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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Shishaldin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 33, Number 04 (April 2008)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Chaiten (Chile)

First eruption in over 9,400 years generates large ash plume; thousands evacuated

Colima (Mexico)

By 8 March 2008, the last year's dome growth filled ~30% of the crater

Manam (Papua New Guinea)

Low-level eruptions continue in late 2007 and early 2008

Reventador (Ecuador)

Quiet, January 2006-February 2007; emissions, March-October 2007

Saunders (United Kingdom)

No thermal anomalies detected since December 2006

Sheveluch (Russia)

Emissions continue since January 2008 as lava dome grows; morphology

Slamet (Indonesia)

Heavy rains trigger steam plumes during 28 March-3 April 2007

Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom)

Halt in dome growth during March 2007-May 2008

Tair, Jebel at (Yemen)

Eruptive cloud entered stratosphere; decaying thermal anomalies



Chaiten (Chile) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Chaiten

Chile

42.833°S, 72.646°W; summit elev. 1122 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


First eruption in over 9,400 years generates large ash plume; thousands evacuated

The first historical eruption at Chaitén began on the morning of 2 May 2008, following increased seismicity in the region the day before. Chaitén, located W of the larger Minchinmávida (or Michinmahuida) stratovolcano, is a small 3-km-diameter post-glacial caldera or explosion crater (figure 1) which probably was formed ~ 9.4 ka BP, based on dating of scoria-rich surge deposits (Naranjo and Stern, 2004). Within the explosion crater lies an obsidian lava dome of rhyolite composition.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Orthorectified 15-m ASTER infrared (VNIR) satellite image from 1 April 2006 showing Chaitén volcano (upper left), ice-covered Minchinmávida volcano (right), and the town of Chaitén (lower left). Courtesy of Rick Wessels, Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN) reported that a pulsating white-to-gray ash plume on 2 May rose to an estimated altitude greater than 21 km and drifted SSE. Based on observations of satellite imagery and pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported an ash plume at altitudes of 13.7-16.8 km that drifted NE. According to news articles, Chile's government declared a state of emergency on 2 May and several hundred people were evacuated from the coastal town of Chaitén (10 km SE).

According to news sources, ashfall was reported during 2-6 May both locally and up to hundreds of kilometers away, affecting water supplies and roads. Based on observations of satellite imagery and pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 3-6 May ash plumes rose as high as 10.7 km altitude and drifted variably to the SE (figure 2), E, W, and NE. News sources indicated that about 4,000-5,000 people were evacuated from the town of Chaitén and surrounding areas as the eruption continued. On 5 May, ONEMI (Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior) reported that evacuations also took place in Futaleufú, about 65 km ESE of Chaitén, where ~ 30 cm of ash accumulated. One elderly person died during the evacuation efforts. On 6 May, ONEMI and SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption became more forceful and generated a wider and darker gray ash plume rising to an estimated altitude of 30 km. All remaining people in Chaitén were ordered to evacuate, as well as anyone within 50 km of the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of a long, cloud-like plume extending about 700 km SE from Chaitén on 3 May at 1035 local time. The plume rises high over the Andes mountains, drifts across Argentina, and thins over the Atlantic Ocean. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory and the MODIS Rapid Response System.

Activity continued, and a lava dome began growing from a vent on the upper flank of the old dome. Lahars and floods also inundated the town of Chaitén, causing widespread destruction. Additional details will be provided in future reports.

References. Naranjo, J.A., and Stern, C.R., 2004, Holocene tephrochronology of the southernmost part (42°30'-45°S) of the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone: Revista Geológica de Chile, v. 31, no. 2, p. 225-240.

Geologic Background. Chaitén is a small, glacier-free caldera with a compound Holocene lava dome located 10 km NE of the town of Chaitén on the Gulf of Corcovado. Early work had identified only a single explosive eruption during the early Holocene prior to the major 2008 eruption, but later work has identified multiple explosive eruptions throughout the Holocene. A rhyolitic obsidian lava dome occupies much of the caldera floor. Obsidian cobbles from this dome found in the Blanco River are the source of prehistorical artifacts from archaeological sites along the Pacific coast as far as 400 km from the volcano to the N and S. The caldera is breached on the SW side by a river that drains to the bay of Chaitén. The first historical eruption, beginning in 2008, produced major rhyolitic explosive activity and growth of a lava dome that filled much of the caldera.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Avda Sta María No 0104, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.sernageomin.cl/); Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Beaucheff 1637 / 1671, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.onemi.cl/); José Antonio Naranjo, Departamento de Geología Aplicada, SERNAGEOMIN; Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/productos.php); Rick Wessels, Alaska Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); Associated Press (URL: http://www.ap.org/); Agence France-Presse (URL: http://www.afp.com/).


Colima (Mexico) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Colima

Mexico

19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


By 8 March 2008, the last year's dome growth filled ~30% of the crater

A new episode of lava dome growth in the crater was first observed on 1 February 2007 (figure 84). Dome growth continued during February-September, changing its volume from 15,000 m3 to 110,000 m3, with a low mean-effusion rate of about 0.0045 m3/s (figure 85).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. Photo of the dome at Colima looking NE, taken on 1 February 2007 by Jalisco Civil Protection. Courtesy of Jalisco Civil Protection and Colima Volcano Observatory.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. A plot portraying the dome growth rate at Colima during February 2007-8 March 2008. The data point in early February 2007 had a volume of 115,000 m3. Courtesy of Colima Volcano Observatory.

During October 2007, Colima's effusion rate began to increase significantly (up to 0.033 m3/s) and on 8 March 2008 the dome's volume reached about 600,000 m3, filling ~ 30% of the crater (figure 86). This dome growth was accompanied by 3-5 small explosions daily.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Photo of Colima's dome looking NE, taken on 8 March 2008 by Colima Volcano Observatory. Courtesy of Jalisco Civil Protection and Colima Volcano Observatory.

Geologic Background. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the high point of the complex) on the north and the historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of late-Pleistocene cinder cones is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, producing thick debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions have destroyed the summit (most recently in 1913) and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanológico de la Universidad de Colima, Colima, Col., 28045, México (URL: https://portal.ucol.mx/cueiv/).


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Manam

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Low-level eruptions continue in late 2007 and early 2008

Low-level seismicity and mild eruptions occurred from mid-May 2007 through mid-September 2007 (BGVN 32:08). This report addresses activity between the end of September 2007 through mid-May 2008, with gaps in reporting as noted. For the most part, Manam remained at a low eruptive level, but four fatalities from the early 2007 activity were noted in news reports.

According to the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), ash plumes were occasionally emitted both during the first half of October 2007, during 5-8 November 2007, and on 27 December 2007. The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) noted that one plume rose to 3.7 km during 3-9 October and another rose to 3 km on 27 December. White vapor plumes were also emitted occasionally during October and November, and incandescence was reported on 29 September, 1 October, 10-11 October, 30 October, and 4-5 November. Roaring noises were heard on 30 October.

Manam remained quiet during January and February 2008. Both the Main Crater and South Crater continued to release thin to thick white vapor. At Main Crater, a weak red glow was visible at night on 10 January, and a fluctuating red glow was visible from the Main Crater during 8-11 February and 22-25 February. Seismic activity was at the low-to-moderate level through 14 January, when lightning struck the monitoring equipment. The number of daily low-frequency volcanic earthquakes up through the lightning strike ranged between 500 and 970. The equipment was fixed on 28 February. On 29 February, 770 low frequency earthquakes were recorded. On 9-10 February, pale gray ash clouds were emitted from the Main Crater.

RVO reports covering the interval March and April 2008 were unavailable at the time of this writing. RVO reported Manam as quiet during May 2008, emitting only variable amounts of white vapor. Glow was reported from Main Crater on the nights of 16-20 May.

Editors searched MODVOLC thermal alerts on 10 June 2008 and found that they occurred on six days during the interval April-July 2007. After previously mentioned alerts on 16 and 23 May 2007 (UTC)(BGVN 32:08), the only subsequent alerts occurred on 8 June and 26 July 2007 (UTC).

The Darwin VAAC reported plumes to altitudes of several kilometers from Manam on 2 April, 14-15 April (ash-and-steam), 23-29 April, and 11-12 May 2008. The plumes during 11-12 May rose to an altitude of 3 km and extended ~ 36 km laterally.

Fatalities and injury. To supplement our previous report (BGVN 32:08), we note that an article by Reuters on 20 March 2007 reported that during the past week a mudslide on Manam killed four people in "an avalanche of ash and mud," and that a fifth person was seriously injured. RVO noted that they received word of the event on the 15th, suggesting the event was probably on 14 or 15 March. It occurred in a valley on the island's N side.

The news account quoted Health Minister Sir Peter Barter as saying, "The valleys are very dangerous and I am appealing to everyone not to venture into any of the valleys as there are huge quantities of ash and mud deposited on higher slopes. After heavy rain that has been experienced, the mud and loose material becomes a major risk for anyone venturing into the potential path of an avalanche."

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

Information Contacts: Herman Patia and Steve Saunders, Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), P.O. 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/).


Reventador (Ecuador) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Reventador

Ecuador

0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Quiet, January 2006-February 2007; emissions, March-October 2007

Our previous report on Reventador documented intermittent explosive eruptions through September 2005, with Strombolian activity and short-duration Vulcanian events. These events were accompanied by small pyroclastic flows, small lava flows, large bombs, and ash columns (BGVN 30:08). This report discusses reported events into 2008.

According to the Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politécnica Nacional) (IG), seismicity at Reventador was low at the end of December 2005. There were no reports on this volcano during January 2006 through February 2007. The volcano was apparently only weakly eruptive or non-eruptive around this interval. MODVOLC thermal alerts were absent during late December 2005 to late March 2006.

In early March 2007, however, the IG reported an increase in the number of tectonic earthquakes at Reventador. Steam-and-ash plumes were sporadically visible and occasionally rose to altitudes of 4 km during 8-22 March. On 21 March, noises were reported. The next day, seismic signals changed that indicated possible emissions. On 24 March, local residents saw ash plumes and incandescent material near the crater and heard roaring noises. An explosion produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 6.6 km and drifted W. Based on reports from IG, the Washington VAAC reported an ash plume during 26-27 March that reached an altitude of 3.7-7 km and drifted NE and WNW. A thermal anomaly was present on satellite imagery during 24-27 March.

On 28 March, observers reported roaring noises and an ash column from Reventador that rose to an altitude of 5.6 km and drifted W. A small lava flow traveled 200 m down the S flank. Incandescent material and ash emissions were observed during 29-31 March. On 1 April, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 7.6 km and incandescent rocks were ejected about 50 m above the crater. Incandescent material was again seen at the summit on 2 April. The Washington VAAC reported that a strong hotspot was present on satellite imagery during 1-3 April. Based on pilot reports, IG reported that a steam-and-gas plume with little ash content rose to an altitude of 6.1 km and drifted W on 3 April.

On 3-4 April, incandescent blocks ejected from the summit subsequently rolled down the S flanks. Satellite imagery revealed ash plumes drifting W and a large thermal anomaly over the crater. On 4 April, a plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km. Crater incandescence was observed on 4 and 6 April and "cannon shots" were heard on 6 April. Ash-and-steam emissions were observed during 8-9 April. Steam emissions from the flanks on 8 April possibly originated from a lava flow.

On 11 April, a steam plume from Reventador rose to an altitude of 3.8 km. Visual observations were hindered during 12-17 April due to inclement weather. On 13 April, the lava flow on the S flank, first observed on 28 March, was 15 m thick and possibly active.

On 18, 20, and 23 April, steam-and-gas emissions from Reventador hung near the summit. On 18 April, a plume was seen drifting NW on satellite imagery. On 20 April, a bluish haze of gases was observed. Clouds occasionally inhibited views of the summit during 18-24 April.

On 27 April, a steam plume from Reventador rose to an altitude of 3.7 km. Later that night, incandescent material was ejected from the crater. On 30 April, a steam plume was observed on satellite imagery drifting NW. Based on the Guayaquil Meteorological Watch Office (MWO) and satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.7 km and drifted NW. Visual observations were hindered during 25 April-1 May due to inclement weather.

On 16 May, the IG reported that a steam plume from Reventador rose to an altitude of 3.6 km and drifted to the NW. The plume was visible on satellite imagery. On 18 May, strong rains resulted in a lahar that lasted approximately 40 minutes. A lahar was also noted on 22 May. Visual observations were hindered during most of the reporting period due to inclement weather.

On 18 May, an ash plume from Reventador rose to an altitude of 3.7 km and drifted NW. Ash was not observed on satellite imagery. Lahars occurred on the flanks of Reventador on 15, 19, 20, 21, and 23 June. Clouds inhibited visual observations during 20-24 June.

MODVOLC thermal alerts were frequent during late March and throughout April 2007. One alert occurred in late May 2007; two also appeared on 6 August 2007 (local dates and times). No further alerts were issued in data accessed 9 June 2008.

A VAAC report noted an eruption on 11 October 2007. It emitted an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 4.6 km and drifted S. Ash was not observed on satellite imagery due to cloud cover.

Geologic Background. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.

Information Contacts: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); P. Ramón, Instituto Geofísico-Departamento de Geofísica (IG), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador.


Saunders (United Kingdom) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Saunders

United Kingdom

57.8°S, 26.483°W; summit elev. 843 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


No thermal anomalies detected since December 2006

The frigid, remote, and uninhabited region of Michael volcano is seldom visited. Thermal anomalies detected by satellite-based MODIS instruments, processed using the MODVOLC algorithm by the Thermal Alerts System of the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, provide some data about possible eruptive activity (BGVN 28:02, 29:03, 31:04, and 31:10). During 3-6 October 2005 there were three days with thermal anomalies (BGVN 31:04). MODIS data indicates that anomalous pixels were also detected on 19 December 2005 (20 December UTC) and on 20 January 2006 (21 January UTC) (BGVN 31:10). The most recently reported MODIS thermal anomalies indicated activity during 19-21 October 2006 (20-21 October UTC) and again on 31 October-1 November 2006 (BGVN 31:10). The source of these anomalies was an inferred lava lake in a central vent as shown on an Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) image collected 28 October 2006 (BGVN 31:10). Additional anomalies occurred on 13 November and 6 December 2006 (7 December UTC). No anomalies were measured after that date through May 2008. Since August 2000 there have been six periods when thermal anomalies were detected in satellite imagery (table 2).

Table 2. Eruptive periods at Michael as inferred from MODIS thermal data from January 2000 through May 2008. Courtesy of the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology Thermal Alerts System.

Date (UTC) Thermal pixel data Bulletin reference
30 Aug 2000-03 Feb 2001 3 days with pixels BGVN 28:02
05 Aug 2001-21 Nov 2001 10 days with pixels BGVN 28:02
05 Jul 2002-01 Nov 2002 12 days with pixels BGVN 28:02
07 May 2003 2 anomalous pixels BGVN 29:03
03 Oct 2005-21 Jan 2006 5 days with pixels, three during 3-6 Oct BGVN 31:04, 31:10
09 Jun 2006-07 Dec 2006 9 days with pixels BGVN 31:10, 33:04

Geologic Background. Saunders Island is a volcanic structure consisting of a large central edifice intersected by two seamount chains, as shown by bathymetric mapping (Leat et al., 2013). The young constructional Mount Michael stratovolcano dominates the glacier-covered island, while two submarine plateaus, Harpers Bank and Saunders Bank, extend north. The symmetrical Michael has a 500-m-wide summit crater and a remnant of a somma rim to the SE. Tephra layers visible in ice cliffs surrounding the island are evidence of recent eruptions. Ash clouds were reported from the summit crater in 1819, and an effusive eruption was inferred to have occurred from a N-flank fissure around the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. A low ice-free lava platform, Blackstone Plain, is located on the north coast, surrounding a group of former sea stacks. A cluster of parasitic cones on the SE flank, the Ashen Hills, appear to have been modified since 1820 (LeMasurier and Thomson, 1990). Analysis of satellite imagery available since 1989 (Gray et al., 2019; MODVOLC) suggests frequent eruptive activity (when weatehr conditions allow), volcanic clouds, steam plumes, and thermal anomalies indicative of a persistent, or at least frequently active, lava lake in the summit crater. Due to this observational bias, there has been a presumption when defining eruptive periods that activity has been ongoing unless there is no evidence for at least 10 months.

Information Contacts: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).


Sheveluch (Russia) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Emissions continue since January 2008 as lava dome grows; morphology

From the January to May 2008, dome growth at Shiveluch has consistently been accompanied by shallow, low-amplitude earthquakes, satellite thermal anomalies, and tremor. According to the Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS), several cases of elevated magnitude seismic signals occurred (figure 14). In some cases, these signals took place during times of zero visibility and the signals were interpreted to suggest a plume above to 4 km altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Seismicity at Bezymianny, Kliuchevskoi, and Shiveluch (the Northern Group of Volcanoes, Kamchatka) recorded during 1 January to 1 May 2008, presented in three panels. (a) A map of the region showing location and depths of earthquakes (white line is trace of cross section AB); the 50-km-diameter circle encloses Shiveluch epicenters of earthquakes plotted in (c). (b) Earthquakes projected onto the vertical plane of cross section AB. (c) Histogram showing Shiveluch's daily earthquakes with respect to time (bar height shows class (Ks) from seismic amplitude (after S.A. Fedotov)), ascending curve is the cumulative number of earthquakes. Courtesy of KB GS RAS.

On 3 March a plume of gas stretched 31 km to the SW of the volcano, and ash clouds rose up to ~ 4.5 km altitude. During the last two weeks of March, reports noted gas-and-ash emissions to ~ 3.5-4.5 km altitude; hot avalanches occurred each day (figure 15).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. The lava dome of Young Shiveluch as seen from the SE on 18 March 2008. A thick lava flow had recently extruded from the left (SW) side. Photo by Yuri Demyanchuk.

Background on the edifice and deposits. Shiveluch is the northern-most active volcano of the Kamchatka peninsula, Russian Far East (figure 16a). The volcano forms a large isolated edifice surrounded by lowlands of the northern part of the Central Kamchatka depression. Two basic structural elements of the volcano are clear on figure 16b where Young Shiveluch is seen located inside the caldera of Old Shiveluch.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Photo of the Shiveluch volcano complex in a view from the S. The dotted line divides the two structures of Old Shiveluch and the growing dome of Young Shiveluch. From Gorbach (2007).

Old Shiveluch includes a thick sequence of basaltic and andesitic pyroclastic layers exposed in the base of the caldera wall; the NE and SW parts of the complex contain a folded sequence of pyroclastic deposits overlapped by basaltic-basaltic andesite flows and broken through by numerous radial dikes. The lava flows and domes of Young Shiveluch are richer in silica (59.5-62.5%) than those of Old Shiveluch (54.5-56.5%). Young Shiveluch (figures 16 and 17) has produced numerous Plinian tephras.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. An aerial photo of Shiveluch volcano from the SW taken in October 1994. The 9-km-diameter, horseshoe-shaped caldera of Old Shiveluch opens widely to the S. Inside the caldera edifice of Young Shiveluch resides a smaller horseshoe-shaped crater formed in 1964. Degassing (right center) comes from the 1980–1994 dome complex, which is nested in the crater. Photo from Belousov and others, 1999.

References. Belousov, A., Belousova, M., and Voight, B., 1999, Multiple edifice failures, debris avalanches and associated eruptions in the Holocene history of Shiveluch volcano, Kamchatka, Russia: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 61, p. 324-342.

Gorbach, N., 2007, Bulletin of activity at Shiveluch volcano, (title approximate translated from Russian issued 31 July 2007) available (in Russian) at URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/volcanoes/inform_messages/2007/Shiveluch_072007/Shiveluch_072007.html).

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

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


Slamet (Indonesia) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Slamet

Indonesia

7.242°S, 109.208°E; summit elev. 3428 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Heavy rains trigger steam plumes during 28 March-3 April 2007

Our last review of Slamet's activity was in November 2000, reporting a white, gas-rich plume from the stratovolcano (BGVN 25:11). We are unaware of subsequent reporting until 28 March 2007. Starting that day and through 3 April, a volcano observer reported that plumes had increased in intensity and frequency. This 7-day interval took place after two weeks of heavy rains. The plumes were of sufficient magnitude to be visible in the provincial capital, Semarang, over 138 km to the ENE. The plumes did not significantly impact residents in vicinity of the volcano. Thermal anomalies (MODVOLC) have been absent on the upper cone during 2000 through 5 June 2008.

Geologic Background. Slamet, Java's second highest volcano at 3428 m and one of its most active, has a cluster of about three dozen cinder cones on its lower SE-NE flanks and a single cinder cone on the western flank. It is composed of two overlapping edifices, an older basaltic-andesite to andesitic volcano on the west and a younger basaltic to basaltic-andesite one on the east. Gunung Malang II cinder cone on the upper E flank on the younger edifice fed a lava flow that extends 6 km E. Four craters occur at the summit of Gunung Slamet, with activity migrating to the SW over time. Historical eruptions, recorded since the 18th century, have originated from a 150-m-deep, 450-m-wide, steep-walled crater at the western part of the summit and have consisted of explosive eruptions generally lasting a few days to a few weeks.

Information Contacts: Dali Ahmad, Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Saut Simatupang, 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://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/).


Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Soufriere Hills

United Kingdom

16.72°N, 62.18°W; summit elev. 915 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Halt in dome growth during March 2007-May 2008

Our previous report on Soufrière Hills characterized the eruptive behavior and monitoring between 16 June 2006 and 25 May 2007 (BGVN 32:04). The current report describes activity between the end of May 2007 through May 2008.

Summary report. A report of a 14 and 16 April 2008 meeting by an advisory committee provides a convenient summary of recent behavior (SAC10, 2008). With minor stylistic changes, important paragraphs are quoted below.

The report indicated that by about mid-March 2007 the volcano stopped extruding dome lava. The authors said that since about October 2007 volcanism at the surface of the volcano has been at a very low level. Further, they noted, "Whilst there have been no major collapses of the dome, or explosions, rockfalls and minor pyroclastic flows [traveling E] into the Tar River Valley have occurred that have eroded the eastern side of the dome. However, the main mass of the 2006-2007 lava dome remains intact, and whilst it remains so it is capable of generating major pyroclastic flows for years to come. Also, the flow of gas continues to stream through the dome from the magma deep in the Earth, forming the visible plume.

"A lidar survey of the shape of the dome undertaken in March 2008 gave an estimate of 195 million cubic meters for the volume of the dome. This figure is within the bounds of uncertainty of the volume estimate of 203 million cubic meters derived from photogrammetry in April 2007.

"The three distinct lobes of lava at the summit of the dome, present at the end of lava extrusion in April 2007, remain. There have been a number of rockfalls and a few minor pyroclastic flows from the dome into the Tar River Valley. As a result of these, the uppermost part of the talus has been removed on the eastern side exposing a steep band of core lava below which a chute channels material to lower levels. Similarly, erosion of talus has begun to re-expose the buried northern crater rim.

"Gases escape from the dome in several areas. On the southern and northern talus slopes multiple gas vents release mainly water-rich gas. Sulphur deposits are evident around the southern vents. These locations have been a common feature for much of the eruption. On the western side of the upper dome, just inside the buried Gage's Wall, is a vent releasing a large flux of gas with a pale blue tint, indicative of sulphur dioxide. This vent formed in February 2006 and has been the source of weak ash generation in the past, roaring noises, and the cause of minor erosion of the Gage's Wall (September 2006).

"The low levels of rockfall seismicity seen in 2007 declined even further during 2008. There were two minor swarms of long-period earthquakes on 23 November 2007 and 28 January 2008, the latter being co-incident with roaring from the Gage's Wall vent. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes occurred between the surface and 4 km below the dome. These may be caused by stress changes around the conduit.

"The reference GPS line between the South Soufrière (SOUF) and old MVO (MVO1) receivers continued the same extensional trend that began when extrusion stopped in April 2007. This extension is slower than the equivalent contracting trend seen during lava extrusion, but is comparable to the extension measured during the first year of the last pause in activity. This pattern is confirmed by most of the other GPS stations and the EDM lines on the northern side of the volcano. This extension is consistent with an island-wide pattern of surface inflation due to the magma reservoir re-charging at depth. Any deformation due to the effects of surface loading by the dome dies away over a much shorter distance from the volcano than that being monitored between MVO1 and SOUF.

"The lack of any fresh, degassing andesite magma high in the conduit was confirmed by low measured HCl/SO2 ratios. Sulphur dioxide was emitted at a rate above the long-term average (about 500 tonnes/day). Because several instruments in the measurement network have failed, there are some doubts about the absolute values, but a gradually increasing long-term trend seems real. This indicates not only that basalt degassing is ongoing, but also that the system may be becoming more permeable to deep gas loss or that gas production has increased. High values of sulphur dioxide measured by ground-based diffusion tubes to the west of the volcano have been recorded, as was also seen during the previous pause in 2005.

"Ongoing retrospective petrological analysis of the lava erupted over the last few years indicates that the amount of the basalt magma incorporated into the andesite lava that appears at the surface may be greater than previously appreciated. Understanding the mass balance of this interchange and being able to monitor it through time would help to understand the dynamics of the magma chamber.

"The current pause is 13 months long. Previous pauses have lasted 20 months (March 1998?November 1999) and 24 months (July 2003?August 2005). Despite the presence of a large dome, the "residual" surface activity now is far less than was the case during the first pause, when there was also a dome, and is much more like the second pause when there was no dome. The main difference between the first year of this pause and the first year of the second pause is the increasing trend of sulphur dioxide output in 2007-8. A few months prior to the ends of both previous pauses, the level of seismicity, and particularly long period seismicity, increased and there was a resumption of steam-rich explosions."

MVO and other reports. In accord with the summary above, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) noted very low seismicity since May 2007. However, at the end of this reporting interval (May 2008), monitoring suggested that volcanic activity seemed headed for an upturn.

Despite the lack of dome growth (or dome destruction) during the entire period of this report the Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 0-5). Authorities prohibited access to many areas near the volcano, including some areas ranging from 2 to 4 km offshore.

The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (W-VAAC) noted several ash plumes during mid-May 2007 through December 2007 (11 June, 22-28 August, 16 September, 12 October, 15-19 November) and 2008 (7 and 10 January, 10 April, 5 May, 13 -19, 23 and 29 May). Some of the plumes resulted from rockfalls (19 November, and 7 January).

Plumes on 11 June and 15-16 November may have reached 3.7 km altitude. Those on 13 and 29 May rose to 3 km altitude.

Pyroclastic flows were indicated in MVO reports for the May-December 2007 part of the reporting interval on at least 16 days. Particularly noteworthy were days with multiple pyroclastic flows, including 11 June (2), 23 August (4), and 29 November (4). The latter sequence of pyroclastic flows followed minutes after a regional M 7.4 earthquake. A 30 July pyroclastic flow traveled N for a 1.5 km runout distance.

Pyroclastic flows during January-May 2008 occurred on at least five days, and on one of those days, two occurred. One on 15 January had a 2 km runout distance. A pyroclastic flow on 29 May 2008 descended a few hundred meters to the W of the dome and was associated with the above-mentioned ash plume rising to 3 km altitude. An overflight the next day suggested that the explosion and pyroclastic flow originated from the Gages vent.

Lahars were indicated in MVO reports, often one or more per month and sometimes one or more per week, during the 2007-8 reporting interval, typically associated with heavy rains and fresh deposition. Lahars were numerous on 23 October 2007 (descending all drainages), vigorous around 25-26 October 2007, abundant the week of 13-19 February 2008, and noteworthy on 5 May 2008.

A photo shows the little-changing dome as it appeared on 7 January 2008 (figure 77). The photo emphasizes the dome's steep sides and craggy summit, as well as wide areas with emerging plumes. SAC (2008) noted that, although seemingly static, the dome is far from stable and large pyroclastic flows are possible from dome disruptions in the future. In the past, many of the pyroclastic flows traveled E. SAC (2008) noted the possibility (and discussed probabilities) for their transit from the dome towards the WNW along various areas just N of Plymouth.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Photo of the Soufrière Hills lava dome taken on 7 January 2008 from the S with the crater rim in the foreground. Courtesy of Greg Scott, Caribbean Helicopters (from MVO website).

According to MVO, the level of volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes at Soufrière Hills increased during the week of 25 April-2 May 2008, and was the highest since February 2006. During this week, degassing from a vent above Gages Wall was audible in the St. George's Hill area to the NW, and steaming from the area above Tyre's Ghaut to the NW was visible. Light ashfall was reported in the Old Town area about 9 km NW, and in other nearby areas.

During 9-19 May 2008, activity increased. On 13 May a single long-period earthquake occurred, accompanied by a blue sulfur-dioxide plume. An ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3 km drifted NW (dropping ash over much of Iles Bay, Belham, Old Town, and Olveston). Ash emissions from two areas in the Gages vent to the W were observed on 15 May, but may have started the previous day. The resultant ash plume rose about 200 m above the lava dome and drifted W. Both a small rockfall and gentle roaring noises were reported. A new fumarolic area was seen on the SE side of Chances Peak. Ash emissions from Gages vent continued on 16 May. During the week of 17-23 May, activity decreased slightly.

A weekly summary of seismicity and SO2 fluxes between 25 May 2007 and 30 May 2008 is indicated in table 65. In addition to the rockfall data in the table, there was one long-period rockfall event during each of the weeks of 23-30 November, 4-11 January, and 11-18 January. The long-term SO2 average is 550 tons/day.

Table 65. Soufrière Hills seismicity and sulfur dioxide flux between 25 May 2007 and 30 May 2008. Courtesy of MVO.

Date Hybrid EQ's Volcano-tectonic EQ's Long-period EQ's Rockfall signals SO2 flux (metric tons/day)
25 May-01 Jun 2007 1 1 -- 5 230
01 Jun-08 Jun 2007 -- 1 1 5 175
08 Jun-15 Jun 2007 -- 1 -- 10 288
15 Jun-22 Jun 2007 -- 1 1 10 165
22 Jun-29 Jun 2007 -- 1 -- 3 203
29 Jun-06 Jul 2007 -- 1 1 10 200
06 Jul-13 Jul 2007 -- 1 -- 4 --
13 Jul-20 Jul 2007 -- 1 1 6 300
20 Jul-27 Jul 2007 -- 3 -- 5 --
27 Jul-03 Aug 2007 -- 2 2 11 639
03 Aug-10 Aug 2007 -- 2 -- 5 --
10 Aug-17 Aug 2007 -- 2 -- 4 818
17 Aug-24 Aug 2007 -- 4 -- 4 509
24 Aug-31 Aug 2007 -- 13 1 17 740
31 Aug-07 Sep 2007 -- 1 1 7 575
07 Sep-14 Sep 2007 -- 5 -- 6 688
14 Sep-21 Sep 2007 -- 12 -- 8 --
21 Sep-28 Sep 2007 -- 4 -- 9 300
28 Sep-05 Oct 2007 -- 1 2 3 384
05 Oct-12 Oct 2007 -- -- -- 10 508
12 Oct-19 Oct 2007 -- 5 -- 3 691
19 Oct-26 Oct 2007 -- -- 1 9 518
26 Oct-02 Nov 2007 -- -- -- 9 618
02 Nov-09 Nov 2007 -- 12 -- 16 596
09 Nov-16 Nov 2007 -- 2 -- 11 698
16 Nov-23 Nov 2007 -- -- 20 7 685
23 Nov-30 Nov 2007 -- -- 46 4 868
30 Nov-07 Dec 2007 -- -- -- 4 405
07 Dec-14 Dec 2007 -- 1 -- 2 811
14 Dec-21 Dec 2007 -- 9 -- 2 865
21 Dec-28 Dec 2007 -- 4 -- 8 861
28 Dec-04 Jan 2008 -- 1 -- 2 615
04 Jan-11 Jan 2008 -- 8 1 2 513
11 Jan-18 Jan 2008 -- 13 2 3 568
18 Jan-25 Jan 2008 -- -- -- 2 734
25 Jan-01 Feb 2008 -- 3 25 -- 468
01 Feb-08 Feb 2008 1 3 -- 2 881
08 Feb-15 Feb 2008 1 -- -- 1 1,004
15 Feb-22 Feb 2008 1 -- 1 1 872
22 Feb-29 Feb 2008 4 -- -- -- 972
29 Feb-07 Mar 2008 1 1 -- -- 824
07 Mar-14 Mar 2008 -- 4 -- 3 766
14 Mar-21 Mar 2008 2 2 -- 3 1,070
21 Mar-25 Apr 2008 -- -- -- -- --
25 Apr-02 May 2008 -- 48 3 1 574
02 May-09 May 2008 -- 10 5 5 630
09 May-16 May 2008 -- 25 1 17 506
16 May-23 May 2008 -- 3 2 11 653
23 May-30 May 2008 -- 8 2 10 --

Since 2002, MVO has been monitoring the SO2 emission rate in real-time, with spectra telemetered back to the observatory from an array of three fixed, scanning UV spectrometers. MVO has also calculated the HCl:SO2 ratio by measuring the HCl emission rates indirectly using an open-path Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer (FTIR). These ratios may be used to evaluate changes in the eruption rate and dome growth. Such mass ratios determined since August 2007 ranged from 0.28 to 0.46, with one ratio at 0.67 (during 9-16 November 2007).

MVO's weekly report for the third week of May states "observations show continuing unrest ... with a gradual increase over the last few weeks. The events of this week suggest that fresh magma is rising beneath the dome. There is now a distinct possibility that lava extrusion will start from the Gages vent without any warning. If this happens, it will probably not be long before there are small pyroclastic flows to the W. Even if lava extrusion does not restart, the dome is still a very large mass of very hot material which is capable of collapsing or exploding at any time."

Seismic signals. Five main seismic signal types have been recognized at many volcanoes, including Soufrière Hills. These include volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes, long-period (LP) earthquakes, hybrid earthquakes, rockfall or pyroclastic flow signals, and explosion signals. McNutt (2000) presents illustrations of characteristic seismic traces.

MVO defines a VT earthquake as having an impulsive (i.e., large amplitude) start and then rapidly decreasing in amplitude. These earthquakes often appear in swarms and are predominantly high-frequency signals (over 2 Hz). They are interpreted as due to rock fracturing.

An LP earthquake, as defined by MVO, has a more emergent start (i.e., amplitude growing with time) and generally low, narrow-band frequency content (1-2 Hz). These are interpreted as the result of signal resonance due to gas or magma inside the volcanic conduit.

MVO defines a hybrid (HB) earthquake as a mixture between VTs and LPs; hence they tend to have impulsive starts but contain significant amount of low-frequency signal. They are thought to represent magma forcing its way to the surface. These signals are often associated with periods of rapid dome growth, and are sometimes precursors to major dome collapses or switches in the direction of lava extrusion at the surface. These signals often merge into continuous tremor, which sometimes occurs in bands spaced 4-24 hours apart.

According to MVO, rockfall or pyroclastic flow signals have often been a dominant type of seismic signal recorded here (e.g., table 65). They have an emergent start and a gradual tapering towards the end of the signal and a wide frequency range. They are interpreted as being due to material falling off the dome and traveling down the flanks. Pyroclastic flow signals are similar to those of rockfalls but are generally of longer duration and higher amplitude.

Pyroclastic deposits in the ocean. Trofimovs and others (2006) reported that more than 90% of the pyroclastic material erupted at Soufrière Hills has been deposited in the ocean. The authors describe the characteristics of the deposits at different distances from shore. The coarse material forms steep-sided, near-linear ridges that intercalate to form a submarine fan. The finer materials form turbidity currents that flow to distances greater than 30 km from the shore.

MVO management. For almost 10 years the British Geological Survey (BGS) managed MVO. Beginning 1 April 2008, this service shifted to the Eastern Caribbean's two major geo-hazard organizations, the Seismic Research Unit (SRU) of the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), France. The SRU carried out long-term monitoring prior to the 1995 eruption episode. They were assisted by others as the eruption began. A statement on the new situation included the following paragraph.

"The SRU monitors earthquakes and volcanoes for most of the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean countries. The IPGP has volcano observatories on Martinique and Guadeloupe, i.e. the main French-speaking Antilles. Island arcs such as the Lesser Antilles are regions where complex real-life hazards exist, not only the better known volcanic eruptions, but also the generation of a tsunami by a submarine earthquake or a volcanic landslide. The linking of these two research institutions will provide greater opportunities for studying volcanism and earthquake activity at arc-scale rather than the scale of individual islands, a logical and innovative step towards disaster risk reduction regionally and globally."

Reference. McNutt, S.R., 2000, Volcanic seismicity, in H. Sigurdsson (ed), Encyclopedia of Volcanoes, Academic Press, San Diego, p. 1015-1033.

Trofimovs, J., Amy, L., Boudon, G., Deplus, C., Doyle, E., Fournier, N., Hart, M.B., Komorowski, J.C., Le Friant, A., Lock, E.J., Pudsey, C., Ryan, G., Sparks, R.S.J., and Talling, P.J., 2006, Submarine pyroclastic deposits formed at the Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat (1995-2003): What happens when pyroclastic flows enter the ocean?: Geology, v. 34, no. 7, p. 549-552.

SAC10, 13 May 2008, Assessment of the hazards and risks associated with the Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat, Tenth Report of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Montserrat, Volcanic Activity, based on a meeting held between 14 and 16 April 2008 at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Montserrat (Part I: Main Report), 23 pp. (URL: http://www.mvo.ms/).

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

Information Contacts: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Fleming, Montserrat, West Indies (URL: http://www.mvo.ms/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/).


Jebel at Tair (Yemen) — April 2008 Citation iconCite this Report

Jebel at Tair

Yemen

15.55°N, 41.83°E; summit elev. 244 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptive cloud entered stratosphere; decaying thermal anomalies

On 30 September 2007 an eruption began on the island of Jebel at Tair (BGVN 32:10) that generated a large SO2 plume, sent lava flows into the sea, and resulted in the deaths of Yemeni soldiers. Observations of continuing activity were made in late November-early December 2007, and also in mid-January 2008, but no other eyewitness reports have been received since that time. However, satellite data indicated continuing thermal anomalies, indicative of hot lava flows, into mid-May 2008.

Thermal anomalies detected by the MODIS instrument on the Terra and Aqua satellites were recorded daily from the beginning of the eruption through 14 January 2008 (figure 10). After that time the detections of anomalies became more intermittent, and fewer alert pixels were recorded each time. Only single-pixel anomalies were observed after 19 February, and the 19-22 February period was the last time anomalies were recorded for more than two consecutive days. Single anomalous pixels were later noted on 13 days from 26 February through May 2008, all apparently located on the N or NW slopes; the last one was on 18 May. [Another thermal anomaly was later detected on 14 June local time.]

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Plot showing the maximum number of daily MODVOLC thermal alert pixels detected at Jebel at Tair using MODIS data from Aqua and Terra satellites, September 2007-May 2008. Data courtesy of Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System.

News media reports about the continuing eruption published in early December 2007 stated that at least eight soldiers had been killed during the initial activity on 30 September. Following a magnitude 2.7 earthquake in the Red Sea on 3 December reported by the Yemen Earthquake Observation Center (EOC), other officials were quoted as saying the eruption was "strong" with lava "shooting high in the air." The news stories also noted that two seismic stations had been installed on the Red Sea islands of Zuqar and Hunaish in late November 2007.

A later news report from 13 January 2008 indicated that a third seismic station was placed on the island of Kamaran. The 13 January story in the Yemen Times also included information from the head of the General Authority for Developing Yemeni Islands (GADYI), a government agency, indicating that "smoke steam" plumes were still rising from the crater.

Satellite data analysis. Eckhardt and others (2008) developed an "inverse modeling technique for estimating the vertical profile of SO2 emissions from a volcanic eruption, using total column measurements of SO2 from satellites and a Lagrangian particle dispersion model." Cloud-free satellite views of the 30 September 2007 eruption at Jebel at Tair and the long-range SO2 transport made for an "ideal" test case of the model. Modeling results will not be presented here, but the data analysis undertaken to initialize and test the model produced additional information about the eruption itself. The eruption began earlier than previously reported, and the plume reached stratospheric altitudes.

The onset of the eruption was not well documented, but soldiers reported entering the water to escape the eruption at 1530 local time (BGVN 32:10). By that time the water was described as "boiling" by survivors. Eckhardt and others (2008) looked for signs of the eruption onset using SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-red Imager) satellite imagery (12µ channel). Their analysis of the temperature data suggested that the initial eruption took place before 1427 local time (1127 UTC). Temperature profiles also showed that the eruption cloud penetrated the tropopause, the atmospheric boundary found here at 15.3 km altitude (Eckhardt and others, 2008). Their initial eruption findings were summarized as follows: satellite observations combined with ECMWF (European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting) and radiosonde profiles suggested an initial eruption no later than 1427; the plume reached neutral buoyancy no earlier than 1500; the minimum value of the 12µ brightness temperature was at 1557, and the plume reached an altitude above 16 km.

Total SO2 column measurements from AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder), OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument), and SEVIRI enabled Eckhardt and others (2008) to estimate a total emission of 80 (± 20) kt of SO2 into the atmosphere. Some instruments observed the plume dispersion for over a week, as it stretched across Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

Reference. Eckhardt, S., Prata, A.J., Seibert, P., Stebel, K., and Stohl, A., 2008, Estimation of the vertical profile of sulfur dioxide injection into the atmosphere by a volcanic eruption using satellite column measurements and inverse transport modeling: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, v. 8, p. 3761-3805.

Geologic Background. The basaltic Jebel at Tair volcano rises from a 1,200 m depth in the south-central Red Sea, forming an oval-shaped island about 3 km long. Jebel at Tair (one of many variations of the name, including Djebel Teyr, Jabal al Tayr, and Jibbel Tir ) is the northernmost known Holocene volcano in the Red Sea and lies SW of the Farisan Islands. Youthful basaltic pahoehoe lava flows from the steep-sided central vent, Jebel Duchan, cover most of the island. They drape a circular cliff cut by wave erosion of an older edifice and extend beyond it to form a flat coastal plain. Pyroclastic cones are located along the NW and S coasts, and fumarolic activity occurs from two uneroded scoria cones at the summit. Radial fissures extend from the summit, some of which were the sources of lava flows. The island is of Holocene age, and explosive eruptions were reported in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Information Contacts: Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Yemen Times (URL: http://yementimes.com/); Yemen Observer (URL: http://www.yobserver.com/).

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