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The Smithsonian is closed due to a United States federal government shutdown. Global Volcanism Program staff are out of the office and unable to maintain this site until further notice. The Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports are suspended because USGS staff have also been furloughed.


Due to a lapse in appropriations ("US government shutdown"), the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For more USGS information, please see U.S. Department of the Interior - Contingency Plans for Operations in the Absence of Appropriations.

As a USGS employee, the primary editor of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is on furlough, effective 26 December 2018. At this time Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program staff are unable to assume responsibility for preparing a report, and expect to be placed on furlough as of 2 January 2019. Missed reports will not be issued late to provide a continuous narrative of activity, but eruptive information for any time gaps will eventually be published in Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network reports. Weekly reports will resume the week after staff are returned to work status.

 Activity for the week of 12 December-18 December 2018

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

Name Location Activity
Ambrym Vanuatu New
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) New
Planchon-Peteroa Central Chile-Argentina border New
Soputan Sulawesi (Indonesia) New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) Ongoing
Ebeko Paramushir Island (Russia) Ongoing
Krakatau Indonesia Ongoing
Kuchinoerabujima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Merapi Central Java (Indonesia) Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala Ongoing
Sabancaya Peru Ongoing
Sangay Ecuador Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Turrialba Costa Rica Ongoing
Veniaminof United States Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Ambrym  | Vanuatu  | 16.25°S, 168.12°E  | Elevation 1334 m

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) reported that a fissure eruption in the ESE part of the Ambrym summit caldera near the Lewlembwi crater (4 km SE of Marum) began at 0600 on 15 December, heralded by elevated seismicity detected by the seismic network and ash emissions visible in the webcam. A notice issued later that day by VMGD stated that lava flows and lava fountains were visible, and explosions were occurring. John Tasso, a local guide, visited the caldera a few hours after the new activity started and observed lava fountains from a fissure eruption; his video was posted to his website. The lava fountains were about 40 m high; lava flows spread to the E part of the caldera. Although partially obscured by a steam plume directly above the eruption site, infrared imagery from the Sentinel-2 satellite on 15 December showed lava filling much of the 500 x 900 m Lewlembwi crater and a lava flow almost as large a few hundred meters SW of that crater. VMGD raised the Alert Level to 3 and stated that the eruption was characterized as “small scale.” The eruption continued during 16-17 December, though reports on 17 December only described ongoing ash-and-gas emissions.

Sources: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD), John Tasso, Vanuatu Island Experience, Port Vatu, West Ambrym, Vanuatu, Sentinel Hub



Volcano index photo  Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Elevation 1730 m

A small explosion at Cleveland was recorded by the seismic network at 1155 on 8 December. A second small explosion with a higher peak amplitude was detected at 1153 on 12 December, prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch. No ash cloud was observed, though weather clouds obscured views of the volcano. Elevated surface temperatures were visible in satellite data on 15 December. A small explosion which occurred at 0737 on 16 December generated a minor ash cloud that drifted NE.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Planchon-Peteroa  | Central Chile-Argentina border  | 35.223°S, 70.568°W  | Elevation 3977 m

Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur (OVDAS)-SERNAGEOMIN and ONEMI reported increased activity at Planchón-Peteroa beginning in the morning of 16 December. Low-intensity pulses of tremor were detected by the seismic network and associated with pulsating grayish gas emissions which rose no higher than 800 m above the vent rim. Webcams recorded crater incandescence during the night of 15-16 December. The Alert Level remained at Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the volcano, and ONEMI maintained Alert Level Yellow for the communities of Molina (66 WNW), Curicó (68 km NW), Romeral (75 km NW), and Teno (68 km NW).

Sources: Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Soputan  | Sulawesi (Indonesia)  | 1.112°N, 124.737°E  | Elevation 1785 m

PVMBG reported that seismic activity at Soputan rapidly and significantly increased at 1700 on 15 December. An eruption began at 0102 on 16 December though dark and foggy conditions prevented views of emissions. The event lasted for almost 10 minutes, and thunderous sounds were heard at the Soputan Volcano Observation Post located in Silian Raya (about 10 km SW). The conditions improved about two hours later, and a dense ash plume was visible rising 3 km above the summit and drifting SE. Incandescence from the summit was also visible. An event that began at 0540 produced dense gray-to-black ash plumes that rose as high as 7 km above the summit and drifted SE. The event lasted for 6 minutes and 10 seconds based on the seismic network. Ash plumes from events at 0743 and 0857 rose as high as 7.5 km and drifted SW. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and tourists were advised not to approach the craters within a radius of 4 km, or 6.5 km on the WSW flank.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Elevation 1117 m

JMA reported that there were seven events and an additional five explosions at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 10-17 December, with ash plumes rising as high as 2 km above the crater rim and material ejected as far as 700 m. Crater incandescence was occasionally visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Volcano index photo  Dukono  | Halmahera (Indonesia)  | 1.693°N, 127.894°E  | Elevation 1229 m

Based on satellite data, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 14 and 16-17 December ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.1 km (5,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted mainly SW, S, and SE. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and visitors were warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



Volcano index photo  Ebeko  | Paramushir Island (Russia)  | 50.686°N, 156.014°E  | Elevation 1103 m

Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 7-14 December that sent ash plumes to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes drifted E. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Krakatau  | Indonesia  | 6.102°S, 105.423°E  | Elevation 813 m

PVMBG reported that events at Anak Krakatau were recorded at 1445 on 14 December and 1823 on 18 December, producing ash plumes that rose 200 and 300 m above the summit and drifted NE and E, respectively. The event on 14 December lasted 48 seconds and the ash plume was dense and black. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 2-km radius hazard zone from the crater.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



Volcano index photo  Kuchinoerabujima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 30.443°N, 130.217°E  | Elevation 657 m

JMA reported that at 1637 on 18 December an eruption at Kuchinoerabujima’s Shindake Crater produced an ash plume that rose 2 km and then disappeared into a weather cloud. The event ejected material that fell in the crater area, and generated a pyroclastic flow that traveled 1 km W. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Volcano index photo  Merapi  | Central Java (Indonesia)  | 7.54°S, 110.446°E  | Elevation 2910 m

PVMBG reported that during 7-13 December the lava dome in Merapi’s summit crater grew at a rate of 2,200 cubic meters per day. By 13 December the volume of the dome, based on photos taken from the SE, was an estimated 359,000 cubic meters. White emissions of variable density rose a maximum of 200 m above the summit. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



Volcano index photo  Pacaya  | Guatemala  | 14.382°N, 90.601°W  | Elevation 2569 m

In a special notice posted on 13 December INSIVUMEH reported that rumbling at Pacaya was heard within a radius of 8 km, and weak Strombolian explosions at Mackenney Crater ejected material as high as 50 m above the crater rim. Active lava flows were 200-300 m in length and traveled down the NW flank, generating avalanches of blocks that were as large as 1 m in diameter. The report also noted that the cone in the crater continued to grow, filling the crater, and was 75 m above the crater rim. During 15-16 December lava continued to flow NW and Strombolian explosions ejected material 5-25 m high.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Sabancaya  | Peru  | 15.787°S, 71.857°W  | Elevation 5960 m

Observatorio Vulcanológico del Sur del IGP (OVS-IGP) and Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) reported that an average of 18 explosions per day occurred at Sabancaya during 10-16 December. Long-period seismic events were recorded, and hybrid earthquakes were infrequent and of low magnitude. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2.2 km above the crater rim and drifted 40 km W and SW. MIROVA detected five thermal anomalies, and on 13 December the sulfur-dioxide gas flux was high at 3,100 tons per day. The report noted that the public should not approach the crater within a 12-km radius.

Sources: Instituto Geológico Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET), Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP)



Volcano index photo  Sangay  | Ecuador  | 2.005°S, 78.341°W  | Elevation 5286 m

IG reported that the eruption at Sangay that began on 8 August ended on 7 December after about four months of activity. The eruption was characterized by the extrusion of lava flows, and ash emissions that rose between 0.5-1.4 km (and occasionally higher than 2 km) and mainly drifted W and NW. Minor amounts of ash fell in Guayaquil on 18 September. Lava flows traveled 1-2 km down the ESE flank, and both block avalanches and possible small pyroclastic flows from the flow fronts traveled additionally as far as 7 km.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 7-8 and 11-13 December. A small explosion, recorded at 1222 on 12 December, generated an ash plume that rose 6.5-6.8 km (21,300-22,300 ft) a.s.l. That same day a gas-and-steam plume, containing a small amount of ash and drifting 150 km NE, was visible in satellite data. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Turrialba  | Costa Rica  | 10.025°N, 83.767°W  | Elevation 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported semi-continuous activity at Turrialba during 11-16 December. Ash emissions rose as high as 500 m above the vent rim and drifted NW and SW during 11-12 December. Ashfall was reported in Guadalupe (32 km WSW) on 13 December. Pulsing ash emissions were visible on 13 December and caused ashfall in areas of Valle Central. During 14-16 December emissions had diffuse amounts of ash and drifted W and SW.

Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)



Volcano index photo  Veniaminof  | United States  | 56.17°N, 159.38°W  | Elevation 2507 m

AVO reported that seismic data indicated that the eruption of lava from the cone in Veniaminof’s ice-filled summit caldera possibly paused on 6 December. Satellite data acquired on 10 December suggested lava effusion had stopped, though weak explosive activity from the vent possibly still occurred. No eruptive activity was evident in satellite and webcam images on the morning of 13 December. However, beginning in the afternoon intermittent tremor appeared and gradually became continuous. A plume, possibly containing ash, and elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite and webcam images. A strong thermal anomaly was visible in satellite and webcam data during 14-15 December, and together with an eruption plume, was consistent with lava fountaining at the summit vent. By 16 December a lava flow was erupting from the vent. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch (the second highest level on a four-level scale).

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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 News Feeds and Google Placemarks


The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website.




The CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management. They are similar in content to the RSS feed, but contain no active links.




A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.

 Criteria & Disclaimers

Criteria

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report does not necessarily include all volcanic activity that occurred on Earth during the week. More than a dozen volcanoes globally have displayed more-or-less continuous eruptive activity for decades or longer, and such routine activity is typically not reported here. Moreover, Earth's sea-floor volcanism is seldom reported even though in theory it represents the single most prolific source of erupted material. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report summarizes volcanic activity that meets one or more of the following criteria:

- A volcano observatory raises or lowers the alert level at the volcano.
- A volcanic ash advisory has been released by a volcanic ash advisory center (VAAC) stating that an ash cloud has been produced from the volcano.
- A verifiable news report of new activity or a change in activity at the volcano has been issued.
- Observers have reported a significant change in volcanic activity. Such activity can include, but is not restricted to, pyroclastic flows, lahars, lava flows, dome collapse, or increased unrest.

Volcanoes are included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report if the activity occurs after at least 3 months of quiescence. Once a volcano is included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section, updates will remain in that section unless the activity continues for more than 1 month without escalating, after which time updates will be listed in the "Continuing Activity" section. Volcanoes are also included in the "New Activity/Unrest" section if the volcano is undergoing a period of relatively high unrest, or increasing unrest. This is commonly equal to Alert Level Orange on a scale of Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, where Red is the highest alert. Or alert level 3 on a scale of 1-4 or 1-5.

It is important to note that volcanic activity meeting one or more of these criteria may occur during the week, but may not be included in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report because we did not receive a report.


Disclaimers

1. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is intended to provide timely information about global volcanism on a weekly basis. Consequently, the report is generated rapidly by summarizing volcanic reports from various sources, with little time for fact checking. The accuracy of the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is dependent upon the quality of the volcanic activity reports we receive. Reports published in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network are monthly, and more carefully reviewed, although all of the volcanoes discussed in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report are not necessarily reported in the Bulletin. Because of our emphasis on rapid reporting on the web we have avoided diacritical marks. Reports are updated on the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report web page as they are received, therefore information may be included regarding events that occurred before the current report period.

2. Rapidly developing events lead to coverage that is often fragmentary. Volcanoes, their eruptions, and their plumes and associated atmospheric effects are complex phenomena that may require months to years of data analysis in order to create a comprehensive summary and interpretation of events.

3. Preliminary accounts sometimes contain exaggerations and "false alarms," and accordingly, this report may include some events ultimately found to be erroneous or misleading.

4. Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.

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Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. We strongly recommend that USGS data be acquired directly from a USGS server and not through other sources that may change the data in some way. While USGS makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information, various data such as names, telephone numbers, etc. may change prior to updating. USGS welcomes suggestions on how to improve our home page and correct errors. USGS provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of furnished data.

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RSS and CAP Feeds

An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report first made available on 5 March 2008 can be utilized with the aid of various free downloadable readers. The report content of the news feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website. On 12 March 2009, GeoRSS tags were added so that the latitude and longitude for each volcano could be included with the feed.

At the end of each individual report is a list of the sources used. We would like to emphasize that the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) website (http://www.wovo.org/) lists the regional volcano observatories that have the most authoritative data for many of these events.

CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management.


Google Earth Placemarks

A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report was first made available on 1 April 2009. This file can be loaded into the free Google Earth software, and in turn will load placemarks for volcanoes in the current weekly report. Placemark balloons include the volcano name, report date, report text, sources, and links back to the GVP volcano page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.

 Acronyms and Abbreviations

a.s.l. - above sea level

AVO - Alaska Volcano Observatory

AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)

CONRED - Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres

COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer

CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation

CVO - Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS)

GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory

GVP - Global Volcanism Program (Smithsonian Institution)

HVO - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS)

ICE - Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Costa Rica)

IG - Instituto Geofísico (Ecuador)

IGNS - Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (New Zealand) - now GNS Science

INETER - Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (Nicaragua)

INGEMMET - Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (Peru)

INGEOMINAS - Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (Colombia)

INGV-CT - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Sezione di Catania (Italy)

INSIVUMEH - Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrologia (Guatemala)

IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France)

JMA - Japanese Meteorological Agency

KEMSD - Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismilogical Department

KVERT - Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team

M - magnitude

METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite

MEVO - Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory

MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

MVO - Montserrat Volcano Observatory

MWO - Meteorological Watch Office

NEIC - National Earthquake Information Center

NIED - National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (Japan)

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTAM - Notice to Airmen

OVDAS - Observatorio Volcanologico de los Andes del Sur (Chile)

OFDA - Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance

ONEMI - Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (Chile)

OVPDLF - Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (France)

OVSICORI-UNA - Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica)

PHIVOLCS - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philippines)

RSAM - Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement

RVO - Rabaul Volcano Observatory

SERNAGEOMIN - Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria (Chile)

SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information

SNET - Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (El Salvador)

SVERT - Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (Russia)

USAID - US Agency for International Development

USGS - United States Geological Survey

UTC - Coordinated Universal Time

VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

VAFTAD - Volcanic Ash Forecast Transport And Dispersion

VDAP - Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (USGS)

VHP - Volcano Hazards Program (USGS)

VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)