Activity for the week of 11 September-17 September 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
| Western Java (Indonesia)
| 6.77°S, 107.6°E
| Elevation 2084 m
On 2 September VSI raised the Alert Level at Tangkubanparahu from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). The number of daily earthquakes had been increasing for 2 weeks and the temperatures of Domas and Ratu craters were 2-4°C higher than normal. There were no surface changes at the volcano, but several animals from the forest near Ratu crater were found dead in the crater.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
On 10 September AVO detected 1-minute-long pulses of low-frequency tremor occurring every 2-5 minutes on several seismic stations at Veniaminof. This type of seismicity is indicative of volcanic unrest. Retrospective analysis of seismic data suggested that tremor began as early as 8 September. Through at least 16 September the overall level of seismicity decreased, but remained above background levels. Veniaminof was at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3295 m
During 9-14 September, Strombolian activity continued at Etna's Northeast Crater, with ash and incandescent material being ejected from it. Volcanic bombs ejected vertically to heights of 100-150 m fell within the crater. Low-level ash clouds were visible on satellite imagery.
Sources: Etna Volcan Sicilien (Charles Rivière), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
During 6-13 September, seismicity at Karymsky remained above background levels, with 200-250 local shallow events occurring per day. The character of the seismicity indicated that ash-and-gas explosions rose to ~1 km above the volcano and gas blow-outs possibly occurred. Observations of Karymsky on 8 September revealed three new small lava flows on the volcano's S and SE slopes. A thermal anomaly was visible on satellite imagery, but ash was not. Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 11-16 September, lava continued to travel SE down Paliuli and Pulama pali, and many surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat. Lava flowed onto the Wilipe`a bench directly seaward of the end of the Chain of Craters Road. Lava entered the sea at several points on the NE portion of the front of the bench. Generally, seismicity was at normal levels. There were short periods of inflation and deflation at Uwekahuna and Pu`u `O`o.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Eastern Java (Indonesia)
| 8.108°S, 112.922°E
| Elevation 3657 m
On 8 September at 1947 an ash explosion at Semeru was accompanied by ejected incandescent material. The material traveled 150 m E to the upper portion of the Kembar River. During 2-8 September, seismicity was dominated by explosion earthquakes. Semeru 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
During 6-13 September, volcanic and seismic activity at Shiveluch were above background levels. There were eight earthquakes with magnitudes 2-2.2, and many smaller ones. Seismic data indicated possible avalanches and ash-and-gas explosions that may have sent material to 3 km above the lava dome. Volcanic tremor continued to slowly decrease. Short-lived ash-and-gas plumes were observed rising to 3.5 km above the lava dome. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery during several days, but ash was not. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 6-13 September, activity at Soufrière Hills remained at moderate levels. Growth on the lava-dome complex remained centralized on the E flank, with frequent rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows. At the beginning of the week most of these spilled eastward along the N side of the Tar River Valley, but later in the week activity appeared to refocus northward onto Tuitt's Ghaut. SO2 flux remained at moderate levels. On 11 September a faint ash plume was visible on satellite imagery.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Activity at Suwanose-jima was relatively low from 26 August until 12 September. On the 12th explosive eruptions began to occur frequently. According to the Suwanose-jima office of Toshima village, rumbling was intermittently heard about 4 km SSW of the summit and small amounts of ash fell. Explosions continued to occur until at least 13 September.
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) via the Volcano Research Center
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Activity at Tungurahua was very low during 9-12 September, with low gas emission (50 tons of SO2 on 12 September) and negligible seismic activity. On the 12th at 1300 a sudden ash emission occurred that marked the onset of a new eruptive phase. A dark ash column reached 1 km above the crater and drifted W. About 1.5 hours later the column turned white and roaring indicated that sustained Strombolian activity was taking place in the crater. Intense Strombolian activity was seen at night, with large amounts of ballistic material being thrown out of the crater and ash falling on the volcano's flanks. SO2 gas emission was relatively high (1,200 tons per day). By the next day activity began to decline; low-level Strombolian activity occurred and 700 tons of SO2 were emitted that day. On the 14th around 0100, long-lived and high-amplitude tremor suddenly started at the volcano. It was followed by an intense explosive phase that began near 1000 and continued through at least the 15th at 2200. During the eruptive episode, continuous gas-and-ash emissions and short-lived Vulcanian explosions occurred. Dark ash plumes occasionally rose 3-4 km above the crater and drifted SW. Large blocks were thrown as high as 700 m above the crater and landed as far as 2 km from the crater. Lava fountaining also occurred.
Sources: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.05°S, 151.33°E
| Elevation 2334 m
On 12 September at 0700 a low-level ash plume located NNW to NNE of Ulawun was visible on satellite imagery. By 1132 the plume was no longer visible.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (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.