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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Karangetang (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geologic Background. Karangetang (Api Siau) volcano lies at the northern end of the island of Siau, about 125 km NNE of the NE-most point of Sulawesi island. The stratovolcano contains five summit craters along a N-S line. It is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, with more than 40 eruptions recorded since 1675 and many additional small eruptions that were not documented in the historical record (Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World: Neumann van Padang, 1951). Twentieth-century eruptions have included frequent explosive activity sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars. Lava dome growth has occurred in the summit craters; collapse of lava flow fronts have produced pyroclastic flows.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com); Bobyson Lamanepa, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, (URL: https://twitter.com/BobyLamanepa/status/1214165637028728832).


Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Shishaldin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 33, Number 02 (February 2008)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Barren Island (India)

Satellite imagery of ash plume, 23 December 2007

Bulusan (Philippines)

Ash ejections continued to at least late 2007

Cleveland (United States)

Thermal anomalies and minor explosions continue through February 2008

Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker (Papua New Guinea)

Ash emissions during March 2008

Langila (Papua New Guinea)

Intermittent ash emissions in May and August 2007

Lengai, Ol Doinyo (Tanzania)

Explosive eruptions of December 2007-March 2008; hazard warnings

Lokon-Empung (Indonesia)

June 2007-March 2008, variable seismicity and minor white plumes

NW Rota-1 (United States)

Visit on 24 February 2008 found eruption plume and acoustic signals

Suwanosejima (Japan)

Small (~1 km) plumes noted during late 2007-early 2008

Talang (Indonesia)

Ash emissions in March, June, and November 2007

Tara, Batu (Indonesia)

Satellite thermal anomalies indicate that near-daily eruptions continue



Barren Island (India) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Barren Island

India

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Satellite imagery of ash plume, 23 December 2007

Thermal anomalies associated with the eruption that began in May 2005 were noted at Barren Island through 1 September 2007 (BGVN 32:07). Anomalies detected on 4 and 5 October 2007 again generated MODIS thermal alerts. On 23 December 2007 the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre reported that an ash plume seen on satellite imagery rose to an altitude of 1.5 km and drifted S.

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

Information Contacts: HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), University of Hawaii and Manoa, 168 East-West Road, Post 602, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, Northern Territory 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/).


Bulusan (Philippines) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Bulusan

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash ejections continued to at least late 2007

Our last report on Bulusan described explosive eruptions and ashfall during 10 October 2006 to 12 May 2007 (BGVN 32:04). This current report will cover the events from late May 2007 to January 2008. There were ash-bearing eruptions on 31 July and 4 October 2007. Hazard concerns also included steam-driven explosions, lahars, and related flooding.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported on 20 May 2007 that seismicity remained high following an explosion on 12 May (BGVN 32:04). The seismic network detected 673 volcanic earthquakes during five days. The epicenters were located along a NW-SE trend. Ground deformation measurements conducted on 17 May on the NE flank revealed 4 mm of inflation since 7 April, measurements in a series which have shown continued inflation since June 2006. Sulfur dioxide flux measurements were 165-315 tons per day (t/d), below a baseline level of 500 t/d. The Alert Level was raised in mid-May from 1 to 2 (out of 5) due to the increased seismicity and inflation. On 22 May, heavy rain triggered lahars, but they were confined and did not affect populated areas. On 25 May 2007 sulfur emission reached 500 t/d.

During mid-2007, scientists from PHIVOLCS conducting an aerial investigation discovered lahar deposits and three steaming fissures. Scientists also observed steam plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.6-1.7 km and drifted NW and NE. The S flank had inflated by 3 mm. Residents near the base of the volcano noted the odor of sulfur dioxide.

No significant activity was reported during June 2007. Steaming from the active vents and fissures generally consisted of weak to moderate emissions of steam. On 13 July 2007, PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level to 1 due to a decline in activity including decreased seismicity, and lower than baseline sulfur dioxide emissions. On 19-21 June the NE and SE flanks were deflated when compared to previous surveys. Sulfur dioxide emission rates were 50-400 t/d.

On the morning of 31 July 2007 an explosion produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 6.6 km and drifted WSW and WNW. Initial field reports indicated that light ashfalls were experienced in Cogon, Gulang-gulang, Puting Sapa, Bolos, Monbon and Gabao in Irosin, and Sangkayon and Buraburan in Juban. Small to moderate sized earthquakes and ash explosions continued. On 2 August, white steam plumes rose from active craters and fissures.

On 28 September 2007 the number of volcanic earthquakes increased and PHIVOLCS noted a possible eruption. Explosions at 0134 and 0139 on 4 October 2007 caused a blanket of thick ashfall in sixteen villages that resulted in minor injuries and damage. Instruments recorded 40 volcanic earthquakes and eight short harmonic tremors during a 24 hour interval ending at 0526 that day. Moderate steaming from fissures were found on the SW flank.

According to the news source Southen Luzon Bureau, on 15 October 2007 PHIVOLCS found an additional six points of emission around the volcano, three each on the NW and SE slopes. Several other emission points had stopped on the N, SSW, and SW slopes. Overall, nine emission points were active. News reports also mentioned that residents in the village of San Rogue noted bulging of the ground. A deformation survey was allegedly conducted, but results were not available in PHIVOLCS reports.

In the 24 hours from 0800 on 6 January 2008, at least seven minor earthquakes were recorded, but no steaming was noted. Although the Alert Level remained at 1, authorities began to enforce a no-entry policy in a 4-km radius.

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

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph); Southern Luzon Bureau, Philippine Daily Inquirer, PO Box 2353, Makati Central Post Office, 1263 Makati City, Philippines (URL: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/).


Cleveland (United States) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Cleveland

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thermal anomalies and minor explosions continue through February 2008

Our previous reports on Cleveland discussed short duration explosions on 6 February 2006 (BGVN 31:01), 23 May 2006 (BGVN 31:07), and on 24 August and 28 October 2006 (BGVN 31:09).

We received no further reports on Cleveland until June 2007. On 12 June, steam emissions were observed. The plume rose to an altitude of 3.7 km and drifted SE for 200 km. On 17 June, satellite imagery showed a significant thermal anomaly. Low level eruptive activity was suggested. No ash plume was detected. On 26 June, satellite imagery showed another thermal anomaly. On 20 July, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) raised the Alert Level from Advisory to Watch and the Aviation Color Code from Yellow to Orange, based upon an intense thermal anomaly in the crater and an associated steam-and-gas plume observed on satellite imagery. Three small SO2 clouds produced by small explosions on 20 July were detected in OMI satellite data. Weak thermal activity was observed by satellite imagery throughout the month.

On 27 July AVO noted that low-level eruptive activity continued. Photographs from 27 July and a pilot report from 2 August indicated fresh volcanic ejecta on the slopes and summit. The E portion of Chuginadak Island was dusted with ash on 3 August. AVO lacks a local seismic system at the volcano was thus unable to track local volcanic earthquakes.

Thermal anomalies continued to be detected on satellite imagery, although clouds obscured satellite and web camera views of the volcano on most days during August through 11 September. A few clear views of the crater during this time revealed multiple thermal anomalies at the summit, indicating that low-level eruptive activity continued.

On 6 September, AVO lowered the Volcanic Alert Level for Cleveland from Watch to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code from Orange to Yellow, based on the observation that since late July, ash and gas plumes had been absent in satellite imagery and no reports of activity had been received. On 20 November the last weak thermal anomaly was observed for the year.

At 1200 on 17 January 2008, minor ash emission was detected, which drifted N. The plume height could not be determined. Thermal anomalies were found in the satellite imagery later that day. According to the AVO, on 8 February, during a break in the cloud cover, satellite imagery detected a diffuse ash plume extending about 12 km SE at an altitude below 1.5 km. Later that day AVO received pilot reports of a diffuse ash plume that rose to an altitude of 6.1 km and, according to satellite imagery, drifted NW. Due to the increased activity, the Volcanic Alert Level was raised to Watch and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange. During 10-11 February, a feeble thermal anomaly was marginally visible on satellite imagery.

On 12 February, the Volcanic Alert Level was lowered back to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow. This occurred in response to the observation that minor eruptive activity appeared to have subsided and no further evidence of ash emission had been reported.

On 15 February, a minor explosion from Cleveland produced a small, diffuse ash plume that rose to an altitude of below 3 km and drifted NW. On 16 February, a brief explosion occurred. On 22 February, satellite imagery detected a low-level ash plume that drifted about 300 km SE. On 23 February, satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly. On 29 February, satellite imagery detected a weak thermal anomaly and a small ash plume that rose to an altitude of below 3 km. On 15, 27, and 30 March, weak thermal anomalies were detected. As of 4 April 2008, Cleveland remains at Advisory and the Aviation code Yellow.

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

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA, the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/); Volcanic Emissions Group, Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI)-Total Ozone Monitoring Spectrometer (TOMS), Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (URL: http://toms.unbc.edu/).


Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker (Papua New Guinea) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash emissions during March 2008

Garbuna again began to erupt in March 2008. Prior to that, during late June 2007, the summit continued to release variable volumes of white vapor. Occasional increases in volume caused concern in local communities, although noises and night-time glow were absent. An investigation by the West New Britain Disaster Office indicated no other increased activity or emission of solid material. Vapor emissions from the active vent continued through October 2007. Through the end of 2007 and into January and February 2008 activity was characteristically uneventful, with no indication of an eruption.

A new eruption began on 11 March 2008. Gray ash clouds rose less than a kilometer above the summit before being blown SW, causing fine ashfall. Occasional booming noises were heard accompanying the ash emissions. Ash emissions continued on 12-13 March, and reports indicated most of the ash fell in the summit area. On 14-15 March the odor of sulfur was reported downwind. No glow was visible at night. Around this time, observations from the Kulingai Volcano Observatory (15 km SE) noted white vapor emissions from numerous vents at the summit area. During 17-18 March activity increased slightly with forceful and continuous emission of white vapor. Emissions rose vertically less than a kilometer before dissipating. There were no noises heard and no glow visible at night. A strong smell of sulfur was again noted to the E.

All of the monitoring equipment installed during 2005 and 2006 was destroyed. The two GPS stations at the summit and at the base remained out of service, and for most of the reporting interval there was no functioning seismometer. Seismicity began to be monitored using a KD1 recorder, along with a portable seismometer to the E, at SiSi village. Seismicity fluctuated between low and moderate levels. On 17 March, seismicity increased to a moderate level characterized by non-overlapping tremor. Only three high-frequency volcano-tectonic earthquakes were noted during the first day of recording; no low-frequency events were recorded. Seismicity declined on 18 March but rose to a moderate level on 19 March.

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

Information Contacts: Herman Patia, Steve Saunders, and Felix Taranu, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), PO Box 3386, Rabaul, E.N.B.P, Papua New Guinea.


Langila (Papua New Guinea) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Langila

Papua New Guinea

5.525°S, 148.42°E; summit elev. 1330 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash emissions in May and August 2007

Satellite thermal anomalies occurred at or near Langila on three different days in early 2007 (BGVN 32:02). Although erupting regularly, only one other anomaly (on 2 April 2007) was detected after that time through 6 March 2008. Langila is noted for its ongoing fluctuating eruptions and occasional ash clouds that rise to more than 5 km altitude and pose a threat to aviation. Throughout this reporting period, April 2007 to January 2008, ash emissions were usually accompanied by weak to moderately loud roaring.

During May 2007, the Rabaul Volcanic Observatory (RVO) reported the emission of ash clouds from Langila's Crater 2. Ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.3-4.3 km and drifted NW. Weak roaring noises were heard on 11-12 May and a weak glow was visible on 7-8, 11-12, and 15 May. Weak roaring noises were again heard on 20 May, and an increased phase of eruptive activity that began on 22 May continued until end of the month. The increased activity was characterized by forceful emission of thick pale-gray to dark gray-brown ash clouds from 22-27 May. The emission changed to subcontinuous thick dark gray-brown ash clouds on 28-29 May before changing back to occasional thick, pale-gray clouds on 30-31 May. Two large explosions on 30 May accompanied the ash emission. The ash clouds from these two explosions rose 4 km above the summit before being blown NW. On the other days, the ash clouds rose 2-3 km above the summit before drifting NW of the volcano. Continuous fine ashfall occurred at Kilenge Catholic Mission (~10 km NW) and surrounding areas during 22-31 May. The ash emissions were accompanied by occasional weak to loud roaring noises from the 22 to 28 May before turning subcontinuous during 29-31 May. On 30 May two large explosions produced ash plumes that rose to ~5.3 km and drifted NW. A weak glow was visible on 7-8, 11-12, 15, and 20 May and again on 29 and 31 May. Incandescence was visible on 29 May. On 26 May, the seismograph deployed at Kilenge became operational.

During June RVO reported a slight decrease in eruptive activity that began on 22 May, however, the emissions of ash plumes from Crater 2 were occasionally forceful. The emissions were continuous on 6, 7, and 10 June and accompanied by roaring noises; booming noises were heard on 1 and 10 June. Ash plumes rose to ~ 2.3-4.3 km and drifted NNW. Based on observations of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 3 June, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km and drifted W. Ashfall was again reported at Kilenge Catholic Mission and surrounding areas. Seismic activity in June was at a high level, dominated by continuous tremor and occasional explosion signals. During the latter part of the month, seismic activity decreased to a low-moderate level. It was dominated by continuous irregular tremors and occasional harmonic tremors. Low-frequency earthquakes ranged from 1 to 7 events per day.

During July 2007, eruptive activity continued at a low level but included thin-to-thick, pale-gray ash clouds. Weak roaring noises were heard on 1 July, but glow was absent at night. On 2 July ash clouds were ejected forcefully and rose ~2 km, drifted NW, and resulted in a fine ashfall downwind. On 6-7, and 9-13 July, ash clouds rose less than 1 km above the summit before drifting NNW. Except for 1 July when weak roaring noises were heard, the volcano was quiet and without appreciable night glow. Seismicity registered at low-moderate levels, dominated by non-harmonic and harmonic tremor of continuous, irregular, or banded character. During July, the daily number of low-frequency earthquakes ranged between 1 and 12 events per day. The one high-frequency earthquake occurred on 27 July.

RVO reports noted mild but continuous ash and white vapor plumes from Crater 2 during 1 August-30 September. Ash plumes generally rose to altitudes of ~1.8-3.3 km and drifted WNW. On 8 August, a large explosion produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 5.3 km and drifted SW. Ashfall was reported downwind. Incandescent fragments were ejected from the summit on 21-22 September.

During 1-7 October 2007, RVO reported low-to-moderate eruptive activity consisting of continuous emission of pale gray ash clouds which rose to ~1.8-3.3 km and were blown W to NW. During the second week, the white vapor accompanied by pale gray ash clouds continued; these rose less than 1 km before being blown to the NW of the volcano. On 19, 16, and 27 October, the ash clouds rose less than 2 km before being blown WNW. Consistently, the ash emissions were accompanied by occasional weak-to-loud roaring or booming noises. On most occasions, there was no glow observed at night, however, a weak-to-bright glow accompanied by projection of incandescent lava fragments was visible on 12 and 22 October. Crater 3 remained quiet. Seismic activity was at low-to- moderate level dominated by low frequency earthquakes and bands of harmonic and non-harmonic tremors. The daily number of low-frequency earthquakes ranged from 2-15. Less than 10 high-frequency events were recorded during October.

In January 2008, activity generally remained low. Some ash fell on 6-7, and 9 January with fluctuating glow visible. On 10, 13, and 25 January the incandescent glow was bright. More direct observations through late February 2008 by RVO staff and affiliates confirmed ongoing eruptions. During February, Crater 2 continued to erupt. Most days, these eruptions generated ash plumes typically rising a few hundred meters. Observers noted incandescent glow or noises on 7, 9, 11, and 21-23 February.

Geologic Background. Langila, one of the most active volcanoes of New Britain, consists of a group of four small overlapping composite basaltic-andesitic cones on the lower E flank of the extinct Talawe volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the N and NE sides of Langila. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded since the 19th century from three active craters at the summit. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.

Information Contacts: Herman Patia, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), PO Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, Northern Territory 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); 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/).


Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Ol Doinyo Lengai

Tanzania

2.764°S, 35.914°E; summit elev. 2962 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive eruptions of December 2007-March 2008; hazard warnings

The previous report on Ol Doinyo Lengai (BGVN 32:11), often simply called Lengai, summarized seismicity and energetic ash emissions during 2007. The development of a single large cone with a prominent venting crater significantly changed the crater morphology.

This report discusses field observations by various individuals during December 2007 through March 2008. The reports and photos from visitors provided by Frederick Belton on his website form the source for much of which follows. Table 16 summarizes the observations from December 2007 through March 2008.

Table 16. Summary of visitors to Ol Doinyo Lengai and their brief observations (from a climb, aerial overflight, or flank) from December 2007 through 26 March 2008. Observations for 2007 were reported in BGVN 32:11. Most of this list is courtesy of Frederick Belton.

Date Observer Observation Location Brief Observations
07 Dec 2007 Joerg Keller, Jurgis Klaudius Climb Geological samples collected; ash eruption with plumes rising to several thousand meters above volcano (see text).
25 Dec 2007 Jens Fissenebert, Paul Johns Aerial/Climb Observations of crater from helicopter and ground (see text).
31 Dec 2007 Raphael Wolf Climb Volcano "shook 3 times as my guide and I were climbing;" vent of new cinder cone steaming.
06 Jan 2008 Paul Johns Aerial/Climb Helicopter landed in S crater, group walked to summit; eruption during flight to crater and 15 minutes after they left; large rocks (bombs?) had been thrown into the S crater.
14 Jan 2008 Vegard Laukhammer Climb Experienced eruption (see text).
17 Jan-21 Jan 2008 Tom Pfeiffer, group from Volcano Discovery Climb See text.
18 Jan 2008 Thomas Holden Climb New climbing route on the SE described.
19 Jan 2008 Bernhard Donth, Thomas Schulmeister, William (Maasai) Climb Occasional rain of fine gray ash and small white pebbles during ascent; small ash jets from the active crater.
04 Feb 2008 Michael Dalton-Smith Flank See text.
12 Feb 2008 Michel Picard Aerial Photographed a dark ash cloud.
13 Feb 2008 Walt Bilofsky Aerial Ash rising from summit crater.
15 Feb 2008 Gerrit Jan Plaisier, Rob Alakaposa Aerial Plume over Lengai to altitude of 11 km.
15 Feb 2008 Benoit Wangermez (pilot) Aerial Summit crater heavily cloaked in fresh ash; ash cloud rising from crater; movie of eruption on Celia Nyamweru's website.
20 Feb 2008 Nigel D'Aubrey Aerial Plume over Lengai.
21 Feb 2008 KLM pilot Aerial Eruption.
24 Feb 2008 Claude Humbert Climb Party of 11 people attempted to climb the S side, but terminated the climb about half-way up due to eruption.
27 Feb 2008 Reported to Michael Dalton-Smith Flank Eruptions getting stronger; observed from Gol, massive cloud.
27-28 Feb 2008 Flight crew Aerial Ash emissions at 1030 and 1200 on 27 Feb and 0530 on 28 Feb; ash cloud moved SW and dissipated.
27-28 Feb 2008 Dave Rhys Flank Eruptions observed from the Serengeti Plain and Ngorongoro Crater 3; single ash plumes rose rapidly following each eruption (none continuous) and dispersed S (thin ash coating on leaves around the rim of Ngorongoro crater).
01 Mar 2008 Max Voight Aerial Photo of ash plume rising.
late Feb 2008, 1-2 Mar 2008 Benoit Wilhelmi (pilot) Aerial Photos of ash plumes.
03 Mar-05 Mar 2008 Tony Drummond-Murray Flank Massive eruptions (see text).
05 Mar 2008 Benoit Wilhelmi (pilot) Aerial Plume to altitude of ~15.2 km.
11 Mar-12 Mar 2008 Benoit Wilhelmi (pilot) Aerial Strong ash eruption (see text).
18 Mar 2008 Benoit Wilhelmi (pilot) Aerial Photos of crater (see text).
22 Mar 2008 Benoit Wilhelmi (pilot) Aerial Photos of new crater (see text).
25 Mar 2008 Paul Westerman, friend, and Maasai guide Climb Walked to the top of the ash cone and heard the tremendous roar; no sulfur smell but some heat.
26 Mar 2008 Paul Westerman Flank From shore of Lake Natron observed some smoke and ashfall (on the downwind side) starting around 0930.

An accident last August highlights the hazards of summit access. On his 21 August 2007 ascent, Chris Weber's group evacuated a local Maasai porter who had fallen into an active lava flow (around 500°C) in the crater. The porter had managed to get out of the lava, but with both legs and one arm seriously burned. Initial treatment at an Arusha hospital was financed by Weber's tour company. As of January 2008 he was bedridden in his home near Engare Sero, experiencing pain and muscle wasting. Celia Nyamweru (see web address below) has appealed for financial support to assist the young man during his recovery.

Keller and Klaudius fieldwork, December 2007. Subsequent to publication of BGVN 32:11, we received an unpublished report by Joerg Keller and Jurgis Klaudius on their fieldwork during 5-11 December 2007. According to them, the 4 September eruption ended a period of about 25 years of activity dominated by the effusion of highly fluid natrocarbonatite lavas within the summit crater. The deep pit crater from the 1966/67 eruption period had gradually filled by about 1999/2000. According to the report, the last days of August 2007 were characterized by Weber as displaying seemingly increased lava output. A natrocarbonatite lava, collected by Weber during his ascent on 23 August, was analyzed by Keller at Freiburg University and was close to the average or standard composition for natrocarbonatite from the last 20 years.

During their field work on 5-11 December 2007, Keller and Klaudius observed intermittent but impressive explosions with ash plumes rising to several thousand meters above the volcano. This activity alternated with periods dominated by either minor puffing or degassing, or with seemingly dormant phases up to several days long. This pattern seemed to be representative of the period following the 4 September 2007 paroxysm, which Keller and Klaudius had also studied.

Keller and Klaudius reported that an impressive bomb field with impacted blocks of up to 1 m in diameter extended along the crater rim, on the E ridge to the summit, and on the flank down into the S crater. They noted that, given the observed sudden onset of explosions from the intra-crater vent, the summit area was potentially dangerous. They found that fumarolic activity in the N crater was strong, especially along the N rim. It was also observed within the upper part of the N flank.

According to Keller and Klaudius, the 4 September paroxysm complicated access to the summit. With the help of Maasai guides, they used a newly opened route on 7 December that follows a prominent steep ridge and ends at the SE edge of the S crater. They reported that the track was quite strenuous and, while being rather direct, took much longer (7 hours) than the old trail from the W. They found that, with ongoing explosive activity, the S crater was the only safe arrival place. An attempt to use the old W route during their descent was unsuccessful because the very cemented surface of the lapilli beds provided no grip on the steep entrance from above to the ascent chasm.

While at the crater, Keller and Klaudius collected fresh samples of black lapilli, ash, and bombs from the active cone. The large intra-crater cinder-and-ash cone (figure 102) occupied more than half of the former crater platform, with a crater diameter of ~200 m. Its location coincided with the large collapse structure formed during the March/April 2006 natrocarbonatite effusive activity (BGVN 32:02) (Kervyn and others, 2008), which has also been the area of strong lava emission before the explosive eruption of 4 September 2007. It had a slightly N-S elongation, oval shape and, despite the heavy fumes filling the crater, it appeared that two vents, a more northerly one and a more southerly one, were erupting.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 102. The ash-and-cinder cone that dominated the N crater of Ol Doinyo Lengai. Taken 7 December 2007 from the summit looking N. Courtesy of Joerg Keller.

The cone was formed by and covered by ash, black-to-brown lapilli, cinders, angular blocks, and cored oval bombs. The magmatic lapilli contained macroscopic phenocrysts of nepheline, garnet, and wollastonite. With time, the black lapilli and bombs on the slopes of the cone and in the ring plain around it turned white by weathering of their components. Products of the active cone have covered almost all the old natrocarbonatite structures. Only the spiny remnant of the T49B hornito still stands out at the northern crater rim of the cone. The surface of a blocky flow was also still recognizable at the foot of the N wall.

Analyses of the magmatic material were in harmony with the recent observations of Roger Mitchell and Barry Dawson (reported in BGVN 32:11), who analyzed the mineralogy after the 24 September 2007 eruption, and their suggestion that at the onset of the explosive eruptive period on 4 September 2007 a silicate component became involved in the eruptive activity. Mitchell and Dawson concluded that "in lacking clinopyroxene, the mantling ash is not nephelinite or melilitite and is unlike any other magma type previously recorded from the volcano."

During the December fieldwork, Keller and Klaudius collected samples and examined cross-sections of the 4 September 2007 ash. Proximal (near-source) accumulations of tephra in the S crater occurred to a thickness of ~ 20 cm in the depression and on the upper slopes of the S flank, decreasing to a thickness of 1 cm at the E starting point of the new trail. This compared with a thickness of ~ 5 cm at the upper parking site of the old W trail and the abandoned Maasai home closest to the volcano, 4.2 km away (figure 103). Towards Engare Sero village, relics of the ashfall were still locally preserved and indicated an original thickness of ~ 1 cm, consistent with eyewitness reports of ashfall over the village during 4 September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 103. The abandoned settlement of the Lesele family, located in the major ash fallout area W of the volcano. Note the ash on the roofs of the huts. Courtesy of J. Keller and J. Klaudius.

Other observations. Jens Fissenebert's visit on 25 December 2007 to the summit by helicopter again confirmed that the ash cone had grown. He estimated that it covered nearly the northern two-thirds of the crater floor. The N and W parts of the crater rim were indistinct, having been mostly covered by the growing flank of the new cone. Newly erupted ash and lapilli had filled in the flank area below the former crater rim and down through the "Pearly Gates" through which the former W climbing route passed.

Several eruptions were noted by Paul Johns when landing by helicopter on 6 January 2008. During early 2008, there were also occasional thermal anomalies measured by MODIS (table 17).

Table 17. MODIS/MODVOLC thermal anomalies measured at Ol Doinyo Lengai during January through early April 2008. Anomalies measured during 2007 were reported in BGVN 32:11. Courtesy of the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System.

Date Time (UTC) Number of pixels Satellite
08 Jan 2008 2030 2 Terra
17 Jan 2008 2025 2 Terra
17 Feb 2008 2240 3 Aqua
22 Feb 2008 2300 1 Aqua
28 Feb 2008 1135 1 Aqua
29 Feb 2008 2305 1 Aqua
07 Mar 2008 2310 1 Aqua
10 Mar 2008 2045 4 Terra
03 Apr 2008 1955 1 Terra

Vegard Laukhammer climbed the volcano with several others on 14 January 2008. Laukhammer reported arriving at the summit at 0652 (local time). "The visibility was so poor and there was so much smoke that we decided to try to climb down again after 10 minutes. . . . About 10 minutes later (0715), when we had been able to climb about 50 meters down from the summit, a thundering, ear-breaking sound came from the volcano. A large shower of rocks (many the size of a football) were thrown out from the volcano directly towards us 4 on the top" (translation from Norwegian by Sven Dahlgren, found on Belton's website). The climbers managed to descend without serious injury.

Tom Pfeiffer and a VolcanoDiscovery group stayed near and on Ol Doinyo Lengai during 17-21 January 2008. During this period episodic ash eruptions lasted several hours. These phases alternated with quiet intervals when there was only a weak plume of very fine gray ash and gas. After sunset on 17 January, strong ash eruptions started with plumes reaching about 500-1,000 m high, accompanied by strong lightning. After around 2130, Randle Robertson observed a fountain that appeared as a bright red-orange "blow-torch" rising from the summit crater to an estimated height of 500 m above the crater. The light was steady in appearance and lasted for at least 5 minutes. When the fountain died, a dark ash cloud emerged from the crater, which did not reach a great height. The volcano was more or less quiet during most of 18 January (figure 104).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 104. View looking N from the summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai, taken 18 January 2008. The large cone in the crater was quiet at this time. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

At around 1600 on 19 January, weak explosions set in, increasing in intensity until the ash plumes reached about 500 m above the crater at around 1730 (figure 105). Blocks were ejected 300-400 m above the crater, and all explosions were near-vertical jets from two vents in the crater's W and central portions. Activity decreased after sunset. No incandescence was observed during the night. Activity intensified during the night, with loud-explosion sounds, and the hissing sound of gas-and-ash jets. During their descent on 20 January, ash eruptions continued until early afternoon.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 105. View looking N over the active crater from the summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai, taken 18 January 2008, showing the onset of ash eruption. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

Michael Dalton-Smith observed a fairly large eruption at 1200 on 3 February 2008 from the Gol mountains just E of Sanjan gorge. He saw a cloud that rose about ~1 km above the summit. Activity was present all day, ceasing around 1600, followed by renewed activity with ash rising 0.3-0.5 km above the crater.

At about 0600 on 4 February there was a larger eruption with the ash rising about 1.4 km. It was a fairly dense cloud that flattened out at the top. The camp manger of Asilia (where Dalton-Smith was staying) also said that there had been several large explosive eruptions three days before (on 1 February). Two explosions were heard, one in the morning and one in the evening.

On 6 February, Dalton-Smith opted to not climb because of strong eruptions. When he drove past the volcano he reported that "it was having some of the biggest eruptions in a long time" with continuous activity from sunrise to about 1400.

During 3-5 March 2008, Tony Drummond-Murray and his wife observed very strong eruptions (figure 106). Figure 107 shows pyroclastic flows from what appeared to be a collapsing ash column. The valley between Lengai and the escarpment itself was covered with a highly visible layer of light ash after the eruption on 4 March. On 5 March the plume appeared even larger than the one seen on 4 March.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 106. Large eruption of Ol Doinyo Lengai taken around 4 March 2008 from the Lake Natron area. Courtesy of Tony Drummond-Murray.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 107. During an energetic eruption, small pyroclastic or debris flows propagated down the flanks of Ol Doinyo Lengai. This photo was taken around 4 March 2008 from the Lake Natron area. Courtesy of Tony Drummond-Murray.

At 1010 on 5 March 2008, pilot Benoît Wilhelmi observed a plume rising to ~15 km altitude. On 12 March, he also saw a strong ash eruption; weaker activity was also seen that day (figure 108). That photo indicates that the powerful eruptions of 3-5 March did not significantly alter the ash cone or crater rim. Large amounts of ash and cinders had piled up against the northward facing ridge below the summit. The S crater was covered in ash and cinder layers so deep that previously prominent erosion gullies were becoming indistinct. It appeared that all vegetation had either died or been buried.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 108. Ash eruption from Ol Doinyo Lengai seen 12 March 2008 from the NNE. This image shows that the E, N, and W flanks of the ash cone had buried the original crater rim. Oversteepening of the cone flank in places resulted in small landslides which can be seen just below the cone as dark material covering the lighter areas of older weathered carbonatite. The peak beyond the ash plume is the summit. Photo courtesy Benoît Wilhelmi.

Wilhelmi photographed the summit cone on 18 March at 1530 (figure 109). On 22 March, Wilhelmi photographed directly into the crater (figure 110). At that time there had been no reports of activity for three days, but the smell of hydrogen sulfide returned after being gone for days.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 109. Aerial photo highlighting the summit profile of Ol Doinyo Lengai, as seen looking W at ~1530 (local time) on 18 March by Benoît Wilhelmi (pilot). Courtesy of Frederick Belton.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 110. Aerial photo at Ol Doinyo Lengai looking sub-vertically, down into the new cone's crater. Taken at about 0930 (local time) on 22 March by Benoît Wilhelmi (pilot). Courtesy of Frederick Belton.

Table 18 lists a number of volcanic ash advisories (VAAs) issued in March 2008 by the Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Table 18. March 2008 Volcanic Ash Advisories (VAAs) relating to Ol Doinyo Lengai issued by Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Date Time (UTC) Information Source Observed Details
04 Mar 2008 0900 Satellite Eruption occurred at 0630 (UTC), cloud rising to 12.2 km may contain some ash; stopped by 0900.
05 Mar 2008 0854 Meterological watch office (MWO) Dar-Es-Salaam Eruption of very short duration; "simple puff", ash cloud to 10.7 km altitude.
06 Mar 2008 1730 MWO Dar-Es-Salaam Eruption occurred at 0830 (UTC); cloud top at 9.1 km altitude, ash not identified from satellite.
09 Mar 2008 0845 MartinAir Current eruption; ash plume to 8.8 km altitude, ash not identified from satellite.
10 Mar 2008 0711 Satellite Cloud to 7.3 km altitude.
11 Mar 2008 1800 Infrared satellite Possible brief eruption at about 1700 (UTC); cloud up to 12.2 km altitude, moving S.
13 Mar 2008 1800 KLM pilot, MartinAir Volcanism with ash cloud rising to 12.2 km altitude.
16 Mar 2008 0450 Satellite Short eruption at ~0330 (UTC); plume reached 13.7 km altitude.
16 Mar 2008 2148 Satellite Ash cloud to 12.2 km altitude.

Thomas Holden reported that as of 29 March 2008 there had been no activity at Lengai for 10 days. Chris Daborn (Tropical Veterinary Services Ltd.) reported on 2 April 2008 the following: "Lengai has of late quieted down significantly-first in changing ash colour from a 'salty' white to a more inert black and now with much smaller eruptions that barely extend above the mountain. We have heavy rains on at present which makes movement in the area difficult-but are also washing ash residue away." Jurgis Klaudius reported that he checked MODIS data and found a thermal anomaly in the N crater on 3 April 2008, indicating on-going eruptions then (table 17).

Warnings of hazards. Celia Nyamweru posted the following warning on her web site: "A team of Tanzanian, US, and French scientists visited the region around the volcano in January 2008, and interviewed local porters who routinely climb Ol Doinyo Lengai with tourists. Our observations and photos indicate continuing eruptive activity, and a growing threat to the region, as outlined below.

"Almost daily eruptions from the central caldera have filled the crater, and produced a steep lapilli-ash cone around the crater rim. A film clip of the crater made by a Medecins Sans Frontieres pilot confirms that the loose lapilli is near collapse. These conditions mean that there are very high risks of one or more of the following: 1) a debris flow or lahar (mix of hot ash, water/mud) down the existing channels around the volcano; 2) burns from hot lapilli and ash; and 3) catastrophic collapse of the steep lapilli cones around the crater. The risks increase with increasing rainfall during the March-May rains.

"We also urge extreme caution to anyone driving in the river channels on the eastern and northern slopes of Lengai between Engaruka and Ngare Sero. There are scars of immense debris flows on the flanks of Kerimasi, and smaller scars on Ol Doinyo Lengai. These scars attest to catastrophic flows in the past, some of which carried rock fragments up to 50 cm in diameter for distances extending up to 10 km from Ol Doinyo Lengai. Even smaller debris flows could do great damage to vehicles and people moving along the eastern and northern slopes of the volcano."

Reference. Kervyn, M., Ernst, G.G.J., Klaudius, J., Keller, J., Kervyn, F., Mattsson, H.B., Belton, F., Mbede, E., and Jacobs, P., 2008, Voluminous lava flows at Ol Doinyo Lengai in 2006: chronology of events and insights into the shallow magmatic system: Bulletin of Volcanology, DOI 10.1007/s00445-007-0190-x.

Geologic Background. The symmetrical Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only volcano known to have erupted carbonatite tephras and lavas in historical time. The prominent stratovolcano, known to the Maasai as "The Mountain of God," rises abruptly above the broad plain south of Lake Natron in the Gregory Rift Valley. The cone-building stage ended about 15,000 years ago and was followed by periodic ejection of natrocarbonatitic and nephelinite tephra during the Holocene. Historical eruptions have consisted of smaller tephra ejections and emission of numerous natrocarbonatitic lava flows on the floor of the summit crater and occasionally down the upper flanks. The depth and morphology of the northern crater have changed dramatically during the course of historical eruptions, ranging from steep crater walls about 200 m deep in the mid-20th century to shallow platforms mostly filling the crater. Long-term lava effusion in the summit crater beginning in 1983 had by the turn of the century mostly filled the northern crater; by late 1998 lava had begun overflowing the crater rim.

Information Contacts: Joerg Keller and Jurgis Klaudius, Mineralogisch-geochemisches Institut, Albertstr. 23B D-79104 Freiburg, Germany; Jens Fissenebert, Molvaro-Lake Natron Tented Camp and Campsite; Vegard Laukhammer, Norway; Frederick Belton, Developmental Studies Department, PO Box 16, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA (URL: http://oldoinyolengai.pbworks.com/); J. Barry Dawson, Grant Institute of Earth Science, University of Edinburgh, King's Building, Edinburgh EH9 3JW, U.K.; Roger Mitchell, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5EI; 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/); Celia Nyamweru, Department of Anthropology, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617 USA (URL: http://blogs.stlawu.edu/lengai/); Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) (URL: http://www.meteo.fr/vaac/); Michael Dalton-Smith (URL: http://digitalcrossing.ca/); Lake Natron Camp (URL: http://www.ngare-sero-lodge.com/); Chris Weber, Volcano Expeditions International (VEI) (URL: http://www.v-e-i.de/).


Lokon-Empung (Indonesia) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Lokon-Empung

Indonesia

1.358°N, 124.792°E; summit elev. 1580 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


June 2007-March 2008, variable seismicity and minor white plumes

Our most recent report on Lokon-Empung discussed low seismicity and plume emissions between January-October 2005 (BGVN 31:03). Since then, available reports from the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) discussed seismic events in June and December 2007, and January 2008. Plumes mentioned in these reports were small, white in color, and only rose 15-40 m, occasionally up to 125 m, above the rim of the active vent area (Tompaluan crater), in the saddle between the peaks of Lokon and Empung.

During 11-24 June 2007 CVGHM reported 52 A-type and 156 B-type earthquakes, but no tremor. Only one earthquake was felt by residents. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

On 9 December 2007, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 2 to 3 based on visual observations, inflation detected by deformation instruments, and an increase in seismicity. The water in the Tompaluan crater changed color from green to gray and noises from degassing became stronger. Visitors were advised not to go within 2 km of the crater.

After a short period of decline, seismicity began to increase again on 22 January 2008, peaking on 3 February. Visitors were prohibited from going within 1 km of the crater.

Geologic Background. The twin volcanoes Lokon and Empung, rising about 800 m above the plain of Tondano, are among the most active volcanoes of Sulawesi. Lokon, the higher of the two peaks (whose summits are only 2 km apart), has a flat, craterless top. The morphologically younger Empung volcano to the NE has a 400-m-wide, 150-m-deep crater that erupted last in the 18th century, but all subsequent eruptions have originated from Tompaluan, a 150 x 250 m wide double crater situated in the saddle between the two peaks. Historical eruptions have primarily produced small-to-moderate ash plumes that have occasionally damaged croplands and houses, but lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows have also occurred. A ridge extending WNW from Lokon includes Tatawiran and Tetempangan peak, 3 km away.

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Hetty Triastuty, Nia Haerani and Suswati, Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/).


NW Rota-1 (United States) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

NW Rota-1

United States

14.601°N, 144.775°E; summit elev. -517 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Visit on 24 February 2008 found eruption plume and acoustic signals

During an April 2006 expedition (BGVN 31:05), scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and Oregon State University aboard the research vessel Melville witnessed the volcano ejecting lava, bombs, and sulfur-rich (SO2 and H2S) plumes. This is the first site where explosive submarine eruptions have been directly observed from a submersible (see Videos, below).

According to William Chadwick, a brief visit to NW Rota-1 was made on 24 February 2008. With support from the NOAA Ocean Exploration Program and the U.S. Coast Guard, the scientists deployed a hydrophone and plume sensor. While on site, scientists found that the volcano was still erupting. There were no instruments left after the April 2006 visit, so the observational record was discontinuous. On the other hand, scientists visited the site four times in four years and consistently found that it was active. Moreover, Chadwick and colleagues had collected multibeam bathymetry in 2003 and 2006 (Walker and others, in press). Depth changes between those surveys were up to +40 m and extended from the eruptive vent at 550 m directly downslope to at least 2,000 m. They were consistent with volcaniclastic deposits from ongoing eruptions. The suggestion is that NW Rota-1 has been very active, if not continuously active.

On 24 February 2008 the Melville crew made a vertical cast over the eruptive vent with a light-scattering sensor and detected an eruption plume below 500 m depth. Hydrophone data also indicated eruptions with cyclic bursts about once a minute. These appear very similar to the explosions observed by ROV and hydrophone in 2006 (Chadwick and others, 2008). The explosion sounds were louder and more frequent in 2008 than in 2006. During the 2008 visit, explosion signals filled the 24-hour acoustic record. Before departure, the crew installed a hydrophone and plume sensor to record activity over the next year.

Resing and others (2007) described two types of venting at NW Rota-1. The first was a focused plume rich in Al, S, Si, CO2, Fe, Mn, and 3He. The second was a plume with diffuse flow, rich in Fe, Mn, CO2, and 3He, but without Al, S, and Si. Data suggested that the pH of these plumes were less than 1.0, primarily due to SO2 and possibly HCl. The authors claimed that the volcano is producing some of the greatest chemical anomalies ever observed in non-buoyant hydrothermal plumes and greatly different from that observed in any other hydrothermal setting.

Videos. Eruption videos taken from an unmanned submersible on 29 April 2006 can be found at http://www.oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/06fire/logs/april29/april29.html website. The five videos are titled as follows: (1) The extremely dynamic Brimstone Pit, (2) Brimstone Pit erupting with glowing red lava jetting out of the vent, (3) Brimstone Pit erupting with glowing red lava and gas bubbles, (4) Brimstone Pit sulfur plume envelopes the Jason ROV [remotely operated vehicle], and (5) The pulse and shake of the Brimstone Pit during another eruption.

References. Chadwick, W.W., Jr., Cashman, K.V., Embley, R.W., Matsumoto, H., Dziak, R.P., de Ronde, C.E.J., Lau, T.-K., Deardorff, N., and Merle, S.G., 2008, Direct video and hydrophone observations of submarine explosive eruptions at NW Rota-1 volcano, Mariana Arc: J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth, doi:10.1029/2007JB005215 (in press).

Resing, J.A., Lebon, G., Baker, E.T., Lupton, J.E., Embley, R.W., Massoth, G.J., Chadwick, Jr., W.W., and de Ronde, C.E.J., 2007, Venting of acid-sulfate fluids in a high-sulfidation setting at NW Rota-1 submarine volcano on the Mariana Arc: Economic Geology, v. 102, no. 6, p. 1047-1061.

Walker, S.L., Baker, E.T., Chadwick, Jr., W.W., Resing, J.A., Lebon, G.T., Lupton, J.E., and Merle S.G., (in press), Eruption-fed particle plumes and volcaniclastic deposits at a submarine volcano: NW-Rota-1, Mariana Arc: J. Geophys. Res.

Geologic Background. A submarine volcano detected during a 2003 NOAA bathymetric survey of the Mariana Island arc was found to be hydrothermally active and named NW Rota-1. The basaltic to basaltic-andesite seamount rises to within 517 m of the sea surface SW of Esmeralda Bank and lies 64 km NW of Rota Island and about 100 km north of Guam. When Northwest Rota-1 was revisited in 2004, a minor submarine eruption from a vent named Brimstone Pit on the upper south flank about 40 m below the summit intermittently ejected a plume several hundred meters high containing ash, rock particles, and molten sulfur droplets that adhered to the surface of the remotely operated submersible vehicle. The active vent was funnel-shaped, about 20 m wide and 12 m deep. NW Rota-1 is a large submarine volcano with prominent structural lineaments about a kilometer apart cutting across the summit of the edifice and down the NE and SW flanks.

Information Contacts: William Chadwick and Robert Dziak, Oregon State University and NOAA Vents Program, Newport, Oregon; 2115 SE OSU Drive, Newport, OR 97365 USA (URL: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/06fire/welcome.html).


Suwanosejima (Japan) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Suwanosejima

Japan

29.638°N, 129.714°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Small (~1 km) plumes noted during late 2007-early 2008

Our last Bulletin (BGVN 3211) covered eruptive activity during July 2005 to December 2007. This issue covers eruptions recorded by the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) from December 2007 to March 2008. Kinoshita and others (2003) noted that Sakura-jima "has been the most eruptive in Japan, with the eruption columns a few kilometers above the crater occasionally."

Table 5 summarizes information gathered by the Tokyo VAAC from observers between 9 December 2007 and 21 March 2008. In all cases the VAAC could not detect plumes using satellite data. An overview of satellite and image monitoring of Suwanose-jima appears in an article by Kinoshita and others (2003).

Table 5. A summary of Tokyo VAAC reports on ash plumes from Suwanose-jima during 9 December 2007 to 21 March 2008. Cases with only dashes in the data fields were when observers detected an explosion but they were unable to say more about a resulting plume. In many of the examples given, there were multiple Volcanic Ash Advisories issued, but no new data came to light. Courtesy of the Tokyo VAAC.

Date Time (UTC) Plume Altitude (km) Drift Direction
09 Dec 2007 2340 1.5 W
10 Dec 2007 0734 1.8 W
14 Dec 2007 0914 -- --
15 Dec 2007 0016 1.8 E
16 Dec 2007 0353 1.5 E
16 Dec 2007 2310 1.5 E
08 Feb 2008 0248 1.8 E
13 Feb 2008 0208 -- --
21 Mar 2008 1622 -- --

Reference. Kinoshita, K., Kanagaki, C., Minaka, A., Tsuchida, S., Matsui, T., Tupper, A., Yakiwara, H., and Iino, N., 2003, Ground and Satellite Monitoring of Volcanic Aerosols in Visible and Infrared Bands: The CEReS International Symposium on Remote Sensing - Monitoring of Environmental Change in Asia, Chiba, Japan, 16-17 December 2003, 10 p.

Geologic Background. The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanosejima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. The summit is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanosejima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from Otake, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted until 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, and the SW crater produced two lava flows that reached the western coast. At the end of the eruption the summit of Otake collapsed forming a large debris avalanche and creating the horseshoe-shaped Sakuchi caldera, which extends to the eastern coast. The island remained uninhabited for about 70 years after the 1813-1814 eruption. Lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884. Only about 50 people live on the island.

Information Contacts: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Tokyo, Japan (URL: https://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/).


Talang (Indonesia) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Talang

Indonesia

0.979°S, 100.681°E; summit elev. 2575 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash emissions in March, June, and November 2007

The Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) lowered the Alert Level of Talang to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 27 January 2007 due to a reduced seismicity between 23 November 2006 and 24 January 2007, although gas plumes originated from South and Main craters. There had been eruptive episodes in April 2005 and elevated activity during late 2006 (BGVN 32:01).

On 17 March 2007, CVGHM raised the Alert Level based on increased "smoke" and tremors to 3 (on a scale of 1-4). The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reported that, based on information from CVGHM, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 3.4-3.9 km on 19-20 March. Local authorities and residents were advised to prepare for a possible evacuation. On 23 April 2007 the Alert Level was reduced to 2. During 18-25 June, thick brown ash plumes rose from Main crater to an altitude of 3.1 km. Diffuse "white ash" plumes rose from South crater to an altitude of 3 km.

On 29 November CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) based on visual observations and seismicity. During 27-29 November, ash and steam plumes from multiple craters rose to altitudes of 3.1-4.1 km. A strong smell of sulfur dioxide gas was reported. Visitors were advised not to go within 3 km of the summit.

During 7-10 December, observations were limited by inclement weather. On 11 December, "smoke" rose from the Main crater to a maximum altitude of 3.3 km. Plumes were also observed from the South crater and Gabuo Atas solfatara field. On 14 December visual observations and a decrease in the number of earthquakes prompted a lowering of the Alert Level back to 2.

Geologic Background. Talang, which forms a twin volcano with the extinct Pasar Arbaa volcano, lies ESE of the major city of Padang and rises NW of Dibawah Lake. Talang has two crater lakes on its flanks; the largest of these is 1 x 2 km wide Danau Talang. The summit exhibits fumarolic activity, but which lacks a crater. Historical eruptions have mostly involved small-to-moderate explosive activity first documented in the 19th century that originated from a series of small craters in a valley on the upper NE flank.

Information Contacts: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, Commonwealth of Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac); Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/).


Batu Tara (Indonesia) — February 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Batu Tara

Indonesia

7.791°S, 123.585°E; summit elev. 633 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Satellite thermal anomalies indicate that near-daily eruptions continue

Our last report (the first ever for this volcano) covered eruptive activity through 13 October 2007 (BGVN 32:12). This report continues coverage through early April 2008.

Thermal anomalies were first measured by the MODIS satellites on 17 January 2007 (1420 UTC). According to the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, through the end of 2007 anomalies were measured every 1 to 7 days. This trend of nearly daily anomalies continued up to 9 April 2008, with the following exceptions: a 10-day gap beginning 21 December 2007, a 10-day gap beginning 8 January 2008, and a 21-day gap beginning 2 February 2008.

The regularity and repeating character of the thermal anomalies suggest ongoing venting of hot fragmental material or lava flows, similar to March and April 2007 (BGVN 32:12). However, the late 2007 and early 2008 behavior and deposits have not been observed.

On 4 February 2008, the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) reported that since 9 October 2007, white plumes were a daily occurrence. On 8 January 2008, gray plumes rose to 1.5 km altitude and drifted E. On 26 January, white plumes rose to altitudes of 1.7 km and drifted E. On 30 January, white plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5 km. and drifted E. The Darwin VAAC reported that eruption plumes were observed from a ship on 31 January, but ash was not seen in satellite imagery. The Alert level remained at 1 (on a scale of 1-4).

On 11 March the Darwin VAAC reported that satellite imagery that day revealed an ash-and-steam plume from Batu Tara that rose to an altitude of 3 km and drifted SW. On 12 March satellite imagery revealed an ash-and-steam plume at an altitude of 2.1 km moving SE.

Geologic Background. The small isolated island of Batu Tara in the Flores Sea about 50 km N of Lembata (fomerly Lomblen) Island contains a scarp on the eastern side similar to the Sciara del Fuoco of Italy's Stromboli volcano. Vegetation covers the flanks to within 50 m of the summit. Batu Tara lies north of the main volcanic arc and is noted for its potassic leucite-bearing basanitic and tephritic rocks. The first historical eruption, during 1847-52, produced explosions and a lava flow.

Information Contacts: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, Commonwealth of Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac); Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); 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/).

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