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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

Karangetang (Indonesia) Incandescent block avalanches through mid-January 2020; crater anomalies through May

Masaya (Nicaragua) Lava lake level drops but remains active through May 2020; weak gas plumes

Shishaldin (United States) Intermittent thermal activity and a possible new cone at the summit crater during February-May 2020

Krakatau (Indonesia) Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, and crater incandescence during April 2020

Taal (Philippines) Eruption on 12 January with explosions through 22 January; steam plumes continuing into March

Unnamed (Tonga) Additional details and pumice raft drift maps from the August 2019 submarine eruption

Klyuchevskoy (Russia) Strombolian activity November 2019 through May 2020; lava flow down the SE flank in April

Nyamuragira (DR Congo) Intermittent thermal anomalies within the summit crater during December 2019-May 2020

Nyiragongo (DR Congo) Activity in the lava lake and small eruptive cone persists during December 2019-May 2020

Kavachi (Solomon Islands) Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

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



Karangetang (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Incandescent block avalanches through mid-January 2020; crater anomalies through May

The Karangetang andesitic-basaltic stratovolcano (also referred to as Api Siau) at the northern end of the island of Siau, north of Sulawesi, Indonesia, has had more than 50 observed eruptions since 1675. Frequent explosive activity is accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars, and lava-dome growth has created two active summit craters (Main to the S and Second Crater to the N). Rock avalanches, observed incandescence, and satellite thermal anomalies at the summit confirmed continuing volcanic activity since the latest eruption started in November 2018 (BGVN 44:05). This report covers activity from December 2019 through May 2020. Activity is monitored by Indonesia's Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM, or the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation), and ash plumes are monitored by the Darwin VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Center). Information is also available from MODIS thermal anomaly satellite data through both the University of Hawaii's MODVOLC system and the Italian MIROVA project.

Increased activity that included daily incandescent avalanche blocks traveling down the W and NW flanks lasted from mid-July 2019 (BGVN 44:12) through mid-January 2020 according to multiple sources. The MIROVA data showed increased number and intensity of thermal anomalies during this period, with a sharp drop during the second half of January (figure 40). The MODVOLC thermal alert data reported 29 alerts in December and ten alerts in January, ending on 14 January, with no further alerts through May 2020. During December and the first half of January incandescent blocks traveled 1,000-1,500 m down multiple drainages on the W and NW flanks (figure 41). After this, thermal anomalies were still present at the summit craters, but no additional activity down the flanks was identified in remote satellite data or direct daily observations from PVMBG.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. An episode of increased activity at Karangetang from mid-July 2019 through mid-January 2020 included incandescent avalanche blocks traveling down multiple flanks of the volcano. This was reflected in increased thermal activity seen during that interval in the MIROVA graph covering 5 June 2019 through May 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. An episode of increased activity at Karangetang from mid-July 2019 through mid-January 2020 included incandescent avalanche blocks traveling up to 1,500 m down drainages on the W and NW flanks of the volcano. Top left: large thermal anomalies trend NW from Main Crater on 5 December 2019; about 500 m N a thermal anomaly glows from Second Crater. Top center: on 15 December plumes of steam and gas drifted W and SW from both summit craters as seen in Natural Color rendering (bands 4,3,2). Top right: the same image as at top center with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a) shows hot zones extending WNW from Main Crater and a thermal anomaly at Second Crater. Bottom left: thermal activity seen on 14 January 2020 extended about 800 m WNW from Main Crater along with an anomaly at Second Crater and a hot spot about 1 km W. Bottom center: by 19 January the anomaly from Second Crater appeared slightly stronger than at Main Crater, and only small anomalies appeared on the NW flank. Bottom right: an image from 14 March shows only thermal anomalies at the two summit craters. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

A single VAAC report in early April noted a short-lived ash plume that drifted SW. Intermittent low-level activity continued through May 2020. Small SO2 plumes appeared in satellite data multiple times in December 2019 and January 2020; they decreased in size and frequency after that but were still intermittently recorded into May 2020 (figure 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Small plumes of sulfur dioxide were measured at Karangetang with the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite multiple times during December 2019 (top row). They were less frequent but still appeared during January-May 2020 (bottom row). Larger plumes were also detected from Dukono, located 300 km ESE at the N end of North Maluku. Courtesy of Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

PVMBG reported in their daily summaries that steam plumes rose 50-150 m above the Main Crater and 25-50 m above Second Crater on most days in December. The incandescent avalanche activity that began in mid-July 2019 also continued throughout December 2019 and January 2020 (figure 43). Incandescent blocks from the Main Crater descended river drainages (Kali) on the W and NW flanks throughout December. They were reported nearly every day in the Nanitu, Sense, and Pangi drainages, traveling 1,000-1,500 m. Incandescence from both craters was visible 10-25 m above the crater rim most nights.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Incandescent block avalanches descended the NW flank of Karangetang as far as 1,500 m frequently during December 2019 and January 2020. Left image taken 13 December 2019, right image taken 6 January 2020 by PVMBG webcam. Courtesy of PVMBG, Oystein Anderson, and Bobyson Lamanepa.

A few blocks were noted traveling 800 m down Kali Beha Barat on 1 December. Incandescence above the Main crater reached 50-75 m during 4-6 December. During 4-7 December incandescent blocks appeared in Kali Sesepe, traveling 1,000-1,500 m down from the summit. They were also reported in Kali Batang and Beha Barat during 4-14 December, usually moving 800-1,000 m downslope. Between 5 and 14 December, gray and white plumes from Second Crater reached 300 m multiple times. During 12-15 December steam plumes rose 300-500 m above the Main crater. Activity decreased during 18-26 December but increased again during the last few days of the month. On 28 December, incandescent blocks were reported 1,500 m down Kali Pangi and Nanitu, and 1,750 m down Kali Sense.

Incandescent blocks were reported in Kali Sesepi during 4-6 January and in Kali Batang and Beha Barat during 4-8 and 12-15 January (figure 44); they often traveled 800-1,200 m downslope. Activity tapered off in those drainages and incandescent blocks were last reported in Kali Beha Barat on 15 January traveling 800 m from the summit. Incandescent blocks were also reported traveling usually 1,000-1,500 m down the Nanitu, Sense, and Pangi drainages during 4-19 January. Blocks continued to occasionally descend up to 1,000 m down Kali Nanitu through 24 January. Pulses of activity occurred at the summit of Second Crater a few times in January. Steam plumes rose 25-50 m during 8-9 January and again during 16-31 January, with plumes rising 300-400 m on 20, 29, and 31 January. Incandescence was noted 10-25 m above the summit of Second Crater during 27-30 January.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Incandescent material descends the Beha Barat, Sense, Nanitu, and Pangi drainages on the NW flank of Karangetang in early January 2020. Courtesy of Bobyson Lamanepa; posted on Twitter on 6 January 2020.

Activity diminished significantly after mid-January 2020. Steam plumes at the Main Crater rose 50-100 m on the few days where the summit was not obscured by fog during February. Faint incandescence occurred at the Main Crater on 7 February, and steam plumes rising 25-50 m from Second Crater that day were the only events reported there in February. During March, steam plumes persisted from the Main Crater, with heights of over 100 m during short periods from 8-16 March and 25-30 March. Weak incandescence was reported from the Main Crater only once, on 25 March. Very little activity occurred at Second Crater during March, with only steam plumes reported rising 25-300 m from the 22nd to the 28th (figure 45).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Steam plumes at Karangetang rose over 100 m above both summit craters multiple times during March, including on 26 March 2020. Courtesy of PVMBG and Oystein Anderson.

The Darwin VAAC reported a continuous ash emission on 4 April 2020 that rose to 2.1 km altitude and drifted SW for a few hours before dissipating. Incandescence visible 25 m above both craters on 13 April was the only April activity reported by PVMBG other than steam plumes from the Main Crater that rose 50-500 m on most days. Steam plumes of 50-100 m were reported from Second Crater during 11-13 April. Activity remained sporadic throughout May 2020. Steam plumes from the Main Crater rose 50-300 m each day. Satellite imagery identified steam plumes and incandescence from both summit craters on 3 May (figure 46). Faint incandescence was observed at the Main Crater on 12 and 27 May. Steam plumes rose 25-50 m from Second Crater on a few days; a 200-m-high plume was reported on 27 May. Bluish emissions were observed on the S and SW flanks on 28 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Dense steam plumes and thermal anomalies were present at both summit craters of Karangetang on 3 May 2020. Sentinel 2 satellite image with Natural Color (bands 4, 3, 2) (left) and Atmospheric Penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a) (right); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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: 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/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); 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/); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com); Bobyson Lamanepa, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, (URL: https://twitter.com/BobyLamanepa/status/1214165637028728832).


Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

11.985°N, 86.165°W; summit elev. 594 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava lake level drops but remains active through May 2020; weak gas plumes

Masaya, which is about 20 km NW of the Nicaragua’s capital of Managua, is one of the most active volcanoes in that country and has a caldera that contains a number of craters (BGVN 43:11). The Santiago crater is the one most currently active and it contains a small lava lake that emits weak gas plumes (figure 85). This report summarizes activity during February through May 2020 and is based on Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) monthly reports and satellite data. During the reporting period, the volcano was relatively calm, with only weak gas plumes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Satellite images of Masaya from Sentinel-2 on 18 April 2020, showing and a small gas plume drifting SW (top, natural color bands 4, 3, 2) and the lava lake (bottom, false color bands 12, 11, 4). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

According to INETER, thermal images of the lava lake and temperature data in the fumaroles were taken using an Omega infrared gun and a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) SC620 thermal camera. The temperatures above the lava lake have decreased since November 2019, when the temperature was 287°C, dropping to 96°C when measured on 14 May 2020. INETER attributed this decrease to subsidence in the level of the lava lake by 5 m which obstructed part of the lake and concentrated the gas emissions in the weak plume. Convection continued in the lava lake, which in May had decreased to a diameter of 3 m. Many landslides had occurred in the E, NE, and S walls of the crater rim due to rock fracturing caused by the high heat and acidity of the emissions.

During the reporting period, the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system recorded numerous thermal anomalies from the lava lake based on MODIS data (figure 86). Infrared satellite images from Sentinel-2 regularly showed a strong signature from the lava lake through 18 May, after which the volcano was covered by clouds.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Thermal anomalies at Masaya during February through May 2020. The larger anomalies with black lines are more distant and not related to the volcano. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Measurements of sulfur dioxide (SO2) made by INETER in the section of the Ticuantepe - La Concepción highway (just W of the volcano) with a mobile DOAS system varied between a low of just over 1,000 metric tons/day in mid-November 2019 to a high of almost 2,500 tons/day in late May. Temperatures of fumaroles in the Cerro El Comalito area, just ENE of Santiago crater, ranged from 58 to 76°C during February-May 2020, with most values in the 69-72°C range.

Geologic Background. Masaya is one of Nicaragua's most unusual and most active volcanoes. It lies within the massive Pleistocene Las Sierras caldera and is itself a broad, 6 x 11 km basaltic caldera with steep-sided walls up to 300 m high. The caldera is filled on its NW end by more than a dozen vents that erupted along a circular, 4-km-diameter fracture system. The Nindirí and Masaya cones, the source of historical eruptions, were constructed at the southern end of the fracture system and contain multiple summit craters, including the currently active Santiago crater. A major basaltic Plinian tephra erupted from Masaya about 6,500 years ago. Historical lava flows cover much of the caldera floor and there is a lake at the far eastern end. A lava flow from the 1670 eruption overtopped the north caldera rim. Masaya has been frequently active since the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, when an active lava lake prompted attempts to extract the volcano's molten "gold." Periods of long-term vigorous gas emission at roughly quarter-century intervals have caused health hazards and crop damage.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); 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).


Shishaldin (United States) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Shishaldin

United States

54.756°N, 163.97°W; summit elev. 2857 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent thermal activity and a possible new cone at the summit crater during February-May 2020

Shishaldin is located near the center of Unimak Island in Alaska, with the current eruption phase beginning in July 2019 and characterized by ash plumes, lava flows, lava fountaining, pyroclastic flows, and lahars. More recently, in late 2019 and into January 2020, activity consisted of multiple lava flows, pyroclastic flows, lahars, and ashfall events (BGVN 45:02). This report summarizes activity from February through May 2020, including gas-and-steam emissions, brief thermal activity in mid-March, and a possible new cone within the summit crater. The primary source of information comes from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reports and various satellite data.

Volcanism during February 2020 was relatively low, consisting of weakly to moderately elevated surface temperatures during 1-4 February and occasional small gas-and-steam plumes (figure 37). By 6 February both seismicity and surface temperatures had decreased. Seismicity and surface temperatures increased slightly again on 8 March and remained elevated through the rest of the reporting period. Intermittent gas-and-steam emissions were also visible from mid-March (figure 38) through May. Minor ash deposits visible on the upper SE flank may have been due to ash resuspension or a small collapse event at the summit, according to AVO.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. Photo of a gas-and-steam plume rising from the summit crater at Shishaldin on 22 February 2020. Photo courtesy of Ben David Jacob via AVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. A Worldview-2 panchromatic satellite image on 11 March 2020 showing a gas-and-steam plume rising from the summit of Shishaldin and minor ash deposits on the SE flank (left). Aerial photo showing minor gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit crater on 11 March (right). Some erosion of the snow and ice on the upper flanks is a result of the lava flows from the activity in late 2019 and early 2020. Photo courtesy of Matt Loewen (left) and Ed Fischer (right) via AVO.

On 14 March, lava and a possible new cone were visible in the summit crater using satellite imagery, accompanied by small explosion signals. Strong thermal signatures due to the lava were also seen in Sentinel-2 satellite data and continued strongly through the month (figure 39). The lava reported by AVO in the summit crater was also reflected in satellite-based MODIS thermal anomalies recorded by the MIROVA system (figure 40). Seismic and infrasound data identified small explosions signals within the summit crater during 14-19 March.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images (bands 12, 11, 8A) show a bright hotspot (yellow-orange) at the summit crater of Shishaldin during mid-March 2020 that decreases in intensity by late March. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. MIROVA thermal data showing a brief increase in thermal anomalies during late March 2020 and on two days in late April between periods of little to no activity. Courtesy of MIROVA.

AVO released a Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) stating that seismicity had decreased by 16 April and that satellite data no longer showed lava or additional changes in the crater since the start of April. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery continued to show a weak hotspot in the crater summit through May (figure 41), which was also detected by the MIROVA system on two days. A daily report on 6 May reported a visible ash deposit extending a short distance SE from the summit, which had likely been present since 29 April. AVO noted that the timing of the deposit corresponds to an increase in the summit crater diameter and depth, further supporting a possible small collapse. Small gas-and-steam emissions continued intermittently and were accompanied by weak tremors and occasional low-frequency earthquakes through May (figure 42). Minor amounts of sulfur dioxide were detected in the gas-and-steam emissions during 20 and 29 April, and 2, 16, and 28 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images (bands 12, 11, 8A) show occasional gas-and-steam emissions rising from Shishaldin on 26 February (top left) and 24 April 2020 (bottom left) and a weak hotspot (yellow-orange) persisting at the summit crater during April and early May 2020. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. A Worldview-1 panchromatic satellite image showing gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit of Shishaldin on 1 May 2020 (local time) (left). Aerial photo of the N flank of Shishaldin with minor gas-and-steam emissions rising from the summit on 8 May (right). Photo courtesy of Matt Loewen (left) and Levi Musselwhite (right) via AVO.

Geologic Background. The beautifully symmetrical Shishaldin is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. The glacier-covered volcano is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes along an E-W line in the eastern half of Unimak Island. The Aleuts named the volcano Sisquk, meaning "mountain which points the way when I am lost." A steam plume often rises from its small summit crater. Constructed atop an older glacially dissected volcano, it is largely basaltic in composition. Remnants of an older ancestral volcano are exposed on the W and NE sides at 1,500-1,800 m elevation. There are over two dozen pyroclastic cones on its NW flank, which is blanketed by massive aa lava flows. Frequent explosive activity, primarily consisting of Strombolian ash eruptions from the small summit crater, but sometimes producing lava flows, has been recorded since the 18th century.

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, and crater incandescence during April 2020

Krakatau, located in the Sunda Strait between Indonesia’s Java and Sumatra Islands, experienced a major caldera collapse around 535 CE, forming a 7-km-wide caldera ringed by three islands. On 22 December 2018, a large explosion and flank collapse destroyed most of the 338-m-high island of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) and generated a deadly tsunami (BGVN 44:03). The near-sea level crater lake inside the remnant of Anak Krakatau was the site of numerous small steam and tephra explosions. A larger explosion in December 2019 produced the beginnings of a new cone above the surface of crater lake (BGVN 45:02). Recently, volcanism has been characterized by occasional Strombolian explosions, dense ash plumes, and crater incandescence. This report covers activity from February through May 2020 using information provided by the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, also known as Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

Activity during February 2020 consisted of dominantly white gas-and-steam emissions rising 300 m above the crater, according to PVMBG. According to the Darwin VAAC, a ground observer reported an eruption on 7 and 8 February, but no volcanic ash was observed. During 10-11 February, a short-lived eruption was detected by seismograms which produced an ash plume up to 1 km above the crater drifting E. MAGMA Indonesia reported two eruptions on 18 March, both of which rose to 300 m above the crater. White gas-and-steam emissions were observed for the rest of the month and early April.

On 10 April PVMBG reported two eruptions, at 2158 and 2235, both of which produced dark ash plumes rising 2 km above the crater followed by Strombolian explosions ejecting incandescent material that landed on the crater floor (figures 108 and 109). The Darwin VAAC issued a notice at 0145 on 11 April reporting an ash plume to 14.3 km altitude drifting WNW, however this was noted with low confidence due to the possible mixing of clouds. During the same day, an intense thermal hotspot was detected in the HIMAWARI thermal satellite imagery and the NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide page showed a strong SO2 plume at 11.3 km altitude drifting W (figure 110). The CCTV Lava93 webcam showed new lava flows and lava fountaining from the 10-11 April eruptions. This activity was evident in the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) graph of MODIS thermal anomaly data (figure 111).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 108. Webcam (Lava93) images of Krakatau on 10 April 2020 showing Strombolian explosions, strong incandescence, and ash plumes rising from the crater. Courtesy of PVMBG and MAGMA Indonesia.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 109. Webcam image of incandescent Strombolian explosions at Krakatau on 10 April 2020. Courtesy of PVMBG and MAGMA Indonesia.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 110. Strong sulfur dioxide emissions rising from Krakatau and drifting W were detected using the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite on 11 April 2020 (top row). Smaller volumes of SO2 were visible in Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI maps on 13 (bottom left) and 19 April (bottom right). Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 111. Thermal activity at Anak Krakatau from 29 June-May 2020 shown on a MIROVA Log Radiative Power graph. The power and frequency of the thermal anomalies sharply increased in mid-April. After the larger eruptive event in mid-April the thermal anomalies declined slightly in strength but continued to be detected intermittently through May. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Strombolian activity rising up to 500 m continued into 12 April and was accompanied by SO2 emissions that rose 3 km altitude, drifting NW according to a VAAC notice. PVMBG reported an eruption on 13 April at 2054 that resulted in incandescence as high as 25 m above the crater. Volcanic ash, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions, continued intermittently through 18 April, many of which were observed by the CCTV webcam. After 18 April only gas-and-steam plumes were reported, rising up to 100 m above the crater; Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed faint thermal anomalies in the crater (figure 112). SO2 emissions continued intermittently throughout April, though at lower volumes and altitudes compared to the 11th. MODIS satellite data seen in MIROVA showed intermittent thermal anomalies through May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 112. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing the cool crater lake on 20 March (top left) followed by minor heating of the crater during April and May 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

Information Contacts: 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/); 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).


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

14.002°N, 120.993°E; summit elev. 311 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption on 12 January with explosions through 22 January; steam plumes continuing into March

Taal volcano is in a caldera system located in southern Luzon island and is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. It has produced around 35 recorded eruptions since 3,580 BCE, ranging from VEI 1 to 6, with the majority of eruptions being a VEI 2. The caldera contains a lake with an island that also contains a lake within the Main Crater (figure 12). Prior to 2020 the most recent eruption was in 1977, on the south flank near Mt. Tambaro. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Philippines reports that over 450,000 people live within 40 km of the caldera (figure 13). This report covers activity during January through February 2020 including the 12 to 22 January eruption, and is based on reports by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), satellite data, geophysical data, and media reports.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Annotated satellite images showing the Taal caldera, Volcano Island in the caldera lake, and features on the island including Main Crater. Imagery courtesy of Planet Inc.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Map showing population totals within 14 and 17 km of Volcano Island at Taal. Courtesy of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The hazard status at Taal was raised to Alert Level 1 (abnormal, on a scale of 0-5) on 28 March 2019. From that date through to 1 December there were 4,857 earthquakes registered, with some felt nearby. Inflation was detected during 21-29 November and an increase in CO2 emission within the Main Crater was observed. Seismicity increased beginning at 1100 on 12 January. At 1300 there were phreatic (steam) explosions from several points inside Main Crater and the Alert Level was raised to 2 (increasing unrest). Booming sounds were heard in Talisay, Batangas, at 1400; by 1402 the plume had reached 1 km above the crater, after which the Alert Level was raised to 3 (magmatic unrest).

Phreatic eruption on 12 January 2020. A seismic swarm began at 1100 on 12 January 2020 followed by a phreatic eruption at 1300. The initial activity consisted of steaming from at least five vents in Main Crater and phreatic explosions that generated 100-m-high plumes. PHIVOLCS raised the Alert Level to 2. The Earth Observatory of Singapore reported that the International Data Center (IDC) for the Comprehensive test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in Vienna noted initial infrasound detections at 1450 that day.

Booming sounds were heard at 1400 in Talisay, Batangas (4 km NNE from the Main Crater), and at 1404 volcanic tremor and earthquakes felt locally were accompanied by an eruption plume that rose 1 km; ash fell to the SSW. The Alert Level was raised to 3 and the evacuation of high-risk barangays was recommended. Activity again intensified around 1730, prompting PHIVOLCS to raise the Alert Level to 4 and recommend a total evacuation of the island and high-risk areas within a 14-km radius. The eruption plume of steam, gas, and tephra significantly intensified, rising to 10-15 km altitude and producing frequent lightning (figures 14 and 15). Wet ash fell as far away as Quezon City (75 km N). According to news articles schools and government offices were ordered to close and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (56 km N) in Manila suspended flights. About 6,000 people had been evacuated. Residents described heavy ashfall, low visibility, and fallen trees.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Lightning produced during the eruption of Taal during 1500 on 12 January to 0500 on 13 January 2020 local time (0700-2100 UTC on 12 January). Courtesy of Chris Vagasky, Vaisala.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Lightning strokes produced during the first days of the Taal January 2020 eruption. Courtesy of Domcar C Lagto/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock via The Guardian.

In a statement issued at 0320 on 13 January, PHIVOLCS noted that ashfall had been reported across a broad area to the north in Tanauan (18 km NE), Batangas; Escala (11 km NW), Tagaytay; Sta. Rosa (32 km NNW), Laguna; Dasmariñas (32 km N), Bacoor (44 km N), and Silang (22 km N), Cavite; Malolos (93 km N), San Jose Del Monte (87 km N), and Meycauayan (80 km N), Bulacan; Antipolo (68 km NNE), Rizal; Muntinlupa (43 km N), Las Piñas (47 km N), Marikina (70 km NNE), Parañaque (51 km N), Pasig (62 km NNE), Quezon City, Mandaluyong (62 km N), San Juan (64 km N), Manila; Makati City (59 km N) and Taguig City (55 km N). Lapilli (2-64 mm in diameter) fell in Tanauan and Talisay; Tagaytay City (12 km N); Nuvali (25 km NNE) and Sta (figure 16). Rosa, Laguna. Felt earthquakes (Intensities II-V) continued to be recorded in local areas.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Ashfall from the Taal January 2020 eruption in Lemery (top) and in the Batangas province (bottom). Photos posted on 13 January, courtesy of Ezra Acayan/Getty Images, Aaron Favila/AP, and Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images via The Guardian.

Magmatic eruption on 13 January 2020. A magmatic eruption began during 0249-0428 on 13 January, characterized by weak lava fountaining accompanied by thunder and flashes of lightning. Activity briefly waned then resumed with sporadic weak fountaining and explosions that generated 2-km-high, dark gray, steam-laden ash plumes (figure 17). New lateral vents opened on the N flank, producing 500-m-tall lava fountains. Heavy ashfall impacted areas to the SW, including in Cuenca (15 km SSW), Lemery (16 km SW), Talisay, and Taal (15 km SSW), Batangas (figure 18).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Ash plumes seen from various points around Taal in the initial days of the January 2020 eruption, posted on 13 January. Courtesy of Eloisa Lopez/Reuters, Kester Ragaza/Pacific Press/Shutterstock, Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images, via The Guardian.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Map indicating areas impacted by ashfall from the 12 January eruption through to 0800 on the 13th. Small yellow circles (to the N) are ashfall report locations; blue circles (at the island and to the S) are heavy ashfall; large green circles are lapilli (particles measuring 2-64 mm in diameter). Modified from a map courtesy of Lauriane Chardot, Earth Observatory of Singapore; data taken from PHIVOLCS.

News articles noted that more than 300 domestic and 230 international flights were cancelled as the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport was closed during 12-13 January. Some roads from Talisay to Lemery and Agoncillo were impassible and electricity and water services were intermittent. Ashfall in several provinces caused power outages. Authorities continued to evacuate high-risk areas, and by 13 January more than 24,500 people had moved to 75 shelters out of a total number of 460,000 people within 14 km.

A PHIVOLCS report for 0800 on the 13th through 0800 on 14 January noted that lava fountaining had continued, with steam-rich ash plumes reaching around 2 km above the volcano and dispersing ash SE and W of Main Crater. Volcanic lighting continued at the base of the plumes. Fissures on the N flank produced 500-m-tall lava fountains. Heavy ashfall continued in the Lemery, Talisay, Taal, and Cuenca, Batangas Municipalities. By 1300 on the 13th lava fountaining generated 800-m-tall, dark gray, steam-laden ash plumes that drifted SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 5,299 metric tons/day (t/d) on 13 January and dispersed NNE (figure 19).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Compilation of sulfur dioxide plumes from TROPOMI overlaid in Google Earth for 13 January from 0313-1641 UT. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page and Google Earth.

Explosions and ash emission through 22 January 2020. At 0800 on 15 January PHIVOLCS stated that activity was generally weaker; dark gray, steam-laden ash plumes rose about 1 km and drifted SW. Satellite images showed that the Main Crater lake was gone and new craters had formed inside Main Crater and on the N side of Volcano Island.

PHIVOLCS reported that activity during 15-16 January was characterized by dark gray, steam-laden plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the vents in Main Crater and drifted S and SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 4,186 t/d on 15 January. Eruptive events at 0617 and 0621 on 16 January generated short-lived, dark gray ash plumes that rose 500 and 800 m, respectively, and drifted SW. Weak steam plumes rose 800 m and drifted SW during 1100-1700, and nine weak explosions were recorded by the seismic network.

Steady steam emissions were visible during 17-21 January. Infrequent weak explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km and drifted SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated and were as high as 4,353 t/d on 20 January and as low as 344 t/d on 21 January. PHIVOLCS reported that white steam-laden plumes rose as high as 800 m above main vent during 22-28 January and drifted SW and NE; ash emissions ceased around 0500 on 22 January. Remobilized ash drifted SW on 22 January due to strong low winds, affecting the towns of Lemery (16 km SW) and Agoncillo, and rose as high as 5.8 km altitude as reported by pilots. Sulfur dioxide emissions were low at 140 t/d.

Steam plumes through mid-April 2020. The Alert Level was lowered to 3 on 26 January and PHIVOLCS recommended no entry onto Volcano Island and Taal Lake, nor into towns on the western side of the island within a 7-km radius. PHIVOLCS reported that whitish steam plumes rose as high as 800 m during 29 January-4 February and drifted SW (figure 20). The observed steam plumes rose as high as 300 m during 5-11 February and drifted SW.

Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged around 250 t/d during 22-26 January; emissions were 87 t/d on 27 January and below detectable limits the next day. During 29 January-4 February sulfur dioxide emissions ranged to a high of 231 t/d (on 3 February). The following week sulfur dioxide emissions ranged from values below detectable limits to a high of 116 t/d (on 8 February).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Taal Volcano Island producing gas-and-steam plumes on 15-16 January 2020. Courtesy of James Reynolds, Earth Uncut.

On 14 February PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level to 2, noting a decline in the number of volcanic earthquakes, stabilizing ground deformation of the caldera and Volcano Island, and diffuse steam-and-gas emission that continued to rise no higher than 300 m above the main vent during the past three weeks. During 14-18 February sulfur dioxide emissions ranged from values below detectable limits to a high of 58 tonnes per day (on 16 February). Sulfur dioxide emissions were below detectable limits during 19-20 February. During 26 February-2 March steam plumes rose 50-300 m above the vent and drifted SW and NE. PHIVOLCS reported that during 4-10 March weak steam plumes rose 50-100 m and drifted SW and NE; moderate steam plumes rose 300-500 m and drifted SW during 8-9 March. During 11-17 March weak steam plumes again rose only 50-100 m and drifted SW and NE.

PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level to 1 on 19 March and recommended no entry onto Volcano Island, the area defined as the Permanent Danger Zone. During 8-9 April steam plumes rose 100-300 m and drifted SW. As of 1-2 May 2020 only weak steaming and fumarolic activity from fissure vents along the Daang Kastila trail was observed.

Evacuations. According to the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) there were a total of 53,832 people dispersed to 244 evacuation centers by 1800 on 15 January. By 21 January there were 148,987 people in 493 evacuation. The number of residents in evacuation centers dropped over the next week to 125,178 people in 497 locations on 28 January. However, many residents remained displaced as of 3 February, with DROMIC reporting 23,915 people in 152 evacuation centers, but an additional 224,188 people staying at other locations.

By 10 February there were 17,088 people in 110 evacuation centers, and an additional 211,729 staying at other locations. According to the DROMIC there were a total of 5,321 people in 21 evacuation centers, and an additional 195,987 people were staying at other locations as of 19 February.

The number of displaced residents continued to drop, and by 3 March there were 4,314 people in 12 evacuation centers, and an additional 132,931 people at other locations. As of 11 March there were still 4,131 people in 11 evacuation centers, but only 17,563 staying at other locations.

Deformation and ground cracks. New ground cracks were observed on 13 January in Sinisian (18 km SW), Mahabang Dahilig (14 km SW), Dayapan (15 km SW), Palanas (17 km SW), Sangalang (17 km SW), and Poblacion (19 km SW) Lemery; Pansipit (11 km SW), Agoncillo; Poblacion 1, Poblacion 2, Poblacion 3, Poblacion 5 (all around 17 km SW), Talisay, and Poblacion (11 km SW), San Nicolas (figure 21). A fissure opened across the road connecting Agoncillo to Laurel, Batangas. New ground cracking was reported the next day in Sambal Ibaba (17 km SW), and portions of the Pansipit River (SW) had dried up.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Video screenshots showing ground cracks that formed during the Taal unrest and captured on 15 and 16 January 2020. Courtesy of James Reynolds, Earth Uncut.

Dropping water levels of Taal Lake were first observed in some areas on 16 January but reported to be lake-wide the next day. The known ground cracks in the barangays of Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay, and San Nicolas in Batangas Province widened a few centimeters by 17 January, and a new steaming fissure was identified on the N flank of the island.

GPS data had recorded a sudden widening of the caldera by ~1 m, uplift of the NW sector by ~20 cm, and subsidence of the SW part of Volcano Island by ~1 m just after the main eruption phase. The rate of deformation was smaller during 15-22 January, and generally corroborated by field observations; Taal Lake had receded about 30 cm by 25 January but about 2.5 m of the change (due to uplift) was observed around the SW portion of the lake, near the Pansipit River Valley where ground cracking had been reported.

Weak steaming (plumes 10-20 m high) from ground cracks was visible during 5-11 February along the Daang Kastila trail which connects the N part of Volcano Island to the N part of the main crater. PHIVOLCS reported that during 19-24 February steam plumes rose 50-100 m above the vent and drifted SW. Weak steaming (plumes up to 20 m high) from ground cracks was visible during 8-14 April along the Daang Kastila trail which connects the N part of Volcano Island to the N part of the main crater.

Seismicity. Between 1300 on 12 January and 0800 on 21 January the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) had recorded a total of 718 volcanic earthquakes; 176 of those had magnitudes ranging from 1.2-4.1 and were felt with Intensities of I-V. During 20-21 January there were five volcanic earthquakes with magnitudes of 1.6-2.5; the Taal Volcano network (which can detect smaller events not detectable by the PSN) recorded 448 volcanic earthquakes, including 17 low-frequency events. PHIVOLCS stated that by 21 January hybrid earthquakes had ceased and both the number and magnitude of low-frequency events had diminished.

Geologic Background. Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines and has produced some of its most powerful historical eruptions. Though not topographically prominent, its prehistorical eruptions have greatly changed the landscape of SW Luzon. The 15 x 20 km Talisay (Taal) caldera is largely filled by Lake Taal, whose 267 km2 surface lies only 3 m above sea level. The maximum depth of the lake is 160 m, and several eruptive centers lie submerged beneath the lake. The 5-km-wide Volcano Island in north-central Lake Taal is the location of all historical eruptions. The island is composed of coalescing small stratovolcanoes, tuff rings, and scoria cones that have grown about 25% in area during historical time. Powerful pyroclastic flows and surges from historical eruptions have caused many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/); Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) (URL: https://dromic.dswd.gov.ph/); United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Philippines (URL: https://www.unocha.org/philippines); James Reynolds, Earth Uncut TV (Twitter: @EarthUncutTV, URL: https://www.earthuncut.tv/, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TyphoonHunter); Chris Vagasky, Vaisala Inc., Louisville, Colorado, USA (URL: https://www.vaisala.com/en?type=1, Twitter: @COweatherman, URL: https://twitter.com/COweatherman); Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore (URL: https://www.earthobservatory.sg/); 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/); Relief Web, Flash Update No. 1 - Philippines: Taal Volcano eruption (As of 13 January 2020, 2 p.m. local time) (URL: https://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/flash-update-no-1-philippines-taal-volcano-eruption-13-january-2020-2-pm-local); Bloomberg, Philippines Braces for Hazardous Volcano Eruption (URL: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-12/philippines-raises-alert-level-in-taal-as-volcano-spews-ash); National Public Radio (NPR), Volcanic Eruption In Philippines Causes Thousands To Flee (URL: npr.org/2020/01/13/795815351/volcanic-eruption-in-philippines-causes-thousands-to-flee); Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/); Agence France-Presse (URL: http://www.afp.com/); Pacific Press (URL: http://www.pacificpress.com/); Shutterstock (URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/); Getty Images (URL: http://www.gettyimages.com/); Google Earth (URL: https://www.google.com/earth/).


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

18.325°S, 174.365°W; summit elev. -40 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Additional details and pumice raft drift maps from the August 2019 submarine eruption

In the northern Tonga region, approximately 80 km NW of Vava’u, large areas of floating pumice, termed rafts, were observed starting as early as 7 August 2019. The area of these andesitic pumice rafts was initially 195 km2 with the layers measuring 15-30 cm thick and were produced 200 m below sea level (Jutzeler et al. 2020). The previous report (BGVN 44:11) described the morphology of the clasts and the rafts, and their general westward path from 9 August to 9 October 2019, with the first sighting occurring on 9 August NW of Vava’u in Tonga. This report updates details regarding the submarine pumice raft eruption in early August 2019 using new observations and data from Brandl et al. (2019) and Jutzeler et al. (2020).

The NoToVE-2004 (Northern Tonga Vents Expedition) research cruise on the RV Southern Surveyor (SS11/2004) from the Australian CSIRO Marine National Facility traveled to the northern Tonga Arc and discovered several submarine basalt-to-rhyolite volcanic centers (Arculus, 2004). One of these volcanic centers 50 km NW of Vava’u was the unnamed seamount (volcano number 243091) that had erupted in 2001 and again in 2019, unofficially designated “Volcano F” for reference purposes by Arculus (2004) and also used by Brandl et al. (2019). It is a volcanic complex that rises more than 1 km from the seafloor with a central 6 x 8.7 km caldera and a volcanic apron measuring over 50 km in diameter (figures 19 and 20). Arculus (2004) described some of the dredged material as “fresh, black, plagioclase-bearing lava with well-formed, glassy crusts up to 2cm thick” from cones by the eastern wall of the caldera; a number of apparent flows, lava or debris, were observed draping over the northern wall of the caldera.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Visualization of the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano (marked “Volcano F”) using bathymetric data to show the site of the 6-8 August 2020 eruption and the rest of the cone complex. Courtesy of Philipp Brandl via GEOMAR.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Map of the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano using satellite imagery, bathymetric data, with shading from the NW. The yellow circle indicates the location of the August 2019 activity. Young volcanic cones are marked “C” and those with pit craters at the top are marked with “P.” Courtesy of Brandl et al. (2019).

The International Seismological Centre (ISC) Preliminary Bulletin listed a particularly strong (5.7 Mw) earthquake at 2201 local time on 5 August, 15 km SSW of the volcano at a depth of 10 km (Brandl et al. 2019). This event was followed by six slightly lower magnitude earthquakes over the next two days.

Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed two concentric rings originating from a point source (18.307°S 174.395°W) on 6 August (figure 21), which could be interpreted as small weak submarine plumes or possibly a series of small volcanic cones, according to Brandl et al. (2019). The larger ring is about 1.2 km in diameter and the smaller one measures 250 m. By 8 August volcanic activity had decreased, but the pumice rafts that were produced remained visible through at least early October (BGVN 44:11). Brandl et al. (2019) states that, due to the lack of continued observed activity rising from this location, the eruption was likely a 2-day-long event during 6-8 August.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Sentinel-2 satellite image of possible gas/vapor emissions (streaks) on 6 August 2019 drifting NW, which is the interpreted site for the unnamed Tongan seamount. The larger ring is about 1.2 km in diameter and the smaller one measures 250 m. Image using False Color (urban) rendering (bands 12, 11, 4); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The pumice was first observed on 9 August occurred up to 56 km from the point of origin, according to Jutzeler et al. (2020). By calculating the velocity (14 km/day) of the raft using three satellites, Jutzeler et al. (2020) determined the pumice was erupted immediately after the satellite image of the submarine plumes on 6 August (UTC time). Minor activity at the vent may have continued on 8 and 11 August (UTC time) with pale blue-green water discoloration (figure 22) and a small (less than 1 km2) diffuse pumice raft 2-5 km from the vent.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Sentinel-2 satellite image of the last visible activity occurring W of the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano on 8 August 2019, represented by slightly discolored blue-green water. Image using Natural Color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) and enhanced with color correction; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Continuous observations using various satellite data and observations aboard the catamaran ROAM tracked the movement and extent of the pumice raft that was produced during the submarine eruption in early August (figure 23). The first visible pumice raft was observed on 8 August 2019, covering more than 136.7 km2 between the volcanic islands of Fonualei and Late and drifting W for 60 km until 9 August (Brandl et al. 2019; Jutzeler 2020). The next day, the raft increased to 167.2-195 km2 while drifting SW for 74 km until 14 August. Over the next three days (10-12 August) the size of the raft briefly decreased in size to less than 100 km2 before increasing again to 157.4 km2 on 14 August; at least nine individual rafts were mapped and identified on satellite imagery (Brandl et al. 2019). On 15 August sailing vessels observed a large pumice raft about 75 km W of Late Island (see details in BGVN 44:11), which was the same one as seen in satellite imagery on 8 August.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Map of the extent of discolored water and the pumice raft from the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano between 8 and 14 August 2019 using imagery from NASA’s MODIS, ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellite, and observations from aboard the catamaran ROAM (BGVN 44:11). Back-tracing the path of the pumice raft points to a source location at the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano. Courtesy of Brandl et al. (2019).

By 17 August high-resolution satellite images showed an area of large and small rafts measuring 222 km2 and were found within a field of smaller rafts for a total extent of 1,350 km2, which drifted 73 km NNW through 22 August before moving counterclockwise for three days (figure f; Jutzeler et al., 2020). Small pumice ribbons encountered the Oneata Lagoon on 30 August, the first island that the raft came into contact (Jutzeler et al. 2020). By 2 September, the main raft intersected with Lakeba Island (460 km from the source) (figure 24), breaking into smaller ribbons that started to drift W on 8 September. On 19 September the small rafts (less than 100 m x less than 2 km) entered the strait between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, the two main islands of Fiji, while most of the others were stranded 60 km W in the Yasawa Islands for more than two months (Jutzeler et al., 2020).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Time-series map of the raft dispersal from the unnamed submarine Tongan volcano using multiple satellite images. A) Map showing the first days of the raft dispersal starting on 7 August 2019 and drifting SW from the vent (marked with a red triangle). Precursory seismicity that began on 5 August is marked with a white star. By 15-17 August the raft was entrained in an ocean loop or eddy. The dashed lines represent the path of the sailing vessels. B) Map of the raft dispersal using high-resolution Sentinel-2 and -3 imagery. Two dispersal trails (red and blue dashed lines) show the daily dispersal of two parts of the raft that were separated on 17 August 2019. Courtesy of Jutzeler et al. (2020).

References: Arculus, R J, SS2004/11 shipboard scientists, 2004. SS11/2004 Voyage Summary: NoToVE-2004 (Northern Tonga Vents Expedition): submarine hydrothermal plume activity and petrology of the northern Tofua Arc, Tonga. https://www.cmar.csiro.au/data/reporting/get file.cfm?eovpub id=901.

Brandl P A, Schmid F, Augustin N, Grevemeyer I, Arculus R J, Devey C W, Petersen S, Stewart M , Kopp K, Hannington M D, 2019. The 6-8 Aug 2019 eruption of ‘Volcano F’ in the Tofua Arc, Tonga. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.106695

Jutzeler M, Marsh R, van Sebille E, Mittal T, Carey R, Fauria K, Manga M, McPhie J, 2020. Ongoing Dispersal of the 7 August 2019 Pumice Raft From the Tonga Arc in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. AGU Geophysical Research Letters: https://doi.orh/10.1029/2019GL086768.

Geologic Background. A submarine volcano along the Tofua volcanic arc was first observed in September 2001. The newly discovered volcano lies NW of the island of Vava'u about 35 km S of Fonualei and 60 km NE of Late volcano. The site of the eruption is along a NNE-SSW-trending submarine plateau with an approximate bathymetric depth of 300 m. T-phase waves were recorded on 27-28 September 2001, and on the 27th local fishermen observed an ash-rich eruption column that rose above the sea surface. No eruptive activity was reported after the 28th, but water discoloration was documented during the following month. In early November rafts and strandings of dacitic pumice were reported along the coast of Kadavu and Viti Levu in the Fiji Islands. The depth of the summit of the submarine cone following the eruption determined to be 40 m during a 2007 survey; the crater of the 2001 eruption was breached to the E.

Information Contacts: Jan Steffen, Communication and Media, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany; Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian activity November 2019 through May 2020; lava flow down the SE flank in April

Klyuchevskoy is part of the Klyuchevskaya volcanic group in northern Kamchatka and is one of the most frequently active volcanoes of the region. Eruptions produce lava flows, ashfall, and lahars originating from summit and flank activity. This report summarizes activity during October 2019 through May 2020, and is based on reports by the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) and satellite data.

There were no activity reports from 1 to 22 October, but gas emissions were visible in satellite images. At 1020 on 24 October (2220 on 23 October UTC) KVERT noted that there was a small ash component in the ash plume from erosion of the conduit, with the plume reaching 130 km ENE. The Aviation Colour Code was raised from Green to Yellow, then to Orange the following day. An ash plume continued on the 25th to 5-7 km altitude and extending 15 km SE and 70 km SW and reached 30 km ESE on the 26th. Similar activity continued through to the end of the month.

Moderate gas emissions continued during 1-19 November, but the summit was obscured by clouds. Strong nighttime incandescence was visible at the crater during the 10-11 November and thermal anomalies were detected on 8 and 10-13 November. Explosions produced ash plumes up to 6 km altitude on the 20-21st and Strombolian activity was reported during 20-22 November. Degassing continued from 23 November through 12 December, and a thermal anomaly was visible on the days when the summit was not covered by clouds. An ash plume was reported moving to the NW on the 13th, and degassing with a thermal anomaly and intermittent Strombolian activity then resumed, continuing through to the end of December with an ash plume reported on the 30th.

Gas-and-steam plumes continued into January 2020 with incandescence noted when the summit was clear (figure 33). Strombolian activity was reported again starting on the 3rd. A weak ash plume produced on the 6th extended 55 km E, and on the 21st an ash plume reached 5-5.5 km altitude and extended 190 km NE (figure 34). Another ash plume the next day rose to the same altitude and extended 388 km NE. During 23-29 Strombolian activity continued, and Vulcanian activity produced ash plumes up to 5.5 altitude, extending to 282 km E on the 30th, and 145 km E on the 31st.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Incandescence and degassing were visible at Klyuchevskoy through January 2020, seen here on the 11th. Courtesy of KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. A low ash plume at Klyuchevskoy on 21 January 2020 extended 190 km NE. Courtesy of KVERT.

Strombolian activity continued throughout February with occasional explosions producing ash plumes up to 5.5 km altitude, as well as gas-and-steam plumes and a persistent thermal anomaly with incandescence visible at night. Starting in late February thermal anomalies were detected much more frequently, and with higher energy output compared to the previous year (figure 35). A lava fountain was reported on 1 March with the material falling back into the summit crater. Strombolian activity continued through early March. Lava fountaining was reported again on the 8th with ejecta landing in the crater and down the flanks (figure 36). A strong persistent gas-and-steam plume containing some ash continued along with Strombolian activity through 25 March (figure 37), with Vulcanian activity noted on the 20th and 25th. Strombolian and Vulcanian activity was reported through the end of March.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. This MIROVA thermal energy plot for Klyuchevskoy for the year ending 29 April 2020 (log radiative power) shows intermittent thermal anomalies leading up to more sustained energy detected from February through March, then steadily increasing energy through April 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. Strombolian explosions at Klyuchevskoy eject incandescent ash and gas, and blocks and bombs onto the upper flanks on 8 and 10 March 2020. Courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. Weak ash emission from the Klyuchevskoy summit crater are dispersed by wind on 19 and 29 March 2020, with ash depositing on the flanks. Courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

Activity was dominantly Strombolian during 1-5 April and included intermittent Vulcanian explosions from the 6th onwards, with ash plumes reaching 6 km altitude. On 18 April a lava flow began moving down the SE flank (figures 38). A report on the 26th reported explosions from lava-water interactions with avalanches from the active lava flow, which continued to move down the SE flank and into the Apakhonchich chute (figures 39 and 40). This continued throughout April and May with sustained Strombolian and intermittent Vulcanian activity at the summit (figures 41 and 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Strombolian activity produced ash plumes and a lava flow down the SE flank of Klyuchevskoy on 18 April 2020. Courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. A lava flow descends the SW flank of Klyuchevskoy and a gas plume is dispersed by winds on 21 April 2020. Courtesy of Yu. Demyanchuk, IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images show the progression of the Klyuchevskoy lava flow from the summit crater down the SE flank from 19-29 April 2020. Associated gas plumes are dispersed in various directions. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy ejects incandescent ejecta, gas, and ash above the summit on 27 April 2020. Courtesy of D. Bud'kov, IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Klyuchevskoy show the progression of the SE flank lava flow through May 2020, with associated gas plumes being dispersed in multiple directions. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

Information Contacts: 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/); 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).


Nyamuragira (DR Congo) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent thermal anomalies within the summit crater during December 2019-May 2020

Nyamuragira (also known as Nyamulagira) is located in the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and consists of a lava lake that reappeared in the summit crater in mid-April 2018. Volcanism has been characterized by lava emissions, thermal anomalies, seismicity, and gas-and-steam emissions. This report summarizes activity during December 2019 through May 2020 using information from monthly reports by the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) and satellite data.

According to OVG, intermittent eruptive activity was detected in the lava lake of the central crater during December 2019 and January-April 2020, which also resulted in few seismic events. MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows thermal anomalies within the summit crater that varied in both frequency and power between August 2019 and mid-March 2020, but very few were recorded afterward through late May (figure 88). Thermal hotspots identified by MODVOLC from 15 December 2019 through March 2020 were mainly located in the active central crater, with only three hotspots just outside the SW crater rim (figure 89). Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery also showed activity within the summit crater during January-May 2020, but by mid-March the thermal anomaly had visibly decreased in power (figure 90).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. The MIROVA graph of thermal activity (log radiative power) at Nyamuragira during 27 July through May 2020 shows variably strong, intermittent thermal anomalies with a variation in power and frequency from August 2019 to mid-March 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. Map showing the number of MODVOLC hotspot pixels at Nyamuragira from 1 December 2019 t0 31 May 2020. 37 pixels were registered within the summit crater while 3 were detected just outside the SW crater rim. Courtesy of HIGP-MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) confirmed ongoing thermal activity (bright yellow-orange) at Nyamuragira from February into April 2020. The strength of the thermal anomaly in the summit crater decreased by late March 2020, but was still visible. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira, is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu. Also known as Nyamulagira, it has generated extensive lava flows that cover 1500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift. The broad low-angle shield volcano contrasts dramatically with the adjacent steep-sided Nyiragongo to the SW. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Historical eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous fissures and cinder cones on the flanks. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Historical lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit, reaching as far as Lake Kivu.

Information Contacts: Information contacts: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG), Departement de Geophysique, Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Lwiro, D.S. Bukavu, DR Congo; MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/exp.


Nyiragongo (DR Congo) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Activity in the lava lake and small eruptive cone persists during December 2019-May 2020

Nyiragongo is located in the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, part of the western branch of the East African Rift System and contains a 1.2 km-wide summit crater with a lava lake that has been active since at least 1971. Volcanism has been characterized by strong and frequent thermal anomalies, incandescence, gas-and-steam emissions, and seismicity. This report summarizes activity during December 2019 through May 2020 using information from monthly reports by the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG) and satellite data.

In the December 2019 monthly report, OVG stated that the level of the lava lake had increased. This level of the lava lake was maintained for the duration of the reporting period, according to later OVG monthly reports. Seismicity increased starting in November 2019 and was detected in the NE part of the crater, but it decreased by mid-April 2020. SO2 emissions increased in January 2020 to roughly 7,000 tons/day but decreased again near the end of the month. OVG reported that SO2 emissions rose again in February to roughly 8,500 tons/day before declining to about 6,000 tons/day. Unlike in the previous report (BGVN 44:12), incandescence was visible during the day in the active lava lake and activity at the small eruptive cone within the 1.2-km-wide summit crater has since increased, consisting of incandescence and some lava fountaining (figure 72). A field survey was conducted on 3-4 March where an OVG team observed active lava fountains and ejecta that produced Pele’s hair from the small eruptive cone (figure 73). During this survey, OVG reported that the level of the lava lake had reached the second terrace, which was formed on 17 January 2002 and represents remnants of the lava lake at different eruption stages. There, the open surface lava lake was observed; gas-and-steam emissions accompanied both the active lava lake and the small eruptive cone (figures 72 and 73).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Webcam image of Nyiragongo in February 2020 showing an open lava lake surface and incandescence from the active crater cone within the 1.2 km-wide summit crater visible during the day, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions. Courtesy of OVG (Rapport OVG February 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Webcam image of Nyiragongo on 4 March 2020 showing an open lava lake surface and incandescence from the active crater cone within the 1.2 km-wide summit crater visible during the day, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions. Courtesy of OVG (Rapport OVG Mars 2020).

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data continued to show frequent strong thermal anomalies within 5 km of the summit crater through May 2020 (figure 74). Similarly, the MODVOLC algorithm reported multiple thermal hotspots almost daily within the summit crater between December 2019 and May 2020. These thermal signatures were also observed in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery within the summit crater (figure 75).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. Thermal anomalies at Nyiragongo from 27 July through May 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were frequent and strong. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) showed ongoing thermal activity (bright yellow-orange) in the summit crater at Nyiragongo during January through April 2020. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

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


Kavachi (Solomon Islands) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

8.991°S, 157.979°E; summit elev. -20 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

Kavachi is a submarine volcano located in the Solomon Islands south of Gatokae and Vangunu islands. Volcanism is frequently active, but rarely observed. The most recent eruptions took place during 2014, which consisted of an ash eruption, and during 2016, which included phreatomagmatic explosions (BGVN 42:03). This reporting period covers December 2016-April 2020 primarily using satellite data.

Activity at Kavachi is often only observed through satellite images, and frequently consists of discolored submarine plumes for which the cause is uncertain. On 1 January 2018 a slight yellow discoloration in the water is seen extending to the E from a specific point (figure 20). Similar faint plumes were observed on 16 January, 25 February, 2 March, 26 April, 6 May, and 25 June 2018. No similar water discoloration was noted during 2019, though clouds may have obscured views.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Satellite images from Sentinel-2 revealed intermittent faint water discoloration (yellow) at Kavachi during the first half of 2018, as seen here on 1 January (top left), 25 February (top right), 26 April (bottom left), and 25 June (bottom right). Images with “Natural color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity resumed in 2020, showing more discolored water in satellite imagery. The first instance occurred on 16 March, where a distinct plume extended from a specific point to the SE. On 25 April a satellite image showed a larger discolored plume in the water that spread over about 30 km2, encompassing the area around Kavachi (figure 21). Another image on 30 April showed a thin ribbon of discolored water extending about 50 km W of the vent.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Sentinel-2 satellite images of a discolored plume (yellow) at Kavachi beginning on 16 March (top left) with a significant large plume on 25 April (right), which remained until 30 April (bottom left). Images with “Natural color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Named for a sea-god of the Gatokae and Vangunu peoples, Kavachi is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the SW Pacific, located in the Solomon Islands south of Vangunu Island. Sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi ("Kavachi's Oven"), this shallow submarine basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has produced ephemeral islands up to 1 km long many times since its first recorded eruption during 1939. Residents of the nearby islands of Vanguna and Nggatokae (Gatokae) reported "fire on the water" prior to 1939, a possible reference to earlier eruptions. The roughly conical edifice rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the north and greater depths to the SE. Frequent shallow submarine and occasional subaerial eruptions produce phreatomagmatic explosions that eject steam, ash, and incandescent bombs. On a number of occasions lava flows were observed on the ephemeral islands.

Information Contacts: Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


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. 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).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 30, Number 08 (August 2005)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Anatahan (United States)

Surge photographed on 24 August; eruption halts on 3 September

Bagana (Papua New Guinea)

Lava flows and occasional ash plumes during April-September 2005

Fuego (Guatemala)

Ongoing ash emissions, lava flows, and associated hazards into 2005

Langila (Papua New Guinea)

Increased eruptive vigor leads to ashfall damage in mid-2005

Manam (Papua New Guinea)

Comparatively mild eruptions with rare minor local ashfall

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Minor ash plumes reach Rabaul Town

Reventador (Ecuador)

Generally, activity shifting from effusive towards explosive

Sheveluch (Russia)

22 September eruption generated a substantial pyroclastic flow

Soputan (Indonesia)

Sporadic explosions into mid-2005; photo of 18 July pyroclastic flow

Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom)

Through at least 5 September 2005, the lava dome continued to grow



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

Anatahan

United States

16.35°N, 145.67°E; summit elev. 790 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Surge photographed on 24 August; eruption halts on 3 September

Anatahan has erupted almost continuously since 5 January 2005, when it started a new episode of vigorous discharges. A summary of satellite images during 16 June-20 July 2005 (BGVN 30:07) showed that it was one of the most conspicuous eruptions on the planet in 2005.

Eruptions somewhat abruptly ceased on about 3 September. Significant discharges remained absent through as late as 29 September. Activity described below through early September is based on an array of material from numerous sources, including the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Washington VAAC, the U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), the press, and the Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (EMO-CNMI).

Following the general discussions of activity, a report is included contributed by Setsuya Nakada from the Earthquake Research Institute (ERI), University of Tokyo, whose team of scientists made close-range observations of a distinctive eruptive phase called an ash-cloud surge from a helicopter on 24 August. On that day they documented the surge as a robust sub-horizontal plume slowly traveling over, and in contact with, the ocean surface.

Activity during August 2005. Throughout August eruptive activity continued, with plumes rising several thousand meters above the volcano. On 1 August and during 3-9 August the National Weather Service at Tiyan, Guam, issued numerous reports for the islands of Saipan and Tinian.

On 1 August a strong sulfur odor was reported by numerous residents, and ash was observed on aircraft at Saipan International Airport. According to a news article, flights leaving the airport were delayed.

A 4 August article published in the Saipan Tribune by John Ravelo was entitled "Engine trouble forces aircraft's emergency landing." What follows comes from the opening paragraphs of that article, describing events attributed to 3 August.

"An aircraft suffered engine trouble in mid-air early last night shortly after taking off from the Saipan International Airport, prompting it to return to the tarmac for emergency landing. The Ports Police said no one was injured in the incident. This happened as Saipan, Tinian and Rota remained under volcanic haze from Anatahan until last night . . ..

"The aircraft reportedly left the Saipan airport at approximately 6 pm. Minutes later, at about 6:15 pm, Ports Police on-duty airport supervisor Sgt. Greg Arriola said his office received a call that the aircraft was coming back due to 'problems with its left engine.'

"'The aircraft landed safely. Everybody was safe,' Arriola said. He refused to elaborate and name the aircraft, saying, 'we're still checking [on] the matter.'

"Arriola did not disclose the number of passengers aboard the distressed aircraft and where the plane was supposedly bound. The haze over Saipan has resulted in flight interruptions since Monday [1 August], temporarily stranding hundreds of passengers.

"According to the U.S. Geological Survey, volcanic ash threatens jets ... as it forms deposit in engines, restricts airflow, and clogs fuel nozzles. Minute particles of volcanic ash also contaminate aircraft's ventilation, lubrication, hydraulic and electronic systems. They cause erosion and pitting of leading edges of windshields and landing lights, as well as erosion of compressor blades."

The USGS and EMO noted that a seismic station on Sarigan, Anatahan's neighboring island 6.5 km to the W, recorded more than 40 earthquakes on 9 August, three of which had magnitudes of around 4. The seismic swarm began at around 0152 and occurred over the next eight hours. At around 0539, an M 4.2 earthquake occurred, and the National Earthquake Information Center traced the event to ~ 65 km NW of Anatahan.

Tremor and long-period earthquakes were recorded through 8 August. Later, an ash plume was detected on satellite imagery by the AFWA and Washington VAAC; it was at 5-5.5 km altitude extending approximately 220-400 km NW from the summit on 9 August. A Washington VAAC report that day was the 650th Anatahan report they had issued in 2005.

During the remainder of August 2005, eruptive activity continued and ash plumes rose to 6-8 km altitude. Volcanic tremor levels ranged between 20 and 65 percent of peak levels, and long-period earthquakes occurred sporadically. But, after around 0205 on 27 August, the seismic station went off-line. During 1-3 September activity continued, with ash plumes rising to a maximum of ~ 3 km altitude.

Eruptions halt on 3 September 2005. The USGS reported that based on remote-sensing data Anatahan appeared to have stopped erupting on 3 September (UTC), and initial data documenting that circumstance represented observations between 0901 and 2308 UTC. The earlier time corresponded to when AFWA last noted visible ash on a GOES 9 image. Ash could not be detected in satellite imagery through 1825 UTC due to cloud cover. A pilot report at 2308 UTC on 3 September indicated "no activity was occurring at the volcano." The Washington VAAC reported that no ash was detected in satellite imagery through 0025 UTC on 4 September under mostly clear skies. MODIS imagery at 0040 and 0345 UTC on 4 September also show no discernible ash being erupted under clear skies.

This was the first time that the USGS and the EMO reported an absence of volcanism on Anatahan since ash-bearing discharges started in early January 2005. Since then, tremor levels have been fluctuating, with occasional Strombolian explosions.

During an overflight the week of 7 September, USGS and EMO personnel did not see any ash emissions, only low-level steam-and-gas emissions. They noted that the crater floor was covered by sediment-laden water. In East Crater they saw an active geothermal system, consisting of mud pots, mini-geysers, and steam jetting from the crater walls.

Although volcanic seismicity was at low levels through at least 16 September, according to the World Data Center for Seismology (Denver, Colorado) a M 4.4 earthquake struck the Saipan region of the Northern Mariana Islands on 9 September 2005. It occurred at about 1301 local time, with the epicenter 80 km SSW of Anatahan.

Eruption observations, 24 and 26 August 2005. The following describes a 24 August helicopter visit to the vicinity of Anatahan, which included witnessing and documenting eruptive phenomena, but not landing. Photos were also taken on 26 August while passing well to windward of the island on a commercial airliner. The report was submitted by Setsuya Nakada, who was accompanied from Japan by colleagues Takeshi Matsushima (Institute of Seismology and Volcanology, Kyushu University), and Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto (Volcano Research Center, Earthquake Reserch Institute, University of Tokyo).

They had hoped to recover GPS and tiltmeter data from stations on Anatahan, and to find, exhume, inspect, and repair any ash-covered instruments. These instrumental data span the important period starting from last year, an interval that could shed light on the behavior of the volcano and the magma system during the eruption. Geological inspection and petrological sampling were also planned.

Anatahan's seismicity changed from continuous, strong signals to undergoing intermittent pulsations around the morning of 23 August, and a large (M 4.8?) LP earthquake occurred at 2045 on 23 August. Judging from this sudden seismological change and the LP event, the USGS scientists monitoring the seismicity (Andy Lockhart, Randy White, and others) suggested suspending landing on the island for at least a few weeks.

The team decided to fly over the island without landing to assess the state of burial of their geodetic observation site. They spent about an hour in the air there (about 1000 to 1100 on the 24th) viewing and photographing the scene. Besides the pilot, the helicopter carried Nakada, Matsushima, Yoshimoto, and Juan Camacho (EMO-CMI).

During the 24 August visit, dense ash clouds issued very vigorously from the active E crater. The cloud and hung over the summit calderas, their SW rims, and swept out over the sea to the SW and W of the island.

The photographs and the impressions of Camacho and his pilot from visits in July and May 2005 suggested that the activity level was higher on 24 August. The flight disclosed an island completely covered with thick layers of both wet (dark and probably very fine) ash deposits, and fresh dry ones on the island's S slopes. The dry ones lay under the ash cloud. Green areas were restricted to spots on the outer slopes. Many gullies had begun to develop on the surface of the thick ash deposit.

The observers saw a dark eruption cloud (densely ash-laden) vigorously blasting out of the active crater. A heavy ash cloud hung over the island (figures 21 and 22). The eruption cloud rose to ~ 800 m directly above the crater, and it increased up to ~ 2,000 m over the W part of the island, where it became lighter in color. Darker, vigorous emissions also came from the east crater's W side or NW side, and less frequently from its E side. Though this may have reflected the complex circulation of air within the east crater, another possibility was that the active crater had widened recently, especially to the E. Two ash emission points may have developed inside the large active crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. View of Anatahan and plumes looking NW, taken from a helicopter around 1000 on 24 August 2005. The windward area is mantled with a light-colored, low hanging plume (far right). A large dark plume emerges from the vent (east crater); as it hugged the sea surface it advanced roughly horizontally and comparatively slowly A spike of light-colored cloud rises above the darker plume, over an area over the sea but not far from the island. Courtesy of T. Matsushima.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. View of Anatahan looking from the S taken during the helicopter inspection around 1000 on 24 August. In addition to the eruptive clouds, this photo includes the eruptive vent area and some portions of the tephra covered island. Courtesy of T. Matsushima.

Seismic amplitudes during the flight were weaker than recorded the afternoon of 23 August. Seismic signals consisted of intermittent pulses with duration intervals from 5 to 20 minutes. Such signals could presumably have corresponded with a series of Strombolian explosions, but on the flight these were not seen. No projectiles were observed—even near the base of the eruption cloud—although the vent was obscured by a profusion of drifting clouds (figures 1 and 2). Abundant ash-laden clouds passed vigorously and continuously from the active crater, escaping in cycles of five's to ten's of minutes in duration, intervals seemingly similar to the seismicity during the flight.

Abundant ash fell from the dark ash cloud that drifted to the SW of the crater. Around 1000 a ring of ash-cloud surge expanded on the crater's southern rim. It advanced comparatively slowly, traveling SW (figures 21 to 24). Along the sea surface, many small lobes of ash cloud developed, moving slowly. These were reminiscent of lobes seen in surges observed at the Tar River Valley delta during the Soufrière Hills eruption. These eruptive scenes also appeared very similar to those observed on 29 August 2000 at Miyake-jima (Nakada and others, 2005a), where a low-temperature ash-cloud surge moved slowly from the summit crater. In the case of the ash-cloud surge seen at Anatahan, it may be that the passage across sea water had a profound influence, triggering behavior more closely phreatomagmatic than purely magmatic in character. The ash-cloud surge took place mainly as the observers approached the island. The surge was thought to correlate to an interval of elevated seismicity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. A close-up photograph documenting ash-cloud complexities from the eruption at Anatahan at about 1000 on 24 August. Looking N, the photo focused on a part of the dark ash cloud above the ocean. The plume is both dropping ash and billowing upwards. Along the cloud base and adjacent the ocean surface grew a light-colored fringe of expanding clouds. Courtesy of S. Nakada.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. A N-looking photo of the 24 August eruption at Anatahan that is similar to the previous one, but better illustrating the rising upper portions of the dark ash cloud. Courtesy of M. Yoshimoto.

Tephra buried portions of the village ~ 7 km W of the active crater and reached 1.5 m thick. A photograph revealed that the GPS antenna, within a 50-cm-high pillar, remained distinct even though under considerable ash. The cable to the computer was also partly visible inside a collapsed hut, suggesting the prospect of still retrieving the data. The GPS end-point station ~ 1.5 km E of the crater was under a ~ 1-m-thick blanket of ash, but again the GPS antenna was seen on the edge of a small pond.

A thermal imaging camera system took an essentially simultaneous thermal (infrared) image and a visible-light photograph (figure 25). The eruption cloud was too dense to capture the temperature distribution near the floor of the crater area. Instead, the images represented only the temperature distribution of the cooler, outer portions of the clouds, where temperatures ranged from 19.5 to 27°C (figure 25).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Anatahan's vent area emitting copious rising clouds as recorded in both a conventional (visible wavelength) photograph and a nearly simultaneous (infrared wavelength) thermal image. The photographer was looking northward from S of the crater around 1100 on 24 August. The shots were made with a thermal imaging camera (Thermo Tracer TH9100MV, NEC San-Kei Instruments, Ltd.) that takes the thermal and visual images in rapid succession. Courtesy of M. Yoshimoto.

As Nakada and colleagues departed from the Mariana Islands, Anatahan's eruption was seen again (figure 26), this time from a commercial air flight (Northwest Airlines' flight NW0078) traveling from Saipan to Nagoya and departing at 0930 on 26 August 2005. The plume was directed SW. In addition to the very different plume morphology seen that day, the eruptive intensity was judged to have been higher than on 24 August (figure 26).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Three views of Anatahan looking SW as it discharged a large, buoyant ash plume on 26 August 2005. Photographs were taken en route from Saipan (CMI) to Nagoya (Japan). Courtesy of S. Nakada.

References. Hilton and others, 2005, Introduction to the special issue on the 2003 eruption of Anatahan Volcano, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI): Jour. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., v. 146, p. 1-7.

Nakada and others, 2005a, Chronology and products of the 2000 eruption of Miyakejima Volcano, Japan: Bull. Volcanol., v. 67, p. 205-218.

Nakada and others, 2005b, Geological aspects of the 2003-2004 eruption of Anatahan Volcano, Northern Mariana Islands: Jour. Volcanol. Geothermal. Res. 146, p. 226-240.

Watanabe and others, 2005, Geodetic constraints for the mechanism of Anatahan eruption of May 2003: Jour. Volcanol. Geothermal. Res., v. 146, p. 77-85.

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

Information Contacts: Juan Takai Camacho and Ramon Chong, Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (EMO-CNMI), PO Box 100007, Saipan, MP 96950, USA (URL: http://www.cnmihsem.gov.mp/); Charles Holliday and Jenifer E. Piatt, U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA)/XOGM, Offutt Air Force Base, NE 68113, USA; Randy White and Frank Trusdell, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025-3591, USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/nmi/activity/); Andrew B. Lockhart, USGS, Cascades Volcano Observatory, 1300 SE Cardinal Court, Bldg. 10, Suite 100, Vancouver, WA 98683, USA; Saipan Tribune, PMB 34, Box 10001, Saipan, MP 96950, USA (URL: http://www.saipantribune.com/); Setsuya Nakada and Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, Volcano Research Center, Earthquake Research Institute (ERI), University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/nakada/anat_hp/anat_200508/, http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/VRC/index_E.html); Takeshi Matsushima, Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (SEVO), Graduate School of Science, Kyushu University, 2-5643-29 Shin'yama, Shimabara, Nagasaki 855-0843, Japan (URL: http://www.sevo.kyushu-u.ac.jp/).


Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — August 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Bagana

Papua New Guinea

6.137°S, 155.196°E; summit elev. 1855 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flows and occasional ash plumes during April-September 2005

Bagana was last reported on in June 2004 (BGVN 29:06) summarizing MODIS thermal alerts during 1 January 2001-31 May 2004. Lava flows, which had erupted at an unknown time, were described in BGVN 29:05. Bagana has been in long-term eruption since 1972, but the volcano's remote location and intervals of separatist conflict on the island had restricted access by observatory staff, and subsequent reports remained infrequent. Several Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) reports addressed Bagana volcanism during March-September 2005, revealing conditions seen on the ground. There were numerous MODVOLC thermal alerts posted for Bagana during the reporting interval. The rest of the reports relied on satellite-based observations of plumes produced for the purpose of aircraft safety.

RVO noted that during April 2005 Bagana continued its effusive eruption of lava. The summit crater released weak to moderate volumes of thick white vapor on most days. Occasional gray to brown ash plumes were reported. White vapor was visible in some areas of the SW flank. Summit glow was visible on most nights when it was clear, associated with the active lava flow on the upper S flanks. White vapor visible on the upper SW flank during daytime was also associated with a lava flow. Occasional loud roaring noises like jet engines and booming noises were heard on 17, 19, and 30 April. Some of the noises accompanied emission of thick, dark gray ash clouds.

According to the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), on 17 March 2005 at 0726 a very small plume to ~ 2.4 km altitude and hot spot were visible on satellite imagery. Satellite imagery at 0551 on 13 May revealed a thin plume extending 28 km ESE below 3 km altitude. Similar plumes, blowing W, were identified at 0537 on 14 May and at 0634 on 15 May.

A plume from Bagana was observed in satellite imagery for 8 June. Darwin VAAC stated that the plume initially extended 65 km WSW, then W later in the day. The height of the plume was not stated. US Air Force Weather Agency analysts indicated that at 0955 local time on 8 June (2355 UTC on 7 June) the plume extended at least ~ 38 km W, rising up to ~ 3 km, and the MODIS image they provided showed four volcanoes in the region all emitting plumes (figure 7).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. A DMSP image highlighting a Bagana plume seen on 20 June 2005. For scale, near its broad SE end, Bougainville island is ~50 km wide (measured in the NE-SW direction). Both images provided courtesy of NASA and the US AFWA.

During 13-19 June, Bagana was relatively quiet with variable amounts of white vapor emitted from the crater. Weak projections of incandescent lava were visible until 17 June. During 8-10 June, several low-level plumes emitted from Bagana were visible on satellite imagery extending mainly to the WSW. A plume from Bagana visible on satellite imagery on 21 June extended W. The height of the plume was not reported. A thin plume emitted from Bagana was visible on satellite imagery on 30 June. The height of the plume was not reported.

During 10-16 August, the Darwin VAAC reported that satellite observations showed an ash plume from Bagana visible at a height of ~ 3 km, extending ~ 40 km SW of the summit. Ash was not visible on the image.

During 15-21 August, volcanic activity at Bagana remained at low levels. Variable amounts of thick white vapor were emitted from the summit crater. During several nights, dull-to-moderately bright incandescence was visible. Occasional low roaring noises were heard on 15 and 20 August. At night dull to moderately bright glow was visible on 16, 18, 20, and 21 August. On 20 August, lava flowed from the main crater. Incandescent lava avalanches occasionally originated from unstable areas of the lava flow.

Between 22 and 28 August 2005, Bagana was quiet. The summit crater released variable amounts of white vapor throughout. Continuous roaring noises were heard during a 30-minute period on 23 August, and bright glow was visible the nights of 23 and 24 August. There was a single expulsion of a thick dark ash plume on 24 August.

During 12-18 September 2005, occasional small volumes of ash escaped, and emissions consisted chiefly of weak to moderate volumes of white vapor. Beginning on 17 September occasional sub-continuous booming noises commenced. Some of the booming noises were accompanied by forceful emissions of whitish-brown ash clouds. This activity continued on 18 September. Ash plumes from the activity drifted to W and NW resulting in fine ashfall in downwind areas. Occasional sub-continuous jet-like noises began to occur on 18 September along with a reported lava flow. Glow was observed at night on 14 and 18 September. This could have been associated with cascading lava detached from steep portions of an active lava flow.

The seismograph remained off from 15 August onward through the reporting period due to technical problems.

Geologic Background. Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea ; 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/).


Fuego (Guatemala) — August 2005 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 emissions, lava flows, and associated hazards into 2005

Fuego remained active into 2005, although this report focuses on the interval 31 December 2003 through 11 May 2004. A previous report discussed activity through the end of 2003 (BGVN 29:11); this report, based mainly on information from INSIVUMEH (Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meterologia y Hidrologia) covers the interval from end of 2003 to 11 May 2004.

Figure 7 is a map of the Fuego-Acatenango region, emphasizing drainages and settlements frequently mentioned in activity and hazard reports. Fuego is moderately close to the centers of some of Guatemala's largest cities, including the Capital (2-3.5 million inhabitants, ~ 40 km NNE of Fuego's summit) and Antigua (~ 32,000 inhabitants, ~ 18 km NNE).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. A sketch map of Fuego and adjacent Acatenango centered several kilometers S of these edifices. Numerous drainages emerge from the stratovolcano, their paths trending radially outward as well as in many cases curving decidedly S with distance from the volcano. Abbreviations 'R.' and 'Q.' apply to the Spanish-language terms Río (river) and Quebrada (canyon, and in this region these are often steep-sided, essentially gorges). 'F' stands for finca (farm or plantation, many of which grow the renowned Antigua coffee). A few contours are shown around these volcanoes (labeled in meters above sea level). The Fuego-Acatenango complex also contains two smaller (unlabeled) topographic highs, each one a few kilometers N of the better known peaks (i.e. N of Fuego, Meseta, and N of Acatenango, Yepocapa). Several towns off the map's margins are indicated with arrows and distances. Compiled by Bulletin editors from topographic maps.

CONRED, the Guatemalan hazards agency (Cordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres) posted hazard information on their website, in part using a map format noting conditions seen from various perspectives. For example, the map issued for 9 January 2004 (during the largest crisis of the interval), included a title, a legend, a summary of critical hazards-oriented observations. One portion of the 9 January map reported a local wind velocity, N-NW at 12-18 km/hr, and the occurrence of fine and very fine ash falling within 5 to 15 km of the crater. The map also included key radio base stations and for each, a summary of the day's message content.

Many early 2005 observations were hampered by rainfall. Table 4 summarizes numerous INSIVUMEH daily reports during February, but for the bulk of the entries, it chiefly presents Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Reports to portray longer time spans.

Table 4. Samples of Fuego activity during 31 December 2003 through 11 May 2004. Summaries based largely on Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Reports are shown as multi-day intervals (marked with an asterisk, "*"). Most of the reported eruptions in column 3 were ash bearing. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH.

Date Maximum plume height (above summit) and bearing Activity Description
31 Dec-06 Jan 2004* -- During 1-5 January, lava emitted from Fuego flowed 70-100 m from the crater. Avalanches from the lava-flow fronts traveled W toward Santa Teresa ravine and toward Trinidad ravine. Seismic stations on the volcano recorded almost continuous harmonic tremor.
07 Jan-13 Jan 2004* ~3 km Ash emission starting around 1500-1600 on 8 January (see text).
21 Jan-27 Jan 2004* ~1.5 km, SSW (22 Jan) Smaller explosions to ~700 m above the crater. Incandescent avalanches traveled a maximum distance of 1 km toward Zanjon Barranca Seca, La Trinidad, and Rio Ceniza ravines. Not ashfall in populated areas. ~1.5 km from two strong explosions (evening of 22 January); blown SSW. During the rest of the week, smaller explosions sent plumes to ~700 m above the crater.
28 Jan-03 Feb 2004* ~1.1 km Small-to-moderate explosions. The highest rising ash plume was produced from an explosion on 29 January. The plume reached above the crater and was accompanied by avalanches of volcanic material down Barranca Seca. A small amount of ash fell in Panimache village and possibly in Santa Sofia. On 31 January two small collapses in the S edge of the central crater produced small avalanches of lava blocks.
16 Feb 2004 0.3-1 km, SW Audible acoustic shock waves. Ashfall on upper edifice.
17 Feb 2004 -- Incandescent avalanches rose 200 m at night, but some traveled into the drainages of the Taniluya, Ceniza, and Zanjon Barranca Seca. A mudflow descended the Quebrada Santa Teresa (on Fuego's W-SW sides) carrying blocks up to 2 m in diameter. During 0855 to 1140 Fuego produced 10 explosions characterized as strong, resulting in warnings to civil aviation authorities. Ashfall on W- and SW-flank communities.
18 Feb 2004 1.5-1.7 km A rapid succession of 15 early morning explosions at 10- to 30-second intervals were heard up to 8 km distant from the summit. Incandescent material landed on many of the upper slopes. Judging by the quantity and weight of ash fall, INSIVUMEH inferred that the eruption caused substantial changes in the summit area. Finer ash fell for 10 to 15 minutes on Finca Sangre de Cristo and environs. Besides aviation safety, concerns included drinking-water contamination. Ashfall up to 8 km from summit.
20 Feb 2004 1.5-2 km; light to moderate S winds Loud outbursts and incandescent avalanches down the W-flank valleys of the Seca, Taniluya, and Trinidad rivers, and to lesser extent down SE-flank valleys of the Las Lajas-El Jute rivers. Ash-bearing emissions came from the central crater at 4- to 9-minute intervals. Some traces of ash noted to the N, in the Capital.
25 Feb-02 Mar 2004* ~1.7 km Weak-to-moderate explosions continued at Fuego, producing plumes above the crater. Avalanches of volcanic material traveled down several ravines, including Trinidad, Ceniza, Santa Teresa, and Taniluya (to the W). Explosions on 28 February deposited small amounts of fine ash in the village of Sangre de Cristo, and explosions on 29 February deposited ash W and SW of the volcano in the villages of Yepocapa and La Cruz.
04 Mar-08 Mar* ~1.5 km On 5, 7, and 8 March avalanches of incandescent volcanic material traveled as far as 1.5 km down several ravines, including Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, and Trinidad. Explosions on the 7th and 8th deposited ash 6-10 km from Fuego, including in the villages of Sangre de Cristo and Panimache.
10 Mar-16 Mar 2004* ~1.7 km Explosions; incandescent avalanches as far as 600 m down ravines on the volcano's W, SW, and S flanks; ash fell in W- to SW-flank settlements from Sangre de Cristo to Panimache and Finca Morelia.
17 Mar-23 Mar 2004* ~1.3 km Volcanic material traveled down the Seca ravine; ash fell in the village of Sangre de Cristo.
24 Mar-30 Mar 2004* ~1 km Three strong explosions were recorded on 26 March; they caused incandescent avalanches in the Zanjon Barranca Seca and Trinidad ravines. On 29 March two explosions within 7 minutes produced ash plumes. A lahar occurred on 29 March in the Zanjon Barranca Seca ravine.
31 Mar-06 Apr* 2004 ~1.2 km (5 April, drifting SSE) Lahars flowed down Seca Ravine on 30 March, and passed near the village of Sangre de Cristo on 3 April. Incandescent avalanches descended several ravines, including Santa Teresa, Ceniza, and Taniluya.
07 Apr-13 Apr 2004* ~1 km Lava flowed 75-100 m from the central crater and avalanches of volcanic material traveled as far as 400 m towards Santa Teresa and Taniluya ravines.
14 Apr-20 Apr 2004* ~2.3 km (16 April, drifting S) During 18-19 April, small eruptions hurled incandescent material up to 50 m above the vent.
21 Apr-27 Apr 2004* ~1 km (steam) Weak explosions produced steam clouds above the volcano. In addition, small avalanches of volcanic material occasionally traveled W toward Santa Teresa Ravine.
28 Apr-04 May 2004* ~1.5 km Ash-bearing explosions. On 28 April, an explosion produced an ash plume above the volcano, and ash was deposited ~4 km SW of the volcano in the villages of Panimache I and Panimache II. In addition, a small volcanic avalanche traveled W toward the Santa Teresa ravine.
05 May-11 May 2004* -- Explosions chiefly produced gas-and-ash clouds. On 5 May a small lahar traveled to the W down Seca ravine.

From the table, the pattern emerges of ongoing emissions with frequent plumes to 1 km and occasional higher plumes (several to ~2 km and one to ~3 km). Similar to previous months, the reports frequently mention dislodged lava blocks and mass wasting of volcanic materials.

The highest plume found in available reports of the interval occurred on 8 January 2004, when an ash plume rose ~3 km over the summit. Traces of ash fell in the Capital during this episode.

Fuego began its 8 January eruption around 1500 to 1600, expelling thick, broad columns of gases and ash to ~3 km above the crater. There were 25-30 explosions a minute accompanied by loud rumbling noises and acoustical shock waves felt 12 km away. Although no evacuations were ordered, settlements on the upper flanks were considered at risk, including San Andrés Iztapa, Chimaltenango, Comalapa, San Martín Jilotepeque, San José Poaquil, and Yepocapa.

The Washington VAAC added these observations: "[GOES 12] satellite imagery shows two plumes moving away from the volcano. The higher plume extends approximately 75 nm [~140 km] to the [N] and is estimated to be around FL250 [shorthand for 25,000 feet altitude, ~8 km]. A lower plume extends approximately 70 nm [126 km] to the [W] and is estimated to be up to FL190 (19,000 feet altitude, ~6 km). Hot spot activity has been fairly strong and constant over the past several hours."

A 20 February report described continued vigorous activity; ash emissions from the central crater rose to heights of 1.5-2 km above the summit (table 1). Light to moderate winds again blew the ash N and some traces fell in the Capital.

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, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Ministero de Communicaciones, Transporto, Obras Públicas y Vivienda, 7a. Av. 14-57, zona 13, Guatemala City 01013, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/); Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), Av. Hincapié 21-72, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (NOAA/NESDIS), 4700 Silver Hill Road, Stop 9910, Washington, DC 20233-9910, USA (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/).


Langila (Papua New Guinea) — August 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)


Increased eruptive vigor leads to ashfall damage in mid-2005

The Darwin VAAC issued an activity report stating that the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) had noted elevated activity since 24 April 2005. Between 28 April 2005 and 4 May 2005 Langila emitted more ash than normal, and the International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) determined that ~ 3,490 people had been affected by the eruption when ashfall damaged small food gardens and contaminated some water sources.

VAAC reports on 4 May and 6-7 May noted thin plumes extending NW 110 km and 75 km, respectively. Later, on 7-8 May, the identifiable plume was half as long and diminishing. Plumes and other diagnostics eventually became obscured by weather clouds. On 8 June analysts at the Darwin VAAC saw a low-altitude plume and a hot spot. The plume moved westward and remained visible into 9 June when it ceased being detectible.

During 13-19 June 2005, Langila's Crater 2 continued to erupt. At times the eruption was marked by moderate to strong emissions of thick gray-brown ash clouds occurring at irregular intervals. Ash clouds from the eruption rose variably to 700-1000 m before they were blown to the W and NW. At other times weak to moderate emissions of light gray ash clouds were observed. Considerable ash fell near the volcano and extended to the W and NW, between Warimo and Aimola. Crater 3 was quiet. Low and high frequency earthquakes and volcanic tremor were recorded.

The Darwin VAAC reported a Langila plume on 13 June to 3-4 km altitude, but cloud cover later obscured the plume. Another plume became visible on imagery on 16 June moving W at 30 km/hour at an estimated altitude of ~ 3 km; ongoing plumes became hard to see about mid-day on 17 June. Several other episodes of plume image detection were seen. One was identified by the VAAC on 21 June, with an observation of altitude to ~ 3 km and plume length reaching 300 km to the NW. The evidence of eruption only continued until the next day, when cloud cover obscured the area. A further, brief episode of plume detection occurred beginning early on 25 June but detection ended before noon. On 30 June, the Darwin VAAC repeated a US Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) report on a Langila plume seen on imagery, blowing SW at 20 km/hr and reaching ~ 3 km altitude. By about 6 hours later that plume ceased to be visible.

Moderate levels of volcanic activity occurred at Langila's Crater 2 during 15-21 August. The activity was marked by occasional sub-continuous forceful emissions of ash clouds. The ash clouds rose as high as 1 km before drifting N and NW. Fine ash fell in villages along the coast. On the evening of 18 August projections of incandescent lava fragments were seen. Based on a pilot report, the Darwin VAAC reported that ash from Langila was visible in the vicinity of the volcano on 23 August, at 3-4.6 km altitude. A plume was seen a bit later on MODIS imagery extending 110 km to the NNW but ash was not visible in satellite imagery.

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 E flank of the extinct Talawe volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the N 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. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) (URL: https://reliefweb.int/); U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA)/XOGM, Offutt Air Force Base, NE 68113, USA; 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/).


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — August 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)


Comparatively mild eruptions with rare minor local ashfall

Manam erupted several times during October-December 2004 and January 2005 (BGVN 29:10, 29:11). The eruption on the evening of 27 January 2005 (BGVN 30:02) was more severe than the previous ones during the current eruption period; there were 14 people injured and one person killed at Warisi village. During April and May 2005, mild eruptive activity continued. Manam remained at Alert Level 2 from February 2005 through late May.

Throughout April 2005, both summit craters released occasional pale gray to brown ash clouds to a few hundred meters above the summit before being blown SW, W, and NW, resulting in fine ashfall. Occasional low rumbling and roaring noises from Southern Crater were heard on 23 April and 29 April. A weak to moderate glow accompanied by projections of incandescent lava fragments was visible on 28 April and 30 April. There were no audible noises and no night-time glow from the Main Crater.

April seismicity was at low-moderate level. Occasional weak volcanic tremors were recorded during the month. The daily number of low frequency earthquakes range between 700 and 1350.

A pilot reported an eruption on 13 June at 0445 UTC. The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reported that ash plumes from Manam were visible on satellite imagery on 16-17 June, 30 June, and 1-2 July. On 19 July ash from Manam was visible extending SW on satellite imagery. Ash was also visible on satellite imagery on 20 July. In all instances, the heights of the plumes were not reported.

According to the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory (RVO), during 15-21 August low-level volcanic activity continued at Manam, and the alert level was reduced to level 1. On 15 August, ash was emitted from Southern Crater. The Darwin VAAC reported that a low-level plume from Manam was visible on satellite imagery on 22 August. Mild eruptive activity continued during 22-28 August, with occasional emissions of weak-to-moderate ash plumes on several days. Ash clouds emitted on 22 and 26 August rose several hundred meters above the volcano's crater and drifted NW, depositing ash in areas between the towns of Jogari and Kuluguma, and beyond to Boisa Island.

During September, the Main Crater continued to release weak emissions of thin white-gray ash clouds. On 17 September, the ash clouds increased slightly in volume and were blown to the NW part of the island. No glow was observed at night and technical problems thwarted seismic recording. Manam remained at Alert Level 1, indicating low levels of activity, through 19 September.

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

Information Contacts: Ima Itikarai, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; Andrew Tupper, 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 (Papua New Guinea) — August 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Rabaul

Papua New Guinea

4.271°S, 152.203°E; summit elev. 688 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash plumes reach Rabaul Town

The February 2005 eruption from the Tarvurvur cone at Rabaul and its aftermath were previously described (BGVN 30:07). In late August and September 2005 Tavurvur continued to produce discrete light to pale gray ash emissions. Emissions occurred at irregular intervals and with varying frequency. Discrete explosions also occurred. Ash plumes rose between 800 and 1500 m before they were blown to the N and NW, resulting in some ashfall on the eastern half of Rabaul Town. Areas further downwind were also affected. Roaring and rumbling noises accompanied the activity. Projections of incandescent lava fragments were visible at night but were less conspicuous compared to previous weeks.

Seismicity was at moderate to high levels, with most earthquakes associated with ash emissions and explosions. Small low frequency earthquakes not associated with ash emissions were also recorded. Ground deformation measurements from global positioning system (GPS) and tide gauge instruments fluctuated but the general trend showed a very slow rate of uplift.

One high frequency earthquake occurred on 12 September NE of Tavurvur. Prevailing SE winds during the last several months caused the ash plumes to drift to the N and NW. During 12-18 September there were some brief periods of NW winds that could mark the beginning of gradual wind transition from SE to NW winds, directions that would blow ash plumes away from Rabaul Town.

Geologic Background. The low-lying Rabaul caldera on the tip of the Gazelle Peninsula at the NE end of New Britain forms a broad sheltered harbor utilized by what was the island's largest city prior to a major eruption in 1994. The outer flanks of the 688-m-high asymmetrical pyroclastic shield volcano are formed by thick pyroclastic-flow deposits. The 8 x 14 km caldera is widely breached on the east, where its floor is flooded by Blanche Bay and was formed about 1400 years ago. An earlier caldera-forming eruption about 7100 years ago is now considered to have originated from Tavui caldera, offshore to the north. Three small stratovolcanoes lie outside the northern and NE caldera rims. Post-caldera eruptions built basaltic-to-dacitic pyroclastic cones on the caldera floor near the NE and western caldera walls. Several of these, including Vulcan cone, which was formed during a large eruption in 1878, have produced major explosive activity during historical time. A powerful explosive eruption in 1994 occurred simultaneously from Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes and forced the temporary abandonment of Rabaul city.

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


Reventador (Ecuador) — August 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Reventador

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Generally, activity shifting from effusive towards explosive

Reventador ceased extruding significant new lava flows in early July 2005. Subsequent activity through this report interval, late September, was manifested as intermittent explosive eruptions. These were characterized alternately as Strombolian activity and short-duration Vulcanian events.

After the post-effusive phase and during the explosive phase a significant Vulcanian event took place at 2058 on 12 September, producing an ash column more than 5 km above the summit. Large bombs were ejected more than 2 km from the vent and small pyroclastic flows were evident in gullies descending from the cone. This event was preceded by more than a week of relative quiescence, indicating that future Vulcanian eruptions may occur with little warning.

This report was submitted by Jeffrey B. Johnson (University of New Hampshire), who collaborated with colleagues including Patricio Ramón, Liliana Troncoso, Guillermo Viracucha, Jaime Lozada, Daniel Andrade, David Rivero, Gorky Ruiz, Pete Hall, and Wilson Enriquez (Geophysical Institute, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, IG-EPN). They adhered to the practice of numerically naming lava flows, for example Lava ##5.

End of significant lava effusions. BGVN 30:05 provided a detailed overview of recent active lavas erupted by Reventador between April 2005 and the end of June 2005. Visits to the caldera on 1 July revealed dramatic diminution in the advance rate of Lava ##5 along the southern caldera margin. Within the first few days of July, Lava ##5 had stagnated. Its furthest extent was ~ 4.5 km from the vent and about 50 m short of the furthest extent of Lava ##4 (erupted in May 2005), which it was overriding.

Since the first few days in July, major lava extrusion had terminated. Despite intermittent MODIS thermal alerts (~ 1 per week from University of Hawaii (HIGP)), no significant lava flows have been directly observed by IG-EPN personnel or reported by the local populace. During July, it is likely that small lava flow(s) (under 1 km in length) were extruded from the southern breach of the cone during short-lived events lasting a few days or less. For instance, a photo taken on 1 August (figure 23) indicates a short, fresh lobe (named Lava ##6), which was no longer incandescent during a night-time visit on 3 August.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Photograph of a fresh lava flow at Reventador on 1 August 2005. The flow, which appears as a white lobe, was stagnant. Courtesy of J. Johnson and the Geophysical Institute.

Explosive activity. Pyroclastic explosions, which first occurred in early June 2005, continued intermittently until 25 September 2005. Significant Strombolian activity was noted at night by the local populace in the first few days of July, coincident with the decline of Lava ##5 extrusion. In mid-July, explosive activity was minimal, but increased towards the end of the month and during August. Between explosions, voluminous vapor plumes were often observed and loud degassing sounds were often audible, but at times the volcano was also completely silent. Incandescence was also often visible in the cone, suggesting an open-vent configuration. Periods of quiescence separated explosive activity and generally lasted hours to days. Typical eruptive events, which occurred as many as 26 times a day (i.e., on 15 September), are identified clearly by seismic records. These emissions tend to alternate between discrete pyroclastic-laden, ash-rich explosions and extended-duration Strombolian-type fountaining (figure 24). Both types of events were capable of erupting large blocks up and over the crater rim (~ 200 m above the vent), which were often sufficiently massive to be visible from the highway ~ 7.5 km distant.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Strombolian activity at Reventador depicted in a sequence of still images taken at one-minute intervals along with accompanying infrasonic and seismic traces (signals recorded ~ 1.8 km from the vent). Courtesy of J. Johnson and the Geophysical Institute.

A period of relative quiescence, marked by an absence of large ash-generating plumes, was evident at the end of August and during first days of September. Vent incandescence was also notably absent during several days up until the large explosion at ~ 2058 on 12 September.

Preceded by a swarm of small volcano-tectonic events, the explosion was manifested by very short-duration transient signals, with arriving infrasonic and seismic waves lasting less than ~ 1 minute. However, peak-to-peak amplitudes the respective signals (~ 211 Pa and 4.9 mm/s) were substantially greater than other explosive events occurring at the volcano during recent months.

As previously mentioned, this short-duration explosion generated a more than 5 km-high ash-cloud and ejected large bombs aerially to more than 2 km. Small pyroclastic flows were confined to gullies on the cone and reached at least 1.5 km from the vent (figure 25).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Photos of Reventador cone taken 12 days apart (13 and 25 September 2005, from different angles) show the channels and deposits of small pyroclastic flows. Arrow connects same location on cone in both frames. Courtesy of J. Johnson and the Geophysical Institute.

Since this large event, incandescence has been routinely present in the crater and explosions have occurred with greater frequency (figure 26). Further large explosions occurring in the morning of 24 September were likely responsible for more pyroclastic deposits evident on the upper cone and in upper-flank gullies (figure 25, right-hand photo).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Summary of explosion counts at Reventador as identified by the IG-EPN seismic network between 1 June and 23 September 2005. Courtesy of J. Johnson and the Geophysical Institute.

Monitoring. Reventador continues to be closely monitored by the IG-EPN (figure 27). A telemetered seismic network, consisting of three local short-period seismometers, is used to quantify the eruptive chronology of the volcano, including the quantities of volcano-tectonic events (VT), long-period events (LP), hybrid events, and harmonic and spasmodic tremor, and explosion events. Three temporary stand-alone dataloggers with broad-band seismometers and infrasonic microphones, installed with collaboration from the University of New Hampshire and the University of North Carolina, have supplemented this network throughout the summer.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Summary of Reventador seismicity since 1 June 2005. Many of the tremor events were associated with vigorous degassing at the vent. Courtesy of J. Johnson and the Geophysical Institute.

Additionally, field visits by IG-EPN personnel have been conducted regularly. During an expedition on August 28, Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) and Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) measurements were made to assess gas and thermal flux, respectively. DOAS measurements revealed a continuing flux of SO2 estimated at ~ 850 tons/day. The FLIR measurements confirmed near-magmatic temperatures at the vent. It also confirmed stagnation of all lava flows on the volcano since their maximum surface temperatures had cooled into the range of ~ 50°C.

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: Jeffrey B. Johnson, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA; Patricio Ramón, Liliana Troncoso, Guillermo Viracucha, Jaime Lozada, Daniel Andrade, David Rivero, Gorky Ruiz, Pete Hall, and Wilson Enriquez, Geophysical Institute (IG), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Apartado 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/).


Sheveluch (Russia) — August 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


22 September eruption generated a substantial pyroclastic flow

From March 2005 until July 2005, the lava dome at Shiveluch continued to grow and ash-and-gas plumes and gas-and-steam plumes were frequent (BGVN 30:06). The alert level was at Orange.

On 7 July, the Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti) reported that Shiveluch was producing pyroclastic flows and ash plumes rising to 5 km altitude. On 8 July, Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) raised the alert level from Orange to Red, the highest level. Video footage taken the same day showed weak gas-and-steam plumes rising to ~ 5 km altitude. On 9 July, ash-and-gas plumes rose to 3 km altitude and the alert level was reduced to Orange. Ash plumes extended 27 km SW of the volcano during July 11-12.

Through July and August, the lava dome continued to grow and Shiveluch remained at alert level Orange. On 15 July, RIA Novosti reported that "[m]assive ash emissions from Shiveluch...are posing danger to nearby towns and villages. The Federal Earthquake Prediction Center's Kamchatka branch said ash storms, as well as mudflows from Shiveluch's slopes, could be dangerous for nearby settlements . . .. [T]he volcano began emitting massive ash clouds. Gas, ash, and magmatic material . . . are barreling down the slope . . .. The ash cloud has spread more than 700 kilometers to the [W] of the volcano, covering the peninsula and the nearby Sea of Okhotsk with a nearly 150-kilometer-wide strip."

On 19 July KVERT reported that a gas-steam plume extended 30 km SW from the volcano on 18 July and a gas-steam plume up to 3.5 km altitude was observed on 19 July. On 19 July, 23 July, and during 5-12 August, satellite data from the USA and Russia indicated a persistent 1 to 7 pixel thermal anomaly at the dome. On 23 July and 6 August, incandescence was observed at the lava dome. Fumarolic activity was visible on 6 August.

During 19-26 August, about ten shallow earthquakes were recorded, and a larger thermal anomaly was visible on satellite imagery. On 19 August a new viscous lava flow was emitted from the lava dome and continued to flow during 26 August to 9 September. Several ash plumes reached ~ 5.5 km altitude.

On 5 September, an ash plume rose to ~ 4 km altitude. On 8 September, a hot avalanche was accompanied by an ash plume that rose to a height of ~ 3.5 km altitude. The large thermal anomaly continued during the first week of September. On 7 September RIA Novosti reported that Shiveluch "is spewing gas and ash to heights of up to 5,000 feet [1.5 km]". On 16 September KVERT reported that the dome was continuing to grow and that viscous lava continued to flow from the dome. Incandescence at the lava dome was observed on 13 September. Gas-steam plumes up to 3.5 km altitude and a large thermal anomaly were registered all week.

On 22 September KVERT raised the alert level to Red, the highest level, and reported that according to seismic data, at 05:15 UTC on 22 September, a paroxysmal eruption began. Ash plumes reached a height about 7.5 km altitude, and ash fall was noted from 06:00 until 08:00 UTC on 22 September by seismologists working about 9 km SW of the volcano.

KVERT reported, based on US and Russian satellite data, an ash cloud with a diameter of ~ 20 km located ~ 90 km to the NW of the volcano and, based on Russian satellite data, an ash cloud with a diameter of ~ 15 km located ~ 20 km to the SSE at about 3 km altitude. Ash fall was observed in Klyuchi on the night of 22 September. According to visual data, a new pyroclastic flow extended 10-15 km.

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — August 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Sporadic explosions into mid-2005; photo of 18 July pyroclastic flow

On 18 October 2004 Soputan exploded, releasing a column of white-to-gray ash floating as high as 600 m above the crater rim and drifting E (BGVN 29:12).

On 12 December an eruption around 0050 produced an E-drifting ash cloud to ~ 1 km above the volcano. It was followed by a "hot cloud" that traveled about 200 m E towards Aeseput and a lava flow that traveled SW. The eruption was preceded by increased tremor on 11 December and visible incandescence in the crater. The Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation increased the Alert Level to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). According to the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre an eruption cloud was visible on satellite imagery on 12 December at 0925 at an altitude of ~ 10.7 km.

On 1 February 2005 white vapor rose 50-75 m above the summit. Soputan began to erupt again at 0630 on 20 April, with a plume reaching ~ 1 km above the summit and drifting SE. In addition, lava fountains rose ~ 200 m above the volcano. From 1720 on 20 April until 0900 on 21 April, lava fountains rose 75-100 m. Rapid dome growth occurred and by 21 April the lava dome had spread about 250 m E and 200 m SW. On 22 April a "white ash plume" rose ~ 100 m, and on 23 April a dark gray ash plume rose to ~ 150 m and drifted NE. Ash eruptions through 24 April produced plumes to ~ 300 m above the volcano.

On 9 May a plume of white vapor rose 75 m above the summit. Soputan remained at Alert Level 2 through 9 May.

Further activities came to light as a result of a photograph taken during a violent eruption (figure 2). According to Syamsul Rizal, the photo was taken from Soputan volcano observatory, Maliku, ~ 12 km NW, on 18 July 2005. The eruption initially vented at the usual source on the NE flank. The pyroclastic flow that resulted was described from visible observations as less dense than those from collapses at Merapi and similar to those from Karangetang.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. A photo of Soputan on 18 July 2005 showing the pyroclastic flow that occurred as a result of dome collapse. Photo courtesy of DVGHM and taken by Farid Bina.

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


Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom) — August 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Soufriere Hills

United Kingdom

16.72°N, 62.18°W; summit elev. 915 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Through at least 5 September 2005, the lava dome continued to grow

Soufrière Hills was relatively quiet through April and early May 2005, with activity increasing somewhat through June and several explosive events in late June and in July (BGVN 30:06). Table 61 summarizes activity during 8 July thorough 26 August 2005. Further text brings this report through 5 September, with the comment that slow dome growth continued.

Table 61. A summary of the weekly number of earthquakes (EQs), rockfalls, and averaged spot measurements of SO2 flux at Soufriere Hills during July and August 2005. Cases of "mixed earthquakes" were unreported during the reporting interval. Date ranges go from noon on the starting day to noon on the end day. Courtesy of MVO.

Date Hybrid EQ's Volcano-tectonic EQ's Long-period EQ's Rockfalls SO2 Flux (metric tons/day)
08 Jul-15 Jul 2005 10 2 -- -- 660
15 Jul-22 Jul 2005 16 19 13 11 608
22 Jul-29 Jul 2005 4 29 5 23 510
29 Jul-05 Aug 2005 4 8 9 33 986
05 Aug-12 Aug 2005 3 3 5 14 770
12 Aug-19 Aug 2005 8 5 13 12 570
19 Aug-26 Aug 2005 6 5 13 15 900

On 6 August a vigorous eruption sent a plume to ~ 1.8 km above the volcano. Evidence of uplift and fracturing were observed on the crater floor, and an area of blocky lava resembling a small lava dome was observed. Due to poor visibility further observations will be necessary to determine if the feature is a new dome or was caused by the collapse, or uplift, of old dome rock.

Volcanic and seismic activity remained at elevated levels at Soufrière Hills during 12-19 August. Periodic ash venting continued, with a vigorous episode occurring on 18 August at 1800. On 16 August, the presence of a small blocky lava dome with talus slopes was confirmed. There was some ash venting from the dome, but no significant rockfalls were seen. Activity at Soufrière Hills remained at elevated levels during 2-9 September, the end of this reporting period. Observations made on 5 September suggested that slow lava-dome growth continued.

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

Information Contacts: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Fleming, Montserrat, West Indies (URL: http://www.mvo.ms/).

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