Activity for the week of 25 September-1 October 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
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.475°N, 155.608°W
| Elevation 4170 m
HVO reported on 30 September that a pattern of slow deflation occurring at Mauna Loa for the past 9 years abruptly changed in mid-May when the summit area began to slowly swell and stretch. Global Positioning System measurements revealed that distances across the summit caldera (Moku`aweoweo) have been lengthening at a rate of 5-6 cm per year, and the caldera has widened about 2 cm since 12 May. The summit area was slightly higher than before mid-May, consistent with swelling. In addition, the upper part of the SE flank showed outward movement. Seismicity remained low at Mauna Loa, although it may have been slightly higher level than during the pre-inflation interval.
Sources: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), Associated Press
| Sangihe Islands (Indonesia)
| 2.3°N, 125.37°E
| Elevation 725 m
VSI reported that following the 25 September Ruang eruption there was no significant volcanic activity; only thin white clouds rose 100 m above the summit. On 30 September VSI decreased the Alert Level at Ruang from 4 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4).
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 25-30 September at Kilauea, lava continued to travel SE down Paliuli and Pulama pali, and surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat. Lava entered the sea at multiple points along the fronts of two lava deltas and visitors saw several sudden collapses of the front of the bench (land built out from the sea cliff). Generally, seismicity was at normal levels. The swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor beneath Kilauea's caldera that originally began in June was fairly weak. Periods of small deflation and inflation occurred at Uwekahuna and Pu`u `O`o tiltmeters, but no significant deformation was recorded elsewhere.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 20-27 September, volcanic and seismic activity at Shiveluch were above background levels. There were four earthquakes with magnitudes 2-2.1, and many smaller ones. Seismic data indicated possible avalanches and ash-and-gas explosions that may have sent material to 5.5 km a.s.l. On 25 September continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor was recorded for 27 minutes. Short-lived gas-and-steam plumes were observed rising to 6.5 km a.s.l. 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 20-27 September, activity at Soufrière Hills' dome complex increased in comparison to the previous week, with a major change in direction of extrusion following a hybrid earthquake swarm the previous week. Growth of the previously active NE lobe stagnated during the 21st to 22nd. A near vertical spine was extruded in the central area around the 21st, possibly indicating a switch in growth direction. Observations on the 26th revealed a large new lobe that had extruded towards the W in the area previously known as Gages Wall. Material spalling off of this lobe produced rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows down Gages Valley for up to 1 km. The most notable events were pyroclastic flows on the evening of the 25th and the morning of the 27th. Growth and rockfall activity then changed towards the northern flanks, suggesting a possible stagnation of the recently extruded western lobe. Spectacular incandescence and semi-continuous rockfall activity were observed on the NE and N flanks of the dome on the night of the 26th and the early hours of the 27th. The Washington VAAC reported that a low-level ash cloud from an emission on the 29th at 1510 was visible over E Puerto Rico on satellite imagery through the following day. On the 30th a light dusting of white ash fell in E Puerto Rico at Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
During 25 September-1 October, 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 28 September around 0400 an eruption occurred at Ulawun that produced an ash-and-steam cloud to ~3.7 km a.s.l. The cloud was visible on satellite imagery at 0632 drifting WSW.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
AVO reported that seismic unrest that began at Veniaminof on 10 September continued through the 27th. The intensity of tremor and small earthquakes under the volcano had decreased since the 10th, but remained above the background level established during the summer of 2002. Visual observations of Veniaminof were hampered by poor weather. On 24 September, residents of Perryville, 35 km S of the volcano, reported and photographed small bursts of steam, possibly containing minor amounts of ash, rising just above the historically active intracaldera cinder cone. Without additional observations, AVO could not determine if this indicated very low-level eruptive activity or vigorous steaming from the cone. On several occasions of relatively clear weather conditions, AVO observed no signs of elevated temperature or ash emission on satellite imagery. Due to the continuing seismicity and reports of unusual steaming, the Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.576°S, 150.516°E
| Elevation 724 m
As of 30 September seismicity remained at low levels at Pago and lava continued to flow from the northeastern-most vent of the fissure system. A significant lava field had developed, with all lava flows contained within the caldera. Incandescence was visible at the lava-flow front.
Sources: The National, US Geological Survey
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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