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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

Weekly Volcanic Activity Map

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 30 October-5 November 2002.

 Activity for the week of 30 October-5 November 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.

Name Location Activity
Etna Sicily (Italy) New
Mayon Luzon (Philippines) New
Reventador Ecuador New
Tangkoko-Duasudara Sulawesi (Indonesia) New

Gorely Southern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Guagua Pichincha Ecuador Ongoing
Karangetang Siau Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Manam Papua New Guinea Ongoing
Mauna Loa Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Ruang Sangihe Islands (Indonesia) Ongoing
San Miguel El Salvador Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ulawun New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Veniaminof United States Ongoing
Witori New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing

New Activity / Unrest

Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3320 m

Volcanic and seismic activity continued at Etna during 29 October to 4 November after a new eruption commenced on 27 October. The eruption consisted of fissures opening on the volcano's S and N flanks, lava emission from these fissures, and fire fountains rising several hundreds of meters. Significant ash emissions led to the closure of Fontanarossa airport and produced ash clouds that drifted as far as Libya. According to an INGV-CT report, two major lava flows were emitted from the lower end of the northern fissure and spread toward the NE and E. The NE flow stopped on 31 October after traveling 2 km, when a decline in effusion rate was observed. As of 1 November the E flow had slowed down, but it was still moving and crusting over in the middle portion of the flow field. A few sectors of solid crust were detected during a survey with the helicopter of the Civil Protection using a thermal camera. This suggests that a lava tube is forming on this lava flow. The lava flow from the S fissure started about 12 hours after the N one, spread SW, and split in two branches around Monte Nero, following the same path as one of the 2001 eruption's lava branches. The S flows stopped on 31 October, reaching a total length of about 1 km. Fire fountains and phreatomagmatic activity decreased in intensity with time at both the N and S fissures. As of 1 November the effusion rate from the N fissure was declining, which increased the possibility of lava-tube formation along the E flow.

According to the Toulouse VAAC, ash was emitted from Etna during the report period and was occasionally visible on satellite imagery rising to 6.1 km a.s.l. On 1 November ash was visible on satellite imagery extending ENE from Etna's summit, reaching the coast of Greece. On several occasions meteorological clouds in the vicinity of Etna prohibited satellite views, but the Etna web video camera located in Catania showed continuous ash emission on 4 November.

Sources: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Mayon  | Luzon (Philippines)  | 13.257°N, 123.685°E  | Elevation 2462 m

According to news articles, the Alert Level at Mayon was raised from 0 to 1 (on a scale of 0-5) after increased seismicity and gas emission were recorded. The amount of SO2 emitted increased from ~950 tons/per day during the previous week, to ~2,670 tons on 29 October. Residents near the volcano were notified that they must not enter the 6-km radius Permanent Danger Zone, especially on the SE side of the volcano.

Sources: Associated Press, ABS-CBN News

Volcano index photo  Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

After 26 years with no explosive activity, a large eruption began at Reventador on 3 November that sent pyroclastic flows down the volcano's flanks. Based on seismic data and observations made by people near Reventador, IG reported that the first pyroclastic flows produced from the eruption occurred on the 3rd around 0900. Then, during 1000-1900 continuous tremor was recorded that may have been associated with continuous ash emissions and small explosions. Between 2000 on the 3rd and 0100 on the 4th, there was an increase in the amount and intensity of the tremor. After 0100 the activity level decreased, but a pulse of activity occurred between 0200 and 0300. A new cycle of activity began during 0700-0800. Small-to-moderate explosions occurred during the day and small pyroclastic flows descended the volcano's flanks. On the morning of the 5th explosive sounds were not heard, no ash fell in towns near the volcano, and meteorological clouds obscured Reventador. In addition, seismicity was low, but some small earthquakes and low-amplitude volcanic tremor occurred.

According to the Washington VAAC, the first eruption on 3 November produced an ash cloud that reached a height of ~16.8 km a.s.l. Subsequent explosions generated more ash clouds and satellite imagery showed discrete ash clouds on the 5th; a thin area of ash at ~16.8 km a.s.l. was located over S Colombia and N Brazil moving E, and a thicker ash cloud drifted W over the Pacific Ocean towards the Galapagos Islands at a height of ~10.7 km. In addition, a nearly stationary area of ash was observed over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador at a height of ~9.1 km a.s.l.

According to OCHA, pyroclastic flows on the 3rd reached the Baeza-Lumbaqui highway, blocking inter-city traffic. Ash fell in the towns of Baeza, Cayambe, Yaruqui, El Quinche, Tumbaco, Pifo, Sangoqui, and Quito, Ecuador's capital ~70 km W of Reventador. Quito was paralyzed by ash fall; schools and businesses were closed, residents were told to remain indoors, and all operations at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito were suspended. The approximately 3,000 people living in towns at the base of the volcano were evacuated and no deaths or injuries were attributed to volcanic activity.

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), El Universo, El Comercio

Volcano index photo  Tangkoko-Duasudara  | Sulawesi (Indonesia)  | 1.518°N, 125.185°E  | Elevation 1334 m

An increase in the number of volcanic earthquakes at Tongkoko since 24 October led VSI to raise the Alert Level from 1 to 2. The number of deep volcanic earthquakes decreased in comparison to the previous week. VSI reported that the increased number of shallow volcanic earthquakes indicated that seismicity was migrating to the surface.

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)

Ongoing Activity

Volcano index photo  Gorely  | Southern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 52.559°N, 158.03°E  | Elevation 1799 m

KVERT reported that an increased level of volcanic activity has not occurred at Gorely recently, as news articles had indicated. The Concern Color Code at Gorely remained at Green.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Volcano index photo  Guagua Pichincha  | Ecuador  | 0.171°S, 78.598°W  | Elevation 4784 m

Based on information from IG, the Washington VAAC reported that explosions occurred at Guagua Pichincha on 3 November at 2056 and 2115. They could not determine the heights of the plumes produced from the explosions, or if they contained ash, because ash was already in the atmosphere from a large eruption that day at Reventador, ~100 km E of Guagua Pichincha.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Karangetang  | Siau Island (Indonesia)  | 2.781°N, 125.407°E  | Elevation 1797 m

During 21-27 October, low-level plumes continued to rise above Karangetang's South and North craters. Weak-to-strong thundering sounds emanated from the volcano frequently. Seismicity was dominated by emission earthquakes and there was an increase in the number of volcanic earthquakes in comparison to the previous week. Karangetang remained at Alert Level 3 (on a scale of 1-4).

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)

Volcano index photo  Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Elevation 1513 m

Seismicity remained above background levels at Karymsky during 25 October to 1 November, with ~250 shallow earthquakes occurring per day. The character of the seismicity indicated that ash-and-gas explosions reached heights of 1 km above the volcano and vigorous 5- to 10-minute-long gas emissions possibly occurred. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery during 26-28 and 30 October. On the 31st at 1350 a pilot reported seeing an ash plume at a height of ~4 km a.s.l. extending SE. Seismic data from the Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismological Department revealed that the character of seismicity changed after 1400 that day. The data indicated that a lava flow probably traveled down the volcano's slope. A bright, large thermal anomaly was visible at the volcano on satellite imagery at 1314, as well as a ~60-km-long plume extending to the WSW. Pilots saw plumes on 1 November at 1100 rising to 4 km a.s.l. and drifting to the SE, and on 2 November at 0920 rising to 5.2 km a.s.l. Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Volcano index photo  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

During 30 October to 4 November at Kilauea lava continued to enter the sea from two deltas, as it has for several weeks. Surface lava flows were visible extending from the top of Paliuli to the top of Pulama pali, but were not seen on the coastal flat. Generally, seismicity was at normal levels beneath Kilauea's caldera. Some small bursts of tremor occurred that were interspersed with tiny earthquakes. Inflation and deflation were recorded at times at Uwekahuna and Pu`u `O`o tiltmeters.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

Volcano index photo  Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Elevation 1807 m

A pilot reported seeing a light brown ash cloud above Manam on 31 October at a height of ~3 km a.s.l. A possible thin low-level plume was visible on satellite imagery extending N of the volcano.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Mauna Loa  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.475°N, 155.608°W  | Elevation 4170 m

On the afternoon of 1 November volcanic tremor, centered low on Mauna Loa's SE flank, occurred for 30 minutes. HVO stated that this is a common occurrence, taking place several times a year in the same general region. The permanent, continuous GPS network indicated ongoing lengthening across Moku`aweoweo summit caldera, as it has since late April or May 2002.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

Volcano index photo  Rabaul  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 4.271°S, 152.203°E  | Elevation 688 m

Based on information from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory, the Darwin VAAC reported that low-level activity continued from Tavurvur volcano at Rabaul caldera through 4 November. Ash emissions occurred at long, irregular intervals and remained below ~3 km a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Ruang  | Sangihe Islands (Indonesia)  | 2.3°N, 125.37°E  | Elevation 725 m

During 21-27 October, a thick low-level ash plume infrequently rose above Ruang. Rainfall on 23 October caused lahars to flow down the volcano's flanks during 1445-1545. Ruang remained at Alert Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)

Volcano index photo  San Miguel  | El Salvador  | 13.434°N, 88.269°W  | Elevation 2130 m

A news report stating that a rockslide released dangerous fumes at San Miguel on 17 October was found to be false.

Source: Associated Press

Volcano index photo  Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

During 25 October to 1 November, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch. During this interval, seismic data indicated that there had been hot avalanches and eight ash-and-gas explosions in which clouds reached 2 km above the lava dome. Gas-and-steam plumes rose to ~2.5 km a.s.l. and thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Volcano index photo  Soufriere Hills  | Montserrat  | 16.72°N, 62.18°W  | Elevation 915 m

Activity at Soufrière Hills during 25 October to 1 November generally increased in comparison to the previous week. The volcano was observed using a remote camera and during a flight on 31 October. The active extruded lobe in the NW continued to steadily grow, bulking out on the N and W sides. Rockfalls and pyroclastic flows traveled down the E and N flanks, particularly within Tuitt's Ghaut and the Tar River Valley. A considerable amount of debris also spalled off the W flank of the active extruded lobe and accumulated in the upper parts of Fort Ghaut. SO2 emission rates were low throughout the week.

Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Tungurahua  | Ecuador  | 1.467°S, 78.442°W  | Elevation 5023 m

During 30 October to 5 November, emissions of steam, gas, and ash continued at Tungurahua. Plumes rose to a maximum height of ~5.8 km a.s.l.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Ulawun  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.05°S, 151.33°E  | Elevation 2334 m

A pilot reported seeing ash from Ulawun on 3 November drifting ESE of the volcano at a height of ~3 km a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Veniaminof  | United States  | 56.17°N, 159.38°W  | Elevation 2507 m

Veniaminof remained restless during 25 October to 1 November. Although the current seismic activity is lower than when first noted in early September, it is still above background level. AVO received video footage recorded in early October that showed minor ash emission from the intracaldera cone. The ash rose about 100-200 m above the cone and drifted a short distance before dispersing. A faint covering of ash was visible on the caldera ice field extending from the base of the cone. These observations are consistent with the elevated level of seismicity and are indicative of the type of minor activity that is occurring. Due to the continuing seismicity and reports of minor ash emissions the Concern Color Code at Veniaminof remained at Yellow.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

Volcano index photo  Witori  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.576°S, 150.516°E  | Elevation 724 m

On 3 November at 0620 a pilot saw a low-level ash plume rise above Pago. A narrow plume was visible on satellite imagery.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

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Agung Colo Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Lewotobi Papandayan Sotara
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Barren Island Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba Kick 'em Jenny Montagu Island San Cristobal Tokachidake
Batur Galeras Kikai Moyorodake [Medvezhia] San Miguel Tolbachik
Bezymianny Galunggung Kilauea Mutnovsky San Vicente Toliman
Bogoslof Gamalama Kirishimayama Myojinsho Sangay Tongariro
Brava Gamkonora Kizimen Nabro Sangeang Api Tungurahua
Bristol Island Gaua Klyuchevskoy Negra, Sierra Santa Ana Turrialba
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Cameroon Guagua Pichincha Krakatau Nisyros Saunders Unnamed
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Cereme Hachijojima Kurikomayama Nyamuragira Seulawah Agam West Mata
Chachadake [Tiatia] Hakoneyama Kusatsu-Shiranesan Nyiragongo Sheveluch Whakaari/White Island
Chaiten Heard Kverkfjoll Okataina Shishaldin Witori
Chiginagak Hekla Lamington Okmok Simbo Wolf
Chikurachki Hierro Lamongan Ontakesan Sinabung Yasur
Chiles-Cerro Negro Hokkaido-Komagatake Langila Oraefajokull Sinarka Zaozan [Zaosan]
Chillan, Nevados de Home Reef Lanin Osorno Siple Zavodovski
Chirinkotan Hood Lascar Pacaya Sirung Zhupanovsky
Chirpoi Huaynaputina Lateiki Pagan Slamet Zubair Group
Cleveland Hudson, Cerro Lengai, Ol Doinyo Paluweh Soputan
Colima Huila, Nevado del Leroboleng Panarea Sorikmarapi
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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.

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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.

5. USGS Disclaimer Statement for this Website:

Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. We strongly recommend that USGS data be acquired directly from a USGS server and not through other sources that may change the data in some way. While USGS makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information, various data such as names, telephone numbers, etc. may change prior to updating. USGS welcomes suggestions on how to improve our home page and correct errors. USGS provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of furnished data.

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URL: https://volcano.si.edu/reports_weekly.cfm

 Acronyms and Abbreviations

a.s.l. - above sea level

AVO - Alaska Volcano Observatory

AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)

CONRED - Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres

COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer

CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation

CVO - Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS)

GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory

GVP - Global Volcanism Program (Smithsonian Institution)

HVO - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS)

ICE - Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Costa Rica)

IG - Instituto Geofísico (Ecuador)

IGNS - Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (New Zealand) - now GNS Science

INETER - Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (Nicaragua)

INGEMMET - Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (Peru)

INGEOMINAS - Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (Colombia)

INGV-CT - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Sezione di Catania (Italy)

INSIVUMEH - Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrologia (Guatemala)

IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France)

JMA - Japanese Meteorological Agency

KEMSD - Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismilogical Department

KVERT - Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team

M - magnitude

METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite

MEVO - Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory

MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

MVO - Montserrat Volcano Observatory

MWO - Meteorological Watch Office

NEIC - National Earthquake Information Center

NIED - National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (Japan)

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTAM - Notice to Airmen

OVDAS - Observatorio Volcanologico de los Andes del Sur (Chile)

OFDA - Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance

ONEMI - Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (Chile)

OVPDLF - Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (France)

OVSICORI-UNA - Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica)

PHIVOLCS - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philippines)

RSAM - Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement

RVO - Rabaul Volcano Observatory

SERNAGEOMIN - Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria (Chile)

SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information

SNET - Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (El Salvador)

SVERT - Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (Russia)

USAID - US Agency for International Development

USGS - United States Geological Survey

UTC - Coordinated Universal Time

VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

VAFTAD - Volcanic Ash Forecast Transport And Dispersion

VDAP - Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (USGS)

VHP - Volcano Hazards Program (USGS)

VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)