscopy) resulted in an estimate of ~ 2,500 metric tons/day.

Three other seismic stations were installed around the caldera with the helicopter help of the petroleum company OCP during 16-19 June. One broad-band seismograph and infrasound system was also installed, thanks to collaboration with Jeff Johnson of the University of New Hampshire. During this period no Strombolian activity was observed, but Vulcanian explosions (figure 21) occurred with little warning. A 24-hour period during 18-19 June included at least seven discrete explosions, producing strong infrasound and seismic responses. Many of these explosions discharged columns that rose 2-3 km above the summit (and some, up to as high as ~ 6 km above the summit) and were clearly heard within the caldera. Large incandescent blocks could be seen thrown several hundreds of meters into the air, falling on the cone's upper slopes. Ash content in the columns was moderate. Explosions were discrete and often terminated within 4 minutes. Thermal alerts were identified by the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP). Observations on 30 June and 1 July noted recent lava flows in the upper Marker river valley (figure 22).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. One of Reventador's discrete Vulcanian explosions observed during a 19 June 2005 helicopter flight. The view is from the E of Reventador caldera looking toward the W. Photo taken on by P. Ramón; provided courtesy of IG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. A photo of Reventador's Lava ##4 flow front (which had reddish hues) overtopped by Lava ##5 (more nearly white). The shot was taken in the Río Marker at 1100 on 30 June 2005. By 1 July, Lava ##5 had still not advanced beyond the terminus of Lava ##4. Photo by P. Ramón, provided courtesy of IG.

The 4-6 discrete explosive degassing events/day observed in June led the IG authors to surmise that there were a series of temporary plugs in the upper part of the conduit. This behavior was thought to reflect magma becoming more crystal rich.

As of 6 July, harmonic tremor, occasional explosions, and long-period and volcano-tectonic signals all continued to register at Reventador on the IG's telemetered monitoring network. Strong Strombolian fountaining was observed from distances of 6.5 and 14 km during the evening and one of the lobes of Lava ##5 was advancing down the caldera wall (following the Río Marker), but abruptly slowed to perhaps only ~ 20 m/day. In comparison, this flow-front velocity had earlier attained ~ 70 m/day (during 19-23 June) and ~ 50 m/day (during 23-30 June). The diminished rate of advance and continuing high-amplitude tremor suggested that perhaps a new lava flow (Lava ##6) had broken out high on the flanks, a conjecture yet to be confirmed by press time. Lava ##5 was still 1.2 km from the steep incline, a point where it could begin rapid descent to the alluvial fan where the highway and petroleum pipeline are located.

Geologic Background. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.

Information Contacts: Patricia Mothes, Patricio Ramón, Pete Hall, Daniel Andrade, and Liliana Troncoso, Geophysical Institute (IG), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Apartado 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Jeffrey B. Johnson, Dept. of Earth Sciences, James Hall University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA.


Rotorua (New Zealand) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Rotorua

New Zealand

38.08°S, 176.27°E; summit elev. 757 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Hydrothermal eruption of 19 April 2005—one of the area's largest since 1948

BGVN 26:03 reported hydrothermal activity at Rotorua on 26 January 2001 involving the ejection of mud and ballistic blocks. BGVN 28:12 reported that the New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences reported two subsequent hydrothermal eruptions in Rotorua caldera at Kuirau Park around 1100 on 6 November 2003 (figure 5). The eruptions occurred just meters from the site of the large blowout in 2001. The area is known for this kind of geothermal activity. The following information is primarily from Ashley Cody.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Rotorua is the NW-most caldera of the Taupo volcanic zone, in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand's North Island. Courtesy of UNAVCO.

In late May 2004 a geothermal well ~ 40 m deep at Tokaanu on Lake Taupo (~ 100 km S of Rotorua) blew out suddenly, erupting mud and scalding waters to ~ 15 m high and flooding surrounding properties for several days until it could be quenched and a new headworks fitted. This well may have been standing open and just suddenly began boiling, since its casing seemed to be intact.

About 0100 on Saturday 29 June 2004 the blowout of a geothermal well in Rotorua blew muddy water and rubbly debris to ~ 15 m high and showered muck over houses and cars to a radius of ~ 100 m accompanied by noise "like a jet aircraft." It went on until about 0400 on 30 June 2004 when it was quenched with a pumped cold water supply. It was cement-grouted shut a few days later. The well was 100 m deep and cased to 47.5 m.

Starting 18 July 2004 in the early afternoon, many earthquakes were strongly felt by many people in the area ~30 km N of Rotorua and ~20 km NW from Kawerau, in the northern North Island, or central Bay of Plenty. By 23 July more than 200 earthquakes were recorded in this area, most at less than 10 km depth.

In Lake Rotoehu, about 20 km N of Rotorua city, eyewitnesses reported a water column 100 m high that occurred at the same time as a strongly-felt ML 5.4 earthquake at about 1600 on 18 July 2004 at ~5 km depth. Shortly afterward a big series of waves occurred on the lake, and swept up beaches much higher than ever seen before.

Ground rupturing was reported at several sites along southern shores of Lake Rotoehu. Many houses were evacuated due to damage such as walls breaking apart and houses shifting off their foundations. The main road was blocked in many places and more than 200 houses were evacuated due to their becoming unsafe to live in. Several people were killed by trees falling down banks onto cars and houses during the earthquakes.

On Thursday 17 March 2005 at about 1435, a blowout was observed from the northern end of Ruapeka Bay on Lake Rotorua, at Ohinemutu. It shot dark grey muddy waters and steam to ~ 6 m for 3-4 minutes. An eyewitness called the council safety inspector, Peter Brownbridge. On 18 March at about 1500, the safety inspector saw two more shots each ~ 1 m high from the same spot in the lake. This previously unknown vent is ~ 25 m NW from a clear flowing hot spring known simply as S1233, in the bed of the lake just 10 m W of the tip of Muruika Point. This is where a prehistoric account relates of a sunken village, where a sudden disturbance occurred one night and many people were killed. From verbal genealogy records, this event may have occurred about early 1700s-1720s. Today rows of timber posts are still standing below water level in the lake here.

According to a report in The Dominion Post by Mike Watson on 21 April 2005, one of the largest hydrothermal eruptions in the Rotorua area since 1948 took place about 1030 on 19 April 2005 and was witnessed by two farmers (figure 6).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. The geothermal eruption roughly midway between Rotorua and Taupo on 19 April 2005 left a 50-m wide crater. Courtesy of Ashley Cody.

A huge column of hot steam, mud and rocks was thrown 200 m in the air. The eruption happened in an inaccessible area at Ngatamariki scenic reserve, close to the Waikato River, and about 8 km from Orakei Korako geothermal springs, roughly halfway between Taupo and Rotorua. The column was visible 10 km away and left a 50 m-wide crater and two hectares of debris. With the energy now taken out of the vent, no further eruption was expected.

The major part of the eruption lasted about two hours but it was still spewing steam up to 10 m high five hours later. The eruption sent out 7,000-10,000 m3 of material. Mud and 50 cm-diameter rocks covered a 70-100 m radius from the crater site, which had previously been covered by 2 m-high blackberry bushes and fallen trees (figure 7). The ground may take months to cool. According to Ashley Cody, the site had been heating up in the past year, with three new hot springs forming.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. The hydrothermal eruption roughly halfway between Taupo and Rotorua left ash and mud covering the surrounding area to a depth of 4 m (light-colored material on ground surface, coating some trees, and choking the stream). Courtesy of Ashley Cody.

Geologic Background. The 22-km-wide Rotorua caldera is the NW-most caldera of the Taupo volcanic zone. It is the only single-event caldera in the Taupo Volcanic Zone and was formed about 220,000 years ago following eruption of the more than 340 km3 rhyolitic Mamaku Ignimbrite. Although caldera collapse occurred in a single event, the process was complex and involved multiple collapse blocks. The major city of Rotorua lies at the south end of the lake that fills much of the caldera. Post-collapse eruptive activity, which ceased during the Pleistocene, was restricted to lava dome extrusion without major explosive activity. The youngest activity consisted of the eruption of three lava domes less than 25,000 years ago. The major thermal areas of Takeke, Tikitere, Lake Rotokawa, and Rotorua-Whakarewarewa are located within the caldera or outside its rim, and the city of Rotorua lies within and adjacent to active geothermal fields.

Information Contacts: Ashley Cody, Consulting Geologist, 10 McDowell Street, Rotorua, New Zealand; Ron Keam, Physics Department, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92-019, Auckland, New Zealand; Mike Watson, The Dominion Post.


Whakaari/White Island (New Zealand) — May 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Whakaari/White Island

New Zealand

37.52°S, 177.18°E; summit elev. 294 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismic and hydrothermal activity remain low through June 2005

White Island was last reported on in BGVN 29:03, covering the period to March 2004. At that time, approximately two years had passed since any significant eruption, but the New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) continues to monitor White Island. This report is a summary of their brief reports.

From April 2004 until June 2005, seismicity and hydrothermal activity at White Island remained at low levels, with some brief periods of weak to moderate volcanic tremor recorded during September to November of 2004. The level of the crater lake has risen significantly over this period, from 12-13 m below the overflow level in April 2004 to only 3-4 m below overflow level in June 2005 (figure 46). Some of this increase was caused by landslides in July 2004 and by heavy rains in May 2005. Steam and gas emissions have been minor, with the exception of a large plume visible from the mainland on 15 October 2004. The alert level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5), indicating some degree of unrest but no threat of eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. The crater lake on White Island, taken 9 January 2005, when the lake level was about 5 m below the overflow level and rising. Courtesy of Franz Jeker.

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

Information Contacts: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS), Private Bag 2000, Wairakwi, New Zealand (URL: http://www.gns/cri.nz); GeoNet, a project sponsored by the New Zealand Government through these agencies:Earthquake Commission (E.C.), Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS), and Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FAST). Geonet can be contacted at the above GNS address (URL: http://www.geonet.org.nz/contact.htm); Franz Jeker, Rigistrasse 10, 8173 Neerach, Switzerland.

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