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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Shishaldin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Soputan (Indonesia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Soputan

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor ash emissions during 23 March and 2 April 2020

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

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

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

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

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


Heard (Australia) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 37, Number 08 (August 2012)

Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Asosan (Japan)

Minor mud ejections resumed in 2011, the first since 2008

Bezymianny (Russia)

Dome growth continues in 2012 with plumes up to 1,500 km long

Campi Flegrei (Italy)

Analysis of seismic swarms (Mw =1.9; ~219 events) during September 2012

Ruiz, Nevado del (Colombia)

Several years of escalating seismicity followed by ash explosions

San Cristobal (Nicaragua)

Monitoring efforts and 8 September 2012 explosive eruption

Suwanosejima (Japan)

2011-2012 eruptions with plumes rising up to 1 km above crater rim



Asosan (Japan) — August 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Asosan

Japan

32.884°N, 131.104°E; summit elev. 1592 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Minor mud ejections resumed in 2011, the first since 2008

This report summarizes Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) monthly reports (available in English since October 2010) covering the interval April 2011 to September 2012, with a separate subsection largely focused on aviation reports of Aso plumes emitted at Naka-dake crater during mid-2011. During this reporting interval Naka-dake continued to degas and emit small ash plumes. Eruptions of mud resumed after a hiatus of several years (February 2008 to April 2011).

Aso (also called Aso-san) is a caldera with dimensions ~17 km E-W by ~25 km N-S encompassing an area of ~350 km2. Figure 28 indicates the location of Aso in relation to other Holocene Japanese volcanoes and landmarks in the region.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. A map of the major volcanoes of Japan. Aso is shown on the left side, on the island of Kyushu. Courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Aso's most recent series of eruptions began in April 2011, with minor phreatic (mud-bearing) eruptions from Naka-dake's crater lake. These eruptions were accompanied by minor ash plumes, rock ejections, an increase in the temperature of fumaroles (BGVN 36:09), and continuous, small-amplitude tremor.

Field observations during April 2011-June 2011. In April 2011, a small phreatic (mud-bearing) eruption 5-10-m-high was observed in Naka-dake's crater lake; the lake's temperature was 67°C. Volcanic seismicity remained at a relatively low level. A photo from 21 April 2011 shows a white steam plume (figure 29).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. (A) A photo taken by a field survey team on 21 April 2011 shows a white steam plume rising from the crater floor. (B) A photo taken on 16 May 2011 shows a grayish plume venting from the crater floor. Courtesy of JMA.

From 3 to 10 May, continuous small-amplitude tremor was detected. Seismicity, including isolated-pulse events, remained relatively low during this time. On 6 and 9 May, field surveyers observed a small 5-10-m-high phreatic eruption from the hot crater lake (locally called "Yudamari").

A camera installed by the Aso Volcano Museum detected a small volcanic ash emissions from within the crater beginning on 13 May. Six cameras provide live image feeds to the Aso Museum website. There are also many videos showing Aso and Naka-dake on YouTube.

On 13 May, a field survey found increased fumarole temperatures in the crater, and a video camera revealed incandescence on multiple nights. According to JMA, a small eruption occurred on 15 May followed by minor ashfall, which extended 2 km NE of the crater. A field survey on 15 May recorded a temperature of ~370°C at a fumarole in the crater.

Another eruption occurred on 16 May, producing a grayish plume that rose 500 m above the crater rim. As a result of this increased activity, the Alert Level was raised from 1 to 2 (on a scale from 1-5). A field surveyer later the same day saw a gray plume rise 800 m above the crater rim (figure 29). Small-scale eruptions occurred intermittently on the 17th. The lake water volume was low around this time, ~10-20% of its full volume.

A 9 June field survey revealed a decrease in fumarole temperatures from ~370°C on 15 May to ~160°C on 9 June. After 10 June, eruptions ceased and the lake water volume increased from 60% full on 12 June to 80% full on 17 June (figure 30). The rising lake level suggested a decrease in activity. Consequently, the Alert Level was lowered from 2 to 1 on 20 June. Seismicity, including isolated-pulse events, remained at relatively low levels.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. (A) Photo taken on 9 June 2011 showing the bottom of Naka-dake crater. Note the absence (or near absence) of the crater's lake. (B) Photo taken on 22 June 2011 showing the presence of the steaming crater lake just about two weeks after the photo in (A) was taken. Courtesy of JMA.

Plume heights and drift directions during May-June 2011. We summarize reports from the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) issued between 15 May and 9 June 2011 (table 10). Many plumes contained ash. Notice that the plume heights are stated as altitudes above sea level (as compared to heights above the crater rim, as in the other sections of this report).

Table 10. Summary of plumes at Aso between 15 May and 9 June 2011. Smaller plumes may not have been recorded or were omitted. In most cases, the presence of ash in the plume was noted; in other cases ash may have been present but not recorded. '-' indicates data not reported. Data provided by Tokyo VAAC and JMA.

Date Plume altitude Drift Ash? Pilot/JMA report
15 May 2011 2.1 km NE Ash Pilot
16 May 2011 1.8-2.1 km -- -- JMA
16 May 2011 2.4 km N Ash Pilot
17-18 May 2011 1.8 km E, SE Ash JMA
18 May 2011 3 km -- Ash Pilot
18-22 May 2011 1.5-2.1 km N, NE, SE Ash JMA
25, 27-28, 31 May 2011 1.5-1.8 km NW, N, E, S Ash JMA
01-07 June 2011 1.5-2.1 km NW, N, NE, E, S -- JMA
08-09 June 2011 1.5-1.8 km NW, N, NE, E -- JMA

Field observations during October 2011-June 2012. In October 2011, white plumes rose on average less than 200 m above the crater rim, with a maximum of 300 m. The lake water volume during September and October was at about 90% full, and the September and October lake-surface temperatures were 47-56°C and 49-58°C, respectively. Based on field surveys made on 3, 17, and 20 October, the sulfur-dioxide (SO2) flux was ~300-500 tons/day, compared to ~300 tons/day in September. Volcanic seismicity remained low. Tremor, detected 13 times during September, was absent during October. The total magnetic intensity measured at the NW rim of the Naka-dake crater had increased since December 2010, but was static during June 2011 through October 2011. No change was detected by GPS measurements.

The next JMA monthly report on Aso discussed activity during May and June 2012. Because of heavy rains after 15 May, the lake water volume had increased to ~70% full, and during the course of the month the volume was in the range 60-80% full. Then in late May, the lake level begain to drop, and continued into at least mid-June.

The lake surface temperature was 63-72°C in May and 67-73°C in June. The highest temperature of fumaroles along the southern crater wall was 246-260°C, compared to 228-267°C in May. Scientists conducting a field survey at night on 22 June noted that part of the S crater wall was incandescent.

In June 2012, white plumes rose an average of 600 m above the crater rim. There were 621 isolated cases of tremor in June, approaching a 2-fold increase over some of the previous months, but only amounting to a duration of a few minutes per month. Isolated volcanic tremor and seismicity remained low but had slightly increased overall after February 2012, with most hypocenters located at shallow depths under Naka-dake. No change was detected by GPS measurements. The total magnetic intensity began to increase again in June 2012.

Lake levels during July-September 2012. In July, heavy rains caused the lake level to rise to 80-90% full (from 30-70% full in June). The volume remained high in August and September (90-100% full). During June-July the lake surface temperature decreased slowly, from 58-66°C in July to 57-61°C in August and to 54-59°C in September. Steam emissions from the crater occurred in July and August, but stopped by September.

Crater temperatures during July-September 2012. The highest temperature of the S wall of Naka-dake-Daiichi crater decreased in July, but rose slightly in August and September (213-250°C in July, 241-249°C in August, and 250-283°C in September). A field survey on 24 September revealed that the hot areas had not changed since the previous survey on 22 June. On 23-26 September, weak glow in the crater was recorded at night by a thermal camera. Officials assumed the glow was caused by the hot crater wall.

July-September 2012 seismicity. Both isolated volcanic tremor and other seismicity returned at low levels during July-September 2012. 621 volcanic tremors occurred in June, 669 in July, 1,025 in August and 867 in September. 669 volcanic earthquakes occurred in July, 951 in August, and 978 in September. Other seismic events occurred 369 times in June, 626 in July, and were not reported in August or September. Few short-term tremors occurred (4 in June, none in July, 2 in August, and 1 in September). Most hypocenters were located at shallow depths (2-4 km) and in an area ~6 km NE of Naka-dake.

Based on field studies, sulfur dioxide levels were elevated during May-September 2012 (600-800 t/d in May, ~400 t/d on 10 July, and 500-700 t/d on 19 and 24 September). The total magnetic intensity at the NW rim of Naka-dake-Daiishi crater increased between December 2010 and September 2012, which officials suggested might signify a temperature rise underneath the crater.

Geologic Background. The 24-km-wide Asosan caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. The last of these, the Aso-4 eruption, produced more than 600 km3 of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Nakadake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 CE. The Nakadake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 CE. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Nakadake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations.

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Aso Volcano Museum (URL: http://www.asomuse.jp/); Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/); Earth Observation Research Center (Japan) (URL: http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/en/index.php).


Bezymianny (Russia) — August 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

55.972°N, 160.595°E; summit elev. 2882 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Dome growth continues in 2012 with plumes up to 1,500 km long

This report covers ongoing dome growth and other activity at Bezymianny since our previous report in January 2010 (BGVN 34:11) and extending into early September 2012. Multiple strong eruptions occurred during this reporting period. In one case, on 2 September 2012, an eruption generated a plume that rose to 10-12 km altitude and was later detected 1,500 km from the vent. In this and many other cases, fresh lava flows were extruded at the dome. Some intervals of the remainder of 2010 and early 2011 were chiefly characterized by intermittent thermal anomalies at the dome and fumarolic activity.

The data in this report come primarily from the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) and the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Portions of this report were initially synthesized and edited by Matthew Loewen, submitted as part of a graduate student writing assignment in a volcanology class at Oregon State University under the guidance of professor Shan de Silva.

The Kamchatka peninsula's low population density often thwarts confirmation of significant events, and seismic signals were likely obscured by activity at nearby Kliuchevskoi volcano. Seismic activity and other observations between 29 January 2010 and 3 September 2012 are summarized in table 5.

Table 5. Summary of activity at Bezymianny from 29 January 2010 through 3 September 2012. Data courtesy of KVERT, Tokyo VAAC, and Anchorage VAAC.

Date Observations and Remarks Aviation Color Code
29-30 Jan 2010 Thermal activity over lava dome detected by satellite. Yellow
31 Jan 2010 Weak to moderate fumarolic activity. Yellow
02 Feb 2010 Thermal activity deteced by satellite. Yellow
06 Feb 2010 Weak to moderate fumarolic activity noted with possible explosions. Yellow
07-08 Feb 2010 Hot new lava flow detected; thermal anomaly over lava dome (58.6°C). Orange
09 Feb 2010 Explosive eruption not imminent. Yellow
16 Feb 2010 Unconfirmed explosions. Yellow
08-13 Apr 2010 Weak to moderate fumarolic activity, weak thermal anomaly over the lava dome. Yellow
19 May 2010 Rapid temperature increase over lava dome from 18°C on 19 May to 49°C on 23 May. Orange
21 May 2010 Fumarolic activity detected; continuous through 28 May. Orange
23-24 May 2010 Earthquakes reported in location of lava dome. Orange
31 May 2010 Strong explosion. Ash plumes rose ~8-10 km altitude and spread ~250 km W, ~160 km N and NE. Ashfall on Kozyrevsk village (45 km W) on 1 June. Red
02 Jun 2010 Heavy gas-and-steam emissions from lava dome. Elongated thermal anomalies in satellite images the following days suggested the deposit of two pyroclastic flows. Orange
03 Jun 2010 -- Yellow
04-05 Jun 2010 Thermal activity detected by satellite. Ash plume drifted ~600 km SSE. Yellow
08 Jun 2010 Thermal activity detected by satellite. Yellow
12 Jun 2010 Thermal activity detected by satellite; slightly elevated seismicity. Yellow
12-17 Jun 2010 Thermal activity detected by satellite. Yellow
13-16 Jun 2010 Gas-and-steam activity. Yellow
19 Jun 2010 Thermal anomaly detected by satellite. Yellow
21-23 Jun 2010 Thermal anomaly detected by satellite. Yellow
28 Jun 2010 Thermal anomaly detected by satellite. Yellow
01 Sep 2010 Weak thermal anomaly attributed to gas-and-steam emissions. Yellow
21 Nov 2010 Helicopter observation photos showed a new area of lava possibly extruded from the top of the dome. Yellow
03 Dec 2010 Weak thermal anomaly attributed to gas-and-steam emissions. Yellow
07 Dec 2010 Weak thermal anomaly attributed to gas-and-steam emissions. Yellow
30 Jan-03 Feb 2011 Weak thermal anomaly and moderate gas-and-steam activity. Yellow
04 Feb 2011 Based on information from Yelizovo Airport (UHPP), Tokyo VAAC reported a 4.6 km ash plume drifting to the NE. Yellow
14 Apr 2011 Strong explosion. Ash reported at ~7.6 km altitude. Red
12-19 Feb 2012 Increased seismicity. Orange
15 Feb 2012 Short duration tremor activity. Orange
20 Feb 2012 Gas-and-steam plumes drifted NE. Orange
22 Feb 2012 Short duration tremor activity. Gas-and-steam plumes observed in satellite images drifing NE. Orange
26-29 Feb 2012 Gas-and-steam plumes, short duration tremor. Orange
01-05 Mar 2012 65-80 weak seismic events. Red
08-09 Mar 2012 Strong explosion, ash plumes to 3.5-5 km altitude, ash plumes from pyroclastic flows rose to 8 km altitude and drifted 700 km NE. Ashfall in community 120 km ENE. Followed by significant activity decrease. Orange/Red
09-13 Mar 2012 Strong gas-and-steam emissions, viscous lava flow onto lava dome flank, thermal anomaly. Orange/Yellow
24-31 Aug 2012 Seismicity increased to moderate (71 events on 31 Aug) with weak-to-moderate fumarolic activity; thermal anomaly. Yellow
02 Sep 2012 Explosion with ash plumes to 10-12 km altitude, drifting 1,500 km ENE, thermal anomaly. Orange/Red/Yellow
03 Sep 2012 Seismicity low, viscous lava flow was accompanied by fumarolic activity and hot avalanches. Yellow

Several abstracts discussing the June 2010 explosive eruption were presented at the Fall 2010 American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. These studies were primarily the work of the U.S.-Russia Partnership for Volcanological Research and Education (PIRE). Part of the initiative was to install and monitor 14 GPS stations around Bezymianny (Serovetnikov and others, 2010; their figure 4). Over the course of the five-year project, the scientists noted precursory changes in GPS-measured surface velocity. The anomalies occurred 15-25 days before, and 25-30 days after, typical eruptions, suggesting relatively short periods of shallow magma storage before eruptions. Grapenthin and others (2010) also reported that during the December 2009 and May 2010 eruptions, the 12 available GPS stations showed little or no significant inflation before explosions, suggesting the magma was deeply sourced.

Izbekov and others (2010) reported that the December 2009 and June 2010 eruptive products contained abundant high-silica, amphibole-bearing enclaves. This was in contrast to all previous eruptions since 1956. Until December 2009, the juvenile products of Bezymianny were remarkably homogeneous; enclaves and xenoliths had been exceptionally rare.

Figures 13-15 show images and photos of Bezymianny that help document the 14 April 2011 eruption, which is also noted in table 5. Several other strong eruptions took place later in the reporting interval (discussed below).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. A natural-color EO-1 satellite image of Bezymianny acquired 22 April 2011 showing evidence of the size of the 14 April eruption. Dark volcanic deposits (likely a combination of pyroclastic flows and lahars) extend more than 7.3 km SW into valleys. A light-colored plume of ash, steam, and SO2 rises above the summit and drifts W. Volcanic ash covers the upper slopes of the volcano, especially to the S and W. White snow, still deep in late April, blankets the surrounding landscape as seen in figure 15. These images were acquired on 22 April 2011 by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. Caption and figure courtesy of Jesse Allen and Robert Simmons, NASA Earth Observatory.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. Bezymianny, as captured 22 April 2011 in an EO-1 false-color satellite image. At the summit, a red hot spot indicates where fresh lava extruded to the growing lava dome. To the SE, an active lava flow appears as a similar hot spot. In these wavelengths, bare rock and ash are gray; snow and ice appear cyan. These images were acquired near noon on 22 April 2011 by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. Caption and figure courtesy of Jesse Allen and Robert Simmons, NASA Earth Observatory.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Photographs depicting the ash from the 14 April 2011 eruption of Bezymianny mantling the snow base. Courtesy of KVERT.

On 8 March 2012, KVERT raised Bezymianny's Aviation Color Code to Red after a sharp and sustained increase in seismic activity. KVERT also noted a significant increase in both the size and temperature of a thermal anomaly at the summit, suggesting that new, hot magma was very close to or at the dome's surface. Therefore, the organization suggested that "strong ash explosions up to 13 km a.s.l. were possible at any time during the next 24 hours." The following day, 9 March, Bezymainny exploded; the magnitude of the volcanic tremor was 7.52 m/s. Ash plumes from pyroclastic flows rose to 8 km in altitude and drifted NE. According to later satellite data, the ash plume was distinguishable for ~700 km. In addition, gas-and-steam plumes containing ash rose to an altitude of 3.5-4.0 km and drifted NE. Seismologists reported that the explosion did not pose a threat to population centers in the area. After the strong explosive phase, the eruptive vigor decreased gradually and continued at a low level. Following the 8-9 March event, KVERT lowered the Aviation Color Code to Orange.

During 9-13 March, video captured strong gas-and-steam emissions; no ash was noted. Strong degassing accompanied the effusion of a viscous lava flow on the S flank of the lava dome, along with moderate-to-strong gas-and-steam emissions. Seismic activity was low after 10 March, although the volcano emitted gas-and-steam plumes during 14-15 March. Satellites continued to record thermal anomalies. KVERT lowered the Aviation Color Code to Yellow.

According to visual observations during 15-16 March, the length of the 8 March 2012 pyroclastic deposits was ~4 km. According to satellite data, a thermal anomaly continued to register at the volcano on 23 and 25-26 March. Clouds obscured the volcano on other days of week.

The viscous lava flow continued to effuse on the S flank of the lava dome, accompanied by degassing, well into May. KVERT noted thermal anomalies (detected by satellite) during 29-31 March, 3-4, 9-10, 13-17, 19, 28-29 April, and 3 May. Seismic activity remained low.

According to KVERT, seismicity increased during the middle of August 2012. On 28 August, 17 events were recorded; on 31 August, 71 events were detected. Observers noted weak-to-moderate fumarolic activity during 25-26 and 29 August; cloud cover prevented observations on other days. A thermal anomaly was detected in satellite imagery on 25 August.

On 2 September, an explosion sent ash plumes to an altitude of 10-12 km; plumes drifted more than 1,500 km ENE. A thermal anomaly observed in satellite imagery was very bright before the explosion. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange, then Red. Later that day, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4 km and drifted NE before ash emissions ceased. The Aviation Color Code was then lowered to Yellow. On 3 September seismic activity was low, while a viscous lava flow effused on the lava-dome flank, accompanied by fumarolic activity and hot avalanches.

References. Grapenthin, R., Freymueller, J.T., and Serovetnikov, S., 2010. The December 2009 and May 2010 eruptions of Bezymianny volcano, Kamchatka: Interpretation of the GPS Record, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #V33D-04.

Izbekov, P.E., Neill, O.K., Shipman, J.S., Turner, S.J., Shcherbakov, V.D., and Plechov, P., 2010. Silicic Enclaves in Products of 2009-2010 Eruptions of Bezymianny Volcano, Kamchatka: Implications for Magma Processes, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #V33D-01.

Serovetnikov, S., Freymueller, J.T., Titkov, N., Bahtiarov, V., and Senyukov, S,2010. GPS Monitoring Bezimyany Volcano 2006-2010 (Kamchatka), American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #V21B-2325.

Geologic Background. Prior to its noted 1955-56 eruption, Bezymianny had been considered extinct. The modern volcano, much smaller in size than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi, was formed about 4700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11,000-7000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955-56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large horseshoe-shaped crater that was formed by collapse of the summit and an associated lateral blast. Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IV&S) Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences (FEDRAS), Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KBGS RAS), Piip Ave. 9, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/, http://www.emsd.ru/~ssl/monitoring/main.htm); Sergei Ushakov, IVS FED RAS; Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Alaska’s Geophysical Insitute, and the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/); Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Alaska Aviation Weather Unit, NWS NOAA US Dept of Commerce, 6930 Sand Lake Road, Anchorage, AK 99502-1845 (URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/).


Campi Flegrei (Italy) — August 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Campi Flegrei

Italy

40.827°N, 14.139°E; summit elev. 458 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Analysis of seismic swarms (Mw =1.9; ~219 events) during September 2012

219 low-magnitude earthquakes occurred at Campi Flegrei during September 2012, a comparatively large number with respect to the previous year (figure 22). The earthquakes chiefly were contained within two swarms (with events up to Mw 1.9; Mw indicates moment magnitude) occurring on 7 and 15 September. Peak ground accelerations (PGA) were non-trivial (up to ~0.5 g), and some earthquakes were widely felt by area residents. Analysis revealed that the strain release rate of the 7 September swarm fell within values seen for other swarms during the last 20 years. The observations reported by the Vesuvius Observatory (who provided the material for this report) were limited to those associated with the earthquakes and related seismic analysis. Other reporting on topics such as deformation appears on the Observatory's website (see Information Contacts, below). The observatory is part of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Campi Flegrei earthquake count recorded between October 2011 and the end of September 2012. (A) The number of earthquakes recorded per month during October 2011-September 2012 (288 total events). (B) The number of earthquakes recorded during September 2012 alone (219 total events), highlighting the swarm of 188 events on 7 September. Courtesy of Vesuvius Observatory-INGV (Naples).

Almost all of the earthqaukes that occurred during September took place in two swarms (figures 22 and 23). The first swarm occurred in the area of Pozzuoli during 0715-0935 UTC on 7 September. The two largest events of that swarm were Mw 1.9 (a duration magnitude, Md, value of 1.7; figure 24); these events were the largest recorded events of the prior year (figure 24A). The 7 September swarm was dominant over the 15 September swarm both in terms of the number and magnitude of events.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. (A) Hypocentral locations registered at Campi Flegrei during October 2011-August 2012 (blue) and September 2012 (red). The size of the symbols is proportional to the magnitude, as shown in the lower right box. (B) A map with the seismic network at Campi Flegrei. The boxed area zooms in on the region where the two swarms occured. Courtesy of Vesuvius Observatory-INGV (Naples).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Magnitudes (duration magnitude, Md) of seismic events recorded at Campi Flegrei during October 2011-September 2012 (A). (B) shows the details of the computed magnitudes during the September 2012 seismic swarm. Courtesy of Vesuvius Observatory-INGV (Naples).

The second swarm of September 2012 took place between 0901 and 1012 UTC on 15 September (figure 22), with the strongest events (Md -0.3) occurring at 0947 and 0954 UTC. This swarm was recorded by only one station (STH, Agnano, figure 23B) and thus was plausibly located in close proximity to that station at shallow depth. This swarm is absent on the depth plot in figure 25 (depth not available).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Time series plots of the hypocentral depths of seismic events recorded at Campi Flegrei during October 2011-September 2012 (A) and during September 2012 (B) showing details of the September 2012 seismic swarm. Courtesy of Vesuvius Observatory-INGV (Naples).

The hypocenters of 49 events were determined during September 2012; their depths were generally less than 4 km (figures 23 and 25). The seismological parameters did not show significant anomalies (figures 24 and 25). However, September 2012 was the most seismically energetic time period of the prior year (figure 26); seismicity during September produced >3 times the cumulative energy released during the preceding year.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Cumulative seismic energy released at Campi Flegrei during (A) October 2011-September 2012 and (B) September 2012. Courtesy of Vesuvius Observatory-INGV (Naples).

Analysis of the 7 September seismic swarm. For the two main events (0734 and 0825 UTC) on 7 September, source parameters were determined from S-wave displacement spectra (results shown in figure 27).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Displacement spectra (blue) for the S-waves of the largest events in the 7 September 2012 seismic swarm, occurring at 0734 (top) and 0825 UTC (bottom). The red curves represent the fit with a theoretical model. The displacement spectra were obtained from the records of the accelerometer CPOZ (Pozzuoli, figure 23B). The tabulated values display the computed source parameters for each event: Mw, moment magnitude; Md, duration magnitude; Fc, corner frequency; R (m), source radius, and stress drop (bars). For discussion of source parameters see Mooney (1989). Courtesy of Vesuvius Observatory-INGV (Naples).

The duration and strain release of the 7 September swarm were similar to other seismic swarms at Campi Flegrei since at least 1994 (figure 28).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. A plot showing duration and strain release rate for Campi Flegrei seismic swarms since 1994. Courtesy of Vesuvius Observatory-INGV (Naples).

Some of the events in the swarm were widely felt in the urban area of Pozzuoli. Peak ground acceleration values (PGA, units of %g, the acceleration due to gravity) recorded by the accelerometer in Pozzuoli (CPOZ, figure 23B) show two prominent peaks corresponding to the two largest events that occurred at 0734 and 0825 UTC (figure 29).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Peak ground acceleration values (PGA, in units of %g, the acceleration due to gravity) recorded by the accelerometer CPOZ (Pozzuoli, figure 23B) between 0700 and 1100 UTC on 7 September 2012. The visible gap in the data between 0722 and 0733 was caused by technical problems in the data transmission system. The two largest events are labelled with their timestamps and PGA values. Courtesy of Vesuvius Observatory-INGV (Naples).

Reference. Mooney, W.D., 1989. Seismic methods for determining earthquake source parameters and lithospheric structure, in Pakiser, L.C. and Mooney, W.D. (eds), Geophysical framework of the continental United States, Geological Society of America Memoir 172.

Geologic Background. Campi Flegrei is a large 13-km-wide caldera on the outskirts of Naples that contains numerous phreatic tuff rings and pyroclastic cones. The caldera margins are poorly defined, and on the south lie beneath the Gulf of Pozzuoli. Episodes of dramatic uplift and subsidence within the dominantly trachytic caldera have occurred since Roman times. The earliest known eruptive products are dated 47,000 yrs BP. The caldera formed following two large explosive eruptions, the massive Campanian ignimbrite about 36,000 BP, and the over 40 km3 Neapolitan Yellow Tuff (NYT) about 15,000 BP. Following eruption of the NYT a large number of eruptions have taken place from widely scattered subaerial and submarine vents. Most activity occurred during three intervals: 15,000-9500, 8600-8200, and 4800-3800 BP. Two eruptions have occurred in historical time, one in 1158 at Solfatara and the other in 1538 that formed the Monte Nuovo cinder cone.

Information Contacts: Vesuvius Observatory, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), Via Diocleziano 328, 80124 Napoli, Italy (URL: http://www.ov.ingv.it/ov/).


Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) — August 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Nevado del Ruiz

Colombia

4.892°N, 75.324°W; summit elev. 5279 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Several years of escalating seismicity followed by ash explosions

Our last report on Nevado del Ruiz (BGVN 37:07) summarized monitoring efforts by the Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS) volcano observatory based in Manizales, highlighting the long records of geophysical and radon-gas data starting in 1988 and continuing through 2006. Here we follow up on volcanic activity from 2007 to 2012, including an escalation leading to explosions in February 2012. Elevated seismicity, wide-spread ashfall, and very high SO2 fluxes (~30,000 tons/day) resulted in a Level I Red Alert announcement (on a scale from IV to I, Alert Level I is the highest, "Red Alert") in June 2012 and public notices of evacuations. Activity subsided in July 2012 and remained low through the remainder of this reporting period ending 9 September 2012.

Seismicity from 2007-August 2010. From 2007 to August 2010, INGEOMINAS reported numerous volcano-tectonic (VT) and long-period (LP) events originating at depths of 1-12 km below Nevado del Ruiz. Rare hybrid and tremor earthquakes were detected, and seismic swarms occurred intermittently (19-78 events per swarm; figure 54). Seismicity was frequently concentrated within the crater and to the SE, S, SW, and W (table 3).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. Maps of located earthquakes at Nevado del Ruiz during the month of April 2010. (Left) This map shows the distribution of VT events and cross-sections for depths in 1 km intervals; the 15 April 2010 swarm is circled. (Right) This map shows 209 registered LP events (M 0.09-2.15); frequencies were below 5 Hz with average event durations of 0.3 s. LP events were concentrated in a zone to the W of the crater, a characteristic observed in records since 2006. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.
Figure (see Caption) Table 3. Seismicity types and counts at Nevado del Ruiz registered from 2006 to September 2012 compiled from INGEOMINAS reports. The LP Total column accounts for all forms of LPs including hybrid and tornillo when present; tornillo earthquakes are described by Narváez and others (1997). The TR/TO column contains tremor ("TR") and tornillos ("TO"). Epicenter Clustering refers to directions relative to the crater, and to epicenters occurring within the immediate crater region "C". Notable Seismicity includes swarms with dates and the number of events provided when known in parentheses; seismicity interpreted as possible explosions is listed as "ES" (explosion signature); multi-events ("ME") refer to seismicity that is described in figure 56; pseudo-tornillo events are listed ("PT"), a class of earthquakes also detected at Galeras volcano (BGVN 37:04) and illustrated in figure 55. For all entries with "na," this represents seismicity that has been recorded but only tallied within the LP Total column. The "x" indicates values not currently available. Shading (yellow, orange, and red) corresponds to the alert announcements released by authorities according to the level of hazardous conditions. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Geodesy, 2007-August 2010. Deformation monitoring expanded in late 2007 when INGEOMINAS installed additional electronic tilt stations, augmenting their dry tilt datasets. Dry tilt measurements had been recorded since at least 1986 (see the station distribution map, figure 10 in BGVN 37:07). While the term "dry tilt" is pervasive in volcano monitoring literature, this can cause confusion as it was originally adopted to differentiate measurements made with water leveling techniques (Yamashita, 1992). Alternative terms are "single-setup leveling" or "tilt leveling" however, the term "inclinómetro seco," has been used consistently throughout INGEOMINAS monthly technical reports since March 2006. Tilt measurements collected with site occupation techniques are manually intensive, requiring extensive field time, reliable benchmark pairs, a spirit level, and leveling rods. In August 2010, dry tilt values were available from three stations and electronic tilt values were available from five operating stations; results were reported in the INGEOMINAS technical bulletin (available online).

In August 2008, electronic distance meter (EDM) base stations and reflectors were installed on the W flank of the volcano. Site occupations at Olleta and Refugio recorded stable conditions from September 2008 through August 2010.

Gas emissions, 2007-August 2010. Frequent steam plumes were visible reaching 50-850 m above the crater from January 2007 through August 2010. On 17 July 2010, the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) was alerted to a spike in seismicity detected at Nevado del Ruiz. Several aviation alerts were released; however, no volcanic ash was detected in satellite imagery and advisories were canceled that same day. Several peaks in diffuse soil CO2 emissions were detected in mid-2008 from two geochemical stations, Gualí and Cajones (N and S of the summit, respectively).

Radon-gas emissions measured at Gualí and Cajones also showed peaks in early 2010. INGEOMINAS had maintained emission records since 1995 and was investigating links between radon emissions and earthquakes (Garzón and others, 2003). Radon hazard investigations had been conducted in Manizales (located ~30 km NW of the volcano) by INGEOMINAS that determined water supply and household levels of radon (Salazar and others, 2003). This baseline data was mapped for SE Manizales and showed low levels of radon in water supplies and also low levels at the 43 indoor sites where passive sampling detected an average of 1.9 pCi/L.

During fieldwork on 30 November-1 December 2009, INGEOMINAS installed two scanning Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometer (DOAS) systems within 5 km W of the edifice. Stations Bruma and Alfombrales were telemetered to send SO2 flux data to the Manizales observatory where results were analyzed with NOVAC software. The Network for Observation of Volcanic and Atmospheric Change (NOVAC), designed by the European Commission's Sixth Framework Program, supported this installation. Colombia was one of seven countries participating in the program that sought to monitor and assess SO2 emissions from active volcanoes (Galle and others, 2009). During 2-29 December, SO2 flux ranged 195-554 t/d at Bruma and 41-140 t/d at Alfombrales.

Escalating seismicity from September 2010 to 2011. Seismicity notably increased in September 2010 and prompted authorities to raise the alert to Level III (Yellow, on the four-level scale) on 30 September (table 3). Within four months, pseudo-tornillo earthquakes (figure 55) and possible explosive signatures appeared in the seismic record. From September 2010 through December 2011, an average of more than 890 VT earthquakes per month were recorded, almost eight times as many events as recorded during the previous 12 months. A similar increase in LP events was also observed during this time period; however, epicenters were clustered in the same regions as previous years: within the crater, to the SE, S, SW, and W (as in figure 54).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. This long-period earthquake (described as a pseudo-tornillo) was recorded on 6 January 2011 at 1343 from Nevado del Ruiz on seven seismic stations (appearing strongest on station BISz, the trace second from the top). BISz is the closest seismic station to the volcano, located ~2 km W of the crater. The spectra (right) show a dominant frequency of ~6.25 Hz; this characteristic, in addition to the relatively short coda, classified the event as a pseudo-tornillo (Narváez and others, 1997). Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

A type of earthquake classified as "multi-event" began to appear in February 2011 (see ME events in table 3). These events frequently occurred from February through August and were attributed to small explosions and degassing (figure 56). Tremor and tornillo earthquakes were recorded in March of 2011 and, over the next six months, occurred more frequently with time.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. Seismic traces of a "multi-event" registered at 1351 on 6 October 2011 as recorded at five stations around Nevado del Ruiz. The earthquake appeared strongest at BISz, the closest station to the volcano, and much weaker-to-unrecognizable at other stations. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Geodesy, September 2010-2011. During September 2010-2011, INGEOMINAS recorded stable conditions with minor fluctuations from the EDM stations Refugio and Olleta. Both stations were surveyed in February, October, and November 2011, and only Refugio was surveyed in September and December.

INGEOMINAS noted an increasing trend at the electronic tilt station LISA that began in October 2010 and continued through 2011; the two components registered a cumulative increase of 20 µrad. RECIO had been recording stable conditions until May 2011; from May through December 2011, the N component increased by 23 µrad and the E component decreased by 10 µrad. Corrective measures had been taken to protect the BIS and REFUGIO tilt stations from thermal effects, however, cyclical changes persisted in their datasets. By December 2011, seven electronic tilt stations were online and were recording minor fluctuations primarily due to temperature change.

Permanent GPS stations Gualí and Nereidas were installed on the lower W flanks between May and August 2011 and a third station, Olletas, was online by November 2011. GPS instrumentation and continuous data processing were part of a collaborative effort between INGEOMINAS and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

SO2 emissions, 2010-2012. Since installation of the two scanning DOAS stations in late 2009, background levels of SO2 were rarely higher than 1,000 t/d until September 2010. INGEOMINAS recorded increased SO2 emissions in late 2010 (figure 57), while plumes rose to heights of 220-1,000 m above the crater (averaging ~700 m) through 2011. An increase was observed from November 2010 through much of 2011; maximum daily values of SO2 flux frequently exceeded 1,500 t/d. Occasional peaks above 3,000 t/d were recorded from November 2010 to January 2011 (a), June-July 2011 (b), and November 2011 to February 2012 (c). Beginning in February 2012, emissions dramatically increased during a period of escalated seismicity (table 3). SO2 flux peaked during May and June; the three strongest peaks were greater than 33,000 t/d. By late June, emissions were declining.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. (Top) The map of the geochemical network for Nevado del Ruiz shows sites for thermal springs, scanning Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometer (DOAS) stations (white triangles show coverage area directed toward the crater), alkaline sampling, and radon gas sampling. (Bottom) The histogram summarizes maximum daily SO2 flux from scanning DOAS stations from January 2010 through August 2012. Following a period of low emissions during January-September 2010 (highlighted in yellow), three periods of increased SO2 flux occurred (a, b, c) and significant escalation was observed during February-March 2012 and May-June 2012 (vertical yellow bars). Annotated areas are approximations of time periods. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Explosive activity in 2012. In late January 2012, while SO2 flux began to increase dramatically (figure 57), explosion signatures (also described as strong degassing events) and multi-events continued to appear in the seismic records. On 8 March an overflight of the summit provided INGEOMINAS scientists a view of ash-covered snow on the E flank and near the crater rim (figure 58); in their monthly report, INGEOMINAS suggested this ash may have fallen during an explosion detected on 22 February 2012.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. This photo was taken during a flight past Nevado del Ruiz's active crater at 0705 on 8 March 2012. Viewed from the Azufrado sector (NE of the summit crater), a column of gas was rising to a maximum height of ~1,400 m above the crater. A thin layer of ash was visible on the snow near the crater (in the foreground of the image). Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

On 29 March authorities raised the alert to Level II (Orange) when LP seismicity underwent a ~100-fold increase and banded tremor persisted (table 3).

Based in part on information captured by webcameras around the volcano (including one in Manizales located 30 km NW of Nevado del Ruiz), INGEOMINAS reported that plume heights had increased significantly in March 2012 (figure 59). Reports from local populations around the volcano also alerted INGEOMINAS of sulfur odors. Residents smelled these odors during March; April, May, and August reports were from Manizales, Lebanon, Palocabildo, and Chinchiná.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. (Top) The map of Nevado del Ruiz's geophysical monitoring network includes webcameras, meteorological stations, mudflow stations with acoustic flow sensors, and infrasound. (Bottom) Plot of plume height above the crater as measured from webcameras located near the flanks (including sites Piraña (PIRA), Gualí (GUAL), and Manizales (OVSM)) from January through June 2012. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

The national park surrounding the volcano, Los Nevados National Park, closed in April 2012 due to possible ashfall and lahar hazards. The rainy season (March-June) had begun and mass wasting on the steep slopes, especially of remobilized ash, was a major concern. "Most lahars are initiated as dilute, subcritical flows high on volcanic slopes, but quickly increase their volumes as they incorporate sediment along travel paths (Lockwood and Hazlett, 2010)."

On 16 and 19 April 2012, INGEOMINAS observed ash emissions from the summit and on 22 April, Washington VAAC announced possible ash in the steam plume. Volcanic ash was detected later with satellite imagery, spreading ~110 km NE of the summit on 29 May.

Seismicity decreased in early May 2012 to levels observed before the escalation began in February, and fewer explosions and multi-events were recorded. On 3 May authorities lowered the alert to Level III (Yellow). Conditions at Nevado del Ruiz continued to change, however, and when seismicity abruptly increased, the Alert Level was raised to Level II (Orange) on 29 May (table 3, figure 60). That day, explosions from the crater generated ash plumes that dispersed over more than 20 communities located to the WNW, NW, and NNW. Washington VAAC released four notices on 29 May describing ash up to 11 km altitude. News media reported that three primary airports in the region (Manizales, Pereira, and Armenian) collectively canceled ~20 flights that affected ~700 passengers on 29 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. A seismic record from Nevado del Ruiz starting just prior to 29 May 2012 and ending slightly past noon on 1 June 2012. The notes explain the start of ash emissions (top shaded bar), alert announcement (orange diamond), and intervals of tremor (shaded bars with orange connected lines). Translation of text: Initial pulse of ash emission at 0397 on 29 May. Throughout the seismogram, volcanic tremor is present and in parts, appears as banded tremor that increases in amplitude. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Widespread ashfall in early June 2012 required field maintenance by INGEOMINAS to clear ash from solar panels and equipment (figure 61). Imagery captured by the NASA satellite EO-1 revealed a two-toned summit disclosing partial ash cover over the white summit glacier (figure 62). The seismic station INDERENA, acoustic flow station MOLINOS, and the radio repeater that served Nevado del Ruiz, Tolima, and Santa Izabel volcanoes were disabled due to ash cover. Washington VAAC released advisories regularly until 24 June; ash reached altitudes in the range of ~5.5-7.6 km. Plumes tended to drift N, NW, WNW, and W; however, an ash plume on 8 June drifted ~28 km SE. The range of plume lengths was 28-110 km until a period of quiescence during 25 June-2 July.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. Ash covered several solar panels as well as field equipment located near Nevado del Ruiz's W flank in June 2012. Here, at near-equatorial latitude (~5° N), the panels are typically oriented near-horizontal for effective solar exposure which also makes it easy for ash to collect and not wash away. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. (Left) This image was taken by the NASA Expedition 23 crew on 23 April 2010, with a Nikon D3S digital camera fitted with an 800 mm lens. A steam plume drifts SW from the summit crater, blending in with the snow-cover. The summit crater is indicated with a black arrow and the neighboring features, Cráter de Olleta and Altas de Piraña correspond with the outlined field of view in yellow in the left image. Note the scale is approximate and there is some skew to this image as it was taken from a shuttle flight as opposed to the orbiting satellite. Courtesy of NASA. (Right) This satellite image of Nevado del Ruiz was taken during significant ash explosions on 6 June 2012. The summit glacier displays the sharp contrast of muted gray on the NW due to ash cover and bright white on the SE where ash had not fallen. The black arrow points to the summit crater and white clouds are concentrated in the NW and SE corners of the image that also partially cover the peak Altas de Piraña. Image courtesy of NASA by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon using EO-1 Advanced Land Imager data.

On 30 June 2012, seismicity increased and large plumes of ash vented from the summit (figure 63). At 1700 that day, authorities raised the alert to Level I (Red). Local news media reported the preventative evacuation notice provided by the Emergency Committee of Caldas; Caldas is the department of Colombia encompassing Nevado del Ruiz and six districts, 27 municipalities, and the capital, Manizales. An estimated 300 families were ordered to evacuate from the rural zones of districts Chinchiná (30 km WNW), Villamaría (28 km NW), Palestina (40 km WNW), and Manizales (30 km NW) due to both escalated explosions and also the potential for flooding along the rivers Chinchiná and Río Claro. In the Department of Tolima, located S of Caldas there was a recommendation to evacuate 1,500 families in risk zones in eight municipalities.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 63. A snapshot of the seismic record from Nevado del Ruiz on 30 June 2012 and annotated to mark when officials announced the maximum Alert Level (Level I). Colored circles indicate events associated with fracturing (red), gas and fluid movement (yellow), and tremor resulting from gas or ash emissions (blue). Note that time stamps are not included except for the 1740 arrow. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

On 2 July 2012, Washington VAAC announced a 7.5-km-wide plume visible in satellite imagery that had drifted ~75 km W. Seismicity was decreasing, however, and that same day, authorities lowered the Alert Level to II (Orange). Airborne ash remained visible in satellite images until 8 July and continued to be observed at low elevations based on webcamera images. Ashfall was reported in Pereira (40 km WSW) on 11 July, and on 31 July a plume of ash and gas was observed rising 300 m above the crater.

Low levels of tremor had been detected in late July and throughout much of August 2012. Seismic swarms were detected on 12 and 13 August (table 3) with ~140 low-magnitude events under 5 km deep concentrated WSW of the Arenas Crater. On 6 August, ashfall was reported in Manizales and Chinchiná; on 12 August there were reports of ash in Manizales and Brisas (50 km SW). Through the end of August, plumes (ranging 200-800 m above the crater) were visible from the summit. Field measurements by INGEOMINAS and remote sensing with OMI determined that SO2 emissions remained high (figure 64) through August and early September. On 5 September 2012 authorities reduced the Alert Level to III (Yellow).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 64. A Nevado del Ruiz SO2 plume was detected by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's AURA satellite on 9 September 2012 from 1328-1507 (local time), extending well over the Pacific Ocean. The mass of SO2 was 1.28 kt, covering an area of 44,199 km2, and the maximum was 4.23 Dobson Units (DU) at 1331 local time. Courtesy of Simon Carn, Michigan Technological University and Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Recalling 1985 and additional hazard mitigation efforts. Nevado del Ruiz's most deadly natural disaster was a lahar that, on 13 November 1985, scoured the Lagunillas River (E flank drainage system) and suddenly flooded the towns of Armero, Chinchiná, Mariquita, and Honda (figure 65). Armero was completely destroyed and more than 23,000 residents died. Light ashfall had been reported that day and a seismic network was in place, but no early warning system had been established to initiate evacuations (Lockwood and Hazlett, 2010).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 65. Released in 2007, this hazard map of Nevado del Ruiz is dominated by lahar and pyroclastic flow scenarios. Highest risk areas are shaded red with lower risk areas in yellow; note that the town of Armero (Antiguo Armero, 48 km E of the summit) is in a region of high risk. A topographic assessment augmented with substantial field evidence determined flow paths and inundation probabilities within the major drainages of Gualí, Azufrado, Lagunillas, Recio, and Chinchiná (listed clockwise starting with the NE drainage). Pyroclastic flow, ashfall, and lava inundation were also considered and the radial sectors directed NE attribute hazards to lateral explosions based on crater morphology and geologic mapping of tephra units. Names highlighted in green indicate major towns. Courtesy of INGEOMINAS.

Since 1985, realtime geophysical monitoring greatly increased, including acoustic flow sensors designed to detect impulsive flooding in local drainages. Other advances included mobile gas monitoring (mini-DOAS) that augmented routine geochemical sampling at Nevado del Ruiz and recent hazard map revisions that emphasized inundation scenarios with zoning that clearly communicates areas at highest risk (figure 65). International collaborations with universities and agencies (for example, the University of Wisconsin and the European Union mentioned previously) have focused on mitigation efforts through training and technical resources.

Following the disastrous 1985 lahars, the USGS and the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) developed the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) to respond to selected volcanic crises around the world (Ewert and others, 1997). The VDAP mission is to work with international counterparts to reduce fatalities and economic losses in those countries experiencing a volcano emergency. The VDAP website states that "Between crises, VDAP scientists focus on building and improving volcano monitoring systems and conduct joint activities to reduce volcanic risk by improving understanding of volcanic hazards [figure 66]."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. The USGS/OFDA Volcano Disaster Assistance Program sent a team of scientists to aid INGEOMINAS and local authorities mitigating risk at Nevado del Ruiz on 28 May 2012. Courtesy of The Columbian.

References. Ewert, J.W., Miller, C.D., Hendley, J.W., and Stauffer, P.H., 1997. Mobile Response Team Saves Lives in Volcano Crises, USGS Fact Sheet: 064-97.

Galle, B. and the NOVAC Team, 2009. NOVAC - A global network for volcanic gas monitoring, 6th Alexander von Humboldt International Conference, Abstract AvH6-34-1, 2010.

Garzón, G., Serna, D., Diago, J., and Morán, C., 2003. Radon soil increases before volcano-tectonic earthquakes in Colombia, Proceedings of ICGG7: 6-7.

Lockwood, J.P., and Hazlett, R.W., 2010. Volcanoes: Global Perspectives, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ, ix, p.539.

Narváez, L.M., Torres, R.A., Gómez, D.M., Cortez, G.P., Cepeda, H.V., and Stix, J., 1997. 'Tornillo'-type seismic signals at Galeras volcano, Colombia, 1992-1993, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 77: 159-171.

Salazar, S., Carvajal, C., and Garzón, G., 2003. Radiological geohazard survey in the south east of Manizales city (Colombia), Proceedings of ICGG7: 3-5.

Yamashita, K.M., 1992. Single-Setup Leveling Used to Monitor Vertical Displacement (Tilt) on Cascades Volcanoes, in Ewert, J. and Swanson, D. (Eds.), Monitoring volcanoes; techniques and strategies used by the staff of the Cascades Volcano Observatory, 1980-90, U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1966, pp. 143-149.

Geologic Background. Nevado del Ruiz is a broad, glacier-covered volcano in central Colombia that covers more than 200 km2. Three major edifices, composed of andesitic and dacitic lavas and andesitic pyroclastics, have been constructed since the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern cone consists of a broad cluster of lava domes built within the caldera of an older edifice. The 1-km-wide, 240-m-deep Arenas crater occupies the summit. The prominent La Olleta pyroclastic cone located on the SW flank may also have been active in historical time. Steep headwalls of massive landslides cut the flanks. Melting of its summit icecap during historical eruptions, which date back to the 16th century, has resulted in devastating lahars, including one in 1985 that was South America's deadliest eruption.

Information Contacts: Instituto Colombiano de Geologia y Mineria (INGEOMINAS), Volcanological and Seismological Observatory, Avenida 12 Octubre 15-47, Manizales, Colombia (URL: https://www2.sgc.gov.co/volcanes/index.html); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); 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/); El Colombiano (URL: http://www.elcolombiano.com/); The Columbian (URL: http://www.columbian.com/photos/2012/may/28/44870/).


San Cristobal (Nicaragua) — August 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

San Cristobal

Nicaragua

12.702°N, 87.004°W; summit elev. 1745 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Monitoring efforts and 8 September 2012 explosive eruption

When last active in October 2011, San Cristóbal produced ash plumes accompanied by elevated seismicity (BGVN 36:12). This report covers the January-September 2012 monitoring efforts (seismic, gas, thermal, and visual observations) and the onset of a volcanic crisis during 8-15 September 2012. Seismicity remained high through early 2012 and tremor was frequently detected. Explosions of ash and gas began impulsively from the summit crater on 8 September causing heavy ashfall, evacuations of local populations, and aircraft deviations.

January-September 2012 seismicity. Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) detected seismic tremor every day in January 2012 and throughout much of February, March, and April. A station outage took place during 1-14 June, but when the data stream returned, it recorded significant tremor. INETER reported a generally increasing trend in earthquake counts from January through April (figure 22).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Total earthquakes detected from San Cristóbal during January-April 2012. Courtesy of INETER.

In January, tremor persisted for 1-12 hours per day for a total of 118 hours. In February, tremor duration averaged 4 hours/day (131 hours); in March, 6 hours/day (166 hours); in April, 2 hours/day (38 hours); and in June, 5 hours/day (23.5 hours). No estimates were available for May.

From January through April 2012, a class of seismic events considered "degassing earthquakes" (DE) were detected throughout the seismic records. These events were characterized in spectrograms as events in the range of 4-10 Hz. INETER described the events as resulting from gas moving through the conduit, causing displacements and, after building pressure in confined spaces, the pressure was released impulsively, generating low-amplitude shockwaves and arriving as emergent seismic signals with low energy. These conditions suggested that the volcanic system was partially open (as opposed to a closed system that would be expected to pressurize). Individual DEs occurred with durations of ~60 seconds, and up to 1,379 DE events were recorded in April 2012 with dominant frequencies of 5-10 Hz.

Volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes were a minor part of San Cristóbal's seismicity during January-June. Typically occurring 6-15 km deep, the maximum number of VT events occurred in March; 39 earthquakes were detected with dominant frequencies in the range of 10-20 Hz.

Long-period (LP) earthquales dominated the seismic record in June; 1,413 events were recorded (22-707 monthly events were noted in the records during February-April). The duration of these signals ranged from 40-90 seconds with dominant frequencies of 1-5 Hz. Depths of these events were not announced, but in March and April, LPs occurred at depths of 6-25 km.

Reports from INETER during the volcanic crisis in September highlighted sporadic signals indicating eruptions in the seismic records along with tremor and the appearance of shallow, low-magnitude events (microseismicity). Elevated seismicity on 8 September decreased dramatically by 10 September. Seismic tremor increased on 14 September, however, by 16 September, seismicity had returned to normal levels.

SO2 monitoring. In January 2012 INETER reported that three miniature Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometer (Mini-DOAS) stations were installed in the field around the flanks of San Cristóbal. These stations stored SO2 flux data locally and telemetered it to the INETER network through the El Chonco repeater. These installations were part of the Network for Observation of Volcanic and Atmospheric Change (NOVAC), a collaboration supported by the European Union's Natural Disasters Program (Galle and others, 2009).

Employing a mobile DOAS, INETER collected SO2 data on traverses in March; five traverses were made between the junction of Chinandega and Corinto and the town of Las Grecias (for town locations, see BGVN 36:12 figure 20). The average SO2 flux recorded on 30 March 2012 was 542 t/d; the reported wind velocity was 5 m/s to the E. Previous measurements from this region (10 January 2011) yielded an average SO2 flux of 436 t/d.

Thermal data and visits to the summit. INETER technicians noted regular gas emissions from San Crisóbal's summit from January through August 2012. During field investigations to the summit (April-August 2012), loud jetting was heard one day (22 April) coming from the central crater. That day, gas emissions were relatively low and there was evidence of numerous rockfalls from the W side of the crater. Vapor plumes drifted mainly W and E of the crater depending on wind direction.

Fumarole temperatures measured from April through August show small variations in the range of 50-93°C (figure 23). These measurements were taken from five sites located within the SE sector of the crater rim. The previous temperature from the central crater was last measured on 3 December 2011 (382°C); the most recent measurement, on 20 June 2012, was 543.7°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. (Top) Site locations of fumaroles found along the SE summit rim of San Cristóbal and visited in 2012. The white color is due to heavy steam emissions which have conformed with the topography due to GoogleEarth 3D rendering. (Bottom) Fumarole temperatures (grouped by fumarole) during April-August 2012. INETER noted that lowest temperatures were obtained from Fumarole 2 (50-73°C) while other sites showed variations between 70 and 93°C (the maximum measured from Fumarole 5). Courtesy of INETER.

Heavy rain in May restricted field operations, however, on 24 May INETER technicians visited the lower flanks of San Cristóbal to maintain seismic and gas instrumentation. They encountered evidence of a lahar that had covered the main trail between the Hacienda Las Rojas and Pedro Marín to the SW of the summit. The lahar had reached a maximum height of 0.8 m and was up to 15 m wide.

Field investigations to the summit on 20 June determined that deep channels had been eroded in the W flank of the volcano, exposing loose soil (figure 24). INETER advised vigilance for this region since the soil could easily remobilize as a mudflow with heavy rainfall. The W flank was particularly at risk due to a forest fire that, in April 2012, removed significant vegetation that would otherwise have provided some stability for the steep slopes. Particularly vulnerable locations would be the areas of Las Rojas and Pedro Marín, farming areas within the drainage network on the W flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Views from the summit of San Cristóbal volcano on 20 June 2012. (Left) A diffuse plume of vapor that reached ~200 m above the summit crater, drifting NE. (Right) With the El Chonco peak in the distance, INETER staff photographed fresh signs of erosion on the W flank of the volcano attributed to recent heavy rainfall. Courtesy of INETER.

Ash explosions in September 2012. At 0845 local time on 8 September, a substantial ash plume erupted suddenly from San Cristóbal's summit, followed by a second plume 10 minutes later. Later that day, INETER confirmed GOES-13 satellite observations of a wide-spreading ash plume from the summit of San Cristóbal (figure 25). Three explosions produced ash-and-gas plumes that day and were observed rising up to 1.5 km above the crater and drifted 9 km/hr NW (figure 26).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Distribution of ash plumes from the 8 September summit explosion of San Cristóbal. The top left image (at 1645 UTC) represents a best fit polygon of the ash plume based on satellite imagery while the other images are the forecasted distributions of the plume for the following 6, 12, and 18 hours. Courtesy of Washington VAAC.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. A still-shot from a video taken of the dense ash plume from San Cristóbal on 8 September 2012. The location of this recording was not disclosed but the view is directed S with the El Concho peak to the far right-hand side. Time of the video was undisclosed. Courtesy of YouTube contributor A Callejas.

On 8 September INETER released special online reports announcing observations and volcanic crisis incidents. Residents reported ashfall at El Viejo (18 km WSW of San Cristóbal), El Chonco, and Ranchería. Sporadic explosions later that day generated ash plumes that rose 1.5-5 km and drifted 50 km WNW. The sporadic explosions appeared in the seismic records but microseisms (a category of shallow, small-magnitude earthquakes) dominated the record.

Between 0900 and 1000 local time on 8 September, SO2 flux was 3,221 t/d, well above the normal range of 550-700 t/d. Residents in Versalles Arriba, a zone near the crater, reported seeing a fissure-like feature, however, INETER did not report follow-up site visits for this observation. Rockfalls were observed on the N flank; on the NW flank, ash mixed with incandescent rock fell in an area occupied by livestock. Field investigators noted that six animals were burned from this event.

According to a news article, emergency officials evacuated ~3,000 people by 1857 local time. The national emergency agency of Nicaragua (Sistema de Prevención, Mitigación y Atención de Desastres, SINAPRED) reported that airplanes were diverted around San Cristóbal to other routes.

Rainfall was closely monitored on 8 September. By 1600 local time, 26.1 mm of rain had fallen and INETER warned of possible mudflows resulting from remobilized ash. Thunderstorms were expected on 9 September in the region of Chinandega and INETER warned that acid rain could result from the mixture of volcanic gases.

During 9 September, INETER coordinated field teams that investigated ashfall within the region. These teams determined that ash fell in an area covering 2,438 square kilometers, including the communities of El Viejo, La Grecia, La Joya, Santa Catalina, El Piloto, Las Banderas, Las Rojas, Carlos Fonseca, Jiquilillo, Mechapa, and Cosiguina (figure 27). Ashfall was 5 cm thick in areas near the crater and up to 3 mm thick in more distant places.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Several towns and roads were blanketed with ash from San Cristóbal on 8 September. This Nicaraguan police officer wears a protective mask to prevent inhaling the fine volcanic ash. Courtesy of the Associated Press/Esteban Felix.

By 10 September, INETER reported that seismicity decreased after the 8 September eruption. A traverse between Chinandega and El Guasaule during 0700-0830 with a mobile DOAS measured an SO2 flux of 1,626 t/d. This emission rate was significantly lower compared to the previous day.

During 10-11 September, steam plumes rose 200-300 m above the crater and drifted W. Three small explosions on 11 September generated ash-and-gas plumes that rose 300 m above the crater and drifted W. An explosion and ash venting was observed a few hours later; a plume drifted S and ash fell on the flanks. Microseismicity continued; at 0900 on 11 September, 63 small events had been recorded so far that day.

Abundant gas emissions were observed on the morning of 12 September. RSAM was notably higher (by 35 to 70 RSAM units compared to the previous day). At the time of the Special Report on 12 September at 1100 local time, 86 microseismic events had been recorded.

On 13 September, INETER reported that the seismic network continued to detect small, sporadic explosions. Sulfur dioxide gas emissions were above normal (1,360 t/d), similar to levels detected on 8 September. RSAM calculated since the release of the last INETER Special Report was considered normal, 40-60 RSAM units, and microseismicity appeared to have decreased (only 17 events had been detected).

Fieldwork was conducted on 13 September as a joint venture between INETER and the El Salvadoran agency Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales de El Salvador (SNET). The scientific team reached the summit crater of San Cristóbal to measure temperatures, collect rock samples, and observe current conditions. They noted that portions of the crater had collapsed (N and S sectors) and found blocks and ejecta on the flanks, 850 m from the crater. Changes had also occurred in the summit fumarolic areas. Three of the five fumarolic sites no longer emitted gas; these sites appeared to be sealed. Fumaroles 1 and 2 had measurably elevated temperatures (85°C), broadly similar to previous values recorded (figure 23). Based on the field assessment of ejecta, INETER warned that mudflows remained a hazard during heavy rainfall.

Increased seismic tremor was recorded at 0340 on 14 September. Low levels of summit emissions were visible drifting in a plume to the SW. Elevated SO2 flux continued (2,490 t/d). The following day, abundant gas emissions were visible drifting NE and SO2 emissions had increased (3,054 t/d). RSAM had increased to 120 on 15 September. A small explosion was detected at 0817 local time; however, there was no visual confirmation due to cloud cover.

Early in the morning on 16 September, minor tremor was recorded and few earthquakes were recorded. The seismic events were too small to be located and INETER reported that, based on RSAM, seismicity had returned to normal levels (40 RSAM units). Low level emissions were visible and less SO2 was detected compared to the previous two days (2,053 t/d). By 17 September, no tremor was recorded and minor emissions were visible drifting N of the crater.

References. A Callejas, 2012, Volcan San Cristobal en erupción - Nicaragua Sept 8, 2012 (from YouTube), Uploaded on 10 September 2012, Accessed on 3 October 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQStun1FF3o&feature=related.

Galle, B. and the NOVAC Team, 2009. NOVAC - A global network for volcanic gas monitoring, 6th Alexander von Humboldt International Conference, Abstract AvH6-34-1, 2010.

Geologic Background. The San Cristóbal volcanic complex, consisting of five principal volcanic edifices, forms the NW end of the Marrabios Range. The symmetrical 1745-m-high youngest cone, named San Cristóbal (also known as El Viejo), is Nicaragua's highest volcano and is capped by a 500 x 600 m wide crater. El Chonco, with several flank lava domes, is located 4 km W of San Cristóbal; it and the eroded Moyotepe volcano, 4 km NE of San Cristóbal, are of Pleistocene age. Volcán Casita, containing an elongated summit crater, lies immediately east of San Cristóbal and was the site of a catastrophic landslide and lahar in 1998. The Plio-Pleistocene La Pelona caldera is located at the eastern end of the complex. Historical eruptions from San Cristóbal, consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been reported since the 16th century. Some other 16th-century eruptions attributed to Casita volcano are uncertain and may pertain to other Marrabios Range volcanoes.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.ineter.gob.ni/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS E/SP23, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/); La Prensa de Nicaragua (URL: http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2010/07/04/nacionales/30240); La Prensa de Honduras (URL: http://www.laprensa.hn); BBC: Latin America & Caribbean (URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-19533933).


Suwanosejima (Japan) — August 2012 Citation iconCite this Report

Suwanosejima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


2011-2012 eruptions with plumes rising up to 1 km above crater rim

Our last report covered beharior at Suwanose-jima through July 2011 (BGVN 36:07). This report, compiling translated material from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), covers ongoing activity through June 2012, with minor magnitude venting at Otake crater and the tallest plume rising to 1 km over the crater rim. Throughout the reporting period, the volcano's crater produced weak glow at night that was imaged by a high-sensitivity camera. The Alert Level remained at Level 2 (on a scale from 1-5, access to the crater area prohibited due to threat of eruption). As summarized in the text, numbers of A- and B-type events were in the ranges of 11-24 and 62-205, respectively. There were multiple cases of ashfall at [the village 4 km SSW] from the summit crater.

The table below summarizes some other information reported by JMA, including a tally of small eruption heights. Tremor duration extended to over 50 hours during several months and to 132 hours in June 2012.

Monthly coverage. Volcanic earthquakes and tremor continued during July and August 2011 (table 10). In August, seismic activity decreased; A- and B-type events occurred 24 and 62 times, respectively. A-type earthquakes are generally considered to have shallow focal depths; B-type earthquakes, deeper focal depths.

Table 10. A compilation of data on Suwanose-jima during July 2011 through June 2012. "--" indicates data not reported. Data courtesy of JMA.

Month Explosive Eruptions Tremor Duration (hh:mm) Max. plume height above rim (m) Other Activity
Jul 2011 0 -- 400 Prolonged activity
Aug 2011 0 15:23 300 Prolonged activity
Sep 2011 2 64:00 300-1,300 Small eruptions on 8,9,11, and 12 Sep
Oct 2011 0 18:51 1,000 Small eruption on 1 Oct
Nov 2011 0 28:30 600 Small eruption on 15 Nov
Dec 2011 0 -- 400 --
Jan 2012 1 69:24 300 --
Feb 2012 1 00:58 400 --
Mar 2012 1 00:17 ~200 --
Apr 2012 0 09:26 300 --
May 2012 0 40:11 600 Very small eruptions on 25,26, and 28-30 May
Jun 2012 0 132:24 300 Very small eruptions

Explosive eruptions from Otake crater occurred on 9 and 12 September 2011. A temporal increase in seismicity, including intermittent tremor, was observed during 9-14 September, later dropping to background level. Ash fell [in the village] on 7, 9, 12, 15, and 18 September.

Small-scale eruptions were observed in October and November 2011. Ashfall was reported [in the village] on 15 November.

Aerial observations were conducted in cooperation with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) on 19 December 2011. They revealed a high temperature area at the center of Otake crater.

GPS measurements showed no remarkable crustal change between January and June 2012. GPS data from Tongama ceased starting in mid-May due to a technical failure.

No explosive eruptions occurred in April 2012. Instruments detected 21 A-type events and 85 B-type events.

During May, there were 11 A-type events and 205 B-type events. Noteable volcanic tremor occurred on 5 and 25-26 May. [Residents in the village] registered ashfall on 25 and 28-30 May.

[Village residents] again reported ashfall on 11 and 13-14 June 2012. During June instruments detected 21 A-type events and 116 B-type events. Volcanic tremor was registered during 2?22 June 2012 (table 10).

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

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/).

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