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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

Nevados de Chillan (Chile) Explosions and pyroclastic flows continue; new dome emerges from Nicanor crater in June 2020

Bagana (Papua New Guinea) Ash plumes during 29 February-2 March and 1 May 2020

Kerinci (Indonesia) Intermittent ash emissions during January-early May 2020

Tinakula (Solomon Islands) Intermittent small thermal anomalies and gas-and-steam plumes during January-June 2020

Ibu (Indonesia) Frequent ash emissions and summit incandescence; Strombolian explosions in March 2020

Suwanosejima (Japan) Frequent explosions, ash plumes, and summit incandescence in January-June 2020

Kadovar (Papua New Guinea) Intermittent ash plumes and persistent summit thermal anomalies, January-June 2020

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

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

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

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

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



Nevados de Chillan (Chile) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Nevados de Chillan

Chile

36.868°S, 71.378°W; summit elev. 3180 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions and pyroclastic flows continue; new dome emerges from Nicanor crater in June 2020

Nevados de Chillán is a complex of late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes in the Chilean Central Andes. An eruption started with a phreatic explosion and ash emission on 8 January 2016 from a new crater (Nicanor) on the E flank of the Nuevo crater, itself on the NW flank of the large Volcán Viejo stratovolcano. Strombolian explosions and ash emissions continued throughout 2016 and 2017; a lava dome within the Nicanor crater was confirmed in early January 2018. Explosions and pyroclastic flows continued during 2018 and 2019, with several lava flows appearing in late 2019. This report covers continuing activity from January-June 2020 when ongoing explosive events produced ash plumes, pyroclastic flows, and the growth of new dome inside the crater. Information for this report is provided primarily by Chile's Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)-Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), and by the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Explosions with ash plumes rising up to three kilometers above the summit area were intermittent from late January through early June 2020. Some of the larger explosions produced pyroclastic flows that traveled down multiple flanks. Thermal anomalies within the Nicanor crater were recorded in satellite data several times each month from February through June. A reduction in overall activity led SERNAGEOMIN to lower the Alert Level from Orange to Yellow (on a 4-level, Green-Yellow-Orange-Red scale) during the first week of March, although tens of explosions with ash plumes were still recorded during March and April. Explosive activity diminished in early June and SERNAGEOMIN reported the growth of a new dome inside the Nicanor crater. By the end of June, a new flow had extended about 100 m down the N flank. Thermal activity recorded by the MIROVA project showed a drop in thermal energy in mid-December 2019 after the lava flows of September-November stopped advancing. A decrease in activity in January and February 2020 was followed by an increase in thermal and explosive activity in March and April. Renewed thermal activity from the growth of a new dome inside the Nicanor crater was recorded beginning in mid-June (figure 52).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. MIROVA thermal anomaly data for Nevados de Chillan from 8 September 2019 through June 2020 showed a drop in thermal activity in mid-December 2019 after the lava flows of September-November stopped advancing. A decrease in activity in January and February 2020 was followed by an increase in explosive activity in March and April. Renewed thermal activity from the growth of a new dome inside the Nicanor crater was recorded beginning in mid-June. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Weak gas emissions were reported daily during January 2020 until a series of explosions began on the 21st. The first explosion rose 100 m above the active crater; the following day, the highest explosion rose 1.6 km above the crater. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported pulse emissions visible in satellite imagery on 21 and 24 January that rose to 3.9-4.3 km altitude and drifted SE and NE, respectively. Intermittent explosions continued through 26 January. Incandescent ejecta was observed during the night of 28-29 January. The VAAC reported an isolated emission on 29 January that rose to 5.2 km altitude and drifted E. A larger explosion on 30 January produced an ash plume that SERNAGEOMIN reported at 3.4 km above the crater (figure 53). It produced pyroclastic flows that traveled down ravines on the NNE and SE flanks. The Washington VAAC reported on behalf of the Buenos Aires VAAC that an emission was observed in satellite imagery on 30 January that rose to 4.9 km altitude and was moving rapidly E, reaching 15 km from the summit at midday. The altitude of the ash plume was revised two hours later to 7.3 km, drifting NNE and rapidly dissipating. Satellite images identified two areas of thermal anomalies within the Nicanor crater that day. One was the same emission center (CE4) identified in November 2019, and the second was a new emission center (CE5) located 60 m NW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. A significant explosion and ash plume from the Nicanor crater at Nevados de Chillan on 30 January 2020 produced an ash plume reported at 7.3 km altitude. The left image was taken within one minute of the initial explosion. Images posted by Twitter accounts #EmergenciasÑuble (left) and T13 (right); original photographers unknown.

When the weather permitted, low-altitude mostly white degassing was seen during February 2020, often with traces of fine-grained particulate material. Incandescence at the crater was observed overnight during 4-5 February. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported an emission on 14 February visible in the webcam. The next day, an emission was visible in satellite imagery at 3.9 km altitude that drifted E. Episodes of pulsating white and gray plumes were first observed by SERNAGEOMIN beginning on 18 February and continued through 25 February (figure 54). The Buenos Aires VAAC reported pulses of ash emissions moving SE on 18 February at 4.3 km altitude. Ash drifted E the next day at 3.9 km altitude and a faint plume was briefly observed on 20 February drifting N at 3.7 km altitude before dissipating. Sporadic pulses of ash moved SE from the volcano on 22 February at 4.3 km altitude, briefly observed in satellite imagery before dissipating. Thermal anomalies were visible from the Nicanor crater in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 23 and 28 February.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. An ash emission at Nevados de Chillan on 18 February 2020 was captured in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery drifting SE (left). Thermal anomalies within the Nicanor crater were measured on 23 (right) and 28 February. Images use Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Only low-altitude degassing of mostly steam was reported for the first half of March 2020. When SERNAGEOMIN lowered the Alert Level from Orange to Yellow on 5 March, they reduced the affected area from 5 km NE and 3 km SW of the crater to a radius of 2 km around the active crater. Thermal anomalies were recorded at the Nicanor crater in Sentinel-2 imagery on 4, 9, 11, 16, and 19 March (figure 55). A new series of explosions began on 19 March; 44 events were recorded during the second half of the month (figure 56). Webcams captured multiple explosions with dense ash plumes; on 25 and 30 March the plumes rose more than 2 km above the crater. Fine-grained ashfall occurred in Las Trancas (10 km SW) on 25 March. Pyroclastic flows on 25 and 30 March traveled 300 m NE, SE, and SW from the crater. Incandescence was observed at night multiple times after 20 March. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported several discrete pulses of ash that rose to 4.3 km altitude and drifted SE on 20 and 21 March, SW on 25 March, and SE on 29 and 30 March. Another ash emission rose to 5.5 km altitude later on 30 March and drifted SE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Sentinel-2 Satellite imagery of Nevados de Chillan during March 2020 showed thermal anomalies on five different dates at the Nicanor crater, including on 9, 11, and 16 March. A second thermal anomaly of unknown origin was also visible on 11 March about 2 km SW of the crater (center). Images use Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. Forty-four explosive events were recorded at Nevados de Chillan during the second half of March 2020 including on 19 March. Courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN webcams and chillanonlinenoticia.

In their semi-monthly reports for April 2020, SERNAGEOMIN reported 94 explosive events during the first half of the month and 49 during the second half; many produced dense ash plumes. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported frequent intermittent ash emissions during 1-13 April reaching altitudes of 3.7-4.3 km (figure 57). They reported the plume on 8 April visible in satellite imagery at 7.3 km altitude drifting SE. An emission on 13 April was also visible in satellite imagery at 6.1 km altitude drifting NE.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery captured a strong thermal anomaly and an ash plume drifting SE from Nevados de Chillan on 10 April 2020. Image uses Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

During the second half of April 2020, SERNAGEOMIN reported that only one plume exceeded 2 km in height; on 21 April, it rose to 2.4 km above the crater (figure 58). The Buenos Aires VAAC reported isolated pulses of ash on 18, 26, 28, and 30 April. During the second half of April SERNAGEOMIN also reported that a pyroclastic flow traveled about 1,200 m from the crater rim down the SE flank. The ash from the pyroclastic flow drifted SE and S as far as 3.5 km. Satellite images showed continued activity from multiple emission centers around the crater. Pronounced scarps were noted on the internal walls of the crater, attributed to the deepening of the crater from explosive activity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. Tens of explosions were reported at Nevados de Chillan during the second half of April 2020 that produced dense ash plumes. The plume on 21 April rose 2.4 km above the Nicanor crater. Photo by Josefa Carrasco Acuña from San Fabián de Alico; posted by Noticias Valpo Express.

Intermittent explosive activity continued during May 2020. The plumes contained abundant particulate material and were accompanied by periodic pyroclastic flows and incandescent ejecta around the active crater, especially visible at night. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported several sporadic weak ash emissions during the first week of May that rose to 3.7-5.2 km altitude and drifted NE. SERNAGEOMIN reported that only one explosion produced an ash emission that rose more than two km above the crater during the first two weeks of the month; on 6 May it rose to 2.5 km above the crater and drifted NE. They also observed pyroclastic flows on the E and SE flanks that day. Additional pyroclastic flows traveled 450 m down the S flank during the first half of the month, and similar deposits were observed to the N and NE. Satellite observations showed various emission points along the NW-trending lineament at the summit and multiple erosion scarps. Major erosion was noted at the NE rim of the crater along with an increase in degassing around the rim.

During the second half of May 2020 most of the ash plumes rose less than 2 km above the crater; a plume from one explosion on 22 May rose 2.2 km above the crater; the Buenos Aires VAAC reported the plume at 5.5 km altitude drifting NW (figure 59). Continuing pyroclastic emissions deposited material as far as 1.5 km from the crater rim on the NNW flank. There were also multiple pyroclastic deposits up to 500 m from the crater directed N and NE during the period. SERNAGEOMIN reported an increase in steam degassing between Nuevo-Nicanor and Nicanor-Arrau craters.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. Explosions produced dense ash plumes and pyroclastic flows at Nevados de Chillan multiple times during May 2020 including on 22 May. Courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN.

Webcam images during the first two weeks of June 2020 indicated multiple incandescent explosions. On 3 and 4 June plumes from explosions reached heights of over 1.25 km above the crater; the Buenos Aires VAAC reported them drifting NW at 3.9 km altitude. Incandescent ejecta on 6 June rose 760 m above the vent and drifted NE. In addition, pyroclastic flows were distributed on the N, NW, E and SE flanks. Significant daytime and nighttime incandescence was reported on 6, 9, and 10 June (figure 60). The VAAC reported emission pulses on 6 and 9 June drifting E and SE at 4.3 km altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Multiple ash plumes with incandescence were reported at Nevados de Chillan during the first ten days of June 2020 including on 6 June, after which explosive activity decreased significantly. Courtesy of SERNAGEOMIIN and Sismo Alerta Mexicana.

SERNAGEOMIN reported that beginning on the afternoon of 9 June 2020 a tremor-type seismic signal was first recorded, associated with continuous emission of gas and dark gray ash that drifted SE (figure 61). A little over an hour later another tremor signal began that lasted for about four hours, followed by smaller discrete explosions. A hybrid-type earthquake in the early morning of 10 June was followed by a series of explosions that ejected gas and particulate matter from the active crater. The vent where the emissions occurred was located within the Nicanor crater close to the Arrau crater; it had been degassing since 30 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. A tremor-type seismic signal was first recorded on the afternoon of 9 June 2020 at Nevados de Chillan. It was associated with the continuous emission of gas and dark gray ash that drifted SE, and incandescent ejecta visible after dark. View is to the S, courtesy of SERNAGEOMIN webcam, posted by Volcanology Chile.

After the explosions on the afternoon of 9 June, a number of other nearby vents became active. In particular, the vent located between the Nuevo and Nicanor craters began emitting material for the first time during this eruptive cycle. The explosion also generated pyroclastic flows that traveled less than 50 m in multiple directions away from the vent. Abundant incandescent material was reported during the explosion early on 10 June. Deformation measurements showed inflation over the previous 12 days.

SERNAGEOMIN identified a surface feature in satellite imagery on 11 June 2020 that they interpreted as a new effusive lava dome. It was elliptical with dimensions of about 85 x 120 m. In addition to a thermal anomaly attributed to the dome, they noted three other thermal anomalies between the Nuevo, Arrau, and Nicanor craters. They reported that within four days the base of the active crater was filled with effusive material. Seismometers recorded tremor activity after 11 June that was interpreted as associated with lava effusion. Incandescent emissions were visible at night around the active crater. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery recorded a bright thermal anomaly inside the Nicanor crater on 14 June (figure 62).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. A bright thermal anomaly was recorded inside the Nicanor crater at Nevados de Chillan on 14 June 2020. SERNAGEOMIN scientists attributed it to the growth of a new lava dome within the crater. Image uses Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a); courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

A special report from SERNAGEOMIN on 24 June 2020 noted that vertical inflation had increased during the previous few weeks. After 20 June the inflation rate reached 2.49 cm/month, which was considered high. The accumulated inflation measured since July 2019 was 22.5 cm. Satellite imagery continued to show the growth of the dome, and SERNAGEOMIN scientists estimated that it reached the E edge of the Nicanor crater on 23 June. Based on these images, they estimated an eruptive rate of 0.1-0.3 m3/s, about two orders of magnitude faster than the Gil-Cruz dome that emerged between December 2018 and early 2019.

Webcams revealed continued low-level explosive activity and incandescence visible both during the day and at night. By the end of June, webcams recorded a lava flow that extended 94 m down the N flank from the Nicanor crater and continued to advance. Small explosions with abundant pyroclastic debris produced recurring incandescence at night. Satellite infrared imagery indicated thermal radiance from effusive material that covered an area of 37,000 m2, largely filling the crater. DEM analysis suggested that the size of the crater had tripled in volume since December 2019 due largely to erosion from explosive activity since May 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed a bright thermal anomaly inside the crater on 27 June.

Geologic Background. The compound volcano of Nevados de Chillán is one of the most active of the Central Andes. Three late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes were constructed along a NNW-SSE line within three nested Pleistocene calderas, which produced ignimbrite sheets extending more than 100 km into the Central Depression of Chile. The largest stratovolcano, dominantly andesitic, Cerro Blanco (Volcán Nevado), is located at the NW end of the group. Volcán Viejo (Volcán Chillán), which was the main active vent during the 17th-19th centuries, occupies the SE end. The new Volcán Nuevo lava-dome complex formed between 1906 and 1945 between the two volcanoes and grew to exceed Volcán Viejo in elevation. The Volcán Arrau dome complex was constructed SE of Volcán Nuevo between 1973 and 1986 and eventually exceeded its height.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), Avda Sta María No. 0104, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.sernageomin.cl/, https://twitter.com/Sernageomin); 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/); Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Meteorológico Nacional-Fuerza Aérea Argentina, 25 de mayo 658, Buenos Aires, Argentina (URL: http://www.smn.gov.ar/vaac/buenosaires/inicio.php); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); #EmergenciasÑuble (URL: https://twitter.com/urgenciasnuble/status/1222943399185207296); T13, Channel 13 Press Department (URL: https://twitter.com/T13/status/1222951071443771394); Chillanonlinenoticia (URL: https://twitter.com/ChillanOnline/status/1240754211932995595); Noticias Valpo Express (URL: https://twitter.com/NoticiasValpoEx/status/1252715033131388928); Sismo Alerta Mexicana (URL: https://twitter.com/Sismoalertamex/status/1269351579095691265); Volcanology Chile (URL: https://twitter.com/volcanologiachl/status/1270548008191643651).


Bagana (Papua New Guinea) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Bagana

Papua New Guinea

6.137°S, 155.196°E; summit elev. 1855 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes during 29 February-2 March and 1 May 2020

Bagana lies in a nearly inaccessible mountainous tropical rainforest area of Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea and is primarily monitored by satellite imagery of ash plumes and thermal anomalies. After a state of elevated activity that lasted through December 2018 (BGVN 43:05, 44:06, 44:12), the volcano entered a quieter period that persisted through at least May 2020. This report focuses on activity between December 2019 and May 2020.

Atmospheric clouds often obscured satellite views of the volcano during the reporting period. When the volcano could be observed, light-colored gas plumes were often observed (figure 43). Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reported that during 29 February-2 March ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8-2.1 km and drifted SW and N. On 1 May an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km and drifted NW and W. According to both Darwin VAAC volcanic ash advisories, the Aviation Color Code was Orange (second highest of four hazard levels).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Sentinel-2 image of Bagana, showing a gas plume drifting SE on 13 March 2020, during a period when the Darwin VAAC had not reported any ash explosions (Natural Color rendering, bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

During the reporting period, the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system recorded only intermittent thermal anomalies, all of which were of low radiative power. Sulfur dioxide emissions detected by satellite-based instruments over this reporting period were at low levels.

Geologic Background. Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.

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


Kerinci (Indonesia) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kerinci

Indonesia

1.697°S, 101.264°E; summit elev. 3800 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash emissions during January-early May 2020

Kerinci is a stratovolcano located in Sumatra, Indonesia that has been characterized by explosive eruptions with ash plumes and gas-and-steam emissions. The most recent eruptive episode began in April 2018 which has included intermittent explosions and ash plumes. The previous report (BGVN 44:12) described more recent activity consisting of intermittent gas-and-steam and ash plumes which occurred during June through early November 2019. This volcanism continued through May 2020, though little to no activity was reported during December 2019. The primary source of information for this report comes from Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) and the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

Activity during December 2019 consisted of white gas-and-steam emissions rising 100-500 m above the summit. White and brown emissions continued intermittently through May 2020, rising to a maximum altitude of 1 km above the summit on 14 April. During 3-6 and 8-9 January 2020, the Darwin VAAC and PVMBG issued notices reporting brown volcanic ash rising 150-600 m above the summit drifting S and ESE (figure 19). PVMBG published a VONA notice on 24 January at 0828 reporting ash rising 400 m above the summit. Brown emissions continued intermittently throughout the reporting period. On 1 February, volcanic ash was observed rising 300-960 m above the summit and drifting NE; PVMBG reported continuing brown emissions during 1-3 February. During 16-17 February, two VONA notices reported that brown ash plumes rose 150-400 m above the summit and drifted SW accompanied by consistent white gas-and-steam emissions (figure 20).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Brown ash plume rose 500-600 m above Kerinci on 4 January 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia via Øystein Lund Andersen.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. White gas-and-steam emissions rose 400 m above Kerinci on 19 February 2020. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia via Øystein Lund Andersen.

During 1-16 and 25-26 March 2020 brown ash emissions were frequently observed rising 100-500 m above the summit drifting in multiple directions. During 6-8 and 10-15, April brown ash emissions were reported 50-1,000 m above the summit. The most recent Darwin VAAC and VONA notices were published on 14 April, reporting volcanic ash rising 400 and 600 m above the summit, respectively; however, PVMBG reported brown emissions rising up to 1,000 m. By 25-27 April brown ash emissions rose 50-300 m above the summit. Intermittent white gas-and-steam emissions continued through May. The last brown emissions seen in May were reported on the 7th rising 50-100 m above the summit.

Geologic Background. Gunung Kerinci in central Sumatra forms Indonesia's highest volcano and is one of the most active in Sumatra. It is capped by an unvegetated young summit cone that was constructed NE of an older crater remnant. There is a deep 600-m-wide summit crater often partially filled by a small crater lake that lies on the NE crater floor, opposite the SW-rim summit. The massive 13 x 25 km wide volcano towers 2400-3300 m above surrounding plains and is elongated in a N-S direction. Frequently active, Kerinci has been the source of numerous moderate explosive eruptions since its first recorded eruption in 1838.

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/); 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/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Øystein Lund Andersen (Twitter: @OysteinLAnderse, https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse, URL: http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com, images at https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse/status/1213658331564269569/photo/1 and https://twitter.com/OysteinLAnderse/status/1230419965209018369/photo/1).


Tinakula (Solomon Islands) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Tinakula

Solomon Islands

10.386°S, 165.804°E; summit elev. 796 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent small thermal anomalies and gas-and-steam plumes during January-June 2020

Tinakula is a remote stratovolcano located 100 km NE of the Solomon Trench at the N end of the Santa Cruz. In 1971, an eruption with lava flows and ash explosions caused the small population to evacuate the island. Volcanism has previously been characterized by an ash explosion in October 2017 and the most recent eruptive period that began in December 2018 with renewed thermal activity. Activity since then has consisted of intermittent thermal activity and dense gas-and-steam plumes (BGVN 45:01), which continues into the current reporting period. This report updates information from January-June 2020 using primary source information from various satellite data, as ground observations are rarely available.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed weak, intermittent, but ongoing thermal activity during January-June 2020 (figure 41). A small cluster of slightly stronger thermal signatures was detected in late February to early March, which is correlated to MODVOLC thermal alert data; four thermal hotspots were recorded on 20, 27, and 29 February and 1 March. However, observations using Sentinel-2 satellite imagery were often obscured by clouds. In addition to the weak thermal signatures, dense gas-and-steam plumes were observed in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery rising from the summit during this reporting period (figure 42).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. Weak thermal anomalies at Tinakula from 26 June 2019 through June 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were intermittent and clustered more strongly in late February to early March.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery shows ongoing gas-and-steam plumes rising from Tinakula during January through May 2020. Images with atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8a) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Three distinct thermal anomalies were observed in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery on 22 January, 11 April, and 6 May 2020, accompanied by some gas-and-steam emissions (figure 43). The hotspot on 22 January was slightly weaker than the other two days, and was seen on the W flank, compared to the other two that were observed in the summit crater. According to MODVOLC thermal alerts, a hotspot was recorded on 6 May, which corresponded to a Sentinel-2 thermal satellite image with a notable anomaly in the summit crater (figure 43). On 10 June no thermal anomaly was seen in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery due to the presence of clouds; however, what appeared to be a dense gas-and-steam plume was extending W from the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing a weak thermal activity (bright yellow-orange) on 22 January 2020 on the W flank of Tinakula (top) and slightly stronger thermal hotspots on 11 April (middle) and 6 May (bottom) in at the summit, which are accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. Images with atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8a) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The small 3.5-km-wide island of Tinakula is the exposed summit of a massive stratovolcano at the NW end of the Santa Cruz islands. Similar to Stromboli, it has a breached summit crater that extends from the summit to below sea level. Landslides enlarged this scarp in 1965, creating an embayment on the NW coast. The satellitic cone of Mendana is located on the SE side. The dominantly andesitic volcano has frequently been observed in eruption since the era of Spanish exploration began in 1595. In about 1840, an explosive eruption apparently produced pyroclastic flows that swept all sides of the island, killing its inhabitants. Frequent historical eruptions have originated from a cone constructed within the large breached crater. These have left the upper flanks and the steep apron of lava flows and volcaniclastic debris within the breach unvegetated.

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).


Ibu (Indonesia) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ibu

Indonesia

1.488°N, 127.63°E; summit elev. 1325 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent ash emissions and summit incandescence; Strombolian explosions in March 2020

Ibu is an active stratovolcano located along the NW coast of Halmahera Island in Indonesia. Volcanism has recently been characterized by frequent ash explosions, ash plumes, and small lava flows within the crater throughout 2019 (BGVN 45:01). Activity continues, consisting of frequent white-and-gray emissions, ash explosions, ash plumes, and lava flows. This report updates activity through June 2020, using data from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), and various satellites.

Volcanism during the entire reporting period dominantly consisted of white-and-gray emissions that rose 200-800 m above the summit drifting in multiple directions. The ash plume with the maximum altitude of 13.7 km altitude occurred on 16 May 2020. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery detected multiple smaller hotspots within the crater throughout the reporting period.

Continuous ash emissions were reported on 6 February rising to 2.1 km altitude drifting E, accompanied by a hotspot visible in infrared satellite imagery. On 16 February, a ground observer reported an eruption that produced an ash plume rising 800 m above the summit drifting W, according to a Darwin VAAC notice. Ash plumes continued through the month, drifting in multiple directions and rising up to 2.1 km altitude. During 8-10 March, video footage captured multiple Strombolian explosions that ejected incandescent material and produced ash plumes from the summit (figures 21 and 22). Occasionally volcanic lightning was observed within the ash column, as recorded in video footage by Martin Rietze. This event was also documented by a Darwin VAAC notice, which stated that multiple ash emissions rose 2.1 km altitude drifting SE. PVMBG published a VONA notice on 10 March at 1044 reporting ash plumes rising 400 m above the summit. PVMBG and Darwin VAAC notices described intermittent eruptions on 26, 28, and 29 March, all of which produced ash plumes rising 300-800 m above the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Strombolian explosions recorded at the crater summit of Ibu during 8-10 March 2020 ejected incandescent ejecta and a dense ash plume. Video footage copyright by Martin Rietze, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Strombolian explosions recorded at the crater summit of Ibu during 8-10 March 2020 ejected incandescent ejecta and ash. Frequent volcanic lightning was also observed. Video footage copyright by Martin Rietze, used with permission.

A majority of days in April included white-and-gray emissions rising up to 800 m above the summit. A ground observer reported an eruption on 9 April, according to a Darwin VAAC report, and a hotspot was observed in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery. Minor eruptions were reported intermittently during mid-April and early to mid-May. On 12 May at 1052 a VONA from PVMBG reported an ash plume 800-1,100 m above the summit. A large short-lived eruption on 16 May produced an ash plume that rose to a maximum of 13.7 km altitude and drifted S, according to the Darwin VAAC report. By June, volcanism consisted predominantly of white-and-gray emissions rising 800 m above the summit, with an ash eruption on 15 June. This eruptive event resulted in an ash plume that rose 1.8 km altitude drifting WNW and was accompanied by a hotspot detected in HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery, according to a Darwin VAAC notice.

The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system detected frequent hotspots during July 2019 through June 2020 (figure 23). In comparison, the MODVOLC thermal alerts recorded a total of 24 thermal signatures over the course of 19 different days between January and June. Many thermal signatures were captured as small thermal hotspots in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery within the crater (figure 24).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Thermal anomalies recorded at Ibu from 2 July 2019 through June 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) were frequent and consistent in power. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (bands 12, 11, 8A) showed occasional thermal hotspots (bright orange) in the Ibu summit crater during January through June 2020. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The truncated summit of Gunung Ibu stratovolcano along the NW coast of Halmahera Island has large nested summit craters. The inner crater, 1 km wide and 400 m deep, contained several small crater lakes through much of historical time. The outer crater, 1.2 km wide, is breached on the north side, creating a steep-walled valley. A large parasitic cone is located ENE of the summit. A smaller one to the WSW has fed a lava flow down the W flank. A group of maars is located below the N and W flanks. Only a few eruptions have been recorded in historical time, the first a small explosive eruption from the summit crater in 1911. An eruption producing a lava dome that eventually covered much of the floor of the inner summit crater began in December 1998.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Martin Rietze, Taubenstr. 1, D-82223 Eichenau, Germany (URL: https://mrietze.com/, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5LzAA_nyNWEUfpcUFOCpJw/videos, video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMkfT1e4HQQ).


Suwanosejima (Japan) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Suwanosejima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent explosions, ash plumes, and summit incandescence in January-June 2020

Suwanosejima is an active stratovolcano located in the northern Ryukyu Islands. Volcanism has previously been characterized by Strombolian explosions, ash plumes, and summit incandescence (BGVN 45:01), which continues to occur intermittently. A majority of this activity originates from vents within the large Otake summit crater. This report updates information during January through June 2020 using monthly reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

During 3-10 January 2020, 13 explosions were detected from the Otake crater rising to 1.4 km altitude; material was ejected as far as 600 m away and ashfall was reported in areas 4 km SSW, according to JMA. Occasional small eruptive events continued during 12-17 January, which resulted in ash plumes that rose 1 km above the crater rim and ashfall was again reported 4 km SSW. Crater incandescence was visible nightly during 17-24 January, while white plumes rose as high as 700 m above the crater rim.

Nightly incandescence during 7-29 February, and 1-6 March, was accompanied by intermittent explosions that produced ash plumes rising up to 1.2 km above the crater rim (figure 44); activity during early February resulted in ashfall 4 km SSW. On 19 February an eruption produced a gray-white ash plume that rose 1.6 km above the crater (figure 45), resulting in ashfall in Toshima village (4 km SSW), according to JMA. Explosive events during 23-24 February ejected blocks onto the flanks. Two explosions were recorded during 1-6 March, which sent ash plumes as high as 900-1,000 m above the crater rim and ejected large blocks 300 m from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Surveillance camera images of summit incandescence at Suwanosejima on 29 January (top left), 21 (middle left) and 23 (top right) February, and 25 March (bottom left and right) 2020. Courtesy of JMA (Monthly bulletin reports 511, January, February, and March 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Surveillance camera images of which and white-and-gray gas-and-steam emissions rising from Suwanosejima on 5 January (top), 19 February (middle), and 24 March 2020 (bottom). Courtesy of JMA (Monthly bulletin reports 511, January, February, and March 2020).

Nightly incandescence continued to be visible during 13-31 March, 1-10 and 17-24 April, 1-8, 15-31 May, 1-5 and 12-30 June 2020; activity during the latter part of March was relatively low and consisted of few explosive events. In contrast, incandescence was frequently accompanied by explosions in April and May. On 28 April at 0432 an eruption produced an ash plume that rose 1.6 km above the crater rim and drifted SE and E, and ejected blocks as far as 800 m from the crater. The MODVOLC thermal alerts algorithm also detected four thermal signatures during this eruption within the summit crater. An explosion at 1214 on 29 April caused glass in windows to vibrate up to 4 km SSW away while ash emissions continued to be observed following the explosion the previous day, according to the Tokyo VAAC.

During 1-8 May explosions occurred twice a day, producing ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and ejecting material 400 m from the crater. An explosion on 29 May at 0210 produced an off-white plume that rose as high as 500 m above the crater rim and ejected large blocks up to 200 m above the rim. On 5 June an explosion produced gray-white plumes rising 1 km above the crater. Small eruptive events continued in late June, producing ash plumes that rose as high as 900 m above the crater rim.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed relatively stronger thermal anomalies in late February and late April 2020 with an additional six weaker thermal anomalies detected in early January (2), early February (1), mid-April (2), and mid-May (1) (figure 46). Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery in late January through mid-April showed two distinct thermal hotspots within the summit crater (figure 47).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Prominent thermal anomalies at Suwanosejima during July-June 2020 as recorded by the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power) occurred in late February and late April. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 47. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing small thermal anomalies (bright yellow-orange) from two locations within the Otake summit crater at Suwanosejima. Images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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), 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/); 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).


Kadovar (Papua New Guinea) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kadovar

Papua New Guinea

3.608°S, 144.588°E; summit elev. 365 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash plumes and persistent summit thermal anomalies, January-June 2020

The steeply sloped 1.4-km-diameter Kadovar Island is located in the Bismark Sea offshore from the mainland of Papua New Guinea about 25 km NNE from the mouth of the Sepik River. Its first confirmed observed eruption began in early January 2018, with ash plumes and lava extrusion resulting in the evacuation of around 600 residents from the N side of the island (BGVN 43:03). A dome appeared at the base of the E flank during March-May 2018 (Planka et al., 2019); by November activity had migrated to a new dome growing near the summit on the E flank. Pulsating steam plumes, thermal anomalies, and periodic ash emissions continued throughout 2019 (BGVN 44:05, 45:01), and from January-June 2020, the period covered in this report. Information was provided by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), satellite sources, and photographs from visitors.

Activity during January-June 2020. Intermittent ash plumes, pulsating gas and steam plumes, and thermal anomalies continued at Kadovar during January-June 2020. MIROVA thermal data suggested persistent low-level anomalies throughout the period (figure 45). Sentinel-2 satellite data confirmed thermal anomalies at the summit on 5 and 25 January 2020, and an ash emission on 20 January (figure 46). Persistent pulsating steam plumes were visible whenever the skies were clear enough to see the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Persistent low-level thermal activity at Kadovar was recorded in the MIROVA graph of radiative power from 2 July 2019 through June 2020. The island location is mislocated in the MIROVA system by about 5.5 km SE due to older mis-registered imagery; the anomalies are all on the island. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 46. Sentinel-2 satellite data confirmed thermal anomalies at the summit of Kadovar on 5 (left) and 25 January 2020, and an ash emission and steam plume that drifted SE on 20 January (center). Pulsating steam-and-gas emissions left a trail in the atmosphere drifting SE for several kilometers on 25 January (right). Left image uses Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a), center and right images use Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

On 2 February 2020 the Darwin VAAC reported a minor eruption plume that rose to 1.5 km altitude and drifted ESE for a few hours. Another plume was clearly discernible in satellite imagery on 5 February at 2.1 km altitude moving SE. RVO issued an information bulletin on 7 February reporting that, since the beginning of January, the eruption had continued with frequent Vulcanian explosions from the Main Vent with a recurrence interval of hours to days. Rocks and ash were ejected 300-400 m above the vent. Rumbling could be heard from Blupblup (Rubrub) island, 15 km E, and residents there also observed incandescence at night. On clear days the plume was sometimes visible from Wewak, on the mainland 100 km W. Additional vents produced variable amounts of steam. The Darwin VAAC reported continuous volcanic ash rising to 1.5 km on 22 February that extended ESE until it was obscured by a meteoric cloud; it dissipated early the next day. A small double ash plume and two strong thermal anomalies at the summit were visible in satellite imagery on 24 February (figure 47).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 47. Ash emissions and thermal anomalies continued at Kadovar during February 2020. Two small plumes of ash or dense steam rose from the summit on 24 February 2020, seen in this Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) on the left. The same image rendered in Atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8a) on the right shows two thermal anomalies in the same locations as the ash plumes. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

The Darwin VAAC reported continuous ash emissions beginning on 13 March 2020 that rose to 1.5 km altitude and drifted SE. The plume was visible intermittently in satellite imagery for about 36 hours before dissipating. During April, pulsating steam plumes rose from two vents at the summit, and thermal anomalies appeared at both vents in satellite data (figure 48). Small but distinct SO2 anomalies were visible in satellite data on 15 and 16 April (figure 49).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 48. Steam plumes and thermal anomalies continued at Kadovar during April 2020. Top: A thermal anomaly at the summit accompanied pulsating steam plumes that drifted several kilometers SE before dissipating on 4 April 2020. Bottom left: Two gas-and-steam plumes drifted E from the summit on 9 April. Bottom right: Two adjacent thermal anomalies were present near the summit on 19 April. Top and bottom right images use Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a), bottom left image uses Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 49. Small but distinct SO2 anomalies were detected at Kadovar on 15 and 16 April 2020 with the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Nearby Manam often produces larger SO2 plumes that obscure evidence of activity at Kadovar. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Two summit vents remained active throughout May and June 2020, producing pulsating steam plumes that were visible for tens of kilometers and thermal anomalies visible in satellite data (figure 50). A strong thermal anomaly was visible beneath meteoric clouds on 8 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 50. During May and June 2020 thermal and plume activity continued at Kadovar. Top: Gas-and-steam plumes drifted NW from two sources at the summit of Kadovar on 19 May 2020. Bottom left: Two thermal anomalies marked the E rim of the summit crater on 28 June 2020. Bottom right: A zoomed out view of the same 28 June image shows pulsating steam plumes drifting 10 km NW from Kadovar. Top image is Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2). Bottom images are Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a) of Sentinel-2 images. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Visitor observations on 21 October 2019. Claudio Jung visited Kadovar on 21 October 2019. Shortly before arriving on the island an ash plume rose tens of meters above the summit and drifted W (figure 51). From the NW side of the summit crater rim, Jung saw the actively growing dome on the side of a larger dome, and steam and gas issuing from the growing dome (figure 52). The crater rim was covered with dead vegetation, ash, and large bombs from recent explosions (figure 53). The summit dome had minor fumarolic activity around the summit area and dead vegetation halfway up the flank (figure 54) while the fresh blocky lava of the actively growing dome on the E side of the summit produced significant steam and gas emissions. The growing dome produced periodic pulses of dense steam during his visit (figure 55).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 51. Views looking S show the shoreline dome at the base of the E flank of Kadovar that was active during March-May 2018 (left), and an ash plume drifting W from the summit dome located on the E side of the summit crater (right) on 21 October 2019. Copyrighted photos courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 52. A panorama looking SE from the crater rim of Kadovar on 21 October 2019 shows the actively growing dome on the far left with a narrow plume of steam and gas being emitted. A large dome fills the summit crater; the crater rim is visible on the right. Copyrighted photo courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 53. The crater rim of Kadovar on 21 October 2019 was covered with dead vegetation, ash, and large bombs from recent explosions. Person is sitting on a large bomb; weak fumarolic activity is visible along the rim. Copyrighted photo courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. The summit dome of Kadovar on 21 October 2019 had minor fumarolic activity around most of its summit and dead vegetation half-way up the flank (left). The dead tree stumps suggest that vegetation covered the lower half of the dome prior to the eruption that began in January 2018. The fresh blocky lava of the actively growing dome on the E side of the summit dome produced significant steam and gas emissions (right). Copyrighted photos courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Dense steam from the growing dome on the E side of the summit drifted W from Kadovar on 21 October 2019. Copyrighted photo courtesy of Claudio Jung, used with permission.

Reference: Planka S, Walter T R, Martinis S, Cescab S, 2019, Growth and collapse of a littoral lava dome during the 2018/19 eruption of Kadovar Volcano, Papua New Guinea, analyzed by multi-sensor satellite imagery, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 388, 15 December 2019, 106704, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.106704.

Geologic Background. The 2-km-wide island of Kadovar is the emergent summit of a Bismarck Sea stratovolcano of Holocene age. It is part of the Schouten Islands, and lies off the coast of New Guinea, about 25 km N of the mouth of the Sepik River. Prior to an eruption that began in 2018, a lava dome formed the high point of the andesitic volcano, filling an arcuate landslide scarp open to the south; submarine debris-avalanche deposits occur in that direction. Thick lava flows with columnar jointing forms low cliffs along the coast. The youthful island lacks fringing or offshore reefs. A period of heightened thermal phenomena took place in 1976. An eruption began in January 2018 that included lava effusion from vents at the summit and at the E coast.

Information Contacts: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Geohazards Management Division, Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), PO Box 3386, Kokopo, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea; Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); 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/); NASA 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/); Claudio Jung (URL: https://www.instagram.com/jung.claudio/).


Sangay (Ecuador) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information Contacts: Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN), Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Arnold Binas (URL: https://www.doroadventures.com).


Karangetang (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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).


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).


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).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 42, Number 01 (January 2017)

Managing Editor: Edward Venzke

Chirpoi (Russia)

Chirpoi's Snow cone erupts 11 November 2012; continued activity through October 2016

Kanlaon (Philippines)

Three ash explosions on 18 June 2016; steam plumes through July

Langila (Papua New Guinea)

Weak ash plumes during April-May and November-December 2016

Momotombo (Nicaragua)

Numerous explosions with ash plumes and lava flow, December 2015-April 2016

Nyiragongo (DR Congo)

New vent in the summit crater during February-April 2016; lava lake active throughout 2011-2016

Rinjani (Indonesia)

Ash eruptions on 1 August to 10 km altitude; explosions on 27 September 2016

Sheveluch (Russia)

Ongoing strong explosions and ash plumes during September 2014-February 2015

Stromboli (Italy)

Ongoing explosive activity during 2014, followed by large lava flows into the sea in August

Suwanosejima (Japan)

Occasional ash plumes during January-September 2015

Telica (Nicaragua)

Multiple explosive ash-and-gas episodes; May 2015, and September 2015 through May 2016



Chirpoi (Russia) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Chirpoi

Russia

46.532°N, 150.871°E; summit elev. 742 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Chirpoi's Snow cone erupts 11 November 2012; continued activity through October 2016

The first recorded eruption in 30 years at Russia's Chirpoi volcano was initially detected on 11 November 2012 by MODIS infrared satellite data and captured by the MODVOLC thermal alert system. The Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) reported satellite images that detected thermal anomalies over Snow, a volcanic crater on the S end of Chirpoi Island, beginning on 20 November 2012 (BGVN 38:12), which they interpreted as a possible lava flow on the SE flank. Sparse satellite observations by SVERT, MIROVA and MODVOLC thermal anomaly information, a single report from the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and a site visit to this remote location in the Kuril Islands in the western Pacific Ocean together suggest nearly continuous activity at Snow through mid-October 2016.

Activity during November 2012-April 2013. Continuous reports of activity between November 2012 and April 2013 began with strong MODVOLC thermal anomalies from MODIS satellite data first recorded on 11 November local time, followed by a report of thermal anomalies detected from SVERT on 20 November. Strong thermal anomalies were reported by MODVOLC for 12 days during November and nine days during December 2012, after which they did not appear again until July 2013. However, SVERT reported thermal anomalies in satellite data almost weekly through 26 April 2013. They also observed steam-and-gas emissions in satellite data a number of times between 15 December 2012 and 5 March 2013.

Activity during July 2013-June 2014. After about a 10 week break between thermal anomaly observations, the MODVOLC pixels reappeared on 8 July 2013, and SVERT reported a thermal anomaly on 14 July 2013 suggesting a new period of lava effusion. The MODVOLC anomalies were intermittent with only three in July, one each in August and September, and two in October 2013; they then disappeared until March 2014. A single MODVOLC thermal anomaly was recorded on 10 March 2014, one appeared on 2 June and two appeared on 25 June 2014.

SVERT reported anomalies twice in July 2013, three times in August and once on 1 September before picking up again in November. SVERT reported thermal anomalies every week in November 2013, and most weeks through the first week in May 2014. After weak anomalies during 2-4 June 2014, SVERT inferred cooling lava flows and lowered the Alert Level from Yellow to Green.

Steam-and-gas emissions were reported by SVERT only between 23 July and 12 August 2013, and not again until late October. Gas-and-steam emissions were common between 22 October and 25 November 2013 when a plume was observed in satellite imagery drifting 90 km SE, after which plumes were not observed until 15 March 2014. Twice in late March (20 and 27) steam-and-gas plumes were detected drifting SE (150 and 50 km). After 13 April 2014, plumes were not detected again until September.

Activity during August 2014-October 2016. Although SVERT kept the Alert Level at Green until 4 September 2014 when they raised it back to Yellow, MODVOLC thermal alert pixels in late June (two on the 25th) and on 10 August, suggest possible continued activity during the summer. When skies were clear, SVERT again detected thermal anomalies in satellite data beginning on 1 September 2014 and continuing most weeks until 8 June 2015. MODVOLC recorded thermal anomalies on 2 and 22 September, and 22 October 2014, but then was quiet until a strong signal reappeared in April 2015 with six days of multiple anomalies recorded during the month, and five days with anomalies in May. During this interval from September 2014 to June 2015, steam-and-gas plumes were reported twice each in September 2014, February, March, and April 2015, and on 25 May 2015.

While no data is available from SVERT between 9 June and 11 November 2015, the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow, and single MODVOLC thermal alert pixels were recorded on 28 June, 19 and 30 July, two on 7 September, and one each on 5 October, 3 November, and 19 November 2015, suggesting some type of continued heat source such as a lava flow. In addition, MIROVA records for 2015 provide the strongest evidence for ongoing low-to-moderate volcanic activity throughout 2015 (figure 2).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Chirpoi thermal anomaly information from MIROVA for 2 Feb 2015 through 31 December 2016 showing Log Radiative Power measured from MODIS infrared satellite data. Continuous thermal anomalies throughout the period suggest an ongoing heat source such as a lava flows. Vertical axis VRP is Volcanic Radiative Power. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Visual confirmation of an effusive eruption at Chirpoi was made in October 2015. The website Volcano Discovery reported that "Passengers on board a Russian cruise ship (Ponant) documented the recent … eruption of Snow volcano. When passing the island in October 2015, lava flows were actively reaching the sea, creating spectacular littoral explosions." (figure 3). A video of the event from the cruise ship is also posted on the website.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Explosion of steam and rock fragments as lava from Snow volcano on Chirpoi Island enters the sea. Taken by a passenger on the Russian cruise ship Ponant, 8 October 2015. See complete video for additional imagery. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery, 2015.

SVERT reports were available again beginning in November 2015 and they reported that satellite images revealed thermal anomalies almost weekly from 11 November through 10 August 2016. They lowered the Alert Level to Green on 29 August 2016. MODVOLC thermal anomaly data was sparse in 2016 with only three reports of single anomalies on 5 February, 20 May, and 12 June 2016. Reports of steam-and-gas plumes observed in satellite imagery from SVERT were made on 12 and 14 November 2015, 24 March, and 20 and 23 April 2016. A plume that may have contained minor ash was observed by SVERT in satellite data drifting SW on 16 July, and one drifting 90 km N was noted during 22-24 July.

The Tokyo VAAC reported a possible eruption observed on satellite imagery at 1300 UTM on 6 March 2016 with a plume rising to 6.1 km altitude and drifting E. MIROVA data for 2016 again seems to confirm ongoing low to moderate thermally anomalous activity at Chirpoi until the middle of October when Radiative Power levels drop below 0.5 Watts VRP (figure 2).

Geologic Background. Chirpoi, a small island lying between the larger islands of Simushir and Urup, contains a half dozen volcanic edifices constructed within an 8-9 km wide, partially submerged caldera. The southern rim of the caldera is exposed on nearby Brat Chirpoev Island. The symmetrical Cherny volcano, which forms the central cone of the island, erupted twice during the 18th and 19th centuries. The youngest volcano, Snow, originated between 1770 and 1810. It is composed almost entirely of lava flows, many of which have reached the sea on the southern coast. No historical eruptions are known from Brat Chirpoev, but its youthful morphology suggests recent strombolian activity.

Information Contacts: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT), Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Science, Nauki st., 1B, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, 693022 (URL: http://www.imgg.ru/en/, http://www.imgg.ru/ru/svert/reports/); 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/, http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/cgi-bin/modisnew.cgi); 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/); Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/chirpoi/news/55254/Chirpoi-volcano-Kurile-Islands-Russia-video-of-lava-entering-the-sea.html); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/).


Kanlaon (Philippines) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Kanlaon

Philippines

10.412°N, 123.132°E; summit elev. 2435 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Three ash explosions on 18 June 2016; steam plumes through July

An ash explosion from Kanlaon on 24 November 2015 was the start of activity that included intermittent ash emissions through December and during 29-31 March 2016 (BGVN: 4014). That activity was followed by decreasing tremor and steam plumes rising to as high as 800 during the first days of April 2016. A short series of explosions on 18 June 2016 were the last ash emissions through 2016, based on Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reports. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5) throughout the reporting period, indicating low level of volcanic unrest.

PHIVOLCS reported that ground deformation measurements from continuous GPS data as of 2 June 2016 indicated slight inflation of the edifice since December 2015. Weak to moderate emission of white steam plumes that rose 540 m during 15-17 June and drifted SW and NW.

A series of three eruptive events occurred on 18 June, beginning at 0919 and lasting 27 minutes. These events were recorded by the seismic monitoring network as consecutive explosion-type earthquakes that lasted 30, 42, and 29 seconds, respectively. The first event, a steam-and-gas explosion, generated a light gray-to-white ash plume that initially rose 1.5 km above the crater and then later to 3 km (figure 3). The second event, an ash eruption immediately following the first event, produced a dense black ash plume that rose 500 m. Lastly, a grayish ash plume rose 500 m. Minor ashfall was reported to the W in the barangays of Ara-al, San Miguel, and Yubo in La Carlota City (14 km W), Sag-ang in La Castellana (16 km SW), and Ilijan in Bago City (30 km NW). A diffuse sulfur odor was detected in Ara-al.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Photo sequence showing eruption plumes from Kanlaon at 0919 on 18 June 2016. Courtesy PHIVOLCS.

PHIVOLCS reported that during 20, 22-23, and 25-26 June white steam plumes rose as high as 800 m and drifted WNW, NW and SW; wispy steam plumes were observed on 27 June. Starting at 1640 on 23 June the seismic network recorded a 4-minute-long, explosion-type signal; weather clouds prevented visual observations of the summit area.

White plumes were again seen during 20-25 July. On 20 July plumes were a dirty-white color; on 21-22 they were of white steam; and on 25 July they rose 200 m and drifted NW and SW. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted at the active vent averaged 234 tonnes/day on 21 July.

Ground deformation data from continuous GPS measurements as of 3 September 2016 indicated no significant change of the edifice since August 2016.

Geologic Background. Kanlaon volcano (also spelled Canlaon), the most active of the central Philippines, forms the highest point on the island of Negros. The massive andesitic stratovolcano is dotted with fissure-controlled pyroclastic cones and craters, many of which are filled by lakes. The largest debris avalanche known in the Philippines traveled 33 km SW from Kanlaon. The summit contains a 2-km-wide, elongated northern caldera with a crater lake and a smaller, but higher, historically active vent, Lugud crater, to the south. Historical eruptions, recorded since 1866, have typically consisted of phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ashfalls near the volcano.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, PHIVOLCS Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue, Univ. of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/).


Langila (Papua New Guinea) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Langila

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Weak ash plumes during April-May and November-December 2016

After two explosions at Langila produced ash plumes that rose to 1.5 and 2.1 km in early December 2012 (BGVN 41.01), no further information about the volcano's activity was available from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory or the Darwin VAAC until April 2016. This report discusses two new eruptions in 2016, one during 2 April-13 May and the other during 3 November-24 December. Observations of ash plumes continued into mid-January 2017.

Thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, were occasionally detected after 2012. During 2013, seven anomalies were reported during 23 October-1 December (4 pixels on 25 October); during 2014-2015, a possible anomaly was identified on 23 August 2014 NE of the crater and thus probably not associated with volcanic activity.

During 2016, the Darwin VAAC reported the ejection of several ash plumes during 2 April-13 May and 3 November-24 December (table 3). Most plumes rose between 2-3.3 km in altitude. MODVOLC thermal alerts were also seen during those two periods, with six anomalies during April and May, and one reported in November During 20-27 December 2016, five thermal anomalies were reported (most with more than one pixel). Two alert pixels in August were weak and somewhat E of the volcano, and probably not associated with activity.

Table 3. Ash plumes from Langila reported during April-May and November-December 2016. Observations are based on analyses of satellite imagery, ground observations by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory, and wind data; dates are based on local time. Courtesy of the Darwin VAAC.

Date Max. Plume Altitude (km) Drift
02-03 Apr 2016 2.1 35-65 km N, NE, E
06-07 Apr 2016 3 55 km NE, E
21-22 Apr 2016 2.1 75-110 km N
09-10 May 2016 2.1-3 75 km N, NW, W
11-13 May 2016 2.1 25-85 km NNW, NW, W
03 Nov 2016 3.3 55 km W
04 Nov 2016 3.3 NW
13 Nov 2016 2.1 55 km N
16 Nov 2016 4.3 30 km SE
01-06 Dec 2016 2.1-3 NE, NW, W (40 km on 3 Dec)
08-09, 11, 13 Dec 2016 1.8-2.4 110 km W, WNW, N
21-24 Dec 2016 2.4 N, NW, S, SE

The Mirova (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system, also based on analysis of MODIS data, also detected occasional hotspots during 2016 (figure 5). Most occurred during April-May and November-December, but a few intermittent anomalies were noted every month during June-October as well. The heat radiated by the volcanic activity (or Volcanic Radiative Power, as measured in watts) was mostly less than 0.5 W.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Plot of MIROVA thermal anomaly MODIS data during 7 January 2016-6 January 2017. Periods of more frequent anomalies in April-May and November-December 2016 correspond to reports of ash plumes. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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

Information Contacts: 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/); Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), PO Box 386, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea; 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/, http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/).


Momotombo (Nicaragua) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Momotombo

Nicaragua

12.423°N, 86.539°W; summit elev. 1270 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Numerous explosions with ash plumes and lava flow, December 2015-April 2016

Between 1996 and 2011 there were about 14 seismic swarms at Momotombo, along with fumarolic activity, and an explosion in 2006 (BGVN 37:02). According to the Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), explosive activity that generated ash plumes resumed on 1 December 2015 and ended on 8 April 2016. The number of daily explosions increased beginning on 12 February 2016, with very high counts in the first half of March (figure 15).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Histogram of number of daily explosions between 1 December 2015 and 3 April 2016. The total number of explosions with ash emissions was 409 (438 overall), with 314 reported in March 2016 alone (76 percent of total); 88 explosions were detected during 1 December 2015-1 March 2016. The graph does not show the few small explosions during the week subsequent to 3 April 2016. Courtesy of INETER.

Activity during December 2015-January 2016. According to the Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), an explosion at 0749 on 1 December 2015 generated a gas-and-ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater and drifted SW. Additional explosions at 0817, 0842, and 0855 generated ash plumes that rose 300 m. Gas emissions were visible the rest of the day. The Sistema Nacional para la Prevención, Mitigación y Atención de Desastres (SINAPRED) reported that during 1-2 December, explosions ejected incandescent tephra, and a slow-moving lava flow on the N flank was observed. According to a news report (La Prensa) that interviewed INETER officials, ashfall was reported in nearby communities to the W and SW, including La Concha (40 km SSE), Los Arcos, Flor de la Piedra, La Paz Centro, and Leóin. Some families in La Paz Centro (17 km SW) self-evacuated.

Based on satellite and webcam observations, and seismic data, the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported that during 2-3 December 2015, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.4 km and drifted 90-225 km NW and WNW.

According to INETER and SINAPRED reports, activity continued through 10 December 2015. Fieldwork revealed a small, incandescent, circular crater halfway up the E flank that was fuming during the morning of 6 December. An explosion on 7 December destroyed part of the crater. On 10 December, SINAPRED reported that material had been accumulating in the crater since the beginning of the eruption on 1 December. Seismicity during 9-14 December was low and stable.

INETER reported that during 29-30 December 2015, no explosions were detected, though Real-time Seismic-Amplitude Measurements (RSAM) continued at moderate-to-high levels.

Three gas-and-ash explosions on 2 January 2016 (at 1333, 1426, and 1434) were noted in INETER and SINAPRED reports which excavated the remaining parts of the lava dome that had been emplaced about a month earlier. An ash plume rose 500 m above the crater, drifted S and SW, and caused ashfall in Puerto Momotombo (9 km WSW). Possible ash plumes from an explosion at 2129 were hidden by darkness. At 0420 on 3 January, an explosion ejected lava bombs 2 km away and caused ashfall in La Paz Centro. Lava flows had advanced as far as 2 km down the NE flank.

INETER reported that at 1209 on 12 January 2016, a large explosion ejected incandescent material onto the flanks and generated an ash plume that rose 4 km above the crater. Tephra was deposited on the E, NE, N, and NW flanks. Ash plumes drifted downwind and caused ashfall in the communities of Flor de Piedra, Amatistán, Guacucal (40 km N), La Palma, Puerto Momotombo (10 km WSW), La Sabaneta, Mira Lago, Asentamiento Miramar, Pancasán, René Linarte, Raúl Cabezas, and Betania. At around 0500 on 15 January, strong volcanic tremor was accompanied by small explosions in the crater; ejected ash and incandescent tephra were deposited on the W flank. Seismicity decreased during 16-17 January.

According to INETER, during 20-21 January both RSAM values and emissions were low. Volcanic tremor increased at 0900 on 22 January, causing RSAM values to rise to high levels. There were no emission changes. INETER recommended that the public stay at least 6 km away from the volcano.

INETER reported that during 26-29 January, RSAM values were at low to moderate levels, and gas emissions were at moderate levels. Crater incandescence from high-temperature gas emissions was observed at night during 26-27 January. A Strombolian explosion at 0344 on 30 January ejected tephra onto the E, NE, N, and NW flanks, and produced gas emissions. At 0529 on 31 January, another explosion also ejected gas, ash, and incandescent material. Ashfall was reported in the nearby communities of Boqueron, Puerto Momotombo, and La Sabaneta. Moderate levels of gas emissions drifted SW towards Puerto Momotombo.

Activity during February-April 2016. During 4-5 and 7-8 February, both RSAM values were low to moderate and emissions were at moderate levels. INETER reported moderate levels of gas emissions on 10 February; volcanic tremor and gas emissions increased to moderate-to-high levels the next day. An explosion on 12 February produced small ash emissions and ejected incandescent material onto the N and SE flanks. An explosion at 1305 on 15 February generated an ash plume that rose 2 km above the crater and ejected incandescent tephra onto the N and NE flanks.

INETER reported that during 16-17 February, two explosions accompanied by tremor produced ash emissions and ejected incandescent material onto the flanks. The first and largest explosion (at 0344) ejected incandescent tephra 800 m above the crater. RSAM values were at low-to-moderate levels. Based on webcam views and satellite images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 19 February, ash emissions rose to an altitude of 3.6 km and drifted SW and WSW. The next day, ash emissions drifted SW. On 21 February ash plumes drifted about 80 km W and 25 km E.

During 19 February-1 March, explosions were detected daily. Explosions produced ash plumes and ejected incandescent material onto the N, NE, E, and SE flanks. Ash plumes rose 1.7-2.3 km above the crater and drifted SW during 21-22 February; gas-and-ash plumes rose 1.8 km on 24 February; an ash plume rose 1 km on 25 February and a small gas-and-ash plume rose 300 m on 26 February. A pyroclastic flow traveled 3.5 km down the N and NW flanks during 23-24 February. Explosions on 27 February ejected tephra 300 m above the crater.

At 0646 on 1 March, explosions ejected gas and incandescent tephra, and an ash plume that rose 1.2 km lasted 16 minutes, causing the plume to widen and darken the sky. According to INETER, 53 small explosions during 2-3 March generated weak gas plumes that rose 300 m above the crater. On 3 March, some explosions produced ash plumes that drifted W and SW. RSAM values were at low to moderate levels. SINAPRED reported that during 5-6 March, there were 78 explosions for a total of 279 explosions detected since 1 December 2015. One of the most significant explosions occurred on 6 March. The next day gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 1 km above the crater.

On 28 March, SINAPRED reported that 38 explosions, detected over a period of 24 hours, ejected gas-and-ash plumes and incandescent tephra. The strongest event occurred at 1140 on 27 March and generated a plume that rose 1 km.

SINAPRED reported that on 2 April, explosions produced gas-and-ash plumes and ejected incandescent tephra. According to INETER, three explosions during 5-6 April ejected incandescent material onto the flanks and produced gas-and-ash plumes that rose 500 m above the crater. During 6-7 April there were 27 small explosions. The explosions ejected some incandescent material and generated ash plumes that rose 200 m and drifted SW. RSAM values were low during 5-12 April.

Monthly INETER reports did not indicate any explosive activity after 8 April 2016. The August 2016 report indicated that seismicity was low, with only five volcano-tectonic earthquakes. The RSAM in August was a low 30 units.

Thermal anomalies during the 2015-16 eruption. Many thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, were observed between 2-6 December 2015, primarily on the ENE flank. Subsequently, one anomaly was observed on 1 February, 2 February, and 15 February 2016. A weak possible hotspot on the E flank was also observed on 19 February, but it was slightly S of the previous hotspots.

The Mirova (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system, also based on analysis of MODIS data, detected several anomalies within 5 km of the crater during March 2016, but none thereafter through 2016. The heat radiated by the volcanic activity (or Volcanic Radiative Power, as measured in watts) was mostly less than 0.5 watts.

Before this latest activity, a weak hotspot was also detected by MODVOLC on 7 March 2012 near the N rim of the crater, and on 19 June 2014, somewhat further down the E flank than most of the other events; neither event may have been associated with volcanism; no volcanic activity was reported on those days.

Geologic Background. Momotombo is a young stratovolcano that rises prominently above the NW shore of Lake Managua, forming one of Nicaragua's most familiar landmarks. Momotombo began growing about 4500 years ago at the SE end of the Marrabios Range and consists of a somma from an older edifice that is surmounted by a symmetrical younger cone with a 150 x 250 m wide summit crater. Young lava flows extend down the NW flank into the 4-km-wide Monte Galán caldera. The youthful cone of Momotombito forms an island offshore in Lake Managua. Momotombo has a long record of Strombolian eruptions, punctuated by occasional stronger explosive activity. The latest eruption, in 1905, produced a lava flow that traveled from the summit to the lower NE base. A small black plume was seen above the crater after a 10 April 1996 earthquake, but later observations noted no significant changes in the crater. A major geothermal field is located on the south flank.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://webserver2.ineter.gob.ni/vol/dep-vol.html); Sistema Nacional para la Prevención, Mitigación y Atención de Desastres (SINAPRED), Edificio SINAPRED, Rotonda Comandante Hugo Chávez 50 metros al Norte, frente a la Avenida Bolívar, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.sinapred.gob.ni/); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/, archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); La Prensa (Nicaragua) (URL: http://www.laprensa.com.ni/).


Nyiragongo (DR Congo) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New vent in the summit crater during February-April 2016; lava lake active throughout 2011-2016

Nyiragongo holds one of the world's largest lava lakes, having been observed since at least 1971 (CSLP 21-71). Lava flows in 1977 and 2002 had deadly consequences for the city of Goma, which lies about 15 km S of the summit. The last Bulletin (BGVN 39:04) summarized observations made by a team of scientists that visited the volcano during 30 May-9 June 2011, and Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) notices posted in July 2012. This report covers activity from November 2011 through December 2016. Ground reports of activity are infrequent, though there are intermittent tourist expeditions, and a visit by scientists in March 2016 provided visual observations detailing changes in the crater and vent morphology.

Excellent pictures of the lava lake within the crater were taken in June 2010 by photographer Olivier Grunewald, while on an expedition to the volcano with observatory scientists doing fieldwork. These images, 28 total, were provided by Nelson (2011) for a news article; three are shown below (figures 54-56).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 54. The lava lake within the Nyiragongo crater, June 2010. Photo by Olivier Grunewald in Nelson (2011).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 55. Close-up daytime view of lava overflowing from the elevated active pit within the summit crater, June 2010. Note person for scale at lower left. Photo by Olivier Grunewald in Nelson (2011).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 56. Night view from the crater rim of lava overflowing from the elevated active pit within the summit crater, June 2010. Photo by Olivier Grunewald in Nelson (2011).

Emissions and thermal anomalies. A nearly daily record of thermal alerts identified from the MODIS Agua and Terra satellite sensors has been generated by MODVOLC since 2002; the MODVOLC and MIROVA systems recorded nearly daily thermal anomalies during 2015 and at least through December 2016.

According to NASA's Earth Observatory, a satellite image acquired on 15 November 2011 showed heat coming from the active lava lake. The Toulouse VAAC reported that, according to a Volcano Observatory Notices for Aviation (VONA) issued by OVG (Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma), a gas plume composed mostly of sulfur dioxide rose from the crater on 1 November 2012. Another satellite image, acquired on 29 July 2013 and analyzed by NASA's Earth Observatory, again showed incandescence coming from the active lava lake in the summit crater; a diffuse blue plume drifted N.

A satellite image from 29 January 2014 showed a gas-and-steam plume rising from Nyiragongo. On 9 February 2015, clear skies permitted a view from space of plumes venting from Nyamuragira (figure 57, top) and Nyiragongo (figure 57, bottom) volcanoes.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 57. The natural-color satellite image above was acquired on 9 February 2015 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) instrument on Landsat 8, showing a broad view of the region, with Nyamuragira to the N and Nyiragongo to the S, separated by a distance of about 15 km. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

New vent in crater, February 2016. Activity intensified on 28 February 2016, prompting OVG to dispatch a team of scientists to the crater. Starting at 0400 on 29 February, local residents began to hear frequent rumblings coming from the volcano almost every minute. These were likely caused by the opening of a new vent (observed the next day) and associated rockfalls inside the crater. During a 1-2 March field expedition, the scientists observed the new eruptive vent (figure 58), located at the NE end of the lowest crater terrace, outside the active lava lake (which had been in place since 2002) and just at the base of the near-vertical crater walls. The vent sits on the E-trending fracture zone that connects the summit vent with the prominent flank cone Baruta to the NE of the main edifice, near the village of Kibumba. Photos in the report suggest that the new vent sits atop a small spatter cone. Fresh lava flows had pooled onto the crater floor around the cone.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 58. A new vent that had recently emerged on the E part of Nyiragongo's floor (terrace three) was first observed by OVG scientists on 1 March 2016. Photo courtesy of OVG.

Observers during a 10-11 March field expedition noted that activity in the new vent consisted in pulsating lava fountains and Strombolian bursts which ejected material of a few tens of meters high. Lava flows from the new vent extended around the central pit on 11 March (figure 59). Activity in the lava lake was intense; lava fountains were active in the N and E parts of the lake. Both the lava lake and crater vent were producing gas emissions (figure 60).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 59. A view of the Nyiragongo summit crater on the night of 11-12 March 2016. The new vent on the E crater floor (right) produced lava flows that extended around the main lava lake.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. A daytime view of the Nyiragongo summit crater during 11-12 March 2016. Gas emissions from the new vent on the E crater floor (right) and from the lava lake were visible. The second and third terraces are visible in this wider view.

On 26 March and 8 April 2016, the mainly effusive activity from the new vent continued with little change. Lava flows had surrounded the central pit (containing the main lava lake), covered most of the third terrace, and cascaded into the central vent at multiple locations.

A report from OVG on 12 April 2016 noted that activity had declined since 6 April 2016, and that the level of the lava lake had dropped. A report dated 17 April stated that some volcanic earthquakes had been located within 5 km E and 10-15 km N of the crater; continuous volcanic tremor was recorded during 0200-0400 on 17 April. In a photo dated 19 April the incandescent vent atop a spatter cone was visible. According to Volcano Discovery, local mountain guides reported that as of 30 May, no more lava flows were being produced from the vent, although bubbling lava was visible.

Ongoing activity through December 2016. Social media accounts and photos from a few tourist expeditions showed that the lava lake within the summit crater remained active during August-November 2016. Infrared data from MODIS instruments confirmed this persistent activity, with almost daily anomalies, through the end of December 2016.

Information from a weekly bulletin produced by the Goma Volcano Observatory, not available online, was reported by Radio Kivu. That report, for 27 December-2 January 2017, noted there was incandescence visible during 30-31 December, and that lava flows had overflowed the lake into the rest of the crater, accompanied by explosions and fountaining. A persistent gas plume can be seen during the day, which typically blows to the west.

Research on January 2002 eruption. In a recent article by Wauthier and others (2012), and summarized by Morton (2016), researchers reported finding evidence for linkage between the deadly January 2002 eruption (BGVN 26:12 and later) and a magnitude-6.2 earthquake eight months afterwards, centered 20 km S in the Lake Kivu region, partially destroying the town of Kalehe. Using satellite radar data (InSAR – Interferometric Synthetic Aperature Radar) to analyze ground deformation between the volcano and the lake before and after both the eruption and the earthquake, they inferred the formation of 20-km-long dike intrusion (figure 61, along the pink line between Nyiragongo and Lake Kivu).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. (a) Shaded relief topographic map of the Goma area and Lake Kivu. (b) Inset shows the region between Nyiragongo and Lake Kivu; the Goma and Gisenyi urban areas highlighted in white. From Wauthier and others (2012).

References: Morton, M. C., 2016 (May/June), Double trouble: Volcanic eruption leads to strong earthquake eight months later, Earth, American Geosciences Institute, v.61, no. 5&6, p. 33 (www.earthmagazine.org).

Nelson, P., 2011 (28 February), Nyiragongo Crater: Journey to the Center of the World, boston.Com (URL: http://archive.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/02/nyiragongo_crater_journey_to_t.html). Photos by Olivier Grunewald.

Wauthier, C., Cayol, V., Kervyn, F., and d'Oreye, N., 2012 (May), Magma sources involved in the 2002 Nyiragongo eruption, as inferred from an InSAR analysis, Journal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth, Geodesy and Gravity/Tectonophysics, v. 117, issue B5, 36 p.

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 (Goma Volcano Observatory), Goma, North Kivu, DR Congo; Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); MIROVA - Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity, A near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS ( Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data, a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Tom Pfeiffer, Volcano Discovery (URL: https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/nyiragongo/news); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); Radio Kivu, Goma, North Kivu, DR Congo (URL: http://www.radiokivu1.org/page/article.php?action=articleread&tokena=1432).


Rinjani (Indonesia) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Rinjani

Indonesia

8.42°S, 116.47°E; summit elev. 3726 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash eruptions on 1 August to 10 km altitude; explosions on 27 September 2016

An eruption at Rinjani that lasted two months, between 25 October and 24 December 2015 (BVGN 41:08) included ash plumes rising to 6 km altitude and lava flows from the Barujari cone that reached the Segara Anak lake within the caldera. A new eruption that began on 1 August 2016 generated ash plumes to about 10 km altitude. After another period of quiet, small-scale explosive activity on 27 September stranded a number of trekkers on the slopes and caused the Alert level to be raised to 2. No further activity was reported in 2016.

Based on satellite and pilot observations, the Darwin VAAC reported that an eruption on 1 August 2016 generated an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 9.8 km altitude and drifted S. The ash plumes were first visible in satellite images at 1150, and according to the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation), passengers aboard a passing aircraft saw ash plumes rising 2 km above the crater (figure 27). The National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) noted that the Lombok International Airport closed at 1655 and was scheduled to reopen at 1000 the next day. Later on 1 August ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.3-6.1 km altitude and drifted S, SW, and W. No plumes were visible at 1730; conditions had returned to normal levels, although BNPB warned that the public should stay at least 1.5 km away from the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Photo taken by an airline passenger of the explosive eruption at Rinjani on 1 August 2016. The plume was described as rising about 2 km above the crater. Image has been color adjusted to enhance contrast. Courtesy of PVMBG.

PVMBG reported that at 1445 on 27 September a small explosive eruption at Barujari Crater produced an ash plume rose that rose 2 km above the crater and drifted WSW. The eruption was preceded by an increase in seismicity, but the number and amplitude of the events were insignificant. The Alert Level was raised to 2, and the public was warned not to approach the crater within a 3-km radius.

Based on data from the Mount Rinjani National Park, BNPB reported that as many as 1,023 tourists were on Rinjani when it erupted on 27 September; officially only 464 people were registered to make the 3-day trek to the volcano and back. Officials began the evacuation of tourists that day.

The Jakarta Post reported on 1 October that the West Nusa Tenggara Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD NTB) had called on representatives of foreign countries to file a report if they had citizens still missing in the climbing area. The agency made the request following reports that 44 tourists had not yet returned from climbing the mountain. BPBD NTB head Muhammad Rum said it was possible that the climbers had returned, but had not yet been recorded, or had not passed through either of the two official entrances. The Jakarta Post reported on 5 December 2016 that hiking routes were once again open.

Geologic Background. Rinjani volcano on the island of Lombok rises to 3726 m, second in height among Indonesian volcanoes only to Sumatra's Kerinci volcano. Rinjani has a steep-sided conical profile when viewed from the east, but the west side of the compound volcano is truncated by the 6 x 8.5 km, oval-shaped Segara Anak (Samalas) caldera. The caldera formed during one of the largest Holocene eruptions globally in 1257 CE, which truncated Samalas stratovolcano. The western half of the caldera contains a 230-m-deep lake whose crescentic form results from growth of the post-caldera cone Barujari at the east end of the caldera. Historical eruptions dating back to 1847 have been restricted to Barujari cone and consist of moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows that have entered Segara Anak lake.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.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/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/); Jakarta Post (URL: http://www.thejakartapost.com/).


Sheveluch (Russia) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing strong explosions and ash plumes during September 2014-February 2015

An eruption at Sheveluch has been ongoing since 1999, and the activity there was previously described through August 2014 (BGVN 39:08). During 1 September 2014-28 February 2015 the same type of activity prevailed, with periods of strong explosions producing ash plumes as high as 11 km altitude. Most of the following data comes from Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reports. Views of the volcano are often obscured by clouds.

KVERT reported that the explosive and effusive eruption continued into September 2014 through at least the end of February 2015. Activity was dominated by lava dome growth on the SE flank (N flank after mid-September), moderate ash explosions, fumarolic activity, and hot avalanches. According to KVERT, satellite data showed a thermal anomaly over the dome most days, when weather permitted observation. However, few MODVOLC alerts about MODIS thermal anomalies were recorded during the reporting period: two in September 2014, one in November, one in December, three in January 2015, and two in February.

Occasional strong explosions were reported by KVERT that produced ash plumes that rose as high as 11.5 km and drifted mostly in a northerly and easterly direction (NW to E). Strong explosions were recorded 2-3 times per month during September-November 2014, and about seven times per month during December 2014-February 2015. The Alert Level remained Orange (second highest) throughout the reporting period, except on 24 September, when it was briefly raised to Red due to strong explosions at 1238 that generated a large ash plume (207 x 250 km) that rose 11-11.5 km (figure 38); the Alert Level was lowered back to Orange that same day as the explosive activity subsided.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Photo of strong explosion on Sheveluch on 24 September 2014 that generated ash plumes which rose to at least 11 km in altitude. Photo by Y. Demyanchuk, Institute Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT.

In addition to the above activity, KVERT recorded a small pyroclastic flow on 7 January 2015 that descended the SE flank of the dome. Ashfall was reported in Klyuchi Village (50 km SW) on 12 January and in in Ust-Kamchatsk (85 km SE) on 4 March.

According to a news article (CNN), strong explosions on 28 February 2015 blew ash plumes across the Bering Sea into western Alaska and caused Alaska Airlines to cancel several flights. The article also indicated that an airlines spokesman mentioned that a similar cancellation had occurred in January.

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, (IVS FEB RAS), 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/eng/); 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/); Cable News Network (CNN), Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (URL: http://www.cnn.com/).


Stromboli (Italy) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Stromboli

Italy

38.789°N, 15.213°E; summit elev. 924 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ongoing explosive activity during 2014, followed by large lava flows into the sea in August

Italy's Stromboli volcano, best known for lava fountain eruptions, has been essentially continuously active for at least the last 400 years. Confirmed historical observations of its eruptions go back 2,000 years. Frequent, mild explosive activity in 2013 was accompanied by lava flows and ash plumes (BGVN 40:11). Activity increased significantly during 2014 as reported by the Instituto Nazionale de Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione de Catania, who monitors the gas geochemistry, deformation, and seismology, as well as the surficial activity. The Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reports on ash plumes potentially affecting air travel. The activity at the summit consistently occurs from vents within two well defined north and south crater areas (figure 88) at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a large scarp that runs from the summit down the NW side of the island (see BGVN 36:09 for geologic map).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. The crater terrace view of Stromboli from the SE (compare with figure 84, BGVN 40:11) showing active vents at the North and South Areas. Thermal image created 29 July 2014 by Luigi Lodato, INGV-OE, during an overflight by a Catania Coast Guard helicopter. Courtesy of INGV (Bollettino Stromboli 2014, 5 August).

A gradual increase of Strombolian activity from January through May 2014 was followed by small lava flows in June onto the Sciara del Fuoco. Several more lava flows in early July contributed to landslides that sent debris down the scarp into the ocean. In mid-July, four additional flows emerged and traveled down the scarp, with the flow on 19 July reaching the coastline. A strong surge in explosion frequency and intensity in early August caused 300-m-high fountains, followed by lava flows into the ocean for several days between 6 and 13 August. Minor ash emissions in early October sent plumes as high as 3 km altitude. Lava flows continued intermittently into October, but they no longer made it to the coast. Activity diminished significantly at the end of October 2014.

Activity during January-March 2014. After an explosive sequence on 25 December 2013 sent lapilli, bombs, and an ash plume above the summit craters, activity was quieter for several months. INGV reported that a medium-intensity explosive sequence of four events occurred from the S crater area on 4 January 2014. Lava fountaining with lapilli and bombs landing on the S part of the crater terrace and the S and E edges of the Sciara del Fuoco were reported, along with a minor landslide along the scarp. For the remainder of January, fountain explosion heights ranged from low (less than 80 m) to medium (less than 120 m) from the North (N) Area vents. Explosions of lapilli and bombs mixed with ash averaged 2-3 per hour. The South (S) Area vents sometimes exhibited medium-high-intensity (over 150 m) activity with discontinuous spattering, averaging 3-7 explosions per hour.

Only vent N1 in the North Area was active in February 2014. It was characterized by low- to medium-intensity explosive activity, emitting lapilli and bombs mixed with ash at a rate of 2-3 explosions per hour. In the South Area, vents S1, S3, and S4 were active at weak levels with emissions of fine ash mixed with some coarse material, at a rate averaging less than 6 explosions per hour.

Typical Strombolian activity during March included low- to medium-intensity explosive activity from both vent areas. A sequence of three explosions on 7 March from the South Vents led to the fallout of bombs on the upper side of the Sciara del Fuoco. At vent S1 vigorous activity on 14 March produced the rapid accumulation of lava fragments around the vent that flowed downward inside the terrace crater before subsiding. On 17 March small explosions at vent S3 briefly formed a new nearby vent with a persistent thermal anomaly. An increase in SO2 flux was observed in mid-March by INGV. The average frequency of explosions increased in the last week of March to 10-13 per hour, and the seismic amplitudes were also slightly higher in the second half of the month.

Activity during April-June 2014. Lapilli and bombs mixed with fine ash were typical from all vents during April 2014. The South Area had greater activity, with 3 or 4 vents active during the month, although the activity level was generally low- to medium-intensity in both areas. Frequency of events was generally average, ranging from 9 to 15 per hour. Activity in May 2014 was much the same as April in the N Area until the very end of the month when vent N2 began low-intensity explosive activity. All four vents in the S Area were active throughout May. Two intervals of high intensity spattering were reported on 13 and 19 May from the S Area vents. Explosion rates increased slightly during the month to averages of 11 to 18 per hour.

Activity continued to increase in both vent areas during June 2014. Explosions increased to a rate of more than 20 per hour several times during the month, accompanied by longer periods of spattering. Seismic tremor amplitudes also increased beginning at the end of May. Two periods of vigorous spattering led to lava flows. On 17 June, 70 minutes of vigorous spattering from vent S1 fed a lava overflow within the crater that flowed NE for a few tens of meters before cooling. On the morning of 22 June, vent N2 showed a marked increase in both frequency and intensity of activity. It was characterized by vigorous spattering and discrete bursts of high-intensity (over 200 m high) lava jets. The lava flowed from a crack at the edge of the vent and spread to the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco. It flowed down the scarp for a few hundred meters before stopping early on 23 June. The South Area vents also had explosions over 200 m high beginning on 23 June. A lava flow emerged from vent S1 on 27 June; on 29 June, vent N2 produced two lava flows, the first remained within the crater, and the second, starting in the afternoon, continued flowing into 30 June, reaching the upper Sciara del Fuoco before stopping.

The first anomalies from the MODVOLC thermal alert system using MODIS satellite thermal data in 2014 appeared in early June and increased during the lava flow emissions that occurred at the end of the month.

Activity during July-October 2014. Three lava flows emerged from Vent N2 on 1, 4, and 7 July 2014. The first flowed E for two hours over the 29 June flow within the crater, and was followed later in the day by a second flow that moved towards the Sciara del Fuoco as did the flows on 4 and 7 July. Modest slumping of material around the western portion of the small pyroclastic cone that formed around Vent N2 led to a collapse and landslide that spread rapidly down the Sciara del Fuoco on 7 July. This led to a lava overflow on the upper part of the scarp for several hours during 7 July. Additional lava flows from Vent N2 occurred on 9 and 10 July as large blocks rolling down the scarp coalesced into a lava flow that continued until the evening of 10 July. Small landslides were triggered on the steep flanks of the scarp, and fine debris was carried downslope, almost to the coastline (figure 89).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. An INGV thermal infrared camera located at 400 m elevation recorded effusive activity on 9 and 10 July 2014 at Stromboli. a) July 10, b) July 9, c) the arrows indicate small landslide events on the Sciara del Fuoco observed from the sea and also d) from an elevation of 190 m near the Observatory, during an inspection carried out by INGV-OE personnel on 14 July. Courtesy of INGV (Bollettino Stromboli 2014, 15 July).

Four lava flows emerged from vent N2 on 15, 16, 17, and 19 July, while activity at vent N1 continued as low- to high-intensity (up to 200 m high) explosions with lapilli and bomb ejections. The new flows were emplaced just north of the earlier flows. The flow on 19 July made it to the shoreline. Meanwhile, constant spattering and low-intensity explosions continued in the South area at all four vents. The locus of activity shifted during 21 and 22 July from the North Area to the South Area.

During 3 and 4 August, there was a strong surge in explosion frequency to averages of over 30 per hour with peaks of around 100 per hour. This resulted in high-intensity explosions (to over 300 m in height above the vents) from both the North and South Areas. A new lava overflow from the crater terrace began in the early afternoon of 6 August, following the same path down the center of the Sciara del Fuoco as other recent flows. Landslides of hot material quickly reached the coastline, raising large plumes of steam. Pulsating flows of lava later reached the coast and continued flowing into the early hours of 7 August. A new lava overflow from the N Area vents in the early morning of 7 August quickly formed a broad lava field at 600 m elevation and flowed onto the Sciara del Fuoco. Several arms of the lava flowed toward the coast and entered the sea (figure 90).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Three lava flows entering the sea at Stromboli, while two others, in the foreground, are about to reach the coastline. Taken from the SCT camera at 06:23 GMT on 7 August 2014. Courtesy of INGV (Stromboli Update, 7 August 2014, 0745 GMT).

Lava emissions continued from the N Area vents, reaching the coastline intermittently for several days, fanning out and covering large areas of the scarp, and generating steam jets and explosions with blocks of lava sent tens of meters high as the lava entered the ocean (figure 91). During this time, explosive activity decreased noticeably at the vents, while strong degassing continued. The lava continued to flow along the eastern edge of the Sciara del Fuoco with new flows covering earlier cooling flows as they traveled down the scarp to the coastline until 13 August. Lava effusion continued until mid-October but flows gradually retreated up the scarp, no longer reaching the sea.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. Lava flows entering the sea at Stromboli during effusive activity on 10 August 2014. Courtesy of INGV (Stromboli Update, 10 August 2014, 1400 GMT).

Sporadic ash emissions in early October 2014 led to several reports from the Toulouse VAAC. Ash was reported in the vicinity of Stromboli at a low levels on 30 September, but it was not identifiable on satellite data. It was reported below 1.8 km altitude on 8 October, below 2.4 km on 9 October and below 3 km on 11 October.

A few intermittent MODVOLC thermal anomalies were recorded in July and then substantial anomalies appeared in August, with multiple-per-day continuously during 7-29 August. Almost daily multi-pixel anomalies continued in September and October, but ended abruptly on 28 October. Only one more anomaly was recorded on 8 November 2014. No additional reports on Stromboli were issued by INGV after the 16 October 2014 update.

Geologic Background. Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period took place between about 13,000 and 5,000 years ago. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild Strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.

Information Contacts: Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Sezione di Catania, Piazza Roma 2, 95123 Catania, Italy (URL: http://www.ct.ingv.it/en/); Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Météo-France, 42 Avenue Gaspard Coriolis, F-31057 Toulouse cedex, France (URL: http://www.meteo.fr/vaac/); 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/).


Suwanosejima (Japan) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Suwanosejima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Occasional ash plumes during January-September 2015

Continuous tremor, intervals with several explosions per day, and plumes rising to 5.5 km altitude were observed at Suwanosejima between 1 April 2013 and 14 December 2014 (BGVN 39:11). The data for this report, covering 5 January-11 September 2015, was gathered primarily from two key sources: the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Throughout the entire reporting period, no MODVOLC thermal anomalies were recorded, although the hazard status remained at Alert Level 2 (Do not approach the crater), on an increasing scale of 1-5. The Otake (also O-take) crater (figure 1) was the site of much of the activity during 2015.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Simplified map of the geology of Suwanosejima. The active crater, O-take (Oc), appears in the center of the small, sparsely populated island. Courtesy of Taketo Shimano.

In its Monthly Volcanic Activity Report for January 2015, JMA noted four explosive eruptions at the Otake crater, in addition to other occasional non-explosive eruptions. Grayish plumes accompanying the eruption rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim. On 25 January a field survey revealed a pit in the southeastern portion of the Otake crater which had formed since the previous survey on 8 November 2012.

Plumes in 2015 were reported by the VAAC in the months of January, February, April, July, August, and September. JMA served as the primary source for all of these VAAC notices; any additional sources are noted. The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 5 January ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.8 km and drifted NE and SE, and were also observed by pilots. The VAAC also reported an explosion on 25 January, the same day as the field survey.

The Tokyo VAAC reported that during 11-12 and 14-15 February ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km and drifted E. JMA's monthly report for February 2015 indicated that twelve explosions occurred at Otake crater, in addition to occasional, non-explosive events. Grayish plumes accompanying the explosions rose as high as 1,500 m above the crater rim. According to the Suwanosejima branch of the Toshima Village administration, ash fall was observed at Kiriishi port (located ~3.5 km S. of Otake) on 26 February.

A very small eruption at the Otake crater on 5 March 2015 was noted by JMA. An event on 13 April reported by the Tokyo VAAC generated a plume that rose to an altitude of 2.1 km and drifted N. Explosions during 24-25 April generated plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km and drifted N and SE.

JMA reported a continued high activity level at the Otake crater with very small eruptions recorded on 5 and 17 May 2015. No explosions were observed at the Otake crater in June. The Tokyo VAAC reported that ash plumes from small eruptions at Otake on 30-31 July rose to altitudes of 2.1-3 km and drifted E, SW, and W, as reported by pilots and seen in satellite data. Grayish plumes accompanying the eruption rose as high as 1,300 m above the crater rim. According to the Suwanosejima branch of the Toshima Village administration, ashfall was observed in a village ~4 km SSW of Otake on 31 July.

JMA's August 2015 report described small, occasional, non-explosive events at the Otake crater, with accompanying grayish plumes rising as high as 1.2 km above the crater rim. Volcanic "glow" was observed at the Otake crater occasionally at night with a high-sensitivity camera. According to the Toshima Village administration, ashfall 4 km SSW of Otake was again present on 1, 2, and 9 August. The Tokyo VAAC reported that ash plumes identified in satellite images rose to an altitude of 4 km on 2 August, and to 1.8 km on 21 August that drifted SE.

In the September 2015 report, JMA noted that volcanic activity had remained at high levels, with 89 explosions recorded at the Otake crater; 69 of those were on 24 September, the first time more than 50 explosions a day had been observed since 30 December 2013. Plumes accompanying the events rose as high as 1,500 m above the crater rim. Crater incandescence was observed at night with a thermal camera. According to the Toshima Village administration, ashfall was once again observed in a village 4 km SSW on 7 September. The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 13 September ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8 km and drifted SE. JMA noted that parts of local structures shook in association with explosions that occurred on 24 September. Explosions and rumbling were heard on the island.

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


Telica (Nicaragua) — January 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Telica

Nicaragua

12.606°N, 86.84°W; summit elev. 1036 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Multiple explosive ash-and-gas episodes; May 2015, and September 2015 through May 2016

Small explosions have been recorded at Nicaragua's Telica volcano regularly since early in the 20th century. The last major eruptive episode began with a series of small explosions in March 2011 and culminated in greatly increased seismicity and several larger explosions during May that deposited ashfall in communities within 8 km of the volcano, and caused a small number of evacuations. Ash-bearing explosive activity died down by mid-June 2011, although steady degassing with gas-and-steam plumes continued. A small ash-and-gas explosion was reported on 25 September 2013.

On 7 May 2015 a new series of larger ash-and-gas explosions began. Nicaragua's Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) provides monthly reports on seismic activity and monitoring of thermal and geochemical data as well as daily informational bulletins of volcanic activity; aviation advisories are also provided by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Activity from June 2014 through August of 2016 is covered in this report.

A decrease in seismicity and increase in temperature within the summit crater at Telica in April 2015 preceded an ash-and-gas explosion on 7 May 2015 after several years of relative quiet. This was followed by a series of over 100 ash-bearing explosions in the following three weeks, the last on 28 May. Degassing from fumaroles continued without ash during June and the crater had cooled significantly by August. A new series of ash-and-gas explosion between 23 and 26 September 2015 sent ashfall to nearby communities and a few large volcanic bombs several hundred meters from the crater. The next series of explosions between 22 and 29 November sent ashfall to over 70 communities within 20 km of Telica. Incandescence was observed in a crack in the floor of the summit crater in December, but lava wasn't observed in the vent until 25 February 2016 after a sequence of gas explosions that lasted until 1 March. The lava and incandescence were observed until early May when explosions on 7-8 May 2016 were observed from a new vent in the N part of the crater. No further ash emissions were observed, and seismicity dropped significantly and remained quiet through August 2016.

Activity between June 2014 and May 2015. Remote temperature measurements of the summit crater floor at Telica showed a steady decline between May and July 2014 from an average of 417°C to 350°C, continuing a decline from values measured in 2013 that had been as much as 100°C hotter. During this time, few noises were heard and little incandescence from the crater was observed. There were no further reports until February 2015 when fresh landslides along the SE inner wall were observed blocking the vent; on a 25 February summit crater visit there was no noise, and few emissions from fumaroles were observed. Temperatures at the fumaroles on the SE, S and SW walls of the crater were around 150°C, and the floor of the crater was measured at 123°C with the Testo IR 820 thermometer. Gas emissions were more variable in March 2015, but again there was no noise or incandescence observed. The numbers of daily seismic events in March 2015, 3982, were generally within normal levels, ranging from a few to a few hundred per day, depending on type of seismicity.

The temperature at the floor of the crater in April 2015 had risen significantly to 412°C. The seismicity was also changed, with fewer total events (1,973). There was a noticeable drop in the number of events in the second half of April. As reported by INETER seismologist Virginia Tenorio, this decrease in number of events, accompanied by a narrowing of the frequency range to between 3 and 11 Hz, from a normally larger range of 3 to 30 Hz, also occurred prior to the last significant eruption in 2011.

Activity during May-August 2015. On 7 May 2015 at 1609 and 1615, INETER reported that Telica broke its "relative calm" since 26 September 2013 with two gas and ash explosions which rose about 200 m above the rim of the crater. This was the beginning of an eruptive period that included 902 seismically-detected explosions between 7 and 28 May, of which 104 were accompanied by volcanic ash (figure 35). Some also involved ejection of large incandescent lava blocks. Towns within 40 km in a generally W direction were affected by ashfall from these explosions.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. Number of explosions per day at Telica during 7-31 May 2015. Top: Total explosions. Bottom: Explosions with ash. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Mayo 2015).

An explosion on 12 May ejected rocks 400 m high to the W. Minor ashfall was reported during May in El Realejo (35 km WSW), Corinto (40 km WSW), Posoltega (16 km SW), Guanacastal (20 km WSW), Quezalguaque (12 km SW), Chinandega (30 km W), El Viejo (35 km WNW), and Chichigalpa (20 km WSW). On 20 and 21 May, a series of explosions ejected one-m-diameter blocks up to 500 m from the crater. Many ash plumes were photographed by the INETER web camera located at the TELN seismic station on the E flank; others by INETER scientists at the volcano (figures 36-40).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. Explosion at Telica on 8 May 2015 at 1002 local time. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Mayo 2015).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. Explosion at Telica photographed by the web camera at seismic station TELN on the E flank, 17 May 2015, 0957 local time. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Mayo 2015).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 38. Incandescent ejecta from Telica at 1906 local time on 20 May 2015. Photographed by the web camera at the TELN seismic station on the E flank. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Mayo 2015).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 39. Block ejected from Telica on 23 May 2015. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Mayo 2015).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 40. Ash explosion at Telica, 1000 local time 27 May 2015. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Mayo 2015).

On only two dates during May did these explosions initiate reports from the Washington VAAC; they reported ash emissions on 11 May rising to 1.8 km and drifting W, and twice on 26 May. The first plume on 26 May extended 75 km W below 3 km altitude, and a second drifted 117 km WNW of the summit at 4.3 km before dissipating.

Visits to the crater on 8 and 14 May revealed a new vent at the base of the S wall of the crater that formed during the 7 May explosion (figure 41). There was a substantial increase in temperature inside the crater from 150°C to 377°C between these dates. The first explosion with incandescent material was observed on 10 May. SO2 measurements of 1,000-1,500 tons per day (t/d) were taken during an explosion on 26 May (figure 42), and values were significantly higher than previous levels of around 300 t/d.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 41. New vent on the S wall of the summit crater at Telica formed during the 7 May explosion. Photo taken 8 May 2015. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Mayo 2015).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 42. Ash explosion at Telica, 26 May 2015 during which SO2 measurements of 1,000-1,500 tons per day (t/d) were measured. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Mayo 2015).

Seismicity in May was high, with 18,858 recorded events. The high number of volcano-tectonic events (VT) during the month (605) was associated with the ruptures that triggered explosions; they have a characteristic frequency of 4.5 to 10.0 Hz. Most of the VT events were located between 6 and 10 km below the surface. The majority of the total seismic events in May were related to degassing and gas explosions (18,087). Screw-type "tornillo" earthquakes are usually rare at Telica, but about 46 of them were observed in May.

The volcano remained relatively calm during June, with the number of daily seismic events typically at 10 or lower, far fewer than May. Even fewer seismic events (71) were recorded in July along with gas emissions that were variable but generally light. The most degassing came from fumaroles located on the inner walls of the crater where the temperature was measured at 298°C. On a 25 August visit to the crater, INETER technicians noted that the points where incandescence had been observed prior to May had disappeared, and temperatures at the fumaroles on the SW and NE walls ranged from 50°C to 160°C.

Activity during September 2015-August 2016. A new gas-and-ash explosion at 0800 on 23 September 2015 sent ash to the NW, W, and SW. The plume rose to 400 m above the crater. Other smaller explosions with small quantities of ash continued that day and the next. Ashfall was reported in the community of Guanacastal (20 km WSW). Additional medium-intensity explosions on 26 September ejected gas, ash, and rock fragments up to 500 m from the crater. Ash plumes reached 1,000 m above the crater and drifted W and NW. The Washington VAAC reported these emissions at 4.3 km altitude, drifting N and W about 45 km (figure 43). This second series of explosions opened a new vent on the N side of the crater floor, and gas emissions continued from both vents. Seismic events in September numbered 775.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. Ash explosion at Telica at 0845 (local time) on 26 September 2015. Location uncertain but likely in the vicinity of Leon, about 20 km S of the volcano. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Septiembre 2015).

During October, no ash explosions were recorded, although 2,921 total seismic events were reported. On 22 November 2015 a new series of explosions began, lasting for eight days. That day, the Washington VAAC reported an ash plume to 2.4 km that drifted about 185 km W. According to a news article published by el19, two explosions, at 0847 and 0848, generated ash plumes that rose 2 km and ejected tephra at least 900 m away (figure 44). Residents in Agua Fría (900 m away) noted it was the first time lapilli and blocks had reached their community. La Prensa reported that ash fell in at least 70 communities in the municipalities of Quezalguaque (13 km SW), Posoltega (16 km WSW), Chichigalpa (20 km WSW), and Chinandega (30 km W).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Explosion at Telica at 0845 (local time) on 22 November 2015. Taken from the web camera at seismic station TELN on the E flank. Courtesy of el19 digital.com (https://www.el19digital.com/articulos/ver/titulo:35988-volcan-telica-registra-fuerte-explosion ).

INETER reported that during 25-27 November numerous small explosions were recorded, most of which generated volcanic ash, with the highest plume reaching 800 m above the crater. Satellite imagery reported from the Washington VAAC showed a faint plume extending about 16 km WSW at 1.2 km altitude on 26 November. Occasional emissions continued until 29 November with several VAAC reports indicating plumes at 1.5 km altitude visible in satellite imagery drifting up to 45 km W and SW.

While no explosions were reported during December 2015, the INETER volcano observer (René Dávila) noted that incandescence was observed in a N-S trending fracture on the crater floor during a visit to the summit. Seismicity was low in December, with a total of 1,342 events recorded, although there was an increase in micro-seismicity during the second half of the month. Even fewer seismic events were reported in January 2016 (171 events), along with few gas emissions that seldom rose above the crater rim.

On 13 February 2016 emissions were observed in visible satellite imagery by the Washington VAAC moving WSW from the summit that likely contained ash. This was preceded by a burst of seismic activity reported by INETER. They noted intermittent high micro-seismicity between 16 February and 1 March. Incandescence from the vent on the crater floor increased during February; lava on the crater floor was first observed by INETER on 25 February. Small gas explosions were observed inside the crater during 24- 26 February followed by five gas-and-ash explosions recorded during 29 February-1 March which generated plumes that rose 300 m above the crater and drifted W and SW. Gas-and-ash emissions lasted for 14 minutes during the strongest of these events.

A visit to the crater on 15 March 2016 by INETER scientists provided additional evidence of incandescence within the crater and a temperature reading of 485° C (figure 45).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Night view of the incandescence in the crater of Telica taken on 15 March 2016. Courtesy INETER (Boletin mensual Sismos Y Volcanes de Nicaragua, Marzo 2016).

From late March through early May, INETER reported incandescence and lava inside a vent on the crater floor, and micro-seismicity remained high even though gas emissions and RSAM values were low. The last report of incandescence from the vent on the crater floor was during the second week of May. RSAM values had dropped to 80 units by 14 May.

Based on information from INETER, SINAPRED reported that 30 explosions occurred during 7-8 May 2016, producing gas-and-ash plumes that rose 600 m and drifted S and SW. The explosions originated from a new vent in the N part of the crater. Seismic RSAM amplitudes spiked to several hundred units between 8 and 12 June, but there were no reports of ash emissions after 8 May from either the Washington VAAC or INETER.

In late July 2016 scientists visited the Las Quemadas, Aguas Frías, (Hot Spring) located 1.7 km north-east of Telica to study temperature and chemistry of the geothermal waters. Seismicity and RSAM values remained low through August 2016 with no further reports of ash emissions or lava in the crater.

Geologic Background. Telica, one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, has erupted frequently since the beginning of the Spanish era. This volcano group consists of several interlocking cones and vents with a general NW alignment. Sixteenth-century eruptions were reported at symmetrical Santa Clara volcano at the SW end of the group. However, its eroded and breached crater has been covered by forests throughout historical time, and these eruptions may have originated from Telica, whose upper slopes in contrast are unvegetated. The steep-sided cone of Telica is truncated by a 700-m-wide double crater; the southern crater, the source of recent eruptions, is 120 m deep. El Liston, immediately E, has several nested craters. The fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Hervideros de San Jacinto, SE of Telica, form a prominent geothermal area frequented by tourists, and geothermal exploration has occurred nearby.

Information Contacts: Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), Apartado Postal 2110, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://webserver2.ineter.gob.ni/vol/dep-vol.html); Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), NOAA/NESDIS OSPO, NOAA Science Center Room 401, 5200 Auth Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/ , archive at: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/archive.html); Sistema Nacional para la Prevencion, Mitigacion y Atencion de Desastres, (SINAPRED), Edificio SINAPRED, Rotonda Comandante Hugo Chávez 50 metros al Norte, frente a la Avenida Bolívar, Managua, Nicaragua (URL: http://www.sinapred.gob.ni/); El19digital, https://www.el19digital.com/articulos/ver/titulo:35988-volcan-telica-registra-fuerte-explosion; La Prensa, http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2015/11/22/departamentales/1940877-volcan-telica-lanza-piedras-cenizas-dos-mil-metros-altura .

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