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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

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

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



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).


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 30, Number 11 (November 2005)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Ambae (Vanuatu)

New eruption begins on 27 November 2005 and builds cone in crater lake

Bezymianny (Russia)

Ash plumes to 10 km altitude in 2005, hot avalanches from the dome

Fournaise, Piton de la (France)

Eruption on 5 October follows four months of heightened activity

Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba (Japan)

July 2005 submarine eruption; discolored water and debris

Karthala (Comoros)

Eruption on 24 November 2005; big evacuation and one fatality

Karymsky (Russia)

Explosions continued during December 2004-June 2005

Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker (Papua New Guinea)

First historically witnessed eruption in October 2005

Langila (Papua New Guinea)

Active during August-September, decreasing during October-November

Montagu Island (United Kingdom)

N-coast delta grew during 14 September-4 October 2005



Ambae (Vanuatu) — November 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambae

Vanuatu

15.389°S, 167.835°E; summit elev. 1496 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New eruption begins on 27 November 2005 and builds cone in crater lake

A new eruption began on 27 November 2005 when vapor plumes and ash columns were observed originating from Lake Voui, a crater lake at the summit of Aoba (figure 13). The volcano is also referred to locally as Manaro or Lombenben. Prior to this activity, the most recent reported volcanism consisted of phreatic explosions from the lake during March 1995 (BGVN 20:01, 20:02, and 20:08). Bathymetry conducted by ORSTOM in 1996 showed that the vent feeding gases and magma into Lake Voui had a depth of about 150 m and a diameter of about 50 m. The volume of water in the lake (1 x 2 km) totals some 40 million cubic meters, with a mean pH of 1.8. Lake Voui and the Manaro Ngoro summit explosion craters and cones formed ~ 420 years ago (figure 14). Lake Manaro was formed by the accumulation of water in a low-lying area of the Manaro summit caldera.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Map showing the location of volcanoes, including Aoba, in Vanuatu. Open triangles indicate submarine volcanoes. Modified from a map by IRD.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Digital image of Aoba created by combing shading and color coding of topographic height. The shading indicates direction of the slopes; NW slopes appear bright, while SE slopes appear dark. Color coding shows height, with green at the lower elevations, rising through yellow and tan, to white at the highest elevations. The flattened-looking summit shows that the newest crater is actually nested within older, larger craters. Elevation data used in this image were acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on 11 February 2000. Annotations added by Smithsonian editors. Courtesy of NASA.

Starting on 3 December a team of volcanologists from the Vanuatu Department of Geology, Mines, and Water Resources (DGMWR), the French Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), the New Zealand Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences (GNS), and New Zealand's Massey University began collaborating on observations and monitoring. The amplitude of tremor recorded by DGMWR instruments from 30 November to 3 December was lower than during the March 1995 activity.

Scientists who visited the lake on 4 and 5 December (figures 15 and 16) observed a similar style of eruptive activity on both days, but some individual explosions appeared larger on the 5th. It was not possible to reach the lake to collect a water sample. There appeared to be two active vents, side by side, in the lake. One was producing eruptions of mud, rocks, and water, and the other appeared to be the source of the large continuous steam plume rising above the crater; the plume did not contain ash. There were no reports of ash falling on the island since the start of the eruptions the previous week. The team estimated that the cone being built in the lake, at an estimated height of more than 20 m on the 4th, was about 70% complete around the active vents, and grew 5-10% higher between 4 and 5 December. Continuous tremor was recorded during this time, and the level of eruptive and seismic activity seemed to be fairly stable.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Photograph showing a telephoto view of an explosive eruption from Lake Voui at Aoba, 4 December 2005. View is approximately towards the east from the crater rim. Courtesy of Philipson Bani, IRD.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Photograph showing an explosive eruption from Lake Voui at Aoba on 4 December 2005. View is approximately toward the E from the crater rim. A large steam plume can be seen rising above the darker zone containing pyroclastic material. Three small islands formed prior to this eruption can also be distinguished, with the active vent area closest to the western-most island. Courtesy of Philipson Bani, IRD.

Cloud cover and rain prevented a visit to the lake on 6 and 7 December. Earthquake recorders from the GNS were installed at the Provincial Centre at Saratamata, the Longana Peoples Centre (Lovonda village), and at Tahamamavi ("place of warm sea") (figure 17). On 7 December, a final recorder from the IRD was installed near Nduidui on the SW side of the island. Over 6-7 December continuous moderate-level volcanic tremor was recorded, with no significant change in its level; there was no other significant seismic activity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Hazard map of Aoba, showing risk areas, infrastructure, and settlements. See Cronin and others (2004) for additional details. Map produced by the United Nations, OCHA-ROAP Information Management Unit, 2 December 2005.

On 8 December, the group noted that small-scale eruptions continued in Lake Voui, building a volcanic cone in the lake and producing a tall (2.4-3.0 km) steam-and-gas plume. Afternoon observations showed the cone growing taller and surrounding three sides of the active vents. However, the cone was not complete on its E side, allowing lake water to react with the rising magma. Though the resulting explosions became further apart and slightly larger, the total energy involved appeared similar to 4-5 December. There continued to be two active vents, one producing the small explosions, and the second the steam and gas emissions. Seismic recorders continued to record volcanic tremor, but very few local earthquakes. No volcanic ash was present in the plume. The eruption had no immediate effect beyond Lake Voui. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Level 2. The level of seismic activity seemed to be stable. No other significant seismic activity was recorded.

While departing by air on the evening of 8 December, the group clearly saw the active vents (figure 18). The cone had grown to the W, joining and partly burying one of the old islands. All eruptions occurred from inside the cone. The largest individual eruptions threw material 150-200 m above the lake. There was also a gas-and-steam vent present within the cone, W of the other vent. The level of the lake appeared unchanged.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Aerial photograph showing a steam plume rising from Lake Voui at Aoba, 8 December 2005. Courtesy of Forces Armées en Nouvelle Calédonie (FANC).

On 10 December, the small-scale volcanic eruption continued from active vents within the summit crater lake (Lake Voui). Molten material entered the crater lake and reacted with the water to produce small explosive eruptions and a plume of steam and gas. The eruption built a cone around the active vents, enclosing them on three sides, forming an island about 200 m across and 50-60 m high. There were two vents, one erupting water, rocks and mud, and the other producing a tall column of steam and gas. The eruption had little effect outside the crater lake (minor ashfall occurred only in the first three days of the eruption). Five days of seismic recordings show a moderate level of seismic activity (mostly volcanic tremor).No change was noted in the level of Lake Voui, and there was also no evidence of ground uplift or fractures near the lake.

Sulfur dioxide measurements. SO2 data collected using a DOAS spectrometer on the Islander planes of Unity Air Lines (3 December) and Air Vanuatu (5 December). On 3 December the flux was 32.6-33.6 kg/s (~ 2,900 metric tons/day). By 5 December the flux had decreased about 25%, to 24.7-26.4 kg/s (~ 2,300 metric tons/day). SO2 was clearly detected by the OMI (ozone monitoring instrument) sensor on the NASA Aura satellite (figure 19). One measurement of the volcanic gas output on 10 December showed a moderate level of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas (about 2,000 t/d) from the active vents.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. SO2 data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the Aura satellite, 5 December 2005. Courtesy of NASA, the KNMI MOI Science Team, and Simon Carn, University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Lake temperatures. A monitoring station for continuous measurements of water temperature at Lake Voui was installed in October 1998. The station used a satellite ARGOS transmission system and recorded the last heating episode of 2001 (figure 20), but failed after three years due to the harsh acid environment. ASTER thermal infrared images can also be used for monitoring lake surface temperatures, and Aoba has a freshwater lake (Manaro Lakua) which can be used to remove the seasonal/diurnal variations in atmospheric temperatures. Unfortunately, the top of the volcano is frequently covered by clouds and few ASTER images are exploitable. The most recent ASTER image clearly showing both lakes was collected on 9 July 2005. Difference in temperatures between lake Voui and Lakua was 4.0°C, slightly above background values during 2002-2003. Maximum background temperatures measured with ASTER during the September 2002-October 2005 were at 26.3°C. The last ASTER images before the eruption, on 5 October 2005, showed no unusual temperatures at Lake Voui.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Temperature data from Lake Voui at Aoba, October 1998-December 2005, from in-situ measurements, ASTER satellite imagery, and MODIS satellite data. Delta T represents the thermal anomaly calculated as the temperature differences between the two lakes. The figure includes the first post-eruption ASTER data (24 December 2005). ARGOS data from Michel Halbwachs (Université de Savoie) and Michel Lardy (IRD). Courtesy of Alain Bernard.

MODIS satellites have a more frequent coverage than ASTER but their spatial resolution is only 1 km. The surface area of Lake Voui (2.1 km2) is too small for an accurate measurement of lake temperature, but MODIS can detect rough temperature changes or an increased thermal anomaly. The MODIS pixel footprint is about 1 km along track and 2 km across track, so the measured temperatures are a mixed signal corresponding to the lake and some signal from the adjacent tropical forest (much colder than the lake at night at this elevation). MODIS SST imagery showed a strong thermal anomaly on 21 November 2005 (figure 20). Approximate lake temperatures, likely a minimum, were 30.4°C on 20 November and 29.5°C (Terra)/ 31.4°C (Aqua) on 21 November. On 25 November the temperature jumped to about 42°C.

Reference. Cronin, S.J., Gaylord, D.R., Charley, D., Alloway, B.V., Wallez, S., and Esau, J.W., 2004, Participatory methods of incorporating scientific with traditional knowledge for volcanic hazard management on Ambae Island, Vanuatu: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 66, p. 652-668. (URL: http://www.proventionconsortium.org/files/tools_CRA/CS/Vanuatu.pdf)

Geologic Background. The island of Ambae, also known as Aoba, is a massive 2,500 km3 basaltic shield that is the most voluminous volcano of the New Hebrides archipelago. A pronounced NE-SW-trending rift zone dotted with scoria cones gives the 16 x 38 km island an elongated form. A broad pyroclastic cone containing three crater lakes (Manaro Ngoru, Voui, and Manaro Lakua) is located at the summit within the youngest of at least two nested calderas, the largest of which is 6 km in diameter. That large central edifice is also called Manaro Voui or Lombenben volcano. Post-caldera explosive eruptions formed the summit craters about 360 years ago. A tuff cone was constructed within Lake Voui (or Vui) about 60 years later. The latest known flank eruption, about 300 years ago, destroyed the population of the Nduindui area near the western coast.

Information Contacts: Esline Garaebiti, Douglas Charley, Morris Harrison, and Sandrine Wallez, Department of Geology, Mines, and Water Resources (DGMWR), Port-Vila, Vanuatu; Michel Lardy, Philipson Bani, Jean-Lambert Join, and Claude Robin, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), BP A5, 98 848 Nouméa CEDEX, New Caledonia (URL: http://www.suds-en-ligne.ird.fr/fr/volcan/vanu_eng/aoba1.htm); Brad Scott and Steve Sherburn, Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences (GNS), Wairakei Research Center, Taupo, New Zealand; Shane Cronin, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Palmerston, New Zealand; Alain Bernard, IAVCEI Commission on Volcanic Lakes, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium (URL: http://www.ulb.ac.be/sciences/cvl/aoba/Ambae1.html); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); United Nations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.


Bezymianny (Russia) — November 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes to 10 km altitude in 2005, hot avalanches from the dome

This report mentions a series of noteworthy events during mid-January through late December 2005. On 11 January 2005 an explosive eruption was inferred from seismic data; it was thought to have produced an ash column to 8-10 km altitude (BGVN 30:03). Seismic activity returned to background levels following this eruption and the Concern Color Code was lowered from Orange to Yellow on 14 January and remained at Yellow until the end of November 2005.

On 6-7 May 2005, weak gas-and-steam plumes were observed, but clouds frequently obscured the volcano. Thermal anomalies at the dome were detected in satellite imagery on 6-8, 10, and 12 May.

On 30 November, KVERT reported that seismicity at Bezymianny had increased during the previous two weeks. Seismic signals indicated that hot avalanches from the lava dome had begun on 29 November and the intensity of the thermal anomaly at the dome had increased. Strong fumarolic activity was captured on video of 29 November.

An explosive eruption began on 30 November at 2400 according to seismic data. Ash plumes were subsequently seen in satellite imagery extending SW at an altitude of about 6 km. The Concern Color Code was raised to Orange.

After the eruption on 30 November, seismic activity at the volcano decreased to background levels. On 2 December the Concern Color Code was reduced from Orange to Yellow. On 9 December, KVERT reported that based on past experience with Bezymianny, a viscous lava flow was probably active at the summit lava dome and there were no indications that an explosive eruption was imminent.

A gas-steam plume was visible on 9-11 December and fumarolic activity at the lava dome continued through December. Thermal anomalies were registered at the dome on 9, 17, 21, 24-25, and 27-29 December.

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

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


Piton de la Fournaise (France) — November 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Piton de la Fournaise

France

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption on 5 October follows four months of heightened activity

Increased seismicity and ground deformation from late June 2004 through 9 August preceded the third eruption of 2004, which started on 13 August (BGVN 29:12). During that eruption ~ 750 m of National Road 2 was overrun by lava. Eruptive activity ceased on the morning of 7 September 2004 (BGVN 29:12). Eruptions occurred again during February and October-December 2005.

Eruption during February 2005. A new period of heightened seismicity began on 17 February 2005 around 1300, consisting of about 100 seismic events within 90 minutes. After that, the number of events decreased, but recommenced at 1638 with several hundred events. Strong deformation was recorded at the same time by tiltmeters and the extensometer network. Eruption tremor began around 2035, becoming strong at 2050. The eruption site seemed to be situated close to Nez Coupé de Sainte Rose (on the N side of the volcano), and lava flows were observed in the Grand Brûlé area.

After a period of relative quiet on 19 February, eruption tremor increased to high levels again on 21 February. Two eruption sites were active: the principal vent at 1,600-m elevation above the Plaine des Osmondes, and a vent at about 1,200-m elevation in the Plaine des Osmondes. The principal vent released a volcanic plume and several pahoehoe lava flows, but no lava fountains were visible. The second vent also released a very fluid pahoehoe lava flow. The flows covered a large area within the Plaine des Osmondes, and smaller lava flows traveled to about 600-m elevation in the Grand Brûlé.

On 24 February, shallow seismicity began beneath Dolomieu crater. It increased over time and by 26 February, several hundreds of seismic events up to M 3 occurred. According to the Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF), these events may have indicated formation of a new pit crater within Dolomieu crater. On 24 February, visible signs of activity stopped within the Plaine des Osmondes, while eruption tremor slowly increased.

On the evening of 25 February, a lava flow from Plaine des Osmondes traveled down the Grandes Pentes, cutting the National Road on its way to the sea. The lava flow covered a distance of ~ 5 km in about 2 hours. At the same time, seismicity increased on the NE rift zone above Bois Blanc, and a new vent opened within the Trou de Sable on the N border of the caldera at 450-m elevation. This vents lava flow stopped about 100 m from the National Road.

Eruptions during October-December 2005. Another eruption started on 4 October 2005 at 1426 after 4 months of almost continuous inflation and increased seismicity. The eruption was immediately preceded by a 56-minute-long sequence of seismicity and strong summit inflation. A low-intensity eruption at Dolomieu crater produced pahoehoe lava flows that covered a small area of the western part of the crater.

Immediately after the end of the 4 October eruption at Dolomieu crater, the permanent GPS network and extensometer network continued to show strong surface deformation, which was a precursor for a new eruptive event. On 29 November 2005 at 0559 a seismic crisis began, and at 0625 tremor indicated the beginning of an eruption. A vent opened in the western part of Dolomieu crater and another vent opened on the N flank. Very little projected volcanic material was visible. A large, fast-moving lava flow traveled down the N flank in the direction of Piton Kapor. Inclement weather prohibited further observations. The Toulouse VAAC reported that ash from the eruption was not visible on satellite imagery.

Following the 29 November eruption, further summit inflation was recorded by the permanent GPS network. On 26 December at 1444 a seismic crisis started beneath Dolomieu crater. Within the next 2 hours seismic activity shifted to the NE, towards Nez Coupé de Sainte Rose. A first fissure opened at 1715 at the NE base of Piton de la Fournaise; at 2200 eruptive fissures opened in the caldera wall about 500 m E of Nez Coupé de Sainte Rose and lava flowed into the Plaine des Osmondes. By 28 December, eruptive activity was almost constant. An aa-type lava flow crossed the Grandes Brûlé and reached a point 3 km upslope from the national road.

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

Information Contacts: Thomas Staudacher, Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, 14 RN3 le 27 ème km, F-97418 La Plaine des Cafres, La Réunion, France (URL: http://www.ipgp.fr/fr/ovpf/observatoire-volcanologique-piton-de-fournaise); Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Météo-France, 42 Avenue G. Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse Cedex, France (URL: http://www.meteo.fr/vaac/).


Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba (Japan) — November 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba

Japan

24.285°N, 141.481°E; summit elev. -29 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


July 2005 submarine eruption; discolored water and debris

Notice of Fukutoku-Okanoba unrest in 2005 first came to Bulletin editors from Olivier Hyvernaud, information that was amplified by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) Volcanic Activity Reports of July and October 2005. The JMA reports contain information from the Japanese Marine Defense Forces as well as the Marine Security and Safety Agency and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In addition, a Japan Coast Guard website (see URL below) contains a more extensive (and yet untranslated) table on recent events at Fukutoku-Okanoba, which includes photos and videos of the July eruption. That table clearly illustrates activity both earlier and later than the 2-3 July eruption, and several other details not discussed here, including the observation of numerous large and steaming blocks floating on the ocean surface at mid-day on 3 July. Bulletin editors hope to decipher this table and include more details in a later report.

The last five Bulletin reports discussing or mentioning Fukutoku-Okanoba appeared in BGVN 22:01, 24:11, 24:12, 25:05, and 28:06 (1997-2003). Note that the last four cases were considered ambiguous and grouped along with reports under the heading "Acoustic signals in 1999-2000 from unknown source, Volcano Islands, Japan" and only the first case was listed under the volcano name). A 3-d view of the volcano and its setting appears as figure 5.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Fukutoku-Okanoba and vicinity shown in a 3-dimensional diagram, with shading (or color) representing various elevation ranges (see key above); vertical exaggeration is considerable but was not stated. The inset contains an index map showing the Volcano islands along the Bonin trench. The diagram represents data from 1999 and views the region from the SE. Fukutoku-Okanoba is a submarine vent ~ 5 km N of the island (Minami-Iwo-jima). Copyrighted image courtesy of the Japan Coast Guard.

JMA reported that at about 1745 on 2 July 2005, a white plume was witnessed at Fukutoku-Okanoba. During an investigation at 1900 that same day, a white plume reached ~ 1 km above the sea surface. A photo taken from considerable distance was included in the JMA report, showing the plume, but the image's limited contrast has led to its exclusion here. In addition to the plume, other evidence for an eruption included debris on the sea surface. When seen on 2 July, the debris covered an area approximately 100 m wide and 300 m long.

JMA noted that 3 July aerial observations suggested that compared to the previous day, eruptive vigor and the height of the white plume had decreased. The key observation then was a zone of discolored seawater (figure 6).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. An aerial view of Fukutoku-Okanoba taken on 3 July 2005 as seen from the NE. Debris and discoloration extend from the arrow. Courtesy of the Maritime Security and Safety Agency.

JMA's report of 4 and 5 July aerial investigations noted the lack of a white vapor plume over the sea. In other words, the 2-3 July eruption had calmed, but fresh debris and seawater discoloration were still present. After that, aerial investigations on 15, 17, 20, and 21 July, again disclosed seawater discoloration, but not the presence of floating debris.

The Maritime Security and Safety Agency conducted an underwater topographical survey on 20-22 July 2005, the result of which was the discovery of two craters caused by the recent eruption. The results suggested that the topography just S of those craters was newly raised.

According to a 3 October aerial observer, the ocean surface near Fukutoku-Okanoba, then displayed a pale, blue-white discoloration, interpreted as indicative of volcanism. The area of discoloration extended ~ 300 m in length to the E and was ~ 50 m wide (N-S) at its widest point. However, in the surrounding area they saw no floating debris or plumes containing ash or steam. On 27 October, an aerial observation could not confirm the seawater discoloration.

Satellite data. M. Urai (2005) reported that three days after the 2 July 2005 eruption of Fukutoku-Okanoba, satellite remote sensing using ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) observed the discolored seawater and floating materials within 40 km of the submarine volcano. Some of this abstract follows.

"At the most dense discolored seawater area, reflectance of ASTER band 1 is 3% higher [than] the surrounding seawater. The floating materials are similar in ASTER VNIR [Very Near-Infrared Radiometer] reflectance spectra to clouds, however, the floating materials can be separated from clouds using their shape and stereo image features. The extensions of discolored seawater area and floating material detected by ASTER were 6.34 km2 and 1.14 km2, respectively. It is possible to estimate the scale of [a] submarine eruption using the quantitative data derived from satellite remote sensing."

Distant hydrophones. Robert Dziak and Haru Matsumoto monitor N Pacific volcano seismicity with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA/PMEL). They initially learned of the eruption via the internet. Regarding the 2 July eruption, Dziak wrote to the Bulletin staff on 22 November 2005. Some of his messages follow.

". . . the [N] Pacific hydrophone array we use recorded seismicity during the Fukutoku-Okanoba eruption near Iwo Jima. I was aware of the eruption at the time [mid 2005] thanks to Haru [Matsumoto; he designed and built the instruments used there to record the T-wave events] forwarding a news image of the discolored water. Despite being only able to roughly locate the seismicity since it is way west of our array, I am pretty sure Fukutoku-Okanoba was the source because the arrival azimuths and timing of the signals were a match. The last earthquake activity we recorded from this area occurred on 25 September [2005] . . .. A few years ago I was contacting you [Smithsonian Institution] about our recording of harmonic tremor from a source in the Volcano Islands. The conclusion I published in JGR [Dziak and Fox, 2002] was that either Fukutoku-Okanoba or Funka-asane ([N] of Iwo Jima) was the probable source because of a history of submarine volcanic activity at both volcanoes. We have still been recording this tremor intermittently over the last few years and another pulse of it occurred during the Fukutoku-Okanoba eruption on July 2, 2005. The last occurrence was on August 22.

According to an Email from Dziak on 23 November 2005, "...I think the tremor is coming from [Fukutoku-Okanoba or Funka-asane]. I was only able to get synchronous data from the French Polynesian seismic net (Hyvernaud). They confirmed the signals but it did not help much with location because they were so far away. My thought is the source of earthquakes and tremor from these submarine volcanoes is at an ocean depth within the sound channel. This allows for very efficient seismic-acoustic coupling and acoustic propagation throughout the Pacific ocean basin."

References. Dziak, R.P., and Fox, C.G., 2002, Evidence of harmonic tremor from a submarine volcano detected across the Pacific Ocean basin: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 107(B5), p. 2085; doi 10.1029/2001JB0001772085.

Kato, Y., 1988, Gray pumices drifted from Fukutoku-oka-no-ba to the Ryukyu Islands: Bulletin of the Volcanological Society of Japan, Second Series, v. 33, p. 21-30.

Ossaka, J., Mitsuno, C., Shibata, T., Matsuda, T., Hirabayashi, J., Tsuchide, M., Sakurai, M., and Sato, H., 1986, The 1986 submarine eruption of Fukutoku-okanoba, Part 2. Volcanic ejectas: Bull. Vol. Soc. Japan, v. 31, p. 134-135.

Urai, M., 2005, Monitoring submarine volcano with satellite remote sensing: Eos Trans, AGU, v. 86(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract 611A-1176.

Geologic Background. Fukutoku-Oka-no-ba is a submarine volcano located 5 km NE of the pyramidal island of Minami-Ioto. Water discoloration is frequently observed from the volcano, and several ephemeral islands have formed in the 20th century. The first of these formed Shin-Ioto ("New Sulfur Island") in 1904, and the most recent island was formed in 1986. The volcano is part of an elongated edifice with two major topographic highs trending NNW-SSE, and is a trachyandesitic volcano geochemically similar to Ioto.

Information Contacts: Olivier Hyvernaud, Laboratoire de Géophysique, BP 640 Pamatai, Tahiti, French Polynesia; Japanese Meteorological Agency (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/JMA_HP/jma/indexe.html); Robert Dziak and Haru Matsumoto, NOAA PMEL, Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2115 SE Oregon State University Drive, Newport, OR 97365, USA; Yukio Hayakawa (URL: http://www.hayakawayukio.jp/English.html/); Daily Yomiuri News (URL: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/); Reuters; Associated Press; Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 O-Okayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551, Japan; Japan Coast Guard, Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department (URL: http://www1.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/GIJUTSUKOKUSAI/kaiikiDB/kaiyo24-2.htm); Japan Maritime Security and Safety Agency, Oceanic Information Section (URL: http://www1.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/).


Karthala (Comoros) — November 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Karthala

Comoros

11.75°S, 43.38°E; summit elev. 2361 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption on 24 November 2005; big evacuation and one fatality

The last eruption at Karthala occurred in April 2005 (BGVN 30:04); this report discusses the second large eruption of the year, on 24-25 November 2005. Karthala is a volcano with a lava lake and well-known for episodic outbursts. This report begins with imagery and maps, discusses satellite images of the 24-25 November ash plume, and then summarizes press and United Nations reports.

Satellite imagery. Elements of Karthala geography appear in figure 11. This and many other figures were produced by a United Nations consortium of public and private organizations, UNOSAT, which provides satellite imagery and geographic information to the humanitarian community. The islands capital, Moroni, lies on the coast directly W of the summit complex.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. A shaded relief map portrays the island of Grand Comore, with Karthala's summit complex (the cratered, highest-elevation area) on the S. Courtesy of UNOSAT and their partner organizations.

Perspective on the eruption's impact can be seen on figure 12, containing images from both pre- and post-eruption time frames (13 July 2004 and 5 December 2005). Conspicuous new deposits at distance from the summit area were imaged on 5 December. Some new deposits resided in what appear as channels to the N of the craters, suggesting that freshly deposited tephra may have entered and followed the drainage systems: see channels on figure 12, heading NE. These tentative inferences by Bulletin editors were not discussed in available ground-based reports, so confirmation is lacking. No reports were yet available discussing the morphology or potential hazards of these new deposits.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Karthala portrayed in two images (both with 10-m resolution; bands 321 + IR (RGBI)). Both images are at nearly, though not exactly, the same scales. The image at left is from before the eruption; taken by SPOT4 on 13 July 2004. The image at right is from after the eruption; taken by SPOT5 on 5 December 2005. Both images are partly masked by weather clouds. Large, clearly visible areas of new deposits appear in and around the summit crater area. Courtesy of UNOSAT and partner organizations.

Ash clouds. Charles Holliday (US Air Force Weather Agency, AFWA) assessed the 25 November 2005 Karthala eruption plume using a NASA Terra MODIS image at 1010 local time (0710 UTC; figure 13). He measured the overall E-W extent of eruptive clouds as ~ 150 nautical miles (~ 280 km). The W margin of the brown clouds lie up to 30-50 km W and NW of the volcano. The light-colored clouds were blown SE, and they became far less optically dense towards the E where they extended over the vicinity of reef-fringed Mayotte Island. The image shows light-colored (nearly white) clouds above and centered SE of the visible brown clouds. Holliday interpreted this to represent a brown zone composed of dominantly ash with a higher lighter-colored zone of ash and ice particles. The tallest clouds reached FL 380 ('Flight Level 380,' a height of 38,000 feet or ~ 11.6 km altitude).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. An image of the Karthala 25 November 2005 ash plume from NASA Terra MODIS. The image was centered over the Comoros islands, with the islands Mayotte, Anjouan, and Moheli labeled, and Grand Comore under ash clouds but the location of Karthala is indicated. For scale, the distance from Karthala to the S end of Mayotte island is ~240 km. The image shows AFWA interpretations of the ash cloud. Courtesy of Charles Holliday (AFWA).

Fred Prata (CSIRO) processed both MODIS and AIRS images for the 25 November eruption (figures 14 and 15). Both instruments are part of NASA's Earth Observing System: MODIS stands for Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (flying onboard the Terra (EOS AM-1) satellite); AIRS stands for Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (which uses a grating spectrometer on the Aqua satellite).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. MODIS satellite images of the Karthala eruption plume on 25 November 2005 at 0710 UTC. The top image maps the computed atmospheric mass loading associated with the ash cloud; inset portrays the ash grain-size estimates in the same cloud. The bottom image maps the SO2 burden in the cloud, contoured in Dobson Units; the total mass of SO2 on this image was 2.85 kilotons. For distance scales, 1° of latitude (distance N-S) equates to ~111 km. Courtesy of Fred Prata, CSIRO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. An AIRS image of the Karthala eruption's SO2 content for 25 November at about 2223 UTC. The measured mass total for SO2 was ~2.0 kilotons. Courtesy of Fred Prata, CSIRO.

Prata used the MODIS image to estimate the 25 November eruption's mass loading. This resulted in an estimate of fine ash amounting to 83 kilotons (kt) in the grain-size ranges indicated. Analysis of SO2 from the MODIS data for 0710 on the 25th yielded 2.85 kt.

Prata also downloaded and processed the AIRS data available from 25 November but found only one good image (figure 12). Prata commented that the reason for the shortage of AIRS data stems from a compromise in instrument design, whereby when acquiring images at low latitudes, polar-orbiting satellites frequently lack sufficient overlap in their scanners to obtain full coverage. The one available satisfactory AIRS image, ~ 13 hours later than the MODIS image, showed a different plume configuration that included two separate zones of SO2 concentration rather than one. The mass of the SO2 measured by the AIRS instrument for the 25th was 2.0 kilotons. This value about the same as Prata obtained in a MODIS retrieval for the same 25 November eruption. In addition, the zones of elevated concentrations on both images stood in roughly the same place—except for the blob near 11°S detected by AIRS and not by MODIS.

Regarding his analysis of the 25 November Karthala eruption, Prata goes on to say that "assuming my fine ash loading of 83 kt is right and (big assumption now) this represents ~ 1% of the total erupted mass, then the volume of erupted ash would be ~ 0.006 km3. This suggests a VEI ~ 2. If the 1% estimate is robust (I've seen this quoted in Bill Rose's work) then the fine ash estimates from remote sensing may be quite helpful [in] assessing the 'size' of an eruption. Coupled with cloud-height estimates we may be moving towards some nice tools for volcanologists."

Prata further commented that he had hoped to image an algal bloom in the ocean where the Karthala ash had fallen. Recent work on ocean chemistry and biology (Boyd and others, 2000) point to iron enrichment as a means of ocean fertilization. As briefly discussed on the NASA Earth Observatory website, Anatahan plumes had recently been suggested to have triggered such blooms; however, with available remote-sensing data Prata was unable to confirm that the Karthala eruption triggered such a plume.

UN and related reports. The following appeared in a 28 November 2005 report of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"The Karthala Volcano forms most of the landmass of Grande Comore (also called Ngazidja), the main island of the Union of the Comoros. The volcano is one of the largest volcanoes in activity in the world. Over the last two hundred years, it has erupted every eleven years on average. In April 2005, a volcanic eruption projected ashes and volcanic debris on the eastern part of the island, affecting as many as 40,000 people.

"[Karthala] had an eruption for the second time this year in the night of . . . 24 November, spilling ashes and smoke over the southeastern and southwestern parts of Grande Comore Island, and the Comoros capital, Moroni.

"During Friday 25, the projections of ashes and smoke receded. However, seismographic data collected by the Karthala Volcano Observatory has shown that the seismic activity is continuing. According to the observatory, a lava lake is in formation in the crater, as of yet confined within the crater. According to the local authorities, approximately 2,000 people fled from their villages in the region of Bambao in the central part of the island, and sought refuge in less exposed areas, such as Mitsamiouli, Mboudé, and Oichili."

"Concerns exist regarding the availability of potable water in the areas exposed to smoke and ashes. Preliminary results from the assessment indicate that as many as 118,000 persons living in 75 villages may be affected by the contamination of water tanks. A further assessment of the water tanks is underway to ascertain the exact scope of the needs. Concerns also exist regarding the impact of the pollution by volcanic debris on agriculture and livestock."

A 28 November news report by Agence France-Presse (AFP) also noted some of the above details, but added some new points. They said that the eruption had the effect of " . . .killing at least one infant, infiltrating homes, shops and offices and contaminating water in cisterns during the height of the dry season. 'We have two problems with water: one, we are in the dry season and two, the reserves in many private cisterns are now polluted,' minister of state for defense Abdu Madi Mari told AFP."

"He said cistern water supplies for about 120,000 residents mainly from rural villages near the volcano had been contaminated by the ash, which has also raised fears of respiratory ailments."

"Authorities on Grand Comore, the largest of the three semi-autonomous islands in the Comoros, had appealed for international assistance to help in distributing potable water to those in need, Mari said."

The AFP news report stated the eruption sent only "about 500 villagers fleeing from their homes in the shadow of the mountain." and said that despite continued tremor reported by the observatory, "almost all have now returned."

In a 9 December report the World Food Program estimated that the 24 November Karthala eruption affected 245,000 people. They briefly mentioned the issue of potentially contaminated drinking water but noted that, although minor eruptions continued, abundant rain in the weeks that followed helped reduce the potential water and air contamination problems. As noted above, no reports were found discussing problems from ash-choked drainages (lahars).

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

Information Contacts: UNOSAT, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Palais des Nations, CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland (URL: https://unitar.org/unosat/); Charles Holliday, U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA)/XOGM, Offutt Air Force Base, NE 68113, USA; Fred Prata, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, 107-121 Station Street, PMB 1, Aspendale, Victoria 3195, Australia; NASA Earth Observatory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 900, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 923, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA; Agence France-Presse (AFP); United Nations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Program (WFP) (URL: https://reliefweb.int/, http://www.wfp.org/).


Karymsky (Russia) — November 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Karymsky

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions continued during December 2004-June 2005

From December 2004 to June 2005 frequent explosions and plumes were detected at Karymsky (BGVN 30:06). In June 2005, the alert level was briefly lowered from Orange to Yellow because of a decrease in seismic and volcanic activity, but it was raised to Orange again on 23 June because of ash and gas plumes which rose to 3 km above the crater.

Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Orange and seismicity remained above background levels throughout August-December 2005.

Throughout July 2005 ash-and-gas plumes frequently may have risen to 1-3 km above the crater. During 8-15 July, 450-600 shallow earthquakes occurred daily. On 11 July, an ash-and-gas plume extended about 11 km SE. During 15-22 July, 350-700 shallow earthquakes occurred daily. On 22 July, a weak thermal anomaly and a short E-drifting ash-and-gas plume were visible on satellite imagery.

Seismic activity during August indicated frequent possible ash-and-gas plumes up to 4 km altitude. A MODIS satellite thermal anomaly was registered on 2 August. On 22 August, three ash plumes reached heights around 3-4 km altitude and extended ~ 130 km E. An ash plume was visible at an altitude of ~ 5.8 km on 27 August.

Small ash and gas plumes continued to be emitted in September. A thermal anomaly was visible at the volcano on satellite imagery on 15 September.

Visual observations on 17 October revealed that the lava dome in the volcano's crater had been partially destroyed. Based on seismic data, three ash-and-gas plumes may have risen to 2.5-4 km altitude during 14-16 October. Five ash-and-gas plumes may have reached heights of 2.5-3.5 km altitude on several days during the last week of October 2005. A thermal anomaly at the volcano was visible on satellite imagery.

The lava dome inside the volcano's crater continued to grow during November 2005. Based on seismic data, three gas plumes containing some ash possibly rose 3-3.8 km altitude during 29-31 October and 1 November. Ash plumes were visible on satellite imagery extending NE on 31 October and 2 November. During 4-11 November five gas-and-steam plumes with some ash may have reached heights of 3-3.5 km altitude.

No seismic data were available after 10 November. A thermal anomaly was visible at the volcano on 15 and 17 November. According to seismic data, many weak shallow earthquakes and possible gas-steam plumes with some amount of ash up to 2.5 km altitude were registered on 20-23 November. A thermal anomaly was noted over the volcano during the last week of November and the first week of December. According to satellite data from Russia and USA, ash clouds moving to the SE from the volcano were noted on 6-7 December.

After 3 December the availability of seismic data became very erratic. A thermal anomaly was registered on 9-11 December and 14-15 December. According to satellite data, ash plumes and clouds were noted on 9 and on 10 December, moving SW and SE, and SE and E, respectively.

During the third week of December, many weak shallow earthquakes and possibly ten ash plumes up to 3.6 km altitude were registered. According to Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) volcanologists who work near Karymsky, ash explosions rose up to 2.5-3 km altitude on 17-21 December 2005, and extended WSW and ENE. A thermal anomaly was registered over the volcano on 15-21 December. Seismicity indicated that ash explosions from the summit crater continued.

Many weak shallow earthquakes were registered during the last week of December. Ash plumes rose up to 2.5-4 km altitude on 24 December and 26-27 December and extended mainly E and SE from the volcano, and occasionally SW. According to KVERT volcanologists, a new cone approximately 60-80 m in diameter was formed at the summit of Karymsky volcano. A small lava dome 20-30 m in diameter was seen in the cone's crater. According to satellite data from the USA and Russia, a thermal anomaly was registered over the volcano all week.

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

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


Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker (Papua New Guinea) — November 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker

Papua New Guinea

5.416°S, 150.027°E; summit elev. 564 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


First historically witnessed eruption in October 2005

This report concerns Garbuna volcano's first historically witnessed eruption. That occurred in mid-October 2005 after a felt earthquake. This report contains a section by members of the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) and another by Rodger Wilson, a NOAA meteorologist , who made an unofficial visit in November.

Setting. Garbuna is part of the 23 x 15 km Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker complex (a volcanic field with these major topographic highs located in S-to-N progression; figure 1). The field resides at the S end of New Britain island's Willaumez (Talasea) peninsula, a narrow projection jutting well N from the island's W-central region. The peninsula and some local reefs and islands are known for volcanoes and hydrothermal features (including, from N to S, Dakataua caldera and its large lake, Bola stratovolcano, Garua Harbour volcanic field, and the Garbuna complex). In addition to young volcanics found at the complex's three summit (ridge) centers and their associated domes and craters, there have been prior flank and eccentric eruptions, most notably Numundo Maar. The complex's products are mostly high-SiO2 andesites to high-SiO2 dacites with more mafic eruptives from Krummel and Numundo Maar. (McKee and others, 2005). Only 5-6 km to the E and W of the volcanic field are some inhabited and intensively cultivated strips along the coast.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Photograph of Garbuna taken on 19 October 2005 from the SSE. View is northward along the Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker ridge, across the general area of Garbuna with Welcker on skyline; Krummel is behind the camera. The two fuming vents can be seen on the periphery of an old lava dome. The bare geothermal nature of the area is apparent. The incised cone to the left is what locals refer to as Mount Garbuna. Photo by Steve Saunders provided courtesy of RVO.

Garbuna and Welcker volcanoes were thought to have had a latest significant/datable eruption at ~ 1,800 BP. Garbuna in particular was very geothermally active, with the central area containing 4 km2 of fumaroles, solfataras, hot and bubbling mud and water springs, and patches of hot ground. Conspicuous from the barren, sulfurous and geothermally altered, clay-rich areas was a timber-covered but undated lava dome (or alternately, a short, thick lava flow to the S, a feature sometimes described as a coulée). This dome shows little geothermal alteration, appears very youthful, and is not obviously mantled by the regional tephras from Witori or Dakataua, all features suggesting a comparatively young age. The low cone hosting the dome stands ~ 500-600 m in diameter.

Events surrounding the eruption. The RVO team reported this section and noted that the complex was not instrumentally monitored. A single, locally felt earthquake occurred around midday on 16 October 2005. Jet-like noises were noticed about 2342 that night, rumbling noises started soon after, and at about midnight ash emissions began. The eruption continued and by morning pale to dark gray ash clouds were being driven forcefully into the sky. By 1000 a 3-4-km-high eruption column was visible; the main plume drifted NW with a thin veil of falling material below it. The eruption began to wane between midnight and the morning of 18 October, reducing to slow pale-gray emissions, with only white vapor by the end of the day. A second vent opened quietly during the night of the 18-19 October, with two white vapor plumes visible at dawn on the 19th.

Aerial inspections on 19, 20, and 26 October showed the two vents situated in the central low area of Garbuna, historically an area of high geothermal activity. Both vents are located on or close to the edge of the youthful lava dome mentioned above. The center of the dome is at 05° 26' 48" S, 150° 01' 36" E, with the active vents aligned SW-NE at across a NW sector of the old cone. Both active vents are 60-75 m in diameter and emitted low to moderate amounts of white fume, the southerly plume being more voluminous. On the first two visits fume billowed out gently.

The SW vent seems to have been the source of the initial October emissions. Before the 19th a small incomplete cone had formed around it. Within a kilometer of this vent several ten's of centimeters of ash/mud had been deposited, which thinned very rapidly away from the vent. Old records did not indicate the existence of the SW vent or other conspicuous feature prior to the onset of this eruption.

The second, or NE, vent became active on the night of 18-19 October. Photographs from 1996 showed that prior to the eruption this vent was a small, wooded, funnel-shaped pit, with some evidence of instability on its western side and visible un-vegetated scars.

Although ashfall was reported to the NW, images of the eruption at first light on the 17th showed the fallout to resemble rain rather than dry ash. Vegetation damaged by the fallout had brown blotches rather than uniform discoloration, leading to the conclusion that the initial column was made up primarily of acidic water and mud.

It appears that the NE vent is predominantly a collapse feature, surrounded by a small apron of brownish-gray mud, with a jagged edge and bright red/yellow walls. Following a locally felt earthquake, summit observations on the 20th showed that the NE vent had increased ~ 10-20 m by concentric collapse since the previous day and was 50-60 m deeper. At this time it contained a boiling mud lake ~ 60-70 m below the rim.

Observations on the 26th showed the ash cone around the SW vent had all but disappeared as it had increased in size by collapse. The resulting pit was irregular in shape. Quite vigorous steam emissions occurred and some ash was visibly mixed with the fume and dropping out as fine droplets of dilute mud. Impact craters from projectiles were evident around the vent, especially to the SW. Near the vent these small projectiles were visible and block-like. Up to 500-600 m to the SW small impact craters could still be seen but the projectiles themselves were not apparent.

Close study of the old dome, on whose periphery the vents have opened, suggests that it has undergone little or no movement during the onset of this eruption. Foliage-stripped trees are mainly up-right, and no fresh cracks or heaved boulders are evident. Thermal imagery also showed no hot cracks in the dome, suggesting that the eruption was not preceded by intense surface deformation, and that the vents are now enlarging by concentric collapse.

A large area of grass N of the vents gave the impression of having been flattened in a uniform direction. Trees and shrubs, although stripped of leaves, did not show this flattening. This may suggest that floods of water were responsible for the flattened grass, rather than blast effects. To the S, flooding is also suggested by the apparently recent incising of the valley floor (headwaters of the Garu-Haella sulfur stream). The edge of the jungle also shows undercutting with trees having fallen toward the vents.

Since the start of the eruption changes in the amount of discharge, along with unusual discoloration and dying fish were seen in the streams draining from Garbuna. On 26 October, aerial observers followed one of the Garu thermal streams from the Plantation-Garu village road on its ascent to the summit. At higher elevations the stream's water level dropped markedly, until within a few kilometers of the summit, it dried out completely. The stream was not blocked or dammed, and the falling levels of streams and drying of springs appeared to be related to the drying of the summit, or fracturing, allowing water to percolate into the mountain rather than flow off the geothermally produced clay-rich area. At first light on the morning of 29 October, the watercourse commonly known as the Walindi river was milky white with a blue tinge. It was odorless, of normal temperature, and tasted simply of clayey water with no bitterness. This is the first recorded case of one of the eastern drainage systems exhibiting this behavior, although it is common in the W and SW regions.

A few locally felt earthquakes and sulfur odors were reported from areas not traditionally affected by the complex's sulfatara emissions. On several occasions explosions or booming noises from the Garbuna area were heard at Garu Plantation.

Two seismic stations were installed on 18 October. A 3-component digital recorder was located at Garu Plantation ~ 5.5 km SW of the active vents. An analog recorder was installed at Sisi near Walindi, ~ 5.6 km E of the vents. Notable seismicity was recorded on 20, 21, and 22 October. On the 20th a ML ~ 2.5 local volcano-tectonic earthquake was felt, which was followed by a dozen smaller VT earthquakes between 1300 and 1500. Starting about 0500 on 21 October many very small (ML < 0.5) VT earthquakes began to occur. These events continued throughout 21 October and ceased about 1600 on 22 October. Random VT earthquakes numbering 1-4 per day were recorded on 23, 25, and 28 October. Other volcano-related earthquakes recorded included some small low-frequency earthquakes on 22 October by the Sisi station. Continuous tremor was recorded immediately when a new telemetered seismometer was installed about 0.9 km NE of the active vents. At the end of the month the tremors were continuing.

The West New Britain Provincial Disaster Committee has ensured a smooth civic response to this unforeseen event with public education and preparations for a possible evacuation being well advanced.

Observations during mid-November 2005. Rodger Wilson submitted the following report of his visit to Garbuna with John Seach.

"We climbed Garbuna the first time on 14 November. We smelled H2S(?) from at least three locations at lower elevations along the trek. Wind at the time was to the NE, so I don't believe we were sensing the summit gas plume. Also, there was an area that I jokingly referred to as, 'The Valley of Death,' where we all (four) felt nauseated (on both climbs at the same location, both coming and going), but did not detect any odor of gas. On the second climb, we found an immature parrot on the ground at the (SE?) edge of this area (we removed him from that area, and he seemed fine afterward). Again, we were unable to get a GPS fix there, but it occurs along a (NW to SE-running?) depression just prior to a steeper climb to the summit.

"Just before reaching the clearing at the summit, along a more N-S-running depression, we encountered an area where the trees appeared to have been 'sprayed' horizontally as evidenced by ash being 'plastered' to their N (crater) sides. Bark on many of the larger trees appeared to be at least lightly abraded, but not removed. Numerous smaller trees of approximately 6 cm or less in diameter had been neatly 'clipped' or sharply bent over at just less than 2 m height. There was no evidence of high temperature in connection with the physical damage. Our visit was restricted to along the S edge of the summit, bounded by the hydrothermal area on the W and the two old phreatic craters to the E. This area of damaged trees was, as far as we could see, the only significant damage to the surrounding forest (by a base surge or a cold density current?) in contrast to the more complete devastation suffered by the fewer trees and lower vegetation at the summit. Interestingly, the trees still standing at the summit, appeared to be stripped solely by vertically falling, not horizontally moving, debris.

"We exited the forest at the summit at about 1100, along a N-S bare ridge (old crater rim?), that is clearly visible in aerial photos of the area. Copious fume emanated soundlessly from the two new craters. White fume exited the western crater, with yellow-tinged fume rising from the eastern one. There was a fairly strong smell of H2S, but not the eye-stinging or choking sensation I've felt with SO2 at Etna and Stromboli. As we rested there, we noted the water in our bottles was in constant motion and once we made our way to the thermal area, we clearly felt frequent (several per minute) small shocks while we took temperatures at several spots there. The highest temperatures were all at 100°C. During the first couple of hours at the summit, we had two brief bands of rain showers pass overhead, but by about 1330 the rain became sustained and heavy. Run-off in most of the surrounding gullies had increased to several inches deep. We . . . were picking our way back toward the forest when, just as we left the southern edge of the thermal area, we heard a loud roar and witnessed a lahar issue from the gully draining the crater . . ..

"Changes we noted during the second visit 3 days later were [as follows]: a low rumble or rushing noise associated with the summit vents which was heard through most of the journey to the summit, although [they observed] a complete lack of detectable seismicity while at the summit. The interval between "huffs" of fume was shorter, on the order of maybe 4-5 minutes rather than the 8-10 minutes observed during the first visit. Fume leaving the western vent remained white, while ash was clearly visible as it fell over the E flank of the volcano from the eastern plume. That plume also had a more yellow cast as it issued from its source, compared with a few days before.

"We heard low booming rumbles from near Walindi at around 0530 on 17 November and loud roaring the next morning at about 0700 from the same location. The latter was preceded (by as much as 10 minutes) by dogs at our location being agitated and barking, simultaneously with others in the distance.

Reference. McKee, C.O., Patia, H., Kuduon, J., and Torrence, R., 2005, Volcanic Hazard Assessment of the Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker Volcanic Complex, Southern Willaumez Peninsula, WNB, Papua New Guinea: Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea—Report 2005/4.

Geologic Background. The basaltic-to-dacitic Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker Volcanic Complex consists of three volcanic peaks located along a 7-km N-S line above a shield-like foundation at the southern end of the Willaumez Peninsula. The central and lower peaks of the centrally located Garbuna contain a large vegetation-free area that is probably the most extensive thermal field in Papua New Guinea. A prominent lava dome and blocky lava flow in the center of thermal area have resisted destruction by thermal activity, and may be of Holocene age. Krummel volcano at the south end of the group contains a summit crater, breached to the NW. The highest peak of the group is Welcker volcano, which has fed blocky lava flows that extend to the eastern coast of the peninsula. The last major eruption from both it and Garbuna volcanoes took place about 1800 years ago. The first historical eruption took place at Garbuna in October 2005.

Information Contacts: Steve Saunders, Ima Itikarai, and Herman Patia, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; Rodger Wilson, Meteorological Technician, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Weather Service (NWS), WSO, P.O. Box 1685, Valdez, AK 99686, USA.


Langila (Papua New Guinea) — November 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)


Active during August-September, decreasing during October-November

Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) reported that during 22-28 August 2005, modest eruptive activity was observed at Langila's Crater 2. Occasional forceful emissions of ash produced plumes that rose ~ 1 km above the crater on 22 and 25 August, but reached only several hundred meters after that. The ash plumes drifted N and NW, resulting in fine ashfall in downwind areas, including the town of Kilenge. Seismicity was at low levels, consisting mainly of low-frequency earthquakes. The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reported that a plume was visible on satellite imagery on 30 August extending NNW.

During 12-18 September, Crater 2 continued to forcefully erupt ash at irregular intervals. The resultant ash plumes drifted NW and W. Incandescence and weak projections of volcanic material were visible on the evening of 13 September. There was no activity at Crater 3. Seismicity was at low levels at the volcano, consisting mainly of low-frequency earthquakes.

During 20-23 October, low-level plumes from Langila were occasionally visible on satellite imagery. On 29 October, a plume from Langila was visible on satellite imagery at an altitude of ~ 2.7 km.

During 11-12 November, low-level ash plumes emitted from Langila were visible. The heights of the plumes were not reported.

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: 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); 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/).


Montagu Island (United Kingdom) — November 2005 Citation iconCite this Report

Montagu Island

United Kingdom

58.445°S, 26.374°W; summit elev. 1370 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


N-coast delta grew during 14 September-4 October 2005

MODVOLC radiant heat-flux data and ASTER high-resolution satellite imagery revealed discharging lava flows that traveled N to the sea where they constructed a lava delta. The large effusive episode described in BGVN 30:09 had ceased, followed by a smaller episode in November. MODVOLC responses were most intense during 14 September to 4 October 2005. Figure 11a shows the radiant heat flux for the volcano since the start of the eruption in October 2001, providing rough idea eruptive intensity. Figure 11b indicates the distance of each alert pixel from the vent, giving insights into the timing of significant effusive episodes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Plots of MODVOLC data at Belinda volcano on Montagu Island. Courtesy of Matt Patrick, HIGP.

As figure 12b suggests, the September-October 2005 episode was likely the largest effusive episode of the eruption in that it involved the only sustained occurrence of alert pixels (i.e. active lava) more than 2 km from the vent. Following 4 October 2005, a single alert pixel appeared more than 3 km from the vent on 17 November 2005, but subsequent alert pixels were all near-vent. It is not yet clear if this 17 November anomaly represents the start of a substantial additional episode of lava effusion.

An ASTER image collected on 3 November 2005, shows the result from the September-October 2005 effusive episode (visible wavelength image shown in figure 12a). The shortwave infrared anomaly in this image (not shown) is minor compared to the 23 September 2005 image (BGVN 30:09), suggesting that any effusion had dropped to low levels by early November. The 3 November image indicates that a significant lava delta had formed on the N shore of the island during the September-October effusive phase (see arrow in figure 12a). The delta comprises two major lobes, and is approximately 400-500 m in width and length, equating to approximately 0.2 km2. An enlarged view of the visible image is provided in figure 12b, where the approximate path of the September-October 2005 lava flow is shown by the dotted arrow. The current coastline is shown by the dotted line, with the lava delta (denoted by solid arrow) clearly jutting out. Note the faint steam wisps extending E from delta's eastern margin. The thermal infrared image (band 14, at 11-micron wavelength) of the island is shown in figure 12c, and clearly indicates the anomalously warm delta.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. An ASTER image and enlargement on Montagu Island showing Belinda as it appeared in visible wavelength data on 3 November 2005 (a and b). An ASTER thermal-infrared image was obtained of the island on the same date (c). Courtesy of Matt Patrick, HIGP.

A Royal Air Force overflight on 11 October 2005, captured an oblique photograph of the delta (not shown). The lava flow appears to have steeply cut through thick ice approaching the shore, producing a broad and relatively flat delta that is vigorously steaming from the delta margins in the photograph.

Geologic Background. The largest of the South Sandwich Islands, Montagu consists of a massive shield volcano cut by a 6-km-wide ice-filled summit caldera. The summit of the 10 x 12 km wide island rises about 3000 m from the sea floor between Bristol and Saunders Islands. Around 90% of the island is ice-covered; glaciers extending to the sea typically form vertical ice cliffs. The name Mount Belinda has been applied both to the high point at the southern end of the summit caldera and to the young central cone. Mount Oceanite, an isolated 900-m-high peak with a 270-m-wide summit crater, lies at the SE tip of the island and was the source of lava flows exposed at Mathias Point and Allen Point. There was no record of Holocene or historical eruptive activity until MODIS satellite data, beginning in late 2001, revealed thermal anomalies consistent with lava lake activity that has been persistent since then. Apparent plumes and single anomalous pixels were observed intermittently on AVHRR images during the period March 1995 to February 1998, possibly indicating earlier unconfirmed and more sporadic volcanic activity.

Information Contacts: Matt Patrick, University of Hawaii, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts Team, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); John Smelie, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingly Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom (URL: https://www.bas.ac.uk/); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).

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