Activity for the week of 23 January-29 January 2002
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.
New Activity / Unrest
| DR Congo
| 1.52°S, 29.25°E
| Elevation 3470 m
During 23-29 January there was no new volcanic activity at Nyiragongo. During 23 to around 25 January many earthquakes occurred in the region around the volcano; the largest earthquake was M 4.7. Many of the earthquakes were felt in towns near the volcano, including Goma, ~10 km S of the volcano. Several buildings were destroyed by the seismicity in towns near Nyiragongo, including Gisenyi, Rwanda. By 28 January seismicity had decreased and earthquakes were not large enough to be felt by the population.
Volcanologists determined that ash observed in Goma on the 23rd originated from the collapse of Nyiragongo's inner crater and not from a new eruption from neighboring Nyamiragira, as was originally stated in several news reports. During a visit to Nyiragongo's main crater on 28 January, the UN Volcano Surveillance Team found that the crater floor had almost completely collapsed more than 600 m. In addition, they saw neither ongoing volcanism nor fumaroles at the bottom of the crater, although they could smell SO2. A few weak steam vents were visible on the inner crater wall and a small gas plume was seen above the crater rim to the NE. On the 28th the volcano was at Alert Level Yellow (second on a four-color scale). The latest information about the Alert Level can be obtained from the Humanitarian Information Center's telephone hotline (084 84901) during the hours of 0800-2200.
Sources: Agence France-Presse (AFP), ReliefWeb, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), US Agency for International Development / Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance
| Aeolian Islands (Italy)
| 38.789°N, 15.213°E
| Elevation 924 m
On 23 January at 2054 a large explosion occurred at Stromboli. The explosion was accompanied by a loud noise that was heard at all of the villages on the island and ashfall that lasted for several minutes. During a visit to the summit area on 24 January, INGV-CT staff found the area SE of the summit craters near Il Pizzo Sopra la Fossa between the Bastimento and La Fossetta was covered with ash and blocks. Most of the fallout was comprised of lithic material up to 60 cm in diameter, with minor amounts of spatter up to 1.7 m long. Fine-grained material covered the crater zone and the volcano's NE flank to the village of Stromboli, ~2 km to the NE. A continuous carpet of fallout material covered the zone of Il Pizzo, a spot where many tourists visit.
Weak volcanic activity was observed during the survey; only five weak explosions occurred from Crater 1 in 2.5 hours, with none at Craters 2 and 3. Thermal imagery showed that Crater 2 was hotter than the other active craters; the high temperatures were due to spatter coating the crater's inner walls. Measurements revealed that the diameter of Crater 2 had grown from an estimated 10 m in October 2001 to about 26 m after the 23 January explosion.
Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
Photographs of Colima taken on 13 January revealed that a new lava dome grew in the volcano's crater. The dome was approximately 170 m in diameter at the base and 46 m high.
Source: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
Observations in late January revealed that Fuego was erupting a lava flow down its E flank. The flow stretched several hundred meters below the summit before falling apart on steep slopes. The toe of the flow calved off about once a minute, but the volume of material was not sufficient to generate pyroclastic flows. No explosive activity was observed and only low-level tremor was recorded. Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED) and INSIVUMEH are monitoring the situation at the volcano.
Source: US Geological Survey
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
On 19 January a thermal anomaly at Karymsky was observed on satellite imagery for the first time. On 24 January the seismic station, which had been inoperable for the previous 9 days, recorded about 10 local shallow earthquakes per hour. The rate of earthquakes beginning on the 24th was similar to that seen before the station broke, but they became a little stronger over time. No ash was visible on satellite imagery. The Concern Color Code on 25 January was Yellow ("volcano is restless"), which was the same as prior to the seismic station breaking.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 23-29 January lava entered the sea at the W portion of the Kamoamoa entry, and to a lesser extent at the E Kupapa`u entry. Surface lava flows emerging along the Kamoamoa lava tube system traveled down the Pulama pali scarp. On 22 January a lava flow was visible on Pu`u `O`o's crater floor. Generally, volcanic tremor remained moderate at Pu`u `O`o. The swarm of long-period earthquakes at Kilauea's summit were less regular than they had been for more than a month. Tiltmeters across the volcano showed no evidence of significant deformation.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 34.094°N, 139.526°E
| Elevation 775 m
On 25 January at 1015 Air Force Weather Agency staff detected a faint E-drifting volcanic plume emanating from Miyake-jima on MODIS imagery.
Sources: US Air Force Weather Agency, NASA
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
According to CENAPRED, on 23 January at 0517 a moderate eruption began at Popocatépetl. It was accompanied by continuous tremor. Incandescent volcanic fragments were ejected short distances from the crater, and a steam-and-ash cloud was produced. According to pilot reports, the cloud rose to ~9 km a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed that the cloud drifted to the NE; by 1845 it was visible near the city of Poza Rica, ~250 km to the NE. The cloud continued drifting NE and traveled over the Gulf of Mexico. Small amounts of ash fell in Paso de Cortés and the town of Tlaxcala. CENAPRED reported that the activity was related to the formation of a new lava dome. Following the 23 January eruption, Popocatépetl emitted small clouds of steam, gas, and generally minor amounts of ash. In addition, episodes of harmonic tremor were recorded.
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
A decrease in seismicity over several days led KVERT to reduce the Concern Color Code at Shiveluch on 23 January to Yellow ("volcano is restless") from Orange ("volcano is in eruption or eruption may occur at any time"). During 18-25 January several small steam-and-gas emissions occurred, with the highest plume rising 800 m above the lava dome. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery, but ash was not.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 18-25 January, volcanic activity remained high at Soufrière Hills. Continued growth on the E side of the lava dome produced numerous rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows down the volcano's E flank. On the 21st the dome was crowned by a large 40- to 50-m tall spine inclined steeply upwards towards the E. While the number of rockfalls gradually decreased over the previous 3 weeks, their size and duration significantly increased during the report period, exceeding total energy rates during the past few months.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Based on information from IG, the WashingtonVAAC reported that during 23-29 January several small ash emissions occurred at Tungurahua. The highest reported cloud rose to a height of ~7.5 km a.s.l. During 15-23 January incandescence was visible in the crater.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 19.532°S, 169.447°E
| Elevation 361 m
An eruption occurred at Yasur on 25 January around 1300. A pilot reported that an ash cloud rose ~2 km a.s.l. and slowly drifted S. The ash cloud was not visible on satellite imagery, possibly due to heavy meteorological cloud cover.
Source: Wellington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
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
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.
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.
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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.