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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


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

Shishaldin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/); Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) (URL: https://dromic.dswd.gov.ph/); United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Philippines (URL: https://www.unocha.org/philippines); James Reynolds, Earth Uncut TV (Twitter: @EarthUncutTV, URL: https://www.earthuncut.tv/, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TyphoonHunter); Chris Vagasky, Vaisala Inc., Louisville, Colorado, USA (URL: https://www.vaisala.com/en?type=1, Twitter: @COweatherman, URL: https://twitter.com/COweatherman); Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore (URL: https://www.earthobservatory.sg/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Relief Web, Flash Update No. 1 - Philippines: Taal Volcano eruption (As of 13 January 2020, 2 p.m. local time) (URL: https://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/flash-update-no-1-philippines-taal-volcano-eruption-13-january-2020-2-pm-local); Bloomberg, Philippines Braces for Hazardous Volcano Eruption (URL: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-12/philippines-raises-alert-level-in-taal-as-volcano-spews-ash); National Public Radio (NPR), Volcanic Eruption In Philippines Causes Thousands To Flee (URL: npr.org/2020/01/13/795815351/volcanic-eruption-in-philippines-causes-thousands-to-flee); Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/); Agence France-Presse (URL: http://www.afp.com/); Pacific Press (URL: http://www.pacificpress.com/); Shutterstock (URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/); Getty Images (URL: http://www.gettyimages.com/); Google Earth (URL: https://www.google.com/earth/).


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 33, Number 01 (January 2008)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Etna (Italy)

Tall sustained lava fountains, lava flows, and tephra blanket on 22-24 November 2007

Heard (Australia)

Rare thermal anomalies through March 2008 suggest eruptions

Huila, Nevado del (Colombia)

Eruptions in February, April, and May 2007; lahars take out bridges

Krakatau (Indonesia)

Repeated minor eruptions during October-November 2007

Llaima (Chile)

Ash plumes observed in May and August 2007; new eruption beginning 1 January 2008

Sheveluch (Russia)

Lava-dome growth and block-and-ash flows continue April-December 2007

Turrialba (Costa Rica)

Fumarolic increases during August 2007-January 2008

Ubinas (Peru)

Continuing ashfall during 2006-2007



Etna (Italy) — January 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Tall sustained lava fountains, lava flows, and tephra blanket on 22-24 November 2007

After the 10-hour-long episode of sustained lava fountaining from the Southeast Crater (SEC) on 4-5 September 2007 (BGVN 32:09), Etna remained quiescent for about three weeks. Ash emissions then resumed from the vent on the eastern flank of the SEC cone, which had been the main focus of activity since mid-August 2007. During October, ash emissions occurred intermittently, at times with minor incandescent ejections. This activity persisted until mid-November, after which there was a week-long pause until the early morning of 22 November. That day around 0500, weak Strombolian activity and ash emission started from the vent on the E flank of the SEC and continued with increasing strength for the following 36 hours.

A series of explosions occurred at the Bocca Nuova between 1658 and 1705 on 23 November, ejecting dark gray ash plumes, and producing strong seismic signals on nearby stations. During the following hours, Strombolian explosions occurred from the SEC vent, ejecting incandescent bombs to several tens of meters high.

After 2020, the vigor increased, with bursts of bombs rising to 100 m high, accompanied by a sharp rise in tremor amplitude. By 2130, a broad, pulsating lava fountain rose from the vent. Then, 15 min later, observers saw sustained fountaining up to 600 m high. The fountains discharged from what appeared to be two closely spaced sources within the depression, often making a V-shape.

Lava spilled over the vent's rim in at least three locations (figure 129), feeding three narrow branches of lava that ran E and coalesced, before spreading down the steep W slope of the Valle del Bove. A fourth lava flow started from an area ~ 150 m NE of the active vent, where fountain-fed spatter rapidly accumulated and ultimately began to flow. This flow joined the main lava flow toward the Valle del Bove at about 2,500 m elevation.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 129. Preliminary map of the lava flows emitted during Etna's lava-fountaining episodes of and 4-5 September 2007 and 23-24 November 2007. Both sets of flows discharged from the active vent on the E flanks of Southeast Crater (SEC). Courtesy of INGV-Catania.

The November lava flowed mostly on top of, or immediately adjacent to, the lava emitted during the eruption of early September 2007 (figure 129). At the base of the Valle del Bove slope, the November eruption's lava fanned out to form several minor lobes, the longest of which advanced to 1,670 m elevation, 4.2 km from the vent (figure 130; Burton and Neri, 2007).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 130. Aerial view, taken on 25 November 2007 from a helicopter of the Italian Civil Protection, of the lava flows erupted at Etna during 23-24 November 2007. View is from SE across the Valle del Bove (foreground). From Burton and Neri (2007), courtesy of INGV-Catania.

The explosive activity fed a dense tephra plume. It blew NE and caused ash and lapilli falls as far as 80 km away in southern Calabria, (Andronico and Cristaldi, 2007). At Piano Provenzana (~ 6.5 km NNE of the summit), the deposit was about 3 cm thick. Coarse scoriae, up to 5 cm across, fell ~ 10 km NNE from the SEC (in Linguaglossa) during the first hour of the eruption. During the following hours, finer ash fell in areas adjacent Etna and to the W.

Shortly after 0300 on 24 November, the eruptive activity and volcanic tremor amplitude began to diminish gradually, and during the next 20 min the fountain height dropped from ~ 600 m to under 200 m. Subsequently, the fountaining gave way to a series of powerful explosions, which showered the entire SEC cone with meter-sized bombs. The last of these explosions occurred at 0338, and for another 45 min after this, only minor explosive ejections occurred from the vent.

During the following hours, material continued to crumble and collapse on the steep slopes around the vent, exposing incandescent rock in countless spots. By 0600, the tremor amplitude had dropped to background levels, and no further eruptive activity was noted at the vent.

For several days after the eruption, gravitational instability of the new pyroclastic deposit, which had accumulated to thicknesses of several tens of meters, especially on the N side of the vent, caused occasional slides of material, exposing the still-incandescent interior of the deposit. A particularly large collapse from the overhanging W rim of the vent at 1713 on 27 November may have been accompanied by minor explosive activity, with incandescent material rolling to the base of the SEC cone (Calvari, 2007).

Ash emissions from the same vent occurred on 10 January 2008 and again on 1-3 February (figure 131). In mid-February such emissions became more frequent; some produced plumes several hundreds of meters high.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 131. Ash plume rising about 1 km high above the active vent on the eastern slope of Etna's Southeast Crater cone, on the morning of 10 January 2008. View is from Trecastagni, ~ 16 km SSE of the active vent. Courtesy of INGV-Catania.

References. Andronico, D. and Cristaldi, A., 2007, Il parossismo del 23-24 novembre 2007 al Cratere di SE: caratteristiche del deposito di caduta. Report published on-line at: http://www.ct.ingv.it/Report/RPTVETCEN20071123.pdf

Burton, M. and Neri, M., 2007, Stato attuale e osservazione dell'Etna 25 novembre 2007. Report published on-line at: http://www.ct.ingv.it/Report/WKRVGREP20071125.pdf

Calvari, S., 2007, Rapporto sull'attivit? dell'Etna del 27 novembre 2007. Report published on-line at: http://www.ct.ingv.it/Report/WKRVGREP20071127.pdf

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: Boris Behncke, Sonia Calvari, and Marco Neri, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy.


Heard (Australia) — January 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Rare thermal anomalies through March 2008 suggest eruptions

Due to its isolated location in the S Indian Ocean on the Kerguelen Plateau, Heard Island is rarely visited, and satellite imagery provides the only regular information on eruptive activity. The Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System MODVOLC provides an analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite thermal anomaly data, with 1-2 daily observations. That system remains the best source of evidence at isolated, glacier-covered volcanoes like Heard, though it is difficult to determine how often meteorological clouds may obscure thermal anomalies.

The last report summarized activity beginning in March 2000 (BGVN 32:06), describing three eruptive episodes (based on thermal anomalies). The last thermal anomaly mentioned was on 6 April 2007. As seen on table 5, the MODVOLC system recorded the next thermal anomaly on 24 July 2007. For the rest of 2007, there were anomalies recorded on two days in August and two days in November. During 2008 as late as 2 March, anomalies occurred in February and March.

Table 5. Thermal anomalies measured by MODIS/MODVOLC over Heard Island during 7 April 2007 through 2 March 2008. Courtesy of HIGP Thermal Anomalies Team.

Date Time (UTC) Pixels Satellite
24 Jul 2007 1750 1 Aqua
12 Aug 2007 1820 1 Terra
30 Aug 2007 1955 1 Aqua
11 Nov 2007 1800 1 Terra
11 Nov 2007 1945 2 Aqua
22 Feb 2008 1955 3 Aqua
02 Mar 2008 1950 1 Aqua

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: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) 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/).


Nevado del Huila (Colombia) — January 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Nevado del Huila

Colombia

2.93°N, 76.03°W; summit elev. 5364 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptions in February, April, and May 2007; lahars take out bridges

Nevado del Huila was the scene of elevated seismicity during February and May 2000 (BGVN 25:05). In 1994, the M 6.4 Paéz earthquake triggered avalanches and lahars along the Paéz river, which took many lives (BGVN 19:05, 19:07). A more recent abstract summarized the losses from the Paéz earthquake as 271 reported deaths, 1,700 people missing, and more than 32,000 people evacuated during the crisis (Schuster, 1996). Correa and Pulgarín (2002a, b) wrote reviews of the volcano's geology, hazards, and related topics.

This report discusses the onset of eruptions during February 2007 and repeated eruptions during April and May 2007. During the most active intervals during February and April there were substantial ash plumes, lahars, earthquake swarms (and some individual earthquakes up to M ~ 3), and the growth of fissures, crevasses, and new fumaroles on the volcano's upper, glacier-covered slopes. During the April eruption thousands of residents evacuated. This report draws heavily on material issued by the Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS), Observatory Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Popayán.

The andesitic-dacitic edifice (figure 6) is large and elongate (with a footprint of ~ 170 km2 ). Located in the Central Cordillera (figure 7), it forms Colombia's highest peak. This area only 3 degrees from the equator experiences periods of high precipitation. In 1995 its alpine glaciers covered ~ 13.4 km2 with an approximate volume of 800 x 106 m3 (Pulgarín and others, 2005).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. An aerial photo showing the upper slopes of Nevado del Huila from the W. The photo was taken at unknown date prior to 2002 when the volcano was in a non-eruptive state. From N to S the four main peaks consist of Pico Norte ("N"), Pico la Cresta ("LC"), Pico Central ("C"), and Pico Sur ("S"). Heavy cloud banks such as those in the foreground are common, adding to the difficulty of monitoring this remote, high stratovolcano. Taken from Correa and Pulgarín (2002a).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. A sketch map showing the three distinct ranges (cordillera) of the Andes in Colombia, with Nevado del Huila indicated. Between the Western and Central cordillera, the valley contains the Cauca river (not shown). It flows N and ultimately joins the Magdalena river (not shown), traveling ~ 1,350 km beyond its starting point to reach Northern Colombia. Between the Central and Eastern cordillera, the valley contains the Magdalena river (not shown). It flows N and travels ~ 1,500 km before entering the Caribbean sea at Barranquilla. After a digital elevation map prepared by the USGS; courtesy of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."

The April 2007 activity impacted not only the immediate vicinity of the volcano, but also ten's of kilometers to the S, where rivers carried debris. In order to assess the impact of the lahars, INGEOMINAS compared calibrated Landsat images from before and after the 19 February eruption. They found clear visual evidence that the lahars had discolored the Betania Reservoir, ~ 150 km downstream.

The Símbola joins the Paéz river ~ 28 km (straight-line distance) S of Pico Central (figure 8). Adjacent that intersection sits the town of Belacázar (figure 9). Another ~ 15 km downstream, the Paéz merges into the Magdalena river, the 6th largest river the world in terms of sediment yield (~ 690 t / (km2 ? yr); Restrepo and others, 2005). A straight-line distance of ~ 50 km downslope from the intersection of the Paéz and Magdalena rivers, the Magdalena enters the Betania Reservoir.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. A false-color Landsat TM5 mosaic image showing the Magdalena river and some of its headwaters (eg. the Paéz and Símbola rivers) that feed from Nevado del Huila (upper left corner). Images are Landsat-5, 30-m resolution. Left image acquired 7 August 1989. Right image acquired 2 January 1988. The annotations include the epicenter for the Paéz earthquake (star) and the Betania Reservoir. On the colored version, snow is shown by the elongate magenta region around Huila.Created March 2007 by INGEOMINAS; courtesy of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."
Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Map indicating the topography and naming conventions on the Huila edifice and some surrounding regions. The inset shows the volcano's location at the triangle labeled CVNH. Note epicenter for the Paéz earthquake. This was modified from a larger map in Correa and Pulgarín (2002a).

Beyond the reservoir, the Magdalena flows NNE; it ultimately reaches the Carribean Sea at a large delta in N Colombia by the large city of Barranquilla (figure 7). According to Restrepo and Kjerfve (2000), "the Magdalena is the largest river discharging directly into the Caribbean sea [228 km3 water annually], and it has the highest sediment yield of any medium-sized or large river along the entire E coast of South America."

Unrest and 19 February eruption. Since 1994 the volcano has been monitored by multiple telemetered seismometers with data sent to the city of Popayán (~ 100 km SSW). Mumucué (2007) pointed out that people living around the volcano saw the appearance of fumaroles in October 2006.

From 22 November 2006, INGEOMINAS assigned an elevated hazard of Level II ('Eruption probable in the coming days or weeks'). Some fracture-related earthquakes took place at depths of 2 km below the summit. Some of these earthquakes reached MR 1.6-1.9.

A 13 February flight mainly found steam escaping both secondary craters and fumarole fields on the main crater's margin. The previous day, observers W of the volcano in Consacá saw steam emissions outside the crater.

A seismometer recorded an earthquake swarm during 1030-1259 on 18 February. The seismometer, located 2 km S of Pico Central (at station 'Cerro Negro') measured 108 earthquakes interpreted as rock fracture events in the upper part of the volcano. An M 3 earthquake followed, and at 0137 on 19 February a new swarm of 53 earthquakes occurred. In this swarm fracture earthquakes were accompanied by those of longer period; the amplitude and number of events increased into the next morning.

Seismic records also contained some long-period earthquakes called tornillos (events with long, gradually decreasing codas or tails, so that their seismic trace resembles the tapering profile of a wood screw; tornillo is Spanish for screw). During March 2006-February 2007, instruments had recorded 105 tornillos (an average of 9 per month). In contrast, during 1-19 February 2007, instruments recorded 20 tornillos, more than double the number usually seen during a full month.

INGEOMINAS reported two earthquakes on 19 February 2007, at 0830 and 0853, with probable explosive character. Aviation authorities reported ash-bearing columns over the edifice reaching ~ 0.6-0.7 km above the summit.

A later INGEOMINAS summary of events stated that the eruption began at 0856 on 19 February, manifested as a ~ 1.5 km tall eruption column blowing mainly W. Ashfall was noted by inhabitants of Toribio, Silvia, and Páez (in the Department of Cauca). Small mudflows came down the Bellavista and Azufrada rivers feeding into the Paéz river, but airborne observers found significant fresh deposits at higher elevations. Authorities advised inhabitants to move to higher ground. Inhabitants noticed the rise of the Paéz river at 1150 on 19 February.

A 20 February flight detected significant fresh ash, abundant crevasses in the ice, and a steaming fissure near the summit (figure 10). The fissure extended ~ 2 km between Pico Central and Pico la Cresta to the N. Observers noted that the fissure continually emitted gases along its entire length. The flight was a collaboration between INGEOMINAS and IGEFA (Inspección General de la Fuerza Aérea).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. (a-f) Six aerial photos of Nevado del Huila taken from multiple angles and distances on 20 February 2007. A) A view with the Paéz river basin in the foreground and with Nevado del Huila steaming in the background. B) A close up of the SE flank looking NW, showing dark snow on the W side of the volcano and a thinner coating on the E side. C) Contrasting ash-free and thickly ash-covered ice at the N-central side of the summit (Pico Central to the right), with the elongate fissure emitting steam near the ridgeline. D) Pico Central seen at comparatively close range from the E side of the mountain, where a thin coating of ash is apparent over many of the upper slopes. E) A view looking S across Pico la Cresta slightly off the trend of the ridge axis, highlighting steam emissions from the fissure, areas of ash-covered snow, and abundant fresh crevasses in the upslope ice. F) A photo looking NW at the gray ash deposits on glacial ice of Pico Central and again illustrating venting steam. Courtesy of the Colombian Air Force and INGEOMINAS.

A VAAC report noted an eruption at about 1400 UTC on the 19th to approximately FL 200 (~ 6.1 km altitude) moving W and dissipating quickly. No ash was seen in satellite imagery the next day at either 0045 or 1100 UTC, however, around this latter time, a pilot observed an ash cloud. In addition, a local aircraft reported ash to ~ 6.1 km at 0500 UTC on the 21st.

During 30 March-16 April 2007 INGEOMINAS observers reported the initiation of noteworthy seismicity indicating rock fractures and movement of fluids. The fracture events were located at depths of 4-8 km E and SW from the central peak and at magnitudes of less than 1.0. Low gas columns were again seen on 11 April, moving W.

Seismicity further increased on 17 April, leading up to an eruption on the 18th. Early on 18 April, a cluster of 25 rock-fracture earthquakes occurred, M 0.5 to 1.5. These were located at a depth less than 2 km. Seismicity again increased later that morning.

April 2007 eruption. A brief summary of the 18 April eruption appeared on the website hosted by the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" on 20 April). It stated, "The Nevado del Huila volcano erupted at 02:57 local time 18 April, causing avalanches and floods [lahars] which affected the villages of La Plata, Paicol, Tesalia, Natagá, [and] Belalcázar. About 5,000 people were evacuated." (That same website hosted more than 10 (Landsat, Radarsat, and Envisat) images shedding light on this remote volcano's behavior, hazards, and impacts).

According to an 18 April 2007 report from the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), a pilot in Colombia saw an ash cloud. Two ash plumes were evident on GOES-10 (split window) satellite imagery for an eruption starting at 0815 UTC on 18 April. They rose to poorly constrained altitudes of ~ 9 and 11 km and drifted E at 9 km/hour. The lower ash cloud was ~ 37 km across and moved SW at 9-18 km/hour. The higher ash cloud was ~ 19 km across and moved E at 0-9 km/hour. These clouds had dissipated by 1034 UTC.

The 18 April eruption sent an a torrent of brown water and rocks down the volcano's sides and into the Paéz and Símbola rivers (figures 11 and 12), causing them to flood, destroying several kilometers of highway and endangering or sweeping away what some government reports stated were 15 bridges (although it is uncertain how many of those were footbridges, and new reports tended to indicate a slightly higher numbers). In an evaluation the lahars of 18 April, INGEOMINAS staff found them quite similar, though smaller, than those of the earthquake and disaster of 1994.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Photo from hillside overlooking the confluence of the Paéz and Símbola rivers, viewed upstream towards Nevado del Huila. One of the battered and partly lahar-covered bridges lies in the left-foreground. Photo was taken 25 April 2007 and came from Mumucué (2007).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. An aerial photo of part of the Huila lahar shot in sub-vertical orientation on 22 April 2007. Name and location of this settlement is uncertain. Lahars were apparently insufficiently thick to overrun established settlements. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Videos. At least three videos taken chiefly from Colombian military or national guard helicopters were posted on the web during April-May 2007 (see Videos, under References). They featured either the volcano or the powerful lahars or both, as follows.

Video 1("Avalancha . . ."; posted 18 April 2007) contains lahar footage from a television newscast, much of it taken from a helicopter. The shots include several bridges destroyed or impacted by lahars and the dialog mentioned nineteen bridges affected. Segments also show closeups of sediments and considerable flooding. Few if any flooded or damaged buildings were shown. Footage shows segments of the river with various gradients; the dark water carrying considerable debris. In one scene of a threatened bridge taken from shore, the turbulent river races by and among the passing logs seemingly floats a large farm animal.

Video 2 ("Sobrevuelo . . ." [Overflight . . .]) was taken by INGEOMINAS on 3 March 2007. It shows the volcano in modest eruption. A dense, dark plume emerges from the complex ice-bound summit area. Somewhat surprisingly, the plume immediately descends one flank of the volcano.

Video 3 (Erupcion . . . 18 Abril) shows vigorous white plumes escaping from multiple vents and forming a dense white plume. The text says that the footage was taken hours after the eruption on 18 April 2007. The base of the volcano is shrouded in weather clouds. The footage credits "Ejercito Nacional-INGEOMINAS-FAC."

Further observations and assessments. Seismicity escalated during 19-20 April but decreased on the 21st. Two larger earthquakes soon took place, on the 22nd and 27th. Their respective seismic signals appeared to come from rock fracturing at shallow depths; they had epicenters at Pico Central, and they were M 3.0 and M 3.2. On 23 April instruments detected continuous low-frequency tremor, interpreted as continuing instability and possible eruptions.

On 22 April, the Colombian Air Force flew INGEOMINAS staff past the volcano. They observed the N-trending fissure seen in February and found it had extended to reach a length of 2.3 km and a width of ~ 200 m. It emitted a white, sulfurous smelling gas column to 5 km altitude. The 22 April observers also saw a second new fissure ~ 2 km long across the same region. Strong fumaroles also discharged. Some lahars remained active down both E and W flank drainages.

Associated with the eruptions and as recent as 28 April 2007, there had been a total of 5,708 seismic events. Of those, 2,861 had signals suggesting rock fracture and 2,847 had signals suggesting movement of fluids.

During late April and early May 2007 the seismicity generally decreased (except for a 6 May, M 3.2 earthquake). On 5 May, INGEOMINAS staff, using a land-based correlation spectrometer, measured an SO2 flux from the volcano at 3,000 tons per day.

Early on 14 May, INGEOMINAS recorded a cluster of 54 low magnitude earthquake events, possibly triggering or associated with an ash emission. Based on satellite imagery of 14 May, the Washington VAAC reported an ash plume 8 km wide in an area 45 km W; it drifted SW and dissipated.

Based on seismic interpretation, INGEOMINAS inferred ash emissions during 27 May. Aerial observations later that day confirmed the emissions. Tremor recorded on 28 May possibly indicated another pulse of ash emissions. The SO2 flux measured on 1 June continued at 3,000 metric tons per day and on 2 June increased to ~ 6,900 metric tons per day. Flights on 3, 6, and 10 June indicated no changes in the existing fissures nor changes in the fumarolic field. Seismicity was relatively quiet during June 2007.

Humanitarian concerns. Luz Amanda Pulido, director of the national disaster office said that there were no reports of deaths or injuries. According to a 22 May report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OHCA), by 26 April authorities resolved to evacuate 2,307 families affected by the crisis.

A government document issued May 2007 discussed the displaced residents. According to that report (Mumucué, 2007) the number of indigenous inhabitants living around the volcano and affected by lahars or emissions or both totaled 26,949 people. The affected territory he discussed (the Municipio de Páez, which has Belacazar as the main urban center) had an area of ~ 161,000 hectares. The inhabitants losses included cultivated areas and farm animals, including horses and smaller livestock. Photos showed displaced families living in temporary camps with outdoor cooking facilities. Another photo showed workers installing a footbridge where a vehicle bridge was lost to the torrent. That photo, taken ~5 days after the 18 April lahars began showed that by this time the river had greatly receded. The report was also a plea for supplies, including children's clothing and two-way radios with solar panels. Total days of community work devoted to reconstruction after the disaster and as late as May 2007 amounted to 4,264 (Mumucué, 2007).

References. Correa, A.M., and Pulgarín, B.A, 2002a, Revisión histórica de los estudios geológicos y otros aspectos, sobre el volcán Nevado del Huila y su área de influenza, Instituto Colombiano de Geologia y Mineria, INGEOMINAS; Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico, Popayán; Junio de 2002, 51 p.

Correa, A., and Pulgarín, B., 2002b, Morfología, estratigrafía y petrografía general del Complejo Volcánico Nevado del Huila (énfasis en el flanco occidental): INGEOMINAS, Centro Operativo, Popayán, Informe Interno, 104 p.

Mumucué, J.A., May 2007, Analisis de los diversos eventos de erupción volcánica en la región de Tierradentro Páez Cauca hasta el momento: Republica de Colombia, Departamento del Cauca - Region de Tierradentro, Asociación de Cabildos Nasa ?xh??xha.

Pulagarín, B.A., Jordan, E., and Linder, W., 2005, Aspectos geológicos y cambio glaciar del volcán Nevado del Huila entre 1961 y 1995: Proceedings I Conferencia Cambio Climático, Bogotá 2005, 17 p.

Restrepoa, J.D., Kjerfveb, B., Hermelina, M., and Restrepoa, J.C., 2005, Factors controlling sediment yield in a major South American drainage basin: the Magdalena River, Colombia: Journal of Hydrology, v. 316, nos. 1-4, 10 January 2006, p. 213-232.

Restrepoa, J.D., and Kjerfve, B., 2000, Magdalena river: interannual variability (1975-1995) and revised water discharge and sediment load estimates: Journal of Hydrology, v. 235, nos. 1-2, 22 August 2000, p. 137-149, Elsevier.

Schuster, R. L., 1996, Recent earthquake-induced catastrophic landslides in the Andes of Ecuador and Colombia; Abstract, Colorado Scientific Society (URL: http://www.coloscisoc.org/abstracts).

Video References. (1) "Avalancha del Volcan Nevado del Huila" [A newscast from a Colombian television station, www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6nW1DP5mqg

(2) INGEOMINAS, 3 March 2007, Sobrevuelo Ingeominas Nevado Huila pocos dias despues de la erupción" (posted 8 May 2007) [Overflight of summit area] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPP0vzBzZ38 (00:39)

(3) INGEOMINAS, 2007, Erupcion Nevado del Huila Colombia 18 Abril; Video stamped with "Ejercito Nacional-INGEOMINAS-FAC"; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUnYOALOCWg; (00:56) (Posted 8 May 2007)

Geologic Background. Nevado del Huila, the highest peak in the Colombian Andes, is an elongated N-S-trending volcanic chain mantled by a glacier icecap. The andesitic-dacitic volcano was constructed within a 10-km-wide caldera. Volcanism at Nevado del Huila has produced six volcanic cones whose ages in general migrated from south to north. The high point of the complex is Pico Central. Two glacier-free lava domes lie at the southern end of the volcanic complex. The first historical activity was an explosive eruption in the mid-16th century. Long-term, persistent steam columns had risen from Pico Central prior to the next eruption in 2007, when explosive activity was accompanied by damaging mudflows.

Information Contacts: Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS), Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Popayán, Popayán, Colombia; Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); Jorge Castilla Echenique, Salud para desplazados, Programa de Emergencias y Desastres OPS/OMS, PWR Colombia; Jorge E. Victoria R., Salud en Desastres y Emergencias Complejas, Organización Panamericana De La Salud, Oficina de Neiva, Carrera 10 No. 4-72, Huila, Colombia; International Charter-Space and Major Disasters (URL: http://www.disasterscharter.org/).


Krakatau (Indonesia) — January 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Repeated minor eruptions during October-November 2007

During 23-26 October 2007, minor eruptions occurred at Anak Krakatau (BGVN 32:09), an island and active vent on the rim of the famous larger caldera whose name often is misspelled as "Krakatoa." This report continues coverage from late October through November 2007. The Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) raised the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) for Krakatau on 26 October because of the presence of multiple gray plumes from the volcano and an increase in seismicity. Plumes rose to an altitude of ~ 1 km during 23-26 and 30 October. Villagers and tourists were advised not go within 3 km of the summit.

According to an Associated Press news article, "red-hot lava flares" from Anak Krakatau rose 500-700 m above the S crater on 6 November. Multiple ash clouds were also observed. On 9 November, CVGHM officials in Bandung, West Java, conducted seismic and visual monitoring. Officials said, that on that day there were 182 eruptions coupled with 11 volcanic earthquakes, 54 shallow volcanic shocks, eight deep volcanic tremors and 44 shallower tremors. The volcano spewed "smoke" 29 times. On 13-14 November, as reported by CVGHM, lava flows and incandescent rocks traveled 400 m down the flanks.

As reported by VolcanoDiscovery's Tom Pfeiffer, who visited there from 21-26 November, emissions were relatively constant. He noted that all activity occurred from the newly formed crater on the upper S flank just below the old summit crater (figure 18). On 21 November, the new crater had an oval shape, approximately 50 x 70 m. Dense, dark brown, billowing ash clouds escaped in pulses from the crater at near-constant intervals of about 2 minutes, rising typically 100-200 m above the crater and drifting E. A few blocks were ejected along with the ash clouds (figure 19).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. A sudden explosion ejecting rocks and ash on the S flank of the old Anak Krakatau crater on 22 November, 2007. Courtesy Tom Pfeiffer of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Ballistic blocks land all over the cone of Anak Krakatau where the impacts stir up dust on 22 November 2007. A few also flew as far as the sea. Courtesy Tom Pfeiffer of Volcano Discovery.

Pfeiffer also reported that at more irregular intervals, about 10-30 min apart, more violent, small vulcanian explosions interrupted the weaker ash venting events. The more violent explosions consisted of a sudden spray of mostly solid rocks and few incandescent scoria, followed by more powerful and turbulent ash plumes that rose up to 1 km above the crater (figure 20). Generally, these vulcanian explosions occurred after a slightly longer quiet period and, in most cases, the length of the quiet period correlated with the force of the explosion.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Eruption plume at Anak Krakatau rising to ~ 1 km on 23 November 2007. Courtesy Tom Pfeiffer of Volcano Discovery.

Pfeiffer noted that several more powerful explosions occurred at intervals of approximately 16-24 hours. The strongest, on 21-22 November, showered the whole island with incandescent blocks, ignited bush fires, and produced a very loud cannon-shot noise that rattled windows on the W coast of Java, 40 km away (figure 21).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. On the evening of 21 November 2007, a powerful blast throws bombs and blocks all over the old cone of Anak Krakatau. Courtesy Tom Pfeiffer of Volcano Discovery.

Other, unusually large blasts occurred at around 0200 on 21 November and at around 0900 and 1320 on 23 November (figure 22). Early on 23 November, activity became more ash-rich and the vigor of the individual events increased slightly over the next two days. The pace of single explosions stayed at near-constant intervals of about 2 minutes. During 24-25 November, ash plumes typically rose to over 1 km above the crater and were easily visible from the W coast of Java. Based on a pilot report, on 24 November, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center noted that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km and drifted NE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Another very powerful blast occurs at around 0300 on 24 November 2007. Incandescent blocks reach the lower western flanks of the island. Courtesy Tom Pfeiffer of Volcano Discovery.

Based on the University of Hawaii's Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System MODVOLC analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite thermal anomaly data, occasional hot spots were identified by Terra or Aqua satellites. The thermal alerts occurred on twelve occasions between 27 October and 9 December 2007. Seven of these took place between 16 and 26 November 2007.

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

Information Contacts: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Saut Simatupang, 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vac); Tom Pfeiffer, Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.decadevolcano.net/, http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/volcano-tours/krakatau/photos.html); Associated Press (URL: http://www.ap.org/).


Llaima (Chile) — January 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Llaima

Chile

38.692°S, 71.729°W; summit elev. 3125 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes observed in May and August 2007; new eruption beginning 1 January 2008

From January 2002 through April 2003 (BGVN 29:02) there were increases in seismicity and fumarolic activity, along with minor eruptions, pronounced glacial melting, and substantial ash and gas plumes. Renewed activity consisting of minor eruptions was reported in May and possibly August 2007, but a larger eruption began on 1 January 2008. The source for most of the following is the Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur (OVDAS)-SERNAGEOMIN (Volcano Observatory of the Southern Andes-Chile National Service of Geology and Mining).

On 26 May 2007, the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported that ash plumes from Llaima rose to altitudes of 3-4.3 km and were visible on satellite imagery drifting E. A pilot reported another ash plume on 28 May that rose to an altitude of 5.5-6.7 km and drifted E. On 29 May, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km and drifted E. No further activity was reported until 8 August, when pilots observed a plume to an altitude of 5.2 km drifting E. Ash was not identified on satellite imagery for this date.

Eruption during January 2008. Based on pilot reports and observations of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 1 January 2008 an ash plume rose to an altitude of 12.5 km and drifted E and ESE. The eruption began at 1820 hours, according to the Chile National Emergency Office. Lava was reported to be visible on the E flank and fumaroles at the summit were noted. The strong explosive activity prompted authorities to raise the Alert level to Yellow. According to news media reports, around 700 people were evacuated from local communities following the initial eruption, including about 200 tourists and National Forest Service employees from the Conguillo National Park. Most of the residents returned the following day when activity declined.

SERNAGEOMIN reported that tremor coincided with the onset of the gas and pyroclastic emissions on 1 January. Lava and incandescent material initially emitted were confined to the crater, but within a few hours, a Strombolian phase began. Soon, brightly glowing material covered much of the previously ice-covered summit (figure 14). Around the time of the eruption, an increase in volume of the Captrén river on the N flank was observed; this was likely a response to the glacial melting.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Llaima as seen in eruption on 1 January 2008. Photo taken from W of the volcano between Temuco and Vilcun, Chile. Photo by Antonio Vergara via the flikr website (Creative Commons license).

On the following day, observers on an overflight saw small emissions of ash and gas (mainly steam) and three small lahars on the N and W flanks. Tremor decreased, though explosions continued. Based on pilot reports and satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 12.5 km and drifted E (figure 15). A later overflight revealed that the explosion on 2 January occurred at an area high on the E flank, outside the summit crater. A lava flow on the E flank was also noted. On 3 January an ash plume was visible on satellite imagery at an altitude of 3.7 km drifting NE. Airborne observers noted small sporadic gas-and-ash emissions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. A GOES-12 visual image of Llaima plume, captured at 1039 UTC on 2 January 2008. North is toward the top of the image, and the plume blew to the ESE. Courtesy of Charles Holliday, U.S. Air Force Weather Agency.

In addition to ash, Llaima's eruption released considerable sulfur dioxide (SO2), identified by satellite instruments in the days following the 1 January eruption (figure 16). The initially intense SO2 plume dispersed as it moved E. On 4 January, the plume passed over Tristan da Cunha, a remote archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean (figure 16). According to Charles Holliday, Simon Carn, and Michon Scott, the SO2 dissipated after 6 January 2008.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. An image acquired by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite showing the progress of the SO2 plume from Llaima during 2-4 January 2008. The island of Tristan de Cunha is shown along in the southern Atlantic Ocean. (In the colored version of this image, red indicates the greatest concentration-pathlength of SO2 and lavender-pink indicates the lowest concentration-pathlength.) OMI measures the total atmospheric column amount of SO2 in Dobson Units (a common unit used in atmospheric research). NASA image courtesy Simon Carn; text modified from that by Simon Carn and Michon Scott.

Between 1835 and 1915 on 6 January 2008 a helicopter overflight was conducted, coordinated by Jaime Pinto, Director of the Araucania Region Emergency Office (OREMI). Observers noted that main crater vent was clogged with lava (figure 17), which, after the eruption, dropped a few dozen meters inside the crater. During the eruption, lava diverged into two areas in the main crater, draining flows to the W and NE and melting the ice. The melted ice produced three lahars toward the W flank, which merged into one that entered the Calbuco River. To the NE, the melted ice generated a single channel lahar that flowed into the Captrén River, cutting the road in several locations. A small lahar also traveled to the E. The dispersion of ash and gases was mainly to the E, although initially they went ESE. There were abundant cracks seen in the glaciers in the SW and SE of the main crater, particularly in the SE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Topographic map showing Llaima and features observed during a helicopter overflight on 6 January 2008. The features include lahars (shaded in green), the Calbuco and Captren rivers, detached areas of lava blocks and ashes, fallen pyroclastics, fumaroles, and limit of falling ash (highlighted dashed lines). Courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN.

SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 10-14 January 2008 seismicity decreased in terms of energy, but increased in the number of events. Based on seismic interpretation, weak explosions produced plumes of gas and ash that drifted NE. On 11 January, the upper surface of lava flows on the W flank that were observed during an overflight were cooled and snow-covered near the crater, but snow-free, and therefore still hot, about 500 m farther downslope. Blocks of incandescent material rolled ~ 1.5 km downslope and caused steam emissions where they contacted the glacier. Abundant cracks in glaciers to the SW of the crater were noted. Based on observations of satellite imagery and pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.5-6.7 km and drifted NE on 11 January and SW on 13 January.

Eruptive activity continued during the second half of January from the main crater and from two craters and a fissure on the E flank. The main crater contained three active pyroclastic cones. On 16 January one of the craters, ~ 15 m in diameter, produced ash plumes that rose to an altitude of ~ 3.6 km. Glaciers on the NE slope and W flank were fractured and dislocated. Ash plumes rising from the E flank attained an altitude of 4.1 km. Ash emissions vented from a NE-trending fissure ~ 80 m long and ~ 10 m wide. On 16-17 January glowing rocks were emitted from the fissure's NE end; ash plumes caused by rolling rocks rose from multiple areas.

At 0732 on 18 January, an explosion from the E flank sent an ash plume to an altitude of 9.1 km that quickly dispersed NE. People later saw a small lateral explosion from the same area, ash-and-gas emissions from several points, and a new fissure.

On 19 January, an explosion produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 4.1 km. An overflight revealed Strombolian activity in the main crater from a new pyroclastic cone that was 120 m in diameter and 100 m high; the cone was absent during a 17 January overflight. A second crater to the SW emitted gas. Sporadic ash emissions were noted from the E sector and an explosion produced a pyroclastic flow and an ash plume that quickly dissipated. On 20 January, another explosion produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 4.1 km. Gas and ash emissions were again noted from multiple areas. On 21 January, cloud cover prevented visual observations, but one small ash emission was seen at the end of the day.

On 23 January, a brown ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.5 km and drifted W. Observers on an overflight later that day saw Strombolian eruptions from the pyroclastic cone in the main crater accompanied by emissions of brown ash. A small hornito emitting bluish gas and a lava field were noted between the pyroclastic cone and the inner margins of the crater. Explosions from the E flank were detected on 24 January, and on 26 January steam plumes were observed. Strombolian eruptions in the main crater accompanied by gas and ash emissions continued during through 27 January. Ash plumes rose to altitudes of 3.3-4.1 km and drifted NW, E, SE, and S.

MODVOLC Thermal Alerts. Numerous MODIS thermal anomalies were measured almost daily throughout the month of January 2008 (table 2). As shown by the number of pixels for various observing time, the anomalies covered a particularly large area on 2 January (24 pixels). In contrast, anomalies were absent during the previous intervals of 1 January 2002 through 26 April 2007, and 16 June 2007 through 1 January 2008.

Table 2. Thermal anomalies measured by MODIS/MODVOLC over Llaima from 27 April 2007 through 30 January 2008. No anomalies were detected from 2002 through 26 April 2007, or 16 June 2007 through 1 January 2008. Courtesy of HIGP Thermal Anomalies Team.

Date Time (UTC) Pixels Satellite
27 Apr 2007 1910 3 Aqua
14 Jun 2007 1455 5 Terra
15 Jun 2007 0515 1 Aqua
02 Jan 2008 0250 2 Terra
02 Jan 2008 0430 9 Terra
02 Jan 2008 0605 24 Aqua
02 Jan 2008 1355 2 Terra
02 Jan 2008 1535 3 Terra
02 Jan 2008 1810 2 Aqua
03 Jan 2008 0335 4 Terra
03 Jan 2008 0510 2 Aqua
03 Jan 2008 1440 1 Terra
03 Jan 2008 1850 1 Aqua
04 Jan 2008 0555 3 Aqua
05 Jan 2008 0320 1 Terra
06 Jan 2008 0545 1 Aqua
11 Jan 2008 0425 1 Terra
11 Jan 2008 0600 2 Aqua
12 Jan 2008 0330 1 Terra
14 Jan 2008 0630 1 Aqua
15 Jan 2008 0400 1 Terra
15 Jan 2008 0535 1 Aqua
16 Jan 2008 0620 2 Aqua
17 Jan 2008 0345 1 Terra
17 Jan 2008 0525 3 Aqua
17 Jan 2008 1450 2 Terra
18 Jan 2008 0605 1 Aqua
20 Jan 2008 0555 1 Aqua
22 Jan 2008 0405 1 Terra
22 Jan 2008 0545 2 Aqua
23 Jan 2008 0625 1 Aqua
24 Jan 2008 0530 3 Aqua
24 Jan 2008 1455 1 Terra
25 Jan 2008 0255 3 Terra
25 Jan 2008 0615 4 Aqua
26 Jan 2008 0340 2 Terra
26 Jan 2008 0520 2 Aqua
26 Jan 2008 1445 1 Aqua
27 Jan 2008 0425 2 Terra
27 Jan 2008 0600 2 Aqua
27 Jan 2008 1525 1 Terra
28 Jan 2008 0330 4 Terra
28 Jan 2008 0505 4 Aqua
28 Jan 2008 1845 1 Aqua
29 Jan 2008 0410 4 Terra
29 Jan 2008 0550 2 Aqua
30 Jan 2008 0315 2 Terra
30 Jan 2008 0630 4 Aqua
30 Jan 2008 1420 5 Terra
31 Jan 2008 0400 6 Terra
31 Jan 2008 0535 3 Aqua
31 Jan 2008 1915 3 Aqua

Geologic Background. Llaima, one of Chile's largest and most active volcanoes, contains two main historically active craters, one at the summit and the other, Pichillaima, to the SE. The massive, dominantly basaltic-to-andesitic, stratovolcano has a volume of 400 km3. A Holocene edifice built primarily of accumulated lava flows was constructed over an 8-km-wide caldera that formed about 13,200 years ago, following the eruption of the 24 km3 Curacautín Ignimbrite. More than 40 scoria cones dot the volcano's flanks. Following the end of an explosive stage about 7200 years ago, construction of the present edifice began, characterized by Strombolian, Hawaiian, and infrequent subplinian eruptions. Frequent moderate explosive eruptions with occasional lava flows have been recorded since the 17th century.

Information Contacts: Servico Nacional de Geologia y Mineria (SERNAGEOMIN), Avda Sta María N° 0104, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.sernageomin.cl/); 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/productos.php); Simon Carn, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC); Charles Holliday, U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA)/XOGM, Offutt Air Force Base, NE 68113, USA; Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) 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/); Associated Press (URL: http://www.ap.org/); United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) (URL: https://reliefweb.int/); Antonio Vergara, Temuco, Chile (URL: http://www.flickr.com/people/odiofotolog/).


Sheveluch (Russia) — January 2008 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 block-and-ash flows continue April-December 2007

Shiveluch (also spelled Sheveluch), the scene of lava-dome growth, is one of the most active volcanoes on Kamchatka. It was last reported here discussing events through early April 2007 (BGVN 32:03). The following report covering the interval early April-December 2007 came from multiple sources.

Shiveluch's eruptions are of an explosive nature and the volcano has been in a state of heightened activity since 5 December 2006. Vigorous activity continued to the time of this report (March 2008). Small lava-dome collapse events produced ash plumes and short block-and-ash flows, which in turn generated mudflows when snow was present. This activity was recorded in shallow volcanic earthquakes and tremor and a large, ever-present thermal anomaly on satellite imagery.

The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange throughout this report period (early April through December 2007). The Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS) is monitoring the volcano and believes that it poses little danger for nearby populated localities.

During April 2007 growth of the lava dome continued, and hot lava extruded at the top of the dome. Hot avalanches from the top of the dome occurred daily. Ash and ash-and-steam plumes rose to altitudes of ~ 4.6-6.5 km. Some plumes were seen on satellite imagery drifting E, SE, and S. According to satellite data, ash plumes extended ~ 60 km on 28-29 April, mainly to the S and SW, and ~ 50 km to the E on 5 and 7 May. During 27-28 May, plumes were seen on satellite imagery drifting SW.

A large thermal anomaly was conspicious during the last week of April 2007, and hot avalanches originating from the dome were noted on 30 April, 4 May, and 6-7 May. Gas-steam emissions occurred repeatedly. On 7 May a mudflow traveled down Shiveluch's slope, reaching ~ 20 km beyond the lava dome and blocking ~ 30 m of a road, isolating the district center Ust-Kamchatsk on the E of the peninsula. There were no vehicles on this portion of the road when the mudflow descended, and no casualties occurred. Figure 12 contrasts the dome in 2006 and 2007.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. The dome at Shiveluch as seen from the SW at two points in time, July 2006 and July 2007. The dome grew to substantially fill the active crater. The most active lava dome growth took place along in the dome's E sector. Photo by Natasha Gorbach (from Gorbach, 2007).

During July, gas-steam plumes frequently reached 4.0-6.1 km altitude. Ash was not always identified on satellite imagery because clouds obscured visibility; however, on 16 July satellite imagery detected gas-steam and ash plumes that extended for about 7-40 km to the S and SW of the volcano. Seismic data suggested that gas-and-ash emissions were concurrent with hot avalanches (figure 13).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. The lava dome of Shiveluch volcano as seen from the SW on 11 July 2007. The dark dome contrasts with glowing zones where hot avalanches descended. Photo by Y. Demyanchuk.

On 25 September 2007, video observations indicated ash plumes rising to 6 km altitude and drifting E. According to video for 27 September and 2 October 2007, gas-steam plumes rose up to 4.5 and 3.5 km altitude, respectively. Weak fumarolic activity was noted on both 1 and 8 October. KB GS RAS noted that there was no significant variation in the previous ongoing activity through December 2007 that might indicate any impending activity of greater significance. Frequent MODIS thermal alerts continued throughout 2007 into 2008.

Reference. Gorbach, N., 31 July 2007, Bulletin of activity at Sheveluch volcano, issued 31 July 2007 [title approximate (translated from Russian); available in Russian at URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/volcanoes/inform_messages/2007/Sheveluch_072007/Sheveluch_072007.html).

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: Yuri Demyanchuk, Natasha Gorbsch, and theKamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/); Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS), Russia (URL: http://www.emsd.ru/); Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.


Turrialba (Costa Rica) — January 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Turrialba

Costa Rica

10.025°N, 83.767°W; summit elev. 3340 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Fumarolic increases during August 2007-January 2008

Enhanced fumarolic activity accompanied by new fractures at the summit was noted during June-September 2007 (BGVN 32:08). The earlier report noted that the fumaroles had spread over a larger area and contained molten sulfur, a condensate previously not seen here in more than 25 years of continuous monitoring by the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA). By mid-August 2007, acute chemical burning of important patches of natural forest had occurred. This report covers the period from October 2007 through January 2008.

During October, new sites of gas discharge, small landslides, and accelerated vegetation die-off were noted from various locations within and around the crater. Fumaroles were active and widespread across the central crater. Many exhibited sulfur deposits and those in the S, SE, and SW reached a temperature of 91°C.

Areas burned by acute acidification extended during November. Fieldwork conducted by OVSICORI-UNA confirmed an unusual output of gas from several fumaroles along the S outer wall of the volcano. Pastures turned yellowish near the upper areas, and native and exotic tree species were impacted as well as birch tree patches along most drainage basins.

During December, within the W crater, fumarole temperatures reached 280°C and significant sulfur deposits were noted. Local residents confirmed an unusual output of gas from several fumaroles along the S outer wall of the volcano. Areas burned by acute acidification extended during the month. On 5 December, members of the media and local communities observed a gas-and-steam plume from Turrialba that rose to an altitude greater than 5.3 km (figure 12).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Column from Turrialba observed and photographed from Heredia City, located 40 km W of the volcano taken at 0540 on 5 December 2007. Courtesy OVSICORI-UNA.

On a team visit between 30 and 31 January 2008, OVSICORI staff documented the progression of fumarolic activity in the W crater, the external W crater walls, and distant areas towards the W, NW, and SW. Some of the fumaroles correspond with two fractures. One to the SW of the W crater, trending SW, was 100 m in length and 2 to 3 cm wide, and deposited sulfur. The second crack to the NW of the W crater, also trending SW , had temperatures of 72°C and discharged steam and gas affecting the adjacent vegetation. To the NW of the W crater, the team studied an area of about 20 x 50 m with constant gas emission and a temperature of 88°C.

Geologic Background. Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica's Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of Irazú volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive edifice covers an area of 500 km2. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters.

Information Contacts: Eliécer Duarte, Erick Fernández, and Vilma Barboza, Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apdo. 2346-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/); Tellez and Francois Robichaud, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 boul. de l'Université, Sherbrooke, Québec J1K 2R1, Canada.


Ubinas (Peru) — January 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Ubinas

Peru

16.355°S, 70.903°W; summit elev. 5672 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continuing ashfall during 2006-2007

Ubinas began erupting ash on 25 March 2006 (BGVN 31:03 and 31:05). As reported in BGVN 31:10, ash eruptions and steam emissions continued through 31 October 2006. This report discusses ongoing eruptions through December 2007 as drawn from Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reports and the Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET).

From November 2006 through December 2007, emissions of volcanic ash, rocks, and gases with water and steam were essentially continuous. INGEMMET authorities indicated that during March 2007 the volcano generated increased ashfall behavior that significantly affected people and the environment. At the beginning of the month, small explosions occurred every 6-8 days but the rate of activity increased toward the end. On 30 March 2007, nearby residents felt a strong explosion. A large ash plume vented from the volcano's summit and local communities were blanketed beneath falling ash. According to INGEMMET authorities, most of Querapi, a town ~ 4.5 km SE of the crater's active vent, was covered in volcanic ash, and the town of Anascapa, 6 km E, also experienced ashfall.

Volcanic ash clouds blown into the atmosphere also presented a hazard to aviation. As summarized in table 3, ash clouds were nearly continuously reported by the Buenos Aires VAAC and the INGEMMET. Plume heights reached as high as 9.1 km in May and again in November 2007. The aviation warning color code was generally Red through the period. The reports were based on satellite imagery and pilot reports. No thermal alerts were noted from the University of Hawaii's Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) MODIS satellite-based thermal alert system during 2006 or 2007.

Table 3. Compilation of Volcanic Ash Advisories for aviation from Ubinas during November 2006 through December 2007. Courtesy of the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) and the Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET).

Date Altitude of Plume (km) Flight Level (thousands of feet) Direction of Plume
3-16 Nov 2006 5.5-7.3 190-260 SW, S, SW
25 Nov 2006 5.5 180 NE
2 Dec 2006 5.5 180 N
27-30 Dec 2006 4.9-8.5 160-280 E
28 Jan 2007 5.5-6.9 180-220 SE
2-5 Feb 2007 5.5 180 S, SW
18-21 Feb 2007 5.5-7.0 180-230 E, SW
11, 14 Mar 2007 5.5-6.4 180-210 N, SW
30 Mar 2007 5.5 180 E
5, 7-9, 10-11 Apr 2007 5.5-7.8 180-270 E, SE, S, SW, W
17-18, 22, 24 Apr 2007 5.5-7.2 180-280 NW, SW, SE
2-5 May 2007 5.5-9.1 180/300 N, S, SE, SW
12, 15-16 May 2007 5.5-8.2 180-270 SE, N, SW
17, 19-22 May 2007 5.5-9.1 180-300 E, SE
22-28 May 2007 5.5-7.3 180-240 NE, SE
30 May-6 Jun 2007 3.7-7.6 120-250 NE, SE
12-17 Jun 2007 5.5-6.7 180-230 NE, E, SW, W
27-28 Jun 2007 5.5-6.7 180-230 SW, NW, E
4 Jul 2007 5.5-6.1 180-200 S
23-25 Jul 2007 5.9-6.1 190-200 SE, S
9 Aug 2007 6.1 200 SE
11-14 Sep 2007 5.5-7.6 180-250 E, SE
20 Sep 2007 5.5-6.4 180-210 E
5-7 Oct 2007 5.5-6.4 180-210 N, S
11-13, 15 Oct 2007 5.5-7.6 180-250 N, SE
19-27 Oct 2007 5.5-8.5 180-280 NW, NE
1, 3-6 Nov 2007 5.5-7.6 180-250 NE, SE
11-12 Nov 2007 5.5-6.7 180-220 NE
16, 18, 20 Nov 2007 5.5-7.9 180-260 NE
24-27 Nov 2007 6.1-9.1 200-300 SE, E, SW
28-29 Nov 2007 6.7-7.6 220-250 SW, NE
4-7, 10 Dec 2007 5.5-8.5 180-280 NE
17 Dec 2007 5.5-6.7 180-220 N

Geologic Background. A small, 1.4-km-wide caldera cuts the top of Ubinas, Perú's most active volcano, giving it a truncated appearance. It is the northernmost of three young volcanoes located along a regional structural lineament about 50 km behind the main volcanic front. The growth and destruction of Ubinas I was followed by construction of Ubinas II beginning in the mid-Pleistocene. The upper slopes of the andesitic-to-rhyolitic Ubinas II stratovolcano are composed primarily of andesitic and trachyandesitic lava flows and steepen to nearly 45 degrees. The steep-walled, 150-m-deep summit caldera contains an ash cone with a 500-m-wide funnel-shaped vent that is 200 m deep. Debris-avalanche deposits from the collapse of the SE flank about 3,700 years ago extend 10 km from the volcano. Widespread Plinian pumice-fall deposits include one of Holocene age about 1,000 years ago. Holocene lava flows are visible on the flanks, but historical activity, documented since the 16th century, has consisted of intermittent minor-to-moderate explosive eruptions.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET), Av. Canadá 1470, San Borja, Lima 41, Perú (URL: http://www.ingemmet.gob.pe/); Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/productos.php).

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