Activity for the week of 18 September-24 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
| Sangihe Islands (Indonesia)
| 2.3°N, 125.37°E
| Elevation 725 m
VSI increased the Alert Level at Ruang to 4 (the highest level) when the volcano began to erupt on 25 September at 0100. During the 7-hour eruption an ash cloud rose 0.5-1 km above the summit. Ruang erupted again at 1140, producing an ash cloud that VSI reported rose to 5 km above the summit. According to the Darwin VAAC, satellite imagery revealed that an ash cloud reached ~16 km above the volcano. People living near the volcano at desa Pumpente and desa Laimpatehi were evacuated.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Honshu (Japan)
| 36.406°N, 138.523°E
| Elevation 2568 m
The Asama Volcano Observatory reported that a period of high seismicity began at Asama on 18 September around 0620. Normally 30-59 earthquakes occur daily at the volcano, but on the 18th and 19th, they recorded 243 and 128 volcanic earthquakes, respectively. During this time, a relatively large amount of volcanic gas was emitted from the summit. Seismicity decreased on the 19th, but the temperature of the bottom of the crater lake remained high, as it has since May 2002. No changes in ground deformation were recorded.
Sources: Volcano Research Center-Earthquake Research Institute (University of Tokyo), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
During 13-20 September, seismicity at Karymsky remained above background levels, with 200-300 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. On 16 September at 1217 a short-lived explosion sent an ash-and-gas plume to a height of ~3 km a.s.l. 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 17-22 September, at Kilauea lava continued to travel SE down Paliuli and Pulama pali, and surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat. Lava also continued to flow into the sea. Generally, seismicity was at normal levels. For several days before the 18th, there was a period of repetitive inflation and deflation. After the 18th no significant deformation was recorded.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Eastern Java (Indonesia)
| 8.108°S, 112.922°E
| Elevation 3657 m
Ash clouds were observed at Semeru rising to ~7.6 a.s.l. on 22 September at 1453 and on 23 September at 1700. The September 23rd cloud drifted SW. Neither cloud was visible on satellite imagery due to meteorological clouds in the area.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 13-20 September, volcanic and seismic activity at Shiveluch were above background levels. There were eight earthquakes with magnitudes 2-2.3, 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. On 14 September continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor was recorded for about 40 minutes. Short-lived ash-and-gas plumes were observed rising to 3 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 13-20 September, activity at Soufrière Hills increased in comparison to the previous week. Lava-dome growth was directed to the NE, with frequent rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows sending material to a sector extending from the central Tar Valley on the E flank to the NE flanks above Tuitt's Ghaut. Some material tumbled down a notch onto the northern flank. SO2 flux remained at low-to-moderate levels when recorded during the beginning of the report week. Low-level ash-and-steam clouds were sometimes visible on satellite imagery.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
During 7-13 September, emissions of steam, gas, and ash continued at Tungurahua. Ash was seen rising to a maximum height of ~7 km a.s.l.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.05°S, 151.33°E
| Elevation 2334 m
On 19 September at 0700 a low-level ash plume from Ulawun was visible on satellite imagery.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
Pulses of low-frequency tremor were first recorded on 10 September by several seismic stations at Veniaminof. Until at least 20 September the overall level of seismicity decreased, but remained above background. AVO did not receive any reports of anomalous activity, and poor weather limited satellite observations. Due to the anomalous seismicity, the Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
News Feeds and Google Placemarks
Download Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report Network RSS Feed
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. At the end of each report is a list of the sources used. 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. This feature was first made available on 5 March 2008.
Download Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report Network CAP Feed
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.
Download Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report Network Link
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 profile page and to the complete Weekly Report for that week. This feature was first made available on 1 April 2009.
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.
4. Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.
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