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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

Sangay (Ecuador) Daily ash plumes and frequent pyroclastic flows produce ashfall and lahars, January-June 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Sangay (Ecuador) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

2.005°S, 78.341°W; summit elev. 5286 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily ash plumes and frequent pyroclastic flows produce ashfall and lahars, January-June 2020

Frequent activity at Ecuador's Sangay has included pyroclastic flows, lava flows, ash plumes, and lahars reported since 1628. Its remoteness on the east side of the Andean crest make ground observations difficult; remote cameras and satellites provide important information on activity. The current eruption began in March 2019 and continued through December 2019 with activity focused on the Cráter Central and the Ñuñurco (southeast) vent; they produced explosions with ash plumes, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows and block avalanches. In addition, volcanic debris was remobilized in the Volcan river causing significant damming downstream. This report covers ongoing similar activity from January through June 2020. Information is provided by Ecuador's Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN), and a number of sources of remote data including the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), the Italian MIROVA Volcano HotSpot Detection System, and Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. Visitors also provided excellent ground and drone-based images and information.

Throughout January-June 2020, multiple daily reports from the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) indicated ash plumes rising from the summit, generally 500-1,100 m. Each month one or more plumes rose over 2,000 m. The plumes usually drifted SW or W, and ashfall was reported in communities 25-90 km away several times during January-March and again in June. In addition to explosions with ash plumes, pyroclastic flows and incandescent blocks frequently descended a large, deep ravine on the SE flank. Ash from the pyroclastic flows rose a few hundred meters and drifted away from the volcano. Incandescence was visible on clear nights at the summit and in the ravine. The MIROVA log radiative power graph showed continued moderate and high levels of thermal energy throughout the period (figure 57). Sangay also had small but persistent daily SO2 signatures during January-June 2020 with larger pulses one or more days each month (figure 58). IG-EPN published data in June 2020 about the overall activity since May 2019, indicating increases throughout the period in seismic event frequency, SO2 emissions, ash plume frequency, and thermal energy (figure 59).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. This graph of log radiative power at Sangay for 18 Aug 2018 through June 2020 shows the moderate levels of thermal energy through the end of the previous eruption in late 2018 and the beginning of the current one in early 2019. Data is from Sentinel-2, courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Small but persistent daily SO2 signatures were typical of Sangay during January-June 2020. A few times each month the plume was the same or larger than the plume from Columbia’s Nevado del Ruiz, located over 800 km NE. Image dates are shown in the header over each image. Courtesy of NASA’s Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. A multi-parameter graph of activity at Sangay from May 2019 to 12 June 2020 showed increases in many types of activity. a) seismic activity (number of events per day) detected at the PUYO station (source: IG-EPN). b) SO2 emissions (tons per day) detected by the Sentinel-5P satellite sensor (TROPOMI: red squares; source: MOUNTS) and by the IG-EPN (DOAS: green bars). c) height of the ash plumes (meters above crater) detected by the GOES-16 satellite sensor (source: Washington VAAC). d) thermal emission power (megawatt) detected by the MODIS satellite sensor (source: MODVOLC) and estimate of the accumulated lava volume (million M3, thin lines represent the error range). Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán Sangay - 2020 - N°3, “Actualización de la actividad eruptiva”, Quito, 12 de junio del 2020).

Activity during January-March 2020. IG-EPN and the Washington VAAC reported multiple daily ash emissions throughout January 2020. Gas and ash emissions generally rose 500-1,500 m above the summit, most often drifting W or SW. Ashfall was reported on 8 January in the communities of Sevilla (90 km SSW), Pumallacta and Achupallas (60 km SW) and Cebadas (35 km WNW). On 16 January ash fell in the Chimborazo province in the communities of Atillo, Ichobamba, and Palmira (45 km W). Ash on 28 January drifted NW, with minor ashfall reported in Púngala (25 km NW) and other nearby communities. The town of Alao (20 km NW) reported on 30 January that all of the vegetation in the region was covered with fine white ash; Cebadas and Palmira also noted minor ashfall (figure 60).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Daily ash plumes and repeated ashfall were reported from Sangay during January 2020. Top left: 1 January 2020 (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-2, JUEVES, 2 ENERO 2020). Top right: 20 January 2020 (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-21, MARTES, 21 ENERO 2020). Bottom left: 26 January-1 February 2020 expedition (Martes, 18 Febrero 2020 12:21, EXPEDICIÓN AL VOLCÁN SANGAY). Bottom right: 30 January 2020, minor ashfall was reported in the Province of Chimborazo (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 006, JUEVES, 30 ENERO 2020). Courtesy of IG-EPN.

A major ravine on the SE flank has been the site of ongoing block avalanches and pyroclastic flows since the latest eruption began in March 2019. The pyroclastic flows down the ravine appeared incandescent at night; during the day they created ash clouds that drifted SW. Satellite imagery recorded incandescence and dense ash from pyroclastic flows in the ravine on 7 January (figure 61). They were also reported by IG on the 9th, 13th, 26th, and 28th. Incandescent blocks were reported in the ravine several times during the month. The webcam captured images on 31 January of large incandescent blocks descending the entire length of the ravine to the base of the mountain (figure 62). Large amounts of ash and debris were remobilized as lahars during heavy rains on the 25th and 28th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of Sangay from 7 January 2020 clearly showed a dense ash plume drifting W and ash and incandescent material from pyroclastic flows descending the SE-flank ravine. Left image uses natural color (bands 4, 3, 2) rendering and right images uses atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. Pyroclastic flows at Sangay produced large trails of ash down the SE ravine many times during January 2020 that rose and drifted SW. Top left: 9 January (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-9, JUEVES, 9 ENERO 2020). Top right: 13 January (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-14, MARTES, 14 ENERO 2020). On clear nights, incandescent blocks of lava and pyroclastic flows were visible in the ravine. Bottom left: 16 January (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-17, VIERNES, 17 ENERO 2020). Bottom right: 31 January (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 007, VIERNES, 31 ENERO 2020). Courtesy of IG-EPN.

Observations by visitors to the volcano during 9-17 January 2020 included pyroclastic flows, ash emissions, and incandescent debris descending the SE flank ravine during the brief periods when skies were not completely overcast (figure 63 and 64). More often there was ash-filled rain and explosions heard as far as 16 km from the volcano, along with the sounds of lahars generated from the frequent rainfall mobilizing debris from the pyroclastic flows. The confluence of the Rio Upano and Rio Volcan is 23 km SE of the summit and debris from the lahars has created a natural dam on the Rio Upano that periodically backs up water and inundates the adjacent forest (figure 65). A different expedition to Sangay during 26 January-1 February 2020 by IG personnel to repair and maintain the remote monitoring station and collect samples was successful, after which the station was once again transmitting data to IG-EPN in Quito (figure 66).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 63. Hikers near Sangay during 9-17 January 2020 witnessed pyroclastic flows and incandescent explosions and debris descending the SE ravine. Left: The view from 40 km SE near Macas showed ash rising from pyroclastic flows in the SE ravine. Right: Even though the summit was shrouded with a cap cloud, incandescence from the summit crater and from pyroclastic flows on the SE flank were visible on clear nights. Courtesy of Arnold Binas, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 64. The steep ravine on the SE flank of Sangay was hundreds of meters deep in January 2020 when these drone images were taken by members of a hiking trip during 9-17 January 2020 (left). Pyroclastic flows descended the ravine often (right), coating the sides of the ravine with fine, white ash and sending ash billowing up from the surface of the flow which resulted in ashfall in adjacent communities several times. Courtesy of Arnold Binas, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 65. Debris from pyroclastic flows that descended the SE Ravine at Sangay was carried down the Volcan River (left) during frequent rains and caused repeated damming at the confluence with the Rio Upano (right), located 23 km SE of the summit. These images show the conditions along the riverbeds during 9-17 January 2020. Courtesy of Arnold Binas, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. An expedition by scientists from IG-EPN to one of the remote monitoring stations at Sangay during 26 January-1 February 2020 was successful in restoring communication to Quito. The remote location and constant volcanic activity makes access and maintenance a challenge. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Martes, 18 Febrero 2020 12:21, EXPEDICIÓN AL VOLCÁN SANGAY).

During February 2020, multiple daily VAAC reports of ash emissions continued (figure 67). Plumes generally rose 500-1,100 m above the summit and drifted W, although on 26 February emissions were reported to 1,770 m. Ashfall was reported in Macas (40 km SE) on 1 February, and in the communities of Pistishi (65 km SW), Chunchi (70 km SW), Pumallacta (60 k. SW), Alausí (60 km SW), Guamote (40 km WNW) and adjacent areas of the Chimborazo province on 5 February. The Ecuadorian Red Cross reported ash from Sangay in the provinces of Cañar and Azuay (60-100 km SW) on 25 February. Cebadas and Guamote reported moderate ashfall the following day. The communities of Cacha (50 km NW) and Punín (45 km NW) reported trace amounts of ashfall on 29 February. Incandescent blocks were seen on the SE flank multiples times throughout the month. A pyroclastic flow was recorded on the SE flank early on 6 February; additional pyroclastic flows were observed later that day on the SW flank. On 23 February a seismic station on the flank recorded a high-frequency signal typical of lahars.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. Steam and ash could be seen drifting SW from the summit of Sangay on 11 February 2020 even though the summit was hidden by a large cap cloud. Ash was also visible in the ravine on the SE flank. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground, natural color (bands 4, 3, 2) rendering.

A significant ash emission on 1 March 2020 was reported about 2 km above the summit, drifting SW. Multiple ash emissions continued daily during the month, generally rising 570-1,170 m high. An emission on 12 March also rose 2 km above the summit. Trace ashfall was reported in Cebadas (35 km WNW) on 12 March. The community of Huamboya, located 40 km ENE of Sangay in the province of Morona-Santiago reported ashfall on 17 March. On 19 and 21 March ashfall was seen on the surface of cars in Macas to the SE. (figure 68). Ash was also reported on the 21st in de Santa María De Tunants (Sinaí) located E of Sangay. Ash fell again in Macas on 23 March and was also reported in General Proaño (40 km SE). The wind changed direction the next day and caused ashfall on 24 March to the SW in Cuenca and Azogues (100 km SW).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. Ashfall from Sangay was reported on cars in Huamboya on 17 March 2020 (left) and in Macas on 19 March (right). Courtesy IG-EPN, (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 024, MARTES, 17 MARZO 2020 and #IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 025, JUEVES, 19 MARZO 2020).

Incandescence from the dome at the crater and on the SE flank was noted by IG on 3, 4, and 13 March. Remobilized ash from a pyroclastic flow was reported drifting SW on 13 March. The incandescent path of the flow was still visible that evening. Numerous lahars were recorded seismically during the month, including on days 5, 6, 8, 11, 15, 30 and 31. Images from the Rio Upano on 11 March confirmed an increase from the normal flow rate (figure 69) inferred to be from volcanic debris. Morona-Santiago province officials reported on 14 March that a new dam had formed at the confluence of the Upano and Volcano rivers that decreased the flow downstream; by 16 March it had given way and flow had returned to normal levels.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Images from the Rio Upano on 11 March 2020 (left) confirmed an increase from the normal flow rate related to lahars from Sangay descending the Rio Volcan. By 16 March (right), the flow rate had returned to normal, although the large blocks in the river were evidence of substantial activity in the past. Courtesy of IG (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 018, MIÉRCOLES, 11 MARZO 2020 and #IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 023, LUNES, 16 MARZO 2020).

Activity during April-June 2020. Lahar activity continued during April 2020; they were reported seven times on 2, 5, 7, 11, 12, 19, and 30 April. A significant reduction in the flow of the Upano River at the entrance bridge to the city of Macas was reported 9 April, likely due to a new dam on the river upstream from where the Volcan river joins it caused by lahars related to ash emissions and pyroclastic flows (figure 70). The flow rate returned to normal the following day. Ash emissions were reported most days of the month, commonly rising 500-1,100 m above the summit and drifting W. Incandescent blocks or flows were visible on the SE flank on 4, 10, 12, 15-16, and 20-23 April (figure 71).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. A significant reduction in the flow of the Upano River at the entrance bridge to the city of Macas was reported on 9 April 2020, likely due to a new dam upstream from lahars related to ash emissions and pyroclastic flows from Sangay. Courtesy of IG-EPN (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 032, JUEVES, 9 ABRIL 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. Incandescent blocks rolled down the SE ravine at Sangay multiple times during April 2020, including on 4 April (left). Pyroclastic flows left two continuous incandescent trails in the ravine on 23 April (right). Courtesy of IG-EPN (INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-95, SÁBADO, 4 ABRIL 2020 and INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-114, JUEVES, 23 ABRIL 2020).

Activity during May 2020 included multiple daily ash emissions that drifted W and numerous lahars from plentiful rain carrying ash and debris downstream. Although there were only a few visible observations of ash plumes due to clouds, the Washington VAAC reported plumes visible in satellite imagery throughout the month. Plumes rose 570-1,170 m above the summit most days; the highest reported rose to 2,000 m above the summit on 14 May. Two lahars occurred in the early morning on 1 May and one the next day. A lahar signal lasted for three hours on 4 May. Two lahar signals were recorded on the 7th, and three on the 9th. Lahars were also recorded on 16-17, 20-22, 26-27, and 30 May. Incandescence on the SE flank was only noted three times, but it was cloudy nearly every day.

An increase in thermal and overall eruptive activity was reported during June 2020. On 1 and 2 June the webcam captured lava flows and remobilization of the deposits on the SE flank in the early morning and late at night. Incandescence was visible multiple days each week. Lahars were reported on 4 and 5 June. The frequent daily ash emissions during June generally rose to 570-1,200 m above the summit and drifted usually SW or W. The number of explosions and ash emissions increased during the evening of 7 June. IG interpreted the seismic signals from the explosions as an indication of the rise of a new pulse of magma (figure 72). The infrasound sensor log from 8 June also recorded longer duration tremor signals that were interpreted as resulting from the descent of pyroclastic flows in the SE ravine.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Seismic and infrasound signals indicated increased explosive and pyroclastic flow activity at Sangay on 7-8 June 2020. Left: SAGA station (seismic component) of 7 and 8 June. The signals correspond to explosions without VT or tremor signals, suggesting the rise of a new magma pulse. Right: SAGA station infrasound sensor log from 8 June. The sharp explosion signals are followed a few minutes later (examples highlighted in red) by emergent signals of longer duration, possibly associated with the descent of pyroclastic material in the SE flank ravine. Courtesy if IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán Sangay - 2020 - N°3, “Actualización de la actividad eruptiva”, Quito, 12 de junio del 2020).

On the evening of 8 June ashfall was reported in the parish of Cebadas and in the Alausí Canton to the W and SW of Sangay. There were several reports of gas and ash emissions to 1,770 m above the summit the next morning on 9 June, followed by reports of ashfall in the provinces of Guayas, Santa Elena, Los Ríos, Morona Santiago, and Chimborazo. Ashfall continued in the afternoon and was reported in Alausí, Chunchi, Guamote, and Chillanes. That night, which was clear, the webcam captured images of pyroclastic flows down the SE-flank ravine; IG attributed the increase in activity to the collapse of one or more lava fronts. On the evening of 10 June additional ashfall was reported in the towns of Alausí, Chunchi, and Guamote (figure 73); satellite imagery indicated an ash plume drifting W and incandescence from pyroclastic flows in the SE-flank ravine the same day (figure 74).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Ashfall from Sangay was reported in Alausí (top left), Chunchi (top right) and Guamote (bottom) on 10 June 2020. Courtesy of IG-EPN (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 049, MIÉRCOLES, 10 JUNIO 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 74. Incandescent pyroclastic flows (left) and ash plumes that drifted W (right) were recorded on 10 June 2020 at Sangay in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Ashfall continued on 11 June and was reported in Guayaquil, Guamote, Chunchi, Riobamba, Guaranda, Chimbo, Echandía, and Chillanes. The highest ash plume of the report period rose to 2,800 m above the summit that day and drifted SW. That evening the SNGRE (Servicio Nacional de Gestion de Riesgos y Emergencias) reported ash fall in the Alausí canton. IG noted the increase in intensity of activity and reported that the ash plume of 11 June drifted more than 600 km W (figure 75). Ash emissions on 12 and 13 June drifted SW and NW and resulted in ashfall in the provinces of Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, and Bolívar. On 14 June, the accumulation of ash interfered with the transmission of information from the seismic station. Lahars were reported each day during 15-17 and 19-21 June. Trace amounts of ashfall were reported in Macas to the SE on 25 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 75. The ash plume at Sangay reported on 11 June 2020 rose 2.8 km above the summit and drifted W according to the Washington VAAC and IG (left). Explosions and high levels of incandescence on the SE flank were captured by the Don Bosco webcam (right). Courtesy of IG-EPN (#IGAlInstante Informativo VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 055, JUEVES, 11 JUNIO 2020 and INFORME DIARIO DEL ESTADO DEL VOLCÁN SANGAY No. 2020-164, VIERNES, 12 JUNIO 2020).

During an overflight of Sangay on 24 June IG personnel observed that activity was characterized by small explosions from the summit vent and pyroclastic flows down the SE-flank ravine. The explosions produced small gas plumes with a high ash content that did not rise more than 500 m above the summit and drifted W (figure 76). The pyroclastic flows were restricted to the ravine on the SE flank, although the ash from the flows rose rapidly and reached about 200 m above the surface of the ravine and also drifted W (figure 77).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 76. A dense ash plume rose 500 m from the summit of Sangay on 24 June 2020 and drifted W during an overflight by IG-EPN personnel. The aerial photograph is taken from the SE; snow-covered Chimborazo is visible behind and to the right of Sangay. Photo by M Almeida, courtesy of IG EPN (Jueves, 02 Julio 2020 10:29, INFORME DEL SOBREVUELO AL VOLCÁN SANGAY EL 24 DE JUNIO DE 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Pyroclastic flows descended the SE flank ravine at Sangay during an overflight by IG-EPN personnel on 24 June 2020. Ash from the pyroclastic flow rose 200 m and drifted W, and infrared imagery identified the thermal signature of the pyroclastic flow in the ravine. Photo by M Almeida, IR Image by S Vallejo, courtesy of IG EPN (Jueves, 25 Junio 2020 12:24, SOBREVUELO AL VOLCÁN SANGAY).

Infrared imagery taken during the overflight on 24 June identified three significant thermal anomalies in the large ravine on the SE flank (figure 78). Analysis by IG scientists suggested that the upper anomaly 1 (125°C) was associated with explosive activity that was observed during the flight. Anomaly 2 (147°C), a short distance below Anomaly 1, was possibly related to effusive activity of a small flow, and Anomaly 3 (165°C) near the base of the ravine that was associated with pyroclastic flow deposits. The extent of the changes at the summit of Sangay and along the SE flank since the beginning of the eruption that started in March 2019 were clearly visible when images from May 2019 were compared with images from the 24 June 2020 overflight (figure 79). The upper part of the ravine was nearly 400 m wide by the end of June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. A thermal image of the SE flank of Sangay taken on 24 June 2020 indicated three thermal anomalies. Anomaly 1 was associated with explosive activity, Anomaly 2 was associated with effusive activity, and Anomaly 3 was related to pyroclastic-flow deposits. Image prepared by S Vallejo Vargas, courtesy of IG EPN (Jueves, 02 Julio 2020 10:29, INFORME DEL SOBREVUELO AL VOLCÁN SANGAY EL 24 DE JUNIO DE 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. Aerial and thermal photographs of the southern flank of the Sangay volcano on 17 May 2019 (left: visible image) and 24 June 2020 (middle: visible image, right: visible-thermal overlay) show the morphological changes on the SE flank, associated with the formation of a deep ravine and the modification of the summit. Photos and thermal image by M Almeida, courtesy of IG EPN (Jueves, 02 Julio 2020 10:29, INFORME DEL SOBREVUELO AL VOLCÁN SANGAY EL 24 DE JUNIO DE 2020).

Geologic Background. The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador's volcanoes and its most active. The steep-sided, glacier-covered, dominantly andesitic volcano grew within horseshoe-shaped calderas of two previous edifices, which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. It towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash have been sculpted by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of a historical eruption was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The almost constant activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN), Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); 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); Arnold Binas (URL: https://www.doroadventures.com).


Karangetang (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Shishaldin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 34, Number 03 (March 2009)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Aira (Japan)

Recent (2007-2009) explosive eruptions and intermittent plumes

Deception Island (Antarctica)

Absence of seismicity, deformation, and soil temp flux during late 2008-early 2009

Dempo (Indonesia)

Phreatic eruption in September 2006 sent mud 300 m

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai (Tonga)

Eruption ends on 21 March, leaving new land and steaming lakes

Kilauea (United States)

June to December 2007 activity; multiple fissure eruptions

Klyuchevskoy (Russia)

Eruption in 2007 changed summit crater; ongoing 2008-2009 lava flows

Koryaksky (Russia)

Increased ash emissions during March and April 2009

Masaya (Nicaragua)

Phreatomagmatic explosions in August 2006; intermittent plumes through 2008

Popocatepetl (Mexico)

Tremor, numerous earthquakes, and small ash plumes

Reventador (Ecuador)

Lava extrudes down two flanks during November 2008-April 2009



Aira (Japan) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Aira

Japan

31.593°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Recent (2007-2009) explosive eruptions and intermittent plumes

Our last reports on Sakura-jima (BGVN 31:06 and 32:04) discussed an eruption from Showa crater on 4 June 2006, the first eruption outside the summit crater since 1946. It also provided a chronology of plume observations between 7 June 2006 and 20 March 2007.

The current report continues the chronology of plume observations from 20 March 2007 to 24 April 2009 (table 15). Most of the plumes described since 20 March 2007 did not exceed 3 km altitude (figure 29). The tallest plume recorded on the table, an ash plume on 9 April 2009, rose to about 5 km altitude.

Table 15. Heights and drift of plumes and their character at Sakura-jima from 20 March 2007 to 24 April 2009. Courtesy of Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, pilot reports, and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Times and dates are local.

Date Plume altitude/drift Observations
16 May 2007 1.2-2.7 km/ NW --
20-22 May 2007 1.2-2.7 km/ up --
23-24, 26-28 May 2007 1.8-2.1 km/ E, SE, up --
31 May-01 Jun 2007 2.1-2.4 km/ up --
04 Jun-05 Jun 2007 2.1-2.4 km/ W, NW, E Ash not detected by satellite imagery.
08, 10, 11 Jun 2007 2.1 km/ S Ash not detected by satellite imagery.
16 Jun 2007 -- Explosion. Ash not detected by satellite imagery.
20-21 Jun 2007 2.4 km/N Ash not detected by satellite imagery.
04 Aug 2007 -- Explosion. Ash not detected by satellite imagery.
29 Oct 2007 3.7 km/E --
23-24 Dec 2007 2.7 km/S --
02, 07 Jan 2008 -- Explosions reported.
03 Feb 2008 1.5-2.7 km/ SE Ash not detected by satellite imagery.
05-06 Feb 2008 1.2-2.1 km/ SE Ash not detected by satellite imagery.
11-15 Apr 2008 2.1-3.4 km/ various --
19 Apr 2008 4.6 km/E Plume contained ash.
20, 23-30 Apr 2008 2.4 km/various --
06-07 May 2008 2.4-3.4 km/S --
08 May 2008 4 km/E --
15-22 May 2008 1.8-3.4 km/various --
24 May 2008 -- Explosion reported.
30 May-01 Jun 2008 2.1-3 km/various --
09 Jun 2008 2.1 km/S --
10-11 Jun 2008 -- Explosions reported.
12-13 Jun 2008 3.4 km/various Plumes contained ash.
28 Jun 2008 -- Explosion reported.
05 Jul 2008 2.7 km/E --
10, 13 Jul 2008 2.7 km Plumes contained ash.
25-28 Jul 2008 2.4-4.3 km/various Plumes contained ash.
10 Aug 2008 >2.7 km/NW --
23 Aug 2008 -- Explosion reported.
07 Sep 2008 2.1 km/straight up --
03 Oct 2008 2.7 km --
09, 15 Jan 2009 2.4, 1.8 km/SE --
28 Jan -03 Feb 2009 1.8-3.4 km/various --
01-02 Feb 2009 -- Eight eruptions; bombs up to 800 m from Showa crater. On 2 Feb, JMA Alert level to 3.
04-05 Feb 2009 2.1-2.4 km/SE Explosions and eruptions.
09-12 Feb 2009 0.6-2.4 km/SE Ash plumes.
19 Feb 2009 -- JMA lowered Alert Level to 2.
22 Feb 2009 2.7 km/N Explosion.
28 Feb-04 Mar 2009 1.8-3 km/S Eruptions or explosions, three Vulcanian explosions from Showa crater ejected bombs up to 1.3 km. Deformation; expansion of edifice (tiltmeter). On 2 Mar, JMA Alert Level to 3.
07-10 Mar 2009 1.8-2.9 km/N, S Twelve Vulcanian explosions from Showa crater. Ejected bombs up to 1.8 km.
14 Mar 2009 1.5-2.1 km/SE, E Two Vulcanian explosions ejected bombs up to 800 m.
17 Mar 2009 2.1 km/E Eruption.
20, 23 Mar 2009 -- Explosions; weak incandescence on 23rd.
26 Mar 2009 -- Eruption.
27-30 Mar 2009 2.1 km/SE Weak eruptions, strong steam emissions.
05-07 Apr 2009 2.1-3 km/SE, S Explosions and eruptions.
08 Apr 2009 2.7 km Eruption.
09 Apr 2009 ~5 km/SW Vulcanian explosion, pyroclastic flow to 1 km E, bombs to 1.3 km, heavy ashfall at Kagoshima City.
10 Apr 2009 2.1-2.7 km/W, S --
24 Apr 2009 -- JMA lowered alert level to 2.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Aerial photograph taken from the W of a plume from Sakura-jima's Showa crater as seen on 10 March 2009. Courtesy of JMA.

On 19 February 2009 JMA lowered the Alert Level from 3 to 2, because after the 1-5 February explosions, no eruptions had occurred either from Showa crater or Minamidake summit crater, seismicity was low, and no crustal deformation was observed (figure 30). As a result of heightened activity, the Alert Level was raised to 3 on 2 March, but dropped to 2 on 24 April 2009 due to low seismicity, lack of deformation, and absence of large eruptions. According to JMA, the shape of Showa crater has not changed recently, but the depth of the crater had increased. Photographs taken during an overflight on 10 March 2009 (figures 31 and 32) showed changes in morphology and temperature.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. Sakura-jima tilt recorded at Arimura during February 2009. The vertical axis indicates the sense and magnitude of movement. Data from Osumi Kasen Kokudo (Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). Courtesy of JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. A comparison of the morphology of Sakura-jima's Showa crater: (top) 28 July 2008, (bottom) 10 March 2009. Courtesy of JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. N-looking infrared photo of Sakura-jima's Showa crater on 10 March 2009. Scale at right shows the estimated temperature (°C). Note the high temperature in Showa crater. The crater rim at higher elevation (upper left) is called Minami-dake ("M" on the geologic map in the previous issue). Courtesy of JMA.

An article in Asahi newspaper contained several photos of the 9 April 2009 ashfall in Kagoshima City, about 10 W of Sakura-jima. This was the heaviest ashfall since October 2002.

During the last two years, the only thermal anomaly recorded by MODIS-MODVOLC for Sakura-jima was on 17 December 2008 (1 pixel).

Two recently published articles (citations below) describe the mechanism of explosive eruptions at Sakura-jima and two other Japanese volcanoes, and color measurements of Sakura-jima's ash deposits.

References. Iguchi, M., Yakiwara, H., Tameguri, T., Hendrasto, M. and Hirabayashi, J., 2008. Mechanism of explosive eruption revealed by geophysical observations at the Sakurajima, Suwanosejima and Semeru volcanoes: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 178, no. 1, p. 1-9.

Yamanoi, Y.,Takeuchi Y., Okumura S., Nakashima S., and Yokoyama, T., 2008. Color measurements of volcanic ash deposits from three different styles of summit activity at Sakurajima volcano, Japan: Conduit processes recorded in color of volcanic ash: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 178, no. 1, p. 81-93.

Geologic Background. The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); 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/); Yukio Hayakawa, Gunma University, Faculty of Education, Aramaki 4-2, Maebashi 371-8510, Japan; Asahi newspaper (URL: https://www.asahi.com/).


Deception Island (Antarctica) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Deception Island

Antarctica

63.001°S, 60.652°W; summit elev. 602 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Absence of seismicity, deformation, and soil temp flux during late 2008-early 2009

Alicia Garcia forwarded to us a report of the geophysical monitoring conducted during December 2008 to February 2009 (the 2008-2009 austral summer). This field work included measurements of seismicity, deformation, and soil temperature. Little if any unrest was detected.

The volcanic alert remained Green during the 2008-2009 campaign. The volcano last erupted in 1970 (and several uncertain eruptions were indicated since then). Seven seismic stations, and a seismic array determined that seismicity was low. During January and February 2009 instruments detected some earthquakes attributed to hydrothermal processes and ice melting. Geodetic leveling surveys were carried out over benchmarks along six lines of an existing network (known as RENID). Only superficial deformation was detected.

The Thermometric Monitoring Network (THONET) was initiated in 2006. It consists of a set of stations monitoring micro-meteorological variables including wind velocity, air temperature and humidity, upward and downward solar and terrestrial radiation, diffuse solar radiation, soil heat flow, soil temperature at several depths and snow depth cover. Not all variables are recorded at all stations or constantly. Measurements indicated that soil thermal behavior was the result of solar and atmospheric forcing.

Ibanez and others (2003) noted both long-period (LP) and volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes since 1986, with greatest intensity during 1992 and 1999. This means that in ~ 15 years of seismic monitoring, two intense volcanic crises have been observed. No permanent monitoring stations exist on the island, and seismic measurements are conducted only during 3 months/year (from December to February); thus, similar periods of elevated volcanic seismicity might have occurred more often than detected.

Benitez and others (2007) described a seismic-event classification and monitoring system for Deception. The system, based on hidden Markov modeling (HMM) techniques, enabled monitoring by careful discriminating among different signal types.

As late as 30 April 2009, MODIS/MODVOLC thermal alert satellite measurements showed no anomalies over the island since at least 2000.

References. Benítez, M.C., Ramírez, J., Segura, J.C., Ibáñez, J.M., Almendros, J., García-Yeguas, A., and Cortés, G., 2007, Continuous HMM-Based Seismic-Event Classification at Deception Island, Antarctica, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, v. 45, no. 1, p. 138-146.

Ibáñez, J.M, Almendros, J., Carmona, E., Martínez-Arévalo, C., and Abril, M., 2003, The recent seismo-volcanic activity at Deception Island volcano, Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, v. 50, no. 10-11, p. 1611-1629.

Geologic Background. Ring-shaped Deception Island, one of Antarctica's most well known volcanoes, contains a 7-km-wide caldera flooded by the sea. Deception Island is located at the SW end of the Shetland Islands, NE of Graham Land Peninsula, and was constructed along the axis of the Bransfield Rift spreading center. A narrow passageway named Neptunes Bellows provides entrance to a natural harbor that was utilized as an Antarctic whaling station. Numerous vents located along ring fractures circling the low, 14-km-wide island have been active during historical time. Maars line the shores of 190-m-deep Port Foster, the caldera bay. Among the largest of these maars is 1-km-wide Whalers Bay, at the entrance to the harbor. Eruptions from Deception Island during the past 8700 years have been dated from ash layers in lake sediments on the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring islands.

Information Contacts: A. Garcia, Dept. of Volcanology (MNCN-CSIC), Madrid, Spain; M. Berrocoso, Cadiz Univ., Spain; M. Rodríguez-Arias, Extremadura Univ., Spain; I. Serrano, Granada Univ., Spain; MODIS/MODVOLC. 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/).


Dempo (Indonesia) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Dempo

Indonesia

4.016°S, 103.121°E; summit elev. 3142 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic eruption in September 2006 sent mud 300 m

Our most recent report on Dempo (BGVN 34:01) discussed a phreatic eruption on 1 January 2009. This eruption prompted Indonesia's Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) to raise the alert level from 1 (normal) to 2 (alert) on a scale of 1-4. A few months later, on 23 March 2009, the CVGHM lowered Dempo's Alert Level to 1, based on visual observations of the crater lake during 5-6 January and 2-4 March, and decreased seismicity since the 1 January phreatic eruption.

The name Dempo applies to both the larger complex and to a peak that sits adjacent to a neighboring peak called Marapi. The latter volcano name applies to several different volcanoes in Indonesia and is easily confused with the very prominent volcano Merapi (central Java). The Marapi cone in the Dempo complex contains a ~ 400 m diameter crater lake, the source of both the 2006 and 2009 eruptions.

The remainder of this report discusses the phreatic eruption that occurred in September 2006. This eruption had not been previously discussed in the Bulletin, and CVGHM reporting on the subject has recently come to our attention.

In the month before this eruption, teams from the CVGHM had visited several times. On 13 August 2006, a team prepared a map of Dempo and reported that the condition of the water in Marapi's crater lake was normal and clear or slightly blue in color, with no bubbling. On 4 September 2006, a team climbed to the peak of Dempo and reported that activity was normal other than some bubbling at the E edge of the crater lake.

2006 phreatic eruption. On 25 September 2006, a phreatic eruption occurred that expelled water from Marapi's crater lake and propelled mud onto the area around the peak up to a radius of 300 m.

On the next day, the inspector for Dempo, Mr. Mulyadi, accompanied by six friends, inspected the volcano and its lake. According to Mulyadi's team, the lake water was bubbling and had changed to a grayish color. Acrid sulfurous emissions were accompanied by a hissing sound. The NW crater wall was covered by mud from the eruption. Many of the phreatic deposits around the crater lake were only about 0.5 cm thick, although in several other places they were thicker (figures 1-4). A visit on 4 October 2006 found the deposits not yet eroded, owing to a lack of rain since the eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Photo of the plume resulting from Dempo's phreatic eruption on 25 September 2006. This is one of a set of multiple photos taken of a rising plume. Photo by Fredy, a local resident. Courtesy of CVGHM.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. (top) Pre-eruption and (bottom) post-eruption scenes from the saddle between the cones of Dempo and Marapi looking upslope towards Marapi (which contains the source vent in a steep-sided crater not visible from this perspective). The shots were taken on 7 and 26 September 2009, respectively. Freshly deposited mud and evidence of ejected crater-lake water in the foreground (bottom) represents distal deposits from the 25 September eruption; note peson at right for scale. Large blocks were not from this eruption. Courtesy of the Dempo inspection team, CVGHM.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Pre- and post-eruption photos looking into Marapi crater at Dempo, taken on 7 (top) and 26 (bottom) September 2006. The lake is on the order of 400 m across. The bottom photo portrays the crater's mud-covered walls and sediment-covered lake. Comparison of both photos indicates that after the eruption the lake surface had dropped, consistent with discharge of water and mud. Camera look-direction unstated. Courtesy of the Dempo inspection team, CVGHM.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Post-eruption conditions on Dempo's Marapi cone seen from a point a few meters back from the crater rim. Widespread gray-to-brown mud covered the rim and upper crater, creating a desolate scene. The large angular blocks on the rim were placed there in previous events, not the 25 September 2009 eruption. Unstated direction; photographers shadow and gear for scale. Courtesy of the Dempo inspection team, CVGHM.

Geologic Background. Dempo is a prominent stratovolcano that rises above the Pasumah Plain of SE Sumatra. The andesitic volcanic complex has two main peaks, Gunung Dempo and Gunung Marapi, constructed near the SE rim of a 3 x 5 km caldera breached to the north. The Dempo peak is slightly lower, and lies at the SE end of the summit complex. The taller Marapi cone was constructed within a crater cutting the older Gunung Dempo edifice. Remnants of seven craters are found at or near the summit, with volcanism migrating WNW over time. The large, 800 x 1100 m wide historically active crater cuts the NW side of the Marapi cone and contains a 400-m-wide lake located at the far NW end of the crater complex. Historical eruptions have been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive activity that produced ashfall near the volcano.

Information Contacts: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://vsi.esdm.go.id/).


Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai (Tonga) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai

Tonga

20.536°S, 175.382°W; summit elev. 114 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption ends on 21 March, leaving new land and steaming lakes

The eruption from Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai (figure 6) that began from multiple vents at Hunga Ha'apai island on 17 March 2009 ended after five days of activity on 21 March. The eruption destroyed all vegetation on the island, one of two high points on a submarine caldera rim (figure 7). Strong Surtseyan activity was witnessed by passengers on a fishing boat on 18 March (BGVN 34:02). Satellite imagery acquired that day (figure 8) revealed a bright eruption plume, an extensive 10-km-radius zone of discolored water around the islands, and pumice rafts that had already drifted 20-25 km towards the NW. By the next day, scientists on the scene observed that the submarine vent offshore to the S (figure 9) had built new land that was connected to Hunga Ha'apai (BGVN 34:02).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. Political map of Tonga, 1989, showing the Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tongatapu island groups. Hunga Ha'apai is in the oval about 55 km NNW of Tongatapu Island. Map courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Aerial photo showing the vegetated islands of Hunga Tonga (left) and Hunga Ha'apai (right) before the eruption. Courtesy of Brad Scott, GNS Science.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Aqua MODIS satellite image showing the eruption plume drifting NE and pumice rafts from Hunga Ha'apai on 18 March 2009. Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai are covered by the bright steam plume and surrounded by discolored water caused by suspended sediments reaching a maximum of about 10 km from the island. A detached older plume, possibly ash-bearing, is to the NE. Serpentine-shaped pumice rafts are drifting in the NW sector at a distance of 20-25 km from the island. Contrast has been enhanced. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Aerial photo showing the island of Hunga Ha'apai with a steam plume rising from the vent in the newly created portion of the island. Emissions can also be seen in the vicinity of the small lake (left) marking the location of another vent active during this eruption. Discolored water surrounds the island, but a denser plume of material is originating from the shoreline near the small lake. View is looking SSE on an unknown date, March 2009. Courtesy of AusAID in Tonga.

Based on inspection of an aerial photograph taken on 21 March (figure 10), the island had lengthened by ~ 1 km and the S crater was approximately 350 m in diameter on 21 March, assuming the island was 2 km long as previously described. Calculations using ASTER satellite imagery from 26 March result in similar dimensions for the island and S crater, and showed that the new extension was also about 1 km wide at that time.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Aerial photo of the W side of Hunga Ha'apai island showing two steaming lakes in the NW vent area and a steam plume rising from the vent on the new southern part of the island. View is to the S on 21 March 2009. Courtesy of GP Orbassano and the Waterfront Lodge.

Aerial photographs from 21 March showed no activity at the NW vent and a steam plume rising from the S vent. However, airport observers on Tongatapu saw new eruptive activity with ash plumes on the afternoon of 21 March (BGVN 34:02). A Matangi Tonga news article on 1 April reported the eruption as being on 17-21 March. Although Radio New Zealand International reported that residents of Nuku'alofa saw "glow on the horizon" on 22 March and stated that ash eruptions continued on the 23rd, those observations were not confirmed.

On 27 March a group of four people, organized by Gian Piero Orbassano of the Waterfront Lodge, landed on Hunga Ha'apai using an inflatable dinghy launched from a charter fishing boat. They landed on the newly built southern part of the island and walked to the rim of the crater which they described as filled with orange steaming water. They noted that landing on the "rocky black pumice" shore was difficult in rough seas. Large boulders (sizes not given) on the surface crumbled when touched. The ground was firm to walk on, but the crater rim was "fragile and cracked" (figure 11). Orbassano, in a 5 April news report, stated that people were visiting the island by boat but not landing, viewing the "smoking" vents and yellowish water around the island.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Photographs of the southern crater lake on newly formed land at Hunga Ha'apai, 27 March 2009. The steaming lake was colored orange-brown and the rim was unstable, as evidenced by the irregular rim, steep cliffs, and fractures. Courtesy of GP Orbassano and the Waterfront Lodge.

Geologic Background. The small islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai cap a large seamount located about 30 km SSE of Falcon Island. The two linear andesitic islands are about 2 km long and represent the western and northern remnants of the rim of a largely submarine caldera lying east and south of the islands. Hunga Tonga reaches an elevation of about 114 m above sea level, and both islands display inward-facing sea cliffs with lava and tephra layers dipping gently away from the submarine caldera. A rocky shoal 3.2 km SE of Hunga Ha'apai and 3 km south of Hunga Tonga marks a historically active vent. Several submarine eruptions have occurred at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai since the first historical eruption in 1912. An eruption that began in mid-December 2014 built a new island between the other two large islands.

Information Contacts: Brad Scott, GNS Science, Wairakei Research Centre, Private Bag 2000, Taupo 3352, New Zealand (URL: http://www.gns.cri.nz/); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); GP Orbassano, Waterfront Lodge, Vuna Road, Ma'ufanga, PO Box 1001, Nuku'alofa, Tonga (URL: http://www.waterfront-lodge.com/); Radio New Zealand International, PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand (URL: http://www.rnzi.com/); Matongi Tonga Online, PO Box 958, Nuku'alofa, Tonga (URL: http://www.matangitonga.to/); Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin (URL: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/).


Kilauea (United States) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Kilauea

United States

19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


June to December 2007 activity; multiple fissure eruptions

The long-term eruption of Kilauea, continuing since January 1983, is well documented in reports issued by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) and in the literature (eg., Poland and others, 2008), and is thus only episodically covered in our Bulletin. This report begins bringing coverage up to date by summarizing activity during the last half of 2007. Events included lava returning to Pu`u `O`o on 2 July, a fissure eruption on 21 July, and the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) on 21 November. This report starts with a discussion of the Father's Day Intrusion, or Episode 56, an event heralded by increased summit activity on 17 June 2007 (BGVN 32:06).

Father's Day Intrusion (Episode 56) and Pu`u `O`o activity. According to HVO, on Father's Day, 17 June 2007, a swarm of earthquakes and rapid deflation began at 0215 in the upper E rift zone. The earthquakes were centered under Pauahi Crater ~ 1 km SW of the Mauna Ulu shield volcano, and ~ 1.5-3 km deep. Rapid ground tilting was detected at Mauna Ulu. About 70 earthquakes were recorded in the first 2 hours; at least ten of those were M 3 or greater. National Park Service (NPS) crews evacuated visitors and closed the Chain of Craters road and part of the Crater Rim drive.

Fresh cracks about 2 cm wide opened in the Chain of Craters road near the turnoff to Mauna Ulu. Within a few hours, GPS receivers in the area of most intense seismic activity documented an approximate 10 cm of widening across the rift zone, near Makaopuhi crater. The deformation and earthquakes were inferred as associated with magma intrusion that started in the Mauna Ulu area early on 17 June and subsequently moved slowly 6 km E along the East rift zone. HVO observers noted rockfalls from the S wall of Pu`u `O`o cone and collapse of the crater floor around the vents. Some parts of the crater floor subsided up to 80 m within a few days.

On 18 June, the earthquake swarm slowed to ~ 10-15 small earthquakes per hour. Strong tremor beneath the summit was recorded and deflation continued. GPS receivers continued to show extension across the East rift zone, to ~ 100 cm in some areas. Between 18 and 19 June, a new 50-m-long lava flow emerged from a 200-m-long fissure in the forest NE of Kane Nui o Hamo, about 6 km W of Pu`u `O`o. Steam plumes were spotted on the N flank of Kane Nui o Hamo (figure 190).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 190. Map of Kilauea's Father's Day Intrusion showing Kilauea caldera and key features and activity near the Makaopuhi crater on 20 June 2007. A small lava flow erupted from a 250-m-long fissure in the forest NE of Kane Nui o Hamo. The lava was cooling and not advancing when observed at 0700 on 19 June. Courtesy of USGS-HVO.

On 20 June, seismicity and extension decreased on the East rift zone. HVO scientists measured highly elevated sulfur dioxide gas concentrations, greater than 10 parts per million (ppm), in a broad area adjacent to Halema'uma'u crater. Elsewhere typical concentrations were generally negligible except for areas downwind of Halema'uma'u crater, where they reached up to 2.5 ppm in narrow zones.

During 21 June-1 July 2007, no fresh lava was visible on the flow field or at the site of the 18-19 June eruption. The summit area continued to inflate very slowly and seismic tremor values at Pu`u `O`o were below pre-June 17 levels. Ground-based mapping of the new lava flow indicated the eruption occurred from two places along the fissure, separated by ~ 40 m. The intrusion and extension processes had drained a substantial amount of magma from the summit reservoir; Pu`u `O`o's crater collapsed to a level 100 m deeper and the lava tubes drained.

Lava in Pu`u `O`o Crater (Episode 57). On 2 July, HVO scientists saw new lava flows at the bottom of the collapsing Pu`u `O`o crater; incandescence had last been seen there on 18 June. Two vents feeding the lake were identified: the W vent, initially the most active, and the E vent (figure 191). During 3-13 July, a lava lake grew and filled the crater to within 30 m of the rim. On the S wall of West Gap pit, intermittent incandescence and fuming from new vents that opened were observed during 13-14 July. In addition, the level of the lava lake dropped but lava continued to emit from the E vent. On 15 July, the E and W vents erupted small lava flows that drained onto the solidifying lava lake bed. Low lava fountains extruded from West Gap pit. Within a few days, lava filled the pit and overflowed into the main crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 191. Map of the Pu`u `O`o crater as of 20 July, 2007. The dark gray shaded area represents the composite area of collapse, including the main crater and flank vent pits, following the Father's Day event. The key identifies new lava (episode 57) erupted at Pu`u `O`o shown in light red in colored versions; areas mainly in the center of the crater. Vents active during episode 57 are shown as asterisks. Courtesy of USGS-HVO.

During 18-21 July, the E vent and dominant W vent in Kilauea's Pu`u `O`o produced lava flows. New vents opened in the Puka Nui pit, in the SSW area of Pu`u `O`o crater, and produced lava flows that ponded there. A low lava fountain occasionally fed the lake from the vicinity of a spatter cone; an unseen source also fed the lake from the NW edge. A vent high on the S crater wall, adjacent to the Puka Nui Gap pit, produced spatter and propelled lava bombs 10 m into the air. Meanwhile, the lava lake in the West Gap pit continued to fill, overturn, and occasionally overflow. The spatter cone that built up around the S wall vent in West Gap pit was submerged beneath the lava lake surface on 20 July. Uplift of the crater interior continued. Earthquakes occurred beneath the upper E rift zone, S flank, and Halema'umau crater.

Fissures A-D. Late on 20 July, a tiltmeter recorded a nearly 300 microradian of change as Pu`u `O`o's crater floor started to subside. Early on 21 July, the West Gap lava lake and Puka Nui pit drained. A new eruption initiated along a set of fissures (figure 192) that extended 1.7 km E from a point about 150 m E of the E rim of Pu`u `O`o crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 192. Aerial view at Kilauea showing Pu`u `O`o crater looking WNW on the morning of 13 July 2007. Viewers saw two active vents in the collapsed crater floor. The incandescent E vent is near the lower right part of the crater bottom, and the W vent (less incandescent in this image) is near the middle of the image. Courtesy of USGS-HVO.

Preliminary reports described two 600-800 m long, left-stepping, ENE-trending fissures between Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha. The easternmost fissure fed two lava flows, the longer of which reached ~ 2 km SE from the fissure. The lower fissure consisted of three segments, making a total of four. The four fissure segments, A, B, C, and D, defined an approximately 2 km-long line (figure 193).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 193. Map showing Kilauea's eruptive fissure segments A, B, C, and D and aerial extent of lava flows from the 21 July eruption (as documented that day). Courtesy of USGS-HVO.

The westernmost fissure (segment A) was inactive by 21 July and the uppermost segment of the active lower fissure (segment B) was completely sealed by mid-morning on 22 July. The rest of the fissure erupted lava fountains 6-8 m high, constructing several small perched ponds that occasionally overflowed to feed a few longer lava flows. These formed as the edges of pools of lava hardened to create confining walls. These walls enabled the pond's surface to be much higher, in some cases as much as 18 m or higher than the surrounding land. The ponds were as large as 200 m in diameter.

During 23 July to mid-August, fissure segments C and D fed perched lava ponds created by the NE-advancing `a`a flow. The ponds both grew in thickness and spilled lava over the levees along their edges, or at breaches. By 31 July, segment B had become inactive. By about 12 August, lava ceased extruding at segment C.

During the rest of August through most of November, fissure segment D continued to feed advancing `a`a lava flows that frequently escaped the confines of the levees. Lava flows that branched from the main channel continued to advance, widening and lengthening the flow field. Lava occasionally escaped from lava tubes.

Fissure D and TEB. On 21 November, lava escaped from a perched channel near fissure D. This lava flow became known as the TEB (Thanksgiving Eve Breakout). The bypass of lava from the channel to the surface resulted in an estimated 10 m drop in channel levels. The redirected lava quickly formed two channelized pahoehoe flows; one advanced 300 m N and the second flow advanced 1 km SE.

During 23-27 November, lava built a low shield over the TEB and fed one flow that advanced 2 km. A small lava pond at the top of the TEB shield overflowed and fed lava flows in multiple directions. Clear web-camera views on 9 and 10 December revealed that the TEB shield continued to build vertically and was then an estimated 15 m high. On 16 December, a 4-5-m-high hornito at the summit of the TEB shield was active. On 17 December, fume puffed from the top of the shield about every 15-20 minutes when visible.

An overflight on 20 December revealed that lava from fissure D built up two more shields SE of the TEB shield. These shields were considered "rootless shields." That term is described by HVO scientists as "...smaller, shield-shaped mounds that form on active lava flows [and] are fed by shallow lava tubes that flow just below the surface."

During 25 December-1 January lava escaped at both the TEB shield and two satellitic shields. Short lava flows traveled SE and N.

Reference. Poland, M., Miklius, A., Orr, T., Sutton, J., Thornber, C., and Wilson, D., 2008, New episodes of volcanism at Kilauea volcano, Hawaii: EOS, Transactions of the Am. Geophys. Union, v. 89, no 5, p. 37-38, 29 January 2008.

Geologic Background. Kilauea, which overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, has been Hawaii's most active volcano during historical time. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation extending back to only 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that were interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity that lasted until 1924 at Halemaumau crater, within the summit caldera. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and SW rift zones, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

Information Contacts: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), U.S. Geological Survey, PO Box 51, Hawai'i National Park, HI 96718, USA (URL: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/).


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption in 2007 changed summit crater; ongoing 2008-2009 lava flows

Significant eruptions resumed in mid-February 2007. Our last report on Kliuchevskoi (BGVN 32:06) chronicled activity during April 2005-July 2007. This report covers the period from August 2007 to April 2009.

An eruptive period from February to July 2007 reached peak intensity on 29 June 2007 (BGVN 32:06). The ash column was sustained and reached an estimated 8 km high during an 8 hour interval. Plumes reached 2,000 km long. This energetic eruption produced substantial changes to the summit morphology, including removal of the cinder cone on the floor of the summit crater, leaving a deeper crater there. This followed a pattern of earlier substantial morphological change in the summit region during the interval 1968-2007.

Figure 8 shows the pattern of changes during 1968 to mid-2007, but does not show events beyond the time of the 29 June 2007 eruption. Alexey Ozerov (Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, IVS) flew over the volcano during August 2007 and was the first to observe that, following the large eruption, the cinder cone was gone and the crater floor had dropped to an extent that the crater had developed an open capacity of 0.5 km3. The earlier events shown on figure 8 documents over 600 m of vertical change in the position of the crater floor or the tops of cinder cones on the floor.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. A plot showing the height of the crater floor and intra-crater cones at Kliuchevskoi during 1968-2007. The date of the 29 June 2007 eruption was added by editors, but the extent of post-eruptive topographic changes is not shown. Symbols at the top describe eruption types; crater floor elevation was measured at the dots. After Zharinov and Demyanchuk, 2008.

Activity during 2008. Preceding the next eruption, increasing seismic activity and thermal alerts were seen during June to October 2008. On 7 August the color code was raised from Green to Yellow due to increased earthquakes and intermittent tremor. A thermal anomaly was registered over the volcano.

Beginning on 8 October observers noted an explosive-effusive summit eruption that included mainly Strombolian activity. On that day the color code was raised to Orange.

During October-November 2008 analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater. Lava began filling the crater. Nighttime observers saw the crater rim glowing and lava fountains at least 300 m tall. Extensive lava flows developed by late October (figure 9). From 28 October to 4 November bursting sounds from the volcano were heard in Klyuchi, about 30 km to the NE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Strombolian eruption and associated lava flow down the NW flank seen at Kliuchevskoi on 31 October 2008. Photo by Yuri Demyanchuk.

On 21 November 2008, lava flows advanced on the NW slope. They descended to 3 km elevation. Gas-and-steam plumes drifted 80 km NW on 24 November and 20-40 km SE during 25-26 November.

The mostly active period continued from late November 2008 to early January 2009. During 28 November-10 December, Strombolian activity ejected bombs 500 m above the crater and lava effusion on the NW flank continued. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed large daily thermal anomalies in the crater. On 8 December the front of the lava flow made contact with the thick portion of the Erman Glacier, causing phreatic bursts and mudflows (figure 10). A very similar process occurred during the 2007 eruption (BGVN 32:06), and the December line of descent was also the same as in 2007. During 8-10 December, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 7.5-8 km, and drifted about 700 km E.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Lava descending Kliuchevskoi's NW slope. Lava from the crater descended over glaciers and where ice was thick in mid-flank areas, phreatic eruptions occurred. Undated photo by Yuri Demyanchuk.

During the final phase of the eruption (16 January-16 April 2009) the magnitude of volcanic tremor rapidly decreased. The volcano generated ash plumes extending 80-90 km to the NE. Fumarolic activity was seen during last days of April (figure 11).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Crossing alpine snow fields at the foot of Kliuchevskoi, a dogsled team pauses as the mountain emits gas and steam plumes on 9 April 2009. Photo by Yuri Demyanchuk.

As noted by Zharinov and Demyanchuk (2008), Shirokov (1985) studied the timing of Kliuchevskoi's volcanic eruptions with respect to lunar cycles. He found that eruptions were associated with a Moon-Earth rotational cycle of 18.6 years duration. According the Zharinov and Demyanchuk (2008), Shirokov (1985) forecast an eruptive interval during May 2006-May 2009.

References. Shirokov, V.A., 1985, Some questions method forecast flank eruption at Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): Volcanology and Seismology, no. 6, p. 48-58 (in Russian).

Zharinov, N.A., and Demyanchuk, Yu.V., 2008, The summit eruption of Kliuchevskoi volcano in 2007 (Kamchatka): Conference proceedings, dedicated to the day of volcanologists, on 27-29 March, 2008, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky: Insitute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, p. 81-89 (in Russian).

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), Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IVS), Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS), Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Olga Girina and Yuri Demyanchuk, KVERT, Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IVS); Alexei Ozerov, Active Volcanism Laboratory, Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IVS).


Koryaksky (Russia) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Koryaksky

Russia

53.321°N, 158.712°E; summit elev. 3430 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increased ash emissions during March and April 2009

Koryaksky ended ~ 51 years without fumarolic activity with an eruption late in 2008. Activity that began on about 24 December 2008 continued through 5 March 2009 (BGVN 34:01). Fresh ash deposits in early March could be seen on both the summit, E, and SSW slopes of Koryaksky, and on the NNW slope of Avachinsky (figure 4). Between the two volcanoes, the early March ash deposits reached 1-2 mm thick.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. (top) Ash plume from Koryaksky (peak at left) extending to the ESE in an eruption that left deposits of ash on Koryaksky and Avachinsky (peak at right). (bottom) Ash deposits on Koryaksky on the same date. Both photos from the town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on 7 March 2009 by A. Sokorenko.

Numerous plumes were observed during this reporting interval, 6 March to mid-April 2009 (table 1). A report from 8-14 April noted the presence of two vents on the NW flank. A small SO2 plume was noted on 20 April. Seismicity often fluctuated, with considerable intervals at background level punctuated by intervals where it was elevated. Occasional tremor was recorded, but it was often weak (low amplitude).

Table 1. A compilation of eruptive plume behavior from Koryaksky based on information from the Yelizovo Airport, KVERT, and KEMSD (the Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismological Department). The data were initially compiled by the Tokyo VAAC in reports for aviators in an effort to avoid aircraft encounters with volcanic ash. Few of the plumes were considered ash rich, most were considered as gas plumes containing small amounts of ash. Courtesy of the Tokyo VAAC.

Date Plume drift direction(s) Observations
08 Mar 2009 -- Ash reported
10 Mar 2009 SE Ash plume rose to 3.7 km
11-12 and 15 Mar 2009 S, SE, E, and N Ash plumes rose to 3-5.2 km
18 Mar-24 Mar 2009 E, S, SE, W, and NW Gas plumes containing a small amount of ash rose to 4 km. On satellite imagery plumes drifting up to 140 km away from the volcano. Ash was emitted from the upper fumarolic vent and covered the flanks.
25 Mar-31 Mar 2009 -- Gas plumes containing a small amount of ash to 3-4 km. (On 25th and 26th, gas-and-ash plumes seen on satellite imagery drifting to 225 km SE.)
01 Apr-07 Apr 2009 E, SE, S, and W Gas plumes containing a small amount of ash rose to 4 km. (During 27-28 and 31 March, and 1-2 April, gas-and-ash plumes were also seen on satellite imagery and drifted 313 km E, in southerly directions.)
08 Apr-14 Apr 2009 NE, NW, SE, and SW Gas plumes containing a small amount of ash originating from two vents on the NW flank rose to an altitude of 5.4 km. Plumes were also seen on satellite imagery and drifted 290 km in multiple directions. On 11 April, KVERT staff reported ashfall in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (30 km S). Ash accumulated to 0.1-2.5 cm thickness near the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IVS).
15 Apr-21 Apr 2009 Multiple directions, including S, SW, W, NE Gas-and-ash plumes to 3.7-4.6 km altitude; on satellite imagery (drifting 30-680 km).
17 Apr-18 Apr 2009 -- Gas plumes containing a small amount of ash drifted in multiple directions. Gas-and-ash plumes seen on satellite imagery drifted 100 km NE. (On 20 April a sulfur dioxide plume extended about 15 km.)

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Koryaksky was elevated on 6 and 8 March and at background levels during 7 and 9-13 March. Observers reported that gas plumes containing a small amount of ash rose to an altitude of 4 km and drifted in multiple directions during the week of 11-17 March. The plumes were also seen on satellite imagery.

An eruption on 9 April 2009 followed an increase in the number of local earthquakes and tremor during the previous month (figure 5). The total number of earthquakes during February 2008-December 2008 was 717. That was less than the total of 766 for the first four months in 2009, which were as follows: January, 58; February, 195; March, 239; and April, 274. High level gas-steam and ash emissions occurred during March-April. Some plumes extended more than 200 km (table 1).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Seismicity of Koryaksky (and Avachinsky, to the SE) recorded during January-April 2009. Map (left) shows location and depths of earthquakes (white line is cross-section AB; 20-km-diameter circle encloses epicenters of earthquakes plotted on histogram. Cross-section shows hypocenters projected onto the vertical plane along AB. Histogram shows daily Koryaksky earthquakes with respect to time; ascending curve is the cumulative number of earthquakes (reaching a total of 652 for the interval). Courtesy of the Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS).

On 9 April a photo was taken showing a strong ash plume emerging from fissures in the glacier on Koryaksky's NW flank. On 13 April a flight over the area enabled scientists to measure temperature around two vents (figures 6 and 7). Temperatures of the vent areas reached 400°C. This situation was attributed to glacial instability owing to melting parts of the glacier near the vents.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. A photo taken from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (~35 km N of the volcano) illustrating powerful ash-bearing emissions from the NW flank of Koryaksky. Photo taken by Sergei Ushakov 9 April 2009.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. A photo showing two vents on the NW flank of Koryaksky. The upper plume is ash rich, the other contains only gas and steam. Photo taken by Alexander Sokorenko on 18 April 2009.

Geologic Background. The large symmetrical Koryaksky stratovolcano is the most prominent landmark of the NW-trending Avachinskaya volcano group, which towers above Kamchatka's largest city, Petropavlovsk. Erosion has produced a ribbed surface on the eastern flanks of the 3430-m-high volcano; the youngest lava flows are found on the upper W flank and below SE-flank cinder cones. Extensive Holocene lava fields on the western flank were primarily fed by summit vents; those on the SW flank originated from flank vents. Lahars associated with a period of lava effusion from south- and SW-flank fissure vents about 3900-3500 years ago reached Avacha Bay. Only a few moderate explosive eruptions have occurred during historical time, but no strong explosive eruptions have been documented during the Holocene. Koryaksky's first historical eruption, in 1895, also produced a lava flow.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IV&S), Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences (FED RAS), Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/); Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service, Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS), Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.emsd.ru/~ssl/monitoring/main.htm); Alexander Sokorenko and Sergey Ushakov, IV&S; Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismological Department (KEMSD), GS RAS, Russia; Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/).


Masaya (Nicaragua) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatomagmatic explosions in August 2006; intermittent plumes through 2008

Our previous report on Masaya, in April 2006 (BGVN 31:04), summarized intermittent ash eruptions and continuing incandescence through March 2005. At that time, the visible SO2 gas emissions were the lowest seen, a condition attributed to the landslide of 2-3 March 2005 blocking the degassing vent. MODIS/MODVOLC data revealed only one pixel on 24 April 2006.

Activity during 2005-2006. The level of tremor slowly decreased from 20 RSAM units in April 2005 to 10 RSAM units a few months later. A short INETER report noted that there were no micro-earthquakes registered in October 2005. Tremor then stood at 15 RSAM (Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement) units, occurring with frequencies of 1.5 Hz. Gas fumes remained steady and strong. No activity was reported from April 2005 until 25-30 April 2006 when there was a small increase in emissions, with columns of gases rising ~ 100 m from the crater; there was also a strong odor of sulfur. During May, increased precipitation resulted in acid rains that burned the vegetation. In June, an observer reported a wall collapse in Santiago crater.

On the evening of 3 August 2006 seismic tremor began to increase, reaching approximately 130 RSAM units. This level was maintained throughout the next day; typically RSAM levels are at about 5 units. INETER volcanologists traveled to the volcano on 4 August and around 1030 observed two small phreatomagmatic explosions from the crater with dark gray ash. From the crater rim incandescence was seen at the bottom of the crater, and jet engine sounds could be heard. Civil Defense also reported that residents of Leon saw ash and gas emissions in the morning. Small amounts of ash fell in Cristo Rey, W of the volcano and in Las Marías to the N. Gas emissions remained strong on 4 August. Small explosions on the morning of 6 August again ejected ash. Activity decreased afterwards, with no further ash emissions and a drop in seismicity to 20 RSAM units. Minor gas emissions continued.

Overall during August 2006 the frequency of tremor shifted slightly from 1.5 to 2.0 Hz, which remained constant through August. Gas emissions increased in August 2006 at a point ~ 800 m from the cone. Gas emissions were released from the old crater as well. Temperatures at the San Fernando and Comalito cones remained unchanged. On 20 August, Martha Navarro (INETER) and Gustavo Chigna (INSIVUMEH, Guatemala), measured SO2 emissions with a COSPEC near El Crucero, (16 km W of the summit) and noted a level of ~ 900 tons of SO2 per day.

On 4 September 2006 tremor remained at 15 RSAM units, with frequencies of 1.5 Hz, a level that continued through October. Gas emissions remained constant, steady and strong. INETER reporting on 25 October 2006 discussed a new vent that opened on the floor of Santiago crater with a small lava lake. It displayed intense degassing. Following heavy rains, landslides spilled down the crater walls. Instability was noted at an overlook parking area.

Activity during 2007-2008. The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) provided occasional reports of plumes from 26 April 2007 to 17 December 2008, predominately from GOES-12 satellite observations. Pilots and local residents also contributed observations through the VAAC and INETER.

A steam plume that drifted WSW on 26 April 2007 was visible on satellite imagery and a web camera. Additional plumes on 9 and 12 June, with little or no ash, were noted. No further plumes were reported until 24 December 2007, when a small diffuse plume, possibly containing ash, moved SW; a change in seismicity corresponded to the emission.

Pilots reported an ash plume on 29 April 2008 that was also seen in satellite imagery moving SW at 2.1 km altitude. An explosion on 18 June 2008 registered on the seismometer E of the volcano. The event discharged moderate quantities of gas and volcanic ash, and the resulting cloud was dark in color. Nearby inhabitants felt the explosion.

Satellite imagery during August 2008 revealed plumes described as steam on 12 August and gas on 18 August, both possibly containing ash. Similar plumes on 10 and 12 September drifted ENE. Pilots reported that on 9 October an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km and drifted NNE. Analysis of satellite imagery through the rest of 2008 showed possible diffuse ash and steam plumes to the SW and S on 4-5 November, a plume with possible ash on 2 December that moved SW, and a gas plume with possible ash to an altitude of 5.3-6.1 km on 17 December.

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: Wilfried Strauch, Virginia Tenorio, and Martha Navarro, Instituto Nicaraguense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua; Jaime Cardenas Masaya Volcano National Park, Gustavo Chigna (INSIVUMEH, Guatemala); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 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/).


Popocatepetl (Mexico) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Popocatepetl

Mexico

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Tremor, numerous earthquakes, and small ash plumes

Our most recent report on Popocatépetl (BGVN 32:04) described minor explosions, sporadic ash plumes, and lava dome growth during 2006 through April 2007. The current report discusses activity from April 2007 through April 2009, when many small ash plumes were noted.

From April 2007 through April 2009, the Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED) reported modest activity at Popocatépetl, consisting largely of numerous low intensity earthquakes and tremors (figures 54 and 55), and constant degassing of low intensity steam and gas, often accompanied by ash emissions of variable intensity. Based on information from the Mexico City Meteorological Watch Office (MWO), and the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), there were 17 occasions when ash plumes rose at least 1 km above Popocatépetl's 5.4 km summit (table 19).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. Popocatépetl upper flanks seen looking SSE in October 2008. During the reporting interval, steam plumes often hung over Popocatépetl's summit. The summit area is steep and glacial covered. The volcano's crater is deep and contains a growing dome of uncertain volume. Photo taken by Julie Roberge, UNAM.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Histogram of selected annual activity at Popocatépetl. The number of earthquakes, tremors, gas, and gas + ash episodes per month between January 2007 and 1 April 2009. The amount of ash in the eruptions was modest, compared to total gas emissions. Courtesy of Julie Roberge.

Table 19. Tabulation of ash plumes rising at least 1 km above Popocatépetl's summit between 1 April 2007 and 1 April 2009. Data provided by the Mexico City Meteorological Watch Office (MWO), and the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) and a web camera operated by the Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED).

Date Plume altitude (km) Plume direction
01 Apr 2007 7.6 NE
28 Jun 2007 6.4 SSW
28 Jul 2007 7 WSW
01 Dec 2007 7.4-9.1 N, NE
31 Dec 2007 7.4 E, SE
05 Jan 2008 7.3 E, NE
28 Jan 2008 8.6 NW
12 Feb 2008 7 NE
21-22 Feb 2008 7.4 NE
08-09 Mar 2008 6.4 NE
17 Mar 2008 7.4-7.9 NE
17 Nov 2008 6.1 NW, WSW
21 Jan 2009 7 E, NE
22 Jan 2009 7.4 --
13 Feb 2009 7.2 NE
23 Mar 2009 6.7 SE
01 Apr 2009 6.4 --

According to information provided by the Mexican National University geologist Julie Roberge, the tremors lasted from minutes to hours and varied in frequency and amplitude, but were mostly of low amplitude. The microearthquakes were also of low magnitude (M 2-3) with variable depths; epicenters were typically within 10 km of the crater. Plumes consisting of gas, and gas and ash, and seismicity consisting of earthquakes and tremor varied during 2007 through April 2009 (figure 55).

According to Roberge and others (2009), the deep degassing observed in the ongoing eruption of Popocatépetl may indicate an essentially intrusive event, rather than a convective process. The hypothesis of deep magma degassing beneath Popocatépetl is consistent with observations regarding degassing at the summit that suggest separation of magma and gas at depth beneath the volcano. According to additional information provided us by Roberge, the high gas flux is not associated with processes in the central conduit. The volcano has an elliptical crater (600 m by 800 m). Most of the lava that formed domes was extruded through the crater's major central vent (about 30 m wide). However, several other vents were formed in the crater during the explosive events of 1995. These vents are aligned N-S, and the largest has been the site of long term degassing but only rare extrusion of lava. The smaller secondary vents are ephemeral and their activities depend on the explosive events that reopen them. Often, the most vigorous release of gas occurs from the E vent, and thus much of the degassing seems unrelated to the central vent and conduit from which the lava domes form.

Between April 2007 and April 2009, thermal anomalies at Popocatépetl were detected every month by MODVOLC. The number of thermal anomalies per month ranged from three to seventeen, mostly one pixel, but occasionally two pixels, and once three pixels.

As reported in BGVN 32:04, a lava dome irregularly growing since July 2005 covered the floor of the internal crater. People studying the volcano have lacked an image of the dome and crater since 2007, leaving its later status and volume uncertain.

Reference. Roberge, J., Delgado-Granados, H., and Wallace, P. 2009. Mafic magma recharge supplies high CO2 and SO2 gas fluxes from Popocatépetl volcano, Mexico: Geology v. 37, no. 2, pp. 107-110.

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

Information Contacts: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENEPRED), Av. Delfín Madrigal No.665. Coyoacan, México D.F. 04360, México (URL: https://www.gob.mx/cenapred/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); Julie Roberge, Instituto de Geología, Dept. Geoquimíca, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México (UNAM), Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán D.F.(Federal District of Mexico City) 04510, Mexico.


Reventador (Ecuador) — March 2009 Citation iconCite this Report

Reventador

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava extrudes down two flanks during November 2008-April 2009

Our previous report covered activity through early August 2008, a period that included extrusions of lava flows (BGVN 33:08). This report continues through late April 2009, including a hiatus for much of August into November 2008. In early November observers saw repeated small eruptions emitting plumes with generally minor ash, Strombolian eruptions, and lava flows down two flanks. What follows summarizes reports from the Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG).

The last paragraph of the main section of this report discusses an important temporal and spatial correlation made at the volcano on 23 April 2009. The IG correlated satellite thermal data and ground-based observations with high tremor and acoustical noise.

An IG daily report issued 8 August 2008 noted a lack of movement in the lava flows and the emission of gas plumes without ash. That night, glow was observed from the crater. On 18 August, amid rainy conditions, a possible lahar was noted. Except for ongoing seismicity, relative calm prevailed until early November.

The IG noted glow from the crater the night of 7 November, an observation confirmed in satellite thermal data. At 1900 on 8 November high-amplitude seismic signals saturated the seismic stations. Local observers saw an ash-and-steam column that evening to 2 km above the crater. The ash content was moderate. Another IG report noted that in the settlements of Chaco and Quijos residents could hear strong explosions and see gas plumes with low ash content. A pilot report stated the plume blew NW and reached an approximate estimated altitude of 7.6 km.

Special Report 6 (9 November) included a plot of seismicity since 1 February 2007 (figure 29). Long-period (LP) earthquakes began to dominate in March 2008 and the large spike around 8-9 November 2008 was outstanding compared to the recent pattern. Another larger spike in seismicity had been seen during mid-March 2007, but it was composed of volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. A histogram of daily seismicity for Reventador during 1 February 2007 to 8 or 9 November 2008. The plot includes harmonic tremor (TR. ARM.) and special kinds of tremor (TR. ESP.) in addition to more typically plotted event types (LP earthquakes, VT earthquakes, and hybrid (HB) earthquakes). Courtesy of IG (from their Special Report No. 6, issued 9 November 2008).

A follow up report on 11 November stated that Reventador had discharged moderate strombolian explosions on 9-10 November, with ongoing lava flows on the N and S flanks of the central cone. Both the summit eruptions and the flank flows were conspicuous at night.

SO2 emissions were clear in Aura/OMI imagery of 9 and 10 November (figure 30). About a day later, Reventador calmed considerably (with seismicity dropping strongly after 1000 on 11 November). The escalating activity drove IG to install two more seismometers, two infrasonic sensors, and a monitoring camera.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. Spectroscopic measurements of SO2 taken by the Aura/OMI satellite on 9 November 2009 from eruptions at Reventador. The smaller plume to the N is from Galeras. Courtesy of Simon Carn and the OMI Sulfur Dioxide Group.

The IG's Special Reports of 10 and 11 November (Numbers 7 and 8) offered further information. Lava flows had descended to below 2,600 m elevation (the summit is at 3,562 m elevation but the vent elevation was not stated). During the night of 9 November incandescent ejecta rose 100 m above the crater, along with continuous roars and canon-shot noises. Although light ash fell in Cayambe on 9 November, other towns in the region had not been affected. Strombolian emissions had calmed some on the night of 10 November. After 1000 on 11 November, both gas emissions and seismicity calmed.

Seismicity increased starting on 15 December 2008, and remained elevated through 8 January 2009. During 3-8 January there were almost constant gas emissions (with ash contents moderate to low), small-to-moderate explosions, and tremor lasting several hours. The tremor was accompanied by roaring noises and the ejection of blocks that landed near the summit. Explosions and emission tremors were of variable intensity, causing windows in nearby towns to vibrate. Ash rose 2 km above the summit and drifted W, causing ashfall in the towns of El Manzano, Choglontus, Palictahua, and Cahuají.

After 8 January 2009, the IG reported the steady decrease of seismic activity. There were a few explosions and water vapor emissions with low ash content reaching heights of 1-1.5 km above the crater. These plumes drifted W and SW, with reported minor ashfall in the towns mentioned above. Associated with these emissions, observers heard sporadic roaring noises. Seismic activity continued to decrease during the latter part of January 2009 and into February 2009. Although in mid-February 2009 there was a mild increase in seismicity, overall the level remained low. A single observation revealed the presence of a small column of steam and gas.

During 16-22 February seismic activity remained low, with few seismic events and signals associated with fluid movements at depth. The number of rockfalls was significant, even compared to that seen during cooling of the lava flow from November 2008. During this week there were various episodes of harmonic tremor and explosions. During 23 February-15 March 2009 there was a slight increase in the number of low-intensity seismic events attributed to fluids at depth. There was a later decrease in seismicity.

IG's 2009 Special Report Number 1 (26 March) noted a seismic increase on 26 March, which they again attributed to fluids moving within the volcanic edifice. After 1000 on the 26th, instruments detected a seismic swarm consisting of both LP and hybrid earthquakes, intercalated with banded tremor, the later of which had a 4-hour duration. From past experience, the IG inferred these signals could reflect the onset of new lava approaching the surface.

Special Report Number 2 (23 April) noted that later on the 26th the signals dropped off and remained low through at least early 23 April. Despite low seismicity, there were both episodes of banded tremor and intercalated LP earthquakes.

The tremor was of variable amplitudes, including some that saturated local seismic stations, particularly between 0500 and 0700 on 23 April 2009. On that day, a low, gas-rich cloud blew W from Reventador. Several residents living near the volcano also heard loud noises. A satellite-detected thermal hotspot on the volcano beginning at 0300 continued, with high intensity, between 0500 and 0700. The presence of the highest intensity thermal anomalies coincided with the highest tremor amplitudes and audible noises. Multiple MODVOLC thermal alerts were detected on 24-25 April and on 8 and 10 May 2009.

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: Geophysical Institute (IG), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Apartado 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Simon Carn, Dept of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).

Atmospheric Effects

The enormous aerosol cloud from the March-April 1982 eruption of Mexico's El Chichón persisted for years in the stratosphere, and led to the Atmospheric Effects section becoming a regular feature of the Bulletin. Descriptions of the initial dispersal of major eruption clouds remain with the individual eruption reports, but observations of long-term stratospheric aerosol loading will be found in this section.

Atmospheric Effects (1980-1989)  Atmospheric Effects (1995-2001)

Special Announcements

Special announcements of various kinds and obituaries.

Special Announcements  Obituaries

Misc Reports

Reports are sometimes published that are not related to a Holocene volcano. These might include observations of a Pleistocene volcano, earthquake swarms, or floating pumice. Reports are also sometimes published in which the source of the activity is unknown or the report is determined to be false. All of these types of additional reports are listed below by subject.

Additional Reports  False Reports