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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

Kikai (Japan) Ash explosion on 29 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Dukono (Indonesia) Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

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

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



Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kikai (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kikai

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash explosion on 29 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Fuego (Guatemala) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Fuego

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing ash explosions, block avalanches, and intermittent lava flows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ebeko (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Piton de la Fournaise

France

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sabancaya (Peru) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sabancaya

Peru

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sheveluch (Russia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dukono (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Dukono

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Etna (Italy) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Merapi (Indonesia) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 31, Number 09 (September 2006)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Bamus (Papua New Guinea)

Forceful vapor emission seen on 12 July 2006

Barren Island (India)

Ongoing emissions, including lava, but late-September news reports of slowing pace

Bulusan (Philippines)

Ten explosions recorded seismically between 21 March and 28 June 2006

Cleveland (United States)

Short duration explosions during August-October 2006

Fourpeaked (United States)

Eruption on 17 September, followed by emissions until at least early November

Home Reef (Tonga)

Extensive pumice rafts between Tonga and Fiji during August-October

Montagu Island (United Kingdom)

Five years of nearly persistent eruptive activity

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Strong eruption at Tavurvur ejected ash and large plumes to the troposphere

San Cristobal (Nicaragua)

Multi-year update: 13 June 2004, local ash fall; early 2006, small eruptions

Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom)

Extrusive dome dynamics during May-September 2006

Sulu Range (Papua New Guinea)

Volcano seismicity declines in September and October 2006



Bamus (Papua New Guinea) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Bamus

Papua New Guinea

5.2°S, 151.23°E; summit elev. 2248 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Forceful vapor emission seen on 12 July 2006

According to the Papua New Guinea Department of Mining (DOM), reports coming from Bialla Local Level Government (LLG) indicated that Bamus showed signs of unusual activity. At 1010 on 12 July 2006 observers saw white vapor coming out at the summit. The emission was forceful at about 1110 that day, with a tint of gray color in the emission. The vapor-rich plume blew inland to the SSE. No ashfall was reported.

Officials from Bialla LLG together with a DOM observer witnessed the activity, as did Max Benjamin from Walindi Resort (~ 40-50 km away). Benjamin called the Rabaul Volcano Observatory to report the activity. No satellite-detected thermal anomalies at the volcano were reported by the MODIS website for this time frame.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical 2248-m-high Bamus volcano, also referred to locally as the South Son, is located SW of Ulawun volcano, known as the Father. These two volcanoes are the highest in the 1000-km-long Bismarck volcanic arc. The andesitic stratovolcano is draped by rainforest and contains a breached summit crater filled with a lava dome. A satellitic cone is located on the southern flank, and a prominent 1.5-km-wide crater with two small adjacent cones is situated halfway up the SE flank. Young pyroclastic-flow deposits are found on the volcano's flanks, and villagers describe an eruption that took place during the late 19th century.

Information Contacts: Steve Saunders and Herman Patia, Rabaul Volcanological Observatory (RVO), Department of Mining, Private Mail Bag, Port Moresby Post Office, National Capitol District, Papua, New Guinea.


Barren Island (India) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Barren Island

India

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing emissions, including lava, but late-September news reports of slowing pace

Our last report on Barren Island discussed events through much of January 2006 (BGVN 31:01); since that time we have only found sporadic reports of activity.

According to a news article by The Indo-Asian News Service, a team of scientists that visited Barren Island around 12 March 2006 found that the volcano was still very active. The height of the volcanic cone had increased by 50 m since eruptive activity began in May 2005. In addition, lava flows covered the NW side of the island.

Since March 2006 there have been only a few satellite images and pilot reports of continued activity. Based on a pilot report and satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume was emitted during 5-6 April that did not rise higher than 4.6 km altitude. On 19 April a low-level plume extending W was visible on satellite imagery.

On 2 May satellite imagery detected a plume from Barren Island near 3.7 km altitude. The following day low-level ash plumes extended N. Based on a pilot report, the Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume at 1230 on 26 May that remained below 3 km altitude and drifted N.

On 23 September a news report in The Hindu stated that Indian Coast Guard officials indicated that the continuing eruption at Barren Island was decreasing in intensity. The news piece cited a surveillance report statement that there was less lava but more "smoke" from the volcano.

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

Information Contacts: The Hindu (URL: http://www.hinduonline.com); Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) (URL: http://www.eians.com/); Geological Survey of India, 27 Jawaharlal Nehru road, Kolkata 700 016, India (URL: https://www.gsi.gov.in/); Indian Coast Guard, National Stadium Complex, New Delhi 110 001, India (URL: http://indiancoastguard.nic.in/indiancoastguard/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, Northern Territory 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/).


Bulusan (Philippines) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Bulusan

Philippines

12.769°N, 124.056°E; summit elev. 1535 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ten explosions recorded seismically between 21 March and 28 June 2006

On 19 March 2006, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the status of Bulusan from Zero Alert (no alert) to Alert Level 1 to reflect elevated seismic, fumarolic, and other unrest (BGVN 31:05). From that date until an ash explosion on 28 June 2006, 10 explosions were recorded (see table 3).

Table 3. Summary of significant events through late July 2006 at Bulusan . Numbering of explosion-type (E-type) quakes began 21 March 2006. Courtesy of Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

Date Local Time Plume Altitude Drift Direction Comments
19 Mar 2006 -- -- -- Seismic swarm which lasted until 21 Mar; Alert Level raised to 1.
21 Mar 2006 2258 1.5 km N, W, SW 1st explosion-type (E-type) earthquake lasted 20 min; total of 4 E-type earthquakes recorded.
08 Apr 2006 2000 -- -- Lahar at Cogon spillway.
09 Apr 2006 1036-1058 -- -- Lahar at Cogon spillway.
29 Apr 2006 1044 1.5 km WSW, NW 2nd E-type earthquake; total of three E-type earthquakes recorded.
25 May 2006 2117-2130 -- -- 3rd E-type earthquake; ash deposits, trace to 2 mm thick in Juban, Irosin. Cloud-covered summit.
31 May 2006 1617 1.5 W, WNW 4th E-type earthquake.
07 Jun 2006 2017-2030 2.0 N, W, SW 5th E-type earthquake; smaller E-type earthquake at 0225 on 8 Jun; Alert Level raised to 2.
10 Jun 2006 1218 1.0 NE, E 6th E-type earthquake, lasting 25 min.
13 Jun 2006 1904 1.5 NW 7th E-type earthquake, lasting 13 min.
18 Jun 2006 1556 1.5 W 8th E-type earthquake.
20 Jun 2006 2013 -- -- 9th E-type earthquake ? mild; event not observed; seismic signal recorded for 17 min; rains generated some lahars. Cloud-covered summit.
24 Jun 2006 2300 -- -- Lahar at Cogon spillway.
28 Jun 2006 0206 -- -- 10th E-type earthquake; the associated volcanic event was not observed but seismic signal recorded as E-type earthquake lasted 4 min. Cloud-covered summit.
29 Jun 2006 0800 -- -- Continuous decline in activity; Alert Level lowered to 1.

After the ash explosion of 28 June 2006, Bulusan's monitored parameters gradually decreased to near baseline levels. The daily count of volcanic earthquakes was very low, and SO2 emission rates and ground-deformation data revealed the volcano's deflated condition, indicating the absence of active magma ascent. Ash emission stopped and steaming from the active vents and fissures gradually returned to normal levels. Due to the decline in activity, on 29 July PHIVOLCS lowered the status of Bulusan from Alert Level 2 to 1.

On 10 October 2006 at 1256 UTC, the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center announced that an eruption plume from Bulusan was visible on satellite imagery reaching altitudes of 3 km and drifting SW and SSE.

Unlike nearby Mayon volcano (~ 70 km NW) (see BGVN 31:08), no thermal anomalies were detected at Bulusan by satellite or recorded by the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) MODIS/ MODVOLC web site from the beginning of 2006 to 10 October 2006.

Geologic Background. Luzon's southernmost volcano, Bulusan, was constructed along the rim of the 11-km-diameter dacitic-to-rhyolitic Irosin caldera, which was formed about 36,000 years ago. It lies at the SE end of the Bicol volcanic arc occupying the peninsula of the same name that forms the elongated SE tip of Luzon. A broad, flat moat is located below the topographically prominent SW rim of Irosin caldera; the NE rim is buried by the andesitic complex. Bulusan is flanked by several other large intracaldera lava domes and cones, including the prominent Mount Jormajan lava dome on the SW flank and Sharp Peak to the NE. The summit is unvegetated and contains a 300-m-wide, 50-m-deep crater. Three small craters are located on the SE flank. Many moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/jma-eng/jma-center/vaac/index/html); HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), University of Hawaii at Manoa, 168 East-West Road, Post 602, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Cleveland (United States) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Cleveland

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Short duration explosions during August-October 2006

Cleveland's commonly observed activity consisting of short duration explosions, such as those seen earlier in the year on 6 February 2006 (BGVN 31:01) and on 23 May 2006 (BGVN 31:07), continued during August and October 2006. This report will cover the 24 August and 28 October eruptions.

At 1955 on 24 August a brief eruption was seen by mariners on a passing ship. The eruption was unconfirmed by satellite data. Video footage sent to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) on 28 August showed that an ash cloud rose to an approximate altitude of 3 km and produced minor ashfall. Shortly after the eruption, minor steaming was observed from the vent on additional footage. In response to the eruption, the AVO raised the level of Concern Color Code from 'unassigned' to 'Yellow' on 7 September. A weak thermal anomaly in the summit crater was present in subsequent satellite images.

Clouds obstructed visibility through most of September and October.

A pilot reported that a minor eruption started at 1345 on 28 October. Satellite data confirmed the presence of an ash cloud drifting ENE of the volcano. The height of the cloud was estimated at an altitude of 6 km using the satellite imagery. One pilot reported the plume top at an altitude of 9 km. The AVO raised the alert level to 'Orange' during 28-29 October. On 30 October the AVO lowered the level to 'Yellow' because of no further evidence of activity.

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

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA; Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA; and Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/).


Fourpeaked (United States) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Fourpeaked

United States

58.77°N, 153.672°W; summit elev. 2105 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption on 17 September, followed by emissions until at least early November

Until the eruption of Fourpeaked on 17 September, evidence for eruptive activity in the past 10,000 years was uncertain. The volcano is largely glacier covered with only isolated outcrops (figure 1). This report discusses the initial observation of plumes and subsequent activity until the end of October 2006. Fourpeaked is in S Alaska ~ 320 km SW of Anchorage. It is SW of the mouth of Cook Inlet and within NE Katmai National Park (figure 2).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Fourpeaked volcano, the glacier-covered peak at the upper left is one of a group of poorly known volcanoes NE of Katmai National Park. In the foreground of this photo is Kaguyak caldera, which hosts a 2.5-km- wide lake. Pre-eruption photo at uncertain date taken by Chris Nye (Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Alaska Volcano Observatory.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. A map showing the location of Fourpeaked and Douglas volcanoes, Cook Inlet, and adjacent settlements including the city of Homer on the SW Kenai Peninsula. Created by Seth Snedigar and Janet Schaafer, AVO-ADGGS.

On the evening of 17 September, AVO received several reports of two discrete plumes rising from the Cape Douglas area. The plumes were photographed at an unstated time on 17 September from the town of Homer (figure 3). At this stage, neither Douglas nor Fourpeaked had devoted seismic instruments.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. A photograph of the eruption of Fourpeaked on 17 September 2006. The photo was taken from Main Street in Homer at an unstated time. Copyrighted photograph by Lanny Simpson, Alaska High Mountain Images (shown on AVO's website).

Retrospective analysis of data from the NEXRAD Doppler radar in King Salmon showed an unusual cloud starting at 1200 on 17 September. The maximum cloud height determined by radar during the first hour of the event was 6 km altitude. The radar return from the cloud continued until at least 2145 (figure 4).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Image from the King Salmon NEXRAD weather radar showing the volcanic cloud at Fourpeaked on 17 September 2006 at 1240 (2040 UTC). In color the radar reflectivity ranges from light blue (low) to dark green (moderate), which corresponds to greater numbers and/or sizes of particles. It cannot be determined whether the signal is due to large water droplets, ice particles, coarse-grained ash, or a mixture. Image created by Dave Schneider, AVO/USGS, using data and software from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center.

A cloud of sulfur dioxide gas was observed by colleagues at the Volcanic Emissions Group at the University of Maryland Baltimore. They used data collected at 1500 by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite (figure 5).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Image showing the total amount of sulfur dioxide over Fourpeaked on 17 September 2006 as measured by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite. Sulfur dioxide is displayed in Dobson Units (DU, a measure of the number of molecules in a unit area of the atmospheric column). Image created by the Volcanic Emissions Group at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

On the basis of the suite of visual, radar, and satellite observations, all the 17 September clouds were inferred volcanic in origin. Although satellite data did not detect ash during this event, AVO received reports of a trace of ashfall at Nonvianuk Lake outlet (110 km WNW) and near Homer (150 km NE). Field observers saw deep scouring of a glacier flowing W from the summit, indicating flooding, probably from the 17 September event.In the caption to a 20 September AVO photo by K.L. Wallace there was noted a "continuous layer of discolored snow and ice above [~1 km elevation,]~3,000 feet asl on the NE flank of Fourpeaked volcano (S of Douglas volcano). Could possibly be ash from the 9/17/06 event."

Both fixed-wing and helicopter overflights in the Cape Douglas area on 20 September confirmed the source of volcanic activity to be Fourpeaked volcano. AVO raised the Level of Concern Color Code from "Not Assigned" to YELLOW on 20 September.

A 23 September observation flight conducted in relatively good weather permitted the first look at the summit since the event of 17 September. Observers saw a linear series of vents running N from the summit for about 1 km. Most of these vents vigorously emitted steam and other volcanic gases. Gas measurements indicated abundant quantities of sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide. Thermal measurements of up to 75°C were recorded at the vents, although steam was likely obscuring hotter areas. Adjacent glacial ice had been disrupted and showed signs of subsidence. Airborne gas measurements taken on 23, 24, and 30 September again documented high emission rates of sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide, and a distinct sulfur smell was evident up to 50 km from the summit. An AVO status report on 3 October noted that cloudy conditions had prevented visual or satellite observations, but limited seismic data being received did not indicate significant volcanic activity.

The AVO reported that volcanic unrest continued at Fourpeaked during 30 September-24 October. A seismometer installed on 25 September indicated ongoing low-level seismicity. Due to the limited number of seismometers, earthquake epicenters were not located. Emission rates of sulfur dioxide were high during 4-10 October and on 27 October. Observations were hindered due to cloud cover, but on 12 October AVO staff reported that two prominent vents were emitting steam and gas. Figure 6 shows several shots illustrating the enlarged opening in the ice on 15 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Photographs of the steaming vent area at Fourpeaked volcano on 15 October 2006. Courtesy of Kate Bull (AVO-ADGGS).

On 20 October, field crews installed a web camera located 16 km (10 miles) N of Fourpeaked. Steam plumes originating from vents along the summit were visible via the web camera on 27 and 30 October. Steaming continued through at least 4 November (figure 7).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. A 4 November 2006 photograph documenting steaming on the uppermost section of the northern flank of Fourpeaked volcano. Courtesy of Jennifer Adleman (AVO/USGS).

Geologic Background. Poorly known Fourpeaked volcano in NE Katmai National Park consists of isolated outcrops surrounded by the Fourpeaked Glacier, which descends eastward almost to the Shelikof Strait. The orientation of andesitic lava flows and extensive hydrothermal alteration of rocks near the present summit suggest that it probably marks the vent area. Eruptive activity during the Holocene had not been confirmed prior to the first historical eruption in September 2006. A N-trending fissure extending 1 km from the summit produced minor ashfall.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA; Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA; and Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/); S.A. Carn, N.A. Krotkov, A.J. Krueger, and K. Yang, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA.


Home Reef (Tonga) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Home Reef

Tonga

18.992°S, 174.775°W; summit elev. -10 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Extensive pumice rafts between Tonga and Fiji during August-October

Pumice rafts drifting from Tonga to Fiji occurred during August-October 2006. The source of these pumice rafts was Home Reef, which was first observed to be in eruption on 9 August and was clearly building an island by 12 August (figure 2). A compilation of report sightings through mid-October 2006, plotted using Google Earth, shows the timing and distribution of the pumice rafts that are discussed in this report (figure 3). As is our convention, and as available, a list of contributors (and their vessels) is noted in last section of this report.

Pumice traveled both N and S around Fiji's Lau Group. To the N, pumice reached Taveuni through the Nanuku passage and entered the Koro sea, washing onto southern Vanua Levu, before moving into the Bligh Waters N of Viti Levu by 20 September. To the S, extensive pumice was seen N of Vatoa Island on 16 September, and on Kadavu Island by the end of the month. Pumice was also encountered by the Encore II W of Viti Levu on 30 September while enroute to New Caledonia.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Photograph of the new island being built by the eruption at Home Reef as seen on 12 August 2006. The island was ~1.5 km in diameter. View is towards the W from about 2.8 km away. Courtesy of Fredrik Fransson of the Maiken.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Map of Tonga (right) and Fiji (upper left) showing dates and locations where observers saw pumice rafts (placemarks with dots) or where mariners crossing between Tonga and Fiji failed to see rafts (placemarks with crosses). Some locations are approximate; see text for additional details and sources of each observation. The base map is from Google Earth with points plotted by Bulletin editors.

Early observations of the eruption. The news service Matangi Tonga Online quoted Allan Bowe, the owner of the Mounu Island Resort in southern Vava'u, regarding volcanic activity in the direction of Home Reef during 9-11 August. Bowe heard ". . . what sounded like continuous thunder rumbling to the S and there was a huge plume of smoke and cloud rising up into the sky." In another Matangi news article, Siaosi Fenukitau, a captain of one of the fishing boats of the Maritime Projects Co. (Tonga) Ltd., reported that around mid-September they sighted a new volcanic island near Home Reef that was larger than Fotuha'a, a small island in Ha'apai with a population of about 134 people.

The yacht Maiken left Neiafu on 11 August, passing the N side of Late Island. After about 9 km the crew noticed brown, somewhat grainy streaks in the water. The streaks became larger and more frequent as they continued SW "until the whole horizon was a solid line to what looked like a desert." The brownish pumice fragments the size of a fist were floating in water that was strangely green. They motored into the vast (many miles wide) belt of densely packed pumice, and within seconds Maiken slowed down from seven to one knot. Initially the thin layer on the surface was pushed away by the bow wave, but when they entered the solid field it started to pile up and "behaved like wet concrete" and "looked like rolling sand dunes as far as the eye could see." After retreating from the pumice with only minor paint abrasion along the waterline, and then cleaning their intake filters, they decided to anchor in Vaiutukakau bay outside Vava'u for the night. The next morning, 12 August, they received radio confirmation of an eruption, but the vent and extent were uncertain. They decided to go S to avoid the pumice rafts floating NW, heading SSW until they encountered the pumice, then sailing alongside until the rafts were broken up enough to safely travel through.

As they approached Home Reef it became clear that one of the clouds on the horizon was a volcanic plume. Observations from a closer vantage point revealed that an intermittent "massive black pillar shot upwards toward the sky" and particles were raining down. Since the wind was pushing the plume NW, the Maiken motored up to within 2.8 km of the island (to 18°59.5'S, 174°46.3'W) while the sun was going down. Multiple peaks forming a crater open to the sea on one side were visible, and it looked like it was "made of black coal." Not wanting to encounter more pumice rafts after dark, they continued SSW towards the southern part of the Lau Group.

Pumice sightings between Tonga and Fiji. Boats that later noted seeing pumice in Fiji did not report any activity or rafts near Tonga during 27-29 August. The Soren Larsen sailed through "a sea of floating pumice" one evening that "sounded like we were sailing through ice" just before reaching Fiji. This encounter was probably on 30 August when their online tracker located the ship just W of the central Lau islands after departing Neiafu on the 28th. No eruptive activity or pumice was noted in the online log of the Soren Larsen for 14-15 and 23-24 August when they transited to northern Tonga to the E of Home Reef.

While the Encore II crew was visiting the Mounu Island Resort on 2 September there were "grapefruit-sized" pumice pieces on the beach. A few days later, while listening to the "Rag of the Air" net broadcast out of Fiji, the Encore II crew learned of pumice rafts along their expected route. The operator of this broadcast, Jim Bandy, provides weather reports for boats going between Tonga and Fiji. One report was of a mass of pumice about 11 km long and at least a meter ("many feet") deep. The Encore II departed from Neiafu on 8 September on a course around a set of Fijian islands and reefs called the Lau Group. The crew believed that this route, going NW around the Lau Group, helped them avoid most of the pumice.

As the Encore II approached their turning point about two thirds of the way to Fiji, on 10 September, they encountered "rivers of pumice" floating roughly parallel to their NW course due to the SE winds (figure 4). Some pumice fragments that they collected were about 5-10 cm in diameter, although most were about the size of pea gravel. The parallel streams of pumice, only a single layer in depth, were sometimes up to 90 m wide and 400 m long. The crew later heard reports from several boats that had taken a more westerly route through the Lau Group to Fiji and encountered much larger areas of pumice. The crew on the Norwegian sailboat Stormsvalen went through larger and thicker areas of pumice, leaving a track in the pumice as they went through (figures 5 and 6). They noted that boats traveling through the pumice during higher winds and seas encountered a problem of airborne pumice pelting the crews and their boats. One crew reported pumice covering their deck.

0 Figure 4. Photograph showing small areas of floating pumice just NE of the Lau Group of islands, Fiji, around 10 September 2006. Courtesy of the Encore II crew.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Photograph showing a large pumice raft near the Lau Group of islands, Fiji, on an unknown date in early to mid-September 2006. Courtesy of the Stormsvalen crew via the Encore II.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. View of a large pumice raft after the passage of a sailing vessel near the Lau Group of islands, Fiji, on an unknown date in early to mid-September 2006. Courtesy of the Stormsvalen crew via the Encore II.

A sailboat blog entry by Sara Berman and Jean Philippe Chabot noted a "strong sulfur odor" in the direction of the volcano upon leaving Tongan waters around 20 September. As they progressed SW towards Fiji they passed through streams of pumice containing pieces ranging from very small pebbles to larger pieces the size of a baseball. Every time a wave crashed on deck they heard the pumice making its way onto the boat and into the cockpit.On 30 September the Windbird log noted that ". . . cruisers are still having to avoid the huge pumice field that is floating about between Tonga and Fiji."

Bob McDavitt's "Weathergram" for 15 October noted that reports from yachts sailing between Tonga and Fiji indicated an absence of pumice. These observations suggest that the bulk of material produced by the eruption, or series of eruptions, had crossed to Fiji by mid-October.

Pumice rafts in northern Fiji. The earliest known direct observations of the floating pumice in Fiji come from a boat with callsign KB1LSY, the crew of which noted that "thick pumice" slowed them to 2 knots for 30 minutes during the early morning hours of 28 August. This occurred as they approached the northern islands of the Lau Group in Fiji, about 500 km NW of Home Reef.

According to Roberta Davis, the pumice arrived at Taveuni, Fiji, on 14 September. There were several rafts ~300 m from shore with other rafts scattered farther out. Local mariners noted that pieces in the top layer were approximately the size of pea gravel. Suspended below the surface were pieces almost as large as footballs. The beaches on the northern shores of Taveuni were covered in what appeared to be black popcorn. The pumice was present at Taveuni for up to 6 days.

On 19 September David Forsythe reported that large rafts of pumice were passing through the northern Lau group in Fiji (figure 7). He noted gooseneck barnacles up to 10 mm long on the largest pieces. Bulletin editors found compiled growth rates for various stalked barnacles ( Thiel and Gutow, 2005), which indicated 17-29 days of growth.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Panoramic view of Indigo Swan Beach filled with pumice, Naitauba Island, Fiji, as seen in September 2006. Courtesy of David Forsythe.

The Encore II crew observed pumice along the S side of Vanua Levu, W of the Lau Group, around 16 September. They noted pumice at Fawn Harbour that obscured the channel into the harbor and it made a boat at anchor appear to be aground on an island. They also observed streams of pumice near the Makogai Channel on 20 September. The Fiji Times Online reported on 20 September that villagers living along the coastal areas of Saqani in Cakaudrove (Vanua Levu) were battling to clear their pumice-covered seashores and rivers. Villagers saw the pumice floating in the sea near their homes on 18 September, and by the next day the pumice covered the river and villagers could not fish or travel by boats and bamboo rafts to their plantations.

While diving at the "Bligh Triangle" of Fiji at sites NW of Viti Levu, the crew aboard the Nai'a encountered floating pumice during 20 September-7 October. The pumice was "surrounding the Nai'a and the skiffs with occasional big carpets of floating rock." Roman Leslie, an Australian volcanologist who was fishing in Koro (Lomaiviti Group), also observed the pumice in late September.Scientists aboard the research vessel Yokosuka observed pumice settling to the shore of Viti Levu on 6 October. The rafts were in bands up to 70-80 m wide and several hundred meters long. The pumice fragments were fully abraded, and dominantly less than 1 cm in diameter with occasional large blocks up to 15-20 cm in diameter. The pumice seemed to be quite phenocryst-rich. The sound of the moving, abrading rafts was described as "sizzling."

Pumice rafts in southern Fiji. A biologist aboard the National Geographic motor vessel Endeavour reported that on the morning of 16 September they observed an extensive region of floating pumice "... in long, wind-driven rows, approximately 1-5 m wide and up to several hundred meters long." Pieces of pumice averaged 0.5-8 cm in longest dimension. The largest piece observed was approximately 15 cm in longest dimension. The observations continued over the next 90 km, for 3.5 hours, with little interruption, until they made landfall at Vatoa Island in the Lau Group. Moderate windrows of pumice, up to several inches deep, were observed on the beaches of Vatoa.

Roger Matthews arrived in Kadavu, Fiji, on 30 September and reported that pumice had been coming ashore for about a week. On the southern coast of the island near the airport, the layer of pumice on 30 September was 10-15 cm thick floating on top of ~1 m of water (figure 8). Farther NE, pumice that began coming ashore at the Matava Resort on 3 October carried goose barnacle shells that measured about 2-3 mm on the bigger clasts. By 7 October barnacle size on arriving pumice had increased to around 4-6 mm. While scuba diving, Matthews noted neutrally buoyant bits of pumice, generally in the 3-10 mm size range, down to at least 40 m water depth. The pumice did not appear to have an even size distribution (figure 9). There were a number of big clasts, 2-3 cm, with a large amount of material in the 8-15 mm range. In the shore deposits there appeared to be a large volume of fines in the sub-2 mm size. The material was clean with no algae, just the occasional barnacles. The clasts contained phenocrysts up to 2 mm long. The raft drifted in and out depending on wind conditions, at times extending 75-100 m from shore, and invaded streams at high tide. On shore there were 20-cm-thick deposits, some of which was used as fill behind the sea walls (figure 10).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Pumice found floating in North Bay along the southern coast of Kadavu, Fiji, on 30 September 2006. Courtesy of Roger Matthews.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. A close up view of pumice seen near Matava Resort on the S shore of Kadavu, Fiji, 3 October 2006. Courtesy of Roger Matthews.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Pumice deposits seen at ebb tide near Matava Resort on the S shore of Kadavu, Fiji, 8 October 2006. Some of the pumice has been used as fill behind the sea wall. Deposits can be seen on the steps into the water, and waves propagating through the pumice could still break. Courtesy of Roger Matthews.

A 31 October story in the Fiji Times described transportation difficulties between Daviqele Village, on the W end of Kadavu, and other parts of the island due to pumice that a resident said had "covered [Naluvea Bay] for over two months now." Similar problems were reported by Adrian Watt at Matava Resort on the S shore of Kadavu. In an email relayed by Roberta Davis, Watt noted that by 2 November the pumice had mostly stopped coming in, with "... just a few strands of small pieces being blown along wind lines here and there." The pieces were generally 5-10 mm in diameter, but several were bigger, and one was larger than 30 cm across. Large bays on Kadavu's SE side were pumice choked, hampering boat travel, and clogged cooling systems damaged or destroyed many outboard engines.

Reference. Thiel, M., and Gutow, L., 2005, The ecology of rafting in the marine environment. II. The rafting organisms and community: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 2005, v. 43, p. 279-418.

Geologic Background. Home Reef, a submarine volcano midway between Metis Shoal and Late Island in the central Tonga islands, was first reported active in the mid-19th century, when an ephemeral island formed. An eruption in 1984 produced a 12-km-high eruption plume, copious amounts of floating pumice, and an ephemeral island 500 x 1500 m wide, with cliffs 30-50 m high that enclosed a water-filled crater. Another island-forming eruption in 2006 produced widespread dacitic pumice rafts that reached as far as Australia.

Information Contacts: Fredrik Fransson and Håkan Larsson, Yacht Maiken, 32 Macrossan St., Unit 70, Brisbane 4000, Australia (URL: http://yacht-maiken.blogspot.com/); Paul and Nancy Horst, Encore II (URL: http://www.encorevoyages.com/); KB1LSY Crew (URL: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=KB1LSY); Matangi Tonga Online, Vava'u Press Ltd., PO Box 958, Nuku'alofa, Tonga (URL: http://www.matangitonga.to/); Roger Matthews, Private Bag 93500, Takapuna, North Shore City 1332, New Zealand; Ken Tani, R/V Yokosuka; David Forsythe, Naitauba Island, Fiji; David Cothran, 1211 Colestin Rd., Ashland, OR 97520, USA; Bob McDavitt's Weathergram (URL: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/list_manager.php##Bob McDavitt's Pacific Weathergrams); Nick Sambrook, Tall Ship Soren Larsen, P.O.Box 60-660 Titirangi Auckland 0642, New Zealand (URL: http://www.sorenlarsen.co.nz/2006/V237_Tonga-Fiji/V237_Tonga-Fiji_Nick.htm, http://www.sorenlarsen.co.nz/Voylog_Track.htm); Windbird Crew (URL: http://handleysail.com/logs/?cat=1&paged=2); NAI'A Liveaboard Scuba Diving, Lautoka, Fiji (URL: http://www.naia.com.fj/); Roberta Davis, Makaira by the Sea, Taveuni, Fiji (URL: http://www.fijibeachfrontatmakaira.com/); Adrian Watt, Matava Resort, Kadavu, Fiji (URL: http://www.matava.com/); Sara Berman and Jean Philippe Chabot (URL: http://zayasail.blogspot.com/2006/09/east.html).


Montagu Island (United Kingdom) — September 2006 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)


Five years of nearly persistent eruptive activity

Matthew Patrick reported that the month of October represents the 5-year anniversary of the start of the still-ongoing eruption at Mount Belinda on Montagu Island. The first satellite thermal alert for the volcano occurred on 20 October 2001, and was the first definitive record of historical volcanic activity on the island (BGVN 28:02) (Patrick and others, 2005). The MODVOLC monitoring system uses MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite data processed at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa. Current MODVOLC results, shown in figure 16A, indicate more-or-less persistent activity throughout the 5-year period, with radiant heat flux apparently peaking in late 2005 and early 2006.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Plots of MODVOLC data at Belinda volcano on Montagu Island from 2001 to October 2006. (A) Chronological graph of radiant heat output from Mount Belinda measured from satellite sensors. (B) Chronological plot showing the distance of satellite-measured thermal anomaly pixels from the Mount Belinda vent. Courtesy of HIGP Thermal Alerts Team.

Landsat and ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) imagery has shown that the eruption consisted of central vent activity producing lava flows. Small-scale explosive activity has also commonly blanketed the E side of the island. Three effusive events have been observed in ASTER/Landsat imagery, with the most recent (September-October 2005) producing a lava flow that traveled 3.5 km and reached the sea to build a 500-m-wide delta of lava (BGVN 30:09 and 30:11).

Figure 16B shows relative location (distance from the vent) comparing Mount Belinda's vent with the locations of MODVOLC alert pixels. This plot clearly shows longer flows during the September 2005 effusive event. Following this period, there were several other long-distance events. It is unclear if these reflect additional effusive events.

In addition, the first two effusive events observed in the ASTER/Landsat images do not appear on the MODVOLC plot (figure 16B), due either to cloud cover or their short flow lengths. Since the beginning of 2006, no cloud-free ASTER images have been available.

Geographic terminology. The nomenclature of volcanic features on Montagu Island, particularly in regard to Mount Belinda, has been quite variable. Although the name Montagu has been applied to the major volcanic edifice forming the island (LeMasurier and Thomson, 1990), the name Mount Belinda has been variously applied to the entire volcano, the currently active young cone on the northern side of the island, the 6-km-wide summit caldera, and a peak on the southern caldera rim that is the island's high point. In consultation with John Smellie of the British Antarctic Survey, we have used Montagu to refer to the volcano forming the island and Mount Belinda for the currently active cone.

References. LeMasurier, W.E., and Thomson, J.W. (eds.), 1990, Volcanoes of the Antarctic Plate and Southern Oceans: Washington, D C: American Geophysical Union, 487 p.

Patrick, M.R., Smellie, J.L., Harris, A.J.L., Wright, R., Dean, K., Izbekov, P., Garbeil, H., and Pilger, E., 2005, First recorded eruption of Mount Belinda volcano (Montagu Island), South Sandwich Islands, Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 67, no. 5, p. 415-422.

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: Matthew Patrick, Dept. of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA; HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), University of Hawaii at Manoa, 168 East-West Road, Post 602, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); John Smellie, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingly Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom (URL: https://www.bas.ac.uk/).


Rabaul (Papua New Guinea) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Rabaul

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strong eruption at Tavurvur ejected ash and large plumes to the troposphere

A 7 October Rabaul eruption obscured visibility in and around the caldera, which sits at the NE end of New Britain Island (figure 42). The eruption took place at the intra-caldera cone Tavurvur, and emissions included lava flows. Intermittent eruptions had occurred at Tavurvur since 1994, the last of which took place on 15 January 2006 (BGVN 31:02). Photos by pilots shortly after the eruption documented a dramatic umbrella-shaped plume, which rose to the tropopause and created an SO2 cloud that later divided into two parts, one moving NW, the other SE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. (Top) Index maps indicating the location and geography around Rabaul caldera. (Bottom) A map of Rabaul derived from work by Almond and McKee and prepared by Lyn Topinka (US Geological Survey). For other maps see previous Bulletin reports on Rabaul (most recently, BGVN 28:01).

Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) observations. The RVO announced that a sustained eruption from Tavurvur did not appear to have been any immediate precursors apart from a small deflation. The sub-Plinian eruption began at about 0845 on 7 October 2006 and continued into the early afternoon. Semi-continuous to rhythmic air blasts were obvious in Rabaul town, with doors slamming and windows rattling. Rabaul received moderately heavy ashfall; heavy lapilli of ~ 1 mm diameter fell, and a few lithics up to 3 cm across fell around the S and SW parts of the caldera. According to Herman Patia at RVO, a small pumice raft accumulated in Greet Harbor and pumice was still drifting about several weeks later.

Ashfall affected the whole of the Gazelle peninsula (the name given to the bulbous, 50-km-diameter NE end of New Britain island). About 1 cm of ash was deposited on the SW side of the caldera in the Blue Lagoon-Vulcan sector. Ashfall occurred ~ 7 km SE of Rabaul caldera's center point in Kokopo and -20 km S of the center point in Warangoi. The density of ashfall was such that Tavurvur was obscured from all directions. In the town of Rabaul the experience was very similar to the October 1996 and January 1997 Strombolian eruptions.

At 1200 on 7 October 2006 the RSAM was about 1900 units and its rate appeared to be decreasing. (The Real-time Seismic Amplitude is an often-used tool to summarize seismic activity during volcanic crises by presenting a measure of the average amplitude of ground shaking over successive 10-min intervals.)

Thick ash clouds rose to a height of about 18 km. The cloud subsequently dispersed over a broad western swath (N to W to S).

The nature of the eruption changed to Strombolian at 1415 hours, with activity characterized by frequent explosions accompanied by shock waves. At 1730 hours, the Strombolian activity began to subside. A moderate to bright glow was visible during the evening of 7 October on Tavurvur's N rim, accompanied by occasional explosions and loud roaring noises throughout the night.

In the morning of 8 October, thick white and blue vapor accompanied occasional ash explosions drifted N and NW of Tavurvur. Inspection from Rapindik (2 km NNW from Tavurvur) revealed lava flows emplaced down the cone's W and N flanks. The W flank flow went into the harbor and caused small secondary explosions; visibility of the N flank was poor due to the white vapor emission. The RSAM level decreased to the background value of ~ 70 units.

Herman Patia reported that by 28 October 2006 the eruption had quieted down with only occasional ash emission accompanied by rare explosions. Seismic activity was at a low level and ground deformation was at a low rate. On 30 October mild eruptive activity continued at Tavurvur. The activity consisted of continuous emission of thick pale to dark gray ash clouds that drifted N to NW of the volcano. Fine ash fall occurred in the NE caldera at Namanula, and also in surrounding areas downwind and on the E side of Rabaul Town. There were no audible noises and no glow visible. The low-level eruptive activity consisted of occasional ash emissions similar to those that have occurred regularly since 1994.

Pilot observations. Figures 43 and 44 are pilot's photographs provided by Tony Gridley, Air Niugini, indicating the well-developed ash clouds visible 1-2 hours after the eruption. The photos are reminiscent of the 20 September 1994 photo of the eruption cloud taken from the orbiting Space Shuttle, an oblique, downward-looking perspective from the NE about 24 hours after the start of that eruption (BGVN 19:08).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Aerial photo taken 1 or 2 hours after the eruption of 7 October 2006 at ~ 3.7 km (~ 12,000 ft) and ~ 90 km (~ 50 nautical miles) from Tokua airport (Rabaul's new airport, on the S side of the caldera) while flying at a heading of about 060° (i.e. looking ENE). The flight was "on the Hoskins-Tokua track." Courtesy of Tony Gridley, Air Niugini.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Aerial photo taken 1 or 2 hours after the eruption of 7 October 2006 at ~ 3.7 km (~ 12,000 ft) and ~ 90 km from Tokua airport, heading about 060°. Courtesy of Tony Gridley, Air Niugini.

Satellite observations. According to Andrew Tupper, the 7 October eruption was clearly visible on infrared and visible imagery (to around tropopause altitudes). Figure 45 shows the ash cloud imaged from the MODIS satellite on 7 October 2006. Figure 46 depicts the sulfur dioxide (SO2) in Dobson Units (DU) from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) for 7-9 October 2006. Further details appear in the figure caption. The SO2 concentration-pathlengths on the figure are shown using the logarithmic scale of Dobson Units. (As one explanation of this unit, if all SO2 in the air column the satellite observed was flattened into a thin layer at the surface of the Earth at a temperature of 0° C, then 1 Dobson Unit would make a layer of pure SO2 0.01 mm thick.)

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. True-color (above) and false-color (below) images of a Rabaul eruption cloud created by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite, 7 October 2006. Volcanic emissions block the view of most of the island but Rabaul's approximate location is at the solid triangle. The brown or tan plume in the E clearly bears volcanic ash. The bright "cloud" to the immediate left of the brown ash represents a portion of the volcanic ash plume that reached a high enough altitude for the water content of that plume to turn to ice crystals that "white out" the ash content that would otherwise appear tan or brown. Courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. The Rabaul eruption injected SO2 into the atmosphere and measurements from satellite spectrometers led to creation of this series of images mapping the SO2 concentrations over the region during 7-9 October 2006. Data are from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite. On 7 October, high SO2 concentrations lingered over New Britain. By 8 October, the original plume had split into two clouds, one spreading NW, the other, SE. On 9 October, the SO2 had diffused more, but a core of elevated concentration-pathlength values remained in the northern plume. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory and Simon Carn, University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Based on information from the RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that a brief eruption of Rabaul on 11 October produced a plume that reached an altitude of 7.6 km altitude and dissipated NW. Continuous low-level emissions and vulcanian eruptions produced plumes to 1 km altitude during 12-17 October.

Moderate Resolution Infrared Spectroradiometry (MODIS) thermal anomalies. Table 4 shows the thermal anomalies as measured from the MODIS satellite during the eruption period. Note that there were no anomalies for several months before this period. The anomalies are in harmony with the observed lava flows.

Table 4. MODIS thermal anomalies for Rabaul volcano for 7-17 October 2006. Courtesy of Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.

Date Time (UTC) Pixels Satellite
07 Oct 2006 1140 4 Terra
08 Oct 2006 0000 2 Terra
08 Oct 2006 1220 6 Terra
08 Oct 2006 1520 4 Aqua
10 Oct 2006 1210 2 Terra
11 Oct 2006 0035 1 Terra
11 Oct 2006 1250 1 Terra
15 Oct 2006 1230 1 Terra
15 Oct 2006 1525 3 Aqua
17 Oct 2006 1215 1 Terra
22 Oct 2006 0015 2 Terra
22 Oct 2006 1535 1 Aqua
24 Oct 2006 1220 2 Terra

News releases. According to Reuters news service the 7 October blast shattered windows up to 12 km from the caldera. In 1994, a large eruption at Tavurvur and the nearby Vulcan peak destroyed much of Rabaul, covering the airport and much of the town with ash, and forcing the construction of a new capital, Kokopo, 20 km away. Ash was falling on Kokopo, causing power and phone cuts. There were no reports of death or injuries. In addition Reuters noted that "Rabaul Chamber of Commerce President and hotelier Bruce Alexander told Australian Associated Press that around 2,000 people?or 90 percent of the local population?had fled the town as Mt. Tavurvur erupted. All flights into Tokua airport across the harbor from Rabaul had been canceled due to ash falls."

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, with 90% of the residents absent and only essential personnel in Rabaul, local officials feared looters. Accordingly, extra police were called in, and armed police patrols were stepped up.

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

Information Contacts: Steve Saunders and Herman Patia, Rabaul Volcanological Observatory (RVO), Department of Mining, Private Mail Bag, Port Moresby Post Office, National Capitol District, Papua, New Guinea; Andrews Tupper, Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Darwin, Australia; Peter Webley, ARSC/UAF, 909 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska; Simon Carn, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA; National Aeronautics and Space Administration Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards); HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), University of Hawaii at Manoa, 168 East-West Road, Post 602, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


San Cristobal (Nicaragua) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

San Cristobal

Nicaragua

12.702°N, 87.004°W; summit elev. 1745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Multi-year update: 13 June 2004, local ash fall; early 2006, small eruptions

San Cristóbal was last reported on in BGVN 28:10, covering intermittent gas and ash emissions between August 2002 and September 2003. The Instituto Nicarag?ense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) noted that low seismicity and minor gas and ash emissions characterized the period from October 2003 to June 2004.

On 7 June 2004 a lahar flowed more than 600 m. On 13 June 2004, an eruption caused ash to fall in the communities of Las Rojas, El Chonco, and El Viejo.

On 20 July 2004 at 1430, an M 4.3 earthquake occurred to the N of the volcano at a depth of less than four km. The earthquake was felt in the regions of Carlos Fonseca, Villa 15 de Julio, La Suiza, Las Rojas, Mocorón, San Jose del Obraje, Santa Carlota, San Antonio, Ranchería, and bordering regions. Some houses were damaged and the population was alarmed. The earthquake was felt in Matagalpa and Ocotal, and San Cristóbal emitted abundant gases for the following two days. During the rest of July, 95 aftershocks were registered; residents felt two more earthquakes, which occurred on 23 and 30 July.

During August to early December 2004, minor seismicity and ash and gas emissions were the norm. Ash explosions occurred on 3, 4, and 7 December. According to local people, ash fell in Chinandega and El Viejo.

The next available report discussed 16-22 November 2005. INETER detected an increase in seismicity beginning on 19 November. Increased tremor was interpreted as being related to gas and ash emissions. Ash fell W of the volcano and near the town of Chinandega, ~ 15 km SW of the volcano. The amount of tremor decreased later.

According to an Associated Press news report, explosions on 6 March 2006 produced columns of ash and gas that rose above the volcano. The activity ceased by 8 March and there were no evacuations.

INETER noted that phreatomagmatic eruptions began at San Cristóbal on 21 April 2006. Seismic tremor increased the same day around 1300. Small explosions produced gas-and-ash plumes during 21-23 April that deposited small amounts of ash in nearby towns.

Geologic Background. The San Cristóbal volcanic complex, consisting of five principal volcanic edifices, forms the NW end of the Marrabios Range. The symmetrical 1745-m-high youngest cone, named San Cristóbal (also known as El Viejo), is Nicaragua's highest volcano and is capped by a 500 x 600 m wide crater. El Chonco, with several flank lava domes, is located 4 km W of San Cristóbal; it and the eroded Moyotepe volcano, 4 km NE of San Cristóbal, are of Pleistocene age. Volcán Casita, containing an elongated summit crater, lies immediately east of San Cristóbal and was the site of a catastrophic landslide and lahar in 1998. The Plio-Pleistocene La Pelona caldera is located at the eastern end of the complex. Historical eruptions from San Cristóbal, consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been reported since the 16th century. Some other 16th-century eruptions attributed to Casita volcano are uncertain and may pertain to other Marrabios Range volcanoes.

Information Contacts: Virginia Tenorio, Emilio Talavera, and Martha Navarro, Instituto Nicaraguense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); Associated Press (URL: http://www.ap.org/).


Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Soufriere Hills

United Kingdom

16.72°N, 62.18°W; summit elev. 915 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Extrusive dome dynamics during May-September 2006

Since the 20 May 2006 dome collapse, the lava dome at Soufrière Hills has continued to grow. Only weeks after the collapse, the alert level was raised to 4 as a result of increased seismic activity. At approximately 1300 on 30 June, the lava dome partially collapsed again, producing pyroclastic flows that traveled E. According to the Washington VAAC, a pilot reported an ash plume that reached ~ 3 km altitude and drifted NW. At 1830 on 30 June, Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) indicated a second dome collapse that also generated ash plumes to an altitude of 3.0-3.5 km (figure 70). According to MVO, on 27 June (prior to the collapse on 30 June) the lava dome had an estimated volume of 27 million cubic meters.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. A photo taken on 30 June 2006 of Soufrière Hills as viewed from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory showing the first partial dome collapse of the day. The partial collapse began just before 1300 local time and lasted ~ 20 minutes, generating ash clouds to an altitude of ~ 3.5 km that drifted WNW. Pyroclastic flows (left side of picture) were confined to the Tar River valley and ultimately reached the sea. Most of the lava dome remained intact. Photo courtesy of MVO.

On 7 July, the alert level was lowered from 4 to 3. Increased rockfall activity and dome growth to the NE were observed on 21 July, and the post-collapse dome developed an asymmetric profile owing to a blocky spine on the NE. On 18 July the spine's summit stood at ~ 895 m elevation. As the dome continued to grow during July (figure 71), visual observations revealed that the still intact blocky spine began leaning E.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. A photo of Soufrière Hills taken on 25 July showing spines at the summit of the lava dome as viewed from the NE. Photo courtesy Greg Scott of Caribbean Helicopters.

During August the dome lost spines from its crest, giving it a more symmetrical profile as it continued to grow E. Heightened activity during the last week of August included an increase in seismicity and pyroclastic flows. On 29 August, pyroclastic flows reached the Tar River valley and generated a steam-and-ash cloud that reached an altitude of ~ 9 km. Heavy rainfall produced mudflows around the base of the volcano.

At 0300 on 31 August, two vigorous ash-and-steam vents opened on the W and N flanks of the dome (figure 72). The venting episode was audible at times from the town of Salem and the surrounding areas. MVO noted the continued dome growth and the opening of these vents when on 31 August they raised the alert level to 4.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Photos showing activity at Soufrière Hills on 31 August 2006. (top) Emissions from the vigorous new vent inside Gages wall (Gages Mountain to the left of the vent and Chances Peak to the right). (bottom) N-looking photo showing the N crater wall, lava dome, and the new vigorous ash vent on the N side of the lava dome. Courtesy of MVO.

Heightened activity continued in September. The dome continued to develop substantially with a majority of growth on the W side. The vents that opened on 31 August remained active, with the vent above Gage's wall emitting a plume of hot gases and the N vent on the dome producing mainly ash-and-steam (figure 73). The opening of these vents coincided with high lava extrusion rates and consequent dome growth.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. A photo showing lava-dome glow viewed from the S at MVO at 2200 on 7 September 2006. Incandescent rocks can be seen tumbling down all flanks of the lava dome on this clear night. A faint glow is visible from the very hot and active gas vent just inside the Gages wall (just right of the dome in the picture). Photo courtesy of MVO.

At 0100 on 10 September, the vent above Gage's wall became more vigorous throughout the day, broadening the vent and generating a wide vertical ash column. By 1300 the venting there became violent and explosive with black jets of ash rising ~ 100 m. Pyroclastic flows traveled down the Gages valley for ~ 1 km (figure 74). The vent formed a crater in the Gages wall, reducing its height compared to that of Chances Peak by 30-50 m. By 11 September, pyroclastic flows from vent emissions had ceased, but vigorous ash venting continued. At 0830 an overhanging lava lobe that developed on the NE collapsed sending a pyroclastic flow almost to the sea at the end of the Tar River valley.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. A photo showing explosive ash venting from a spot above Gages valley at 1530 on 10 September. Pyroclastic flows can be seen advancing into Gages valley in the foreground. Photo courtesy of MVO.

Although volcanic tremor ended early on 16 September, an intense episode of volcanic tremor lasting just half an hour started at 1400 on 19 September. It was accompanied by intense rockfall activity giving rise to minor pyroclastic flows down the N and NE flanks of the lava dome. On 21 September the alert level was reduced to 3.

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

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


Sulu Range (Papua New Guinea) — September 2006 Citation iconCite this Report

Sulu Range

Papua New Guinea

5.5°S, 150.942°E; summit elev. 610 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Volcano seismicity declines in September and October 2006

On 31 October 2006 the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory (RVO) issued a followup report to the eruptive activity in the Sulu Range through much of October. Sulu Range was previously discussed in BGVN 31:07, but that report was ambiguous on the nature of the activity that had taken place during July 2006. This report and personal communications establishes that RVO staff are doubtful that the most energetic events were magmatic in character. Furthermore, RVO reported that in the weeks that followed, seismicity continued to decline.

The seismic unrest that began on 6 July declined from over 2,000 daily volcano-tectonic (VT) events to below 50 daily VT events during October (figure 2). The number fluctuated between 35 and 50 from late September to early October and between 5 and 25 during the third week of October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Sulu Range seismicity plot of daily VT earthquakes from 22 July 2006 to 24 October 2006 at the Kaiamu Seismic Station. The station did not operate on the days that lack earthquakes. Courtesy of RVO.

RVO noted that about two to three felt earthquakes with intensity 2 continued to be felt daily at irregular intervals within the Bialla area and that white steam emissions from the Silanga Hot Springs were still visible from Bialla. In addition, a moderately strong sulfur smell from the Silanga and Talopu hot springs continued to be reported.

An analysis by RVO scientists concluded that at no point did magma reach the surface. The declining trend in seismic activity from early to late October may indicate that the new magma that apparently intruded to shallow levels in July is beginning to stall.

A permanent seismic station will be installed at Kaiamu in December 2006 to provide continuous monitoring of activity from the Sulu Range and surrounding areas.

In an extension of elevated regional tectonic seismicity, a strong earthquake, M ~ 6.5, struck the S side of central New Britain on 17 October. The USGS computed the focal depth as ~ 60 km, with epicenter ~ 50 km S of the Sulu Range. According to a USGS machine-generated shaking and intensity map, the Sulu Range lies within the zone of highest computed intensity (VI).

Geologic Background. The Sulu Range consists of a cluster of partially overlapping small stratovolcanoes and lava domes in north-central New Britain off Bangula Bay. The 610-m Mount Malopu at the southern end forms the high point of the basaltic-to-rhyolitic complex. Kaiamu maar forms a peninsula with a small lake extending about 1 km into Bangula Bay at the NW side of the Sulu Range. The Walo hydrothermal area, consisting of solfataras and mud pots, lies on the coastal plain west of the SW base of the Sulu Range. No historical eruptions are known from the Sulu Range, although some of the cones display a relatively undissected morphology. A vigorous new fumarolic vent opened in 2006, preceded by vegetation die-off, seismicity, and dust-producing landslides.

Information Contacts: Steve Saunders and Herman Patia, Rabaul Volcanological Observatory (RVO), Department of Mining, Private Mail Bag, Port Moresby Post Office, National Capitol District, Papua, New Guinea; USGS Earthquakes Hazard Program (URL: http://earthquakes.usgs.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