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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network

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

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

Recently Published Bulletin Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Sangay (Ecuador) — July 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Sangay

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Karangetang (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Karangetang

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Masaya (Nicaragua) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Masaya

Nicaragua

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Shishaldin

United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Krakatau (Indonesia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Krakatau

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Taal (Philippines) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Taal

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Unnamed (Tonga) — March 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Unnamed

Tonga

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Klyuchevskoy (Russia) — June 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Klyuchevskoy

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyamuragira

DR Congo

1.408°S, 29.2°E; summit elev. 3058 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nyiragongo

DR Congo

1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kavachi

Solomon Islands

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Discolored water plumes seen using satellite imagery in 2018 and 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Kuchinoerabujima (Japan) — May 2020 Citation iconCite this Report

Kuchinoerabujima

Japan

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network - Volume 43, Number 01 (January 2018)

Managing Editor: Edward Venzke

Agung (Indonesia)

New eruption after 54 years; extensive pre-eruption seismicity precedes ash emission on 21 November 2017

Bezymianny (Russia)

Eruption continues with ash plumes and lava flows through December 2017

Copahue (Chile-Argentina)

Ash emissions and incandescence during June-July 2017; ongoing degassing with sporadic ash

Galeras (Colombia)

Eruption with ash plumes May 2012-January 2014; steam emissions through 2017

Heard (Australia)

Intermittent low-to-moderate thermal anomalies end in mid-November 2017

Kanlaon (Philippines)

Phreatic explosions on 9 December 2017 with ashfall and high seismicity

Kirishimayama (Japan)

Explosive eruption with ash plumes in October 2017

Lopevi (Vanuatu)

Episodes of unrest in January and September 2017; gas-and-steam plumes

Reventador (Ecuador)

Large pyroclastic and lava flows during late June and late August 2017; continuing ash emissions and block avalanches throughout January-September 2017

Semeru (Indonesia)

Renewed thermal anomalies from mid-May through December 2017



Agung (Indonesia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Agung

Indonesia

8.343°S, 115.508°E; summit elev. 2997 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


New eruption after 54 years; extensive pre-eruption seismicity precedes ash emission on 21 November 2017

A large explosive and effusive eruption lasting about 11 months during 1963-64 at Indonesia's Mount Agung on Bali produced voluminous ashfall, devastating pyroclastic flows that caused extensive damage, and over 1,000 fatalities. The volcano remained largely quiet until renewed seismicity began in August 2017, the prelude to a new eruptive episode, which started in late November 2017 and is ongoing. Self and Rampino (2012) and Fontijn et al. (2015) published detailed summaries of historical activity at Agung prior to this new episode; a brief summary of their work is provided.

Information about the new eruptive episode comes from Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG), also known as the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) which is the National Board for Disaster Management, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), and various sources of satellite data. The first two months of this new episode, through December 2017, are discussed in this report.

Summary of 1963-64 eruption. The February 1963 to January 1964 eruption, Indonesia's largest and most devastating eruption of the twentieth century, was a multi-phase explosive and effusive event that produced both basaltic andesite tephra and andesite lava (Self and Rampino, 2012). After a few days of felt earthquakes on 16 and 17 February 1963, explosive activity began at the summit on 18 February. This was followed the next day by the effusion of about 0.1 km3 of andesite lava which was extruded until 17 March 1963, when a large explosive eruption generated pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) and lahars that devastated wide areas N, SW, and SE of the volcano (figure 1) (Fontijn et al, 2015).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 1. Map of Gunung Agung and vicinity, eastern Bali, showing the extent of the 1963 lava flow (cross-hatched), pyroclastic flow deposits (stippled), and lahar deposits (dark shading) of the 1963–1964 eruption (after unpublished map courtesy of Indonesian Volcanological Survey). Sg is Siligading village, where many fatalities occurred. Reproduced from Self and Rampino (2012, figure 3).

Explosive activity continued intermittently until a second explosive phase of similar intensity occurred two months later, beginning on 16 May 1963 with reported ash plumes reaching 10 km above the 3-km-high summit (figure 2). This phase produced the greatest proportion of the pyroclastic flow material from the eruption and led to additional death and destruction in villages at the foot of the volcano (Self and Rampino, 2012). Explosive outbursts continued intermittently until 17 January 1964. The total death toll of the eruption was estimated between 1,100 and 1,900 (see references in Fontijn et al., 2015). A total estimated volume of erupted magma was ca 0.4 km3 (Self and Rampino, 2012).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 2. Photograph reported to be of the 16 May 1963 eruption column at Agung; the view is from the SW, perhaps near Rendang (shown on figure 1). Photo courtesy of the family of Denis Mathews, reproduced from Self and Rampino (2012, figure 2b).

Activity between 1964 and 2017. Almost no activity was reported from Agung during 1964-2017. Weak solfataric activity from within the summit crater was reported in 1989 (SEAN 14:07). MODVOLC thermal alerts were reported intermittently on one or two days during a few years (2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013), but all of the alerts were located on the middle or lower flanks, suggesting their source was agriculture or forest fires, unrelated to volcanic activity. Chaussard et al. (2013) reported inflation centered on the summit at a rate of 7.8 cm/year between mid-2007 and early 2009, followed by slow deflation at a rate of 1.9 cm/year until mid-2011 (the last acquired data).

Summary of September-December 2017 Activity. Increases in seismic activity were first noted at Agung during mid-August 2017. Exponential increases in the rate of events during the middle of September led PVMBG to incrementally raise the Alert Level from I to IV (lowest to highest) between 14 and 22 September. Steam-and-gas emissions were intermittently observed 50-500 m above the summit crater from the end of September through October, with occasional bursts as high as 1,500 m. Seismicity dropped off almost as quickly as it rose, beginning on 20 October, and then continued a more gradual decrease through the end of the month and into November. The number and intensity of hot spots observed within the summit crater increased during September, then leveled off during October.

Ash emissions first appeared on 21 November, rising to 700 m above the summit. Ash density and heights of plumes increased several times during the rest of November to about 3,000 m. Ashfall as deep as 5 mm affected neighboring communities, and was reported several hundred kilometers from the summit; the international airport about 60 km SW was forced to close for a few days at the end of the month. Thermal data indicated effusion of lava into the summit crater at the end of November. After 30 November, emissions continued, primarily comprised of steam and gas, with intermittent plumes of dense ash, rising up to 2.5 km above the summit throughout December.

Activity during August-September 2017. In their monthly report of volcanic activity for August 2017, PVMBG noted that 49 volcanoes, including Agung, were listed at Alert Level 1, meaning "Normal", with no apparent increases in visual or seismic activity. The first signs of renewed unrest at Agung appeared as an increase in the rate of deep volcanic earthquakes (VA or Vulkanik Dalam) beginning on 10 August 2017. Shallow volcanic earthquakes (VB or Vulkanik Dangkal) began to increase two weeks later on 24 August, followed by an increase in the number of local tectonic earthquakes on 26 August (figure 3). Based on this increased seismicity, and an observation on 13 September of new solfataric activity at the bottom of the summit crater, PVMBG raised the Alert Level the following day from Level I (Normal) to Level II (Beware); the Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow on a four-color scale (Green, Yellow, Orange, Red). The deeper earthquakes (VA) had a seismic amplitude range from 3-10 mm. The shallow earthquakes (VB) had an amplitude range of 2-7 mm. Otherwise, there was no surface expression of activity during September.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Seismic activity at Agung between 1 July and 13 September 2017. The Y-axis is the number of daily earthquakes. The increase in deep volcanic seismicity (VA, or Vulkanik Dalam) that began on 10 August 2017 was followed two weeks later by an increase in shallow volcanic seismicity (Vulkanik Dangkal or VB). Courtesy of PVMBG (Peningkatan Tingkat Aktivitas Gunung Agung, 14 September 2017).

The Agung Volcano Observatory (AVO) is located in Rendang village about 8 km SW. Webcams are located in Rendang and in Bukit Asah, about 8 km W. On 15 September 2017 a steam emission was observed rising 50 m above the crater rim. The AVO issued a VONA on 18 September noting a rapid increase in volcanic earthquake activity with a small hot spot detected in satellite data. This contributed to them raising the Alert Level again to Level III (Standby), resulting in a 6-km-radius exclusion zone activated around the summit, extending to 7.5 km on the N, SE, and SSW flanks where the pyroclastic flows of 1963 had caused the most damage. Many of the 50,000 village residents within the 6 km exclusion zone began voluntary evacuations. The communities affected included Jungutan (7 km S) and Buana Giri (12 km SE) villages in the Bebandem District, Sebudi Village (6 km SW) in the Selat Subdistrict, Besakih Village (12 km SW) in the Rendang Subdistrict, and Dukuh (4 km NE) and Ban (7.5 km NW) villages in the Kubu Subdistrict. About 9,500 people had voluntarily evacuated from the villages by 22 September 2017.

The observatory issued another VONA on 19 September 2017, reporting an 'ash cloud' at 0255 UTC (1055 Central Indonesia Time, or WITA). It was described as a dense, white plume moving to the W. Around the same time (0240 UTC) MODVOLC recorded ten thermal alerts on the N and E flanks. Bali's Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) reported in Antara News on 19 September that the source of the smoke and ash were forest fires caused by excessively dry conditions.

A VONA issued by AVO in the morning of 22 September stated that a steam emission about 50 m above the summit drifted NW. During the evening of 22 September, PVMBG raised the Alert Level to Level IV (Caution), the highest of the four-level scale, based primarily on continuing increases in seismicity. They expanded the exclusion zone to 9 km around the summit, and to 12 km in the areas S, SE, and NNE. The number of evacuees had risen to nearly 35,000 people by 24 September. Steam-and-gas plumes were intermittently observed rising to 200 m above the crater rim during the rest of September. By 26 September, PVMBG reported increasing seismic activity with 579 deep volcanic (VA) quakes, 373 shallow quakes (VB), and 50 local tectonic events that day. Seismicity continued to escalate through the end of the month. By the end of September, the government was assisting with the logistics of evacuating tens of thousands of livestock, primarily cattle, as well as over 90,000 people from within and around the 9 km exclusion zone. MAGMA Indonesia reported that new steaming and thermal areas within the summit crater expanded during the last week of the month.

Activity during October 2017. Narrow steam plumes rose 50-200 m above the summit crater during the first half of October. The rate of earthquakes during the last week of September and the first week of October continued to fluctuate at high levels, averaging 1-3 per minute, and more than 600 per day. By the first week of October, shallow earthquakes alone had increased to more than 200 per day, suggesting the possibility of magmatic activity at shallow depth. Satellite data showed increasing steam emissions along the NE edge of the crater rim. Tiltmeter data showed sudden deflation on 1 October, followed by continued inflation through 5 October. AVO released a VONA on 7 October noting a steam plume rising 1,500 m above the summit crater at 1245 UTC and drifting E (figure 4).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. A steam plume rose 1,500 m above the summit of Agung on 7 October 2017. Courtesy of PVMBG (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level IV (awas) Ke Level III (siaga) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 Pukul 16.00 WITA).

During the second half of the month, steam plumes were denser and rose more frequently to 200-500 m above the summit crater. BNPB flew drones over the summit on 20 and 29 October 2017 and captured 400 aerial photographs (figures 5 and 6). The images revealed a widening of the fracture zone on the E side of the summit crater, and a new fracture on the SE side.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. A view into the summit crater of Agung on 20 October 2017, taken by a BNPB drone. Steam fumaroles rose from the NNE flank. N is to the left. Courtesy of PVMBG (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level IV (awas) Ke Level III (siaga) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 Pukul 16.00 WITA).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 6. A view into the summit crater of Agung on 29 October 2017, taken by a BNPB drone. The steam plumes rose from the NE corner of the summit crater. The NE rim of the crater slopes away to the upper left. Courtesy of PVMBG (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level IV (awas) Ke Level III (siaga) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 Pukul 16.00 WITA).

PVMBG noted a decline in seismicity beginning on 20 October 2017 which continued through the end of the month (figure 7), leading them to lower the Alert Level from IV to III on 29 October, and reduce the exclusion zone to a 6 km radius, plus a 7.5 km area in the NNE, SE and SSW sectors. In their late October report, they observed that remote sensing thermal infrared data had detected an increase in the thermal energy beginning on 10 July 2017, in the form of an increased number of hot spots within the summit crater. During August and September, the number of hot spots had increased significantly and correlated with the increases in seismicity (figure 8). The intensity of the thermal anomalies then decreased during October. Inflation resumed in mid-August and peaked in mid-September. After that, the GPS data indicated deflation at lower levels, but uplift of 6 cm occurred near the summit. The deformation rate slowed after 20 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 7. Daily seismic activity at Agung from 27 July-29 October 2017. Seismicity decreased noticeably on 20 October 2017, leading PVMBG to lower the Alert Level from IV to III on 29 October. Note that the vertical axis counting the number of daily seismic events ranges from 0 to 1,200, while in figure 3 the same axis ranges from 0 to 14. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali dari Level IV (AWAS) ke Level III (SIAGA) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 pukul 16.00 WITA).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 8. Satellite thermal imagery from Citra-Sentinel 2 revealed an increase in the number and intensity of hotspots within the summit caldera of Agung during September 2017, followed by a decrease in early October. Courtesy of PVMBG (Penurunan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level IV (awas) Ke Level III (siaga) Tanggal 29 Oktober 2017 Pukul 16.00 WITA).

Activity during November 2017. For the first three weeks of November, dense white steam plumes rose 50-500 m above the summit crater. A VONA issued late on 11 November reported a 500-m-high steam plume. Seismicity continued at a much lower rate than during late September-October, with tens of daily events as opposed to hundreds.

The first ash emission of the current eruption occurred on 21 November at 1705 local time; the plume rose to 700 m and drifted ESE (figure 9). Trace amounts of ashfall were reported in the Pidpid-Nawehkerti area about 9 km SE. At the time of the first ash emission, BNPB reported the number of evacuees living in temporary housing at about 25,000. The emission was preceded by a low-frequency tremor. Multiple volcanic ash advisories were issued by the Darwin VAAC on 21 November, although the ash was not visible in satellite imagery due to weather clouds. Continuous tremor with 2-5 mm amplitude was recorded the following three days, and ash-and-steam emissions rose 300-800 m above the summit crater.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 9. The first reported ash emission from Agung in 53 years rose 700 m and drifted SE on 21 November 2017. Courtesy of PVMBG (Letusan Gunung Agung Selasa, 21 November 2017 Pukul 17.05 WITA).

A larger emission on 25 November sent black-gray ash plumes 2,000 m above the crater rim (figure 10) which then drifted W. The Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume visible in satellite imagery at 7.6 km altitude drifting WSW. Emissions continued later in the day, rising 4.6-6.7 km altitude and extending SE. Bright incandescence at the summit crater was observed that night. Ashfall was reported to the WSW in the villages of Menanga and Rendang (12 km SW) at the AVO Post, and also in Besakih Village, located in the upper part of Pempatan (8 km W). A number of international flights were cancelled from the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar (60 km SW), affecting about 2,000 passengers, although the airport remained open.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 10. An ash emission rose at least 1,500 m above the summit of Agung on 25 November 2017 and drifted W. Courtesy of PVMBG (Letusan Gunung Agung 25 November 2017 Pukul 17:30 Wita).

Around 0545 local time the following day (26 November), the intensity of the ash emissions increased; the top of the plume reached 3,300 m above the summit at 1100 local time, and was drifting SE and E (figure 11). Ashfall was reported in many areas downwind including North Duda (9 km S), Duda Timur (12 km S), Pempetan, Besakih, Sideman (15 km SSW), Tirta Abang, Sebudi (6 km SW), Amerta Bhuana (10 km SSW), and some villages in Gianyar (20 km WSW) (figure 12). The largest amount, deposits 5 mm thick, was reported in Sibetan (11 km SSE). Trace amounts of ash were also reported much farther away, in Nusa Penida (an island 40 km S), Lombok (100 km ESE), and Sumbawa, 250 km E on the island of West Nusa Tenggara. Explosions from the crater were audible 12.5 km away that evening. Incandescence at the summit was observed from Bukit Asah and Batulompeh. The Darwin VAAC reported continuous ash emissions to 7.9 km altitude drifting SE throughout most the day, increasing to 9.1 km later in the day; ashfall was also reported at the international airport.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 11. A dense plume of ash rose 3,000 m above the summit of Agung and drifted ESE on 26 November 2017. Courtesy of PVMBG (Peningkatan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level III (siaga) Ke Level IV (awas), 27 November 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 12. Ash from an eruption of Agung on 26 November 2017 covered garden plants in Jungutan Village, 7 km SE. Courtesy of Reuters.

The airport in Denpasar was forced to close during 27-29 November 2017. On those days ash drifted in multiple directions at different altitudes; it was observed drifting E at 9.1 km altitude, SW at 7.6 km altitude, and was moving S below 6.1 km. This increase in emissions led PVMBG to raise the Alert Level from III to IV on 27 November. Pictures and video showed a white steam plume adjacent to a gray ash plume rising from the crater, suggesting two distinct sources (figure 13).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 13. A white steam plume and dense gray ash both rose from the summit of Agung on 27 November 2017. Photo by K. Parwata, courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.

A single MODVOLC thermal alert appeared at the summit that day, along with a strong thermal anomaly in the MIROVA system data (figure 14) consistent with the appearance of new lava in the summit crater. The tiltmeter installed at the Yehkori station 4 km S of the summit showed continued inflation of up to 6 microradians between 22 and 27 November (figure 15). PVMBG also increased the exclusion zone to a radius of 8 km from the summit crater plus areas 10 km from the summit to the NNE, SE, S, and SW.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 14. A MIROVA plot of satellite infrared data for the year ending 23 February 2018 showed the first thermal anomaly from Agung in late November 2017, consistent with the emergence of lava in the summit crater. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 15. A steady inflation was measured by the tiltmeter located at the Yehkori station 4 km S of the summit of Agung between 22 November and 27 November. Courtesy of PVMBG (Peningkatan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level III (siaga) Ke Level IV (awas), 27 November 2017).

MAGMA Indonesia reported that beginning with the ash eruption on 21 November, lahars appeared in the Tukad Yehsa, Tukad Sabuh, and Tukad Beliaung drainages on the S flank, as well as Tukad Bara on the N flank. As of the end of November 2017, these lahars had impacted houses, roads, and agricultural areas. Although ash emissions increased, and lava was confirmed within the summit crater during the last week of November, the number of seismic events remained well below the values recorded during September and October (figure 16).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 16. Seismicity at Agung decreased significantly beginning on 20 October 2017 and remained well below 200 daily events throughout November, even though ash emissions began on 21 November. Courtesy of PVMBG (Peningkatan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level III (siaga) Ke Level IV (awas), 27 November 2017).

Ash emissions were reported by PVMBG rising to 3,000 m above the summit and drifting S on 27 November (figure 17). Continuing ash emission during 28-29 November rose to 2,000-4,000 m above the summit and drifted WSW (figure 18). Continuous seismic tremors were recorded during 28 November-1 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 17. Ash plumes from Agung rose to altitudes of around 6,000 m (3,000 m above the summit crater) and drifted S on 27 November 2017. Image courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia (Peningkatan Status Gunungapi Agung, Bali Dari Level Ill (SIAGA) ke Level IV (AWAS), 27 November 2017 10:07 WIB, Ir. Kasbani, M.Sc.).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 18. A dense plume of steam and ash rose from Agung and drifted away from this villager and his livestock on 28 November 2017. Courtesy of CNN.

With the increase in ash emissions during the last days of November 2017, satellite instruments also recorded significant releases of SO2 (figure 19). MAGMA Indonesia reported on 1 December that satellite data also recorded high temperatures consistent with new lava within the crater on 27, 28, and 29 November 2017. They estimated the volume of lava in the crater to be about 20 million cubic meters, equivalent to about a third of the total crater volume. The base of the ash-and-steam plumes was often reddish during 29 November-5 December reflecting incandescence from the lava in the crater (figure 20).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 19. The concentrations of SO2 emitting from Agung increased to levels that were easily detected by the Ozone Mapper Profiler Suite (OMPS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite on 27 (top) and 28 (bottom) November 2017. The concentration of SO2 is measured in Dobson Units, a measure of the molecular density of the SO2 in the atmosphere. These NASA Earth Observatory images were created by Joshua Stevens, using OMPS data from the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 20. Incandescence appeared at the base of the ash-and-steam plume at Agung on 29 November 2017, consistent with lava effusion in the summit crater. Courtesy of MAGMA Indonesia (Perkembangan Terkini Aktivitas Gunung Agung (1 Desember 2017 21:00 WITA), 2 December 2017 07:55 WIB, Ir. Kasbani, M.Sc.).

By 29 November, continuous ash emissions were rising to 6.4 km altitude and drifting from the SW towards the S, becoming diffuse over the Denpasar region (figure 21). The plume was observed moving E at the same elevation on 30 November, lowering to 5.5 km later in the day. Although emissions were primarily steam and gas beginning on 30 November, pilot reports on 1 December indicated ash was still visible SE of Agung, and steam-and-ash emissions were continuing. Steam-only emissions were reported on 2 December rising less than 1,000 m above the summit.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Gas-and-ash emissions from Agung on 29 November 2017 were drifting both W and S in this false-color image generated by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite. The image uses a combination of shortwave infrared light and natural color, making it easier to differentiate between ash, clouds, and forest. The plumes appear to rise from two vents in the volcano's summit crater. Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory.

Activity during December 2017. Steam, gas, and ash emissions continued throughout December 2017. During the first two weeks, emissions were primarily steam and gas, rising up to 2,000 m (figure 22), and incandescence was often observed at the summit. Dense gray ash emissions were observed, however, during 1-2 December. BNPB noted on 5 December that 63,885 evacuees were distributed in 225 evacuation shelters. On 8 December at 0759 a brief event generated a dense ash plume that rose 2.1 km above the crater rim and drifted W (figure 23). Minor amounts of ash were deposited on the flanks, and lapilli were reported in Temakung. A second ash plume rose 3 km at 1457 later that day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 22. A burst of dense steam rose as high as 1,500 m from the crater of Agung on 5 December 2017 at 0848 local time (WITA) and drifted E, after which only a narrow diffuse plume remained. View is from the S. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. An eruption at Agung on 8 December 2017 at 0759 WITA sent a dense gray ash plume 2,100 m above peak to the W. View is from the S. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.

The Darwin VAAC reported multiple daily explosions during 8-15 December, creating ash plumes that drifted NW, W, and WSW at altitudes between 4.3 and 5.5 km. The explosions were visible in the webcams and from ground-based observers, and occasionally in satellite imagery when not blocked by weather clouds. VONA's were issued for events on 8 and 12 December. Multiple events during 11-12 December sent plumes rising up to 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifting NW and W (figure 24).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24. A small ash emission rose from the crater of Agung during the early morning of 11 December 2017. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.

The Darwin VAAC reported larger ash emissions to 7.6 km altitude on 15 and 16 December interspersed with lower altitude (5.5-6.1 km) plumes. Continuing, regular discrete emissions during 16-17 December rose to 6.1 km and drifted WNW. An overhead image of the summit crater of 16 December revealed that, since a similar photo was taken on 20 October, new lava had filled about 1/3 of the crater with an estimated 30 million cubic meters of material (figure 25).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Repeated overhead images of the Agung summit crater taken on 20 October and 16 December 2017 showed new lava filling about 1/3 of the crater with an estimated 30 million cubic meters of material. Posted on Twitter by Sutopo Purwo Nugroho for BNBP.

Discrete emissions to 5.5 km moving N and NNE were common during 18-21 December. Ash and steam drifted both E and W from the summit on 22 December. An ash emission on 23 December rose to 5.8 km and drifted NE, after which repeated emissions continued, rising to 4.6 km (figure 26). Ash fell on the flanks and in Tulamben, Kubu (9 km NE). In the morning of 24 December, a much larger plume drifting W at 10.7 km altitude was visible in satellite imagery. It dissipated after a few hours, and a separate plume was observed drifting NE at 5.5-5.8 km (figure 27); emissions continued throughout the day and into the next. PVMBG reported that the ash deposits from the NE-drifting plume were up to 3 mm thick (figure 28).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 26. An event at Agung on 23 December 2017 sent a dense, gray plume to 2,500 m above the crater rim at 1157 WITA. View is from a village on the W flank, likely about 7 km from the summit. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 27. Agung erupted steam and ash with a plume height of 2,000-2,500 m on 24 December 2017 at 1005 WITA. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 28. Map showing distribution and thickness of volcanic ash and lapilli from the ash emissions at Agung that began on 24 December 2017 at 1005 WITA. A thin layer of ash was deposited in a narrow NE trending band on the NE side of Agung. Courtesy of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Twitter.

As of 25 December, BNPB reported just over 70,000 evacuees spread out in 239 shelters. Discrete ash emissions continued through the end of the month rising as high as 2 km above the crater rim and drifting in several different directions. The last VAAC report of 2017 indicated an ash plume drifting W at 4.3 km altitude on 31 December.

References: Chaussard E, Amelung F, Aoki Y, 2013, Characterization of open and closed volcanic systems in Indonesia and Mexico using InSAR time series. J Geophys Res Solid Earth, 118:3957–3969. DOI: 10.1002/jgrb.50288.

Fontijn K, Costa F, Sutawidjaja I, Newhall C G, Herrin J S, 2015, A 5000-year record of multiple highly explosive mafic eruptions from Gunung Agung (Bali, Indonesia): implications for eruption frequency and volcanic hazards. Bull Volcanol, 77: 59. DOI: 10.1007/s00445-015-0943-x.

Self S, Rampino M, 2012, The 1963–1964 eruption of Agung volcano (Bali, Indonesia). Bull Volcanol 74:1521–1536. DOI: 10.1007/s00445-012-0615-z.

Geologic Background. Symmetrical Agung stratovolcano, Bali's highest and most sacred mountain, towers over the eastern end of the island. The volcano, whose name means "Paramount," rises above the SE caldera rim of neighboring Batur volcano, and the northern and southern flanks extend to the coast. The summit area extends 1.5 km E-W, with the high point on the W and a steep-walled 800-m-wide crater on the E. The Pawon cone is located low on the SE flank. Only a few eruptions dating back to the early 19th century have been recorded in historical time. The 1963-64 eruption, one of the largest in the 20th century, produced voluminous ashfall along with devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused extensive damage and many fatalities.

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/); MAGMA Indonesia, Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (URL: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/); NASA Earth Observatory, EOS Project Science Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, 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/); 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/); Antara News (URL: https://bali.antaranews.com); Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Head of Information Data and Public Relations Center of BNPB via Twitter (URL: https://twitter.com/Sutopo_PN); Cable News Network (CNN), Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (URL: http://www.cnn.com/); Reuters (URL: http://www.reuters.com/).


Bezymianny (Russia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Bezymianny

Russia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption continues with ash plumes and lava flows through December 2017

An eruption at Bezymianny continued into April 2017 with ash plumes and lava flows (BGVN 42:06). Similar activity was reported from May through December 2017. Observations came from reports from the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruptions Response Team (KVERT) and Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) advisories.

KVERT reported on 26 May that activity had decreased after an explosion on 9 March and the effusion of several lava flows onto the dome flanks. Though gas-and-steam emissions continued, along with thermal anomalies identified in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code (ACC) was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale). Moderate gas-and-steam emissions continued throughout the reporting period.

On 15 June KVERT reported that the temperature of a thermal anomaly identified in satellite images had increased, and that the webcam recorded a gas-and-steam plume rising to an altitude of 4 km and drifting SSE. Hot avalanches of material originated from the lava dome. The next day, 16 June, a powerful explosion began at 1653 (local) that produced an ash cloud that rose to an altitude as high as 12 km and drifted 700 km E and SE. Nighttime incandescence from the lava dome was observed afterwards, and a lava flow emerged from the W flank of the dome. The ACC was raised to Red (the highest level on a four-color scale), but lowered back to Orange (the second highest level) about 5 hours later. At 2110 (local) the ash cloud was 212 x 115 km in size and drifting E; the leading edge of the cloud was about 245 km E. Strong gas-and-steam emissions and incandescence above the lava dome could be seen on 18 June (figure 23).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 23. Photo of Bezymianny on 18 June 2017 showing the plume from a strong gas-and-steam emission, along with incandescence over the lava dome. Courtesy of A. Belousov, IVS FEB RAS.

During 20 June-29 September a daily thermal anomaly over Bezymianny was identified by KVERT in satellite images, when not obscured by clouds. A lava flow continued down the W flank of the dome, and incandescence from the dome was usually visible at night. Moderate gas-and-steam activity continued.

According to KVERT, by the first week of October the volcano had quieted somewhat, although moderate gas-steam activity continued. KVERT reported that a lava flow continued down the W flank of the lava dome through 4 October, but no mention was made of a lava flow in their reports after 4 October. Weak daily thermal anomalies were recorded when the volcano was not obscured by clouds. On 5 October, the ACC was lowered to Yellow.

On 18 December hot avalanches on the SE flank of the lava dome were recorded by a webcam, prompting KVERT to raise the ACC to Orange. A strong explosion that started at 1555 (local) on 20 December generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 10-15 km, prompting KVERT to raise the ACC to Red. Ash plumes identified in satellite data drifted at least 320 km NE. Later that day satellite images indicated decreased activity; the ACC was lowered back to Orange. Moderate gas-and-steam emissions continued on 29 December, and a lava flow likely effused onto the N flank of the lava dome. Thermal anomalies continued to be identified in satellite images. The ACC was lowered to Yellow.

Thermal anomalies. During May-December 2017 thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, were only observed during a small portion of June and July 2017 (most days between 19-26 June, most days during the first week of July, 17-18 July, and 28 July). In contrast, the MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system detected numerous hotspots every month, with the most intense cluster during the middle of June through the middle of September. Virtually all MIROVA hotspots were within 5 km of the summit.

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

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


Copahue (Chile-Argentina) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Copahue

Chile-Argentina

37.856°S, 71.183°W; summit elev. 2953 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Ash emissions and incandescence during June-July 2017; ongoing degassing with sporadic ash

Recent activity at Copahue through December 2016 consisted of gas and steam plumes with minor amounts of ash. Eruptive activity ended in late December 2016, but ash emissions began again in early June 2017. Distinct ash emissions decreased after July, and crater incandescence was no longer reported. However, persistent tremor and degassing with sporadic ash continued through 2017.

This report through December 2017 is based on information obtained from the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), the Southern Andes Volcanological Observatory (OVDAS), and the Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (National Geology and Mining Service) (SERNAGEOMIN). Volcano Alert Levels are set by SERNAGEOMIN (on a four-color scale) and by the Chilean Oficina Nacional de Emergencia del Ministerio del Interior (National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry) (ONEMI), on a three-color scale), for alerts to individual communities in the region.

OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that webcams recorded an increase in ash emissions on 4 June 2017. There were no significant changes in the magnitude or number of earthquakes recorded by the seismic network. The report noted that due to inclement weather making visual observations difficult, the observatory did not know if the ash emission began in the early hours of 4 June, or the day before. On the same day, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN raised the Alert Level to Yellow; ONEMI set a Yellow Alert for the communities of Villarrica, Pucón, and Curarrehue in La Araucanía, and for Panguipulli in Los Ríos.

During 5-15 June 2017 the seismic network detected long-period earthquakes. Gas plumes constantly rose from El Agrio crater and on several days contained ash. The highest plume, detected on 5 June, rose 300 m and drifted E.

The Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 1 July the webcam recorded a steam-and-gas plume with minor ash near the summit. Webcam and satellite images analyzed by the Buenos Aires VAAC showed that during 7-8 July steam plumes with minor amounts of ash rose to altitudes of 4-4.3 km altitude and drifted ESE. During 16-17 July similar plumes rose to altitudes of 3-3.4 km and drifted N and NW. According to ONEMI, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 16-31 July surficial activity had decreased. The webcam recorded constant gas emissions with sporadic ash rising no more than 280 m from El Agrio crater. Crater incandescence was visible during clear weather. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, and SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry closer than 1 km of the crater. ONEMI continued an Alert Level of Yellow for the municipality of Alto Biobío.

In August, activity continued to decrease. Degassing was constant and sometimes contained ash. Plumes did not exceed 500 m in height and incandescence was absent. During the first half of the month, 23 seismic events occurred, 20 of which were volcanic-tectonic; tremor associated with the degassing was constant. During the latter half of August, SERNAGEOMIN lowered the Alert Level to Green. Because gas emissions continued, SERNAGEOMIN suggested that the public stay beyond a radius of 500 m of the active crater.

SERNAGEOMIN reports for November and December indicated that some seismic activity continued. In November, 337 earthquakes occurred, 261 of which were volcanic-tectonic. Tremor associated with degassing continued, and incandescence was reported on some days. Based on satellite and webcam views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 21 and 24-27 November diffuse steam plumes containing minor amounts of ash rose and drifted E and NE. Plumes rose to altitudes of 3.3-3.6 km during 25-26 November.

On 2 December, one volcanic-tectonic earthquake occurred at 1758 local time. More than 20 volcanic-tectonic earthquakes occurred about 2245 on 5 December. The SERNAGEOMIN report for December noted persistent tremor associated with gas and ash emissions, and that constant gas plumes with sporadic ash rising to a maximum height of 1,300 m above the summit was recorded by the web camera. The Alert Level remained Green through December 2017.

Geologic Background. Volcán Copahue is an elongated composite cone constructed along the Chile-Argentina border within the 6.5 x 8.5 km wide Trapa-Trapa caldera that formed between 0.6 and 0.4 million years ago near the NW margin of the 20 x 15 km Pliocene Caviahue (Del Agrio) caldera. The eastern summit crater, part of a 2-km-long, ENE-WSW line of nine craters, contains a briny, acidic 300-m-wide crater lake (also referred to as El Agrio or Del Agrio) and displays intense fumarolic activity. Acidic hot springs occur below the eastern outlet of the crater lake, contributing to the acidity of the Río Agrio, and another geothermal zone is located within Caviahue caldera about 7 km NE of the summit. Infrequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions from the crater lake have ejected pyroclastic rocks and chilled liquid sulfur fragments.

Information Contacts: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, (SERNAGEOMIN), Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), Avda Sta María No. 0104, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.sernageomin.cl/); Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Beaucheff 1637/1671, Santiago, Chile (URL: http://www.onemi.cl/); 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/).


Galeras (Colombia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Galeras

Colombia

1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Eruption with ash plumes May 2012-January 2014; steam emissions through 2017

A central cone slightly lower than the summit caldera rim has been the site of numerous small-to-moderate historical eruptions recorded since the time of the Spanish conquistadors at Columbia's Galeras volcano. Persistent steam and gas, and occasional ash emissions from multiple vents around the summit have characterized activity for many years. Steam plumes are generally visible from two sites at the summit of the pyroclastic cone. Two small craters, known as Chavas and El Paisita, are located on the N and W rim of the larger central summit crater. Information for this report was gathered primarily from monthly technical reports provided by the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto (OVSP) of the Sevicio Geologico Colombiano (SGC). Four webcams document the activity from the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto (OVSP) located in Pasto (8 km ESE), from Consacá (11 km W), from the top of Galeras in the area called Barranco Alto (2.6 km NW), and from the SW flank at an area called Bruma.

The last time an Alert Level 1 (Red: imminent eruption or in progress) was issued was on 25 August 2010 when a plume of gas and ash rose 300 m above the summit and dispersed ash over numerous communities up to 30 km away. Seismicity decreased the following day, and steam and gas-only emissions returned. Fumarolic activity persisted throughout 2011, with only a single mention of possible low ash content in the plumes observed on 31 March and 1 April. Steam plumes rose a few hundred meters from the summit crater during January-May 2012. Seismic swarms were recorded in April and May.

An eruption with ash emissions began on 13 May 2012 and persisted until 30 January 2014 (BGVN 37:04, 38:03, 39:01). A summary of activity during that eruptive episode is provided below, along with additional information not previously reported. Activity after the end of that eruption, from February 2014 through December 2017, included only steam and gas emissions from the summit crater, and low levels of seismicity.

Activity during 2012. During January and February 2012, steam plumes rose 900-1,000 m above the summit, emerging from the El Paisita and Chavas vents at the N and W rims of the summit crater (figure 130). Plumes rose higher during March, reaching 1,900 m. VT seismic swarms were reported between 11 and 16 April 2012, and deformation sensors recorded inflation towards the W flank beginning in April. Most of the seismicity was located within the vicinity of the summit crater at depths less than 5 km. Steam plumes rose to 2,300 m above summit in April (figure 131).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 130. Volcán Galeras, viewed at 1828 local time from Barranco Alto (2.6 km NW) on 16 February 2012, showed typical low-level steam plumes rising from vents on the N and W rims of the summit crater. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, febrero de 2012).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 131. A substantial steam plume rose from Galeras in this image taken from OVSP (Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto) headquarters (8 km SE) on 20 April 2012 at 0738 local. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, abril de 2012).

Steam plumes rose less than 200 m above the summit at the beginning of May; a second swarm of VT seismic events on 9 and 10 May 2012 preceded a new sequence of ash emissions that began on 13 May. Pulsating plumes of ash rose less than 800 m and deposited material primarily on the upper NW flank. Inflation continued to be measured in the inclinometers on the W flank, coinciding with the area of the epicenters of the 9-10 May seismic swarm. Ash-bearing emissions were reported on 13, 14, 17, 26 (figure 132), 27, and 30 May.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 132. An ash emission rose from Galeras at 0802 local time on 26 May 2012 and was recorded by the Barranco Alta webcam on the NW flank. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, mayo de 2012).

Ash emissions continued during June-August 2012. Plume heights during the period ranged from 1,300-2,500 m above the summit. Plumes recorded on 12 and 17 June (figure 133) resulted in ashfall in Sandoná (14 km NW) and Samaniego (32 km NW), Mapachico (9 km NE), and Genoy (7 km NNE). Additional days with reports of ash emissions included 5, 6, 8, 19, 22, 27 and 29 June. Ash-bearing emissions were reported on at least 16 days during July with reports of ashfall in Maragato, Chorillo (18 km W) and Genoy. Ash plumes rose to 2,500 m above the summit during at least nine different days of August, and ashfall was reported again in the Genoy area.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 133. Seismogram and spectrogram of a tremor (TRE) event recorded at 1605 local time on 17 June 2012 that was associated with an ash emission from Galeras as viewed from the Barranca (upper left), OVSP (upper and lower right), and Consacá (lower left) webcams (11 km W). Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, junio de 2012).

Tremor associated with gas and ash emissions persisted throughout September 2012; another VT seismic swarm was reported on 28 September. Ash-bearing emissions were reported during at least seven days of the month, and reached 2,000 m above the crater (figure 134). During at least 16 days of October, tremors were associated with ash emissions that rose as high as 1,800 m. On 19 October, fine-grained ashfall was reported by personnel of the Observatory who were working on the upper NE flank.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 134. Gas and ash emissions at Galeras on 12 September 2012 were recorded photographically from the El Vergel Shelter in Pasto around 1805 local time, at most of the digital seismograph stations around the volcano, and also at the analog recorder at the Anganoy station (upper right) in Pasto (Provided by Architect Darío Gómez of the Municipal Council for Risk and Disaster Management (DMGRD) of the municipality of Pasto). Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, septiembre de 2012).

Gas and ash plumes rose 1,000-1,300 m during November and December 2012 and were also associated with tremor signals. The most significant emissions were observed on 1, 7, 14, 22, 23, 29 and 30 November, and 17 (figure 135), 19, 21, 26, 27 and 29 December.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 135. Ash emissions rose from Galeras on the morning of 17 December 2012 as seen in this series of images from the OVSP webcam while seismographs recorded tremor-type events. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, diciembre de 2012).

Activity during 2013. Continuous inflation towards the western flank was measured beginning in April 2012. Similar deformation processes continued at Galeras during much of 2013. The 'Crater' inclinometer located about 0.8 km E of the summit crater showed the most significant amount of westward inflation (figure 136).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 136. Resultant vectors for the electronic inclinometers at Galeras for the period between 25 October 2012 and 31 January 2013 show 2,962.1 microradians (µrad) of movement to the W at the 'Crater' inclinometer as well as movement to the N and SW at several other instruments. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, enero de 2013).

Eruptive activity continued in a similar manner to 2012 throughout 2013. During January, ash-bearing emissions rose up to 1,000 m at least nine times and drifted in various directions. The emission event of 22 January caused ashfall in Sandoná (13 km NW). During February, the most notable seismic activity was several tremor events associated with ash emissions. Plume heights remained below 1,500 m and were observed on at least 11 days of the month. There were reports of ashfall in San Isidro, the upper part of the municipality of Sandoná, NW of the volcano, during the morning of 24 February. Most of the ash emissions during March 2013 were deposited on the upper NW flank. The Crater, Cobanegra, and Calabozo inclinometers continued to show movement associated with inflation towards the W flank during March and April. Gas and ash plumes reached 1,000 m above the summit on 6, 7, 11, 22 and 25 March. Activity was similar during April, with plumes rising to 1,200 m and seismic tremors associated with ash and gas emissions reported on at least 13 days (figures 137 and 138).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 137. Seismograms registered a tremor-type event (TRE) on 5 April 2013 at Galeras that was associated with ash emissions captured in the Barranca webcam. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, abril de 2013).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 138. Gas and steam emissions rose from the crater at the summit of the pyroclastic cone at Galeras on 24 April 2013. Image taken from the caldera rim at the summit. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, abril de 2013).

Seismic activity decreased somewhat during May 2013, although tremor signals associated with ash and gas emissions were noted on at least eight occasions. The pulsating ash plumes were small, and deposited material mostly on the NW flank. The deformation network recorded stability at the Crater inclinometer for the first time in many months. SGC noted a seismic swarm during the evening of 22 May that included a tremor event that lasted for 11 minutes and possibly included ash emissions.

Emissions during June 2013 were mostly steam that rose to 1,300 m, but ash plumes were reported on seven days. The frequency of seismic activity remained steady during July, but the amount of energy released increased significantly. The Crater inclinometer showed deflation. Ash and gas plumes were noted on 6, 12, 13, 17 and 22 July rising as high as 1,500 m. Seismic frequency and energy both decreased during August and September 2013, and inclinometers showed little change in deformation. Plume heights, mostly gas and steam, remained below 500 m. Tremors associated with ash emissions were reported on five days of August and on 3, 11 and 14 September.

Seismicity increased in both amplitude and frequency during October and November 2013. The majority of the VT seismicity was located on the NE flank at 5-10 km depth. Steam plume heights remained below 600 m; emissions reported on 8 and 11 October included ash (figure 139). In addition to steam plumes observed throughout November, ash plumes were reported rising to 1,000 m on 17, 23, and 30 November. Seismicity decreased during December 2013 while deformation remained stable. Ash plumes were reported on 4, 13, 26, 27, and 31 December associated with tremor events (figure 140).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 139. Ash emissions rose from the summit crater at Galeras on 11 October 2013. They were photographed by Mr. Mario Alberto Caicedo, Radio and TV Analyst, from the RTVC Galeras station, at the caldera rim near the summit. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, octubre de 2013).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 140. Seismograms recorded frequencies associated with tremor (TRE) events on 4 December 2013 while the Barranca webcam recorded ash emissions. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, diciembre de 2013).

Activity during 2014. Tremor events during 11-14, 21, 23, and 27-30 January 2014 were associated with ash and gas emissions (figure 141) that reached 850 m above the summit. During the early hours of 11, 13, and 23 January, incandescence was observed at the crater. The last confirmed ash emission of the year occurred on 30 January 2014.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 141. Emissions of steam and ash on 29 January 2014 were captured by the Bruma webcam (SW of the cone) while seismograms registered tremor events. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, enero de 2014).

A decrease in both frequency and energy levels of seismicity were reported during March 2014. SGC noted several tremor-type seismic events associated with gas emissions; steam plumes rose up to 1,000 m above the summit. Although they reference "gas and ash" emissions in a few photographs, only steam is visible in the photographs from March. Reports of activity by SGC for April and May 2014 refer to only steam plumes rising 1,000 m from the summit from the vents on the N and W sides of the crater rim. No further reports are available for Galeras for 2014.

Activity during 2015-2017. Throughout 2015, SGC reported only steam plumes rising from the two vents at the summit of the Galeras pyroclastic cone, known as the Chaldean fumarole fields (Las Chavas) on the W rim, and the El Paisita on the N rim (figure 142). Plume heights were as high as 700 m in January, but dropped below 200 m by May, where they remained for the rest of the year. Inflation to the W began again in September 2014 and continued through May 2015.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 142. Steam plumes rose a few hundred meters above the summit of the pyroclastic cone at Galeras on 9 April 2015. This type of activity was typical for all of 2015. Photo from the Barranco webcam NW of the summit. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, abril de 2015).

Minor variations in seismic frequency and energy levels fluctuated throughout 2016 and 2017, but there were no reported particulate emissions. Steam emissions from the two primary vents at the summit crater (Las Chavas and El Paisita) rarely rose more than 200 m above the summit, often drifting NW.

An inspection of the summit crater by SGC on 25 August 2016 revealed a deep vent with several points of gas emissions (figure 143), including areas on the N wall (El Paisita) and the E wall (Las Alterada). The W wall (Las Chavas) had a cave-like entrance of 50 m diameter with fumarolic activity on the back wall and the ceiling that condensed into a sulfur-rich water on the floor of the opening. The El Pinta vent had no observed emissions. A rare 200-m-high steam plume rose from the crater in October 2016, but otherwise activity remained very low at Galeras throughout 2017 (figure 144).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 143. An inspection of the summit crater at Galeras by SGC on 25 August 2016 revealed a deep vent with several points of gas emissions including areas on the N wall (El Paisita) and the E wall (Las Alterada). The W wall (Las Chavas) had a cave-like entrance of 50 m diameter with fumarolic activity on the back wall and the ceiling that condensed into a sulfur-rich fluid on the floor of the opening. The El Pinta vent had no emissions. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, agosto de 2016).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 144. Low-level steam emissions seen from the Bruma webcam SW of the summit of Galeras on 3 August 2017 were typical activity for the entire year. Courtesy of SGC (Informe mensual de actividad de Los Volcanes Galeras, Cumbal, Doña Juana, Azufral, Las Ánimas, Chiles Y Cerro Negro, agosto de 2017).

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

Information Contacts: Servicio Geologico Colombiano (SGC), Diagonal 53 No. 34-53 - Bogotá D.C., Colombia (URL: https://www2.sgc.gov.co/volcanes/index.html).


Heard (Australia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Heard

Australia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Intermittent low-to-moderate thermal anomalies end in mid-November 2017

The most recent eruptive period at Heard began in September 2012 (BGVN 38:01). Direct observations are rare at this remote volcano, but the presence of lava flows can frequently be discerned using infrared satellite data. Thermal anomalies were intermittent, with some episodes of clearly stronger activity, during 2016 and through September 2017 (BGVN 42:10).

During all of 2017, MODIS infrared satellite data analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm showed anomalies near the summit only on 2, 16, and 26 September, and on 1 and 22 October. The MIROVA system also detected numerous hotspots within 5 km of the volcano through late October. One additional significant anomaly was identified on approximately 12 November 2017 (figure 31). No further significant anomalies were noted through February 2018.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. Low to moderate power thermal anomalies in MODIS data were identified by the MIROVA system in September and October, with another on approximately 12 November 2017. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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/).


Kanlaon (Philippines) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Kanlaon

Philippines

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Phreatic explosions on 9 December 2017 with ashfall and high seismicity

A series of three explosions at Kanlaon on 18 June 2016 sent ash plumes as high as 3 km above the crater and caused minor ashfall in neighborhoods W, SW, and NW of the volcano (BGVN 42:01). This was followed by steam plumes through 25 July 2016. The active Lugud crater (figure 4) has been the source of 21 reported eruptions since 1969; the latest eruption took place in December 2017. Information summarized here for activity from September 2016 through December 2017 was provided by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 4. Photo looking down from the rim into the historically active Lugud crater at Kanlaon on 7 March 2010. Courtesy of Billy Lopue, used under Creative Common BY-NC-ND 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/).

PHIVOLCS reported on 5 May 2017 that since the last phreatic eruption in June 2016 there had been a general decline in activity: seismicity was at baseline levels, no significant deformation had been detected since August 2016, sulfur dioxide emissions were low, and no steaming had been observed since 29 September 2016. The Alert Level was lowered to 0 (on a scale of 0-5), though the public was warned to not enter the 4-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

Between 24 June and 18 August 2017 the seismic network detected 244 volcanic earthquakes. The PHIVOLCS report noted that the increased seismic activity could be followed by phreatic explosions at the summit crater, despite the absence of visible degassing or steaming from the active vent. The Alert Level was raised to 1. The number of daily volcanic earthquakes increased after 18 August. In their 15 November report, PHIVOLCS indicated that during the previous 24 hours there had been 279 deep volcanic earthquakes recorded (compared to five the day before). This prompted them to raise the Alert Level to 2 (moderate level of unrest), where it remained for the rest of the year. The next day, the number recorded was 217. After that the daily number of volcanic events dropped considerably, especially after 21 November. Based on PHIVOLCS reports, the number of daily volcanic earthquakes during the first eight days of December 2017 varied from one to seven.

On 9 December an approximately 10-minute-long, low-energy phreatic explosion began at 0947 that was heard as far away as La Castellana, Negros Occidental (15 km SW). A plume of voluminous steam and dark ash rose 3-4 km above the summit vent (figure 5), and minor amounts of ash fell in Sitio Guintubdan (23 km W), and barangays W of the volcano (Ara-al, Sag-ang, and Ilihan). The eruption was preceded by the resumption of degassing at the summit crater at 0634, detectable as continuous low-energy tremor during periods when the summit was not visible; degassing was last observed September 2016.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 5. Photo of the 9 December 2017 plume rising from Kanlaon as seen from Barangay Manghanoy, La Castellana, Negros Occidental, about 15 km SW. Photo by Ms. Ritchel Demerin Villanueva; posted by PHIVOLCS on Facebook.

Only three volcanic earthquakes were detected on 10 December, but then the number increased to 155 the next day. The number of daily events earthquakes increased again to 578 on 13 December, rose to 1,007 the next day, and peaked at 1,217 on the 15 December. The earthquake count dropped to 149 on 16 December before returning to six or fewer through 19 December. White steam plumes rose 800 and 300 m above the crater on 13 and 14 December, respectively. White plumes were diffuse on 15 December; weather clouds prevented views of the summit area during 16-18 December. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 603-687 tons per day during 13-14 December.

PHIVOLCS reported that during 19-20 December there were 412 volcanic earthquakes. A low-energy, explosion-type earthquake was detected at 0233 on 21 December associated with gas emissions from the summit area. Later in the day steam plumes rose 400 m and drifted NE. The number of daily volcanic earthquakes increased to 957 the next day and then decreased to less than 20 per day during 22-23 December. The daily earthquake count increased to 382 and 776 events on 24 and 25 December, respectively, decreased to 82 on 26 December, and the dropped to three or fewer over the last days of the year. Weather clouds often prevented observations , but white plumes rose 300 m and drifted NE, NW, and SW on 21 December, and 700 m on 26 December. A steam plume on 30 December was seen rising 500 m above the crater rim and drifting SW. On 30 December 2017, sulfur dioxide levels were measured at an average of 1,946 tonnes/day.

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

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/); Billy Lopue, flickr (URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21905294@N03/).


Kirishimayama (Japan) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Kirishimayama

Japan

31.934°N, 130.862°E; summit elev. 1700 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Explosive eruption with ash plumes in October 2017

After an explosive eruption during January-September 2011, Shinmoe-dake (Shinmoedake), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, was quiet except for gas-and-steam plumes and slowly decreasing seismicity that returned to baseline levels by May 2012 (BGVN 37:07). The following report summarizes events through December 2017, and relies primarily on reports from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

On 22 October 2013, JMA reported that no eruptions had been detected at the volcano since the eruption on 7 September 2011. Earthquake activity and sulfur dioxide emissions were both below the detection limit. The Alert Level was lowered from 3 to 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

According to JMA, an eruption began at 0534 on 11 October 2017, prompting the agency to raise the Alert Level to 3 (figure 21). Ash plumes rose 300 m above the crater rim (2 km altitude) and drifted NE. Volcanic tremor amplitude increased and inflation was detected. Ashfall was noted in at least four towns in the Miyazaki (to the E) and Kagoshima (to the SW) prefectures. Based on JMA notices, pilot observations, and satellite data, the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8-2.1 km on 11 October and 3.4 km on 12 October.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. An ash plume rises from the Shinmoedake crater at Kirishimayama after its eruption on 11 October 2017. Courtesy of Tomoaki Ito / Kyodo News.

Gas measurements taken during field surveys on 12 and 13 October showed that the sulfur dioxide flux was 1,400 tonnes/day, an increase from 800 tonnes/day measured on 11 October. Volcanic tremor fluctuated but the amplitude was slightly lower. During 0823-1420 on 14 October, an event produced a tall plume which rose 2.3 km above the crater rim. Another event, at 1505, generated a grayish-white plume that rose 1 km and then blended into the weather clouds. Ashfall was reported in Kirishima (22 km SW) in the Kagoshima prefecture, in Kobayashi (14 km NE) in the Miyazaki prefecture, and reaching as far as Hyuga city (92 km NE). An increase in low-frequency earthquakes was recorded on 16 October.

The eruption lasted almost continuously until the morning of 17 October. The eruption plume usually rose several hundred meters about the crater rim, though on 14 October the plume rose as high as 2.3 km. Sulfur dioxide flux exceeded 10,000 tonnes/day. Cloudy weather conditions prevented webcam views during 19-20 October. Plumes rose 200-600 m on 21, 23, and 24 October. During an overflight on 24 October, scientists observed a white plume rising from the active vent on the E side of the crater, and puddles in multiple low areas of the crater.

Activity during 25 October-20 November 2017 activity continued to be slightly elevated. White plumes rose 100-500 m above the crater rim, though weather clouds sometimes prevented visual observations. Almost daily field surveys by JMA revealed no particular changes in the fumarolic and fissure areas near the cracks on the W flank, or to the thermally anomalous zone below the crack. Sulfur dioxide fluxes were as high as 200 tonnes/day. The Alert Level remained at 3.

Geologic Background. Kirishimayama is a large group of more than 20 Quaternary volcanoes located north of Kagoshima Bay. The late-Pleistocene to Holocene dominantly andesitic group consists of stratovolcanoes, pyroclastic cones, maars, and underlying shield volcanoes located over an area of 20 x 30 km. The larger stratovolcanoes are scattered throughout the field, with the centrally located Karakunidake being the highest. Onamiike and Miike, the two largest maars, are located SW of Karakunidake and at its far eastern end, respectively. Holocene eruptions have been concentrated along an E-W line of vents from Miike to Ohachi, and at Shinmoedake to the NE. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the 8th century.

Information Contacts: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Otemachi, 1-3-4, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8122, Japan (URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/); Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), 1-3-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (URL: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/svd/vaac/data/); Associated Press (URL: https://www.ap.org/en-us); Kyodo News (URL: https://english.kyodonews.net).


Lopevi (Vanuatu) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Lopevi

Vanuatu

16.507°S, 168.346°E; summit elev. 1413 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Episodes of unrest in January and September 2017; gas-and-steam plumes

Since an eruptive episode in May 2007, Loopevi has been quiet except for a thick gray plume on 24 February 2008 and a short-lived increase in activity in December 2014 (BGVN 32:05, 34:08, 40:05). This report covers activity during January 2015-December 2017. Data were primarily drawn from reports issued by the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO) and the Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

Based on a pilot observation and webcam views, the Wellington VAAC reported that a short-lived steam-and-gas plume beginning at 0500 on 13 January 2017 produced a that rose no higher than 3 km in altitude and drifted SE. That same day VGO reported that the Volcanic Alert Level (VAL) was raised to 3 (on a scale of 0-5); it was lowered to Level 2 on 17 January and then to Level 1 on 20 February.

Steam plumes were again observed on 23 September by the web camera, prompting VGO to raise the VAL to 2, indicating major unrest (danger around the crater rim and specific area, considerable possibility of eruption, chance of flank eruption). Observation flights on 30 September and the first week of October showed that the activity was occurring only in the active craters below the summit crater (figure 24). Photographs and thermal infrared images taken during the flights confirmed that activity consisted of hot volcanic gas and steam. VGO reported that photos and satellite images acquired at the end of November confirmed that gas-and-steam emissions were continuing.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 24.Aerial view of the active cone at Lopevi on 3 October 2017. Courtesy of VGO.

The unrest continued through at least December 2017, and the VAL remained at 2. The Wellington VAAC noted that on 20 December a low-level plume was visible in satellite and webcam images drifting NW at an altitude of 1.5 km.

Geologic Background. The small 7-km-wide conical island of Lopevi, known locally as Vanei Vollohulu, is one of Vanuatu's most active volcanoes. A small summit crater containing a cinder cone is breached to the NW and tops an older cone that is rimmed by the remnant of a larger crater. The basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has been active during historical time at both summit and flank vents, primarily along a NW-SE-trending fissure that cuts across the island, producing moderate explosive eruptions and lava flows that reached the coast. Historical eruptions at the 1413-m-high volcano date back to the mid-19th century. The island was evacuated following major eruptions in 1939 and 1960. The latter eruption, from a NW-flank fissure vent, produced a pyroclastic flow that swept to the sea and a lava flow that formed a new peninsula on the western coast.

Information Contacts: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory (VGO), Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources of Vanuatu (URL: http://www.geohazards.gov.vu/, http://www.vmgd.gov.vu/vmgd/index.php/geohazards/volcano); Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd (MetService), PO Box 722, Wellington, New Zealand (URL: http://www.metservice.com/vaac/, http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/NZ/messages.html).


Reventador (Ecuador) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Reventador

Ecuador

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Large pyroclastic and lava flows during late June and late August 2017; continuing ash emissions and block avalanches throughout January-September 2017

Reventador has exhibited historical eruptions with numerous lava flows and explosive events since the 16th century. Eruptive activity has been continuous since 2008. Persistent ash emissions and incandescent block avalanches characterized activity during 2016; occasional pyroclastic and lava flows were also reported (BGVN 42:11). Similar activity continued during January-September 2017; information for this period is provided primarily by the Instituto Geofisico-Escuela Politecnicia Nacional (IG-EPN) of Ecuador and also from satellite-based MODIS infrared data.

Summary of activity, January-September 2017. Activity remained high at Reventador during January-September 2017. The strongest (4 km long) pyroclastic flow since 2002 occurred in late June along with a large lava flow that traveled over 2.5 km, the longest since 2008. Visual observations of ash emissions and block avalanches were often difficult due to weather conditions that obscured views of the summit certain times of the year (figure 60, table 9). Thermal alerts and anomalies recorded by satellite instruments complemented the visual information reported by IG-EPN (figure 61) and showed near-continuous activity as well. Variation in the frequency of the different types of seismic events fluctuated throughout the period (figure 62) and generally corresponded to variations in the surface activity.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 60. Activity at Reventador during January-September 2017 included MODVOLC alerts (red), ash emissions (gray) and block avalanches (blue) reported many times each month. The number of cloudy days (yellow) affected the number of observed events during most months. Data courtesy of IG-EPN, compiled from daily reports.

Table 9. High levels of activity at Reventador during January-September 2017 were evident from the numbers of MODVOLC thermal alerts, and days with reported ash emissions and block avalanches. Cloudy weather impacted observations of activity during most months. Compiled from IG-EPN daily reports, VAAC reports, and MODVOLC data.

Date MODVOLC alerts Cloudy days Days with ash emissions Plume heights above summit (m) Days with block avalanches Block avalanche runout distances (m)
Jan 2017 9 20 10 700-3,000 0 --
Feb 2017 13 6 18 900-2000 2 1,000-1,500
Mar 2017 6 10 18 500-2,000 2 1,000
Apr 2017 6 9 21 200-2,000 12 600-1,800
May 2017 4 6 19 300-over 800 10 500-800
Jun 2017 20 3 22 Less than 200–2,000 10 200-800
Jul 2017 12 9 17 200-800 9 200-800
Aug 2017 14 0 29 300-over 1,000 25 200-1,000
Sep 2017 23 1 27 400-over 1,200 18 500-1,500
Figure (see Caption) Figure 61. MIROVA thermal anomalies for Reventador for the year ending 29 September 2017 show a persistent record of heat flow from the volcano. Significant cloudiness during certain times of the year affected the completeness of the MODIS infrared satellite data on which this is based. Courtesy of MIROVA.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 62. Frequency of daily seismic events at Reventador between 6 January and 14 September 2017. LP: Long Period, EXPL: Explosions, TRESP: Tremors. A significant tremor event took place during the lava flow event of late June, and LP seismic events peaked during the eruptive activity of late August. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán El Reventador, 2017, N° 4, Continúa la erupción, alternancia de actividad efusiva y explosive, 14 de septiembre del 2017).

Ash emissions occurred many times each month, with the highest plumes exceeding 3,000 m above the summit of the pyroclastic cone inside the caldera. The number of block avalanches reported each month increased steadily throughout the period, with blocks falling hundreds of meters from the summit on all flanks numerous times. Pyroclastic flows were reported a few times most months; the largest event in June sent flows nearly 4 km. Four lava flow events were recorded during the period; on 3 April, a flow traveled 1,600 m down the SW flank, a small flow in early June travelled 200 m down the NE flank, the large flow of 23 June-1 July traveled over 2.5 km down the NE flank, and multiple flows overflowed the summit crater and traveled in five different directions on 24 August 2017.

Activity during January-May 2017. Steam, gas, and ash emissions were reported during 10 of the 12 clear days of January 2017 when observations could be made. The plume heights varied up to 3,000 m above the 3,600-m-altitude summit. Ashfall was reported in El Chaco (30 km SW) on 18 January; nine MODVOLC thermal alerts were reported during the month.

Clearer skies during February 2017 resulted in observations of gas, steam, and ash emissions during 18 days of the month. The plume heights ranged from 900-2,000 m above the summit crater. On 7-8 February, in addition to steam and ash emissions rising 1,500 m and drifting W, block avalanches were observed traveling 1,000-1,500 m down all the flanks. A pyroclastic flow also traveled 800 m down the S flank. On 13 February at 0806 local time, the pilot of a plane from Aerogal observed a vertical plume that reached 2,000 m above the summit; nearby lookouts reported explosion sounds, and slight ashfall was observed in Gonzalo Pizarro in the Sucumbíos province (about 40 km NE). Incandescence appeared at the summit six times in February, triggering 13 MODVOLC thermal alerts.

Ash plume heights in March 2017 ranged from 500-2,000 m during the 18 days they were observed. Although incandescence was seen at the summit seven times, block avalanches were observed on the flanks only twice, on 11 and 23 March, traveling 1,000 m down the flanks each time. A pyroclastic flow traveled 500 m from the summit on 16 March.

Activity increased significantly during April 2017; ash emissions, ranging from 200-2,000 m high were recorded on 21 days, and block avalanches were observed 12 days, traveling 600-1,500 m down the SE flank most of the time. The largest event, on 20 April, sent large blocks 1,800 m down all the flanks. A lava flow moved 1,600 m down the SW flank on 3 April. On 10 April, multiple emissions of steam and gas with moderate ash content reached 2,000 m above the summit crater. On 24 April, a 1,300-m-high ash plume was witnessed during a flyover.

Block avalanches continued at a high rate during May 2017, traveling 500-800 m down all the flanks on at least 10 days of the month. Ash emissions persisted and were observed on 18 of the 25 clear days, rising from 300 to over 800 m. In the early hours of 26 May, a cloud of material was observed on the S flank, likely from a pyroclastic flow.

Activity during June 2017. The technical staff of IG-EPN visited the NE flank of Reventador to monitor activity during 29 May-1 June 2017. They observed a small lava flow on the NE flank, several explosions and emissions associated with both the N and S vents at the summit, pyroclastic flows, 'chugging' (audible, closely spaced intermittent gas emissions), and the projection of ballistic material.

The new lava flow was located on the upper NE flank; the only movement they detected was collapsing of the front of the flow, which sent blocks down to the base of the cone. Explosions with ash emissions from the two vents generally occurred every 15-30 minutes. Gas and ash emissions generally rose 1-2 km high, and the larger explosions produced pyroclastic flows. The sounds of the explosions were audible 5-8 km from the volcano. The researchers used a thermal camera to record a small pyroclastic flow that lasted for about 1 minute and 16 seconds and reached 800 m in length. They also observed avalanche blocks from the S vent that rolled 1,200 m down the flank. The thermal camera measured temperatures as high as 521°C.

During a flyover on 7 June 2017, scientists observed recent pyroclastic flows around all the flanks, the largest ones, on the N and S flanks, reached 1.2 km. Volcanic bombs were visible around the periphery of the crater rim. The lava flow observed a few days earlier by the ground crew extended 200 m down the NNE flank, and did not appear to be associated with either of the summit vents. Several explosions were witnessed from the two vents at the summit crater (figure 63).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 63. Two active vents were visible at the summit crater of the central cone at Reventador on 7 June 2017. Top: Steam and ash emerged from the N vent at the summit crater, and fumarolic activity rose from the NE flank in this view to the NE. Bottom: A lava flow created a pale scar on the NE flank (foreground), while ash and steam emissions rose from the summit crater in this view looking SW. Photos by P Ramón, courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial No. 2-Volcan El Reventador, Observaciones entre 29 de mayo -01 junio y 7 de junio 2017, 26 junio 2017).

Thermal imagery taken during the 7 June overflight revealed three emission centers at the summit; the two vents inside the crater that produced explosions with ash, larger bombs, and pyroclastic flows, and a fissure on the NE flank about 70 m below the summit that produced the lava flow (figure 64). The highest temperatures were measured in the N vent (Vento Norte).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 64. Thermal imagery taken during the overflight of Reventador on 7 June 2017 revealed three emission centers at the summit; the two vents inside the crater (Vento Sur, Vento Norte) produced explosions with ash, larger bombs and pyroclastic flows, and a fissure on the NE flank (fisurales) that produced a small lava flow (flujo de lava). Inset photos show visible image (top right) and thermal image (bottom right) of summit. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial No. 2-Volcan El Reventador, Observaciones entre 29 de mayo -01 junio y 7 de junio 2017, 26 junio 2017).

In a special report on 23 June 2017, IG-EPN noted that Reventador had averaged about 50 daily explosions in recent months, as well as a similar number of LP earthquakes. During 22-24 June, a continuous seismic tremor was recorded (figure 62), along with more episodic tremors that included small explosions. Surface activity included pyroclastic flows down all the flanks, and ash plumes that rose about 2.5 km and drifted W. The pyroclastic flows sent material as far as 4 km to the E of the cone, into the headwaters of the El Reventador River (figure 65). IG-EPN reported that the pyroclastic flows generated during this event were the strongest since 2002.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 65. A large pyroclastic flow on 23 June 2017 traveled down the NE flank of Reventador at 0757 local time, as viewed from the Copete webcam on the SE edge of the caldera. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial No. 1-Volcan El Reventador, Cambio en la actividad eruptive, 23 junio 2017).

The tremors were associated with a new emission of lava that advanced rapidly down the NE flank of the cone and was active until 1 July. It traveled about 2.65 km before stopping, and was nearly 250 m wide near the base (figure 66). IG-EPN reported that the lava flow was the longest since 2008 and covered and area of just under 0.5 km2. In addition to pyroclastic flows and a lava flow, a significant SO2 plume was released on 24 June 2017 (figure 67). Ash emissions were reported on 22 days during June. Plume heights ranged substantially from less than 200 m to over 2,000 m. Block avalanches traveling up to 800 m down the flanks were reported on ten days, and 20 MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 66. The lava flow and pyroclastic flows of 23 June-1 July 2017 at Reventador were measured in an overflight on 21 July by IG-EPN. dC is the diameter of the summit crater (168 m). The width of the flow was about 120 m partway down the flank, and 246 m at its widest point. It traveled a distance of 2.65 km (F1) from the summit. The pyroclastic flow was measured at 3.95 km (Pf) from the summit. Inset thermal image shows lava flow during the same overflight. Photo by St. Almeida, courtesy of IG-EPN (Erupción de junio de 2017 del volcán El Reventador, Reporte de erupción, volcán El Reventador, 2017-01, Publicado el 19 de septiembre de 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 67. An SO2 plume captured by the OMI instrument on the Aura satellite on 24 June 2017 drifted WNW from Reventador. It coincided in time with an eruptive episode that also produced several pyroclastic flows and a 2.65-km-long lava flow. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Activity during July-September 2017. There were fewer observations of ash emissions during July, on only 17 days, with plume heights ranging from 200-1,500 m (figure 68). Twelve MODVOLC thermal alerts were issued and block avalanches were reported on nine different days moving 200-800 m down all the flanks. A pyroclastic flow reported on 6 July traveled 800 m down the E flank. By the time of the 21 July overflight by IG-EPN, the two summit vents had merged, block avalanches surrounded the rim, and the still-warm flow was visible on the NE flank (figure 69). A visit by IG-EPN scientists on 1 August confirmed the continuing audible explosions, as well as the cooling of the late June lava flow (figure 70).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 68. A dense ash plume rose 1.5 km above the summit crater and drifted N at Reventador during a flyover by IG-EPN on 21 July 2017. Glacier-covered Volcán Cayambe appears in the distance to the NW (right of the ash plume). Courtesy of IG-EPN (Erupción de junio de 2017 del volcán El Reventador, Reporte de erupción, volcán El Reventador, 2017-01, Publicado el 19 de septiembre de 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 69. Thermal and visible images of Reventador on 21 July 2017 reveal a single strong thermal anomaly at the summit, block avalanches and bombs around the rim, and a still warm lava flow on the NE flank, dark brown in the visible image on the right. Photo by Almeida, courtesy of IG-EPN (Erupción de junio de 2017 del volcán El Reventador, 2017-01, Publicado el 19 de septiembre de 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 70. Ash emissions and the cooling lava flow on the NE flank of Reventador on 1 August 2017. Top: An ash-laden emission rose from the summit of the cone; the fresh dark brown lava flow is visible on the lower flank. Bottom: The same image from the thermal camera showed the residual heat from the lava flow (lower right), active heat from the ash emission, and a warm area on the upper flank (upper left), likely from block avalanches or a smaller flow. Photo and Image by M. Almeida, courtesy of IG-EPN (Erupción de junio de 2017 del volcán El Reventador, Reporte de erupción, volcán El Reventador, 2017-01, Publicado el 19 de septiembre de 2017).

The frequency of eruptive activity increased substantially during August 2017. Ash emissions were reported on 29 days of the month most rising over 500 m; block avalanches occurred on at least 25 days sending debris as far as 1,000 m down all the flanks. Pyroclastic flows were reported twice, during 11-12 and 23-24 August (figure 71). Lava flows descended multiple flanks simultaneously on 23 August (figure 72).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 71. A pyroclastic flow descended the SE flank of Reventador during the early morning of 24 August 2017 in this image taken by the IG Copete webcam. Courtesy IG-EPN (Informe del estado del Volcan Reventador No. 236, Jueves, 24 de agosto de 2017).
Figure (see Caption) Figure 72. Lava flows descended multiple flanks of Reventador simultaneously on 23 August 2017 in this infrared image. Five lava flows emerged from both the N and S vents at the summit of the central cone. Ln-1 flowed NE from the N vent and Ln-2 flowed ENE from the N vent. Three flows emerged from the S vent, Ls-1 flowed WSW, Ls-2 flowed ESE, and Ls-3 flowed S. Image by M. Almeida, processing by M.-F. Naranjo, courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán El Reventador, 2017, N° 4, Continúa la erupción, alternancia de actividad efusiva y explosive, 14 de septiembre del 2017).

The Washington VAAC issued 114 aviation alerts during August 2017 and 123 during September, indicating a continued level of high eruptive activity; plume heights were reported as high as 3,500 m above the summit, and block avalanches covered most of the upper cone down to 900 m a number of times during both months (figure 73).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 73. Explosions with rolling incandescent blocks descend 900 m on all sides of Reventador on 11 September 2017 in this image from the Copete webcam. Courtesy of IG-EPN (Informe Especial del Volcán El Reventador, 2017, N° 4, Continúa la erupción, alternancia de actividad efusiva y explosive, 14 de septiembre del 2017).

Geologic Background. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.

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


Semeru (Indonesia) — January 2018 Citation iconCite this Report

Semeru

Indonesia

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Renewed thermal anomalies from mid-May through December 2017

In 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, activity at Semeru was characterized by numerous ash explosions and thermal anomalies (BGVN 42:05). Thermal anomalies became consistent after mid-May 2017, increasing over the next few months and continuing through December 2017. The information below comes from the Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, or CVGHM), the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisor Center (VAAC), and MODIS thermal sensors aboard satellites. The Alert Level since February 2012 has remained at Yellow (Waspada, or Alert).

According to PVMBG monthly reports, Semeru did not show any change of activity during the reporting period. Presumably, this included numerous ash explosions and thermal anomalies indicating the presence of lava flows or dome growth. A Darwin VAAC ash advisory stated that an ash explosion on 7 June at 0020 UTC generated a plume that rose 4 km in altitude and drifted 13 km SW a day later.

Thermal anomalies, based on MODIS satellite instruments analyzed using the MODVOLC algorithm, were not observed between 19 November 2016 and 6 June 2017. On 6 June, a single hotspot was recorded, coincident with the ash explosion. The next hotspot occurred on 2 August, followed by anomalous pixels on three additional days through 13 August, but none during the rest of August. The number rose to 7-12 days per month during September-December, many of which were multi-pixel events.

The MIROVA (Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity) system detected only two distinct MODIS hotspots during April through the middle of May 2017. After mid-May, the number rose dramatically and every month through December numerous hotspots were detected, almost all within 5 km of the volcano.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 31. MODIS satellite thermal anomaly data at Semeru analyzed by the MIROVA system for the year ending 8 January 2018. Courtesy of MIROVA.

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

Information Contacts: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, CVGHM), Jalan Diponegoro 57, Bandung 40122, Indonesia (URL: http://www.vsi.esdm.go.id/); 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/).

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