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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

Sheveluch (Russia) New whaleback dome extruded in late September 2020; intermittent explosions

Erta Ale (Ethiopia) Thermal anomalies persist in the summit crater during May-September 2020

Merapi (Indonesia) Eruptions in April and June 2020 produced ash plumes and ashfall

Semeru (Indonesia) Ash plumes, lava flows, avalanches, and pyroclastic flows during March-August 2020

Kavachi (Solomon Islands) Discolored water plumes observed in satellite imagery during early September 2020

Krakatau (Indonesia) Eruption ends in mid-April 2020, but intermittent thermal anomalies continue

Raung (Indonesia) Eruptions confirmed during 2012- 2013; lava fills inner crater in November 2014-August 2015

Klyuchevskoy (Russia) Strombolian activity, gas-and-steam and ash plumes, and a lava flow during June-early July 2020

Fuego (Guatemala) Ongoing explosions, ash plumes, lava flows, and lahars during April-July 2020

Nishinoshima (Japan) Major June-July eruption of lava, ash, and sulfur dioxide; activity declines in August 2020

Turrialba (Costa Rica) New eruptive period on 18 June 2020 consisted of ash eruptions

Etna (Italy) Effusive activity in early April; frequent Strombolian explosions and ash emissions during April-July 2020



Sheveluch (Russia) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New whaleback dome extruded in late September 2020; intermittent explosions

The ongoing eruption at Sheveluch continued during May-October 2020, characterized by lava dome growth, strong fumarolic activity, and several explosions that generated plumes of resuspended ash. Activity waned between November 2019 and April 2020 (BGVN 45:05), and this less intense level of activity continued during the reporting period (table 15). The volcano is monitored by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT). The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) throughout.

Notable explosions took place on 13 June, 28 June, 2 August, 24 August, and 7-9 October 2020 (table 15), sending ash plumes more than 1 km above the summit that drifted to distances of between 75 and 310 km. Some of the plumes were described by KVERT as being composed of re-suspended ash. On 28 September a large dacitic block of lava, a “whaleback” dome, was first seen being extruded from the eastern part of the larger lava dome in the summit crater (figure 55); it was given the name “Dolphin” by KVERT.

Table 15. Explosions, ash plumes, and extrusive activity at Sheveluch during May-October 2020. Dates and times are UTC, not local. VONA is Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation. Data courtesy of KVERT and the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Dates Plume altitude Drift Distance and Direction Remarks
13 Jun 2020 5 km 120 km NE Webcam captured an explosion. VONA issued.
28 Jun 2020 -- 140 km E Plume of re-suspended ash. VONA issued.
02 Aug 2020 4.5 km SE, E Moderate explosion produced a small ash plume.
24 Aug 2020 -- 75 km ESE Plume of resuspended ash.
28 Sep 2020 -- -- A new lava block extruded from the E part of the lava dome was first visible.
07-09 Oct 2020 -- 310 km SE Plume of re-suspended ash. VONAs issued.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Photo of the Sheveluch summit showing the new lava block (referred to as “Dolphin”) being extruded in eastern part the lava dome on 28 September 2020. Photo by Yu. Demyanchuk; courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

According to KVERT, a thermal anomaly was identified from the lava dome in the summit crater (figure 56) in satellite images every day during the reporting period, except for several days in August and September when weather clouds obscured the view. During the reporting period, thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, recorded hotspots from 2-13 days per month; after June, the number of days with hotspots gradually diminished every month. The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system, also based on analysis of MODIS data, detected frequent anomalies. NASA recorded high levels of sulfur dioxide above or near Sheveluch during several scattered days in May and June by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite, but very little drift was observed.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. Photo showing typical fumarolic activity from the lava dome at Sheveluch on 18 September 2020. Photo by Yu. Demyanchuk; courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); 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/).


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

Erta Ale

Ethiopia

13.6°N, 40.67°E; summit elev. 613 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thermal anomalies persist in the summit crater during May-September 2020

Erta Ale is an active basaltic volcano in Ethiopia, containing multiple active pit craters in the summit and southeastern caldera. Volcanism has been characterized by lava flows and large lava flow fields since 2017. This report describes continued thermal activity in the summit caldera during May through September 2020 using information from various satellite data.

Volcanism at Erta Ale was relatively low from May to early August 2020. Across all satellite data, thermal anomalies were identified for a total of 2 days in May, 7 days in June, 4 days in July, 11 days in August, and 15 days in September. Beginning in early June and into September 2020 the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity graph provided by the MIROVA system identified a small cluster of thermal anomalies in the summit area after a brief hiatus from early January 2020 (figure 99). By mid-August, a small pulse of thermal activity was detected by the MIROVA (Middle Infrared Observation of Volcanic Activity) system. Many of these thermal anomalies were seen in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery on clear weather days from June to September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 99. A small cluster of thermal anomalies were detected in the summit area of Erta Ale (red dots) during June-September 2020 as recorded by the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity data (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of MIROVA.

On 12 June a minor thermal anomaly was observed in the S pit crater; a larger anomaly was detected on 17 June in the summit caldera where there had been a previous lava lake (figure 100). In mid-August, satellite data showed thermal anomalies in both the N and S pit craters, but by 5 September only the N crater showed elevated temperatures (figure 101). The thermal activity in the N summit caldera persisted through September, based on satellite data from NASA VIIRS and Sentinel Hub Playground.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 100. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery of Erta Ale on 17 June 2020 showing a strong thermal anomaly in the summit caldera. Sentinel-2 satellite image with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 101. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery of Erta Ale showing thermal anomalies in the N and S pit craters on 21 (top left), 26 (top right), and 31 (bottom left) August 2020. On 5 September (bottom right) only the anomaly in the N crater remained. Sentinel-2 satellite image with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

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


Merapi (Indonesia) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptions in April and June 2020 produced ash plumes and ashfall

Merapi, located just north of the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is a highly active stratovolcano; the current eruption began in May 2018. Volcanism has recently been characterized by lava dome growth and collapse, small block-and-ash flows, explosions, ash plumes, ashfall, and pyroclastic flows (BGVN 44:10 and 45:04). Activity has recently consisted of three large eruptions in April and June, producing dense gray ash plumes and ashfall in June. Dominantly, white gas-and-steam emissions have been reported during April-September 2020. The primary reporting source of activity comes from Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG, the Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology, a branch of PVMBG), the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

Activity at Merapi dominantly consisted of frequent white gas-and-steam emissions that generally rose 20-600 m above the crater (figure 95). On 2 April an eruption occurred at 1510, producing a gray ash plume that rose 3 km above the crater, and accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions up to 600 m above the crater. A second explosion on 10 April at 0910 generated a gray ash plume rising 3 km above the crater and drifting NW, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions rising 300 m above the crater (figure 96). Activity over the next six weeks consisted primarily of gas-and-steam emissions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 95. Gas-and-steam emissions were frequently observed rising from Merapi as seen on 3 April (left) and 4 August (right) 2020. Courtesy of BPPTKG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. Webcam image showed an ash plume rising 3 km above the crater of Merapi at 0917 on 10 April 2020. Courtesy of BPPTKG and MAGMA Indonesia.

On 8 June PVMBG reported an increase in seismicity. Aerial photos from 13 June taken using drones were used to measure the lava dome, which had decreased in volume to 200,000 m3, compared to measurements from 19 February 2020 (291,000 m3). On 21 June two explosions were recorded at 0913 and 0927; the first explosion lasted less than six minutes while the second was less than two minutes. A dense, gray ash plume reached 6 km above the crater drifting S, W, and SW according to the Darwin VAAC notice and CCTV station (figure 97), which resulted in ashfall in the districts of Magelang, Kulonprogo, and as far as the Girimulyo District (45 km). During 21-22 June the gas-and-steam emissions rose to a maximum height of 6 km above the crater. The morphology of the summit crater had slightly changed by 22 June. Based on photos from the Ngepos Post, about 19,000 m3 of material had been removed from the SW part of the summit, likely near or as part of the crater rim. On 11 and 26 July new measurements of the lava dome were taken, measuring 200,000 m3 on both days, based on aerial photos using drones. Gas-and-steam emissions continued through September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 97. Webcam image showed an ash plume rising 6 km above the crater of Merapi at 0915 on 21 June 2020. Courtesy of BPPTKG.

Geologic Background. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2,000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequent growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kebencanaan Geologi (BPPTKG), Center for Research and Development of Geological Disaster Technology (URL: http://merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/, Twitter: @BPPTKG); Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/).


Semeru (Indonesia) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes, lava flows, avalanches, and pyroclastic flows during March-August 2020

Semeru in eastern Java, Indonesia, has been erupting almost continuously since 1967 and is characterized by ash plumes, pyroclastic flows, lava flows and lava avalanches down drainages on the SE flanks. The Alert Level has remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4) since May 2012, and the public reminded to stay outside of the general 1-km radius from the summit and 4 km on the SSE flank. This report updates volcanic activity from March to August 2020, using primary information from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), and satellite data.

Activity at Semeru consisted of dominantly dense white-gray ash plumes rising 100-600 m above the crater, incandescent material that was ejected 10-50 m high and descended 300-2,000 from the summit crater, and lava flows measuring 500-1,000 m long. Two pyroclastic flows were also observed, extending 2.3 km from the summit crater in March and 2 km on 17 April.

During 1-2 March gray ash plumes rose 200-500 m above the crater, accompanied by incandescent material that was ejected 10-50 m above the Jonggring-Seloko Crater. Lava flows reaching 500-1,000 m long traveled down the Kembar, Bang, and Kobokan drainages on the S flank. During 4-10 March ash plumes up to 200 m high were interspersed with 100-m-high white gas-and-steam plumes. At the end of a 750-m-long lava flow on the S flank, a pyroclastic flow that lasted 9 minutes traveled as far as 2.3 km. During 25-31 March incandescent material found at the end of the lava flow descended 700-950 m from the summit crater (figure 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed lava avalanches descending the SSE flank on 26 March 2020. Images using short-wave infrared (SWIR, bands 12, 8A, 4) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Incandescent material continued to be observed in April, rising 10-50 m above the Jonggring-Seloko Crater. Some incandescent material descended from the ends of lava flows as far as 700-2,000 m from the summit crater. Dense white-gray ash plumes rose 100-600 m above the crater drifting N, SE, and SW. During 15-21 April incandescent lava flows traveled 500-1,000 m down the Kembar, Bang, and Kobokan drainages on the S flank. On 17 April at 0608 a pyroclastic flow was observed on the S flank in the Bang drainage measuring 2 km (figure 43). During 22-28 April lava blocks traveled 300 m from the end of lava flows in the Kembar drainage.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. A pyroclastic flow at Semeru on 17 April 2020 moving down the S flank toward Besuk Bang. Photo has been color corrected. Courtesy of PVMBG.

Similar activity continued in May, with incandescent material from lava flows in the Kembar and Kobokan drainages descending a maximum distance of 2 km during 29 April-12 May, and 200-1,200 m in the Kembar drainage during 13-27 May, accompanied by dense white-gray ash plumes rising 100-500 m above the crater drifting in different directions. White gas-and-steam plumes rose 300 m above the crater on 26-27 May. Dense white-to-gray ash plumes were visible most days during June, rising 100-500 m above the crater and drifting in various directions. During 3-9 June incandescent material from lava flows descended 200-1,600 m in the Kembar drainage.

Activity in July had decreased slightly and consisted of primarily dense white-gray ash plumes that ranged from 200-500 m above the crater and drifted W, SW, N, and S. Weather conditions often prevented visual observations. On 7 July an ash plume at 0633 rose 400 m drifting W. Similar ash activity was observed in August rising 200-500 m above the crater. On 14 and 16 August a Darwin VAAC advisory stated that white-gray ash plumes rose 300-400 m above the crater, drifting W and WSW; on 16 August a thermal anomaly was observed in satellite imagery. MAGMA Indonesia reported ash plumes were visible during 19-31 August and rose 200-400 m above the crater, drifting S and SW.

Hotspots were recorded by MODVOLC on 11, 6, and 7 days during March, April, and May, respectively, with as many as four pixels in March. Thermal activity decreased to a single hotspot in July and none in August. The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system recorded numerous thermal anomalies at the volcano during March-July; a lower number was recorded during August (figure 44). The NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide page showed high levels of sulfur dioxide above or near Semeru on 18, 24-25, and 29-31 March, and 9 April.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Thermal anomalies at Semeru detected during March-June 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MAGMA Indonesia (Multiplatform Application for Geohazard Mitigation and Assessment in Indonesia), PVMBG, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); 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).


Kavachi (Solomon Islands) — October 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 observed in satellite imagery during early September 2020

Kavachi is an active submarine volcano in the SW Pacific, located in the Solomon Islands south of Gatokae and Vangunu islands. Volcanism has been characterized by phreatomagmatic explosions that ejected steam, ash, and incandescent bombs. The previous report described discolored water plumes extending from a single point during early 2018 and April 2020 (BGVN 45:05); similar activity was recorded for this current reporting period covering May through September 2020 and primarily using satellite data.

Activity at Kavachi is most frequently observed through satellite images and typically consists of discolored submarine plumes. On 2 September 2020 a slight yellow discoloration in the water was observed extending E from a specific point (figure 22). Similar faint plumes continued to be recorded on 5, 7, 12, and 17 September, each of which seemed to be drifting generally E from a point source above the summit where previous activity has occurred. On 7 September the discolored plume was accompanied by white degassing and possibly agitated water on the surface at the origin point (figure 22).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Sentinel-2 satellite images of a discolored plume (light yellow) at Kavachi beginning on 2 September (top left) and continuing through 17 September 2020 (bottom right). The light blue circle on the 7 September image highlights the surface degassing and source of the discolored water plume. The white arrow on the bottom right image is pointing to the faint discolored plume. 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).


Krakatau (Indonesia) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption ends in mid-April 2020, but intermittent thermal anomalies continue

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. Presently, the caldera is underwater, except for three surrounding islands (Verlaten, Lang, and Rakata) and the active Anak Krakatau that was constructed within the 1883 caldera and has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927. 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). A larger explosion in December 2019 produced the beginnings of a new cone above the surface of crater lake (BGVN 45:02). The previous report (BGVN 45:06) described activity that included Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, and crater incandescence. This report updates information from June through September 2020 using information primarily from Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, also known as Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG) and satellite data.

A VONA notice from PVMBG reported that the last eruptive event at Krakatau was reported on 17 April 2020, though the eruptive column was not observed. Activity after that was relatively low through September 2020, primarily intermittent diffuse white gas-and-steam emissions, according to PVMBG. No activity was reported during June-August, except for minor seismicity. During 11-13, 16, and 18 September, the CCTV Lava93 webcam showed intermittent white gas-and-steam emissions rising 25-50 m above the crater.

The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) graph of MODIS thermal anomaly data showed intermittent hotspots within 5 km of the crater from May through September (figure 113). Some of these thermal hotspots were also detected in Suomi NPP/VIIRS sensor data. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed faint thermal anomalies in the crater during June; no thermal activity was detected after June (figure 114).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 113. Intermittent thermal activity at Anak Krakatau from 13 October 2019-September 2020 shown on a MIROVA Low Radiative Power graph. The power of the thermal anomalies decreased after activity in April but continued intermittently through September. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 114. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing a faint thermal anomaly in the crater during 1 (left) and 11 (right) June 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/); 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); NASA Worldview (URL: https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/).


Raung (Indonesia) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Raung

Indonesia

8.119°S, 114.056°E; summit elev. 3260 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruptions confirmed during 2012- 2013; lava fills inner crater in November 2014-August 2015

A massive stratovolcano in easternmost Java, Raung has over sixty recorded eruptions dating back to the late 16th Century. Explosions with ash plumes, Strombolian activity, and lava flows from a cinder cone within the 2-km-wide summit crater have been the most common activity. Visual reports of activity have often come from commercial airline flights that pass near the summit; Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) has installed webcams to monitor activity in recent years. An eruption in 2015 produced a large volume of lava within the summit crater and formed a new pyroclastic cone in the same location as the previous one. Confirmation and details of eruptions in 2012, 2013, and 2014-2015 are covered in this report with information provided by PVMBG, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), several sources of satellite data, and visitors to the volcano.

Newly available visual and satellite information confirm eruptions at Raung during October 2012-January 2013, June-July 2013, and extend the beginning of the 2015 eruption back to November 2014. The 2015 eruption was the largest in several decades; Strombolian activity was reported for many months and fresh lava flows covered the crater floor. Raung was quiet after the 2015 eruption ended in August of that year until July 2020.

Eruption during October 2012-January 2013. A MODVOLC thermal alert appeared inside the summit crater of Raung on 14 October 2012, followed by another four alerts on 16 October. Multiple daily alerts were reported on many days through 8 November, most within the main crater. Single alerts appeared on 29 November and 1 December 2012 (figure 9). PVMBG raised the Alert Level on 17 October from 1 to 2 due to increased seismicity and raised it further to Level 3 on 22 October. A local news report by Aris Yanto indicted that a minor Strombolian eruption occurred inside the crater on 19 October. Strombolian activity was also observed inside the inner crater on 5 November 2012 by visitors (figure 10); they reported loud rumbling sounds that could be heard up to 15 km from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Thermal activity at Raung during October and November 2012 included multiple days of multi-pixel anomalies, with almost all activity concentrated within the summit crater. Strombolian activity was observed on 5 November. Image shows all pixels from 23 September-1 December 2012. Courtesy of MODVOLC.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Strombolian activity was observed inside the inner crater of Raung on 5 November 2012 by visitors. They reported loud rumbling sounds that could be heard up to 15 km from the crater. Photo by Galih, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

The Darwin VAAC issued an advisory of an eruption plume to 9.1 km altitude reported at 0237 UTC on 8 November 2012. In a second advisory about two hours later they noted that an ash plume was not visible in satellite imagery. A press article released by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) indicated that gray ash plumes were observed on 6 January 2013 that rose 300 m above the summit crater rim. Incandescence was observed around the crater and thundering explosions were heard by nearby residents.

Eruption during June-July 2013. Two MODVOLC thermal alerts were measured inside the summit crater on 29 June 2013. A photo taken on 21 July showed minor Strombolian activity at the inner crater (figure 11). A weak SO2 anomaly was detected in the vicinity of Raung by the OMI instrument on the Aura satellite on 27 July. Thermal alerts were recorded on 29 and 31 July. When Google Earth imageryrom 14 March 2011 created by Maxar Technologies is compared with imagery from 29 July 2013 captured by Landsat/Copernicus, dark tephra is filling the inner crater in the 2013 image; it was not present in 2011 (figure 12).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Strombolian activity was observed inside the inner crater at the summit of Raung on 21 July 2013. Photo by Agus Kurniawan, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Satellite imagery from Google Earth showing the eroded pyroclastic cone inside the summit crater of Raung on 14 March 2011 (left) and 29 July 2013 (right). Dark tephra deposits filling the inner crater in the 2013 image were not present in 2011. The crater of the pyroclastic cone is 200 m wide; N is to the top of the images. Courtesy of Google Earth.

Eruption during November 2014-August 2015. Information about this eruption was previously reported (BGVN 41:12), but additional details are provided here. Landsat-8 imagery from 28 October 2014 indicated clear skies and little activity within the summit crater. Local observers reported steam plumes beginning in mid-November (figure 13). MODVOLC thermal alerts within the summit crater were issued on 28 and 30 November, and then 15 alerts were issued on seven days in December. Thermal Landsat-8 imagery from cloudy days on 29 November and 15 December indicated an anomaly over the area of the pyroclastic cone inside the summit crater (figure 14).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Local observers reported steam plumes at Raung beginning in mid-November 2014; this one was photographed on 17 November 2014. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Satellite evidence of new eruptive activity at Raung first appeared on 29 November 2014. The true color-pansharpened Landsat-8 image of Raung from 28 October 2014 (left) shows the summit crater and an eroded pyroclastic cone with its own crater (the inner crater) with no apparent activity. Although dense meteoric clouds on 29 November (center) and 15 December 2014 (right) blocked true color imagery, thermal imagery indicated a thermal anomaly from the center of the pyroclastic cone on both dates. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

In January 2015 the MODVOLC system identified 25 thermal anomalies in MODIS data, with a peak of eight alerts on 8 January. Visitors to the summit crater on 6 January witnessed explosions from the inner crater approximately every 40 minutes that produced gas and small amounts of ash and tephra. They reported lava flowing continuously from the inner crater onto the larger crater floor, and incandescent activity was seen at night (figure 15). Landsat-8 images from 16 January showed a strong thermal anomaly covering an area of fresh lava (figure 16).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Visitors to the summit crater of Raung on 6 January 2015 witnessed explosions from the inner crater approximately every 40 minutes that produced abundant gas and small amounts of ash and tephra. Lava was flowing continuously from the inner crater onto the larger crater floor, and incandescent activity was observed at night. Photos by Sofya Klimova, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. On a clear 16 January 2015, Landsat-8 satellite imagery revealed fresh lava flows NW of the pyroclastic cone within the summit crater at Raung. A strong thermal anomaly matches up with the dark material, suggesting that it flowed NW from within the pyroclastic cone. Left image is true color-pansharpened rendering, right image is thermal rendering. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Satellite images were obscured by meteoric clouds during February 2015, but PVMBG reported gray and brown plumes rising 300 m multiple times and incandescence and rumbling on 14 February. Visitors to the summit crater during the second half of February reported Strombolian activity with lava fountains from the inner crater, at times as frequently as every 15 minutes (figure 17). Loud explosions and rumbling were heard 10-15 km away. MODVOLC thermal alerts stopped on 25 February and did not reappear until late June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. A report issued on 25 February 2015 from visitors to the summit of Ruang noted large Strombolian explosions with incandescent ejecta and lava flowing across the crater floor. The fresh lava on the crater floor covered a noticeably larger area than that shown in early January (figure 15). Photo by Andi, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

PVMBG raised the Alert Level to 2 in mid-March 2015. Weak thermal anomalies located inside and NW of the pyroclastic cone were present in satellite imagery on 21 March. PVMBG reported gray and brown emissions during March, April, and May rising as high as 300 m above the crater. Landsat imagery from 22 April showed a small emission inside the pyroclastic cone, and on 8 May showed a clearer view of the fresh black lava NW and SW of the pyroclastic cone (figure 18).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Fresh lava was visible in Landsat-8 satellite imagery in April and May 2015 at Raung. A small emission was present inside the pyroclastic cone at the summit of Raung on 22 April 2015 (left). Fresh dark material is also evident in the SW quadrant of the summit crater that was not visible on 16 January 2015. A clear view on 8 May 2015 also shows the extent of the fresh black material around the pyroclastic cone (right). The summit crater is 2 km wide. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Nine MODVOLC thermal alerts appeared inside the summit crater on 21 June 2015 after no alerts since late February, suggesting an increase in activity. The Darwin VAAC issued the first ash advisory for 2015 on 24 June noting an aviation report of recent ash. The following day the Ujung Pandang Meteorological Weather Office (MWO) reported an ash emission drifting W at 3.7 km altitude. The same day, 25 June, Landsat-8 imagery clearly showed a new lava flow on the W side of the crater and a strong thermal anomaly. The thermal data showed a point source of heat widening SW from the center of the crater and a second point source of heat that appeared to be inside the pyroclastic cone. A small ash plume was visible over the cone (figure 19). Strombolian activity and ash plumes were reported by BNPB and PVMBG in the following days. On 26 June the Darwin VAAC noted the hotspot had remained visible in infrared imagery for several days. PVMBG reported an ash emission to 3 km altitude on 29 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. A new lava flow and strong thermal anomaly appeared inside the summit crater of Raung on 25 June 2015 in Landsat-8 imagery. The new flow was visible on the W side of the crater. The darker area extending SW from the rising ash plume is a shadow. The thermal data showed a point source of heat widening SW from the center of the crater and spreading out in the SW quadrant and a second point source of heat on the flank of the pyroclastic cone. Left image is True color-pansharpened rendering, and right image is thermal rendering. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity increased significantly during July 2015 (BGVN 41:12). Ash plumes rose as high as 6.7 km altitude and drifted hundreds of kilometers in multiple directions, forcing multiple shutdowns at airports on Bali and Lombok, as well as Banyuwangi and Jember in East Java. The Darwin VAAC issued 152 ash advisories during the month. Ashfall was reported up to 20 km W during July and 20-40 km SE during early August. Visitors to the summit in early July observed a new pyroclastic cone growing inside the inner crater from incandescent ejecta and dense ash emissions (figure 20). Landsat-8 imagery from 11 July showed a dense ash plume drifting SE, fresh black lava covering the 2-km-wide summit caldera floor, and a very strong thermal anomaly most intense at the center near the pyroclastic cone and cooler around the inner edges of the crater (figure 21). On 12 July, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a view of an ash-and-gas plume drifting hundreds of kilometers SE from Raung (figure 22).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. A new pyroclastic cone was growing inside the inner crater at the summit of Raung when photographed by Aris Yanto in early July 2015. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Landsat-8 imagery of Raung during July 2015 indicated dense ash emissions and a large thermal anomaly caused by fresh lava. On 11 July a dense ash plume drifted SE and a strong thermal anomaly was centered inside the summit crater. The 2-km-wide crater floor was covered with fresh lava (compare with 25 June image in figure 19). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. On 12 July 2015 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a natural-color view of a plume of ash and volcanic gases drifting hundreds of kilometers SE from Raung. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

A satellite image on 20 July showed fresh incandescent lava covering the floor of the summit crater and a dense ash plume drifting N from the summit (figure 23). Incandescent ejecta emerged from two vents on the new pyroclastic cone inside the inner crater on 26 July (figure 24). On 27 July a dense ash plume was visible again in satellite imagery drifting NW and the hottest part of the thermal anomaly was in the SE quadrant of the crater (figure 25). Substantial SO2 plumes were recorded by the OMI instrument on the Aura satellite during July and early August 2015 (figure 26).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. A satellite image of the summit of Raung on 20 July 2015 showed fresh, incandescent lava covering the floor of the summit crater and a dense ash plume drifting N from the summit. Thermal activity on the NE flank was likely the result of incandescent ejecta from the crater causing a fire. Image created by DigitalGlobe, captured by WorldView3, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Incandescent ejecta emerged from two vents on the new pyroclastic cone growing inside the inner crater of Raung on 26 July 2015. Photo by Vianney Tricou, used with permission, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Landsat-8 imagery of Raung during July 2015 indicated dense ash emissions and large thermal anomalies from fresh lava. The 2-km-wide crater floor was fully covered with fresh lava by 11 July. On 27 July the dense ash plume was drifting NW and the highest heat was concentrated in the SE quadrant of the crater. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Substantial plumes of sulfur dioxide from Raung were measured by the OMI instrument on the AURA satellite during July and August 2015. The first plumes were measured in mid-June; they intensified during the second half of July and the first week of August, but had decreased by mid-August. Wind directions were highly variable throughout the period. The date is recorded above each image. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Page.

Significant ash emissions continued into early August 2015 with numerous flight cancellations. The Darwin VAAC reported ash plumes rising to 5.2 km altitude and extending as far as 750 km SE during the first two weeks in August (figure 27). Satellite imagery indicated a small ash plume drifting W from the center of the crater on 12 August and weak thermal anomalies along the E and S rim of the floor of the crater (figure 28). The summit crater was covered with fresh lava on 14 August when viewed by visitors, and ash emissions rose a few hundred meters above the crater rim from a vent in the SW side of the pyroclastic cone (figure 29). The visitors observed pulsating ash emissions rising from the SW vent on the large double-crater new cinder cone. The larger vent to the NE was almost entirely inactive except for two small, weakly effusive vents on its inner walls.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. A dense ash plume drifted many kilometers S from Raung on 2 August 2015 in this view from nearly 100 km W. Incandescence at the summit indicated ongoing activity from the major 2015 eruption. In the foreground is Lamongan volcano whose last known eruption occurred in 1898. Courtesy of Øystein Lund Andersen, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Landsat-8 satellite imagery of Raung indicated a small ash plume drifting W from the center of the crater on 12 August 2015. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. The summit crater of Raung on 14 August 2015 was filled with fresh lava from an eruption that began in November 2014. Ash emissions from a vent in the side of the newly grown pyroclastic cone within the crater rose a few hundred meters above the crater rim. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

The lengthy sequence of multiple daily VAAC reports that began in late June ended on 16 August 2015 with reports becoming more intermittent and ash plume heights rising to only 3.7-3.9 km altitude. Multiple discontinuous eruptions to 3.9 km altitude were reported on 18 August. The plumes extended about 100 km NW. The last report of an ash plume was from an airline on 22 August noting a low-level plume 50 km NW. Two MODVOLC alerts were issued that day. By 28 August only a very small steam plume was present at the center of the crater; the southern half of the edge of the crater floor still had small thermal anomalies (figure 30). The last single MODVOLC thermal alerts were on 29 August and 7 September. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 on 24 August 2015, and further lowered to 1 on 20 October 2016.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. By 28 August 2015 only a very small steam plume was present at the center of the summit crater of Raung, and the southern half of the edge of the crater floor only had weak thermal anomalies from cooling lava. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Raung, one of Java's most active volcanoes, is a massive stratovolcano in easternmost Java that was constructed SW of the rim of Ijen caldera. The unvegetated summit is truncated by a dramatic steep-walled, 2-km-wide caldera that has been the site of frequent historical eruptions. A prehistoric collapse of Gunung Gadung on the W flank produced a large debris avalanche that traveled 79 km, reaching nearly to the Indian Ocean. Raung contains several centers constructed along a NE-SW line, with Gunung Suket and Gunung Gadung stratovolcanoes being located to the NE and W, respectively.

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/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/); 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/); 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/);Google Earth (URL: https://www.google.com/earth/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/, https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/86213/eruption-of-raung-volcano); Tom Pfeiffer, Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/); Aris Yanto (URL: https://www.exploredesa.com/2012/11/mount-raung-produce-of-vulcanic-ash-plume-and-continue-eruption/); DigitalGlobe (URL: https://www.maxar.com/, https://twitter.com/Maxar/status/875449111398547457); Øystein Lund Andersen (URL: https://twitter.com/OysteinVolcano/status/1194879946042142726, http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com).


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — September 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, gas-and-steam and ash plumes, and a lava flow during June-early July 2020

Klyuchevskoy is a frequently active stratovolcano located in northern Kamchatka. Historical eruptions dating back 3,000 years have included more than 100 flank eruptions with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks. The previous report (BGVN 45:06) described ash plumes, nighttime incandescence, and Strombolian activity. Strombolian activity, ash plumes, and a strong lava flow continued. This report updates activity from June through August 2020 using weekly and daily reports from the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory (VAAC), and satellite data.

Moderate explosive-effusive activity continued in June 2020, with Strombolian explosions, frequent gas-and-steam emissions that contained some amount of ash, and an active lava flow. On 1 June a gas-and-steam plume containing some ash extended up to 465 km SE and E. The lava flow descended the SE flank down the Apakhonchich chute (figure 43). Occasionally, phreatic explosions accompanied the lava flow as it interacted with snow. Intermittent ash plumes, reported throughout the month by KVERT using video and satellite data and the Tokyo VAAC using HIMAWARI-8 imagery, rose to 5.5-6.7 km altitude and drifted in different directions up to 34 km from the volcano. On 12 and 30 June ash plumes rose to a maximum altitude of 6.7 km. On 19 June, 28-30 June, and 1-3 July some collapses were detected alongside the lava flow as it continued to advance down the SE flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Gray ash plumes (left) and a lava flow descending the Apakhonchich chute on the SE flank, accompanied by a dark ash plume and Strombolian activity (right) were observed at the summit of Klyuchevskoy on 10 June 2020. Courtesy of E. Saphonova, IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

During 1-3 July moderate Strombolian activity was observed, accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions containing ash and a continuous lava flow traveling down the Apakhonchich chute on the SE flank. On 1 July a Tokyo VAAC advisory reported an ash plume rising to 6 km altitude and extending SE. On 3 July the activity sharply decreased. KVERT reported there was some residual heat leftover from the lava flow and Strombolian activity that continued to cool through at least 13 July; KVERT also reported frequent gas-and-steam emissions, which contained a small amount of ash through 5 July, rising from the summit crater (figure 44). The weekly KVERT report on 16 July stated that the eruption had ended on 3 July 2020.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Fumarolic activity continued in the summit crater of Klyuchevskoy on 7 July 2020. Courtesy of KSRS ME, Russia, KVERT.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows frequent and strong thermal activity within 5 km of the summit crater from March through June followed by a sharp and sudden decline in early July (figures 45). A total of six weak thermal anomalies were detected between July and August. According to the MODVOLC thermal algorithm, a total of 111 thermal alerts were detected at or near the summit crater from 1 June to 1 July, a majority of which were due to the active lava flow on the SE flank and Strombolian explosions in the crater. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery frequently showed the active lava flow descending the SE flank as a strong thermal anomaly, sometimes even through weather clouds (figure 46). These thermal anomalies were also recorded by the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity data on a MIROVA graph, showing a strong cluster during June to early July, followed by a sharp decrease and then a hiatus in activity (figure 47).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Thermal activity at Klyuchevskoy was frequent and strong during February through June 2020, according to the MIROVA graph (Log Radiative Power). Activity sharply decreased during July through August with six low-power thermal anomalies. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images show the strong and persistent lava flow (bright yellow-orange) originating from the summit crater at Klyuchevskoy from 1 June through 1 July 2020. The lava flow was active in the Apakhonchich chute on the SE flank. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 47. Strong clusters of thermal anomalies were detected in the summit at Klyuchevskoy (red dots) during January through June 2020, as recorded by the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity data (bands 12, 11, 8A). Activity sharply decreased during July through August with few low-power thermal anomalies. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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


Fuego (Guatemala) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Fuego

Guatemala

14.473°N, 90.88°W; summit elev. 3763 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing explosions, ash plumes, lava flows, and lahars during April-July 2020

Fuego, located in Guatemala, is a stratovolcano that has been erupting since 2002 with historical eruptions dating back to 1531. Volcanism is characterized by major ashfalls, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and lahars. The previous report (BGVN 45:04) described recent activity that included multiple ash explosions, block avalanches, and intermittent lava flows. This report updates activity from April through July 2020 that consisted of daily explosions, ash plumes, block avalanches ashfall, intermittent lava flows, and lahars. The primary source of information comes from the Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

Summary of activity during April-July 2020. Daily activity throughout April-July 2020 was characterized by multiple hourly explosions, ash plumes that rose to a maximum of 4.9 km altitude, incandescent pulses that reached 600 m above the crater, block avalanches into multiple drainages, and ashfall affecting nearby communities (table 21). The highest rate of explosions occurred on 2 and 3 April and 2 May with up to 16 explosions per hour. White degassing occurred frequently during the reporting period, rising to a maximum altitude of 4.5 km and drifting in multiple directions. Intermittent lava flows were observed each month in the Seca (Santa Teresa) and Ceniza drainages (figure 132); the number of flows decreased in June through July, which is represented in the MIROVA analysis of MODIS satellite data, where the strength and frequency of thermal activity slightly decreased (figure 133). Occasional lahars were detected descending several drainages on the W and SE flanks, sometimes carrying tree branches and large blocks up to 1 m in diameter.

Table 21. Activity summary by month for Fuego with information compiled from INSIVUMEH daily reports.

Month Number of explosions per hour Ash plume heights (km) Ash plume distance (km) and direction Drainages affected by block avalanches Villages reporting ashfall
Apr 2020 5-16 4.3-4.9 km 8-20 km E, NE, SE, W, NW, SW, S, N Taniluyá, Ceniza, Las Lajas, Trinidad, Seca, Honda, and Santa Teresa Morelia, Panimaché I and II, Sangre de Cristo, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, San Pedro Yepocapa, Las Cruces Quisache, La Rochela, Ceylan, and Osuna
May 2020 4-16 4.3-4.9 km 10-17 km S, SW, W, N, NE, E, SE Trinidad, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Las Lajas, Santa Teresa, Seca, and Honda Panimaché I, La Rochela, Ceilán, Morelia, San Andrés Osuna, Finca Palo Verde, Santa Sofía, Seilán, San Pedro Yepocapa, Alotenango, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas, and Antigua Guatemala
Jun 2020 3-15 4.2-4.9 km 10-25.9 km E, SE, S, N, NE, W, SW, NW Seca, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Santa Teresa and Honda San Pedro Yepocapa, Sangre de Cristo, Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir, Yucales, Santa Emilia, Santa Sofía
Jul 2020 1-15 4-4.9 km 10-24 km W, NW, SW, S, NE Trinidad, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Honda, Las Lajas, Seca, and Santa Teresa Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, and El Porvenir
Figure (see Caption) Figure 132. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images of Fuego between 9 April 2020 and 13 July 2020 showing lava flows (bright yellow-orange) traveling generally S and W from the summit crater. Some lava flows were accompanied by gas emissions (9 April, 9 May, and 24 May 2020). Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 133. Thermal activity at Fuego was persistent and strong from 16 September through late May 2020, according to the MIROVA graph (Log Radiative Power). From early to mid-June activity seemed to stop briefly before resuming again at a lower rate. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity during April-May 2020. Activity in April 2020 consisted of 5-16 explosions per hour, generating ash plumes that rose 4.3-4.9 km altitude and drifted 8-20 km in multiple directions. Ashfall was reported in Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW), Las Cruces Quisache (8 km NW), La Rochela, Ceylan, Osuna (12 km SW). The Washington VAAC issued multiple aviation advisories for a total of six days in April. Intermittent white gas-and-steam emissions reached 4.1-4.5 km altitude drifting in multiple directions. Incandescent ejecta was frequently observed rising 75-400 m above the crater; material ejected up to 600 m above the crater on 11 April. These constant explosions produced block avalanches that traveled down the Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza (SSW), Las Lajas (SE), Trinidad (S), Seca (W), Honda, and Santa Teresa (W) drainages. Effusive activity was reported on 6-13 and 15 April from the summit vent, traveling 150-800 m down the Ceniza drainage, accompanied by block avalanches in the front of the flow up to 1 km. Crater incandescence was also observed.

On 19-20 April a new lava flow descended the Ceniza drainage measuring 200-400 long, generating incandescent block avalanches at the front of the flow that moved up to 1 km. On 22 April lahars descended the Honda, Las Lajas, El Juté (SE), Trinidad, Ceniza, Taniluyá, Mineral, and Seca drainages and tributaries in Guacalate, Achiguate, and Pantaleón. During the evening of 23 April the rate of effusive activity increased; observatory staff observed a second lava flow in the Seca drainage was 170 m long and incandescent blocks from the flow traveled up to 600 m. Two lava flows in the Ceniza (130-400 m) and Seca (150-800 m) drainages continued from 23-28 April and had stopped by 30 April. On 30 April weak and moderate explosions produced ash plumes that rose 4.5-4.7 km altitude drifting S and SE, resulting in fine ashfall in Panimaché I, Morelia, Santa Sofía (figure 134).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 134. Photo of a small ash plume rising from Fuego on 30 April 2020. Photo has been slightly color corrected. Courtesy of William Chigna, CONRED.

During May 2020, the rate of explosion remained similar, with 4-16 explosions per hour, which generated gray ash plumes that rose 4.3-4.9 km altitude and drifted 10-17 km generally W and E. Ashfall was observed in Panimaché I, La Rochela, Ceilán, Morelia, San Andrés Osuna, Finca Palo Verde, Santa Sofía, Seilán, San Pedro Yepocapa, Alotenango (8 km ENE), Ciudad Vieja (13.5 km NE), San Miguel Dueñas (10 km NE), and Antigua Guatemala (18 km NE). The Washington VAAC issued volcanic ash advisory notices on six days in May. White gas-and-steam emissions continued, rising 4-4.5 km altitude drifting in multiple directions. Incandescent ejecta rose 100-400 m above the crater, accompanied by some crater incandescence and block avalanches in the Trinidad, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Las Lajas, Santa Teresa, Seca, and Honda drainages that moved up to 1 km and sometimes reached vegetated areas.

During 8-11 May a new 400 m long lava flow was detected in the Ceniza drainage, accompanied by constant crater incandescence and block avalanches traveling up to 1 km, according to INSIVUMEH. On 8 and 17 May moderate to strong lahars descended the Santa Teresa and Mineral drainages on the W flank and on 21 May they descended the Las Lajas drainage on the E flank and the Ceniza drainage on the SW flank. During 20-24 May a 100-400 m long lava flow was reported in the Ceniza drainage alongside degassing and avalanches moving up to 1 km and during 25-26 May a 150 m long lava flow was reported in the Seca drainage.

Activity during June-July 2020. The rate of explosions in June 2020 decreased slightly to 3-15 per hour, generating gray ash plumes that rose 4.2-4.9 km altitude and drifted 10-26 km in multiple directions (figure 135). As a result, intermittent ashfall was reported in San Pedro Yepocapa, Sangre de Cristo, Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Yucales (12 km SW), Santa Emilia, Santa Sofia, according to INSIVUMEH. VAAC advisories were published on eight days in June. Degassing persisted in the summit crater that rose 4.1-4.5 km altitude extending in different directions. Crater incandescence was observed occasionally, as well as incandescent pulses that rose 100-300 m above the crater. Block avalanches were observed descending the Seca, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Santa Teresa, and Honda drainages, which could sometimes carry blocks up to 1 km in diameter.

On 2 June at 1050 a weak to moderate lahar was observed in the Las Lajas drainage on the SE flank. On 5 June, more lahars were detected in the Seca and Mineral drainages on the W flanks. A new lava flow was detected on 12 June, traveling 250 m down the Seca drainage on the NW flank, and accompanied by constant summit crater incandescence and gas emissions. The flow continued into 14 June, lengthening up to 300 m long. On 24 June weak and moderate explosions produced ash plumes that rose 4.3-4.7 km altitude drifting W and SW (figure 135). On 29 June at 1300 a weak lahar was reported in the Seca, Santa Teresa, and Mineral drainages on the W flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 135. Examples of small ash plumes at Fuego on 15 (left) and 24 (right) June 2020. Courtesy of William Chigna, CONRED.

Daily explosions and ash plumes continued through July 2020, with 1-15 explosions per hour and producing consistent ash plumes 4-4.9 km altitude drifting generally W for 10-24 km. These explosions resulted in block avalanches that descended the Trinidad, Taniluyá, Ceniza, Honda, Las Lajas, Seca, and Santa Teresa drainages. The number of white gas emissions decrease slightly compared to previous months and 4-4.4 km altitude. VAAC advisories were distributed on twenty different days in July. Incandescent ejecta was observed rising 100-350 m above the crater. Occasional ashfall was observed in Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo, San Pedro Yepocapa, and El Porvenir, according to INSIVUMEH.

On 4 July in the early morning, a lava flow began in the Seca drainage, which also produced some fine ash particles that drifted W. The lava flow continued into 5 July, measuring 150 m long. On the same day, weak to moderate lahars traveled only 20 m, carrying tree branches and blocks measuring 30 cm to 1 m. On 14, 24, and 29 July more lahars were generated in the Las Lajas drainages on the former date and both the Las Lajas and El Jute drainages on the two latter dates.

Geologic Background. Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is also one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between Fuego and Acatenango to the north. Construction of Meseta dates back to about 230,000 years and continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. Collapse of Meseta may have produced the massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit, which extends about 50 km onto the Pacific coastal plain. Growth of the modern Fuego volcano followed, continuing the southward migration of volcanism that began at the mostly andesitic Acatenango. Eruptions at Fuego have become more mafic with time, and most historical activity has produced basaltic rocks. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows.

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


Nishinoshima (Japan) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Nishinoshima

Japan

27.247°N, 140.874°E; summit elev. 25 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Major June-July eruption of lava, ash, and sulfur dioxide; activity declines in August 2020

Japan’s Nishinoshima volcano, located about 1,000 km S of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Arc, erupted above sea level in November 2013 after 40 years of dormancy. Activity lasted through November 2015 and returned during mid-2017, continuing the growth of the island with ash plumes, ejecta, and lava flows. A short eruptive event in July 2018 produced a small lava flow and vent on the side of the pyroclastic cone. The next eruption of ash plumes, incandescent ejecta, and lava flows began in early December 2019, resulting in significant growth of the island. This report covers the ongoing activity from March-August 2020 when activity decreased. Information is provided primarily from Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) monthly reports and the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), which makes regular overflights to make observations.

Renewed eruptive activity that began on 5 December 2019 continued during March-August 2020 but appeared to wane by the end of August. Major lava flows covered all sides of the island, with higher levels of activity during late June and early July. Ash emissions increased significantly during June and produced dense black ash plumes that rose up to 6 km altitude in early July. Explosive activity produced lightning and incandescent jets that rose 200 m and large bombs that fell to the base of the pyroclastic cone. Lava flow activity diminished at the end of July. Ash emissions decreased throughout August and appeared to cease after 27 August 2020. The MIROVA plot clearly reflects the high levels of thermal activity between December 2019 and August 2020 (figure 80); this event was reported by JMA as the largest eruption recorded to date. Sulfur dioxide emissions were very high during late June through early August, producing emissions that drifted across much of the western Pacific region.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. The MIROVA plot of thermal activity at Nishinoshima from 14 October 2019 through August 2020 indicates the high levels between early December 2019 and late July 2020 that resulted from the eruption of numerous lava flows on all flanks of the pyroclastic cone, significantly enlarging the island. Courtesy of MIROVA.

The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) conducted overflights of Nishinoshima on 9 and 15 March 2020 (figure 81). During both visits they observed eruptive activity from the summit crater, including ash emissions that rose to an altitude of approximately 1,000 m and lava flowing down the N and SE flanks (figure 82). Large ejecta was scattered around the base of the pyroclastic cone. The lava flowing north had reached the coast and was producing vigorous steam as it entered the water on 9 March; whitish gas emissions were visible on the N flank of the cone at the source of the lava flow (figure 83). On 9 March yellow-green discolored water was noted off the NE shore. The lava flow on the SE coast produced a small amount of steam at the ocean entry point and a strong signal in thermal imagery on 15 March (figure 84). Multiple daily MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued during 1-10, 17-24, and 27-30 March. Landsat-8 visual and thermal imagery on 30 March 2020 confirmed that thermal anomalies on the N and SE flanks of the volcano continued.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. The Japan Coast Guard conducted an overflight of Nishinoshima on 9 March 2020 and observed ash emissions rising 1,000 m above the summit and lava flowing into the ocean off the N flank of the island. Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard (JCG) and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. Lava flows at Nishinoshima during February and March 2020 were concentrated on the N and SE flanks. The areas in blue indicate topographical changes due to lava flows and pyroclastic deposits from the previous measurement. The growth of the SE-flank flow decreased during March while the N-flank flow rate increased significantly. Left image shows changes between 14 and 28 February and right image shows the differences between 28 February and 13 March. The correlated image analysis uses ALOS-2 / PALSAR-2 and is carried out with the cooperation of JAXA through the activities of the Satellite Analysis Group of the Volcano Eruption Prediction Liaison Committee. The software was developed by the Japan National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention and uses the technical data C1-No 478 of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Courtesy of JAXA and JMA (Volcanic activity commentary material on Nishinoshima, March 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Vigorous steam emissions on the N flank of Nishinoshima on 9 March 2020 were caused by the active flow on the N flank. Whitish steam and gas midway up the flank indicated the outlet of the flow. Ash emissions rose from the summit crater and drifted E. Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. Infrared imagery from 15 March 2020 at Nishinoshima showed the incandescent lava flow on the SE flank (foreground), blocks of ejecta scattered around the summit and flanks of the pyroclastic cone, and the active N-flank flow (left). Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard and JMA.

Ash emissions were not observed at Nishinoshima during JCG overflights on 6, 16, and 19 April 2020, but gas-and-steam emissions were noted from the summit crater, and a yellow discoloration interpreted by JMA to be sulfur precipitation was observed near the top of the pyroclastic cone. The summit crater was larger than during previous visits. Steam plumes seen each of those days on the N and NE coasts suggested active ocean entry of lava flows (figure 85). A lava flow was observed emerging from the E flank of the cone and entering the ocean on the E coast on 19 and 29 April (figure 86). During the overflight on 29 April observers noted lava flowing southward from a vent on the E flank of the pyroclastic cone. A narrow, brown, ash plume was visible on 29 April at the summit crater rising to an altitude of about 1,500 m. Thermal observations indicated continued flow activity throughout the month. Multiple daily MODVOLC thermal alerts were recorded during 2-6, 10-11, 17-23, and 28-30 April. Significant growth of the pyroclastic cone occurred between early February and late April 2020 (figure 87).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Multiple entry points of lava flowed into the ocean producing jets of steam along the N flank of Nishinoshima on 6 April 2020. Courtesy of JCG and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Lava flowed down the E flank of Nishinoshima from a vent below the summit on 19 April 2020. The ocean entry produced a vigorous steam plume (left). Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. The pyroclastic cone at Nishinoshima grew significantly in size between 4 February (left), 9 March (middle), and 19 April 2020 (right). View is to the E. Courtesy of JMA and JCG.

Infrared satellite imagery from 17 May 2020 showed a strong thermal anomaly at the summit and hot spots on the NW flank indicative of flows. Visible imagery confirmed emissions at the summit and steam plumes on the NW flank (figure 88). Gray ash plumes rose to about 1,800 m altitude on 18 May during the only overflight of the month made by the Japan Coast Guard. In addition, white gas emissions rose from around the summit area and large blocks of ejecta were scattered around the base of the pyroclastic cone (figure 89). Steam from ocean-entry lava on the N flank was reduced from previous months, but a new flow moving NW into the ocean was generating a steam plume and a strong thermal signature. Multi-pixel thermal alerts were measured by the MODVOLC system on 1-3, 9-10, 13-15, 18, and 26-30 May. Sulfur dioxide emissions had been weak and intermittent from March through early May 2020 but became more persistent during the second half of May. Although modest in size, the plumes were detectible hundreds of kilometers away from the volcano (figure 90).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. Landsat-8 satellite imagery of Nishinoshima from 17 May 2020 confirmed continued eruptive activity. Visible imagery showed emissions at the summit and steam plumes on the NW flank (left) and infrared imagery showed a strong thermal anomaly at the summit and anomalies on the NW flank indicative of lava flows (right). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. Lava continued to enter the ocean at Nishinoshima during May 2020. A new lava flow on the NW flank produced a strong steam plume at an ocean entry (left) on 18 May 2020. In addition to a light gray plume of gas and ash, steaming blocks of ejecta were visible on the flanks of the pyroclastic cone. The strong thermal signature of the NW-flank flow in infrared imagery that same day showed multiple new lobes flowing to the ocean (right). Courtesy of JCG and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Small but distinct SO2 emissions from Nishinoshima were recorded by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite during the second half of May 2020. The plumes drifted tens to hundreds of kilometers away from the volcano in multiple directions as the wind directions changed. Nishinoshima is about 1,000 kilometers S of Tokyo. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Activity increased significantly during June 2020. Satellite imagery from 2 June revealed two intense thermal anomalies at the summit indicating a new crater, and lava flows active on the NW and NE flanks, all showing gas or steam emissions (figure 91). Dense brown and gray ash emissions were observed rising from the summit crater during JCG overflights on 7 and 15 June (figure 92). Plumes reached at least 1,500 m altitude, and ejecta reached the base of the pyroclastic cone. Between 5 and 19 June the lava flow on the WNW coast slowed significantly, while the flows to the N and E became significantly more active (figure 93). The Tokyo VAAC reported the first ash plume since mid-February on 12 June rose to 2.1 km and drifted NE. On 14 June they reported an ash plume extending E at 2.7 km altitude. Dense emissions continued to drift N and E at 2.1-2.7 km altitude until the last week of the month. The JCG overflight on 19 June observed darker ash emissions than two weeks earlier that drifted at least 180 km NE (figure 94) and incandescent tephra that exploded from the enlarged summit area where three overlapping craters trending E-W had formed.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. Landsat-8 satellite imagery on 2 June 2020 confirmed ongoing activity at Nishinoshima. Lava produced ocean-entry steam on the NE coast; a weak plume on the NW coast suggested reduced activity in that area (left). In addition, a dense steam plume drifted E from the summit, while a fainter plume adjacent to it also drifted E. The infrared image (right) indicated two intense anomalies at the summit, and weaker anomalies from lava flows on the NW and NE flanks. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. Lava flows at Nishinoshima entered the ocean on the N and NE coasts (left) on 7 June 2020, and dense, gray ash emissions rose to at least 1,500 m altitude. Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 93. The lava flow on the WNW coast of Nishinoshima slowed significantly in early June 2020, while the flows to the N and E covered large areas of those flanks between 5 and 19 June. The areas in blue indicate topographical changes due to lava flows and pyroclastic deposits from the previous measurement. Left image shows the differences between 22 May and 5 June and right image shows changes between 5 and 19 June. The correlated image analysis uses ALOS-2 / PALSAR-2 and is carried out with the cooperation of JAXA through the activities of the Satellite Analysis Group of the Volcano Eruption Prediction Liaison Committee. The software was developed by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention and uses the technical data C1-No 478 of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Courtesy of JAXA and JMA (Volcanic activity commentary material on Nishinoshima, June 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 94. Ash emissions and explosive activity at Nishinoshima increased significantly during the second half of June. Dense black ash rose to 2.4 km altitude and drifted at least 180 km to the NE on 19 June 2020. Vigorous white steam plumes rose from the ocean on the E flank where a lava flow entered the ocean. Courtesy of JCG.

The Tokyo VAAC reported ash emissions that rose to 4.6 km altitude and drifted NE on 25 June. For the remainder of the month they rose to 2.7-3.9 km altitude and drifted N and NE. By the time of the JCG overflight on 29 June, the new crater that had opened on the SW flank had merged with the summit crater (figure 95). Dense black ash emissions rose to 3.4 km altitude and drifted NE, lava flowed down the SW flank into the ocean producing violent steam explosions, and incandescent tephra was scattered at least 200 m from the base of the pyroclastic cone from ongoing explosive activity (figure 96). Multiple layers of recent flow activity were visible along the SW coast (figure 97). Yellow-green discolored water encircled the entire island with a width of 1,000 m.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 95. The new crater on the SW flank of Nishinoshima had merged with the summit crater by 29 June 2020. Courtesy of JCG and JMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. Dense black ash emissions rose to 3.4 km altitude and drifted NE from the summit of Nishinoshima on 29 June 2020. Lava flowed down the SW flank into the ocean producing steam explosions, and incandescent tephra was scattered at least 200 m from the base of the pyroclastic cone from ongoing explosive activity at the summit (inset). Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 97. Different textures of lava flows were visible along the SW flank of Nishinoshima on 29 June 2020. The active flow appeared dark brown and blocky, and produced steam explosions at the ocean entry site (right). Slightly older, brownish-red lava (center) still produced steam along the coastline. Courtesy of JCG.

MODVOLC thermal alerts reached their highest levels of the period during June 2020 with multi-pixel alerts recorded on most days of the month. Sulfur dioxide emissions increased steadily throughout June to the highest levels recorded for Nishinoshima; by the end of the month plumes of SO2 were drifting thousands of kilometers across the Pacific Ocean and being captured in complex atmospheric circulation currents (figure 98).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 98. Sulfur dioxide emissions at Nishinoshima increased noticeably during the second half of June 2020 as measured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Atmospheric circulation currents produced long-lived plumes that drifted thousands of kilometers from the volcano. Nishinoshima is 1,000 km S of Tokyo. Courtesy of NASA Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

By early July 2020, satellite data indicated that the NE quadrant of the island was covered with ash, and a large amount of new lava had flowed down the SW flank, creating fans extending into the ocean (figure 99). The Tokyo VAAC reported ash emissions that rose to 3.7-4.9 km altitude and drifted N during 1-6 July. The altitude increased to 6.1 km during 8 and 9 July, and ranged from 4.6-6.1 km during 10-14 July while the drift direction changed to NE. The marine meteorological observation ship "Ryofu Maru" reported on 11 July that dense black ash was continuously erupting from the summit crater and drifting W at 1,700 m altitude or higher. They observed large volcanic blocks scattered around the base of the pyroclastic cone, and ash falling from the drifting plume. During the night of 11 July incandescent lava and volcanic lightning rose to about 200 m above the crater rim (figure 100).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 99. By early July 2020, satellite data from Nishinoshima indicated that the NE quadrant of the island was covered with ash, and a large amount of new lava had flowed down the SW flank creating fans extending into the ocean. The areas in blue indicate topographical changes due to lava flows and pyroclastic deposits from the previous measurement. Left image shows differences between 5 and 19 June and the right image shows changes between 19 June and 3 July that included abundant ashfall on the NE flank. The correlated image analysis uses ALOS-2 / PALSAR-2 and is carried out with the cooperation of JAXA through the activities of the Satellite Analysis Group of the Volcano Eruption Prediction Liaison Committee. The software was developed by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention and uses the technical data C1-No 478 of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Courtesy of JAXA and JMA (Volcanic activity commentary material on Nishinoshima, June 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 100. High levels of activity were observed at Nishinoshima by crew members aboard the marine meteorological observation ship "Ryofu Maru” on 11 July 2020. Abundant ash emissions filled the sky and tephra fell out of the ash cloud for several kilometers downwind (left, seen from 6 km NE). Incandescent explosions rose as much as 200 m into the night sky (right, seen from 4 km E). Courtesy of JMA.

During 16-26 July 2020 the Tokyo VAAC reported ash emissions at 3.7-5.2 km altitude that drifted primarily N and NE. The vessel "Keifu Maru" passed Nishinoshima on 20 July and crewmembers observed continuing emissions from the summit of dense, black ash. JCG observed an ash plume rising to at least 2.7 km altitude during their overflight of 20 July. A large dome of fresh lava was visible on the SW flank of the island (figure 101). Lower ash emissions from 2.4-3.7 km altitude were reported by the Tokyo VAAC during 27-29 July, but the altitude increased to 5.5-5.8 km during the last two days of the month. During an overflight on 30 July by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, dark and light gray ash emissions rose to 3.0 km altitude, but no flowing lava or large bombs were observed. They also noted thick deposits of brownish-gray ash on the N side of the island (figure 102).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 101. JCG observed an ash plume at Nishinoshima rising to at least 2.7 km altitude during their overflight of 20 July 2020. A large dome of fresh lava was visible on the SW flank of the island. Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 102. Ash emissions changed from dark to light gray on 30 July 2020 at Nishinoshima as seen during an overflight by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention. Thick brownish-gray ash was deposited over the lava on the N side of the island. Courtesy of JMA (Information on volcanic activity in Nishinoshima, July 2020).

JMA reported a sharp decrease in the lava eruption rate during July with thermal anomalies decreasing significantly mid-month. Multiple daily MODVOLC thermal alerts were recorded during the first half of the month but were reduced to two or three per day during the last third of July. Throughout July, SO2 emissions were the highest recorded in modern times for Nishinoshima. High levels of emissions were measured daily, producing streams with high concentrations of SO2 that were caught up in rotating wind currents and drifted thousands of kilometers across the Pacific Ocean (figure 103).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 103. Complex atmospheric wind patterns carried the largest SO2 plumes recorded from Nishinoshima thousands of kilometers around the western Pacific Ocean during July 2020. Nishinoshima is about 1,000 km S of Tokyo. Top and bottom left images both show 6 July but at different scales. Courtesy of NASA Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Thermal activity was greatly reduced during August 2020. Only one or two MODVOLC alerts were issued on 11, 18, 20, 21, 29, and 30 August, and no fresh lava flows were observed. The Tokyo VAAC reported ash emissions daily from 1-20 August. Plume heights were 4.9-5.8 km altitude during 1-4 August after which they dropped to 3.9 km altitude through 15 August. A brief pulse to 4.6 km altitude was recorded on 16 August, but then they dropped to 3.0 km or lower through the end of the month and became intermittent. The last ash emission was reported at 2.7 km altitude drifting W on 27 August.

No eruptive activity was observed during the Japan Coast Guard overflights on 19 and 23 August. High temperatures were measured on the inner wall of the summit crater on 19 August (figure 104). Steam plumes rose from the summit crater to about 2.5 km altitude during both visits (figure 105). Yellow-green discolored water was present on 23 August around the NW and SW coasts. No lava flows were observed, and infrared cameras did not measure any surface thermal anomalies outside of the crater. Very high levels of SO2 emissions were measured through 12 August when they began to noticeably decrease (figure 106). By the end of the month, only small amounts of SO2 were measured in satellite data.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 104. A strong thermal anomaly was still present inside the newly enlarged summit crater at Nishinoshima on 19 August 2020. Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 105. Only steam plumes were observed rising from the summit crater of Nishinoshima during the 23 August 2020 overflight by the Japan Coast Guard. Courtesy of JCG.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 106. Sulfur dioxide emissions remained very high at Nishinoshima until 12 August 2020 when they declined sharply. Circulating air currents carried SO2 thousands of kilometers around the western Pacific region. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Geologic Background. The small island of Nishinoshima was enlarged when several new islands coalesced during an eruption in 1973-74. Another eruption that began offshore in 2013 completely covered the previous exposed surface and enlarged the island again. Water discoloration has been observed on several occasions since. The island is the summit of a massive submarine volcano that has prominent satellitic peaks to the S, W, and NE. The summit of the southern cone rises to within 214 m of the sea surface 9 km SSE.

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); Japan Coast Guard (JCG), Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department, 3-1-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8932, Japan (URL: https://www1.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/GIJUTSUKOKUSAI/kaiikiDB/kaiyo18-e1.htm); 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/); 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/); Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency-Earth Observation Research Center (JAXA-EORC), 7-44-1 Jindaiji Higashi-machi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo 182-8522, Japan (URL: http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/); 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/).


Turrialba (Costa Rica) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Turrialba

Costa Rica

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New eruptive period on 18 June 2020 consisted of ash eruptions

Turrialba is a stratovolcano located in Costa Rica that overlooks the city of Cartago. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2,200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Activity described in the previous report primarily included weak ash explosions and minor ash emissions (BGVN 44:11). This reporting period updates information from November 2019-August 2020; volcanism dominantly consists of ash emissions during June-August, based on information from daily and weekly reports by the Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA) and satellite data.

Volcanism during November 2019 through mid-June was relatively low, dominated by low SO2 emissions (100-300 tons/day) and typical low seismic tremors. A single explosion was recorded at 1850 on 7 December 2019, and two gas-and-steam plumes rose 800 m and 300 m above the crater on 25 and 27 December, respectively. An explosion was detected on 29 January 2020 but did not result in any ejecta. An overflight during the week of 10 February measured the depth of the crater (140 m); since the previous measurements made in February 2019 (220 m), the crater has filled with 80 m of debris due to frequent collapses of the NW and SE internal crater walls. Beginning around February and into at least early May 2020 the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity graph provided by the MIROVA system detected a small cluster of thermal anomalies (figure 52). Some of these anomalies were faintly registered in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery during 10 and 25 April, with a more distinct anomaly occurring on 15 May (figure 53).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. A small cluster of thermal anomalies were detected in the summit area of Turrialba (red dots) during February-May 2020 as recorded by the Sentinel-2 MODIS Thermal Volcanic Activity data (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery detected minor gas-and-steam emissions (left) and a weak thermal anomaly (right) in the summit crater at Turrialba on 11 January and 15 May 2020, respectively. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

On 18 June activity increased, which marked the start of a new eruptive period that produced ash emissions rising 100 m above the crater rim at 1714, 1723, and 1818. The next morning, 19 June, two more events at 1023 and 1039 resulted in ash emissions rising 100 m above the crater. During 23-26 June small ash emissions continued to occur each day, rising no higher than 100 m above the crater. A series of small ash eruptions that rose 100 m above the crater occurred during 28 and 29 June; four events were recorded at 0821, 1348, 1739, and 2303 on 28 June and five more were recorded at 0107, 0232, 0306, 0412, and 0818 on 29 June. The two events at 0107 and 0412 were accompanied by ballistics ejected onto the N wall of the crater, according to OVSICORI-UNA.

Almost daily ash emissions continued during 1-7 July, rising less than 100 m above the crater; no ash emissions were observed on 3 July. On 6 July, gas-and-steam and ash emissions rose hundreds of meters above the crater at 0900, resulting in local ashfall. Passive gas-and-steam emissions with minor amounts of ash were occasionally visible during 9-10 July. On 14 July an eruptive pulse was observed, generating brief incandescence at 2328, which was likely associated with a small ash emission. Dilute ash emissions at 1028 on 16 July preceded an eruption at 1209 that resulted in an ash plume rising 200 m above the crater. Ash emissions of variable densities continued through 20 July rising as high as 200 m above the crater; on 20 July incandescence was observed on the W wall of the crater. An eruptive event at 0946 on 29 July produced an ash plume that rose 200-300 m above the crater rim. During 30-31 July a series of at least ten ash eruptions were detected, rising no higher than 200 m above the crater, each lasting less than ten minutes. Some incandescence was visible on the SW wall of the crater during this time.

On 1 August at 0746 an ash plume rose 500 m above the crater. During 4-5 August a total of 19 minor ash emissions occurred, accompanied by ash plumes that rose no higher than 200 m above the crater. OVSICORI-UNA reported on 21 August that the SW wall of the crater had fractured; some incandescence in the fracture zone had been observed the previous month. Two final eruptions were detected on 22 and 24 August at 1253 and 2023, respectively. The eruption on 24 August resulted in an ash plume that rose to a maximum height of 1 km above the crater.

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

Information Contacts: Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA), Apartado 86-3000, Heredia, Costa Rica (URL: http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/, https://www.facebook.com/OVSICORI/); 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).


Etna (Italy) — September 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Effusive activity in early April; frequent Strombolian explosions and ash emissions during April-July 2020

Etna, located on the island of Sicily, Italy, is a stratovolcano that has had historical eruptions dating back 3,500 years. Its most recent eruptive period began in September 2013 and has continued through July 2020, characterized by Strombolian explosions, lava flows, and ash plumes. Activity has commonly originated from the summit areas, including the Northeast Crater (NEC), the Voragine-Bocca Nuova (or Central) complex (VOR-BN), the Southeast Crater (SEC, formed in 1978), and the New Southeast Crater (NSEC, formed in 2011). The newest crater, referred to as the "cono della sella" (saddle cone), emerged during early 2017 in the area between SEC and NSEC. Volcanism during this reporting period from April through July 2020 includes frequent Strombolian explosions primarily in the Voragine and NSEC craters, ash emissions, some lava effusions, and gas-and-steam emissions. Information primarily comes from weekly reports by the Osservatorio Etneo (OE), part of the Catania Branch of Italy's Istituo Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologica (INGV).

Summary of activity during April-July 2020. Degassing of variable intensity is typical activity from all summit vents at Etna during the reporting period. Intra-crater Strombolian explosions and ash emissions that rose to a maximum altitude of 5 km on 19 April primarily originated from the Voragine (VOR) and New Southeast Crater (NSEC) craters. At night, summit crater incandescence was occasionally visible in conjunction with explosions and degassing. During 18-19 April small lava flows were observed in the VOR and NSEC craters that descended toward the BN from the VOR Crater and the upper E and S flanks of the NSEC. On 19 April a significant eruptive event began with Strombolian explosions that gradually evolved into lava fountaining activity, ejecting hot material and spatter from the NSEC. Ash plumes that were produced during this event resulted in ashfall to the E of Etna. The flows had stopped by the end of April; activity during May consisted of Strombolian explosions in both the VOR and NSEC craters and intermittent ash plumes rising 4.5 km altitude. On 22 May Strombolian explosions in the NSEC produced multiple ash plumes, which resulted in ashfall to the S. INGV reported that the pit crater at the bottom of BN had widened and was accompanied by degassing. Explosions with intermittent ash emissions continued during June and July and were primarily focused in the VOR and NSEC craters; mild Strombolian activity in the SEC was reported in mid-July.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows multiple episodes of thermal activity throughout the reporting period (figure 296). In early April, the frequency and power of the thermal anomalies began to decrease through mid-June; in July, they had increased in power again but remained less frequent compared to activity in January through March. According to the MODVOLC thermal algorithm, a total of seven alerts were detected in the summit craters during 10 April (1), 17 April (1), 24 April (2), 10 July (1), 13 July (1), and 29 July (1) 2020. These thermal hotspots were typically registered during or after a Strombolian event. Frequent Strombolian activity contributed to distinct SO2 plumes that drifted in different directions (figure 297).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 296. Multiple episodes of varying thermal activity at Etna from 14 October 2019 through July 2020 were reflected in the MIROVA data (Log Radiative Power). In early April, the frequency and power of the thermal anomalies decreased through mid-June. In July, the thermal anomalies increased in power, but did not increase in frequency. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 297. Distinct SO2 plumes from Etna were detected on multiple days during April to July 2020 due to frequent Strombolian explosions, including, 24 April (top left), 9 May (top right), 25 June (bottom left), and 21 July (bottom right) 2020. Captured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel 5P satellite, courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Activity during April-May 2020. During April, INGV reported Strombolian explosions that produced some ash emissions and intra-crater effusive activity within the Voragine Crater (VOR) and abundant degassing from the New Southeast Crater (NSEC), Northeast Crater (NEC), and from two vents on the cono della sella (saddle cone) that were sometimes accompanied by a modest amount of ash (figure 298). At night, summit crater incandescence was observed in the cono della salla. The Strombolian activity in the VOR built intra-crater scoria cones while lava flows traveled down the S flank of the largest, main cone. On 18 April effusive activity from the main cone in the VOR Crater traveled 30 m toward the Bocca Nuova (BN) Crater; the pit crater at the bottom of the BN crater had widened compared to previous observations. A brief episode of Strombolian explosions that started around 0830 on 19 April in the NSEC gradually evolved into modest lava fountaining activity by 0915, rising to 3 km altitude and ejecting bombs up to 100 m (figure 299). A large spatter deposit was found 50 m from the vent and 3-4 small lava flows were descending the NSEC crater rim; two of these summit lava flows were observed at 1006, confined to the upper E and S flanks of the cone. Around 1030, one or two vents in the cono della sella produced a gas-and-steam and ash plume that rose 5 km altitude and drifted E, resulting in ashfall on the E flank of Etna in the Valle del Bove, as well as between the towns of Zafferana Etnea (10 km SE) and Linguaglossa (17 km NE). At night, flashes of incandescence were visible at the summit. By 1155, the lava fountaining had gradually slowed, stopping completely around 1300. The NEC continued to produce gas-and-steam emissions with some intra-crater explosive activity. During the week of 20-26 April, Strombolian activity in the VOR intra-crater scoria cone ejected pyroclastic material several hundred meters above the crater rim while the lava flows had significantly decreased, though continued to travel on the E flank of the main cone. Weak, intra-crater Strombolian activity with occasional ash emissions and nightly summit incandescence were observed in the NSEC (figure 300). By 30 April there were no longer any active lava flows; the entire flow field had begun cooling. The mass of the SO2 emissions varied in April from 5,000-15,000 tons per day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 298. Photos of Strombolian explosions at Etna in the Voragine Crater (top left), strong degassing at the Northeast Crater (NEC) (top right), and incandescent flashes and Strombolian activity in the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) seen from Tremestieri Etneo (bottom row) on 10 April 2020. Photos by Francesco Ciancitto (top row) and Boris Behncke (bottom row), courtesy of INGV.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 299. Strombolian activity at Etna’s “cono della sella” of the NSEC crater on 19 April 2020 included (a-b) lava fountaining that rose 3 km altitude, ejecting bomb-sized material and a spatter deposit captured by the Montagnola (EMOV) thermal camera. (c-d) An eruptive column and increased white gas-and-steam and ash emissions were captured by the Montagnola (EMOV) visible camera and (e-f) were also seen from Tremestieri Etneo captured by Boris Behncke. Courtesy of INGV (Report 17/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 13/04/2020 – 19/04/2020, data emissione 21/04/2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 300. Webcam images showing intra-crater explosive activity at Etna in the Voragine (VOR) and New Southeast Crater (NSEC) on 24 April 2020 captured by the (a-b) Montagnola and (c) Monte Cagliato cameras. At night, summit incandescence was visible and accompanied by strong degassing. Courtesy of INGV (Report 18/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 20/04/2020 – 26/04/2020, data emissione 28/04/2020).

Strombolian explosions produced periodic ash emissions and ejected mild, discontinuous incandescent material in the VOR Crater; the coarse material was deposited onto the S flank of BN (figure 301). Pulsating degassing continued from the summit craters, some of which were accompanied by incandescent flashes at night. The Strombolian activity in the cono della sella occasionally produced reddish ash during 3-4 May. During 5 and 8 May, there was an increase in ash emissions at the NSEC that drifted SSE. A strong explosive event in the VOR Crater located E of the main cone produced a significant amount of ash and ejected coarse material, which included blocks and bombs measuring 15-20 cm, that fell on the W edge of the crater, as well as on the S terrace of the BN Crater (figure 302).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 301. Photos of Strombolian explosions and summit incandescence at Etna on 4 May (left) and during the night of 11-12 May. Photos by Gianni Pennisi (left) and Boris Behncke (right, seen from Tremestieri Etneo). Courtesy of INGV.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 302. A photo on 5 May (left) and thermal image on 8 May (right) of Strombolian explosions at Etna in the Voragine Crater accompanied by a dense, gray ash plume. Photo by Daniele Andronico. Courtesy of INGV (Report 20/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 04/05/2020 – 10/05/2020, data emissione 12/05/2020).

On 10 May degassing continued in the NSEC while Strombolian activity fluctuated in both the VOR and NSEC Craters, ejecting ballistics beyond the crater rim; in the latter, some of the blocks fell back in, accumulated on the edge, and rolled down the slopes (figure 303). During the week of 11-17 May, eruptive activity at the VOR Crater was the lowest observed since early March; there were 4-5 weak, low intensity pulses not accompanied by bombs or ashfall in the VOR Crater. Degassing continued in the BN Crater. The crater of the cono della sella had widened further N following collapses due to the Strombolian activity, which exposed the internal wall.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 303. Map of the summit craters of Etna showing the active vents, the area of cooled lava flows (light green), and the location of the widening pit crater in the Bocca Nuova (BN) Crater (light blue circle) updated on 9 May 2020. The base is modified from a 2014 DEM created by Laboratorio di Aerogeofisica-Sezione Roma 2. Black hatch marks indicate the crater rims: BN = Bocca Nuova, with NW BN-1 and SE BN-2; VOR = Voragine; NEC = North East Crater; SEC = South East Crater; NSEC = New South East Crater. Red circles indicate areas with ash emissions and/or Strombolian activity, yellow circles indicate steam and/or gas emissions only. Courtesy of INGV (Report 29/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 06/07/2020 – 12/07/2020, data emissione 14/07/2020).

On 18 May an ash plume from the NSEC rose 4.5 km altitude and drifted NE. Strombolian explosions on 22 May at the NSEC produced multiple ash plumes that rose 4.5 km altitude and drifted S and SW (figure 304), depositing a thin layer of ash on the S slope, and resulting in ashfall in Catania (27 km S). Explosions from the VOR Crater had ejected a deposit of large clasts (greater than 30 cm) on the NE flank, between the VOR Crater and NEC on 23 May. INGV reported that the pit crater in the BN continued to widen and degassing was observed in the NSEC, VOR Crater, and NEC. During the week of 25-31 May persistent visible flashes of incandescence at night were observed, which suggested there was intra-crater Strombolian activity in the SEC and NSEC. The mass of the SO2 plumes varied between 5,000-9,000 tons per day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 304. Photo of repeated Strombolian activity and ash emissions rising from Etna above the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) on 22 May 2020 seen from Zafferana Etnea on the SE flank at 0955 local time. Photo by Boris Behncke, INGV.

Activity during June-July 2020. During June, moderate intra-crater Strombolian activity with intermittent ash emissions continued in the NSEC and occurred more sporadically in the VOR Crater; at night, incandescence of variable intensity was observed at the summit. During the week of 8-14 June, Strombolian explosions in the cono della sella generated some incandescence and rare jets of incandescent material above the crater rim, though no ash emissions were reported. On the morning of 14 June a sequence of ten small explosions in the VOR Crater ejected incandescent material just above the crater rim and produced small ash emissions. On 25 June an overflight showed the developing pit crater in the center of the BN, accompanied by degassing along the S edge of the wall; degassing continued from the NEC, VOR Crater, SEC, and NSEC (figure 305). The mass of the SO2 plumes measured 5,000-7,000 tons per day, according to INGV.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 305. Aerial photo of Etna from the NE during an overflight on 25 June 2020 by the Catania Coast Guard (2 Nucleo Aereo della Guardia Costiera di Catania) showing degassing of the summit craters. Photo captured from the Aw139 helicopter by Stefano Branca. Courtesy of INGV (Report 27/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 22/06/2020 – 28/06/2020, data emissione 30/06/2020).

Similar modest, intra-crater Strombolian explosions in the NSEC, sporadic explosions in the VOR Crater, and degassing in the BN, VOR Crater, and NEC persisted into July. On 2 July degassing in the NEC was accompanied by weak intra-crater Strombolian activity. Intermittent weak ash emissions and ejecta from the NSEC and VOR Crater were observed during the month. During the week of 6-12 July INGV reported gas-and-steam emissions continued to rise from the vent in the pit crater at the bottom of BN (figure 306). On 11 July mild Strombolian activity, nighttime incandescence, and degassing was visible in the SEC (figure 307). By 15 July there was a modest increase in activity in the NSEC and VOR Craters, generating ash emissions and ejecting material over the crater rims while the other summit craters were dominantly characterized by degassing. On 31 July an explosion in the NSEC produced an ash plume that rose 4.5 km altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 306. Photos of the bottom of the Bocca Nuova (BN) crater at Etna on 8 July 2020 showing the developing pit crater (left) and degassing. Minor ash emissions were visible in the background at the Voragine Crater (right). Both photos by Daniele Andronico. Courtesy of INGV (Report 29/2020, ETNA, Bollettino Settimanale, 06/07/2020 – 12/07/2020, data emissione 14/07/2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 307. Mild Strombolian activity and summit incandescence in the “cono della sella” (saddle vent) at the Southeast crater (SEC) of Etna on 11 July 2020, seen from Piano del Vescovo (left) and Piano Vetore (right). Photo by Boris Behncke, INGV.

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 36, Number 05 (May 2011)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Ambae (Vanuatu)

Increased degassing starting December 2009

Ambrym (Vanuatu)

Ongoing plumes, some bearing ash and to over 6 km altitude

Cleveland (United States)

Thermal anomalies and possible plumes through mid-September 2010

Etna (Italy)

Ongoing effusive fissure eruption that began on 13 May 2008 ends on 4 July 2009

Galeras (Colombia)

Eruption on 25 August 2010; gas emissions in early 2011

Gaua (Vanuatu)

Drops in both tremor and caustic effects on vegetation after mid-2010

Merapi (Indonesia)

Recovery; intermittent activity; damaging lahars

Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)

Seismicity ongoing with plumes during May 2010-May 2011

Yasur (Vanuatu)

Explosion induced ash falls, strong degassing during late May-early June 2011



Ambae (Vanuatu) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambae

Vanuatu

15.389°S, 167.835°E; summit elev. 1496 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Increased degassing starting December 2009

Our last Bulletin report (BGVN 31:12) on Aoba (Ambae) described the destruction of vegetation by acidic gas emissions and the breach of the islet lake during 2006. This report discusses comparative quiescence into late 2009 when degassing escalated (substantial gas plumes were seen) and the hazard status rose. The volcano has remained quiet into mid-2011.

The Vanuatu region lies ~2,200 km N off the New Zealand coast and ~2,100 km NE off the coast of Australia (figure 31). A 1999 census suggested ~9,400 people resided on Ambae. Cronin and others (2004) describe the residents as "dispersed amongst more than 276 small extended family settlements and villages (Wallez 2000). Settlements are mostly restricted to the lower island slopes within 4 km of the coast. The highest population densities occur at the NE and SE ends of the island."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. (A) Major islands of the Republic of Vanuatu. (B) Aoba (Ambae) Island, showing locations of settlements, main stream channels and roads. Cronin and others (2004) discuss the communities of Lolovange and Lolowai (ellipses). Taken from Cronin and others (2004) after work by Wallez (2000).

The Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) noted increases in activity from Aoba (Ambae) starting in December 2009.This began when local villagers near the volcano reported seeing a plume over the island. In December 2009 the Vanuatu Volcanic Alert Level (VVAL) was raised to Level 1. The scale ranges from 0 to 4: 0 represents normal low-level activity and 4 represents a large eruption and island wide danger. The reported source of activity is a recent cone located in the crater lake, Voui (BGVN 30:11 and 30:12).

The VGO went on to note that "An expatriate pilot based on Gaua, also witnessed a plume on Ambae on Tuesday 6th April on his way back to Gaua from Santo. Aerial pictures that were taken by two Geohazards staff on 11 April 2010 also confirmed gas emissions that were more concentrated than normal... [which] reaffirms the [Ozone Monitoring Instrument or OMI] satellite image of gas emissions above. Another observation made on Ambae is the presence of sulphur-hydromagmatic activity on the SE part of the second crater of Ambae enclosing Manaro Lakua indicated by what seemed like two fumarolic zones.... There was also some discoloration of the water in Manaro Lakua near the 'fumaroles' with some areas near the shore [colored] brown, and some areas [colored] pale blue—a sign of the incorporation of sulphur dioxide. It was also reported that while flying above the area, strong sulphur dioxide gas could be smelt even at 5,000 feet [~1.5 km altitude] on 11 April."

The VGO also noted that the OMI satellite pictures depicted fluctuating gas emissions during this period. The image for 11 April 2010 indicated elevated SO2 and gave the integrated concentration-pathlength as 15 kilotons. On this day, VGO had noted SO2 fluxes over 3,000 tons/day.

References. Cronin, SJ, Gaylord, DR, Charley, D., Alloway, BV, Wallez, S, and Esau, JW, 2004, Participatory methods of incorporating scientific with traditional knowledge for volcanic hazard management on Ambae Island, Vanuatu, Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 66, pp.652-668, Springer-Verlag.

Wallez S, 2000, Socio-economic survey of the impact of the volcanic hazards for Ambae Island: geo-hazards mitigation program section. Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources, Port Vila, Vanuatu. p 39.

Geologic Background. The island of Ambae, also known as Aoba, is a massive 2,500 km3 basaltic shield that is the most voluminous volcano of the New Hebrides archipelago. A pronounced NE-SW-trending rift zone dotted with scoria cones gives the 16 x 38 km island an elongated form. A broad pyroclastic cone containing three crater lakes (Manaro Ngoru, Voui, and Manaro Lakua) is located at the summit within the youngest of at least two nested calderas, the largest of which is 6 km in diameter. That large central edifice is also called Manaro Voui or Lombenben volcano. Post-caldera explosive eruptions formed the summit craters about 360 years ago. A tuff cone was constructed within Lake Voui (or Vui) about 60 years later. The latest known flank eruption, about 300 years ago, destroyed the population of the Nduindui area near the western coast.

Information Contacts: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/vmgd/); Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), Sulfur Dioxide Group), Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/).


Ambrym (Vanuatu) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Ambrym

Vanuatu

16.25°S, 168.12°E; summit elev. 1334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing plumes, some bearing ash and to over 6 km altitude

In our last report on Ambrym (BGVN: 3411), we described the frequent thermal anomalies from the volcano's active lava lakes during October 2008-September 2009. Satellite imagery in 2009 and 2010 suggested ongoing visible plumes and thermal alerts consistent with active lava lakes. Several satellite images of Vanuatu appear below (figures 21-22).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. A hazy layer of vog (volcanic fog) overlies Malekula and a few other islands of the Vanuatu archipelago in this natural-color satellite image from 6 October 2009. The source of the vog is Ambrym, a volcano (and island of the same name) in the SE (lower right) corner of this scene. The haze extends over the Coral Sea several hundred kilometers to the NW. Ambrym emits SO2, the gas responsible for the formation of vog, intermittently. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (the Rapid Response Team provides twice-daily images of this region). Caption by Robert Simmon.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Diffuse plumes rise from Gaua volcano (top) and Ambrym volcano (bottom) in the Vanuatu archipelago. Both Gaua and Ambrym are located in the New Hebrides island arc, where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the Australian plate. This natural-color image was acquired on 2 August 2010, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Terra satellite. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz ; caption by Robert Simmon. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

Based on observations by aircraft pilots, analyses of satellite imagery, and information from the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO), the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported that on 8 and 10 August 2010 ash and steam plumes from Ambrym volcano rose to an altitude 6.1 km and drifted W and NW.

Ambrym is a major source of SO2 in the Vanuatu Republic. The VGO web site shows daily Vanuatu volcanic sulfur dioxide (SO2) fluxes through a partnership with GNS Science Institute (Taupo, New Zealand) using OMI satellite images.

Figure 23 shows a 22 May 2011 satellite image of Ambrym. Similar images were acquired by NASA satellites on 28 March 2011 and on 7 June 2011. On figure 23, a blue-tinged volcanic plume emissions extends from Ambrym to the W. The plume contains vog, a mix of gases and aerosols that is formed when SO2 and other volcanic gases react with sunlight, oxygen, and moisture.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. A natural-color image showing Ambrym and its W-blowing plume. The image was acquired by MODIS (the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite) on the morning of 22 May 2011. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

Geologic Background. Ambrym, a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera, is one of the most active volcanoes of the New Hebrides Arc. A thick, almost exclusively pyroclastic sequence, initially dacitic then basaltic, overlies lava flows of a pre-caldera shield volcano. The caldera was formed during a major Plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1,900 years ago. Post-caldera eruptions, primarily from Marum and Benbow cones, have partially filled the caldera floor and produced lava flows that ponded on the floor or overflowed through gaps in the caldera rim. Post-caldera eruptions have also formed a series of scoria cones and maars along a fissure system oriented ENE-WSW. Eruptions have apparently occurred almost yearly during historical time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents. However, from 1850 to 1950, reporting was mostly limited to extra-caldera eruptions that would have affected local populations.

Information Contacts: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory, Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources of Vanuatu (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/vmgd/); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); MODIS/MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), 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/); Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd (MetService), PO Box 722, Wellington, New Zealand (URL: http://www.metservice.com/vaac/, URL: http://vaac.metservice.com/).


Cleveland (United States) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Cleveland

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Thermal anomalies and possible plumes through mid-September 2010

Occasional small ash eruptions occurred at Cleveland during 2009 through early June 2010 (BGVN 35:06). Mild restless behavior continued at least into mid-September 2010 but it was uncertain whether ash had been emitted.

Table 3 compiles key observations and alerts for Cleveland volcano during mid-June through 31 March 2011. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reported that thermal anomalies were sometimes visible and sometimes absent on satellite imagery. One or two ash plumes may have also been emitted. Accordingly, these observations caused authorities to raise and lower the Volcano Alert Level and Aviation Color Code (table 3). Volcano seismicity was absent because Cleveland lacks a real-time seismic network. The thermal anomalies and possible plumes could both could stem from steam emissions (see AVO statement at bottom of this report).

Table 3. Reports of activity at Cleveland based on satellite imagery during 10 June 2010 through 31 March 2011. Also shown are Volcano Alert Level and Aviation Color Code fluctuations based on that activity. Courtesy AVO.

Date Observation based on satellite imagery Volcano Alert Level Aviation Color Code
10 Jun 2010 -- Advisory Yellow
11 Jun 2010 -- Unassigned Unassigned
16 Aug-1 Sep 2010 Thermal anomalies visible on most days -- --
26 Aug 2010 -- Advisory Yellow
07-08 Sep 2010 Clear-weather views showed no thermal anomalies or recent deposits on the flanks -- --
08 Sep 2010 -- Unassigned Unassigned
11 Sep 2010 Thermal anomaly visible -- --
12 Sep 2010 Possible ash plume rose to ~7.6-km altitude and drifted E -- --
12 Sep 2010 -- Advisory Yellow
13-15 Sep 2010 Thermal anomalies visible -- --
16-24 Sep 2010 Cloud cover prevented views -- --
25-26 Sep 2010 Weak thermal anomaly visible -- --
27-28 Sep 2010 Cloud cover prevented views -- --
31 Mar 2011 -- Unassigned Unassigned

On 12 September 2010, a possible ash plume was visible in satellite imagery; it rose to an estimated altitude of 7.6 km and drifted E. A 14 September image showed a dense white plume issuing from Cleveland (figure 9).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. Image of a small, dense, compact white plume issuing from Cleveland at 1431 on 14 Sept 2010, captured by the GeoEye IKONOS satellite. In color versions of the image, red highlights areas of vegetation detected by the near-infrared channel. Photographed/created by Rick Wessels. Image processed by AVO/USGS; copyright 2010 by GeoEye. Courtesy AVO.

On 31 March 2011, AVO lowered the Volcano Alert Level and the Aviation Color Code to Unassigned, noting that no eruptive activity had been confirmed during the previous few months. No significant thermal anomalies or ash deposits on snow were observed in satellite imagery.

In its 31 March 2011 report, AVO stated that "Cleveland experiences frequent episodes of low-level unrest; the summit crater at Cleveland often emits visible plumes of water vapor and possibly small quantities of volcanic gas. Heat associated with this process can produce occasional weak thermal anomalies detected by satellite; however, these do not always indicate eruptive activity has occurred or is imminent."

AVO also stated, in an earlier report, that low-level ash emissions at Cleveland occur frequently and also do not necessarily mean that a larger eruption is imminent.

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

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA; Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA; and Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/).


Etna (Italy) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Etna

Italy

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing effusive fissure eruption that began on 13 May 2008 ends on 4 July 2009

A new eruptive fissure opened on W flank at ~2,800 m elevation on 13 May 2008 (BGVN 33:05)). Effusive eruptions there continued until 4 July 2009. There was some degassing at some of the summit craters degassed, while others were quiet. Figure 137 presents a map made in 2009 showing summit craters and the eruptive fissure. The following account was compiled from reports of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania (INGV-CT) surrounding events from 16 July 2008 through 10 November 2009.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 137. Schematic map of the eruptive fissure at Etna that opened on 13 May 2008, as updated on 22 May 2009, showing the lava field that emanated from it. In colored versions of this Bulletin, the fissure is a thin blue line, the lava field appears in yellow, and red arrows show some of the near-source flow directions. Summit crater abbreviations (SEC, NEC, and BN) defined in text. From the 25-31 May 2009 report by INGV-CT's Marco Neri (with reference to report WKRVG20090526).

2008. On 15 July 2008 INGV-CT scientists inspected the summit craters at 2,800 m and found degassing from the Northeast Crater (NEC) and to a lesser degree from the Bocca Nuova (BN) crater BN-1. Eruptions issued from Vent 2 of the active NW-trending fissure located E of the summit craters. The activity consisted mainly of weak Strombolian and diffuse ash emissions.

During 15 and 17 July lava flows occurred in the Valle del Bove. During 11-17 August, there was less intense activity and reduced emissions. During 18-24 August NEC and, to lesser degree, one of two craters at the BN degassed. The other summit craters, many obstructed with eroded debris, degassed from the walls and fumaroles along fissures. Although the Southeast Crater (SEC) appeared obstructed with debris, it emitted both diffuse and occasionally intense fumarolic emissions from its walls and crater floor. During 25-31 August the eruptive activity at the fissure at 2,800 m elevation showed little change, with only weak degassing.

A lull in activity ended in mid-October. On 13-20 October, observers saw increased degassing on the NW flanks, including at NEC and BN-1. During 27 October-2 November, the NEC continued with intense degassing. The other summit craters, all obstructed by detritus, showed degassing diffused from the walls and localized fumarolic fields along fissures. The SEC showed diffused and occasionally intense fumarolic activity from its walls and the crater floor.

During 17-23 November, the fissure at 2,800 m continued to show modest effusive activity, producing a small lava flow along the high part of the western wall of the Valle del Bove. On 19 November the lava flow front had reached the elevation of ~2,500-2,600 m.

During 1-7 December the degassing at summit craters was particularly intense at NEC, while at SEC, fumarolic degassing was observed along the flanks of the cone and the crater rim. Observations on 5 December showed small sporadic ash emissions at the upper portion of the eruptive fissure at 2,800 m. Images recorded on 5 December near Mt. Zoccolaro revealed two lava flows trending parallel to the eruptive fissure to the W of the Valle del Bove. Between 29 December 2008 and 19 January 2009 weak degassing continued.

2009. During 19-25 January lava flows from the fissure at 2,800 m fanned out at elevations between ~2,600 m and ~2,450 m. During the same week, the SO2 flux increased. During 26 January-2 February effusive activity at the eruptive vents along the W rim of the Valle del Bove continued in the lava field that has been active since May 2008. During 16-22 March eruptive activity continued along the high flanks of the volcano. At times observers saw intense degassing at the NEC and BN (figure 137).

During 6-12 April the level of activity remained constant and unchanged from the preceding time period.

During 18-31 May and 29 June-5 July 2009 the level of activity remained substantially unchanged, although in the earlier interval there were at least three lava flows, the foremost of which reached ~2,400 m elevation. The SO2 fluxes increased and on 27 and 28 May became particularly elevated, to 8,000 and 6,000 metric tons per day (t/d), respectively. For the later interval, the SO2 fluxes often remained more modest, ~2,900 t/d, with a maximum of ~3,500 t/d recorded 30 June. On 1, 3 and 5 July instruments measured higher peaks, to 7,000 t/d.

Although the explosive eruptive phases ceased in early July, ongoing degassing continued. Throughout August, the activity level remained unchanged, although roaring sounds emerged at SEC. Activity during 28 September-4 October showed little variance, but elevated SO2 fluxes became elevated, with average values ranging between 1,500 and 4,500 t/d, with a peak on 4 October 2009 at 8,000 t/d.

A 10 November message from INGV's Sonia Calvari explained that the effusive fissure eruption that began on 13 May 2008 ended 4 July 2009. There was thereafter an absence of significant explosive activity at the summit craters for a few months before deep explosive activity resumed once again at SEC on 6 November. The INGV monitoring web cameras detected pulsating red glowing from SEC's eastern floor, venting within the depression that cuts its E flank. However, as late as 10 November, no ejecta were found on the summit's snow cover.

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

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


Galeras (Colombia) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Galeras

Colombia

1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption on 25 August 2010; gas emissions in early 2011

Our previous report (BGVN 34:12) covered explosive eruptions at Galeras on 30 September 2009, 20 November 2009, and 2 January 2010 (included in table 11). This report discusses the recent eruption in August 2010 and intense degassing and seismic events between January 2011 and May 2011.

Figure (see Caption) Table 11. Minimum volumes of erupted material from Galeras calculated for events from August 2004 to August 2010. Number of eruptions, Date, Local Time (hour and minute), and Calculated Minimum Volume in cubic meters. Adapted from INGEOMINAS (2010a).

The Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS) use an alert scale from I-IV, a Level I being the highest. They declared a Level I alert during an eruption in August 2010 and a Level II during unrest in late January 2011. To date, Level III status has been maintained since 8 February 2011.

Eruption of 25 August 2010. On 20 August 2010, after several days of increased gas emissions, an earthquake swarm began. According to INGEOMINAS, seismicity remained high during 21-22 August. Five volcano-tectonic earthquakes were felt by local residents and caused windows to vibrate. The events were located within a 300-900 m radius of the crater, at depths of less than 2 km. The largest event was M 4.3.

On 23 August a M 4.6 earthquake struck E of Galeras at a depth of 2 km. The Alert Level was raised to II (Orange; "probable eruption in terms of days or weeks"). SO2 emissions peaked at 304 tons/day on 23-24 August (table 12).

Figure (see Caption) Table 12. Emissions of SO2 (metric tons/day) from Galeras during August 2010 measured by ScanDOAS and MovilDOAS (supported by Proyecto NOVAC). Low (under 500); Moderate (500-1,000); High (1,000-3,000); Very High (over 3,000). Courtesy of INGEOMINAS (2010a).

An eruption began at 0400 on 25 August, prompting INGEOMINAS to raise the Alert Level to I (Red; "imminent eruption or in progress"). Meteorological cloud cover initially prevented visual observations of the summit, although an eruption plume was seen among the clouds and thermal anomalies were detected by an infrared camera. At ~0700, an overflight of the flanks was videorecorded which documented a low-altitude gray plume distinctive from the atmospheric clouds (INGEOMINAS, 2010c). With a thermal camera, the Colombian Air Force documented that hot material fell from the secondary crater, El Paisita (INGEOMINAS, 2010b). Ashfall was reported to the NW, as far away as 30 km and quantified as over 37,033 m3 of material (table 11). Ash was reported in Samaniego, Linares, Ancuya, Sandoná, and Consacá. Observers in Pasto (~ 10 km E) reported that gas-and-ash plumes rose 300 m above the crater.

Seismicity associated with the 25 August eruption continued for a period of about 12 hours and gradually declined in the afternoon. INGEOMINAS lowered the Alert Level to II. According to news articles, at least 7,000 residents were ordered by government officials to evacuate, although few left their homes. During 26-31 August, at least 12 earthquakes, M 2-4, struck within a 2 km radius from the crater, at depths not more than 3 km. Gas plumes drifted NW, then S.

Seismic and thermal activity in 2011 through May. Overflights conducted by INGEOMINAS on 7 January 2011 collected multiple infrared and visible photopairs, one set of which appears as figure 113. The maximum temperature of the central crater reached 287.2°C. Temperatures of the rim and flank fumaroles were also recorded. A calculation was made for an area of three fumaroles close to the rim yielding a maximum temperature of 31.2°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 113. A set of visible (left) and infrared (right) photo of both the crater and some flank fumaroles at Galeras taken during an INGEOMINAS overflight on 7 January 2011. The flank location is not disclosed. Taken from INGEOMINAS (2011b).

According to INGEOMINAS, on 25 January an emerging seismic pattern from Galeras, characterized by "tornillo-type" earthquakes, was similar to patterns detected before past eruptions. Tornillos are "monochromatic [narrow range of frequencies] long-period seismic events of a few minutes duration with long codas of constantly decreasing amplitude" (Morrissey and Mastin, 2000). The waveform of a tornillo is illustrated and described in more depth in BGVN27:05. The staff noted a strong sulfur gas odor and observed emissions that drifted N from various areas of the crater. Based on changes in seismicity and observed gas emissions, INGEOMINAS raised the Alert Level to II.

On 27 January 2011, scientists again observed emissions from various areas of the crater during an overflight (figure 114) and there was a slight increase in the number of vents. Gas plumes drifted NW and thermal imagery showed clearly-defined fumaroles. Imagery measured the maximum temperature of the central vent around 300°C (reported as 294.7°C).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 114. A stillshot from video footage of degassing at Galeras taken during an INGEOMINAS overflight on 27 January 2011. Gas from the crater and fumaroles was blown in a diffuse plume moving approximately W. Look direction is W. Taken from INGEOMINAS (2011b).

On the morning of 30 January, tornillos ceased.

In early February 2011, seismic levels continued to fluctuate. On 6 February an overflight revealed that gas emissions had increased in comparison to the previous week, forming plumes that drifted NW; however INGEOMINAS lowered the Alert Level to III.

INGEOMINAS reported gas-and-steam emissions on 31 March and 1 April with low ash content. On 1 April, a M 2.3 earthquake occurred 3 km E of the crater at a depth of 6 km and was felt by nearby residents. During an overflight on 2 April, scientists noted a sulfur gas odor and observed that gas emissions rose from multiple areas of the active cone. During 30 March-5 April, SO2 gas values were between 50 and 2,000 tons per day, the latter value considered high for Galeras.

As of 7 April 2011 there was a decrease in transient seismic signals. Within the first week of the month there were three tornillo events with oscillations around 7.5 Hz. After 7 April tornillos were no longer recorded and seismicity was dominated by an increase of events interpreted as the result of fluid motion within the volcanic system and gas emissions. The April 2011 INGEOMINAS monthly report concluded that hypocenters of earthquakes clustered in three distinct zones (figure 115).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 115. A map and cross sections plotting 206 epicenters and hypocenters of volcano-tectonic and hybrid earthquakes that occurred during 1-30 April 2011 at Galeras. In the N-S section (right) and the E-W section (bottom), each line represents 1.7 km of depth with respect to the summit (elevation, ~4,200 m). Magnitudes of seismic events are indicated by circle size. Colors indicate depths, which ranged from under 1 km to over 10 km. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS (2011c).

One zone was a shallow (under1 km) area focused on the crater in the SE sector. A second source was located to the W of the crater with depths up to 2.5 km (with respect to the summit) and a deeper source was identified between 5 and 7.5 km to the E of the crater. The most distant events (up to 8 km) were dispersed with depths around 11 km. The largest of these, M 2.4, occurred at 0454 on 1 April.

Between 13 April-17 May 2011, steam rose up to 1.2 km in altitude and the values of SO2 ranged from low to high with emission values reaching up to 1,600 tons per day. Residents in the city of San Juan de Pasto, just to the E, reported the foul odor of sulfur gases, mainly H2S. On 18 April, an onsite INGEOMINAS team noted a strong odor of sulfur gases and emission from both the main crater and secondary craters and fumarolic fields. That same day a M 1.9 earthquake occurred 6 km SW of Galeras at a depth of ~7 km.

According to INGEOMINAS, favorable weather conditions during 11, 15-10, and 22 May allowed observers to note plumes with heights up to 700 m. On 15-16 May, heavy rains produced lahars that swept down Galeras'slopes carrying rocks, soil, and plant material into and down drainages.

With support from the Colombian Air Force, overflights of Galeras were conducted on 18, 20 and 22 May. Various rates of gas emissions were observed, mostly from vents, secondary craters, and cracks on the slopes of the active cone. Thermal anomalies were detected in various areas, with an average value of 170°C at the bottom of the main crater and 205°C in the secondary crater "The Paisita" N of the active cone.

References. INGEOMINAS, Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería, 2010a, Pasto Observatory Work Group: Monthly Report on Galeras and the Volcanoes of Doña Juana, Cumbal, and Azufral, August 2010 (URL: http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/images/1/1e/Boletin_mensual_de_actividad_de_los_volcanes_del_sur_agosto_2010.pdf).

INGEOMINAS, Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería, 2010b, Review of Activity from Galeras 24 Aug.-30 Aug., 2010, (URL: http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/Imagen:Resumen_actividad_galeras_ago_24_ago_30_2010.pdf).

INGEOMINAS, Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería, 2010c, Sobrevuelo volcán Galeras 8/25/2010, (URL: http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/Videos_2010).

INGEOMINAS, Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería, 2011a, Thermal Images 2011, 1/7/2011,

(URL: http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/Imágenes_térmicas_2011).

INGEOMINAS, Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería, 2011b, Sobrevuelo volcán Galeras 1/27/2011, (URL: http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/Videos_2011).

INGEOMINAS, Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería, 2011c, Pasto Observatory Work Group: Monthly Report on Galeras and the Volcanoes of Doña Juana, Cumbal, and Azufral, April 2011 (URL: http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/images/8/8b/Boletin_mensual_de_actividad_de_los_volcanes_del_sur_abril_2011.pdf).

Morrissey, M.M., and Mastin, L.G., 2000, Vulcanian Eruptions, in Sigurdsson, H., ed., Encyclopedia of Volcanoes: San Diego, California, Academic Press, p. 463-475.

Geologic Background. Galeras, a stratovolcano with a large breached caldera located immediately west of the city of Pasto, is one of Colombia's most frequently active volcanoes. The dominantly andesitic complex has been active for more than 1 million years, and two major caldera collapse eruptions took place during the late Pleistocene. Long-term extensive hydrothermal alteration has contributed to large-scale edifice collapse on at least three occasions, producing debris avalanches that swept to the west and left a large horseshoe-shaped caldera inside which the modern cone has been constructed. Major explosive eruptions since the mid-Holocene have produced widespread tephra deposits and pyroclastic flows that swept all but the southern flanks. A central cone slightly lower than the caldera rim has been the site of numerous small-to-moderate historical eruptions since the time of the Spanish conquistadors.

Information Contacts: Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS), Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Popayán, Popayán, Colombia.


Gaua (Vanuatu) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Gaua

Vanuatu

14.27°S, 167.5°E; summit elev. 797 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Drops in both tremor and caustic effects on vegetation after mid-2010

The Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) report of December 2010 noted seismicity activity and gas emissions during the period from September 2010 through 21 December 2010. This follows the more substantial emissions reported through 19 June 2010. The Ambrym report figure in BGVN 36:05 showing a 2 August 2010 satellite image of the region, includes a plume from Gaua visible for at least 80 km.

The geologic map of Vanuatu (figure 19), formerly called the New Hebrides islands, is centered ~2,200 km N off the New Zealand coast and ~2,100 km NE off the coast of Australia (figure 19). Gaua is sometimes referred to as residing on the island of Santa Maria. This island is also sometimes labeled Gaua, and volcano's topographic high is sometimes called Mont-Geret. The map locates the archepelago's major islands, volcanoes, igneous and metamorphic rocks. Most of the Pliocene and Quaternary islands have been formed by volcanic growth, with uplift in a few cases. Those islands containing older Tertiary rocks resulted from differential elevation of fault bounded blocks (Mitchel and Warden, 1971). Map revised from one on the VGO web site.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Geologic map of Vanuatu. Gaua island is labeled with its alternate name, Santa Maria (Gaua volcano is also called Mont-Geret). The volcano Ambae is situated on Aoba island; the volcano Ambrym, on Ambrym island; and the volcano Yasur, on Tanna island. The key shows basic igneous and metamorphic rock units. Those islands containing older Tertiary rocks have resulted from differential elevation of fault bounded blocks (Mitchel and Warden, 1971). Map revised from one on the VGO web site.

Based on VGO information, the Wellington VAAC reported that on 7 and 16-19 June 2010 an ash plume from Gaua rose to an altitude of ~3 km. On 19 June the plume drifted more than 90 km W but later plume dispersal and emissions were obscured on satellite imagery.

Late 2010 observations on Gaua indicated renewed growth of the vegetation near the volcano's vent and on the island's leeward W side. That area had suffered damage during April-May 2010 due to gas emissions (BGVN 35:05). These observations suggested diminished emissions from the volcano.

Since September 2010, seismic monitoring showed decreasing numbers of counts of volcano-related earthquakes (figure 20). The Alert Level of Gaua volcano was lowered to Level 1 in December 2010. No satellite thermal alerts were measured by MODVOLC during 6 April 2010 through late July 2011.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Gaua volcanic tremor counts recorded for the year 2010. REG adjacent to large pulse traces identify regional earthquakes and/or earthquakes close to Gaua unrelated to volcanic activity. Our previous report (BGVN 35:05) presented a similar plot through 22 April 2010. Courtesy of VGO.

Reference. Mitchel, AH and Warden, AJ, 1971, Geological evolution of the New Hebrides island arc, Journal of Geological Soc. of London, October 1971, 127, p. 501-529 (DOI: 10.1144/gsjgs.127.5.0501)

Geologic Background. The roughly 20-km-diameter Gaua Island, also known as Santa Maria, consists of a basaltic-to-andesitic stratovolcano with an 6 x 9 km wide summit caldera. Small parasitic vents near the caldera rim fed Pleistocene lava flows that reached the coast on several sides of the island; several littoral cones were formed where these lava flows reached the sea. Quiet collapse that formed the roughly 700-m-deep caldera was followed by extensive ash eruptions. Construction of the historically active cone of Mount Garat (Gharat) and other small cinder cones in the SW part of the caldera has left a crescent-shaped caldera lake. The symmetrical, flat-topped Mount Garat cone is topped by three pit craters. The onset of eruptive activity from a vent high on the SE flank in 1962 ended a long period of dormancy.

Information Contacts: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO), Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources (DGMWR), Vanuatu (URL: http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/vmgd/); MODIS/MODVOLC thermal alerts satellite system, 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/).


Merapi (Indonesia) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Merapi

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Recovery; intermittent activity; damaging lahars

A VEI 4 (Volcanic Explosivity Index) eruption began at Merapi volcano on 26 October 2010. Within the last 100 years, this volcano had not produced such large-magnitude explosions (Surono and others, in review; Andreastuti and others, 2011). The eruption and secondary events affected areas in all directions around the volcano; pyroclastic flows reached 4 km to the N, 11.5 km to the W, 7 km to the E, and ~15 km to the S, and explosive bombs reached 4 km from the summit in all directions (Jousset, 2010). These events included explosive central vent eruptions that caused significant changes in the summit morphology (figure 48) and according to Act Forum Indonesia, triggered evacuations of communities within a 20 km radius of the summit. In BGVN 36:1/2 we reported on preliminary damage assessments that included significant fatalities and damaged infrastructure.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 48. A photo comparison of Merapi's morphological changes on 23 March 2010 and 16 March 2011. Viewed from the S flank, these photos focus on the summit dome. Non-juvenile material was excavated during two episodes of explosive activity. During 26-29 October ~1.4 x 106 m3 was excavated from the crater and from 4-5 November ~10 x 106 m3 was removed (Surono and others, in review). Photo courtesy of the Volcano Technical Research Center (Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kegunungapian, "BPPK") from their report covering 14-20 March 2011.

The explosive events of 2010 represent a break in Merapi's iconic style of activity (Surono and others, in review). "Merapian" is a term often assigned to volcanic events characterized by hot pyroclastic block flows generated during the collapse of growing viscous lava domes (Schmincke, 2004). Standard eruptive activity at Merapi includes "continuous degassing and extrusion of andesitic lava domes whose collapses generate block avalanches and gravitational pyroclastic flows" (Allard and others, 2011).

At least 17 VEI = 2 events have occurred since the catastrophic 15 April 1872 eruption (Siebert and others, 2010). While explosive activity is characteristic of past behavior, assessments of data from 2010 confirm that the 26 October eruptive sequence did not begin with lava extrusion (typical of past eruptions). Instead, intense explosions initiated activity that lasted for ~5 weeks (Surono and others, in review).

During the Merapi special session at the EGU General Assembly held in April 2011, Andreastuti and others (2011) concluded that "the rate of magma extrusion [during the peak of Merapi's 2010 activity] was as much as 17-to 21-times higher [than] the 2006 eruption and the distance of pyroclastic flows in the same drainage (Gendol River) reached 15 km in 2010 and only 7 km in 2006."

This assessment and others (e.g. Alder and others, 2011) linked the highly explosive eruptions of October-November 2010 to elevated and variable gas emissions.

On 4 December 2010, after 40 days of maintaining the highest alert, the Indonesian Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) downgraded the hazard Alert Level from 4 to 3 ("Awas," Red Alert to "Siaga," Watch). The Alert Level was reduced again on 19 January 2011 from 3 to 2 (to "Waspada," Advisory). The Alert Level remained at Level 2 into June 2011.

In this report we review the recovery efforts, Merapi's intermittent activity, and the long-term lahar crisis from March to June 2011. We also include a review of intervals of gas geochemistry data recorded prior to the 26 October 2010 disaster that recently became available.

Recovery efforts. Since October 2010, of the ~300,000 people evacuated, 11,000 were still displaced as of January 2011 (Jakarta Post and IRIN). Authorities had set up nine camps within the city of Yogyakarta and ~70 camps were located farther away within Central Java. On 2 May 2011 the head of Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency, reported: "With almost all the displaced having moved to temporary shelters, our focus now is how to rebuild communities affected by the disaster" (IRIN, 2011).

In May 2011 the Indonesian government sought international aid (including the International Red Cross and United Nations) and international non-governmental organizations were working in Indonesia for relief efforts. The Jakarta Post reported on 12 May 2011 that Australia had agreed to help Indonesia establish a Disaster Relief Center for disaster management training; the location will be in Sentul, West Java and will serve members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ten countries currently belong to ASEAN). BNPB had called upon the World Bank to begin a Risk Transfer scheme, allowing the local government to focus aid specifically on reconstruction programs.

According to reports from the Jakarta Globe in April 2011, the recent disaster and long history of volcanism at Merapi prompted the Indonesian government to implement an extensive recovery plan for the Yogyakarta province. They prioritized the development of spatial planning maps, expansion of the Merapi National Park, large-scale reforestation (approximately 1,300 hectares), and allocation of 1.35 trillion Rupiah ($155 million) to improve housing, infrastructure, social efforts, and economic stimulation plans. New mapping in the province will reassign land-use and designate relocation sites for former residents. In general, residential areas lying within 10 km of the summit will remain off limits (Sayudi and others, 2010). The Jakarta Post noted these maps also highlight where reforestation will occur. Impacts were substantial to Merapi National Park which lost up to 2,800 hectares out of 6,410 hectares of forest due to the recent eruptions. The Volcano Technical Research Center (BPPTK) reassessed zones in the Sleman region, the area hardest hit by volcanic activity, and will release a map indicating hazard zones. "[These maps] will show which areas are safe, unsafe and suitable for habitation," stated Sleman administration spokeswoman Endah Sri Widiastuti (Jakarta Post).

A controversial location within the 10 km exclusion zone is the village of Kinahrejo, the former home of spiritual leader Mbah Maridjan, called the guardian of Merapi. Working with a team of 17 respected community members, he preserved traditional ceremonies and local culture for Merapi residents. Pyroclastic flows covered the village on 26 October 2010, taking the life of the guardian and other inhabitants who did not evacuate.

The new guardian is Mbah Maridjian's son, Asihono (his new name: Mas Lurah Suraksosihono). During Merapi's disastrous eruptions of October and November, Asihono cooperated with the local government and agencies including the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) and BPPTK. On 4 April 2011 Sultan Hamengku Buwono X elected Asihono from a group of eight candidates. In an interview with Jakarta Globe on 5 April 2011, the new guardian explained: "I'm not just going to take a cultural approach based on the dreams or guidance from the spirits, but I will also coordinate with the authorities to protect human life and the environment on Mount Merapi and anticipate the fall of victims to future eruptions."

New dome growth. Seismicity was variable and intermittent explosions were observed at Merapi at least every month through June 2011 since the main eruptive events of October and November 2010. This activity kept local residents vigilant and caused some alarm when incandescence suddenly appeared on Merapi's summit on 25 March and 13 April (figure 49). On these two occasions, a bright glow on the crater's E side was recorded on closed circuit television (CCTV).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 49. Bright incandescence visible on the E side of Merapi's crater was observed at 1940 on 25 March 2011. Courtesy of Volcano Technical Research Center (BPPTK Activity Report 21-27 March 2011).

The point of incandescence was a location of concentrated degassing. In the aftermath of the eruption in 2010, fumaroles became well established and BPPTK intends to resume gas monitoring. They reported that a new dome was growing in the crater: "The final phase is usually marked by eruption of lava dome growth. However, we won't lower the [alert] status as long as the condition of Merapi is still volatile," reported Subandriyo of BPPTK on 11 April 2011 (Kompas News). Since 19 January 2011, the Alert Level was at 2, Advisory.

Gas monitoring. From ultraviolet correlation spectrometer (COSPEC) measurements, BPPTK reported continuous SO2 emissions for both 1992 through early 2009 (BPPTK, 2011b) and January 2005-January 2010 (figure 50). Other data resulted from sampling with Giggenbach bottles; a method of condensate retrieval requiring evacuated alkaline-solution-filled bottles (Williams-Jones and Rymer, 2000). Gas species such as CO2, SO2, H2S, and HCL were analyzed during June 2003-June 2010 (figure 51).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 50. Merapi SO2 fluxes measured from January 2005 to roughly April 2009 using COSPEC (sulfur dioxide in metric tons per day). The curve shown displays an undisclosed averaging function on the data. Modified from BPPTK, 2011a.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 51. Gas sampling at Merapi's Woro Crater (a location map is posted in BGVN 32:02) conducted during June 2003-January 2011. Results from Giggenbach bottle collection and lab analysis for gas species are plotted on log scales. Right-hand vertical axis corresponds to upper (blue) data and trendlines. Left-hand vertical axis corresponds to the lower (black) data trendlines and data. Original concentration units were undisclosed (but Bulletin editors hope to clarify these units in later discussions on Merapi). Modified from BPPTK, 2011a.

SO2 ranged from ~75 metric tons/day (t/d) to ~285 t/d and appeared to peak mid-year in 2005 and 2006 (figure 50). A sudden decrease of 50 t/d in January 2007 preceded an increasing trend that ended in mid-2008. These fluxes also had fewer sustained peaks around March 2008 and declined until the available record ends around March 2009.

The SO2 peak of ~200 t/d generally correlated with the 2005 mid-year episode of elevated seismicity that prompted the BPPTK (at that time called the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, "DVGHM") to raise the Alert Level from Normal to Advisory (from 1 to 2). However, there were no additional reports of plumes or increased dome activity then (BGVN 32:02).

In 2006, the Alert Level was raised to the highest level on 13 May due to intense dome growth and earthquake activity (BGVN 31:05), a time when SO2 reached ~225 t/d.

According to information recorded in Bulletin reports, the abrupt decrease of SO2 in late 2006-early 2007 did not appear to correlate with significant volcanism in that time interval. The gradual increasing-and-decreasing trend in SO2 flux from 2007 until the end of the record was marked by rare ash plumes (e.g. 19 March 2007, 9 Aug 2007, and 19 May 2008), and modest dome growth (BGVN 32:02). Bulletin reports also noted incandescence and ashfall had continued during 23 May-29 May 2007. MODVOLC thermal anomalies became rare after 5 September 2006 (BGVN 33:10).

Intermittent activity during 18 April-1 May 2011. Unrest at Merapi since the 2010 crisis was characterized by intermittent increases in seismicity as observed from 18 to 24 April 2011 (figure 52). Over the course of that week, rockfall signals doubled from the previous observation period and 39 multiphase events were recorded.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. Histograms from September 2010 to June 2011 summarize the number of seismic events from four categories is summarized for Merapi. Events shown are rockfalls; MP, multiphase (shallow source, dominant frequency ~1.5 Hz); VA, deep volcano-tectonic earthquakes, 2.5-5 km below the summit; VB, shallow volcano-tectonic earthquakes, less than ~1.5 km below the summit. Tremor episodes were infrequent and thus excluded. Courtesy of BPPTK (Activity Report 6-12 June 2011). (A figure in BGVN 36:1/2 presented representative samples of these various waveforms.)

BPPTK also reported that ground deformation was variable throughout this time period as EDM (Electronic Distance Meter) measurements were recorded across the summit. Measurements made on 18 April 2011 compared with those recorded on 25 April 2011 from the monitoring post of Selo showed the following changes: a difference in distance amounting to +8 mm (R1) and a change in movement amounting to 0.1 mm per day.

Measurements carried out on 18 April 2011 compared to those of 24 April 2011 from Jrakah monitoring post indicated the following changes: a difference in distance amounting to -4 mm (R1) with a change in movement amounting to 0.5 mm per day, and a difference in distance of +6 mm (R2) with a movement of 0.7 mm per day.

Plumes of ash and gas reached an altitude of ~800 m on 24 and 25 April. Communities near Merapi's flanks reported ashfall on 29 April, 30 April, and 1 May 2011. (BPPTK Activity Report 25 April-1 May 2011).

Ongoing hazards. The recent weekly report by BPPTK (20 March to 12 June 2011), described plumes of gas and ash that occurred regularly. As measured from above the summit, the average height of these plumes was ~500 m; a maximum height of 900 m was recorded on 20 April. The tallest plume was accompanied by a ramping up of earthquakes and the regular occurrence of lahars, some hot enough to steam while racing through river drainages (figure 53).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. On 21 March 2011 and 14 April 2011 steaming lahars descended Merapi's flanks. This photo was taken on 14 April 2011from a CCTV camera installed in Pencar village, less than 20 km S of Merapi in the Desa Bimomartani region. Note Merapi volcano in upper right-hand area of the photo. Courtesy of BPPTK (Activity Report discussing 11-17 April 2011).

A large amount of volcanic ash fell from Merapi's explosive eruptions in 2010; this has aggravated slope stability and led to increased lahar hazards. In an interview on 11 April 2011 for Kompas News, Subandriyo, the Head of the BPPTK explained that "only about 30 percent" of the material that fell on Merapi's flanks has been remobilized by erosion. "Therefore, the threat of [lahars] will occur two to three years ahead."

As of June 2011, 15 major lahars had occurred since November 2010. The worst occurred on 23 January 2011 along the eroded banks of the Putih river. The major highway between Magelang and Yogyakarta was cut off when a 60 m wide section of blacktop was torn away by torrential mudflows. As a result, hundreds of homes within 12 different villages near the river were inundated forcing 5,000 people to flee. There were three fatalities.

Major infrastructure was also affected; 52 levees were damaged and 14 bridges were destroyed. Intense lahar damage was also reported along the SE rivers: Blongkeng, Batang, Progo, Code, and Gendol.

References. Allard, P., Métrich, N., and Sabroux, J.-C., 2011, Volatile and magma supply to standard eruptive 549 activity at Merapi volcano, Indonesia. EGU General Assembly 2011, Geophysical 550 Research Abstracts 13, EGU 2011-13522 (2011).

Andreastuti, S., Costa, F., Pallister, J.,Sumarti., S., Subandini, S., Heriwaseso, A., Kurniadi, Y. , Petrology and pre-eruptive conditions of the 2010 Merapi magma. EGU General Assembly 2011, Geophysical 550 Research Abstracts 13, EGU2011-5150 (2011).

BPPTK, Volcano Technical Research Center, 2011a, Geochemistry of Merapi. (URL: http://www.merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/aktivitas_merapi.php?page=aktivitas-merapi&subpage=geokimia)BPPTK, Volcano Technical Research Center, 2011b, Monitoring of Geochemical and Temperature of Merapi. (URL: http://www.merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/pages.php?page=geokimia-dan-suhu)

Schmincke, H.-U, 2004, Volcanism, Berlin:Springer, 324 pp.

Jousset, P., 12/6/10, Centennial Eruption at Merapi volcano: October/November 2010, MIAVITA, European Commission. (URL: http://miavita.brgm.fr/Documents/MIAVITA-Merapi-eruption.pdf)

Sayudi, D.S., Nurnaning, A., Juliani, DJ., Muzani, M.; 2010, "Peta Kawasan Rawan Bencana Gunungapi Merapi, Jawa Tengah Dan Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 2010," (The map of the Rawan Bencana Gunungapi Merapi Region, Central Java: Yogyakarta Special District 2010), Volcano Technical Research Center (Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kegunungapian, "BPPTK"). (URL: http://www.merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/peta/2011/04/KRBGMerapi2010FINALcopyright_78a74b.jpg)

Siebert L., Simkin T., and Kimberly P., 2010, Volcanoes of the World, 3rd edition, University of California Press, Berkeley, 558 p.

Surono, Jousset, P., Pallister, J., Boichu, M., Buongiorno, M.F., Budisantoso, A., Costa, F., Andreastuti, S., Prata, F., Schneider, D., Clarisse, L., Humaida, H., Sumarti, S., Bignami, C., Griswold, J., Carn, S., Oppenheimer, C., (in review), 100-year explosive eruption of Java's Merapi volcano, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.

Williams-Jones, G. and Rymer, H., 2000, Hazards of Volcanic Gases, in Sigurdsson, H., ed., Encyclopedia of Volcanoes: San Diego, California, Academic Press, p. 997-1004.

Geologic Background. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2,000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequent growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities.

Information Contacts: Volcano Technical Research Center (Balai Penyelidikan dan Pengembangan Teknologi Kegunungapian, "BPPTK") (URL: http://www.merapi.bgl.esdm.go.id/index.php); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB- Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency) (URL: http://dibi.bnpb.go.id); Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://vsi.esdm.go.id/); IRIN News (URL: http://www.IRINnews.org); Jakarta Globe (URL: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com); The Jakarta Post (URL: http://www.thejakartapost.com); KompasNews, Jakarta, Indonesia (URL: http://www.Kompas.com); Mitigate and Assess risk from Volcanic Impact on Terrain and human Activities project (MIAVITA) (URL: http://miavita.brgm.fr/default.aspx); Act Forum Indonesia (URL: http://www.actalliance.org/); Relief Web (URL: https://reliefweb.int/).


Ulawun (Papua New Guinea) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Ulawun

Papua New Guinea

5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Seismicity ongoing with plumes during May 2010-May 2011

This report discusses Ulawun's ongoing mild seismicity, variably colored, though often white plumes, and other observations during May 2010 to late May 2011. The bulk of the reporting came from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) with some information on plumes from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) and others. Seismicity at Ulawun has generally been low since 2007, with occasional modest increases and steam emission (BGVN 33:03, 34:10, and 35:02).

Activity during 2010. RVO reported that, according to Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurements (RSAM), seismic activity increased on 18 May 2010. According to RVO, white vapor emitted during 1-20 May 2010 became thicker during 22-28 May. On 22 and 25 May, some plumes were partially gray. According to the Darwin VAAC, plumes on 22-28 May reached an altitude of 3 km and extended as far as 70 NM in variable directions.

People on the S and SE sides of the island heard "low jetting" noises during 24-25 May 2010. Weak and fluctuating incandescence was seen from the S at night during 28-29 May. Emissions became gray in color during 29-31 May, and on 30 May very fine ashfall was reported in areas to the SSW, S, and SSE. On 1 and 2 June only white vapor emissions were noted. RVO recommended a Stage 1 Alert as a result of increasing seismicity and occasional gray plumes, incandescence, and audible noises. According to a news report (Radio Australia), up to 10,000 residents live adjacent to Ulawun.

According to RVO, during 2-12, 16-19, and 23-25 June 2010 residents heard occasional low roaring or rumbling noises daily on the ESE, SE, S, and NW flanks. During 2-19 and 23-26 June, white to gray-brown plumes rose to ~3 km altitude (figure 15). The Darwin VAAC noted that between 3-6 June, the plumes extended up to 315 km W. On 16-17 and 19-20 June, white and gray plumes rose 1 km above the summit. Very fine ash particles fell in Ulamona (~10 km NW) on 3 and 8 June, and then fell daily during 9-19 and 23-25 June on the NW, W, and SW flanks. Throughout June, fluctuating incandescence from the summit crater was seen at night from the S, SW, N, and SE flanks. RVO reported that on 18 and 19 June, seismicity increased to a high level and was dominated by volcanic tremor. Seismicity declined to moderate levels on 20 June and, based on RSAM values, declined further on 26 June 2010.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Natural-color image of a small white plume venting from Ulawun's summit crater and blowing W on 10 June 2010. Image was taken by the Advanced Land Imager on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. Green vegetation predominates outboard of 1-2 km from the summit. On the upper slopes, bare (unvegetated) volcanic rocks prevail, appearing as charcoal-brown streaks. The plume's pale color suggests that, of the visible components in the plume, steam rather than ash predominates. NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team and the United States Geological Survey. Original (but now slightly revised) caption crafted by Michon Scott.

According to RVO, white-to-gray plumes rose less than 500 m from Ulawun during 27 June-9 July 2010, and fine ash fell in areas to the SW, W, and NW. The Darwin VAAC reported that during 1-5 July, ash plumes drifted 55-195 km at an altitude of 3 km. On 28 June and during 5-6 July the volcano omitted occasional roaring noises. A slight increase in seismicity (above moderate levels) took place during 5-8 July.

RVO reported diffuse gray plumes that rose 200-500 m above Ulawun during 16-21 July 2010. Plumes were white to light-brown during 21-29 July. During 6-24 August, white and gray-to-brown plumes rose no more than 300 m above Ulawun, and fine ash fell on the NW and W flanks. Tremor continued, but overall seismicity declined slightly. RSAM values remained at a moderate level.

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 26 November 2010 an ash plume from Ulawun rose to an altitude of 3.7 km and drifted 55 km NE.

Several videos of Ulawun's plumes as posted on the web in 2010 showed them as white in color (Sabretoothed69, 2010). Other brief video by the same author take viewers to the Ulawun seismic station and its drum recorder, and to witness aspects of local culture such as villagers dancing.

Activity during 2011. According to RVO, the mild activity that began in May 2010 continued during 1 January-28 February 2011. The activity was characterized by brown-to-gray ash plumes that rose less than 500 m and produced fine ashfall to the SE. Sulfur-dioxide plumes drifted SE on 5 and 31 January. During 23-26 February, gray ash plumes occasionally drifted NE, SW, and NW.

RVO reported that during 1-9 May 2011, diffuse white plumes rose from Ulawun and low to modest RSAM values occurred (70-100 units). During 9-10 May, RSAM values distinctly increased, fluctuated, and peaked at 1,300 units before declining back to 100 units. During this time, local residents heard booming.

During 10, 13-14, 17, and 19-27 May, RVO reported gray-to-brown ash plumes rose above Ulawun's summit crater. On 17 May, emissions became briefly forceful and booming noises were reported. Light ashfall deposited between Ubili and Ulamona to the NW and Voluvolu to the NE, as well as on the NW and W flanks. Weak, fluctuating incandescence was observed on 22 May.

Reference. Sabretoothed69, 2010 (uploaded on 7 November 2010), YouTube (URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnCSeky3Mes, uploaded by sabretoothed69)

Geologic Background. The symmetrical basaltic-to-andesitic Ulawun stratovolcano is the highest volcano of the Bismarck arc, and one of Papua New Guinea's most frequently active. The volcano, also known as the Father, rises above the N coast of the island of New Britain across a low saddle NE of Bamus volcano, the South Son. The upper 1,000 m is unvegetated. A prominent E-W escarpment on the south may be the result of large-scale slumping. Satellitic cones occupy the NW and E flanks. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the south of this valley. Historical eruptions date back to the beginning of the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions were mildly explosive until 1967, but after 1970 several larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows, greatly modifying the summit crater.

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


Yasur (Vanuatu) — May 2011 Citation iconCite this Report

Yasur

Vanuatu

19.532°S, 169.447°E; summit elev. 361 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosion induced ash falls, strong degassing during late May-early June 2011

On 12 May 2011, Yasur's crater (figure 42), which has undergone near-continuous eruption for over 200 (possibly 800) years, emitted persistent strong explosions that could be heard and felt by nearby residents. Satellite images (OMI and MODIS) and seismic data collected from the volcano's monitoring station also confirmed strong degassing and stronger than typical explosive activity since the beginning of May 2011. The volcano sits on Tanna Island in the island nation called the Republic of Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides; ~2,200 km N off of New Zealand's coast and ~2,100 km NE off of Australia's coast). As seen on the map in the Gaua report in this issue (BGVN 36:05), Tanna island lies near the S end of the Republic. Figure 42 presents information about Vanuatu's tectonic setting and Yasur volcano's location and shape.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. (a) Map showing the Vanuatu arc in the SW Pacific, the position of the 6-7 km deep Vanuatu trench, convergence rates (indicated by arrows in cm/yr), and the location of Tanna volcanic island, which rises from a 1-km-deep plateau (redrawn from Pelletier and others, 1998 and Calmant and others, 2003). (b) Schematic map of Tanna island with the locations of the main volcanic centers (redrawn from Carney and MacFarlane, 1979). In its long dimension (N-S), Tanna island stretches ~40 km; its width is ~19 km. (c) Map of southeastern Tanna showing the Yasur crater and Yenkahe horst, bounded by the Siwi ring fracture (redrawn from Nairn and others, 1988 and Allen, 2005). From Métrich and others (2011).

An assessment conducted by the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) during 30 May-3 June 2011 found Yasur's crater in a state of high activity with strong explosions and bomb emissions from all of the three active vents. Fresh volcanic bombs fell around the crater rim, and some reached ~500 m S to the parking area, landing there about once per minute. Residents heard and viewed explosions from their villages.

Observations and assessments made by VGO during 11-12 June 2011 indicated a decrease in eruptive vigor and a return to more typical conditions. Explosions became both slightly weaker and less frequent. Constant Strombolian activity with occasional ejections of lava bombs still occured around the volcano.

On 7-8 July 2011 the VGO reported that Yasur volcano was at a high level of activity with strong degassing and ash emissions from all three active vents. The ash falls were mostly over the W part of the island. Fresh volcanic bombs had fallen around the crater rim. Some explosions could be heard and viewed from the villages, a pattern locals had noticed since the beginning of the year.

Hazard terminology and levels. The operative hazards scale for Yasur spans from 0 to 4, with larger values indicating greater hazards. It is called the VVAL (Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level).

Level 2 is defined as "Moderate eruptions, danger close to the volcano vent, within parts of Volcanic Hazards Map Red Zone" (see map in BGVN 35:04).

Level 3 is defined as "Large eruption, danger in specific areas within parts of Volcanic Hazards Map Red and Yellow Zones."

In the early phases of the upsurge in vigor, the VVAL for Yasur remained at Level 2 with the note that the risk area for volcanic projectiles remained in areas near the volcano crater and vicinity.

Associated with the assessed late-May to early June behavior, the VVAL stepped up to Level 3. A zone surrounding the summit became strictly prohibited (see visitor's map, BGVN 35:04).

Associated with the 11-12 June 2011 observations of decreasing vigor, the VVAL dropped to Level 2.

Background. Métrich and others (2011) point out that Siwi caldera is a volcanic complex containing both persistent eruptive activity of basaltic-trachyandesite composition (Yasur volcano) and rapid block resurgence (Yenkahe horst). They note that available data suggested that Yasur volcano releases, on average, over 134 x 103 tons/day of H2O and 680 tons/day of SO2. Measurements also indicated other gas fluxes: 840 tons/day of CO2, 165 tons/day of HCl, and 23 tons/day of HF.

References. Allen, S.R., 2005, Complex spatter- and pumice-rich pyroclastic deposits from an andesitic caldera forming eruption: The Siwi pyroclastic sequence, Tanna, Vanuatu, Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 67, pp. 27-41.

Calmant, S., Pelletier, B., Lebellegard, P., Bevis, M., Taylor, F.W., and Phillips, D.A., 2003, New insights on the tectonics along the New Hebrides subduction zone based on GPS results, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 108, no. B6, pp. 2319-2339.

Carnay, JN., and MacFarlane, A, 1979, Geology of Tanna, Aneityum, Futuna and Aniva, New Hebrides Geological Survey Report 1979, pp. 5-29.

Métrich, N., Allard, P., Aiuppa, A., Bani, P., Bertagnini, A., Shinohara, H., Parello, F., Di Muro, A., Garaebiti, E., Belhadj, O., and Massare, D., 2011, Magma and Volatile Supply to Post-collapse Volcanism and Block Resurgence in Siwi Caldera (Tanna Island, Vanuatu Arc), Journal of Petrology, v. 52, no. 6, pp. 1077-1105; DOI: 10.1093/petrology/egr019.

Nairn, I.A., Scott, B.J., and Giggenbach, W.F., Yasur volcanic investigations, Vanuatu September 1988, New Zealand Geological Survey Report 1988, pp.1-74.

Pelletier, B., Calmant, S., and Pillet, R., 1998, Current tectonic of the Tonga-New Hebrides region, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 164, pp. 263-276.

Geologic Background. Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous Strombolian and Vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, this mostly unvegetated pyroclastic cone has a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. The active cone is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera, and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.

Information Contacts: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory, Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources of Vanuatu (URL: http://www.geohazards.gov.vu); NASA Earth Observatory (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); MODIS/MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), 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/); Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd (MetService), PO Box 722, Wellington, New Zealand (URL: http://www.metservice.com/vaac/, http://vaac.metservice.com/).

Atmospheric Effects

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

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

Special Announcements

Special announcements of various kinds and obituaries.

Special Announcements  Obituaries

Misc Reports

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

Additional Reports  False Reports