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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

Sangay (Ecuador) Ash plumes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars during July-December 2020; larger explosions in September

Ebeko (Russia) Continued explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall; June-November 2020

Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) Intermittent thermal anomalies and small eruptions in May and August 2020

Nyamuragira (DR Congo) Numerous thermal anomalies and gas emissions from the lava lake through November 2020

Raung (Indonesia) Explosions with ash plumes and a thermal anomaly at the summit crater, July-October 2020

Sinabung (Indonesia) Explosions begin again on 8 August 2020; dome growth confirmed in late September

Heard (Australia) Persistent thermal anomalies in the summit crater from June through October 2020

Sabancaya (Peru) Daily explosions produced ash plumes, SO2 plumes, and thermal anomalies during June-September 2020

Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) Frequent small phreatic explosions with intermittent ash plumes during April-September 2020

Fuego (Guatemala) Daily explosions, ash emissions, and block avalanches during August-November 2020

Kikai (Japan) Explosion on 6 October 2020 and thermal anomalies in the crater

Manam (Papua New Guinea) Intermittent ash plumes, thermal anomalies, and SO2 emissions in April-September 2020



Sangay (Ecuador) — January 2021 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash plumes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars during July-December 2020; larger explosions in September

Sangay is one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador with the current eruptive period continuing since 26 March 2019. Activity at the summit crater has been frequent since August 1934, with short quiet periods between events. Recent activity has included frequent ash plumes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars. This report summarizes activity during July through December 2020, based on reports by Ecuador's Instituto Geofísico, Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN), ash advisories issued by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), webcam images taken by Servicio Integrado de Seguridad ECU911, and various satellite data.

Overall activity remained elevated during the report period. Recorded explosions were variable during July through December, ranging from no explosions to 294 reported on 4 December (figure 80), and dispersing mostly to the W and SW. SO2 was frequently detected using satellite data (figure 81) and was reported several times to be emitting between about 770 and 2,850 tons/day. Elevated temperatures at the crater and down the SE flank were frequently observed in satellite data (figure 82), and less frequently by visual observation of incandescence. Seismic monitoring detected lahars associated with rainfall events remobilizing deposits emplaced on the flanks throughout this period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. A graph showing the daily number of explosions at Sangay recorded during July through December 2020. Several dates had no recorded explosions due to lack of seismic data. Data courtesy of IG-EPN (daily reports).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. Examples of stronger SO2 plumes from Sangay detected by the Sentinel 5P/TROPOMI instrument, with plumes from Nevado del Ruiz detected to the north. The image dates from left to right are 31 August 2020, 17 September 2020, 1 October 2020 (top row), 22 November 2020, 3 December 2020, 14 December 2020 (bottom row). Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. This log radiative power MIROVA plot shows thermal output at Sangay during February through December 2020. Activity was relatively constant with increases and decreases in both energy output and the frequency of thermal anomalies detected. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Activity during July-August 2020. During July activity continued with frequent ash and gas emission recorded through observations when clouds weren’t obstructing the view of the summit, and Washington VAAC alerts. There were between one and five VAAC alerts issued most days, with ash plumes reaching 570 to 1,770 m above the crater and dispersing mostly W and SE, and NW on two days (figure 83). Lahar seismic signals were recorded on the 1st, 7th, three on the 13th, and one on the 19th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Gas and ash plumes at Sangay during July 2020, at 0717 on the 17th, at 1754 on the 18th, and at 0612 on the 25th. Bottom picture taken from the Macas ECU 911 webcam. All images courtesy of IG-EPN daily reports.

During August there were between one and five VAAC alerts issued most days, with ash plumes reaching 600 to 2,070 m above the crater and predominantly dispersing W, SW, and occasionally to the NE, S, and SE (figure 84). There were reports of ashfall in the Alausí sector on the 24th. Using seismic data analysis, lahar signals were identified after rainfall on 1, 7, 11-14, and 21 August. A lava flow was seen moving down the eastern flank on the night of the 15th, resulting in a high number of thermal alerts. A pyroclastic flow was reported descending the SE flank at 0631 on the 27th (figure 85).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. This 25 August 2020 PlanetScope satellite image of Sangay in Ecuador shows an example of a weak gas and ash plume dispersing to the SW. Courtesy of Planet Labs.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. A pyroclastic flow descends the Sangay SE flank at 0631 on 27 August 2020. Webcam by ECU911, courtesy of courtesy of IG-EPN (27 August 2020 report).

Activity during September-October 2020. Elevated activity continued through September with two significant increases on the 20th and 22nd (more information on these events below). Other than these two events, VAAC reports of ash plumes varied between 1 and 5 issued most days, with plume heights reaching between 600 and 1,500 m above the crater. Dominant ash dispersal directions were W, with some plumes traveling SE, S, SE, NE, and NW. Lahar seismic signals were recorded after rainfall on 1, 2, 5, 8-10, 21, 24, 25, 27, and 30 September. Pyroclastic flows were reported on the 19th (figure 86), and incandescent material was seen descending the SE ravine on the 29th. There was a significant increase in thermal alerts reported throughout the month compared to the July-August period, and Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showed a lava flow down the SE flank (figure 87).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Pyroclastic flows descended the flank of Sangay on 19 (top) and 20 (bottom) September 2020. Webcam images by ECU911 from the city of Macas, courtesy of IG-EPN (14 August 2018 report).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. The thermal signature of a lava flow is seen on SW flank of Sangay in this 8 September 2020 Sentinel-2 thermal satellite image, indicated by the white arrow. False color (urban) satellite image (bands 12, 11, 4) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Starting at 0420 on the morning of 20 September there was an increase in explosions and emissions recorded through seismicity, much more energetic than the activity of previous months. At 0440 satellite images show an ash plume with an estimated height of around 7 km above the crater. The top part of the plume dispersed to the E and the rest of the plume went W. Pyroclastic flows were observed descending the SE flank around 1822 (figure 88). Ash from remobilization of deposits was reported on the 21st in the Bolívar, Chimborazo, Los Ríos, Guayas and Santa Elena provinces. Ash and gas emission continued, with plumes reaching up to 1 km above the crater. There were seven VAAC reports as well as thermal alerts issued during the day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. An eruption of Sangay on 22 September 2020 produced a pyroclastic flow down the SE flank and an ash plume that dispersed to the SW. PlanetScope satellite image courtesy of Planet Labs.

Ash plumes observed on 22 September reached around 1 km above the crater and dispersed W to NW. Pyroclastic flows were seen descending the SE flank (figure 89) also producing an ash plume. A BBC article reported the government saying 800 km2 of farmland had experienced ashfall, with Chimborazo and Bolívar being the worst affected areas (figure 90). Locals described the sky going dark, and the Guayaquil was temporarily closed. Ash plume heights during the 20-22 were the highest for the year so far (figure 91). Ash emission continued throughout the rest of the month with another increase in explosions on the 27th, producing observed ash plume heights reaching 1.5 km above the crater. Ashfall was reported in San Nicolas in the Chimborazo Province in the afternoon of the 30th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. A pyroclastic flow descending the flank of Sangay on 22 September 2020. Webcam image by ECU911 from the city of Macas, courtesy of IG-EPN (Sangay Volcano Special Report - 2020 - No 5, 22 September 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 90. Ashfall from an eruption at Sangay on 22 September 2020 affected 800 km2 of farmland and nearby communities. Images courtesy of EPA and the Police of Ecuador via Reuters (top-right), all via the BBC.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. Ash plume heights (left graph) at Sangay from January through to late September, with the larger ash plumes during 20-22 September indicated by the red arrow. The dominant ash dispersal direction is to the W (right plot) and the average speed is 10 m/s. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Sangay Volcano Special Report - 2020 - No 5, 22 September 2020).

Thermal alerts increased again through October, with a lava flow and/or incandescent material descending the SE flank sighted throughout the month (figure 92). Pyroclastic flows were seen traveling down the SE flank during an observation flight on the 6th (figure 93). Seismicity indicative of lahars was reported on 1, 12, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, and 28 October associated with rainfall remobilizing deposits. The Washington VAAC released one to five ash advisories most days, noting plume heights of 570-3,000 m above the crater; prevailing winds dispersed most plumes to the W, with some plumes drifting NW, N, E to SE, and SW. Ashfall was reported in Alausí (Chimborazo Province) on the 1st and in Chunchi canton on the 10th. SO2 was recorded towards the end of the month using satellite data, varying between about 770 and 2,850 tons on the 24th, 27th, and 29th.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. A lava flow descends the SE flank of Sangay on 2 October 2020. Webcam images courtesy of ECU 911.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 93. A pyroclastic flow descends the Sangay SE flank was seen during an IG-EPN overflight on 6 October 2020. Photo courtesy of S. Vallejo, IG-EPN.

Activity during November-December 2020. Frequent ash emission continued through November with between one and five Washington VAAC advisories issued most days (figure 94). Reported ash and gas plume heights varied between 570 and 2,700 m above the crater, with winds dispersing plumes in all directions. Thermal anomalies were detected most days, and incandescent material from explosions was seen on the 26th. Seismicity indicating lahars was registered on nine days between 15 and 30 November, associated with rainfall events.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 94. Examples of gas and ash plumes at Sangay during November 2020. Webcam images were published in IG-EPN daily activity reports.

Lahar signals associated with rain events continued to be detected on ten out of the first 18 days of November. Ash emissions continued through December with one to five VAAC alerts issued most days. Ash plume heights varied from 600 to 1,400 m above the crater, with the prevailing wind direction dispersing most plumes W and SW (figure 95). Thermal anomalies were frequently detected and incandescent material was observed down the SE flank on the 3rd, 14th, and 30th, interpreted as a lava flow and hot material rolling down the flank. A webcam image showed a pyroclastic flow traveling down the SE flank on the 2nd (figure 96). Ashfall was reported on the 10th in Capzol, Palmira, and Cebadas parishes, and in the Chunchi and Guamote cantons.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 95. Examples of ash plumes at Sangay during ongoing persistent activity on 9, 10, and 23 December 2020. Webcam images courtesy of ECU 911.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 96. A nighttime webcam image shows a pyroclastic flow descending the SE flank of Sangay at 2308 on 2 December 2020. Image courtesy of ECU 911.

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 (IG-EPN), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Casilla 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador (URL: http://www.igepn.edu.ec); ECU911, Servicio Integrado de Seguridad ECU911, Calle Julio Endara s / n. Itchimbía Park Sector Quito – Ecuador. (URL: https://www.ecu911.gob.ec/; Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/Ecu911Macas/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); 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/); Planet Labs, Inc. (URL: https://www.planet.com/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); BBC News “In pictures: Ash covers Ecuador farming land” Published 22 September 2020 (URL: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-54247797).


Ebeko (Russia) — December 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Ebeko

Russia

50.686°N, 156.014°E; summit elev. 1103 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Continued explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall; June-November 2020

Volcanism at Ebeko, located on the N end of the Paramushir Island in the Kuril Islands, has been ongoing since October 2016, characterized by frequent moderate explosions, ash plumes, and ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk (7 km ESE) (BGVN 45:05). Similar activity during this reporting period of June through November 2020 continues, consisting of frequent explosions, dense ash plumes, and occasional ashfall. Information for this report primarily comes from the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) and satellite data.

Activity during June was characterized by frequent, almost daily explosions and ash plumes that rose to 1.6-4.6 km altitude and drifted in various directions, according to KVERT reports and information from the Tokyo VAAC advisories using HIMAWARI-8 satellite imagery and KBGS (Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service) seismic data. Satellite imagery showed persistent thermal anomalies over the summit crater. On 1 June explosions generated an ash plume up to 4.5 km altitude drifting E and S, in addition to several smaller ash plumes that rose to 2.3-3 km altitude drifting E, NW, and NE, according to KVERT VONA notices. Explosions on 11 June generated an ash plume that rose 2.6 km altitude and drifted as far as 85 km N and NW. Explosions continued during 21-30 June, producing ash plumes that rose 2-4 km altitude, drifting up to 5 km in different directions (figure 26); many of these eruptive events were accompanied by thermal anomalies that were observed in satellite imagery.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. Photo of a dense gray ash plume rising from Ebeko on 22 June 2020. Photo by L. Kotenko (color corrected), courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

Explosions continued in July, producing ash plumes rising 2-5.2 km altitude and drifting for 3-30 km in different directions. On 3, 6, 15 July explosions generated an ash plume that rose 3-4 km altitude that drifted N, NE, and SE, resulting in ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk. According to a Tokyo VAAC advisory, an eruption on 4 July produced an ash plume that rose up to 5.2 km altitude drifting S. On 22 July explosions produced an ash cloud measuring 11 x 13 km in size and that rose to 3 km altitude drifting 30 km SE. Frequent thermal anomalies were identified in satellite imagery accompanying these explosions.

In August, explosions persisted with ash plumes rising 1.7-4 km altitude drifting for 3-10 km in multiple directions. Intermittent thermal anomalies were detected in satellite imagery, according to KVERT. On 9 and 22 August explosions sent ash up to 2.5-3 km altitude drifting W, S, E, and SE, resulting in ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk. Moderate gas-and-steam activity was reported occasionally during the month.

Almost daily explosions in September generated dense ash plumes that rose 1.5-4.3 km altitude and drifted 3-5 km in different directions. Moderate gas-and-steam emissions were often accompanied by thermal anomalies visible in satellite imagery. During 14-15 September explosions sent ash plumes up to 2.5-3 km altitude drifting SE and NE, resulting in ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk. On 22 September a dense gray ash plume rose to 3 km altitude and drifted S. The ash plume on 26 September was at 3.5 km altitude and drifted SE (figure 27).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Photos of dense ash plumes rising from Ebeko on 22 (left) and 26 (right) September 2020. Photos by S. Lakomov (color corrected), IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

During October, near-daily ash explosions continued, rising 1.7-4 km altitude drifting in many directions. Intermittent thermal anomalies were identified in satellite imagery. During 7-8, 9-10, and 20-22 October ashfall was reported in Severo-Kurilsk.

Explosions in November produced dense gray ash plumes that rose to 1.5-5.2 km altitude and drifted as far as 5-10 km, mainly NE, SE, E, SW, and ENE. According to KVERT, thermal anomalies were visible in satellite imagery throughout the month. On clear weather days on 8 and 11 November Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed ashfall deposits SE of the summit crater from recent activity (figure 28). During 15-17 November explosions sent ash up to 3.5 km altitude drifting NE, E, and SE which resulted in ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk on 17 November. Similar ashfall was observed on 22-24 and 28 November due to ash rising to 1.8-3 km altitude (figure 29). Explosions on 29 November sent an ash plume up to 4.5 km altitude drifting E (figure 29). A Tokyo VAAC advisory reported that an ash plume drifting SSE on 30 November reached an altitude of 3-5.2 km.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery of a gray-white gas-and-ash plume at Ebeko on 8 (left) and 11 (right) November 2020, resulting in ashfall (dark gray) to the SE of the volcano. Images using “Natural Color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2), courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Photos of continued ash explosions from Ebeko on 28 October (left) and 29 November (right) 2020. Photos by S. Lakomov (left) and L. Kotenko (right), courtesy of IVS FEB RAS, KVERT.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows a pulse in low-power thermal activity beginning in early June through early August (figure 30). On clear weather days, the thermal anomalies in the summit crater are observed in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery, accompanied by occasional white-gray ash plumes (figure 31). Additionally, the MODVOLC algorithm detected a single thermal anomaly on 26 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. A small pulse in thermal activity at Ebeko began in early June and continued through early August 2020, according to the MIROVA graph (Log Radiative Power). The detected thermal anomalies were of relatively low power but were persistent during this period. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed gray ash plumes rising from Ebeko on 11 June (top left) and 16 July (bottom left) 2020, accompanied by occasional thermal anomalies (yellow-orange) within the summit crater, as shown on 24 June (top right) and 25 August (bottom right). The ash plume on 11 June drifted N from the summit. Images using “Natural Color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) on 11 June (top left) and 16 July (bottom left) and the rest have “Atmospheric penetration” rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service, Russian Academy of Sciences (KB GS RAS) (URL: http://www.emsd.ru/); 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).


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent thermal anomalies and small eruptions in May and August 2020

Kuchinoerabujima encompasses a group of young stratovolcanoes located in the northern Ryukyu Islands. All historical eruptions have originated from the Shindake cone, with the exception of a lava flow that originated from the S flank of the Furudake cone. The current eruptive period began in January 2020 and has been characterized by small explosions, ash plumes, ashfall, a pyroclastic flow, and gas-and-steam emissions. This report covers activity from May to October 2020, which includes small explosions, ash plumes, crater incandescence, and gas-and-steam emissions. The primary source of information for this report comes from monthly and annual reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and advisories from the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Volcanism at Kuchinoerabujima remained relatively low during May through October 2020, according to JMA. During this time, SO2 emissions ranged from 40 to 3,400 tons/day; occasional gas-and-steam emissions were reported, rising to a maximum of 900 m above the crater. Sentinel-2 satellite images showed a particularly strong thermal anomaly in the Shindake crater on 1 May (figure 10). The thermal anomaly decreased in power after 1 May and was only visible on clear weather days, which included 19 August and 3 and 13 October. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observations identified continued slight inflation at the base of the volcano during the entire reporting period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showed a strong thermal anomaly (bright yellow-orange) in the Shindake crater at Kuchinoerabujima on 1 May 2020 (top left). Weaker thermal anomalies were also seen in the Shindake crater during 19 August (top right) and 3 (bottom left) and 13 (bottom right) October 2020. Sentinel-2 atmospheric penetration (bands 12, 11, 8A) images; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Three small eruptions were detected by JMA on 5, 6, and 13 May, which produced an ash plume rising 500 m above the crater on each day, resulting in ashfall on the downwind flanks. Incandescence was observed at night using a high-sensitivity surveillance camera (figure 11). On 5 and 13 May the Tokyo VAAC released a notice that reported ash plumes rising 0.9-1.2 km altitude, drifting NE and S, respectively. On 20 May weak fumaroles were observed on the W side of the Shindake crater. The SO2 emissions ranged from 700-3,400 tons/day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. Webcam images of an eruption at Kuchinoerabujima on 6 May 2020 (top), producing a gray ash plume that rose 500 m above the crater. Crater incandescence was observed from the summit crater at night on 25 May 2020 (bottom). Courtesy of JMA (Monthly bulletin report 509, May 2020).

Activity during June and July decreased compared to May, with gas-and-steam emissions occurring more prominently. On 22 June weak incandescence was observed, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions rising 700 m above the crater. Weak crater incandescence was also seen on 25 June. The SO2 emissions measured 400-1,400 tons/day. White gas-and-steam emissions were again observed on 31 July rising to 800 m above the crater. The SO2 emissions had decreased during this time to 300-700 tons/day.

According to JMA, the most recent eruptive event occurred on 29 August at 1746, which ejected bombs and was accompanied by some crater incandescence, though the eruptive column was not visible due to the cloud cover. However, white gas-and-steam emissions could be seen rising 1.3 km above the Shindake crater drifting SW. The SO2 emissions measured 200-500 tons/day. During August, the number of volcanic earthquakes increased significantly to 1,032, compared to the number in July (36).

The monthly bulletin for September reported white gas-and-steam emissions rising 900 m above the crater on 9 September and on 11 October the gas-and-steam emissions rose 600 m above the crater. Seismicity decreased between September and October from 1,920 to 866. The SO2 emissions continued to decrease compared to previous months, totaling 80-400 tons/day in September and 40-300 tons/day in October.

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

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


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Numerous thermal anomalies and gas emissions from the lava lake through November 2020

Nyamuragira (also known as Nyamulagira) is a shield volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a 2 x 2.3 km caldera at the summit. A summit crater lies in the NE part of the caldera. In the recent past, the volcano has been characterized by intra-caldera lava flows, lava emissions from its lava lake, thermal anomalies, gas-and-steam emissions, and moderate seismicity (BGVN 44:12, 45:06). This report reviews activity during June-November 2020, based on satellite data.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed numerous thermal anomalies associated with the volcano during June-November 2020, although some decrease was noted during the last half of August and between mid-October to mid-November (figure 91). Between six and seven thermal hotspots per month were identified by MODVOLC during June-November 2020, with as many as 4 pixels on 11 August. In the MODVOLC system, two main hotspot groupings are visible, the largest being at the summit crater, on the E side of the caldera.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 91. MIROVA graph of thermal activity (log radiative power) at Nyamuragira during March 2020-January 2021. During June-November 2020, most were in the low to moderate range, with a decrease in power during November. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Sentinel-2 satellite images showed several hotspots in the summit crater throughout the reporting period (figure 92). By 26 July and thereafter, hotspots were also visible in the SW portion of the caldera, and perhaps just outside the SW caldera rim. Gas-and-steam emissions from the lava lake were also visible throughout the period.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 92. Sentinel-2 satellite images of Nyamuragira on 26 July (left) and 28 November (right) 2020. Thermal activity is present at several locations within the summit crater (upper right of each image) and in the SW part of the caldera (lower left). SWIR rendering (bands 12, 8A, 4). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

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


Raung (Indonesia) — December 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Raung

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions with ash plumes and a thermal anomaly at the summit crater, July-October 2020

A massive stratovolcano in easternmost Java, Raung has over sixty recorded eruptions dating back to the late 16th Century. Explosions with ash plumes, Strombolian activity, and lava flows from a cinder cone within the 2-km-wide summit crater have been the most common activity. Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM) has installed webcams to monitor activity in recent years. An eruption from late 2014 through August 2015 produced a large volume of lava within the summit crater and formed a new pyroclastic cone in the same location as the previous one. The eruption that began in July 2020 is covered in this report with information provided by PVMBG, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and several sources of satellite data.

The 2015 eruption was the largest in several decades; Strombolian activity was reported for many months and fresh lava flows covered the crater floor (BGVN 45:09). Raung was quiet after the eruption ended in August of that year until July of 2020 when seismicity increased on 13 July and brown emissions were first reported on 16 July. Tens of explosions with ash emissions were reported daily during the remainder of July 2020. Explosive activity decreased during August, but thermal activity didn’t decrease until mid-September. The last ash emissions were reported on 3 October and the last thermal anomaly in satellite data was recorded on 7 October 2020.

Eruption during July-October 2020. No further reports of activity were issued after August 2015 until July 2020. Clear Google Earth imagery from October 2017 and April 2018 indicated the extent of the lava from the 2015 eruption, but no sign of further activity (figure 31). By August 2019, many features from the 2015 eruption were still clearly visible from the crater rim (figure 32).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Little change can be seen at the summit of Raung in Google Earth images dated 19 October 2017 (left) and 28 April 2018 (right). The summit crater was full of black lava flows from the 2015 eruption. Courtesy of Google Earth.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. A Malaysian hiker celebrated his climbing to the summit of Raung on 30 August 2019. Weak fumarolic activity was visible from the base of the breached crater of the cone near the center of the summit crater, and many features of the lava flow that filled the crater in 2015 were still well preserved. Courtesy of MJ.

PVMBG reported that the number and type of seismic events around the summit of Raung increased beginning on 13 July 2020, and on 16 July the height of the emissions from the crater rose to 100 m and the emission color changed from white to brown. About three hours later the emissions changed to gray and white. The webcams captured emissions rising 50-200 m above the summit that included 60 explosions of gray and reddish ash plumes (figure 33). The Raung Volcano Observatory released a VONA reporting an explosion with an ash plume that drifted N at 1353 local time (0653 UTC). The best estimate of the ash cloud height was 3,432 m based on ground observation. They raised the Aviation Color Code from unassigned to Orange. About 90 minutes later they reported a second seismic event and ash cloud that rose to 3,532 m, again based on ground observation. The Darwin VAAC reported that neither ash plume was visible in satellite imagery. The following day, on 17 July, PVMBG reported 26 explosions between midnight and 0600 that produced brown ash plumes which rose 200 m above the crater. Based on these events, PVMBG raised the Alert Level of Raung from I (Normal) to II (Alert) on a I-II-III-IV scale. By the following day they reported 95 explosive seismic events had occurred. They continued to observe gray ash plumes rising 100-200 m above the summit on clear days and 10-30 daily explosive seismic events through the end of July; plume heights dropped to 50-100 m and the number of explosive events dropped below ten per day during the last few days of the month.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. An ash plume rose from the summit of Raung on 16 July 2020 at the beginning of a new eruption. The last previous eruption was in 2015. Courtesy of Volcano Discovery and PVMBG.

After a long period of no activity, MIROVA data showed an abrupt return to thermal activity on 16 July 2020; a strong pulse of heat lasted into early August before diminishing (figure 34). MODVOLC thermal alert data recorded two alerts each on 18 and 20 July, and one each on 21 and 30 July. Satellite images showed no evidence of thermal activity inside the summit crater from September 2015 through early July 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery first indicated a strong thermal anomaly inside the pyroclastic cone within the crater on 19 July 2020; it remained on 24 and 29 July (figure 35). A small SO2 signature was measured by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite on 25 July.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. MIROVA thermal anomaly data indicated renewed activity on 16 July 2020 at Raung as seen in this graph of activity from 13 October 2019 through September 2020. Satellite images indicated that the dark lines at the beginning of the graph are from a large area of fires that burned on the flank of Raung in October 2019. Heat flow remained high through July and began to diminish in mid-August 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 35. Thermal anomalies were distinct inside the crater of the pyroclastic cone within the summit crater of Raung on 19, 24, and 29 July 2020. Data is from the Sentinel-2 satellite shown with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

After an explosion on 1 August 2020 emissions from the crater were not observed again until steam plumes were seen rising 100 m on 7 August. They were reported rising 100-200 m above the summit intermittently until a dense gray ash plume was reported by PVMBG on 11 August rising 200 m. After that, diffuse steam plumes no more than 100 m high were reported for the rest of the month except for white to brown emissions to 100 m on 21 August. Thermal anomalies of a similar brightness to July from the same point within the summit crater were recorded in satellite imagery on 3, 8, 13, 18, and 23 August. Single MODVOLC thermal alerts were reported on 1, 8, 12, and 19 August.

In early September dense steam plumes rose 200 m above the crater a few times but were mostly 50 m high or less. White and gray emissions rose 50-300 m above the summit on 15, 20, 27, and 30 September. Thermal anomalies were still present in the same spot in Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on 2, 7, 12, 17, and 27 September, although the signal was weaker than during July and August (figure 36). PVMBG reported gray emissions rising 100-300 m above the summit on 1 October 2020 and two seismic explosion events. Gray emissions rose 50-200 m the next day and nine explosions were recorded. On 3 October, emissions were still gray but only rose 50 m above the crater and no explosions were reported. No emissions were observed from the summit crater for the remainder of the month. Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed a hot spot within the summit crater on 2 and 7 October, but clear views of the crater on 12, 17, and 22 October showed no heat source within the crater (figure 37).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 36. The thermal anomaly at Raung recorded in Sentinel-2 satellite data decreased in intensity between August and October 2020. It was relatively strong on 13 August (left) but had decreased significantly by 12 September (middle) and remained at a lower level into early October (right). Data shown with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground
Figure (see Caption) Figure 37. A small but distinct thermal anomaly was still present within the pyroclastic cone inside the summit crater of Raung on 7 October 2020 (left) but was gone by 12 October (middle) and did not reappear in subsequent clear views of the crater through the end of October. Satellite imagery of 7 and 12 October processed with Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A). Natural color rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) from 17 October (right) shows no clear physical changes to the summit crater during the latest eruption. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory Regional Office, PO Box 40050, Casuarina, NT 0811, Australia (URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/); 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/); Google Earth (URL: https://www.google.com/earth/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground); Tom Pfeiffer, Volcano Discovery (URL: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/); MJ (URL: https://twitter.com/MieJamaludin/status/1167613617191043072).


Sinabung (Indonesia) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sinabung

Indonesia

3.17°N, 98.392°E; summit elev. 2460 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosions begin again on 8 August 2020; dome growth confirmed in late September

Indonesia’s Sinabung volcano in north Sumatra has been highly active since its first confirmed Holocene eruption during August and September 2010. It remained quiet after the initial eruption until September 2013, when a new eruptive phase began that continued through June 2018. A summit dome emerged in late 2013 and produced a large lava “tongue” during 2014. Multiple explosions produced ash plumes, block avalanches, and deadly pyroclastic flows during the eruptive period. A major explosion in February 2018 destroyed most of the summit dome. After a pause in eruptive activity from September 2018 through April 2019, explosions resumed during May and June 2019. The volcano was quiet again until an explosion on 8 August 2020 began another eruption that included a new dome. This report covers activity from July 2019 through October 2020 with information provided by Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG), referred to by some agencies as CVGHM or the Indonesian Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), and the Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (National Disaster Management Authority, BNPB). Additional information comes from satellite instruments and local news reports.

Only steam plumes and infrequent lahars were reported at Sinabung during July 2019-July 2020. A new eruption began on 8 August 2020 with a phreatic explosion and dense ash plumes. Repeated explosions were reported throughout August; ashfall was reported in many nearby communities several times. Explosions decreased significantly during September, but SO2 emissions persisted. Block avalanches from a new growing dome were first reported in early October; pyroclastic flows accompanied repeated ash emissions during the last week of the month. Thermal data suggested that the summit dome continued growing slowly during October.

Activity during July 2019-October 2020. After a large explosion on 9 June 2019, activity declined significantly, and no further emissions or incandescence was reported after 25 June (BGVN 44:08). For the remainder of 2019 steam plumes rose 50-400 m above the summit on most days, occasionally rising to 500-700 m above the crater. Lahars were recorded by seismic instruments in July, August, September, and December. During January-July 2020 steam plumes were reported usually 50-300 m above the summit, sometimes rising to 500 m. On 21 March 2020 steam plumes rose to 700 m, and a lahar was recorded by seismic instruments. Lahars were reported on 26 and 28 April, 3 and 5 June, and 11 July.

A swarm of deep volcanic earthquakes was reported by PVMBG on 7 August 2020. This was followed by a phreatic explosion with a dense gray to black ash plume on 8 August that rose 2,000 m above the summit and drifted E; a second explosion that day produced a plume that rose 1,000 m above the summit. According to the Jakarta Post, ash reached the community of Berastagi (15 km E) along with the districts of Naman Teran (5-10 km NE), Merdeka (15 km NE), and Dolat Rayat (20 km E). Continuous tremor events were first recorded on 8 August and continued daily until 26 August. Two explosions were recorded on 10 August; the largest produced a dense gray ash plume that rose 5,000 m above the summit and drifted NE and SE (figure 77). The Darwin VAAC reported the eruption clearly visible in satellite imagery at 9.7 km altitude and drifting W. Later they reported a second plume drifting ESE at 4.3 km altitude. After this large explosion the local National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) reported significant ashfall in three districts: Naman Teran, Berastagi and Merdeka. Emissions on 11 and 12 August were white and gray and rose 100-200 m. Multiple explosions on 13 August produced white and gray ash plumes that rose 1,000-2,000 m above the summit. Explosions on 14 August produced gray and brown ash plumes that rose 1,000-4,200 m above the summit and drifted S and SW (figure 77). The Darwin VAAC reported that the ash plume was partly visible in satellite imagery at 7.6 km altitude moving W; additional plumes were moving SE at 3.7 km altitude and NE at 5.5 km altitude.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Numerous explosions were recorded at Sinabung during August 2020. An ash plume rose to 5,000 m above the summit on 10 August (left) and drifted both NE and SE. On 14 August gray and brown ash plumes rose 1,000-4,200 m above the summit and drifted S, SW, SE and NE (right) while ashfall covered crops SE of the volcano. Courtesy of PVMBG (Sinabung Eruption Notices, 10 and 14 August 2020).

White, gray, and brown emissions rose 800-1,000 m above the summit on 15 and 17 August. The next day white and gray emissions rose 2,000 m above the summit. The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume visible at 5.2 km altitude drifting SW. A large explosion on 19 August produced a dense gray ash plume that rose 4,000 above the summit and drifted S and SW. Gray and white emissions rose 500 m on 20 August. Two explosions were recorded seismically on 21 August, but rainy and cloudy weather prevented observations. White steam plumes rose 300 m on 22 August, and a lahar was recorded seismically. On 23 August, an explosion produced a gray ash plume that rose 1,500 m above the summit and pyroclastic flows that traveled 1,000 m down the E and SE flanks (figure 78). Continuous tremors were accompanied by ash emissions. White, gray, and brown emissions rose 600 m on 24 August. An explosion on 25 August produced an ash plume that rose 800 m above the peak and drifted W and NW (figure 79). During 26-30 August steam emissions rose 100-400 m above the summit and no explosions were recorded. Dense gray ash emissions rose 1,000 m and drifted E and NE after an explosion on 31 August. Significant SO2 emissions were associated with many of the explosions during August (figure 80).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. On 23 August 2020 an explosion at Sinabung produced a gray ash plume that rose 1,500 m above the summit and produced pyroclastic flows that traveled 1,000 m down the E and SE flanks. Courtesy of PVMBG (Sinabung Eruption Notice, 23 August 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 79. An explosion on 25 August 2020 at Sinabung produced an ash plume that rose 800 m above the peak and drifted W and NW. Courtesy of PVMBG (Sinabung Eruption Notice, 25 August 2020).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 80. Significant sulfur dioxide emissions were measured at Sinabung during August 2020 when near-daily explosions produced abundant ash emissions. A small plume was also recorded from Kerinci on 19 August 2020. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Explosive activity decreased substantially during September 2020. A single explosion reported on 5 September produced a white and brown ash plume that rose 800 m above the summit and drifted NNE. During the rest of the month steam emissions rose 50-500 m above the summit before dissipating. Two lahars were reported on 7 September, and one each on 11 and 30 September. Although only a single explosion was reported, anomalous SO2 emissions were present in satellite data on several days.

The character of the activity changed during October 2020. Steam plumes rising 50-300 m above the summit were reported during the first week and a lahar was recorded by seismometers on 4 October. The first block avalanches from a new dome growing at the summit were reported on 8 October with material traveling 300 m ESE from the summit (figure 81). During 11-13 October block avalanches traveled 300-700 m E and SE from the summit. They traveled 100-150 m on 14 October. Steam plumes rising 50-500 m above the summit were reported during 15-22 October with two lahars recorded on 21 October. White and gray emissions rose 50-1,000 m on 23 October. The first of a series of pyroclastic flows was reported on 25 October; they were reported daily through the end of the month when the weather permitted, traveling 1,000-2,500 m from the summit (figure 82). In addition, block avalanches from the growing dome were observed moving down the E and SE flanks 500-1,500 m on 25 October and 200-1,000 m each day during 28-31 October (figure 83). Sentinel-2 satellite data indicated a very weak thermal anomaly at the summit in late September; it was slightly larger in late October, corroborating with images of the slow-growing dome (figure 84).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 81. A new lava dome appeared at the summit of Sinabung in late September 2020. Block avalanches from the dome were first reported on 8 October. Satellite imagery indicating a thermal anomaly at the summit was very faint at the end of September and slightly stronger by the end of October. The dome grew slowly between 30 September (top) and 22 October 2020 (bottom). Photos taken by Firdaus Surbakti, courtesy of Rizal.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 82. Pyroclastic flows at Sinabung were accompanied ash emissions multiple times during the last week of October, including the event seen here on 27 October 2020. Courtesy of PVMBG and CultureVolcan.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Block avalanches from the growing summit dome at Sinabung descended the SE flank on 28 October 2020. The dome is visible at the summit. Courtesy of PVMBG and MAGMA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. A very faint thermal anomaly appeared at the summit of Sinabung in Sentinel 2 satellite imagery on 28 September 2020 (left). One month later on 28 October the anomaly was bigger, corroborating photographic evidence of the growing dome. Atmospheric penetration rendering (bands 12, 11, 8A) courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Geologic Background. Gunung Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano with many lava flows on its flanks. The migration of summit vents along a N-S line gives the summit crater complex an elongated form. The youngest crater of this conical andesitic-to-dacitic edifice is at the southern end of the four overlapping summit craters. The youngest deposit is a SE-flank pyroclastic flow 14C dated by Hendrasto et al. (2012) at 740-880 CE. An unconfirmed eruption was noted in 1881, and solfataric activity was seen at the summit and upper flanks in 1912. No confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to explosive eruptions during August-September 2010 that produced ash plumes to 5 km above the summit.

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38, East Jakarta 13120, Indonesia (URL: http://www.bnpb.go.id/); 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); 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/); The Jakarta Post, 3rd Floor, Gedung, Jl. Palmerah Barat 142-143 Jakarta 10270 (URL: https://www.thejakartapost.com/amp/news/2020/08/08/mount-sinabung-erupts-again-after-year-of-inactivity.html);Rizal (URL: https://twitter.com/Rizal06691023/status/1319452375887740930); CultureVolcan (URL: https://twitter.com/CultureVolcan/status/1321156861173923840).


Heard (Australia) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Persistent thermal anomalies in the summit crater from June through October 2020

The remote Heard Island is located in the southern Indian Ocean and contains the Big Ben stratovolcano, which has had intermittent activity since 1910. The island’s activity, characterized by thermal anomalies and occasional lava flows (BGVN 45:05), is primarily monitored by satellite instruments. This report updates activity from May through October 2020 using information from satellite-based instruments.

MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data showed frequent thermal activity in early June that continued through July (figure 43). Intermittent, slightly higher-power thermal anomalies were detected in late August through mid-October, the strongest of which occurred in October. Two of these anomalies were also detected in the MODVOLC algorithm on 12 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 43. A small pulse in thermal activity at Heard was detected in early June and continued through July 2020, according to the MIROVA system (Log Radiative Power). Thermal anomalies appeared again starting in late August and continued intermittently through mid-October 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.

Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed a single thermal anomaly on 3 May. In comparison to the MIROVA graph, satellite imagery showed a small pulse of strong thermal activity at the summit of Big Ben in June (figure 44). Some of these thermal anomalies were accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions. Persistent strong thermal activity continued through July. Starting on 2 July through at least 17 July two hotspots were visible in satellite imagery: one in the summit crater and one slightly to the NW of the summit (figure 45). Some gas-and-steam emissions were seen rising from the S hotspot in the summit crater. In August the thermal anomalies had decreased in strength and frequency but persisted at the summit through October (figure 45).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 44. Thermal satellite images of Heard Island’s Big Ben volcano showed strong thermal signatures (bright yellow-orange) sometimes accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions drifting SE (top left) and NE (bottom right) during June 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 45. Thermal satellite images of Heard Island’s Big Ben volcano showed persistent thermal anomalies (bright yellow-orange) near the summit during July through October 2020. During 14 (top left) and 17 (top right) July a second hotspot was visible NW of the summit. By 22 October (bottom right) the thermal anomaly had significantly decreased in strength in comparison to previous months. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

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

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


Sabancaya (Peru) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sabancaya

Peru

15.787°S, 71.857°W; summit elev. 5960 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily explosions produced ash plumes, SO2 plumes, and thermal anomalies during June-September 2020

Sabancaya, located in Peru, is a stratovolcano that has been very active since 1986. The current eruptive period began in November 2016 and has recently been characterized by lava dome growth, daily explosions, ash plumes, ashfall, SO2 plumes, and ongoing thermal anomalies (BGVN 45:06). Similar activity continues into this reporting period of June through September 2020 using information from weekly reports from the Observatorio Vulcanologico INGEMMET (OVI), the Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP), and various satellite data. The Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) issued a total of 520 reports of ongoing ash emissions during this time.

Volcanism during this reporting period consisted of daily explosions, nearly constant gas-and-ash plumes, SO2 plumes, and persistent thermal anomalies in the summit crater. Gas-and-ash plumes rose to 1.5-4 km above the summit crater, drifting up to 35 km from the crater in multiple directions; several communities reported ashfall every month except for August (table 7). Sulfur dioxide emissions were notably high and recorded almost daily with the TROPOMI satellite instrument (figure 83). The satellite measurements of the SO2 emissions exceeded 2 DU (Dobson Units) at least 20 days each month of the reporting period. These SO2 plumes sometimes persisted over multiple days and ranged between 1,900-10,700 tons/day. MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) analysis of MODIS satellite data shows frequent thermal activity through September within 5 km of the summit crater, though the power varied; by late August, the thermal anomalies were stronger compared to the previous months (figure 84). This increase in power is also reflected by the MODVOLC algorithm that detected 11 thermal anomalies over the days of 31 August and 4, 6, 13, 17, 18, 20, and 22 September 2020. Many of these thermal hotspots were visible in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery, occasionally accompanied by gas-and-steam and ash plumes (figure 85).

Table 7. Persistent activity at Sabancaya during June through September included multiple daily explosions that produced ash plumes rising several kilometers above the summit and drifting in multiple directions; this resulted in ashfall in communities within 35 km of the volcano. Satellite instruments recorded daily SO2 emissions. Data courtesy of OVI-INGEMMET, IGP, and the NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.

Month Avg. daily explosions by week Max plume heights (km above the crater) Plume drift (km) and direction Communities reporting ashfall Minimum days with SO2 over 2 DU SO2 emissions per day (tons) by week
Jun 2020 20, 10, 9, 13 1.5-4 30 km, SE, S, SW, NE, W, E Chivay, Achoma, Ichupampa, Yanque, and Coporaque, Sallali, Madrigal, Lari, and Ichupampa 28 8,400, 2,200, 3,100, 7,600
Jul 2020 20, 15, 11, 12, 19 2-2.6 15-30 km E, NE, NW, SE, SW, S, W Achoma and Chivay 23 4,400, 6,000, 1,900, 2,100, 5,900
Aug 2020 18, 12, 9, 29 1.7-3.6 20-30 km W, SW, SE, S, E, NW - 20 2,300, 3,800, 5,300, 10,700
Sep 2020 39, 35, 33, 38, 40 1.8-3.5 25-35 km SE, S, SW, W, E, NE, N, NW, W Lari, Achoma, Maca, Chivay, Taya, Huambo, Huanca, and Lluta 28 9,700, 2,600, 8,800, 7,800, 4,100
Figure (see Caption) Figure 83. Sulfur dioxide plumes were captured almost daily from Sabancaya during June through September 2020 by the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite. Some of the largest SO2 plumes occurred on 19 June (top left), 5 July (top right), 30 August (bottom left), and 10 September (bottom right) 2020. Courtesy of NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 84. Thermal activity at Sabancaya varied in power from 13 October 2019 through September 2020, but was consistent in frequency, according to the MIROVA graph (Log Radiative Power). A pulse in thermal activity is shown in late August 2020. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 85. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery showed frequent gas-and-steam and ash plumes rising from Sabancaya, accompanied by ongoing thermal activity from the summit crater during June through September 2020. On 23 June (top left) a dense gray-white ash plume was visible drifting E from the summit. On 3 July (top right) and 27 August (bottom left) a strong thermal hotspot (bright yellow-orange) was accompanied by some degassing. On 1 September (bottom right) the thermal anomaly persisted with a dense gray-white ash plume drifting SE from the summit. Images using “Natural Color” rendering (bands 4, 3, 2) on 23 June 2020 (top left) and the rest have “Atmospheric penetration” rendering (bands 12, 11, 8a). Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

OVI detected slight inflation on the N part of the volcano, which continued to be observed throughout the reporting period. Persistent thermal anomalies caused by the summit crater lava dome were observed in satellite data. The average number of daily explosions during June ranged from 18 during 1-7 June to 9 during 15-21 June, which generated gas-and-ash plumes that rose 1.5-4 km above the crater and drifted 30 km SE, S, SW, NE, W, and E (figure 86). The strongest sulfur dioxide emissions were recorded during 1-7 June measuring 8,400 tons/day. On 20 June drone video showed that the lava dome had been destroyed, leaving blocks on the crater floor, though the crater remained hot, as seen in thermal satellite imagery (figure 85). During 22-28 June there were an average of 13 daily explosions, which produced ash plumes rising to a maximum height of 4 km, drifting NE, E, and SE. As a result, ashfall was reported in the districts of Chivay, Achoma, Ichupampa, Yanque, and Coporaque, and in the area of Sallali. Then, on 27 June ashfall was reported in several areas NE of the volcano, which included the districts of Madrigal, Lari, Achoma, Ichupampa, Yanque, Chivay, and Coporaque.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 86. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose 1.5-4 km above the crater during June 2020. Images are showing 8 (left) and 27 (right) June 2020. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-24-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 08 al 14 de junio del 2020 and RSSAB-26-2020/INGEMMET Semana del 22 al 28 de junio del 2020).

Slight inflation continued to be monitored in July, occurring about 4-6 km N of the crater, as well as on the SE flank. Daily explosions continued, producing gas-and-ash plumes that rose 2-2.6 km above the crater and drifting 15-30 km E, NE, NW, SE, SW, S, and W (figure 87). The number of daily explosions increased slightly compared to the previous month, ranging from 20 during 1-5 July to 11 during 13-19 July. SO2 emissions that were measured each week ranged from 1,900 to 6,000 tons/day, the latter of which occurred during 6-12 July. Thermal anomalies continued to be observed in thermal satellite data over the summit crater throughout the month. During 6-12 July gas-and-ash plumes rose 2.3-2.5 km above the crater, drifting 30 km SE, E, and NE, resulting in ashfall in Achoma and Chivay.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 87. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose 2-3.5 km above the crater during July 2020. Images are showing 7 (left) and 26 (right) July 2020. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-28-2020/INGEMMET Semanal: del 06 al 12 de julio del 2020 and RSSAB-30-2020/INGEMMET Semanal: del 20 al 26 de julio del 2020).

OVI reported continued slight inflation on the N and SE flanks during August. Daily explosive activity had slightly declined in the first part of the month, ranging from 18 during the 3-9 August to 9 during 17-23 August. Dense gray gas-and-ash plumes rose 1.7-3.6 km above the crater, drifting 20-30 km in various directions (figure 88), though no ashfall was reported. Thermal anomalies were observed using satellite data throughout the month. During 24-30 August a pulse in activity increased the daily average of explosions to 29, as well as the amount of SO2 emissions (10,700 tons/day); nighttime incandescence accompanied this activity. During 28-29 August higher levels of seismicity and inflation were reported compared to the previous weeks. The daily average of explosions increased again during 31 August-6 September to 39; nighttime incandescence remained.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 88. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose 1.7-3.6 km above the crater during August 2020. Images are showing 1 (left) and 29 (right) August 2020. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-31-2020/INGEMMET Semanal del 27 de julio al 02 de agosto del 2020 and RSSAB-35-2020/INGEMMET Semanal del 24 al 30 de agosto del 2020).

Increased volcanism was reported during September with the daily average of explosions ranging from 33 during 14-20 September to 40 during 28 September-4 October. The resulting gas-and-ash plumes rose 1.8-3.5 km above the crater drifting 25-35 km in various directions (figure 89). SO2 flux was measured by OVI ranging from 2,600 to 9,700 tons/day, the latter of which was recorded during 31 August to 6 September. During 7-13 September an average of 35 explosions were reported, accompanied by gas-and-ash plumes that rose 2.6-3.5 km above the crater and drifting 30 km SE, SW, W, E, and S. These events resulted in ashfall in Lari, Achoma, and Maca. The following week (14-20 September) ashfall was reported in Achoma and Chivay. During 21-27 September the daily average of explosions was 38, producing ash plumes that resulted in ashfall in Taya, Huambo, Huanca, and Lluta. Slight inflation on the N and SE flanks continued to be monitored by OVI. Strong activity, including SO2 emissions and thermal anomalies over the summit crater persisted into at least early October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 89. Multiple daily explosions at Sabancaya produced ash plumes that rose 1.8-2.6 km above the crater during September 2020. Images are showing 4 (left) and 27 (right) September 2020. Courtesy of OVI (Reporte Semanal de Monitorio de la Actividad de la Volcan Sabancaya, RSSAB-36-2020/INGEMMET Semanal del 31 de agosto al 06 de septiembre del 2020 and RSSAB-39-2020/INGEMMET Semanal del 21 al 27 de septiembre del 2020).

Geologic Background. Sabancaya, located in the saddle NE of Ampato and SE of Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. The name Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of Plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of historical eruptions date back to 1750.

Information Contacts: Observatorio Volcanologico del INGEMMET (Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico), Barrio Magisterial Nro. 2 B-16 Umacollo - Yanahuara Arequipa, Peru (URL: http://ovi.ingemmet.gob.pe); Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP), Calle Badajoz N° 169 Urb. Mayorazgo IV Etapa, Ate, Lima 15012, Perú (URL: https://www.gob.pe/igp); 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); 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).


Rincon de la Vieja (Costa Rica) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Rincon de la Vieja

Costa Rica

10.83°N, 85.324°W; summit elev. 1916 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent small phreatic explosions with intermittent ash plumes during April-September 2020

Rincón de la Vieja is a remote volcanic complex in Costa Rica that contains an acid lake. Frequent weak phreatic explosions have occurred since 2011 (BGVN 44:08). The most recent eruption period began in January 2020, which consisted of small phreatic explosions, gas-and-steam plumes, pyroclastic flows, and lahars (BGVN 45:04). This reporting period covers April through September 2020, with activity characterized by continued small phreatic explosions, three lahars, frequent gas-and-steam plumes, and ash plumes. The primary source of information for this report is the Observatorio Vulcanologico Sismologica de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA) using weekly bulletins and the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Small, frequent, phreatic explosions were common at Rincón de la Vieja during this reporting period. One to several eruptions were reported on at least 16 days in April, 15 days in May, 8 days in June, 10 days in July, 18 days in August, and 13 days in September (table 5). Intermittent ash plumes accompanied these eruptions, rising 100-3,000 m above the crater and drifting W, NW, and SW during May and N during June. Occasional gas-and-steam plumes were also observed rising 50-2,000 m above the crater rim.

Table 5. Monthly summary of activity at Rincón de la Vieja during April through September 2020. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Month Minimum total days of eruptions Ash plume height (m above the crater) Notable plume drift Gas-and-steam plume height (m above the crater)
Apr 2020 16 200-1,000 - 50-1,500
May 2020 15 200-3,000 W, NW, SW 200-2,000
Jun 2020 8 100-2,000 N -
Jul 2020 10 1,000 - -
Aug 2020 18 500-1,000 - 500
Sep 2020 13 700 - 50

During April small explosions were detected almost daily, some of which generated ash plumes that rose 200-1,000 m above the crater and gas-and-steam emissions that rose 50-1,500 m above the crater. On 4 April an eruption at 0824 produced an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim. A small hydrothermal explosion at 0033 on 11 April, recorded by the webcam in Sensoria (4 km N), ejected water and sediment onto the upper flanks. On 15 April a phreatic eruption at 0306 resulted in lahars in the Pénjamo, Azufrada, and Azul rivers, according to local residents. Several small explosions were detected during the morning of 19 April; the largest phreatic eruption ejected water and sediment 300 m above the crater rim and onto the flanks at 1014, generated a lahar, and sent a gas-and-steam plume 1.5 km above the crater (figure 30). On 24 April five events were recorded by the seismic network during the morning, most of which produced gas-and-steam plumes that rose 300-500 m above the crater. The largest event on this day occurred at 1020, ejecting water and solid material 300 m above the crater accompanied by a gas-and-steam plume rising up to 1 km.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. Webcam image of small hydrothermal eruptions at Rincón de la Vieja on 19 April 2020. Image taken by the webcam in Dos Ríos de Upala; courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Similar frequent phreatic activity continued in May, with ash plumes rising 200-1,500 m above the crater, drifting W, NW, and SW, and gas-and-steam plumes rising up to 2 km. On 5 May an eruption at 1317 produced a gas-and-steam plume 200 m above the crater and a Washington VAAC advisory reported that an ash plume rose to 2.1 km altitude, drifting W. An event at 1925 on 9 May generated a gas-and-steam plume that rose almost 2 km. An explosion at 1128 on 15 May resulted in a gas-and-steam plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim, accompanied by a gray, sediment-laden plume that rose 400 m. On 21 May a small ash eruption at 0537 sent a plume 1 km above the crater (figure 31). According to a Washington VAAC advisory, an ash plume rose 3 km altitude, drifting NW on 22 May. During the early evening on 25 May an hour-long sequence of more than 70 eruptions and emissions, according to OVSICORI-UNA, produced low gas-and-steam plumes and tephra; at 1738, some ejecta was observed above the crater rim. The next day, on 26 May, up to 52 eruptive events were observed. An eruption at 2005 was not visible due to weather conditions; however, it resulted in a minor amount of ashfall up to 17 km W and NW, which included Los Angeles of Quebrada Grande and Liberia. A phreatic explosion at 1521 produced a gray plume that rose 1.5 km above the crater (figure 31). An eruption at 1524 on 28 May sent an ash plume 3 km above the crater that drifted W, followed by at least three smaller eruptions at 1823, 1841, and 1843. OVSICORI-UNA reported that volcanism began to decrease in frequency on 28-29 May. Sulfur dioxide emissions ranged between 100 and 400 tons per day during 28 May to 15 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Webcam images of gray gas-and-steam and ash emissions at Rincón de la Vieja on 21 (left), and 27 (right) May 2020. Both images taken by the webcam in Dos Ríos de Upala and Sensoria; courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

There were eight days with eruptions in June, though some days had multiple small events; phreatic eruptions reported on 1-2, 13, 16-17, 19-20, and 23 June generated plumes 1-2 km above the crater (figure 32). During 2-8 June SO2 emissions were 150-350 tons per day; more than 120 eruptions were recorded during the preceding weekend. Ashfall was observed N of the crater on 4 June. During 9-15 June the SO2 emissions increased slightly to 100-400 tons per day. During 16-17 June several small eruptive events were detected, the largest of which occurred at 1635 on 17 June, producing an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Webcam images of gray gas-and-steam and ash plumes rising from Rincón de la Vieja on 1 (top left), 2 (top right), 7 (bottom left), and 13 (bottom right) June 2020. The ash plume on 1 June rose between 1.5 and 2 km above the crater. The ash plume on 13 June rose 1 km above the crater. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Explosive hydrothermal activity was lower in June-September compared to January-May 2020, according to OVSICORI-UNA. Sporadic small phreatic explosions and earthquakes were registered during 22-25 and 29 July-3 August, though no lahars were reported. On 25 July an eruptive event at 0153 produced an ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater. Similar activity continued into August. On 5 and 6 August phreatic explosions were recorded at 0546 and 0035, respectively, the latter of which generated a plume that rose 500 m above the crater. These events continued to occur on 10, 16, 19-20, 22-25, 27-28, and 30-31 August, generating plumes that rose 500 m to 1 km above the crater.

On 3 September geologists observed that the acid lake in the main crater had a low water level and exhibited strong gas emissions; vigorous fumaroles were observed on the inner W wall of the crater, measuring 120°C. Gas-and-steam emissions continued to be detected during September, occasionally accompanied by phreatic eruptions. On 7 September an eruption at 0750 produced an ash plume that rose 50 m above the crater while the accompanying gas-and-steam plume rose 500 m. Several low-energy phreatic explosions occurred during 8-17, 20, and 22-28 September, characterized primarily by gas-and-steam emissions. An eruption on 16 September ejected material from the crater and generated a small lahar. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 100 tons per day during 16-21 September. On 17 September an eruption at 0632 produced an ash plume that rose 700 m above the crater (figure 33). A relatively large eruptive event at 1053 on 22 September ejected material out of the crater and into N-flank drainages.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Webcam image of an eruption plume rising above Rincón de la Vieja on 17 September 2020. Courtesy of OVSICORI-UNA.

Geologic Background. Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A Plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3,500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.

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


Fuego (Guatemala) — December 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Fuego

Guatemala

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Daily explosions, ash emissions, and block avalanches during August-November 2020

Guatemala's Volcán de Fuego has been erupting vigorously since 2002 with reported eruptions dating back to 1531. These eruptions have resulted in major ashfalls, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, and damaging lahars, including a series of explosions and pyroclastic flows in early June 2018 that caused several hundred fatalities. Eruptive activity consisting of explosions with ash emissions, block avalanches, and lava flows began again after a short break and has continued; activity during August-November 2020 is covered in this report. Daily reports are provided by the Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH); aviation alerts of ash plumes are issued by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). Satellite data provide valuable information about heat flow and emissions.

Summary of activity during August-November 2020. Eruptive activity continued at Fuego during August-November 2020, very similar to that during the first part of the year (table 22). Ash emissions were reported daily by INSIVUMEH with explosions often in the 6-12 per hour range. Most of the ash plumes rose to 4.5-4.7 km altitude and generally drifted SW, W, or NW, although rarely the wind direction changed and sent ash to the S and SE. Multiple daily advisories were issued throughout the period by the Washington VAAC warning aviators about ash plumes, which were often visible on the observatory webcam (figure 136). Some of the communities located SW of the volcano received ashfall virtually every day during the period. Block avalanches descended the major drainages daily as well. Sounds were heard and vibrations felt from the explosions most days, usually 7-12 km away. The stronger explosions could be felt and heard 20 km or more from the volcano. During late August and early September a lava flow was active on the SW flank, reaching 700 m in length during the second week of September.

Table 22. Eruptive activity was consistently high at Fuego throughout August – November 2020 with multiple explosions every hour, ash plumes, block avalanches, and near-daily ashfall in the communities in certain directions within 10-20 km of the volcano. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH daily reports.

Month Explosions per hour Ash Plume Heights (km) Ash plume distance (km) and direction Drainages affected by block avalanches Communities reporting ashfall
Aug 2020 2-15 4.3-4.8 SW, W, NW, S, N, 8-20 km Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Rochela, Finca Palo Verde, Yepocapa, Santa Sofia, El Porvenir, Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo, Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa
Sep 2020 3-16 4.3-4.9 W, SW, NW, N, S, 8-20 km Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo, Yepocapa, Porvenir, Yucales, Ojo de Agua, Finca La Conchita
Oct 2020 3-19 4.1-4.8 SW, W, S, SE, N, E, 10-20 km Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa Panimache I and II, Morelia, Sangre de Cristo, Yepocapa, La Rochela, El Porvenir, Ceilán, Santa Sofía, Yucales, Finca Palo Verde
Nov 2020 4-14 4.0-4.8 S, SW, SE, W, NW, 10-35 km Seca, Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, Honda, Santa Teresa El Jute Panimaché I and II, Sangre de Cristo, Morelia, Ceilan, La Rochela, El Zapote, Santa Sofía, Yucales, San Juan Alotenango, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas y Antigua Guatemala, Palo Verde, El Porvenir, San Pedro Yepocapa, Quisaché, Santa Emilia
Figure (see Caption) Figure 136. Consistent daily ash emissions produced similar looking ash plumes at Fuego during August-November 2020. Plumes usually rose to 4.5-4.8 km altitude and drifted SW. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH.

The frequent explosions, block avalanches, and lava flows produced a strong thermal signal throughout the period that was recorded in both the MIROVA project Log Radiative Power graph (figure 137) and in numerous Sentinel-2 satellite images (figure 138). MODVOLC data produced thermal alerts 4-6 days each month. At least one lahar was recorded each month; they were most frequent in September and October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 137. The MIROVA graph of activity at Fuego for the period from 15 January through November 2020 suggested persistent moderate to high-level heat flow for much of the time. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 138. Atmospheric penetration rendering of Sentinel-2 satellite images (bands 12, 11, 8A) of Fuego during August-November 2020 showed continued thermal activity from block avalanches, explosions, and lava flows at the summit and down several different ravines. Courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during August-November 2020. The number of explosions per hour at Fuego during August 2020 was most often 7-10, with a few days that were higher at 10-15. The ash plumes usually rose to 4.5-4.8 km altitude and drifted SW or W up to 15 km. Incandescence was visible 100-300 m above the summit crater on most nights. All of the major drainages including the Seca, Santa Teresa, Ceniza, Trinidad, Taniluyá, Las Lajas, and Honda were affected by block avalanches virtually every day. In addition, the communities of Panimaché I and II, Morelia, Santa Sofía, Finca Palo Verde, El Porvenir, San Pedro Yepocapa, and Sangre de Cristo reported ashfall almost every day. Sounds and vibrations were reported multiple days every week, often up to 12 km from the volcano, but occasionally as far as 20 km away. Lahars carrying blocks of rocks and debris 1-2 m in diameter descended the SE flank in the Las Lajas and Honda ravines on 6 August. On 27 August a lava flow 150 m long appeared in the Ceniza ravine. It increased in length over the subsequent few days, reaching 550 m long on 30 August, with frequent block avalanches falling off the front of the flow.

The lava flow in the Ceniza ravine was reported at 100 m long on 5 September. It grew to 200 m on 7 September and reached 700 m long on 12 September. It remained 200-350 m long through 19 September, although instruments monitored by INSIVUMEH indicated that effusive activity was decreasing after 16 September (figure 139). A second flow was 200 m long in the Seca ravine on 19 September. By 22 September, active flows were no longer observed. The explosion rate varied from a low of 3-5 on 1 September to a high of 12-16 on 4, 13, 18, and 22-23 September. Ash plumes rose to 4.5-4.9 km altitude nearly every day and drifted W, NW, and SW occasionally as far as 20 km before dissipating. In addition to the active flow in the Ceniza ravine, block avalanches persisted in the other ravines throughout the month. Ashfall continued in the same communities as in August, but was also reported in Yucales on 4 September along with Ojo de Agua and Finca La Conchita on 17 September. The Las Lajas, Honda, and El Jute ravines were the sites of lahars carrying blocks up to 1.5 m in diameter on 8 and 18 September. On 19 and 24 September lahars again descended Las Lajas and El Jute ravines; the Ceniza ravine had a lahar on 19 September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 139. Avalanche blocks descended the Ceniza ravine (left) and the Las Lajas ravine (right) at Fuego on 17 September 2020. The webcam that captured this image is located at Finca La Reunión on the SE flank. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (BOLETÍN VULCANOLÓGICO ESPECIAL BEVFGO # 76-2020, 18 de septiembre de 2020, 14:30 horas).

The same activity continued during October 2020 with regard to explosion rates, plume altitudes, distances, and directions of drift. All of the major ravines were affected by block avalanches and the same communities located W and SW of the summit reported ashfall. In addition, ashfall was reported in La Rochela on 2, 3, 7-9 and 30 October, in Ceilán on 3 and 7-9 October, and in Yucales on 5, 14, 18 and 19 October. Multiple strong explosions with abundant ash were reported in a special bulletin on 14 October; high levels of explosive activity were recorded during 16-23 October. Vibrations and sounds were often felt up to 15 km away and heard as far as 25 km from the volcano during that period. Particularly strong block avalanches were present in the Seca and Ceniza ravines on 20, 25, and 30 October. Abundant rain on 9 October resulted in lahars descending all of the major ravines. The lahar in the Las Lajas ravine overflowed and forced the closure of route RN-14 road affecting the community of San Miguel on the SE flank (figure 140). Heavy rains on 15 October produced lahars in the Ceniza, Las Lajas, and Hondas ravines with blocks up to 2 m in diameter. Multiple lahars on 27 October affected Las Lajas, El Jute, and Honda ravines.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 140. Heavy rains on 9 October 2020 at Fuego caused lahars in all the major ravines. Debris from Las Lajas ravine overflowed highway RN-14 near the community of San Miguel on the SE flank, the area devastated by the pyroclastic flow of June 2018. Courtesy of INSIVUMEH (BEFGO #96 VOLCAN DE FUEGO- ZONA CERO RN-14, SAN MIGUEL LOS LOTES y BARRANCA LAS LAJAS, 09 de octubre de 2020).

On 8 November 2020 a lahar descended the Seca ravine, carrying rocks and debris up to 1 meter in diameter. During the second week of November 2020, the wind direction changed towards the SE and E and brought ashfall to San Juan Alotenango, Ciudad Vieja, San Miguel Dueñas, and Antigua Guatemala on 8 November. Especially strong block avalanches were noted in the Seca and Ceniza ravines on 14, 19, 24, and 29 November. During a period of stronger activity in the fourth week of November, vibrations were felt and explosions heard more than 20 km away on 22 November and more than 25 km away on 27 November. In addition to the other communities affected by ashfall during August-November, Quisaché and Santa Emilia reported ashfall on 30 November.

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

Information Contacts: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hydrologia (INSIVUMEH), Unit of Volcanology, Geologic Department of Investigation and Services, 7a Av. 14-57, Zona 13, Guatemala City, Guatemala (URL: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/ ); 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);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/); 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).


Kikai (Japan) — November 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kikai

Japan

30.793°N, 130.305°E; summit elev. 704 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosion on 6 October 2020 and thermal anomalies in the crater

Kikai is a mostly submarine caldera, 19-km-wide, just S of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. At the NW rim of the caldera lies the island of Satsuma Iwo Jima (also known as Satsuma-Iojima and Tokara Iojima), and the island’s highest peak, Iodake, a steep stratovolcano. Recent weak ash explosions at Iodake occurred on 2 November 2019 and 29 April 2020 (BGVN 45:02, 45:05). The volcano is monitored by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and satellite sensors. This report covers the period May-October 2020. During this time, the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

Activity at Kikai has been relatively low since the previous eruption on 29 April 2020. During May through October occasional white gas-and-steam emissions rose 0.8-1.3 km above the Iodake crater, the latter of which was recorded in September. Emissions were intermittently accompanied by weak nighttime incandescence, according to JMA (figure 17).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. White gas-and-steam emissions rose 1 km above the crater at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) on 25 May (top) 2020. At night, occasional incandescence could be seen in the Iodake crater, as seen on 29 May (bottom) 2020. Both images taken by the Iwanoue webcam. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, May 2nd year of Reiwa [2020]).

A small eruption at 0757 on 6 October occurred in the NW part of the Iodake crater, which produced a grayish white plume rising 200 m above the crater (figure 18). Faint thermal anomalies were detected in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery in the days just before this eruption (28 September and 3 October) and then after (13 and 23 October), accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions (figures 19 and 20). Nighttime crater incandescence continued to be observed. JMA reported that sulfur dioxide emissions measured 700 tons per day during October, compared to the previous eruption (400-2,000 tons per day in April 2020).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Webcam images of the eruption at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) on 6 October 2020 that produced an ash plume rising 200 m above the crater (top). Nighttime summit crater incandescence was also observed (bottom). Images were taken by the Iwanoue webcam. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, October 2nd year of Reiwa [2020]).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Weak thermal hotspots (bright yellow-orange) were observed at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) during late September through October 2020. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Webcam image of a white gas-and-steam plume rising 1.1 km above the crater at Satsuma Iwo Jima (Kikai) on 27 October 2020. Image was taken by the Iwanoue webcam. Courtesy of JMA (An explanation of volcanic activity at Satsuma Iwo Jima, October 2nd year of Reiwa [2020]).

Geologic Background. Kikai is a mostly submerged, 19-km-wide caldera near the northern end of the Ryukyu Islands south of Kyushu. It was the source of one of the world's largest Holocene eruptions about 6,300 years ago when rhyolitic pyroclastic flows traveled across the sea for a total distance of 100 km to southern Kyushu, and ashfall reached the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The eruption devastated southern and central Kyushu, which remained uninhabited for several centuries. Post-caldera eruptions formed Iodake lava dome and Inamuradake scoria cone, as well as submarine lava domes. Historical eruptions have occurred at or near Satsuma-Iojima (also known as Tokara-Iojima), a small 3 x 6 km island forming part of the NW caldera rim. Showa-Iojima lava dome (also known as Iojima-Shinto), a small island 2 km E of Tokara-Iojima, was formed during submarine eruptions in 1934 and 1935. Mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have occurred during the past few decades from Iodake, a rhyolitic lava dome at the eastern end of Tokara-Iojima.

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


Manam (Papua New Guinea) — October 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Manam

Papua New Guinea

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash plumes, thermal anomalies, and SO2 emissions in April-September 2020

Manam, located 13 km off the N coast of Papua New Guinea, is a basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano with historical eruptions dating back 400 years. Volcanism has been characterized by low-level ash plumes, occasional Strombolian activity, lava flows, pyroclastic avalanches, and large ash plumes from Main and South, the two active summit craters. The current eruption period has been ongoing since 2014, typically with minor explosive activity, thermal activity, and SO2 emissions (BGVN 45:05). This reporting period updates information from April through September 2020, consisting of intermittent ash plumes from late July to mid-September, persistent thermal anomalies, and SO2 emissions. Information comes from Papua New Guinea's Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), part of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various satellite data.

Explosive activity was relatively low during April through late July; SO2 emissions and low power, but persistent, thermal anomalies were detected by satellite instruments each month. The TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite recorded SO2 emissions, many of which exceeded two Dobson Units, that drifted generally W (figure 76). Distinct SO2 emissions were detected for 10 days in April, 4 days in May, 10 days in June, 4 days in July, 11 days in August, and 8 days in September.

Thermal anomalies recorded by the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system were sparse from early January through June 2020, totaling 11 low-power anomalies within 5 km of the summit (figure 77). From late July through September a pulse in thermal activity produced slightly stronger and more frequent anomalies. Some of this activity could be observed in Sentinel-2 thermal satellite imagery (figure 78). Occasionally, these thermal anomalies were accompanied by gas-and-steam emissions or ash plumes, as shown on 28 July. On 17 August a particularly strong hotspot was detected in the S summit crater. According to the MODVOLC thermal alert data, a total of 10 thermal alerts were detected in the summit crater over four days: 29 July (5), 16 August (1), and 3 (1) and 8 (3) September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 76. Distinct sulfur dioxide plumes rising from Manam and drifting generally W were detected using data from the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite on 28 April (top left), 24 May (top right), 16 July (bottom left), and 12 September (bottom right) 2020. Courtesy of the NASA Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 77. Intermittent thermal activity at Manam increased in power and frequency beginning around late July and continuing through September 2020, as shown on the MIROVA Log Radiative Power graph. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 78. Sentinel-2 thermal satellite images showing a persistent thermal anomaly (yellow-orange) at Manam’s summit craters (Main and South) each month during April through August; sometimes they were seen in both summit craters, as shown on 8 June (top right), 28 July (bottom left), and 17 August (bottom right). A particularly strong anomaly was visible on 17 August (bottom right). Occasional gas-and-steam emissions accompanied the thermal activity. Sentinel-2 satellite images with “Atmospheric penetration” (bands 12, 11, 8A) rendering; courtesy of Sentinel Hub Playground.

Activity during mid-July slightly increased compared to the previous months. On 16 July seismicity increased, fluctuating between low and moderate RSAM values through the rest of the month. In Sentinel-2 satellite imagery a gray ash plume was visible rising from the S summit crater on 28 July (figure 78). RSAM values gradually increased from a low average of 200 to an average of 1200 on 30 July, accompanied by thermal hotspots around the summit crater; a ground observer reported incandescent material was ejected from the summit. On 31 July into 1 August ash plumes rose to 4.3 km altitude, accompanied by an incandescent lava flow visible at the summit, according to a Darwin VAAC advisory.

Intermittent ash plumes continued to be reported by the Darwin VAAC on 1, 6-7, 16, 20, and 31 August. They rose from 2.1 to 4.6 km altitude, the latter of which occurred on 31 August and drifted W. Typically, these ash plumes extended SW, W, NW, and WSW. On 11 September another ash plume was observed rising 2.4 km altitude and drifting W.

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

Information Contacts: 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/); MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity), a collaborative project between the Universities of Turin and Florence (Italy) supported by the Centre for Volcanic Risk of the Italian Civil Protection Department (URL: http://www.mirovaweb.it/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/); Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Sentinel Hub Playground (URL: https://www.sentinel-hub.com/explore/sentinel-playground).

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 42, Number 02 (February 2017)

Managing Editor: Edward Venzke

Bardarbunga (Iceland)

Monitoring data from early 2016

Bulusan (Philippines)

Phreatic explosions with minor ashfall continue during June-December 2016

Karangetang (Indonesia)

Intermittent ash plumes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars; persistent thermal anomalies, June 2014-December 2016

Marapi (Indonesia)

Phreatic explosion on 14 November 2015 causes ashfall on the SW flank

Monowai (New Zealand)

Frequent submarine eruptions through November 2016; discolored water observations

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)

Details of 29 August 2014 Strombolian eruption; update through 2016

Sheveluch (Russia)

Dome extrusion, hot block avalanches, and strong explosions continue through August 2015

Sinabung (Indonesia)

Eruption continues during May-October 2016; multiple fatalities from pyroclastic flows and lahars

Veniaminof (United States)

Lava flows, Strombolian activity, and ash plumes during 13 June-17 October 2013

Zavodovski (United Kingdom)

Eruption of ash and steam observed in June 2016



Bardarbunga (Iceland) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Bardarbunga

Iceland

64.633°N, 17.516°W; summit elev. 2000 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Monitoring data from early 2016

The fissure eruption from the Bardarbunga volcanic system began on 29 August 2014 (BGVN 39:10) about 45 km NE of the subglacial caldera at what was designated the Holuhraun vent. Lava emission ended on 28 February 2015 (BGVN 40:01), after creating a lava field almost 85 km2 in size. This report includes additional information provided by the Icelandic Meterological Office and NASA's Earth Observatory. Information from a report of the Icelandic Civil Protection Scientific Advisory Board, which met on 23 June 2016 to review recent data, is included below.

A scientific team working on the Vatnajökull glacier during 3-10 June 2016 did echo soundings to examine whether changes in bedrock topography within the Bardarbunga caldera could be detected from the recent eruption. No changes in the bedrock topography were apparent. There were also no indications that meltwater was accumulating within the caldera. The 65-m-deep depression in the glacier formed during the 2014-2015 activity was getting shallower due to the flow of ice into the caldera and snow accumulation, and the depression had decreased in depth by 8 m since the previous year.

Expedition scientists also measured gas emissions at ice cauldrons (figures 13 and 14), which are formed by subglacial geothermal activity, along the caldera rim; these measurements showed little change since the previous year's expedition. Seismic data showed that accumulated moment magnitude had been increasing since mid-September 2015. A total of 51 earthquakes stronger than M3 had been registered at Bardarbunga since the end of the eruption in 2015. GPS stations showed slow movement away from the caldera.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. The edge of a cauldron at the southernmost rim of the Bardarbunga caldera, 10 June 2016. Photo by Benedikt G. Ófeigsson; courtesy of the IMO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. A panorama view from 7 June 2016 shows the same cauldron at Bardarbunga, with Grimsvotn in the background. Photo by Benedikt G. Ófeigsson; courtesy of the IMO.

The Advisory Board report concluded that the most probable explanations for the ground deformation and seismicity was the inflow of magma from around 10-15 km below Bardarbunga into the area from which the magma erupted at Holuhraun during 2014-2015. There were no indications of magma collecting at shallower depths.

An image posted by the NASA Earth Observatory showed the extent of the Holuhraun lava field on 5 November 2016 surrounded by snow (figure 15).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. Acquired 5 November 2016, this image was captured by the Advanced Land Imager on the Earth Observing-1 satellite at 1000 local time. The photo has been edited to correct for the low angle of the Sun, which caused the white snow to appear reddish. Snow does appear to build up along the edges of the lava flow, where the lava is thinner. Courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.

Geologic Background. The large central volcano of Bárðarbunga lies beneath the NW part of the Vatnajökull icecap, NW of Grímsvötn volcano, and contains a subglacial 700-m-deep caldera. Related fissure systems include the Veidivötn and Trollagigar fissures, which extend about 100 km SW to near Torfajökull volcano and 50 km NE to near Askja volcano, respectively. Voluminous fissure eruptions, including one at Thjorsarhraun, which produced the largest known Holocene lava flow on Earth with a volume of more than 21 km3, have occurred throughout the Holocene into historical time from the Veidivötn fissure system. The last major eruption of Veidivötn, in 1477, also produced a large tephra deposit. The subglacial Loki-Fögrufjöll volcanic system to the SW is also part of the Bárðarbunga volcanic system and contains two subglacial ridges extending from the largely subglacial Hamarinn central volcano; the Loki ridge trends to the NE and the Fögrufjöll ridge to the SW. Jökulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods) from eruptions at Bárðarbunga potentially affect drainages in all directions.

Information Contacts: Icelandic Met Office (IMO), Reykjavík, Iceland (URL: http://en.vedur.is/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).


Bulusan (Philippines) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Bulusan

Philippines

12.769°N, 124.056°E; summit elev. 1535 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic explosions with minor ashfall continue during June-December 2016

Recent eruptive activity at Bulusan included episodes during 6 November 2010-16 May 2011, 1 May-17 July 2015, and 22 February 2016; activity typically included phreatic explosions from the summit crater and flank vents, ash-and-steam plumes, and minor ashfall in nearby villages (BGVN 41:03). The most recent eruption began 10 June 2016 and continued through the end of the year. Information was provided by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

During the reporting period of June-December 2016, the Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5), indicating abnormal conditions and a 4-km radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ). Activity consisted of intermittent phreatic explosions generating emissions of ash and steam that typically rose 70-2,500 m above the summit crater (table 7). Minor ashfall in nearby municipalities often accompanied the explosions.

In October 2016, PHIVOLCS extended the danger zone an additional 2 km as a result of a fissure that extended 2 km down the upper S flank; PHIVOLCS was concerned that active vents along the upper part of the SE flank could pose a greater risk to the populated barangays (neighborhoods) of Mapaso (Irosin), Patag (Irosin), and San Roque (Bulusan). The municipalities of Irosin and Bulusan are about 8 km SSW and 7 km ESE, respectively, of the volcano.

Table 7. Summary of volcanic activity at Bulusan, June-December 2016.

Date(s) Max. Plume height (m) Plume drift Remarks
10 Jun 2016 2,000 NW 5-min long phreatic explosion began at 1135 and generated ash plume.
19 Jun 2016 300 NW 7-min long phreatic explosion from NW summit vent began at 1303 and generated dirty-white ash plume.
23 Jun 2016 -- -- Dirty-white steam plumes from summit vent drifted down WNW flank. Minor ashfall on nearby municipalities NW. Sulfur odor.
25-26 Jun 2016 200 NW Steam plumes.
28 Jun 2016 -- -- Steam plumes drifted down flank.
05 Jul 2016 250 SSE, SSW Copious emissions of white-to-grayish steam plumes.
06 Jul 2016 700 -- Copious emissions of steam.
10-12 Jul 2016 70 -- Diffuse steam plumes.
20 Jul 2016 -- WNW White-to-light gray plumes at low levels.
21-25 Jul 2016 250 NW, SW Diffuse white plumes.
16 Sep 2016 1,500 NE 4-min long phreatic explosion began at 1654, and generated a dark gray ash plume. Ashfall in nearby municipalities NNW, NNE, and NE.
01 Oct 2016 200 SE White-to-grayish emissions during 0650-1240 rose from vents on SE flank. Minor ashfall in nearby communities.
06 Oct 2016 -- -- 15-min long minor phreatic explosion with ashfall on nearby municipalities.
12-16 Oct 2016 500 SE, SSE Steam plumes. 2-6 volcanic earthquakes per day.
17 Oct 2016 1,000 -- 24-min long phreatic explosion at the SE vent at 0736. 24 volcanic earthquakes 16-17 October.
19 Oct 2016 1,000 -- Phreatic explosion at 0458 from upper SE flank. Explosion-type earthquake lasted 9 min.
21 Oct 2016 -- -- 20-min long phreatic explosion from summit crater began at 1234. Minor ashfall in nearby municipalities.
23 Oct 2016 2,500 WSW 15-min long phreatic explosion from summit vent began at 1531 and generated an ash plume. Small pyroclastic flows traveled 2 km down flank. Trace ashfall in nearby municipalities. Another, much smaller, explosion at 1539 from SE vent generated ash plume that rose 500 m. Rumbling and sulfur odor noted in several nearby areas.
29 Dec 2016 2,000 WSW Phreatic explosion at 1440 from vent on upper SE flank generated grayish ash plume. Explosion-type earthquake lasted about 16 min. Minor ashfall on nearby municipalities. Sulfur odor noted.

Ashfall. On 23 June 2016, minor amounts of ash fell in the barangays (neighborhoods) of Poblacion (11 km NW), Añog (12 km NW), and Bacolod (13 km NW), all in the municipality of Juban (about 12 km NW), and the municipality of Mabini (12 km NNW). A sulfur odor was detected in the neighborhoods of Mabini, Bacolod (Irosin), Añog (Juban), and Puting Sapa (Juban).

On 16 September there was ashfall in the municipalities of Casiguran (11 km NNW), Gubat (18 km NNE), and Barcelona (14 km NE). Minor amounts of ash fell during 1 October in the barangays of San Rafael, San Roque, and San Jose, all in the municipality of Bulusan. A minor explosion on 6 October caused ashfall in some areas of the municipality of Gubat, and rumbling was noted in San Roque.

A phreatic explosion on 21 October generated a plume that resulted in a thin layer of ash in Casiguran and Gubat, and trace amounts in barangays in Barcelona, Casiguran, and Gubat. On 23 October, a phreatic explosion produced trace ashfall in multiple barangays in Irosin; the most ash, 1 mm-thick deposits, were found in Puting Sapa (Juban).

On 29 December, a phreatic explosion generated an ash plume that resulted in minor amounts of ashfall in areas downwind, including several Irosin barangays (Cogon, Tinampo, Bolos, Umagom, Gulang-gulang, and Monbon) and two Juban barangays (Caladgao and Guruyan). Residents of Guruyan, Monbon, and Tinampo noted a sulfur odor.

Geologic Background. Luzon's southernmost volcano, Bulusan, was constructed along the rim of the 11-km-diameter dacitic-to-rhyolitic Irosin caldera, which was formed about 36,000 years ago. It lies at the SE end of the Bicol volcanic arc occupying the peninsula of the same name that forms the elongated SE tip of Luzon. A broad, flat moat is located below the topographically prominent SW rim of Irosin caldera; the NE rim is buried by the andesitic complex. Bulusan is flanked by several other large intracaldera lava domes and cones, including the prominent Mount Jormajan lava dome on the SW flank and Sharp Peak to the NE. The summit is unvegetated and contains a 300-m-wide, 50-m-deep crater. Three small craters are located on the SE flank. Many moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/).


Karangetang (Indonesia) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent ash plumes, lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars; persistent thermal anomalies, June 2014-December 2016

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 historically-observed eruptions since 1675. Frequent explosive activity is accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars, and lava-dome growth has created multiple summit craters. Rock avalanches, observed incandescence, and satellite thermal anomalies at the summit confirmed continuing volcanic activity through 5 September 2013 (BGVN 39:01). 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.

An ash plume reported by the Darwin VAAC on 9 February 2014 that rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (2.5 km above the summit) and drifted over 80 km W was the only recorded activity at Karangetang between MODVOLC thermal anomalies on 5 September 2013 and on 8 June 2014. Additional thermal anomalies identified between June and September 2014, and increased seismicity reported by PVMBG in September, indicated ongoing activity. An ash plume was reported by the Darwin VAAC in October 2014. A spike in thermal activity was recognized during 12 January-1 February 2015. Another strong thermal signal began on 13 May that continued through 9 December 2015, when visual reports of lava flows and ash plumes were all recorded. Ash plumes were last reported by the Darwin VAAC in January 2016; night incandescence at the summit was reported by PVMBG until 15 March 2016. The Alert Level remained at 3 from September 2013 through 16 March 2016, when it was lowered to 2. Persistent low-energy thermal anomalies were captured by MIROVA throughout 2016, but there were no PVMBG observations indicating ongoing dome growth or other eruptive activity.

Activity during 2014. On 9 February 2014, the Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume rising to 4.3 km and extending over 80 km to the W based on satellite images. The next observation of activity was a single MODVOLC thermal alert pixel on 8 June 2014 located precisely over the summit. More substantial thermal anomalies appeared between 19 and 24 July, followed by two more on 2 August, after which there is a break of more than five months with no MODVOLC thermal anomalies. The MIROVA system, however, does record intermittent, low-level anomalies through early December 2014 (figure 11).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. MIROVA Log Radiative Power Thermal Anomaly data for 29 May 2014 through 29 May 2015 at Karangetang. Activity increases during July 2014 and slowly tapers off into December before the sudden appearance of a moderate to high thermal anomaly was recorded between 12 January and 1 February 2015. Activity increases again in early April 2015. Image courtesy of MIROVA.

On 15 September 2014, PVMBG issued a report noting that seismic amplitudes were relatively high at the volcano, increasing from much lower levels on 12 September. Seismic data also indicated an increase in earthquakes indicating avalanches in late July which corresponded in time with the thermal anomalies recorded by MODVOLC and MIROVA. PVMBG observed steam plumes rising to between 100 and 150 m above the main summit crater, and to around 25 m above the second crater during the second week of September 2014, along with incandescence at the summit. The last 2014 report of activity came from the Darwin VAAC; they reported an ash plume on 20 October rising to 3 km and drifting 75 km NW.

Activity during 2015. Both the MODVOLC and MIROVA systems report the abrupt appearance of strong thermal anomalies on 12 January 2015, continuing until 1 February when they stopped just as suddenly (figure 11). A news article by a local newspaper (Jaringan Berita Terluas di Indonesia) reported that a lahar on 22 January 2015, triggered by heavy rains, descended the volcano's flanks, overflowed the banks of the Batu River, and damaged a number of public and private buildings in the village of Bahu about 7.5 km S of the volcano, and in Bebali, 4.5 km S. It also damaged the main road between the communities of Ulu and Ondong but the debris was quickly cleared by authorities.

The MIROVA system recorded thermal anomalies beginning again at the very end of March 2015 (figure 11); MODVOLC noted a single thermal alert on 13 April, and then strong, multi-pixel anomalies nearly continuously from 24 April through 11 June 2015. During the second half of April, PVMBG staff at the Volcano Observation Post in the village of Salili, 4 km SW, noted white steam plumes ranging from 50 to 350 m above the main crater and 25 m above the second crater, and incandescence from the summit. Additionally, they observed bluish-white plumes on 16 and 17 April rising to 50-150 m. They also concluded that the amplitude of seismic activity had decreased since the end of February.

Lava flows were first observed on 22 April; incandescent avalanches from the fronts of 150-m-long lava flows traveled up to 2 km down Batuawang and Kahetang drainages (E) during 22-29 April. On 26 April pyroclastic flows traveled 2.2 km along the Kahetang drainage. On 28 April explosions produced plumes and ejected incandescent material 50 m high (figure 12). Seismicity also increased from the previous week. The MIROVA data indicated a sudden spike of high thermal activity beginning around 22 April and continuing past the end of May (figure 11).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Incandescent lava flowing down Karangetang's flanks on 28 April 2015. Courtesy of PVMBG (G. Karangetang Activity Report, 29 April 2015).

Activity at the volcano increased significantly at the beginning of May 2015. BNPB (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana) reported that on 7 May at 1400 an eruption that ejected incandescent material and produced a dense ash plume also generated a pyroclastic flow that traveled 4 km E, leveling four houses in Kora-Kora. The next day pyroclastic flows descended the S flank 2.5 km into the Kahetang (E) and Batuawang drainages. There were no reported fatalities; 465 people were evacuated from the village of Bebali, 4.5 km S. Also on 8 May, the Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3 km drifted almost 85 km E, and dissipated two days later. On 12 May another ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.7 km and drifted 55 km SW, and there were reports by the Darwin VAAC via social media of continued pyroclastic flow activity. Steam plumes rising to 400 m continued into the last week of May, along with incandescence from the summit at night. The lava flows that first appeared on 22 April were 300 m long by the end of May and continued to send block avalanches from the fronts up to 2 km down the Batuawang, Kahetang, and Keting drainages to the SW, S and SE. Seismic amplitudes continued at a high level; seismicity was dominated by signals characteristic of avalanches, with harmonic tremor frequently detected.

On 5 June 2015 BNPB reported that activity remained high; a total of 339 people (106 families) from the villages of Ulu, Salili, Belali, and Tarorane, all a few kilometers S of the summit, remained displaced since early May. PVMBG reported that on 18 June a lahar descending Batuawang drainage (E) covered a 100-m section of roadway with 25 cm of mud containing 1-m-diameter boulders. The lahar also damaged or destroyed four homes. White plumes rising 150 m above the main crater and 25 m above crater II were observed from the Volcano Observation Post in Salili during late June. Incandescence from the lava dome was also observed at night. Lava flowed from the S part of the dome; incandescent avalanches from the front of the lava flow again traveled up to 2.3 km down the Batuawang and Kahetang drainages. Seismic activity continued to be high, although the number of daily earthquake indicating avalanches had dropped below 100 per day at the end of June. MODVOLC thermal anomaly pixels were recorded on 2-4, 9, and 11 June, far fewer than in May.

PVMBG reported that during the last two weeks of July 2015, white plumes rose 250 m above the main crater and 25 m above the second crater (crater II). Incandescence from the lava dome was observed at night when skies were clear, and incandescent avalanches from the fronts of new 150-m-long lava flows traveled up to 2.3 km E down the Batuawang, Kahetang and Keting drainages. Seismicity was dominated by signals characteristic of avalanches, with rare volcanic earthquakes. The Alert Level remained at 3. During the month, fewer MODVOLC thermal alerts were recorded than during May and June, only on 4, 6, 11, and 25 July.

Seismicity related to avalanche activity increased significantly on 14 August 2015 and the number of daily events spiked on 20 August to 599, marking a period of increased activity that continued into November (figure 13). Strong MODVOLC thermal alert signals reappeared on 10 August 2015 and continued with multiple-pixel signals almost daily until 1 October when they became more intermittent. The MIROVA thermal anomaly data also corroborated increased thermal activity during this period (figure 14).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. Seismic amplitude data (RSAM) from Karangetang, 1 January 2015 through 17 February 2016. Activity increased notably in the third week of August 2015 and remained elevated through the end of October, followed by intermittent pulses of activity through February 2016. Courtesy of PVMBG, (G. Karangetang Activity Report, 17 February 2015).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. MIROVA thermal anomaly data for Karangetang from 14 March 2015 through 14 March 2016. The tapering of activity between May and July 2015 corresponds well with MODVOLC, seismic, and observational data for that period. Heightened activity between August and October 2015 also corresponds with increased seismic activity, abundant MODVOLC thermal anomaly pixels, visual observations of lava flows and ash plumes, and numerous VAAC reports during this time. Courtesy of MIROVA (published originally by PVMBG in G. Karangetang Activity Report, 16 March 2016).

The Darwin VAAC reported that on 28 August 2015 a pyroclastic cloud was observed on satellite. The ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.4 km and drifted 55 km ENE. They also observed a number of ash plumes between 10 and 17 September that rose as high as 3 km and drifted up to 130 km generally E. Lava fountains as high as 300 m were observed from the Volcano Observation Post in Salili during 9-16 September. Debris fell as far as 300 m from the summit crater into the Kinali River. Incandescent avalanches from the fronts of 200-m-long lava flows traveled up to 2.5 km down the Batuawang, Kahetang, Keting, and Batang drainages; brownish smoke was observed at the end of the Batuawang flows. The Alert Level remained at 3.

During October 2015, MODVOLC thermal anomaly pixels became more intermittent, appearing on 10 days during the month, far fewer than September. Steam plumes from the main crater were observed from Salili up to 150 m above the crater along with incandescence on clear nights. Lava flows remained active 200 m from the crater still sending pyroclastic avalanches down the Batuawang, Kahetang, Keting, and Batang drainages up to 2 km from the lava fronts. The flows had increased to 600 m long between 19 and 22 October and the avalanches continued. Most seismicity decreased in early October, except harmonic tremor, suggesting that magma movement inside the volcano persisted. The Darwin VAAC reported that on 8 October an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.7 km and drifted 65 km E and that during 18 October ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.1 km and drifted 75-95 km NE. Constant harmonic tremors for 6 hours on 20 October indicated magma was still active.

Seismicity continued its steady decline since early September during November (figure 13), although tremor activity continued. Incandescence was still visible from the lava dome at night according to PVMBG, and the incandescent avalanches were still travelling up to 1.5 km down the Batuawang and Kahetang drainages. Steam plumes rose generally 50-200 m, and occasionally 400 m from the main crater. A lahar in Batuawang drainage flowed as far as the village of Bebali and covered about 50 m of the Ondong-Ulu highway on 20 November, similar to the event of 18 June. MODVOLC recorded only two thermal anomaly pixels at the summit, both on 25 November.

By December 2015, incandescence was still observed at the crater from the Volcano Observatory in Salili, but steam plumes rarely exceeded 150 m. A single MODVOLC thermal anomaly pixel, was recorded on 9 December, and spikes in seismic amplitudes were recorded on 21 and 22 December.

Activity during 2016. According to PVMBG, Karangetang was quiet during most of January 2016, although incandescence was reported from the main crater, and plumes of bluish and white smoke rose 50-100 m. There were no reports of active lava flows or incandescent avalanches, but the accumulation of material in the Batuawang drainage made the possibility of damaging lahars during the rainy season very high. The relatively constant number of shallow (VB) earthquakes suggested that the lava dome was growing slowly; there was a two-fold increase in RSAM values during the month (figure 13). Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported three ash plumes during the month; on 12 January an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.2 km and drifted 65 km NW, on 14 January a steam-and-ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.2 km and drifted over 35 km W, and the next day an ash-and-steam plume rose to an altitude of 2.7 km and drifted about 20 km SW.

Incandescence continued at the summit during February and early March 2016 along with bluish-white plumes rising 25-100 m from the summit crater. Seismic energy values (RSAM) remained elevated during February, suggesting continued growth of the lava dome. The last MODIS thermal anomaly observed by PVMBG was on 8 March. Although they continued to observe incandescence 10-25 m above the summit and bluish-white emissions to 150 m through 15 March, they lowered the Alert Level from 3 to 2 on 16 March, noting that even though the RSAM seismic energy values were still above normal, they had been stable for some time. The MIROVA Thermal Anomaly Radiative Power data from March 2016 also showed a significant decline in thermal energy released from the volcano compared with the period from late April through November 2015 (figure 14). Although no further reports were issued by PVMBG or Darwin VAAC, the thermal anomalies detected by MIROVA continued at low to moderate levels during 2016, suggesting a persistent heat source at the volcano (figure 15).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. MIROVA Log Radiative Power Thermal Anomaly data for Karangetang from 14 Dec 2015 through 14 December 2016 showing continued low-energy thermal anomalies during the period. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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/); Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), National Disaster Management Agency, Graha BNPB - Jl. Scout Kav.38 East Jakarta 13120 (URL: http://www.bnpb.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/); 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/); Jaringan Berita Terluas di Indonesia, http://www.jpnn.com/read/2015/01/23/283204/Awas,-Lahar-Dingin-Karangetang-Kembali-Mengancam.


Marapi (Indonesia) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Marapi

Indonesia

0.38°S, 100.474°E; summit elev. 2885 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic explosion on 14 November 2015 causes ashfall on the SW flank

Explosions occurred at Marapi (not to be confused with the better known Merapi on Java) during August 2011; March, May, and September 2012; and February 2014 (BGVN 40:05). This report discusses activity during 2015 and 2016. All information was provided by the Indonesian Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM). During the reporting period, the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4); residents and visitors were advised not to enter an area within 3 km of the summit.

According to PVMBG, diffuse white plumes rose as high as 300 above Marapi's crater during February-25 May 2015, 150 m above the crater during 1 August-16 November 2015, and 250 m above the crater during 1 November 2015-19 January 2016. Inclement weather often prevented observations.

Seismicity fluctuated during this time, dominated by earthquakes centered a long distance from the volcano. However, tremor increased significantly during August 2015 through at least the middle of January 2016 (figure 4). A phreatic explosion at 2233 on 14 November 2015, generated an ash plume, and ashfall was noted in Panyalaian and Aia Angek on the SW flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Types and daily number of earthquakes recorded at Marapi during 1 January 2015-18 January 2016. Key: eruptive earthquakes (Letusan), emission-type "blowing" earthquakes (Hembus), shallow earthquakes (VB), deep earthquakes (VA), local earthquakes (Lokal), and long-distance earthquakes (Jauh). The terms shallow and deep were not quantified. Courtesy of PVMBG (23 January 2016 report).

Geologic Background. Gunung Marapi, not to be confused with the better-known Merapi volcano on Java, is Sumatra's most active volcano. This massive complex stratovolcano rises 2,000 m above the Bukittinggi Plain in the Padang Highlands. A broad summit contains multiple partially overlapping summit craters constructed within the small 1.4-km-wide Bancah caldera. The summit craters are located along an ENE-WSW line, with volcanism migrating to the west. More than 50 eruptions, typically consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been recorded since the end of the 18th century; no lava flows outside the summit craters have been reported in historical time.

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/).


Monowai (New Zealand) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Monowai

New Zealand

25.887°S, 177.188°W; summit elev. -132 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Frequent submarine eruptions through November 2016; discolored water observations

Evidence of submarine volcanism at Monowai has been frequently observed since October 1977, when the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) noted a plume of discolored water above the seamount. Most subsequent eruptions have been determined based on additional observations of discolored water or the seismic detection of acoustic waves (T waves or T phases) caused by explosive activity. Monitoring reports are provided by New Zealand's GeoNet through their website and other publications. The hydro-acoustic signals are most frequently detected by seismometers in Rarotonga (Cook Islands) or by the Polynesian Seismic Network (Réseau Sismique Polynésien, or RSP) in Tahiti. Research visits over the past 20 years have resulted in many detailed analyses of morphological changes due to volcanism and subsequent collapses.

Some of those results have been reviewed in previous Bulletin reports. This issue will focus on reviewing eruptive episodes after a sector-collapse event on 24 May 2002, which caused anomalous seismic signals originally thought to be explosive in nature. Following the May 2002 event, no activity was detected until T phases were recorded during 1-24 November 2002 (figure 28 and see BGVN 28:02). The next eruptive period began on 10 April 2003 (figure 28 and see BGVN 28:05) and continued until a seismic swarm on 14 August 2004 (BGVN 28:11, 30:07), which included the building of a new cone and ended just prior to a bathymetric survey from the R/V Tangaroa in September 2004. Another sequence of swarms began on 2 March 2005 and continued until 27 June 2006. Although there appear to have been small signals in September 2006, scientists at the Laboratoire de Géophysique, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA/DASE/LDG) reported that there were 6 months of quiet after the June 2006 swarms (BGVN 32:01).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Monitoring data from the Polynesian Seismic Network showing T wave swarms at Monowai throughout January 2002-December 2007. The times of the September 2004 and May 2007 bathymetric surveys (dashed vertical lines), and the time of the anomalous 24 May 2002 swarm (arrows) are shown. (top) Number of T wave events per day. (bottom) Amplitudes of T wave events, in nanometers as recorded at station TVO in Tahiti. Note unusually high amplitude of the 24 May 2002 event, interpreted as the sector collapse between the 1998 and 2004 surveys. Modified from Chadwick et al. (2008).

While the R/V Sonne was on site conducting a bathymetric survey during 1-4 May 2007 (Chadwick et al, 2008), scientists heard booming sounds and saw slicks and bubbles on the surface (BGVN 33:03). That activity was part of an eruptive period that began on 12 December 2006 and continued into at least early November 2007 (figure 29 and see BGVN 32:01). A "big acoustic event" was detected by the Polynesian Seismic Network (Réseau Sismique Polynésien, or RSP) on 8 February 2008 (BGVN 33:03).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 29. Monitoring data from the Polynesian Seismic Network showing the T wave swarms at Monowai in December 2006 and January 2007. (top) Number of events per day, (bottom) amplitude at station TVO in nanometers. Modified from Chadwick et al. (2008).

A network of 23 ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS) and hydrophones was deployed in July 2007 over the fore-arc just to the E of Monowai at distances of 70-250 km to acquire data about local seismicity associated with subduction (Grevemeyer et al., 2016). The instruments also detected T waves and direct wave signals from the ongoing explosive activity. Analysis by Grevemeyer et al. (2016) showed that between deployment and recovery at the end of January 2008 there had been more than 2,000 events associated with Monowai, clustered into 13-15 major sequences that each lasted between several hours to about two days. Quiet periods between the event sequences varied between 1 and 70 days.

Intermittent activity during 2009 was described in a GeoNet posting from 6 January 2010. Activity was noted in early and mid-May, early July, mid-September (figure 30), late October (figure 31), mid-November, late November to early December, and mid-December 2009 based on seismic data recorded in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. On 27 October the RNZAF overflew the area and confirmed the activity, observing discolored sea water related to suspended sediment and precipitates. Another flight in May 2010 did not show similar activity. A summary of 2010 activity in New Zealand by GeoNet noted continued evidence of small-scale eruptive activity on the Rarotonga seismic record during the year (no dates given), but no activity was confirmed by surface observations.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 30. Seismic data from Rarotonga showing an eruption at Monowai during 13-17 September 2009. Courtesy of GNS.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Aerial photo of discolored water near Monowai on 27 October 2009. Photo taken by Royal New Zealand Air Force, courtesy of GeoNet.

According to Metz et al. (2016), explosive eruptions took place over a period of five days in May 2011 (17 May-22 May) as detected by T phase waves recorded at broadband seismic stations on Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Papeete (Tahiti), and the Marquesas Islands. Signals were also received at an International Monitoring System hydrophone array (maintained by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) near Ascension Island, ~15,800 km from the seamount in the equatorial South Atlantic Ocean.

Discolored water with gas bubbles and a sulfurous odor was observed during a planned swath mapping visit by the R/V Sonne on 14 May 2011 (Peirce and Watts, 2011). A second round of mapping on the return transit was accomplished on 1-2 June, after the episode of explosive activity already discussed. Watts et al. (2012) showed that there had been a depth change to the summit of 18.8 m between two surveys (BGVN 37:06), which was attributed to the growth of a cone or lava spine during the intervening eruption.

There was an additional visual confirmation of activity in August 2011, and GeoNet stated that activity was continuing in September. The 2011 volcanic summary by GeoNet again noted undated evidence of small-scale activity seen in the Rarotonga seismic data.

Seismicity during 1-4 June 2012 indicated another period of significant activity, which was confirmed by discolored seawater in the area observed from an RNZAF flight on 3 June. Seismographs in Rarotonga recorded eruptive activity during 3-19 August 2012 (figure 32). A posting from GeoNet on 2 October noted that Monowai had "not been active recently."

Figure (see Caption) Figure 32. Seismic data from Rarotonga showing an eruption at Monowai during 3-19 August 2012. Courtesy of GNS.

There were no GeoNet reports of activity during 2013. However, the R/V Sonne was planning to add to the time series of maps of Monowai while making a final transit to Auckland (Werner et al., 2013). While they were approaching the seamount on 1 January 2014, with a summit estimated to be ~60 m below the surface based on 2011 bathymetry data, scientists noticed a light yellowish water discoloration and a faint rumble. The cruise report further noted that during profiling close to the summit a "sudden and significant increase in volcanic activity with explosive hydroclastic eruptions was accompanied by thunder and shock waves rapidly spreading out on the water surface." Pumice was also collected in the vicinity, but the source volcano was not known.

In a GeoNet volcanic activity update on 10 November 2014, Brad Scott observed that there had been eruptions detected during approximately 16-22 and 23-27 October, and 1-5 November (figure 33) based on T phase waves measured at Rarotonga, but the activity appeared to be weaker than that seen in 2009 and 2012. Confirming these observations was material seen floating on the ocean surface over the seamount by a RNZAF airplane on 31 October 2014 (figure 34). GeoNet noted that volcanic activity regularly occurs about 3-10 days a month; the yearly summary said the seamount erupted often in 2014.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 33. Eruptive activity at Monowai during October-November 2014 identified on a seismic amplitude plot recorded from the Rarotonga T phase seismic monitoring site. Courtesy of GeoNet.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 34. Aerial view from a RNZAF airplane of the ocean over Monowai showing floating debris (pumice) on 31 October 2014. Courtesy of GeoNet.

There were no reports of activity during 2015, but a plume of discolored water was once again seen by the RNZAF on 19 May 2016. According to a 16 November 2016 GeoNet update by Brad Scott, activity was recorded for about 24 hours over 11-12 November. The report noted that this type of activity is seen a few days every month.

References: Chadwick, W.W., Jr., Wright, I.C., Schwarz-Schampera, U., Hyvernaud O., Reymond, D., and de Ronde, C.E.J., 2008, Cyclic eruptions and sector collapses at Monowai submarine volcano, Kermadec arc: 1998-2007, GeochemistryGeophysicsGeosystemsG3, v. 9, p. 1-17 (DOI: 10.1029/2008GC002113).

Grevemeyer, I., Metz, D., and Watts, A., 2016, Submarine explosive activity and ocean noise generation at Monowai Volcano, Kermadec Arc: constraints from hydroacoustic T-waves: EGU General Assembly 2016.

Peirce, C. and Watts, A., 2011, R/V Sonne SO215 - Cruise Report, The Louisville Ridge - Tonga Trench collision: Implications for subduction zone dynamics: Durham, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham University.

Metz, D., Watts, A.B., Grevemeyer, I., Rodgers, M., and Paulatto, M., 2016 (22 February), Ultra-long-range hydroacoustic observations of submarine volcanic activity at Monowai, Kermadec Arc, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 43, no. 4, p. 1529-1536.

Watts, A.B., Peirce, C., Grevemeyer, I., Paulatto, M., Stratford, W., Bassett, D., Hunter, J.A., Kalnins, L.M., and de Ronde, C.E.J., 2012 (13 May), Rapid rates of growth and collapse of Monowai submarine volcano in the Kermadec Arc, Nature Geoscience, v. 5, p. 510-515 (DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1473).

Werner, R., D. Nürnberg, and F. Hauff, 2013, RV SONNE — Cruise report SO225, Helmholtz-Zentrum fur Ozeanforschung Kiel (GEOMAR) (DOI: 10.3289/GEOMAR_REP_NS_5_2012).

Geologic Background. Monowai, also known as Orion seamount, rises to within 100 m of the sea surface about halfway between the Kermadec and Tonga island groups. The volcano lies at the southern end of the Tonga Ridge and is slightly offset from the Kermadec volcanoes. Small parasitic cones occur on the N and W flanks of the basaltic submarine volcano, which rises from a depth of about 1500 m and was named for one of the New Zealand Navy bathymetric survey ships that documented its morphology. A large 8.5 x 11 km wide submarine caldera with a depth of more than 1500 m lies to the NNE. Numerous eruptions from Monowai have been detected from submarine acoustic signals since it was first recognized as a volcano in 1977. A shoal that had been reported in 1944 may have been a pumice raft or water disturbance due to degassing. Surface observations have included water discoloration, vigorous gas bubbling, and areas of upwelling water, sometimes accompanied by rumbling noises.

Information Contacts: New Zealand GeoNet Project, a collaboration between the Earthquake Commission and GNS Science, Wairakei Research Centre, Private Bag 2000, Taupo 3352, New Zealand (URL: http://www.geonet.org.nz/).


Rabaul (Papua New Guinea) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Rabaul

Papua New Guinea

4.271°S, 152.203°E; summit elev. 688 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Details of 29 August 2014 Strombolian eruption; update through 2016

The large eruption of 29 August 2014 at the Tavurvur stratovolcano of Rabaul caldera, on the NE tip of New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea, followed a period of minor ash eruptions earlier in the year (BGVN 39:08). The volcano has been intermittently active since a major eruption in September 1994, which was its first eruption in over 50 years. During the 1994 eruption, a lava flow, tephra ejection, and an ash plume rising to 18 km caused the evacuation of over 50,000 people from the surrounding area, significant damage to nearby Rabaul Town, several deaths, and disrupted air traffic for several days (BGVN 19:08, 19:09). Additional information for the 2014 eruption, and subsequent activity covered in this report, was compiled by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) and issued by the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management of Papua New Guinea (DMPGM). Aviation alerts for Rabaul are issued by the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). A number of news outlets also covered the eruption with photographs, videos, and interviews of local residents.

A Strombolian eruption at Tavurvur began shortly after 0330 local time on 29 August 2014. This was followed by an ash plume rising to 18 km altitude. Smaller explosions at irregular intervals continued through 0641 on 30 August. After this, plumes of white vapor and slightly bluish gas returned, except for an ash plume reported on 12 September and a small explosion on 18 September. The volcano remained quiet after this and through 2016, although ground deformation data indicated a gradual inflation of about 6 cm over the period.

Activity during August-December 2014. Prior to August 2014, DMPGM reported that ground deformation measurements from the GPS station on Matupit Island (3 km W) had been showing increasing inflation, first detected in March 2014 (figure 67). In the days immediately before the 29 August 2014 eruption, Tavurvur had been emitting a diffuse plume of white vapor. An explosion occurred on 6 August, and an inspection of the summit crater on 8 August revealed an incandescent area covered by debris.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. Locations of ground deformation (red), seismic (green) and thermal (orange) monitoring stations around Tavurvur volcano at Rabaul Caldera, New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea. Matupit Island is the peninsula immediately W of Tavurvur. Image courtesy WOVOdat.

The activity on 29 August 2014 started slowly between 0330 and 0400 local time and then developed into a Strombolian eruption accompanied by loud explosions, roaring, and rumbling. The stronger explosions generated shockwaves which rattled windows and doors in the area. At dawn, the eruption plume could be seen blowing W over the Malguna villages, about 8 km NW, at an altitude of 3,000 m (figure 68). Rabaul Town, 7 km NW of Tavurvur, was initially affected by ash, as was Volavolo (20 km W), but a shift in wind direction sent the plume in a more WNW direction by mid-morning. Villages to the E and S were not affected by ash, but ashfall was reported in Keravat, about 25 km SW. High levels of seismic tremor were recorded during the eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. Eruption of Mt. Tavurvur, the active stratovolcano of Rabaul caldera, on 29 August 2014. The ash plume rose to 18 km altitude and dispersed ash to the W and NW of the volcano. Courtesy of OLIVER BLUETT/AFP/Getty Images, printed in The Washington Post.

DMPGM reported that the Strombolian eruption had begun to subside around 0645, and by 0700 only a diffuse white plume was being emitted and seismicity had decreased. Another report at 1600 noted that strong explosions continued throughout the day at irregular intervals, producing ash plumes that rose rapidly to 1,000 m above the summit before drifting NW. The explosions also ejected lava fragments of various sizes in all directions 500 to 1,000 m from the summit crater (figure 69). Shock waves accompanied the loud explosions and rattled buildings within several kilometers of the volcano. Intermittent explosions at increasing intervals continued into the following night generating incandescent lava fragments around the summit. Seismicity was dominated by discrete events that were associated with the explosions. The strong explosions ceased at 0641 on 30 August, and no incandescence was observed after that. By the morning of 31 August, seismicity had decreased from 80 events/hour to 15/hour. According to DMPGM, the eruption deposited a significant amount of ash and scoria on the hillsides of Rabaul Town and Malaguna Villages to the NW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Incandescent lava exploding from Tavurvur (Rabaul Caldera) on 29 August 2014. Courtesy of Emma Edwards, reported at Traveller.com.

The initial ash plume from the eruption was first observed in satellite imagery by the Darwin VAAC around 0900 local time on 29 August, and rose to over 18 km altitude. The upper part of the plume was originally drifting SW, then changed to NW, and the lower part at 4.3 km altitude was moving NW. By late morning, the plume was moving in three directions at different altitudes; NW at 4.3 km, S at 16.7 km, and W at 18.3 km. The high-level ash from the original eruption had dissipated by the evening on 30 August, but low-level plumes to 2.1 km were still reported.

A substantial SO2 plume was recorded by the OMI Instrument on the Aura Satellite on 29 August, and was still measurable a day later (figure 70) drifting S. The MODVOLC thermal anomaly system recorded anomalous pixels at Rabaul captured by MODIS satellite data between 29 August and 1 September 2014.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. SO2 plumes captured by the OMI instrument on the AURA satellite from Rabaul on 29 and 30 August 2014. Rabaul is the triangle at the top right corner of the crescent shaped island of New Britain at the center of the image. Courtesy of NASA/GSFC.

From 1 to 17 September emissions consisted of variable amounts of diffuse to dense white vapor and small traces of diffuse blue vapor. Southeast winds were recirculating significant amounts of fine ash back into the atmosphere. A plume was reported by the Darwin VAAC on 12 September at 3 km altitude, drifting NW. Seismicity had decreased to very low levels with only 10-30 events recorded per day during the first half of September. A single small explosion occurred at 1242 on 18 September according to DMPGM that produced a small, light-gray ash plume that rose a few hundred meters above the summit crater before dissipating to the NW.

A site inspection of Tavurvur crater was conducted by DMPGM on 23 September 2014, and they observed significant changes in the crater since the 29 August eruption. The crater floor was filled with blocky lavas, and thus much shallower than when last observed prior to the eruption. Three or four areas of active emissions were present within the crater, and the rim was covered with large blocks of lava. By the end of September, seismicity had dropped to less than 10 low-frequency earthquakes per week. In mid-October DMPGM observed that the ground deformation data from the Matupit GPS station indicated that there had been an inflation of about 4 cm since the benchmark reached on 29 August during the eruption. Ground deformation was stable during November. During a field inspection of the summit crater on 9 December 2014, scientists measured a temperature of 310°C at a hot spot on the upper flank. Numerous patches of diffuse white vapor emissions were present at different places on the inner walls of the crater, and the crater floor seemed to have subsided slightly since the prior visit.

Activity during 2015 and 2016. A report by DMPGM from March 2015 noted that Tavurvur remained quiet with the summit crater releasing various amounts of diffuse white vapor, which was slightly denser during periods of rain. There was no observed incandescence or noise, and seismicity was low, with only a small number of both high-frequency and volcano-tectonic earthquakes recorded on 10 and 13 February. Ground deformation data indicated a general inflationary trend since September 2014 of about 5 cm. Monthly reports issued by DMPGM in March and April indicated little activity at Tavurvur, and stability of the ground deformation data. On 17 May 2015 a strong, earthquake of M 5.1 originating NE of Rabaul Caldera 1-2 km offshore from Korere and Nodup (about 9 km NW of Tavurvur) generated a swarm of aftershocks in the same area. They occurred at a depth of about 9 km and caused several small landslides in various places on the N flank of Kombiu, another stratovolcano at Rabaul about 2.5 km NE of Tavurvur.

Tavurvur remained quiet from September through November with occasional diffuse white vapor plumes rising from the summit caldera, and no volcanic earthquakes reported. While a long-term inflationary trend continued through November, shorter term fluctuations up and down of a few centimeters in the ground deformation data were also observed. The trend of vertical uplift between January 2015 and December 2016 showed an increase of approximately 6 cm during the period (figure 71).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. Vertical uplift at the Matupit GPS station for Rabaul between 1 January 2015 and 1 December 2016. The trend shows a gradual inflation of about 6-7 cm. Courtesy of DMPGM (Volcano Information Bulletin No. 12-122016, 4 December 2016).

Geologic Background. The low-lying Rabaul caldera on the tip of the Gazelle Peninsula at the NE end of New Britain forms a broad sheltered harbor utilized by what was the island's largest city prior to a major eruption in 1994. The outer flanks of the 688-m-high asymmetrical pyroclastic shield volcano are formed by thick pyroclastic-flow deposits. The 8 x 14 km caldera is widely breached on the east, where its floor is flooded by Blanche Bay and was formed about 1400 years ago. An earlier caldera-forming eruption about 7100 years ago is now considered to have originated from Tavui caldera, offshore to the north. Three small stratovolcanoes lie outside the northern and NE caldera rims. Post-caldera eruptions built basaltic-to-dacitic pyroclastic cones on the caldera floor near the NE and western caldera walls. Several of these, including Vulcan cone, which was formed during a large eruption in 1878, have produced major explosive activity during historical time. A powerful explosive eruption in 1994 occurred simultaneously from Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes and forced the temporary abandonment of Rabaul city.

Information Contacts: Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM), Volcano Observatory, Geohazards Management Division, 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/); 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); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVOdat), hosted by Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798 www.wovodat.org; The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/29/photos-in-papua-new-guinea-mount-tavurvur-explodes-in-spectacular-style/); Traveller.com, http://www.traveller.com.au/qantas-reroutes-flights-as-pngs-rabaul-volcano-erupts-109utz .


Sheveluch (Russia) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Sheveluch

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Dome extrusion, hot block avalanches, and strong explosions continue through August 2015

An eruption at Sheveluch has been ongoing since 1999, and the activity there was previously described through February 2015 (BGVN 42:01). During March-August 2015, the same type of activity prevailed, with lava dome extrusion, incandescence, hot block avalanches, fumarolic activity, and occasional strong explosions that generated ash plumes. Most of the following data comes from Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reports. During this period the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

KVERT reported that during 27 February-15 May 2015, lava-dome extrusion onto the N flank continued to be accompanied by incandescence, hot block avalanches, and fumarolic activity. This activity diminished somewhat during 22 May-14 July, when lava-dome extrusion was accompanied only by fumarolic activity. However, heightened activity resumed during 15 July-31 August, when KVERT reported that lava-dome extrusion was accompanied by fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, and hot avalanches.

Between 28 February and the middle of April 2015, strong explosions generated ash plumes that rose to 7-12 km altitude. Ash drifted as much as 885 km in various directions, and ash fell in Ust-Kamchatsk (85 km SE) at least twice in March. Based on KVERT reports, ash plumes on 15 June and 5-6 July only rose as high as 3.3-5 km in altitude.

A daily thermal anomaly was detected 27 February-15 May, except when cloud cover obscured views. During 16-30 May, thermal anomalies were only detected occasionally in satellite images, but became more frequent thereafter, depending on cloud cover. KVERT reported that during 10 July-31 August, satellite images again detected an almost daily thermal anomaly over the dome.

Thermal anomalies based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm were infrequent during the reporting period, in contrast to the almost daily hotspots reported by KVERT. One hotspot was detected in March, April, and June, none in May, four in July, and eight in August.

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

Information Contacts: Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT), Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 9 Piip Blvd., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 683006, Russia (URL: http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/); 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/).


Sinabung (Indonesia) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Sinabung

Indonesia

3.17°N, 98.392°E; summit elev. 2460 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption continues during May-October 2016; multiple fatalities from pyroclastic flows and lahars

The latest eruption of Sinabung that began mid-September 2013 (BGVN 38:09) had persisted through April 2016 (BGVN 41:09). This report describes the continuing activity from May-October 2016, and unfortunately included a fatality. Data were primarily drawn from reports issued by the Indonesian Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG, CVGHM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), and the Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (National Disaster Management Authority, BNPB).

Inclement weather sometimes prevented visual observations. Throughout the reporting period, the Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4), indicating that the public should remain outside of a 3-km radius; those within 7 km of the volcano on the SSE sector, and within 6 km in the ESE sector, and 4 km in the NNE sector should evacuate.

According to the Darwin VAAC and PVMBG reports, a number of ash plumes were observed each month (table 6). They generally rose to altitudes of 3.3-5.5, although one rose as high as 5.9 km.

Table 6. Ash plumes with altitudes and drift directions reported at Sinabung from May 2016 to October 2016. Weather clouds often prevented observations. Courtesy of PVMBG, Darwin VAAC, and BNPB.

Date Ash plume altitude (km) Ash plume drift
04-05, 09-10 May 2016 3.6-4.8 W
11-13, 16 May 2016 3-4.5 SW, W, WNW, NW
18, 21-22, 24 May 2016 3.6-5.5 S, E
26-29 May 2016 3.6-4.9 --
05-07 Jun 2016 3.3-3.9 SW
10-11 Jun 2016 3.3-5.9 S, WSW, W
19-20 Jun 2016 4.3-4.6 SE, E
25-27 Jun 2016 3.7 E
29 Jun-05 Jul 2016 3.4-5.5 Multiple
06, 08-09, 11 Jul 2016 3.7-5.5 SE, E, NE, W
15-16, 19 Jul 2016 4.6 NW, W, SW
21-22, 24-25 Jul 2016 3.7-4.6 NW, NE, SE
27-28 Jul, 01 Aug 2016 4-4.3 NE, E, SSE
03-05, 07 Aug 2016 3.7-5.5 SE, NE, NNW
15 Aug 2016 4.3 E
17, 21-22 Aug 2016 4 SE
26 Aug 2016 6.1 NW, NNE
29 Aug 2016 4.6 ENE
30 Aug 2016 5.2 NW
01-03 Sep 2016 4.3-5.5 W, WSW
17 Sep 2016 3.3 E
23-25 Sep 2016 3.6-4.2 E, ESE, SE
28-29 Sep 2016 3.6-3.9 E
05 Oct 2016 3.3 SE
12 Oct 2016 4.6 E
26, 29 Oct 2016 4.2 SSE
31 Oct-01 Nov 2016 3.4 NE

According to BNPB, a lahar passed through Kutambaru village, 20 km NW of Sinabung and near the Lau Barus River, at 1545 on 9 May 2016, killing a boy and injuring four more. One person was missing. A news article (Okezone News) noted that three houses were also damaged.

BNPB reported that a pyroclastic flow descended the flanks at 1648 on 21 May, killing six people and critically injuring three more. A later CBS news account on 22 May indicated that seven people had died, with two in critical condition. The victims were gardening in the village of Gamber, 4 km SE from the summit crater, in the restricted zone. The report noted that activity remained high; four pyroclastic flows descended the flanks on 21 May.

On 3 July, BNPB reported that the eruption continued at a very high level. Lava was incandescent as far as 1 km down the SE and E flanks, and multiple avalanches were detected. An explosion at 1829 generated an ash plume that rose 1.5 km and drifted E and SE, causing ashfall in Medan (55 km NE). There were 2,592 families (9,319 people) displaced to nine shelters, and an additional 1,683 families in temporary shelters waiting for relocation.

According to BNPB, on 24 August, observers at the PVMBG Sinabung observation post noted a marked increase in seismicity and counted 19 pyroclastic flows and 137 avalanches from the early morning until the late afternoon. Foggy conditions obscured visual observations through most of the day, although incandescent lava as far as 500 m SSE and 1 km ESE was noted in the morning, and a pyroclastic flow was seen traveling 3.5 km ESE at 1546. The lava dome had grown to a volume of 2.6 million cubic meters. Activity remained very high on 25 August; pyroclastic flows continuously descended the flanks, traveling as far as 2.5 km E and SE, and 84 avalanches occurred during the first part of the day.

Thermal anomalies. During the reporting period, thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, occurred during one to five days every month. Only three days had more than one pixel (1, 3 May, 8 October). The Mirova (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) volcano hotspot detection system, also based on analysis of MODIS data, detected thermal anomalies every month during the reporting period within 5 km of the volcano, with the heaviest concentration in May and fewest in September and October.

Geologic Background. Gunung Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano with many lava flows on its flanks. The migration of summit vents along a N-S line gives the summit crater complex an elongated form. The youngest crater of this conical andesitic-to-dacitic edifice is at the southern end of the four overlapping summit craters. The youngest deposit is a SE-flank pyroclastic flow 14C dated by Hendrasto et al. (2012) at 740-880 CE. An unconfirmed eruption was noted in 1881, and solfataric activity was seen at the summit and upper flanks in 1912. No confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to explosive eruptions during August-September 2010 that produced ash plumes to 5 km above the summit.

Information Contacts: 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/); 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/); 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/); Okezone News (URL: http://news.okezone.com/); CBS News (URL: http://www.cbsnews.com/).


Veniaminof (United States) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Veniaminof

United States

56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Lava flows, Strombolian activity, and ash plumes during 13 June-17 October 2013

Mount Veniaminof, located on the Alaska Peninsula, has a large glacier-filled summit caldera that formed around 3,700 years ago. A cone within the crater has been the source of at least 13 eruptions in the last 200 years that included intermittent steam and ash emissions, incandescent lava flows, and Strombolian activity. Prior to an eruptive episode that began in June 2013, lava had last erupted during Strombolian activity in February 2005; subsequent minor ash emissions occurred later in 2005, November 2006, and February 2008. Pilots reported ash plumes in January and June 2009, but the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) concluded that the plumes were steam-only. Veniaminof is closely monitored by AVO and the Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also has a web camera in Perryville, 35 km E of the volcano. This review draws heavily from a USGS report on the June through October 2013 eruption (Dixon et al., 2015).

Beginning on 7 June 2013, a several-day period of increasing levels of seismic tremor indicated the start of a largely effusive eruption from the intracaldera cinder cone (figure 17). The first ash plume was observed on 13 June. Over the next four months, numerous emissions rose to altitudes generally below 4.6 km and coated the flanks of the cone with ash, Strombolian explosions were visually observed several times, and lava flowed down the N and S flanks of the active cone and advanced onto the surrounding ice-filled caldera creating ice cauldrons. The eruption constructed a new spatter cone within the summit crater of the main active cone. Activity had ceased by 17 October 2013. A brief period of elevated seismicity occurred during October and November 2015, but no eruptive activity was recorded.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Topographic map of Mount Veniaminof showing the margin of the caldera (red dashed line) and the active cone within the caldera (black circle). Seismic stations VNWF and VNHG were the most fully operable of the network in June 2013. The caldera is 10 km in diameter. Courtesy of AVO/UAFGI, 19 June 2013 (AVO database image URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/images/image.php?id=50831).

Gradually increasing low-frequency tremor was recorded on two seismograph stations at Veniaminof, along with elevated surface temperatures of the intracaldera cinder cone recorded via satellite images on 7 June 2013. This led AVO to increase the 4-level Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level from Green/Normal to Yellow/Advisory the next day. By 13 June, seismicity levels and elevated surface temperatures at the summit of the cinder cone (as measured by satellite images) indicated an eruption was likely underway, causing AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level to Orange/Watch. Observation of an ash plume at an altitude of 3.7 km by a pilot that evening along with a lava flow effusing from the intra-caldera cinder cone confirmed the eruption.

Residents in Perryville (32 km SSE) and Port Moller (77 km WSW) also observed ash emissions at about 2330 local time that evening. The first VAAC report around the same time listed the ash plume at 4.3 km altitude, drifting NNE. Ash deposits on the snow-covered caldera floor, and lava on the cone, were visible in satellite images on 14 June. The first MODVOLC thermal anomaly pixels from MODIS satellite data also appeared on 14 June. On 18 June the web camera in Perryville captured short-lived ash plumes rising to less than 4.6 km, and residents in Sandy River (33 km W) reported visible plumes to similar altitudes the next day. The 100-m-wide lava flow extended 500 m down the SW flank of the cone onto the adjacent snow and ice field by 18 June. Interaction of the lava with the caldera snow-and-ice field generated water-rich ash plumes. Clear satellite views the following day showed active flow lobes advancing over the ice at the base of the cone.

In subsequent weeks, three flows descended the S flank, and minor amounts of ash accumulated on the caldera floor. Strombolian activity was captured by infrared satellite imagery, from the FAA web camera in Perryville, and from several local lodges and remote camps (figure 18).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. Telephoto view of erupting Mount Veniaminof, 9 July 2013. Photograph was taken from Sandy River about 32 km W of the volcano. Bright orange incandescence indicates lava fountaining from the vent hidden from view within the crater atop the cinder cone. At times, the eruption was characterized by closely spaced bursts that produced 'puffs' of ash. Courtesy of AVO/USGS. Photograph by William Jasper, used with permission (AVO database image URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/images/image.php?id=56303 ).

On 16 July 2013 an AVO geologist visited the caldera by helicopter, making observations and taking the first close-up photographs documenting the lava flows and ice cauldron formation (figure 19). Images of the vent area showed a new cone of accumulated spatter nested within the summit crater of the main cone.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. Southwestern flank of the intracaldera cone at Mount Veniaminof on 16 July 2013 showing lava flows emplaced during the eruptive activity occurring in June and July 2013, and a new cone formed from eruptive spatter. View is toward the east. The flows appear similar to those produced during the 1993 eruption. Courtesy of AVO/USGS. Photograph by Chris Waythomas, 16 July 2013 (AVO database image URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/images/image.php?id=51301 ).

Strong MODVOLC thermal alert pixels, up to 12 per day, continued almost daily through the end of July. A pilot report from 0800 AKDT on 25 July described an ash plume to 100 m above the erupting cone dispersing 25 km to the S, and a "river of lava" flowing from the intracaldera cone. Numerous reports from the Anchorage VAAC between 27 and 31 July confirmed ash plumes rising as high as 4.6 km altitude and drifting up to 20 km NW.

After a brief period of quiet in early August 2013, activity resumed with lava flows and ash plumes on 11 August. On 12 August, satellite imagery confirmed incandescence from the cone and an ash plume was also observed from Perryville. A second overflight under clear skies by AVO geologists on 18 August revealed ash covering the immediate area of the glacier and the lava flows, and an active incandescent flow down the S flank into the ice cauldrons where the hottest parts of the flows were still in contact with ice and water. The S-flank lava flows had coalesced and largely melted into the surrounding ice (figures 20 and 21).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. A small puff of ash emerges from the active cone inside the Veniaminof caldera on 18 August 2013. A fan of lava flows active earlier in the summer descends the southern flank of the cone onto glacial ice, producing white steam clouds and depressions where melting has occurred. The surrounding glacier is darkened by recent ashfall. Courtesy of USGS/AVO. Photograph by Game McGimsey (AVO database image URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/images/image.php?id=55761 ).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Aerial view of the eruption at Veniaminof's intracaldera cone on 18 August 2013, from an overflight co-sponsored by the National Geographic Society. The cone rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. An incandescent orange stream of lava is emerging from the active cone. Steam billows from the pit at the base of the cone where the lava encounters and melts ice and snow creating an ice cauldron. The small, ash-rich plume rising just above the vent produced a diffuse ash cloud that drifted downwind. Courtesy of AVO/USGS. Photograph by Game McGimsey, AVO/USGS (AVO database image at URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/images/image.php?id=56211 ).

Strombolian explosions of incandescent lava and minor ash emissions were observed at the central active vent on 18 August during the flyover. Two new lava flows were also observed issuing from the NE flank of the new cone. Forward Looking Infrared Radiometer (FLIR) images delineated the lava flows and hot spatter on the cone (figure 22). As measured by the FLIR, maximum temperatures reached 700° to 800°C.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. Forward Looking Infrared Radiometer (FLIR) image of the erupting intracaldera cone of Mount Veniaminof on 18 August 2013. In this oversaturated image (due to low thermal imagery setting), the active lava flows (hottest) are red and the lava fountaining at the summit is easily visible. These lava flows are on the NE flank of the cone. Maximum temperatures recorded were between 700° and 800° C. Courtesy of USGS/AVO. FLIR image by Game McGimsey (AVO database image URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/images/image.php?id=57831).

The Anchorage VAAC reported ash plumes on 20 and 21 August 2013 rising to 3.7 km altitude moving SE within a few kilometers of the summit. Residents of Perryville reported rumbling noises, explosions, and trace ashfall on 20 August. Similar, low-level ash plumes and persistent thermal anomalies were detected during the remainder of August. A noted increase in activity on 30 August included elevated levels of continuous tremor, lava fountaining, and ash emissions as high as 6.1 km altitude; this was some of the strongest unrest detected since the eruption began in June. Trace amounts of ashfall were again reported in Perryville. Lava effusion, fountaining, and nearly continuous small ash plumes continued through the first week in September. Satellite and aerial images on 6 and 7 September indicated further development of the flows on the NE flank and expansion of the ice cauldron as well as a new lobe of lava advancing southward from the NE flank ice cauldron (figure 23).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Aerial view of Mount Veniaminof erupting on 7 September 2013. Note the white water vapor clouds indicating that hot lava is interacting with snow and ice. A gray-brown ash column rises from the active vent. The advancing flows in foreground are on the southeastern flank of the cone and were the last flows emplaced in the 2013 eruption. The summit ice field is darkened with recent ash fall. Courtesy AVO/USGS. Photograph by Joyce Alto, used with permission (AVO database image URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/images/image.php?id=56424).

MODVOLC thermal alert pixels ceased on 8 September 2013; the last September satellite imagery detection of volcanic ash emissions as reported by the Anchorage VAAC was on 9 September. By 19 September no evidence of active lava flows was observed in satellite images; seismicity had begun to decrease during the week, and the eruption appeared to be waning. This short-lived period of quiescence ended on 6 October when MODVOLC pixels reappeared through 11 October, suggesting active lava effusion. An ash plume reported by the Anchorage VAAC on 11 October rose to 6.1 km altitude (the highest of this eruption) and trace amounts of ash were reported in the communities of Chignik Lake and Chignik Lagoon, 40-55 km E of the active vent; it was the last VAAC report of an ash plume in 2013. On 17 October AVO noted that seismicity had decreased during the previous week and satellite observations during periods of clear weather showed no evidence of eruptive activity. The Aviation Color Code/Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Yellow/Advisory. Seismicity remained slightly above background levels through the following June, although no further activity was reported. The Alert Level was lowered to Green/Normal on 9 July 2014.

According to the USGS and AVO, the 2013 eruption produced about 5 X 105 m3 of erupted lava, comparable in size to the 1983 eruption. A chart of eruptive events and the real-time seismic amplitude (RSAM) time series data between 13 June and 17 October 2013 prepared by USGS/AVO illustrates the significant eruptive events of this period (figure 24). Additional details of the eruption can be found in Dixon et al., 2015.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. Real-time seismic amplitude (RSAM) time series from seismic station VNWF (located on the lower SW flank of Veniaminof), and significant eruptive events between 9 June and 1 November 2013. The AVO Aviation Color Code during the eruption also is shown. Courtesy of USGS/AVO (figure 25, Dixon et al., 2015).

No further reports of activity from Veniaminof were issued until increased seismic activity began on 30 September 2015. This led AVO to increase the Color Code/Alert Level to Yellow/Advisory the next day. Occasional, clear web camera images from Perryville in the subsequent weeks showed small steam plumes rising from the intracaldera cone but no ash emissions or lava effusions. Slightly elevated levels of seismicity continued until the beginning of December. AVO downgraded the status from Yellow/Advisory to Green/Normal on 11 December 2015.

References: Dixon, J.P., Cameron, Cheryl, McGimsey, R.G., Neal, C.A., and Waythomas, Chris, 2015, 2013 Volcanic activity in Alaska - Summary of events and response of the Alaska Volcano Observatory: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5110, 92 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155110

Waythomas, C.F., 2013, Volcano-ice interactions during recent eruptions of Aleutian Arc volcanoes and implications for melt water generation: Eos Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, abstract V34C-03.

Geologic Background. Veniaminof, on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3,700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667 USA (URL: http://www.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://www.dggs.alaska.gov/); Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Alaska Aviation Weather Unit, NWS NOAA US Dept. of Commerce, 6930 Sand Lake Road, Anchorage, AK 99502-1845(URL: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/); 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/).


Zavodovski (United Kingdom) — February 2017 Citation iconCite this Report

Zavodovski

United Kingdom

56.3°S, 27.57°W; summit elev. 551 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption of ash and steam observed in June 2016

Remote Zavodovski Island, located in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, is the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, 570 km SE of South Georgia Island. The basaltic stratovolcano on the island, known as Mount Curry, has a large lava platform extending east from two parasitic cones on the side of the main edifice. Steam emissions from the summit have been observed by researchers, fishing vessels, and tourists who visit the island to see the population of over one million chinstrap penguins. The only confirmed historical eruption was that observed in 1819 by the Russian explorer Bellingshausen. In early July 2016, a photograph of ash and steam emitting from the volcano was released by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

While steam plumes have been observed emitting from Mt. Curry on a number of occasions, observations of volcanic ash had not been documented in modern times until June 2016. The MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured a unique image of the interaction of low-level emissions from Zavodovski and the atmosphere on 27 April 2012 (figure 1). Aerosol particles from the volcano are key to the formation of clouds, but whether they are derived from steam plumes, magmatic gases, or volcanic ash is unclear from this image.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. In this image that includes Zavodovski Island taken on 27 April 2012, NASA scientists interpret the sulfate aerosols from the volcano as sufficient to seed clouds in the air masses passing over the island. Note how the plume stretching north is brighter than the surrounding clouds, a result of the small aerosol particle size and the numerous small water droplets that form around them. The smaller droplets provide more surfaces to reflect light. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

The BBC conducted a filming expedition to Zavodovski in January 2015 to document the landscape of the island and the behavior of its resident chinstrap penguin colony; while there they observed regular puffs of steam rising from the summit, shown in their expedition report to the SGSSI Government (figure 2). Additional NASA MODIS satellite images of white plumes issuing from Mount Curry were captured by the South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog in January and December 2015, but are inconclusive as to the presence of volcanic ash.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Puffs of steam emerge at regular intervals from Mount Curry on Zavodovski Island in January 2015 when photographed by a BBC filming crew that spent 14 days on the island. View taken by UAV from the SW side of the island. Courtesy of SGSSI Government (BBC "One Planet" – Post-expedition report - Zavodovski Island 2015).

The plumes in 2016 first appeared in images dated 30 March and 7 April, but the plume content beyond steam is difficult to assess. Images from 1 and 13 June 2016 also show white gas plumes. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reported on 6 July 2016 that Mt. Curry began erupting in March 2016. A fishing observer captured an image of an ash-and-steam eruption in June 2016 (figure 3). The BAS noted that fishing vessels in the area captured photos of the eruption with "smoke" and ash drifting to the E, covering the lower slopes of the volcano, and bombs being ejected from the crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Mt. Curry on Zavodovski island emitting ash and steam plumes during June 2016. Courtesy of British Antarctic Survey. Photo by fishing observer David Virgo.

Satellite images confirmed that up to half of the island was coated with ash. On 20 July 2016 the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands issued a Navigation Warning noting that eruptions on Zavodovski and nearby Bristol Island were emitting significant ash and dust particles and advised Mariners to remain at least 3 nautical miles from the area.

Frequent satellite images of white plumes issuing from Zavodovski were captured in satellite images during the rest of 2016. On 29 August a white plume was drifting NE. Between 17 September and 10 October satellite images captured several white plumes drifting in various directions. On 1 November a grayish white plume was observed drifting E; on 19 and 20 November and 6 December white plumes were observed. A grayish-white plume was captured on 9 December drifting SSW, and on 17 December a large white plume was drifting SE.

References: BBC, 2015, BBC Natural History Unit filming expedition to Zavodovski Island, a report to the commissioners office, South Georgia Government, posted at www.gov.gs.

Geologic Background. The 5-km-wide Zavodovski Island, the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, consists of a single basaltic stratovolcano with two parasitic cones on the east side. Mount Curry, the island's summit, lies west of the center of the island, which is more eroded on that side. Two fissures extend NE from the summit towards the east-flank craters, and a lava platform is located along the eastern coast. Zavodovski is the most frequently visited of the South Sandwich Islands. It was erupting when first seen in 1819 by the explorer Bellingshausen, and the volcano has been reported to be smoking during subsequent visits.

Information Contacts: British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingly Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, United Kingdom (URL: https://www.bas.ac.uk/ , https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/penguin-colonies-at-risk-from-erupting-volcano/); Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Government House, Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic (URL: http://www.gov.gs/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); South Sandwich Islands Volcano Monitoring Blog (URL: http://southsandwichmonitoring.blogspot.com/).

Atmospheric Effects

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

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

Special Announcements

Special announcements of various kinds and obituaries.

Special Announcements  Obituaries

Misc Reports

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

Additional Reports  False Reports