Activity for the week of 20 March-26 March 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.
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
Universidad de Colima reported that as of 23 March volcanism continued at Colima and more small explosion earthquakes were recorded than during the previous week. Incandescent lava avalanches, generated from the fronts of block-lava flows, continued to travel 2-3 km down Colima's S, SW, and W flanks, and also sporadically traveled down the volcano's E flank. Block-lava flows extended 550 m down the SW flank and 2 km down the W flank. Based on information from the Mexico City MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that on 25 March at 1040 a steam-and-ash emission rose ~5-6 km a.s.l. and drifted to the E. The 6.5-km-radius exclusion zone around Colima remained in effect, with other restrictions to access out to 11.5 km from the volcano's summit.
Sources: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3320 m
The emission of pink, lithic ash from Bocca Nuova crater that reportedly began on 9 March continued through 21 March. In addition, voluminous degassing occurred at Northeast Crater and there was minor fumarolic activity at Voragine and Southeast craters. No incandescence was visible at night.
Source: Italy's Volcanoes
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
After about one week of instrument downtime, the seismic station near Karymsky began to operate again. As was the case before the seismic station malfunction, seismicity was above background levels (10 earthquakes per hour). The character of the seismicity indicated that weak ash-and-gas explosions and avalanches possibly occurred. Weak thermal anomalies were observed on AVHRR satellite imagery and no ash was detected. The volcano was at Concern Color Code Yellow ("volcano is restless").
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 20-25 March, the rootless shields remained active at Kilauea and small surface lava flows were visible at the base of the lava fan and on the adjacent coastal flat. Generally, volcanic tremor remained at moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o, and long-period earthquakes and weak tremor continued below Kilauea's caldera. During 21-24 March a small amount of inflation was recorded at Pu`u `O`o, but during most of the report period no deformation was recorded at the volcano.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Java (Indonesia)
| 7.54°S, 110.446°E
| Elevation 2910 m
During 11-17 March, 69 incandescent lava avalanches were observed traveling down Merapi's flanks, predominately SW to the upstream portions of the Lamat, Sat, and Senowo rivers and partly in a more southerly direction towards Bebeng River. The maximum run-out distance was ~2.5 km. No pyroclastic flows occurred during the report period. Merapi remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
During 20-26 March, 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)
| Eastern Java (Indonesia)
| 8.108°S, 112.922°E
| Elevation 3657 m
Volcanic and seismic activity remained high at Semeru during 11-17 March. Observations on 12, 14, and 17 March revealed that a gray plume rose 300-400 m above the summit. Seismicity was dominated by 444 explosion earthquakes, and there was a decrease in the number of tectonic and deep volcanic earthquakes in comparison to the previous week. The volcano remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
A decrease in the level of activity at Shiveluch during 15-22 March led KVERT to reduce the Concern Color Code from Orange ("eruption may occur at anytime") to Yellow ("volcano is restless"). During the week, several gas-and-steam eruption clouds rose 300-1,500 m above the volcano's lava dome. Seismicity included earthquakes with magnitudes less than or equal to 2.2 at depths of 0-9 km, many local shallow seismic signals (from possible avalanches or weak gas-ash explosions), and episodes of weak intermittent volcanic tremor. Thermal anomalies were observed on AVHRR satellite imagery and no ash was detected.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
The level of volcanic activity at Soufrière Hills remained high during 15-22 March. Lava-dome growth continued to be focused on the E side of the summit region. Throughout the report period large (50-70 m high), fast-growing, spines developed on the dome's summit. These spines periodically collapsed, producing pyroclastic flows down the volcano's E flank that sometimes reached the Tar River fan. Small ash clouds produced from these events reached ~1 km above the volcano and drifted westward over Plymouth and Richmond Hill. Ash predominately fell into the sea. SO2 emission rates remained high. Theodolite measurements of the dome taken on 20 March yielded a dome height of 1,039 m.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
During 20-25 March, several emissions of gas, steam, and ash occurred at Tungurahua. Strombolian activity occurred during the evening of 19 March; volcanic blocks were hurled 200 m and rolled down the volcano's NW flank, ash was emitted, incandescent material was visible, and roaring was heard. Ash fell in the sector of Chacauco. According to IG, on 21 March eruptions produced gas clouds with a moderate amount of ash that rose as high as 3 km above the volcano and drifted to the W.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
News Feeds and Google Placemarks
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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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