Activity for the week of 15 May-21 May 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
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
A strong increase in volcanic tremor at Colima caused the Scientific Committee on 18 May to evacuate hundreds of residents from several towns on the SW and SE flanks. Scientists also recorded changes in deformation, the chemistry of spring water near the volcano, and the composition of ejected rocks. In addition, heightened temperatures were recorded on infrared imagery. On 21 May there was an increase in the number of explosive-type earthquakes and a slight decrease in tremor earthquakes in comparison to the previous day. 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, Associated Press
| Papua New Guinea
| 4.08°S, 145.037°E
| Elevation 1807 m
A moderate-sized Strombolian eruption occurred at Manam on 20 May. A pilot reported observing an ash plume at a maximum height of ~9 km on the 20th at 0500. At 0945 on the same day an eruption cloud was visible on satellite imagery extending to the SW. The Rabaul Volcano Observatory reported that a continuous eruption was occurring until at least 0947 on 20 May.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| DR Congo
| 1.52°S, 29.25°E
| Elevation 3470 m
On 17 January 2002, during the eruption of Nyiragongo, all lava drained from the volcano's summit, leaving a 700-m-deep empty crater. In late April harmonic tremor began to be registered at two seismic stations on Nyiragongo's S flank, and increased irregularly in amplitude until mid-May. Anomalous clouds had been noticed above the crater twice since 1 May, but no incandescence had been visible at night. No eruptive activity was visible 14 May during an overflight, but increasing tremor amplitude suggested that magma was moving within the summit area. On 17-18 May a small lava fountain was seen on the floor of the crater along the same fissure that apparently drained the crater in January. The lava fountain was 12 m high, no lava lake was forming in the crater, and small incandescent vents on the crater floor ejected hot gases. The Goma Volcano Observatory stated,"this is a normal development in Nyiragongo's historical eruptive pattern, and is no cause for immediate concern."
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
During 10-17 May seismicity was above background levels at Karymsky and the rate of earthquakes slightly increased in the middle of the report week. The character of seismicity suggested that weak ash-and-gas explosions, gas blow-outs, and debris avalanches occurred. Observations from a helicopter on 10 May revealed that a new ~100-m-high cone had grown inside the crater and a lava flow was seen on the volcano's SSE slope. Thermal anomalies and an ash-and-steam plume were visible on satellite imagery. Karymsky remained 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
Surface lava flows were visible at Kilauea during 15-17 May. The front of one flow was about 2.5 km from the ocean. Following the 12 May inflation event, the level of volcanic tremor and long-period earthquakes at Kilauea's summit was moderate, as was the level of tremor at Pu`u `O`o. No significant deformation was recorded.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
During 15-21 May, Popocatépetl emitted small clouds of steam, gas, and generally minor amounts of ash. In addition, episodes of harmonic tremor were recorded.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 10-17 May, there were several small emissions of gas, steam, and ash at Shiveluch. Seismicity included earthquakes with magnitudes less than or equal to 2.1 at depths of 0-6 km, many local shallow seismic signals (from possible avalanches or weak gas-and-ash explosions), and episodes of weak intermittent volcanic tremor. Thermal anomalies were visible on AVHRR satellite imagery, but ash was not. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Yellow ("volcano is restless").
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Fox Islands (USA)
| 54.756°N, 163.97°W
| Elevation 2857 m
During 10-17 May, the Alaska Volcano Observatory detected an increase in background seismicity at Shishaldin. There was an increase in the number of locatable shallow low-frequency earthquakes and several 2 to- 3-minute-long tremor-like signals that were inferred to be from a deep source. No thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery and there were no eyewitness reports of anomalous volcanic activity. Shishaldin remained at Concern Color Code Green ("volcano is in quiet, "dormant" state").
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 10-17 May, volcanic activity was generally higher than it had been the previous week. Lava-dome growth continued to be concentrated on the E flank. Rockfall, pyroclastic-flow, and long-period earthquake activity was relatively high during the first half of the report period, but declined slightly during 15-17 May.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
During 14-21 May, emissions of gas, steam, and ash continued at Tungurahua. On 14 May an eruption produced a steam-and-ash plume that rose 1.5 km above the volcano.
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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