Activity for the week of 7 August-13 August 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
| 30.484°N, 140.303°E
| Elevation 394 m
On 11 August around 1530 a ship sailing near Tori-shima reported to the Japan Coast Guard that they observed white smoke rising from the summit of the volcano. JMA reported that an aerial inspection the following day during 1145-1245 revealed an ash-laden plume rising from the SW crater wall of the summit crater (Iwoyama) and white plumes emanating from the S to SE portion of the crater wall. Vigorous ash plumes rose 200-300 m above the crater every few minutes, drifted W, and ultimately reached a height of 1 km a.s.l. The summit area and the middle slope NNW of the summit were covered with ash-fall deposits. Discolored sea water extended 20 km W of the island. Tori-shima is not inhabited by humans, but an endangered albatross species lives there.
Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) via the Volcano Research Center, Associated Press, Reuters, NOAA Marine Forecasts
Ol Doinyo Lengai
| 2.764°S, 35.914°E
| Elevation 2962 m
During 4-9 August, Ol Doinyo Lengai was in a heightened state of volcanic activity. A group visiting the volcano for 5 days saw episodes of sudden explosive lava fountaining from cracks and fissures in the crater floor. Sulfurous gases were also unusually strong in the central crater. Around 0210, part of an expedition camp in the crater of Ol Doinyo Lengai was destroyed by extremely fluid pahoehoe lava flows. A local guide received several second-degree burns on one foot when material in his tent was ignited by the lava.
Source: Ol Doinyo Lengai (Fred Belton)
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 15.13°N, 120.35°E
| Elevation 1486 m
On 10 July the western wall of Pinatubo's crater collapsed, gradually releasing about 160 million m3 of water and sediments. The collapse occurred at the crater wall's lowest point leading to the Maraunot River in Botolan, Zambales. About a year earlier workers had removed a section of the crater wall in an effort to gradually release the rapidly rising water in the crater and prevent a larger crater-wall collapse. PHIVOLCS reported to Philstar news that if the notch had not been created at least 320 million m3 of water and sediment could have been released into inhabited areas.
Source: Philstar News
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 2-9 August, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch. More than ten M 1.8-2.5 earthquakes occurred and there were a number of smaller ones at depths of 0-6 km. Other local shallow seismic signals occurred, which possibly indicated ash-poor explosions (one to five per day to heights of 1.5-3 km above the dome). In addition, avalanches were registered and volcanic tremor decreased slightly. Ash-poor plumes rose to a maximum height of 3 km above the lava dome. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery, but ash was not. KVERT increased the Concern Color Code from Yellow ("volcano is restless") to Orange ("explosive eruption is possible within a few days and may occur with little or no warning").
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.576°S, 150.516°E
| Elevation 724 m
The eruption at Pago that began the previous week continued through 13 August. According to news articles, 6,000-8,000 people had been evacuated from villages surrounding the volcano by 9 August. No injuries had been reported. The Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) reported that the eruption was characterized by the ejection of light gray to some dark ash clouds. The clouds drifted primarily to the N and NW, after reaching heights of a few kilometers above the summit. Very little ash was deposited in areas surrounding the volcano. The thickest ashfall (3 mm) occurred at Rikau and Matmada, 6-8 km NNW of the volcano. There was not more than 1 mm of ash deposited at Hoskins airport. Aerial inspection of the summit area by RVO staff indicated that there were no lava flows descending the volcano's flanks, instead, lava extruded onto the surface formed cones above the active vents. The highest cone was about 60 m tall. Contrary to previous reports, there was no bulging on the N or NW sides of the volcano. During the week, seismicity was at low-to-moderate levels. The closure of the airport near the town of Kimbe, 30 miles N of Pago, disrupted island air traffic. On 13 August at 1030 a thin plume was visible on satellite imagery reaching a height of about 2.1 km and extending N to NW. The summit was covered by meteorological clouds, preventing visual observations. Only weak intermittent rumbling was heard. RVO advised that activity had settled into a steady pattern, although changes in the nature of the eruption could occur.
Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Reuters, Associated Press
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3320 m
The Toulouse VAAC reported that beginning on 9 August at 0630 ash was visible at Etna on a web cam. The ash was around summit level and was not visible on satellite imagery. According to the Etna Volcan Sicilian website, during a visit to the summit on 8 August brown ash was emitted from Bocca Nuova crater. By the 9th only gas was released from Bocca Nuova.
Sources: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Etna Volcan Sicilien (Charles Rivière)
| 1.697°S, 101.264°E
| Elevation 3800 m
The Darwin VAAC reported that on 13 August around 0925 an ash plume from Kerinci rose to ~7.3 km a.s.l. Ash was not visible on satellite imagery.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 7-13 August, surface lava flows continued to travel down Kilauea's flank into the sea at the Wilipe`a entry and on 7 August at 1427 the W Highcastle lobe reached the sea. On the evening of the 7th several littoral explosions occurred on the E side of the most seaward tip of the lava bench, spraying spatter and solid rocks back onto the bench. No visitors were in the prohibited area. A lava bench began to grow near the W Highcastle flow 10 m from the shoreline and was 30 m long parallel to the sea cliff by 11 August. Surface lava flows also cascaded down Paliuli at times. Generally, seismicity was at normal levels, except for the continued swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor that has been taking place since early June. There were no signs of significant deformation at the volcano.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Eastern Java (Indonesia)
| 8.119°S, 114.056°E
| Elevation 3260 m
The Darwin VAAC received reports stating that on 12 August at 1720 ash was visible drifting NW of Raung around summit level. The summit was partially obscured by meteorological clouds and no ash was identifiable on satellite imagery.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 2-9 August, activity at Soufrière Hills continued at a high level. Lava-dome growth remained focussed on the N side of the dome complex, with the development of a massive curved lobe of lava. During the early part of the week, the lobe repeatedly crumbled, producing rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows that reached the upper portion of Tuitt's Ghaut. Limited activity occurred on the NW part of the dome, although one small pyroclastic flow occurred in the notch between the central and north-western buttresses. Over the last 3 days of the report period, rockfall activity decreased substantially. This was due to the lobe becoming more coherent and not collapsing, not due to the activity stagnating. During the report week SO2 mass flux increased.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
During 7-13 August, emissions of steam, gas, and ash continued at Tungurahua. Ash was seen rising to a maximum height of ~6.7 km a.s.l., but it was not visible on satellite imagery.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
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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.
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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.
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