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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

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

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

Dukono (Indonesia) Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

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

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

Erta Ale (Ethiopia) Continued lava flow outbreaks and thermal anomalies during November 2019 to early April 2020

Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) Weak phreatic explosions during August 2019-March 2020; ash and lahars reported in late January

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Minor explosive activity, continued thermal activity, and SO2 emissions, October 2019-March 2020.

Stromboli (Italy) Strombolian activity continues at both summit crater areas, September-December 2019

Semeru (Indonesia) Ash plumes and thermal anomalies continue during September 2019-February 2020

Popocatepetl (Mexico) Dome growth and destruction continues along with ash emissions and ejecta, September 2019-February 2020

Santa Maria (Guatemala) Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continue, September 2019-February 2020



Sabancaya (Peru) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sabancaya

Peru

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sheveluch (Russia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dukono (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Dukono

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Numerous ash explosions continue through March 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Etna (Italy) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Merapi (Indonesia) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Erta Ale (Ethiopia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Erta Ale

Ethiopia

13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continued lava flow outbreaks and thermal anomalies during November 2019 to early April 2020

Erta Ale is a shield volcano located in Ethiopia and contains multiple active pit craters in the summit and southeastern caldera. Volcanism has been characterized by lava flows and large lava flow fields since 2017. Surficial lava flow activity continued within the southeastern caldera during November 2019 until early April 2020; source information was primarily from various satellite data.

The number of days that thermal anomalies were detected using MODIS data in MODVOLC and NASA VIIRS satellite data was notably higher in November and December 2019 (figure 96); the number of thermal anomalies in the Sentinel-2 thermal imagery was substantially lower due to the presence of cloud cover. Across all satellite data, thermal anomalies were identified for 29 days in November, followed by 30 days in December. After December 2019, the number of days thermal anomalies were detected decreased; hotspots were detected for 17 days in January 2020 and 20 days in February. By March, these thermal anomalies became rare until activity ceased. Thermal anomalies were identified during 1-4 March, with weak anomalies seen again during 26 March-8 April 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. Graph comparing the number of thermal alerts using calendar dates using MODVOLC, NASA VIIRS, and Sentinel-2 satellite data for Erta Ale during November 2019-March 2020. Data courtesy of HIGP - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, NASA Worldview using the “Fire and Thermal Anomalies” layer, and Sentinel Hub Playground.

MIROVA (Middle Infrared Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed frequent strong thermal anomalies from 18 April through December 2019 (figure 97). Between early August 2019 and March 2020, these thermal signatures were detected at distances less than 5 km from the summit. In late December the thermal intensity dropped slightly before again increasing, while at the same time moving slightly closer to the summit. Thermal anomalies then became more intermittent and steadily decreased in power over the next two months.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 97. Two time-series plots of thermal anomalies from Erta Ale from 18 April 2019 through 18 April 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system. The top plot (A) shows that the thermal anomalies were consistently strong (measured in log radiative power) and occurred frequently until early January 2020 when both the power and frequency visibly declined. The lower plot (B) shows these anomalies as a function of distance from the summit, including a sudden decrease in distance (measured in kilometers) in early August 2019, reflecting a change in the location of the lava flow outbreak. A smaller distance change can be identified at the end of December 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Unlike the obvious distal breakouts to the NE seen previously (BGVN 44:04 and 44:11), infrared satellite imagery during November-December 2019 showed only a small area with a thermal anomaly near the NE edge of the Southeast Caldera (figure 98). A thermal alert was seen at that location using the MODVOLC system on 28 December, but the next day it had been replaced by an anomaly about 1.5 km WSW near the N edge of the Southeast Caldera where the recent flank eruption episode had been centered between January 2017 and January 2018 (BGVN 43:04). The thermal anomaly that was detected in the summit caldera was no longer visible after 9 January 2020, based on Sentinel-2 imagery. The exact location of lava flows shifted within the same general area during January and February 2020 and was last detected by Sentinel-2 on 4 March. After about two weeks without detectable thermal activity, weak unlocated anomalies were seen in VIIRS data on 26 March and in MODIS data on the MIROVA system four times between 26 March and 8 April. No further anomalies were noted through the rest of April 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 98. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery of Erta Ale volcanism between November 2019 and March 2020 showing small lava flow outbreaks (bright yellow-orange) just NE of the southeastern calderas. A thermal anomaly can be seen in the summit crater on 15 November and very faintly on 20 December 2019. Imagery on 19 January 2020 showed a small thermal anomaly near the N edge of the Southeast Caldera where the recent flank eruption episode had been centered between January 2017 and January 2018. The last weak thermal hotspot was detected on 4 March (bottom right). Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Erta Ale is an isolated basaltic shield that is the most active volcano in Ethiopia. The broad, 50-km-wide edifice rises more than 600 m from below sea level in the barren Danakil depression. Erta Ale is the namesake and most prominent feature of the Erta Ale Range. The volcano contains a 0.7 x 1.6 km, elliptical summit crater housing steep-sided pit craters. Another larger 1.8 x 3.1 km wide depression elongated parallel to the trend of the Erta Ale range is located SE of the summit and is bounded by curvilinear fault scarps on the SE side. Fresh-looking basaltic lava flows from these fissures have poured into the caldera and locally overflowed its rim. The summit caldera is renowned for one, or sometimes two long-term lava lakes that have been active since at least 1967, or possibly since 1906. Recent fissure eruptions have occurred on the N flank.

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); NASA Worldview (URL: https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/).


Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Rincon de la Vieja

Costa Rica

10.83°N, 85.324°W; summit elev. 1916 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Weak phreatic explosions during August 2019-March 2020; ash and lahars reported in late January

Rincón de la Vieja is a remote volcanic complex in Costa Rica containing an acid lake that has regularly generated weak phreatic explosions since 2011 (BGVN 44:08). The most recent eruptive period occurred during late March-early June 2019, primarily consisting of small phreatic explosions, minor deposits on the N crater rim, and gas-and-steam emissions. The report period of August 2019-March 2020 was characterized by similar activity, including small phreatic explosions, gas-and-steam plumes, ash and lake sediment ejecta, and volcanic tremors. The most significant activity during this time occurred on 30 January, where a phreatic explosion ejected ash and lake sediment above the crater rim, resulting in a pyroclastic flow which gradually turned into a lahar. Information for this reporting period of August 2019-March 2020 comes from the Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA) using weekly bulletins.

According to OVSICORI-UNA, a small hydrothermal eruption was recorded on 1 August 2019. The seismicity was low with a few long period (LP) earthquakes around 1 August and intermittent background tremor. No explosions or emissions were reported through 11 September; seismicity remained low with an occasional LP earthquake and discontinuous tremor. The summit’s extension that has been recorded since the beginning of June stopped, and no significant deformation was observed in August.

Starting again in September 2019 and continuing intermittently through the reporting period, some deformation was observed at the base of the volcano as well as near the summit, according to OVSICORI-UNA. On 12 September an eruption occurred that was followed by volcanic tremors that continued through 15 September. In addition to these tremors, vigorous sustained gas-and-steam plumes were observed. The 16 September weekly bulletin did not describe any ejecta produced as a result of this event.

During 1-3 October small phreatic eruptions were accompanied by volcanic tremors that had decreased by 5 October. In November, volcanism and seismicity were relatively low and stable; few LP earthquakes were reported. This period of low activity remained through December. At the end of November, horizontal extension was observed at the summit, which continued through the first half of January.

Small phreatic eruptions were recorded on 2, 28, and 29 January 2020, with an increase in seismicity occurring on 27 January. On 30 January at 1213 a phreatic explosion produced a gas column that rose 1,500-2,000 m above the crater, with ash and lake sediment ejected up to 100 m above the crater. A news article posted by the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) noted that this explosion generated pyroclastic flows that traveled down the N flank for more than 2 km from the crater. As the pyroclastic flows moved through tributary channels, lahars were generated in the Pénjamo river, Zanjonuda gorge, and Azufrosa, traveling N for 4-10 km and passing through Buenos Aires de Upala (figure 29). Seismicity after this event decreased, though there were still some intermittent tremors.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Photo of a lahar generated from the 30 January 2020 eruption at Rincon de la Vieja. Photo taken by Mauricio Gutiérrez, courtesy of UCR.

On 17, 24, and 25 February and 11, 17, 19, 21, and 23 March, small phreatic eruptions were detected, according to OVSICORI-UNA. Geodetic measurements observed deformation consisting of horizontal extension and inflation near the summit in February-March. By the week of 30 March, the weekly bulletin reported 2-3 small eruptions accompanied by volcanic tremors occurred daily during most days of the week. None of these eruptions produced solid ejecta, pyroclastic flows, or lahars, according to the weekly OVSICORI-UNA bulletins during February-March 2020.

Geologic Background. Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge that was constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of 1916-m-high Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/, https://www.facebook.com/OVSICORI/); Luis Enrique Brenes Portuguéz, University of Costa Rica, Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio Brenes, San José, San Pedro, Costa Rica (URL: https://www.ucr.ac.cr/noticias/2020/01/30/actividad-del-volcan-rincon-de-la-vieja-es-normal-segun-experto.html).


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Manam

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor explosive activity, continued thermal activity, and SO2 emissions, October 2019-March 2020.

Manam is a basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano that lies 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea; it has a 400-year history of recorded evidence for recurring low-level ash plumes, occasional Strombolian activity, lava flows, pyroclastic avalanches, and large ash plumes from Main and South, the two active summit craters. The current eruption, ongoing since June 2014, produced multiple large explosive eruptions during January-September 2019, including two 15-km-high ash plumes in January, repeated SO2 plumes each month, and another 15.2 km-high ash plume in June that resulted in ashfall and evacuations of several thousand people (BGVN 44:10).

This report covers continued activity during October 2019 through March 2020. Information about Manam is primarily provided by Papua New Guinea's Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), part of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM). This information is supplemented with aviation alerts from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). MODIS thermal anomaly satellite data is recorded by the University of Hawai'i's MODVOLC thermal alert recording system, and the Italian MIROVA project; sulfur dioxide monitoring is done by instruments on satellites managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Satellite imagery provided by the Sentinel Hub Playground is also a valuable resource for information about this remote location.

A few modest explosions with ash emissions were reported in early October and early November 2019, and then not again until late March 2020. Although there was little explosive activity during the period, thermal anomalies were recorded intermittently, with low to moderate activity almost every month, as seen in the MODIS data from MIROVA (figure 71) and also in satellite imagery. Sulfur dioxide emissions persisted throughout the period producing emissions greater than 2.0 Dobson Units that were recorded in satellite data 3-13 days each month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. MIROVA thermal anomaly data for Manam from 17 June 2019 through March 2020 indicate continued low and moderate level thermal activity each month from August 2019 through February 2020, after a period of increased activity in June and early July 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume in visible satellite imagery moving NW at 3.1 km altitude on 2 October 2019. Weak ash emissions were observed drifting N for the next two days along with an IR anomaly at the summit. RVO reported incandescence at night during the first week of October. Visitors to the summit on 18 October 2019 recorded steam and fumarolic activity at both of the summit craters (figure 72) and recent avalanche debris on the steep slopes (figure 73).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Steam and fumarolic activity rose from Main crater at Manam on 18 October 2019 in this view to the south from a ridge north of the crater. Google Earth inset of summit shows location of photograph. Courtesy of Vulkanologische Gesellschaft and Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Volcanic debris covered an avalanche chute on the NE flank of Manam when visited by hikers on 18 October 2019. Courtesy of Vulkanologische Gesellschaft and Claudio Jung, used with permission.

On 2 November, a single large explosion at 1330 local time produced a thick, dark ash plume that rose about 1,000 m above the summit and drifted NW. A shockwave from the explosion was felt at the Bogia Government station located 40 km SE on the mainland about 1 minute later. RVO reported an increase in seismicity on 6 November about 90 minutes before the start of a new eruption from the Main Crater which occurred between 1600 and 1630; it produced light to dark gray ash clouds that rose about 1,000 m above the summit and drifted NW. Incandescent ejecta was visible at the start of the explosion and continued with intermittent strong pulses after dark, reaching peak intensity around 1900. Activity ended by 2200 that evening. The Darwin VAAC reported a discrete emission observed in satellite imagery on 8 November that rose to 4.6 km altitude and drifted WNW, although ground observers confirmed that no eruption took place; emissions were only steam and gas. There were no further reports of explosive activity until the Darwin VAAC reported an ash emission in visible satellite imagery on 20 March 2020 that rose to 3.1 km altitude and drifted E for a few hours before dissipating.

Although explosive activity was minimal during the period, SO2 emissions, and evidence for continued thermal activity were recorded by satellite instruments each month. The TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite captured evidence each month of SO2 emissions exceeding two Dobson Units (figure 74). The most SO2 activity occurred during October 2019, with 13 days of signatures over 2.0 DU. There were six days of elevated SO2 each month in November and December, and five days in January 2020. During February and March, activity was less, with smaller SO2 plumes recording more than 2.0 DU on three days each month. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery recorded thermal anomalies at least once from one or both of the summit craters each month between October 2019 and March 2020 (figure 75).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. SO2 emissions at Manam exceeded 2 Dobson Units multiple days each month between October 2019 and March 2020. On 3 October 2019 (top left) emissions were also measured from Ulawun located 700 km E on New Britain island. On 30 November 2019 (top middle), in addition to a plume drifting N from Manam, a small SO2 plume was detected at Bagana on Bougainville Island, 1150 km E. The plume from Manam on 2 December 2019 drifted ESE (top right). On 26 January 2020 the plume drifted over 300 km E (bottom left). The plumes measured on 29 February and 4 March 2020 (bottom middle and right) only drifted a few tens of kilometers before dissipating. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, and 8a) showed thermal anomalies at one or both of Manam’s summit craters each month during October 2019-March 2020. On 17 October 2019 (top left) a bright anomaly and weak gas plume drifted NW from South crater, while a dense steam plume and weak anomaly were present at Main crater. On 25 January 2020 (top right) the gas and steam from the two craters were drifting E; the weaker Main crater thermal anomaly is just visible at the edge of the clouds. A clear image on 5 March 2020 (bottom left) shows weak plumes and distinct thermal anomalies from both craters; on 20 March (bottom right) the anomalies are still visible through dense cloud cover that may include steam from the crater vents as well. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Geohazards Management Division, Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), PO Box 3386, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea; 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); Vulkanologische Gesellschaft (URL: https://twitter.com/vulkanologen/status/1194228532219727874, https://twitter.com/vulkanologen/status/1193788836679225344); Claudio Jung, (URL: https://www.facebook.com/claudio.jung.1/posts/10220075272173895, https://www.instagram.com/jung.claudio/).


Stromboli (Italy) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Stromboli

Italy

38.789°N, 15.213°E; summit elev. 924 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Strombolian activity continues at both summit crater areas, September-December 2019

Near-constant fountains of lava at Stromboli have served as a natural beacon in the Tyrrhenian Sea for at least 2,000 years. Eruptive activity at the summit consistently occurs from multiple vents at both a north crater area (N area) and a southern crater group (CS area) on the Terrazza Craterica at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a large scarp that runs from the summit down the NW side of the volcano-island (figure 168). Periodic lava flows emerge from the vents and flow down the scarp, sometimes reaching the sea; occasional large explosions produce ash plumes and pyroclastic flows. Thermal and visual cameras that monitor activity at the vents are located on the nearby Pizzo Sopra La Fossa, above the Terrazza Craterica, and at multiple locations on the flanks of the volcano. Detailed information for Stromboli is provided by Italy's Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) as well as other satellite sources of data; September-December 2019 is covered in this report.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 168. This shaded relief map of Stromboli’s crater area was created from images acquired by drone on 9 July 2019 (In collaboration with GEOMAR drone group, Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany). Inset shows Stromboli Island, the black rectangle indicates the area of the larger image, the black curved and the red hatched lines indicate, respectively, the morphological escarpment and the crater edges. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 50/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Settimanale, 02/12/2019 - 08/12/2019, data emissione 10/12/2019).

Activity was very consistent throughout the period of September-December 2019. Explosion rates ranged from 2-36 per hour and were of low to medium-high intensity, producing material that rose from less than 80 to over 150 m above the vents on occasion (table 7). The Strombolian activity in both crater areas often sent ejecta outside the crater rim onto the Terrazza Craterica, and also down the Sciara del Fuoco towards the coast. After the explosions of early July and late August, thermal activity decreased to more moderate levels that persisted throughout the period as seen in the MIROVA Log Radiative Power data (figure 169). Sentinel-2 satellite imagery supported descriptions of the constant glow at the summit, revealing incandescence at both summit areas, each showing repeating bursts of activity throughout the period (figure 170).

Table 7. Monthly summary of activity levels at Stromboli, September-December 2019. Low-intensity activity indicates ejecta rising less than 80 m, medium-intensity is ejecta rising less than 150 m, and high-intensity is ejecta rising over 200 m above the vent. Data courtesy of INGV.

Month Activity
Sep 2019 Explosion rates varied from 11-36 events per hour and were of low- to medium intensity (producing 80-120 m high ejecta). Lapilli and bombs were typical from the N area, and coarse and finer-grained tephra (lapilli and ash) were most common in the CS area. The Strombolian activity in both crater areas often sent ejecta outside the crater rim onto the terrace, and also down the Sciara del Fuoco towards the coast.
Oct 2019 Typical Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosions rates varied from 2-21 events per hour. Low intensity activity was common in the N area (ejecta less than 80 m high) and low to moderate intensity activity was typical in the CS area, with a few explosions rising over 150 m high. Lapilli and bombs were typical from the N area, and coarse and finer-grained tephra (lapilli and ash) were most common in the CS area. Some of the explosions sent ejecta down the Sciara del Fuoco.
Nov 2019 Typical Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosion rates varied from 11-23 events per hour with ejecta rising usually 80-150 m above the vents. Occasional explosions rose 250 m high. In the N area, explosions were generally low intensity with coarse material (lapilli and bombs). In many explosions, ejecta covered the outer slopes of the area overlooking the Sciara del Fuoco, and some blocks rolled for a few hundred meters before stopping. In the CS area, coarse material was mixed with fine and some explosions sent ejecta onto the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco.
Dec 2019 Strombolian activity and degassing continued. Explosion rates varied from 12-26 per hour. In the N area, explosion intensity was mainly medium-low (less than 150 m) with coarse ejecta while in the CS area it was usually medium-high (more than 150 m) with both coarse and fine ejecta. In many explosions, debris covered the outer slopes of the area overlooking the Sciara del Fuoco, and some blocks rolled for a few hundred meters before stopping. Spattering activity was noted in the southern vents of the N area.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 169. Thermal activity at Stromboli was high during July-August 2019, when two major explosions occurred. Activity continued at more moderate levels through December 2019 as seen in the MIROVA graph of Log Radiative Power from 8 June through December 2019. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 170. Stromboli reliably produced strong thermal signals from both of the summit vents throughout September-December 2019 and has done so since long before Sentinel-2 satellite imagery was able to detect it. Image dates are (top, l to r) 5 September, 15 October, 20 October, (bottom l to r) 14 November, 14 December 2019, and 3 January 2020. Sentinel-2 imagery uses Atmospheric penetration rendering with bands 12, 11, and 8A, courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

After a major explosion with a pyroclastic flow on 28 August 2019, followed by lava flows that reached the ocean in the following days (BGVN 44:09), activity diminished in early September to levels more typically seen in recent times. This included Strombolian activity from vents in both the N and CS areas that sent ejecta typically 80-150 m high. Ejecta from the N area generally consisted of lapilli and bombs, while the material from the CS area was often finer grained with significant amounts of lapilli and ash. The number of explosive events remained high in September, frequently reaching 25-30 events per hour. The ejecta periodically landed outside the craters on the Terrazza Craterica and even traveled partway down the Sciara del Fuoco. An inspection on 7 September by INGV revealed four eruptive vents in the N crater area and five in the S crater area (figure 171). The most active vents in the N area were N1 with mostly ash emissions and N2 with Strombolian explosions rich in incandescent coarse material that sometimes rose well above 150 m in height. In the S area, S1 and S2 produced jets of lava that often reached 100 m high. A small cone was observed around N2, having grown after the 28 August explosion. Between 11 and 13 September aerial surveys with drones produced detailed visual and thermal imagery of the summit (figure 172).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 171. Video of the Stromboli summit taken with a thermal camera on 7 September 2019 from the Pizzo sopra la Fossa revealed four active vents in the N area and five active vents in the S area. Images prepared by Piergiorgio Scarlato, courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 37.2/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 10/09/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 172. An aerial drone survey on 11 September 2019 at Stromboli produced a detailed view of the N and CS vent areas (left) and thermal images taken by a drone survey on 13 September (right) showed elevated temperatures down the Sciara del Fuoco in addition to the vents in the N and CS areas. Images by E. De Beni and M. Cantarero, courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 37.5/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 13/09/2019).

Strombolian activity from the N crater on 28 September and 1 October 2019 produced blocks and debris that rolled down the Sciara del Fuoco and reached the ocean (figure 173). Explosive activity from the CS crater area sometimes produced ejecta over 150 m high (figure 174). A survey on 26 November revealed that a layer of ash 5-10 cm thick had covered the bombs and blocks that were deposited on the Pizzo Sopra la Fossa during the explosions of 3 July and 28 August (figure 175). On the morning of 27 December a lava flow emerged from the CS area and traveled a few hundred meters down the Sciara del Fuoco. The frequency of explosive events remained relatively constant from September through December 2019 after decreasing from higher levels during July and August (figure 176).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 173. Strombolian activity from vents in the N crater area of Stromboli produced ejecta that traveled all the way to the bottom of the Sciara del Fuoco and entered the ocean. Top images taken 28 September 2019 from the 290 m elevation viewpoint by Rosanna Corsaro. Bottom images captured on 1 October from the webcam at 400 m elevation. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 39.0/2019 and Rep. No. 40.3, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 29/09/2019 and 02/10/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 174. Ejecta from Strombolian activity at the CS crater area of Stromboli rose over 150 m on multiple occasions. The webcam located at the 400 m elevation site captured this view of activity on 8 November 2019. Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 45.5/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Giornaliero del 08/11/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 175. The Pizzo Sopra la Fossa area at Stromboli was covered with large blocks and pyroclastic debris on 6 September 2019, a week after the major explosion of 28 August (top). By 26 November, 5-10 cm of finer ash covered the surface; the restored webcam can be seen at the far right edge of the Pizzo (bottom). Courtesy of INGV (Rep. No. 49/2019, Stromboli, Bollettino Settimanale, 25/11/2019 - 01/12/2019, data emissione 03/12/2019).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 176. The average hourly frequency of explosive events at Stromboli captured by surveillance cameras from 1 June 2019 through 5 January 2020 remained generally constant after the high levels seen during July and August. The Total value (blue) is the sum of the average daily hourly frequency of all explosive events produced by active vents.

Geologic Background. Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period took place between about 13,000 and 5,000 years ago. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild Strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.

Information Contacts: Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy, (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/en/); 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).


Semeru (Indonesia) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

8.108°S, 112.922°E; summit elev. 3657 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes and thermal anomalies continue during September 2019-February 2020

Semeru is a stratovolcano located in East Java, Indonesia containing an active Jonggring-Seloko vent at the Mahameru summit. Common activity has consisted of ash plumes, pyroclastic flows and avalanches, and lava flows that travel down the SE flank. This report updates volcanism from September 2019 to February 2020 using primary information from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

The dominant activity at Semeru for this reporting period consists of ash plumes, which were frequently reported by the Darwin VAAC. An eruption on 10 September 2019 produced an ash plume rising 4 km altitude drifting WNW, as seen in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery. Ash plumes continued to rise during 13-14 September. During the month of October the Darwin VAAC reported at least six ash plumes on 13, 14, 17-18, and 29-30 October rising to a maximum altitude of 4.6 km and moving primarily S and SW. Activity in November and December was relatively low, dominated mostly by strong and frequent thermal anomalies.

Volcanism increased in January 2020 starting with an eruption on 17 and 18 January that sent a gray ash plume up to 4.6 km altitude (figure 38). Eruptions continued from 20 to 26 January, producing ash plumes that rose up to 500 m above the crater that drifted in different directions. For the duration of the month and into February, ash plumes occurred intermittently. On 26 February, incandescent ejecta was ejected up to 50 m and traveled as far as 1000 m. Small sulfur dioxide emissions were detected in the Sentinel 5P/TROPOMI instrument during 25-27 February (figure 39). Lava flows during 27-29 February extended 200-1,000 m down the SE flank; gas-and-steam and SO2 emissions accompanied the flows. There were 15 shallow volcanic earthquakes detected on 29 February in addition to ash emissions rising 4.3 km altitude drifting ESE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Ash plumes rising from the summit of Semeru on 17 (left) and 18 (right) January 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia and via Ø.L. Andersen's Twitter feed (left).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. Small SO2 plumes from Semeru were detected by the Sentinel 5P/TROPOMI instrument during 25 (left) and 26 (right) February 2020. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed relatively weak and intermittent thermal anomalies occurring during May to August 2019 (figure 40). The frequency and power of these thermal anomalies significantly increased during September to mid-December 2019 with a few hotspots occurring at distances greater than 5 km from the summit. These farther thermal anomalies to the N and NE of the volcano do not appear to be caused by volcanic activity. There was a brief break in activity during mid-December to mid-January 2020 before renewed activity was detected in early February 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. Thermal anomalies were relatively weak at Semeru during 30 April 2019-August 2019, but significantly increased in power and frequency during September to early December 2019. There was a break in activity from mid-December through mid-January 2020 with renewed thermal anomalies around February 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The MODVOLC algorithm detected 25 thermal hotspots during this reporting period, which took place during 25 September, 18 and 21 October 2019, 29 January, and 11, 14, 16, and 23 February 2020. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery shows intermittent hotspots dominantly in the summit crater throughout this reporting period (figure 41).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery detected intermittent thermal anomalies (bright yellow-orange) at the summit of Semeru, which included some lava flows in late January to early February 2020. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises above coastal plains to the south. Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas. A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE. Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano.

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/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com).


Popocatepetl (Mexico) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Popocatepetl

Mexico

19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5393 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Dome growth and destruction continues along with ash emissions and ejecta, September 2019-February 2020

Frequent historical eruptions have been reported from Mexico's Popocatépetl going back to the 14th century. Activity increased in the mid-1990s after about 50 years of quiescence, and the current eruption, ongoing since January 2005, has included numerous episodes of lava-dome growth and destruction within the 500-m-wide summit caldera. Multiple emissions of steam and gas occur daily, rising generally 1-3 km above the summit at about 5,400 m elevation; many contain small amounts of ash. Larger, more explosive events with ash plumes and incandescent ejecta landing on the flanks occur frequently. Activity through August 2019 was typical of the ongoing eruption with near-constant emissions of water vapor, gas, and minor ash, as well as multiple explosions with ash plumes and incandescent blocks scattered on the flanks (BGVN 44:09). This report covers similar activity from September 2019 through February 2020. Information comes from daily reports provided by México's Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED); ash plumes are reported by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Satellite visible and thermal imagery and SO2 data also provide helpful observations of activity.

Activity summary. Activity at Popocatépetl during September 2019-February 2020 continued at the high levels that have been ongoing for many years, characterized by hundreds of daily low-intensity emissions that included steam, gas, and small amounts of ash, and periods with multiple daily minor and moderate explosions that produce kilometer-plus-high ash plumes (figure 140). The Washington VAAC issued multiple daily volcanic ash advisories with plume altitudes around 6 km for many, although some were reported as high as 8.2 km. Hundreds of minutes of daily tremor activity often produced ash emissions as well. Incandescent ejecta landed 500-1,000 m from the summit frequently. The MIROVA thermal anomaly data showed near-constant moderate to high levels of thermal energy throughout the period (figure 141).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 140. Emissions continued at a high rate from Popocatépetl throughout September 2019-February 2020. Daily low-intensity emissions numbered usually in the hundreds (blue, left axis), while less frequent minor (orange) and moderate (green) explosions, plotted on the right axis, occurred intermittently through November 2019, and increased again during February 2020. Data was compiled from CENAPRED daily reports.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 141. MIROVA log radiative power thermal data for Popocatépetl from 1 May 2019 through February 2020 showed a constant output of moderate energy the entire time. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Sulfur dioxide emissions were measured with satellite instruments many days of each month from September 2019 thru February 2020. The intensity and drift directions varied significantly; some plumes remained detectable hundreds of kilometers from the volcano (figure 142). Plumes were detected almost daily in September, and on most days in October. They were measured at lower levels but often during November, and after pulses in early and late December only small plumes were visible during January 2020. Intermittent larger pulses returned in February. Dome growth and destruction in the summit crater continued throughout the period. A small dome was observed inside the summit crater in late September. Dome 85, 210-m-wide, was observed inside the summit crater in early November. Satellite imagery captured evidence of dome growth and ash emissions throughout the period (figure 143).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 142. Sulfur dioxide emissions from Popocatépetl were frequent from September 2019 through February 2020. Plumes drifted SW on 7 September (top left), 30 October (top middle), and 21 February (bottom right). SO2 drifted N and NW on 26 November (top right). On 2 December (bottom left) a long plume of sulfur dioxide hundreds of kilometers long drifted SW over the Pacific Ocean while the drift direction changed to NW closer to the volcano. The SO2 plumes measured in January (bottom center) were generally smaller than during the other months covered in this report. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 143. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Popocatépetl during November 2019-February 2020 provided evidence for ongoing dome growth and explosions with ash emissions. Top left: a ring of incandescence inside the summit crater on 8 November 2019 was indicative of the growth of dome 85 observed by CENAPRED. Top middle: incandescence on 8 December inside the summit crater was typical of that observed many times during the period. Top right: a dense, narrow ash plume drifted N from the summit on 17 January 2020. Bottom left: Snow cover made ashfall on 6 February easily visible on the E flank. On 11 February, the summit crater was incandescent and nearly all the snow was covered with ash. Bottom right: a strong thermal anomaly and ash emission were captured on 21 February. Bottom left and top right images use Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2); other images use Atmospheric penetration rendering to show infrared signal (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during September-November 2019. On 1 September 2019 minor ashfall was reported in the communities of Atlautla, Ozumba, Juchitepec, and Tenango del Aire in the State of Mexico. The ash plumes rose less than 2 km above the summit and incandescent ejecta traveled less than 100 m from the summit crater. Twenty-two minor and three moderate explosions were recorded on 4-5 September along with minor ashfall in Juchitepec, Tenango del Aire, Tepetlixpa, and Atlautla. During a flyover on 5 September, officials did not observe a dome within the crater, and the dimensions remained the same as during the previous visit (350 m in diameter and 150 m deep) (figure 144). Ashfall was reported in Tlalmanalco and Amecameca on 6 September. The following day incandescent ejecta was visible on the flanks near the summit and ashfall was reported in Amecameca, Ayapango, and Tenango del Aire. The five moderate explosions on 8 September produced ash plumes that rose as high as 2 km above the summit, and incandescent ejecta on the flanks. Explosions on 10 September sent ejecta 500 m from the crater. Eight explosions during 20-21 September produced ejecta that traveled up to 1.5 km down the flanks (figure 145). During an overflight on 27 September specialists from the National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED ) of the National Coordination of Civil Protection and researchers from the Institute of Geophysics of UNAM observed a new dome 30 m in diameter; the overall crater had not changed size since the overflight in early September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 144. CENAPRED carried out overflights of Popocatépetl on 5 (left) and 27 September (right) 2019; the crater did not change in size, but a new dome 30 m in diameter was visible on 27 September. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Sobrevuelo al volcán Popocatépetl, 05 y 27 de septiembre).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 145. Ash plumes at Popocatépetl on 19 (left) and 20 (right) September 2019 rose over a kilometer above the summit before dissipating. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 19 y 20 de septiembre).

Fourteen explosions were reported on 2 October 2019. The last one produced an ash plume that rose 2 km above the summit and sent incandescent ejecta down the E slope (figure 146). Ashfall was reported in the municipalities of Atlautla Ozumba, Ayapango and Ecatzingo in the State of Mexico. Explosions on 3 and 4 October also produced ash plumes that rose between 1 and 2 km above the summit and sent ejecta onto the flanks. Additional incandescent ejecta was reported on 6, 7, 15, and 19 October. The communities of Amecameca, Tenango del Aire, Tlalmanalco, Cocotitlán, Temamatla, and Tláhuac reported ashfall on 10 October; Amecameca reported more ashfall on 12 October. On 22 October slight ashfall appeared in Amecameca, Tenango del Aire, Tlalmanalco, Ayapango, Temamatla, and Atlautla.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 146. Incandescent ejecta at Popocatépetl traveled down the E slope on 2 October 2019 (left); an ash plume two days later rose 2 km above the summit (right). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 2 y 4 de octubre).

During 2-3 November 2019 there was 780 minutes of tremor reported in four different episodes. The seismicity was accompanied by ash emissions that drifted W and NW and produced ashfall in numerous communities, including Amecameca, Juchitepec, Ozumba, Tepetlixpa, and Atlautla in the State of México, in Ayapango and Cuautla in the State of Morelos, and in the municipalities of Tlahuac, Tlalpan, and Xochimilco in Mexico City. A moderate explosion on 4 November sent incandescent ejecta 2 km down the slopes and produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted NW. Minor ashfall was reported in Tlalmanalco, Amecameca, and Tenango del Aire, State of Mexico. Similar ash plumes from explosions occurred the following day. Scientists from CENAPRED and the Institute of Geophysics of UNAM observed dome number 85 during an overflight on 5 November 2019. It had a diameter of 210 m and was 80 m thick, with an irregular surface (figure 147). Multiple explosions on 6 and 7 November produced incandescent ejecta; a moderate explosion late on 11 November produced ejecta that traveled 1.5 km from the summit and produced an ash plume 2 km high (figure 148). A lengthy period of constant ash emission that drifted E was reported on 18 November. A moderate explosion on 28 November sent incandescent fragments 1.5 km down the slopes and ash one km above the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 147. A new dome was visible inside the summit crater at Popocatépetl during an overflight on 5 November 2019. It had a diameter of 210 m and was 80 m thick. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Sobrevuelo al volcán Popocatépetl, 05 de noviembre).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 148. Ash emissions and explosions with incandescent ejecta continued at Popocatépetl during November 2019. The ash plume on 1 November changed drift direction sharply a few hundred meters above the summit (left). Incandescent ejecta traveled 1.5 km down the flanks on 11 November (right). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 1 y 12 de noviembre).

Activity during December 2019-February 2020. Throughout December 2019 weak emissions of steam and gas were reported daily, sometimes with minor amounts of ash, and minor explosions were only reported on 21 and 27 December. On 21 December two new high-resolution webcams were installed around Popocatépetl, one 5 km from the crater at the Tlamacas station, and the second in San Juan Tianguismanalco, 20 km away. Ash emissions and incandescent ejecta 800 m from the summit were observed on 25 December (figure 149). Incandescence at night was reported during 27-29 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 149. Incandescent ejecta moved 800 m down the flanks of Popocatépetl during explosions on 25 December 2019 (left); weak emissions of steam, gas, and minor ash were visible on 27 December and throughout the month. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 25 y 27 de diciembre).

Continuous emissions of water vapor and gas with low ash content were typical daily during January 2020. A moderate explosion on 9 January produced an ash plume that rose 3 km from the summit and drifted NE. In addition, incandescent ejecta traveled 1 km from the crater rim. A minor explosion on 21 January produced a 1.5-km-high plume with low ash content and incandescent ejecta that fell near the crater (figure 150). The first of two explosions late on 27 January produced ejecta that traveled 500 m and a 1-km-high ash plume. Constant incandescence was observed overnight on 29-30 January.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 150. Although fewer explosions were recorded at Popocatépetl during January 2020, activity continued. An ash plume on 19 January rose over a kilometer above the summit (top left). A minor explosion on 21 January produced a 1.5-km-high plume with low ash content and incandescent ejecta that fell near the crater (top right). Smaller emissions with steam, gas, and ash were typical many days, including on 22 (bottom left) and 31 (bottom right) January 2019. Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl 19, 21, 22 y 31 de enero).

A moderate explosion on 5 February 2020 produced an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted NNE. Explosions on 10 and 13 February sent ejecta 500 m down the flanks (figure 151). During an overflight on 18 February scientists noted that the internal crater maintained a diameter of 350 m and its approximate depth was 100-150 m; the crater was covered by tephra. For most of the second half of February the volcano had a continuous emission of gases with minor amounts of ash. In addition, multiple explosions produced ash plumes that rose 400-1,200 m above the crater and drifted in several different directions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 151. Ash emissions and explosions continued at Popocatépetl during February 2020. Dense ash drifted near the snow-covered summit on 6 February (top left). Incandescent ejecta traveled 500 m down the flanks on 13 February (top right). Ash plumes billowed from the summit on 18 and 22 February (bottom row). Courtesy of CENAPRED (Reporte del monitoreo de CENAPRED al volcán Popocatépetl, 6, 15, 18 y 22 de febrero).

Geologic Background. Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since Pre-Columbian time.

Information Contacts: Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED), Av. Delfín Madrigal No.665. Coyoacan, México D.F. 04360, México (URL: http://www.cenapred.unam.mx/), Daily Report Archive http://www.cenapred.unam.mx:8080/reportesVolcanGobMX/BuscarReportesVolcan); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); 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).


Santa Maria (Guatemala) — April 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Santa Maria

Guatemala

14.757°N, 91.552°W; summit elev. 3745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continue, September 2019-February 2020

The dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex on the W flank of Guatemala's Santa María volcano has been growing and actively erupting since 1922. Ash explosions, pyroclastic, and lava flows have emerged from Caliente, the youngest of the four vents in the complex, for more than 40 years. A lava dome that appeared within the summit crater of Caliente in October 2016 has continued to grow, producing frequent block avalanches down the flanks. Daily explosions with ash plumes and block avalanches continued during September 2019-February 2020, the period covered in this report, with information primarily from Guatemala's INSIVUMEH (Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meterologia e Hidrologia) and the Washington VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Center).

Constant fumarolic activity with steam and gas persisted from the Caliente dome throughout September 2019-February 2020. Explosions occurred multiple times per day, producing ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 3.1-3.5 km and usually drifted a few kilometers before dissipating. Several lahars during September and October carried volcanic blocks, ash, and debris down major drainages. Periodic ashfall was reported in communities within 10 km of the volcano. An increase in thermal activity beginning in November (figure 101) resulted in an increased number of observations of incandescence visible at night from the summit of Caliente through February 2020. Block avalanches occurred daily on the flanks of the dome, often reaching the base, stirring up small clouds of ash that drifted downwind.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 101. The MIROVA project graph of thermal activity at Santa María from 12 May 2019 through February 2020 shows a gradual increase in thermal energy beginning in November 2019. This corresponds to an increase in the number of daily observations of incandescence at the summit of the Caliente dome during this period. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Constant steam and gas fumarolic activity rose from the Caliente dome, drifting W, usually rising to 2.8-3.0 km altitude during September 2019. Multiple daily explosions with ash plumes rising to 2.9-3.4 km altitude drifted W or SW over the communities of San Marcos, Loma Linda Palajunoj, and Monte Claro (figure 102). Constant block avalanches fell to the base of the cone on the NE and SE flanks. The Washington VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery on 10 September at 3.1 km altitude drifting W. On 14 September another plume was spotted moving WSW at 4.6 km altitude which dissipated quickly; the webcam captured another plume on 16 September. Ashfall on 27 September reached about 1 km from the volcano; it reached 1.5 km on 29 September. Lahars descended the Rio Cabello de Ángel on 2 and 24 September (figure 102). They were about 15 m wide, and 1-3 m deep, carrying blocks 1-2 m in diameter.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 102. A lahar descended the Rio Cabello de Ángel at Santa Maria and flowed into the Rio Nima 1 on 24 September 2019. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 21 al 27 de septiembre de 2019).

Througout October 2019, degassing of steam with minor gases occurred from the Caliente summit, rising to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and generally drifting SW. Weak explosions took place 1-5 times per hour, producing ash plumes that rose to 3.2-3.5 km altitude. Ashfall was reported in Monte Claro on 2 October. Nearly constant block avalanches descended the SE and S flanks, disturbing recent layers of fine ash and producing local ash clouds. Moderate explosions on 11 October produced ash plumes that rose to 3.5 km altitude and drifted W and SW about 1.5 km towards Río San Isidro (figure 103). The following day additional plumes drifted a similar distance to the SE. The Washington VAAC reported an ash emission visible in satellite imagery at 4.9 km altitude on 13 October drifting NNW. Ashfall was reported in Parcelamiento Monte Claro on 14 October. Some of the block avalanches observed on 14 October on the SE, S, and SW flanks were incandescent. Ash drifted 1.5 km W and SW on 17 October. Ashfall was reported near la finca Monte Claro on 25 and 28 October. A lahar descended the Río San Isidro, a tributary of the Río El Tambor on 7 October carrying blocks 1-2 m in diameter, tree trunks, and branches. It was about 16 m wide and 1-2 m deep. Additional lahars descended the rio Cabello de Angel on 23 and 24 October. They were about 15 m wide and 2 m deep, and carried ash and blocks 1-2 m in diameter, tree trunks, and branches.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 103. Daily ash plumes were reported from the Caliente cone at Santa María during October 2019, similar to these from 30 September (left) and 11 October 2019 (right). Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 28 de septiembre al 04 de octubre de 2019; Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 05 al 11 de octubre de 2019).

During November 2019, steam plumes rose to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and generally drifted E. There were 1-3 explosions per hour; the ash plumes produced rose to altitudes of 3.1-3.5 km and often drifted SW, resulting in ashfall around the volcanic complex. Block avalanches descended the S and SW flanks every day. On 4 November ashfall was reported in the fincas (ranches) of El Faro, Santa Marta, El Viejo Palmar, and Las Marías, and the odor of sulfur was reported 10 km S. Incandescence was observed at the Caliente dome during the night of 5-6 November. Ash fell again in El Viejo Palmar, fincas La Florida, El Faro, and Santa Marta (5-6 km SW) on 7 November. Sulfur odor was also reported 8-10 km S on 16, 19, and 22 November. Fine-grained ash fell on 18 November in Loma Linda and San Marcos Palajunoj. On 29 November strong block avalanches descended in the SW flank, stirring up reddish ash that had fallen on the flanks (figure 104). The ash drifted up to 20 km SW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 104. Ash plumes rose from explosions multiple times per day at Santa Maria’s Santiaguito complex during November 2019, and block avalanches stirred up reddish clouds of ash that drifted for many kilometers. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH. Left, 11 November 2019, from Reporte Semanal de Monitoreo: Volcán Santiaguito (1402-03), Semana del 09 al 15 de noviembre de 2019. Right, 29 November 2019 from BOLETÍN VULCANOLÓGICO ESPECIAL BESTG# 106-2019, Guatemala 29 de noviembre de 2019, 10:50 horas (Hora Local).

White steam plumes rising to 2.9-3.0 km altitude drifted SE most days during December 2019. One to three explosions per hour produced ash plumes that rose to 3.1-3.5 km altitude and drifted W and SW producing ashfall on the flanks. Several strong block avalanches sent material down the SW flank. Ash from the explosions drifted about 1.5 km SW on 3 and 7 December. The Washington VAAC reported a small ash emission that rose to 4.9 km altitude and drifted WSW on 8 December, and another on 13 December that rose to 4.3 km altitude. Ashfall was reported up to 10 km S on 24 December. Incandescence was reported at the dome by INSIVUMEH eight times during the month, significantly more than during the recent previous months (figure 105).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 105. Strong thermal anomalies were visible in Sentinel-2 imagery at the summit of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex on 19 December 2019. Image uses Atmospheric Penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during January 2020 was similar to that during previous months. White plumes of steam rose from the Caliente dome to altitudes of 2.7-3.0 km and drifted SE; one to three explosions per hour produced ash plumes that rose to 3.2-3.4 km altitude and generally drifted about 1.5 km SW before dissipating. Frequent block avalanches on the SE flank caused smaller plumes that drifted SSW often over the ranches of San Marcos and Loma Linda Palajunoj. On 28 January ash plumes drifted W and SW over the communities of Calaguache, El Nuevo Palmar, and Las Marías. In addition to incandescence observed at the crater of Caliente dome at least nine times, thermal anomalies in satellite imagery were detected multiple times from the block avalanches on the S flank (figure 106).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 106. Incandescence at the summit and in the block avalanches on the S flank of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex was visible in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 8 and 13 January 2020. Atmospheric penetration rendering images (bands 12, 11, 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The Washington VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery at 4.6 km altitude drifting W on 3 February 2020. INSIVUMEH reported constant steam degassing that rose to 2.9-3.0 km altitude and drifted SW. In addition, 1-3 weak to moderate explosions per hour produced ash plumes to 3.1-3.5 km altitude that drifted about 1 km SW. Small amounts of ashfall around the volcano’s perimeter was common. The ash plumes on 5 February drifted NE over Santa María de Jesús. On 8 February the ash plumes drifted E and SE over the communities of Calaguache, El Nuevo Palmar, and Las Marías. Block avalanches on the S and SE flanks of Caliente dome continued, creating small ash clouds on the flank. Incandescence continued frequently at the crater and was also observed on the S flank in satellite imagery (figure 107).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 107. Incandescence at the summit and on the S flank of the Caliente cone at Santa María’s Santiaguito’s complex was frequent during February 2020, including on 2 (left) and 17 (right) February 2020 as seen in Sentinel-2 imagery. Atmostpheric Penetration rendering imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is part of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rise above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The sharp-topped, conical profile is cut on the SW flank by a 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit to the lower flank, and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The renowned Plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four vents, with activity progressing W towards the most recent, Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hydrologia (INSIVUMEH), Unit of Volcanology, Geologic Department of Investigation and Services, 7a Av. 14-57, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/ ); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); 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/).

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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