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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 4 December-10 December 2002.


















 Activity for the week of 4 December-10 December 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
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New

Guagua Pichincha Ecuador Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kavachi Solomon Islands Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Reventador Ecuador Ongoing
Ruapehu North Island (New Zealand) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Witori New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3295 m

According to the Italy's Volcanoes website, as of 5 December explosive activity continued at one of Etna's vents in the northernmost portion of the fissure that opened on Etna's upper S flank on 27 October. Ash emission and lava fountaining were vigorous, with continuous tephra fall affecting areas NE and E of Etna during several days before 5 December. Lava emission seemed to temporarily cease after about 3 weeks of near-continuous activity from vents on the flanks of the new pyroclastic-cone complex. Intermittent seismicity occurred at and around Etna. The largest reported damage occurred at a vacated school building near Giarre that partially collapsed. On 8 December ash emission and lava fountaining at the 2,800-m vent changed to violent Strombolian explosions. The following day ash emission recommenced, and on 10 December explosive activity shifted to the main pyroclastic cone, while the 2,800-m cone became less active, and lava was emitted that fed a flow to the S. By the 11th the lava flow had divided into several branches, with one slowly advancing toward the Rifugio Sapienza tourist area.

Sources: Italy's Volcanoes, Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Etna Volcan Sicilien (Charles Rivière)



Volcano index photo  Piton de la Fournaise  | Reunion Island (France)  | 21.244°S, 55.708°E  | Elevation 2632 m

Lava emissions from Piton de la Fournaise that had begun on 16 November ended on 3 December. Permanent tremor decreased significantly that day, although seismic events beneath the summit continued at a rate of one a minute. Sesimicity continued to decline over the next 2 days. Poor weather conditions prevented helicopter observations during 3-5 December. Inspection on 6 December revealed some areas of collapse between Bory and Dolomieu craters and white fumes that were released from a new cone named Guanyin. There was no evidence of surface activity coincident with larger seismic events that occurred while scientists from OVPDLF were on the edge of Dolomieu crater.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)



Ongoing Activity


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 an eruption occurred at Guagua Pichincha on 7 December at 2120. The height of the ash cloud produced from the eruption was not reported, and no ash was visible on satellite imagery.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

Seismicity remained above background levels at Karymsky during 29 November to 6 December, with 200-300 shallow events recorded per day. The character of seismicity indicated that ash-and-gas explosions reached heights of ~1 km above the volcano, and 5- to 10-minute-long vigorous gas emissions possibly occurred. On 1 December an ash plume was seen rising ~500 m above the volcano, and the top of the volcano and its SE flank was covered with recent ashfall and debris from continuing Vulcanian/Strombolian eruptions. Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Kavachi  | Solomon Islands  | 8.991°S, 157.979°E  | Elevation -20 m

According to an observer at the Kavachi Wilderness Lodge, during October to November the top of Kavachi rose above sea surface, ultimately reaching 10 m a.s.l. The island that was produced was subsequently eroded by late-season southeasterly winds and swells.

Source: The Wilderness Lodge



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

During 4-10 December, lava continued to flow into the sea at entry points from two lava deltas. Moderate-to-large littoral explosions tossed spatter onto the front of the West Highcastle delta. Surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat. Generally, seismicity was at normal levels. The swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor beneath Kilauea's caldera, occasionally seismically active since June, continued to show some short bursts of tremor interspersed with small earthquakes. Small inflation and deflation events occurred at Pu`u` O`o and Uwekahuna tilt meters.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Klyuchevskoy  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.056°N, 160.642°E  | Elevation 4754 m

Seismicity was above background levels at Kliuchevskoi during 29 November to 6 December. Up to 33 earthquakes occurred per day during 28 November to 4 December at a depth of ~ 30 km. In addition, intermittent spasmodic volcanic tremor occurred during the report week. On 3 December a gas-and-steam plume rose ~1.3 km above the crater and drifted N and NE. Kliuchevskoi remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

Through 11 December the eruption of Rabaul volcano's Tavurvur cone was characterized by slow, convoluted ash plumes that rose several hundred meters above the summit. There was a small amount of ash in the plumes, and minor ashfall affected areas close to the cone. Seismicity was low to moderate, and there was a ~2.5-minute-long period of harmonic tremor the morning of the 11th that was accompanied by a pulsating noise that emanated from the volcano. No ground deformation was recorded.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center



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

Low-level seismicity continued at Reventador through 8 December. White emission columns were observed on the afternoon of 3 December, but meteorological clouds prevented observations during most of the week. White steam-and-gas emissions were seen again on 7 December rising about 500 m above the summit. There were no reports of lahars.

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Ruapehu  | North Island (New Zealand)  | 39.28°S, 175.57°E  | Elevation 2797 m

IGNS reported on 12 December that during the previous 2 months volcanic tremor and earthquakes had been occurring at Ruapehu, but there had been little surface change. However, during 5-12 December the temperature of Crater Lake rose 11°C, to 35°C. Ruapehu remained at Alert Level 1 (signs of volcano unrest).

Source: GeoNet



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

Seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch, but decreased during 29 November to 6 December. Seismic data indicated that nine ash-and-gas explosions reached heights of 1-2 km above the lava dome, and hot avalanches possibly occurred. A number of smaller earthquakes at depths of 0-6 km were recorded. Weak intermittent spasmodic tremor was recorded on 28-30 November. Gas-and-steam plumes rose to a maximum height of 2.5 km above the lava dome. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery, but ash was not.

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 29 November to 6 December remained at moderate levels. Growth of the active lava dome in the N part of the dome complex continued. A number of small, short-lived spines formed at the base of this lobe, shedding material E into White's Ghaut and the Tar River Valley. Lava blocks continued to spall off the front of the lobe, shedding material NE into Tuitt's Ghaut and onto the northern talus slope. An average of one moderate-sized pyroclastic flow occurred per day during the report week. They traveled no farther than 1-1.5 km from the lava dome into Tuitt's and White's ghauts and into the Tar River Valley. During 5-6 December, rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows occurred more frequently on the northern talus slope and on the NW, at the top of Tyer's Ghaut.

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 4-9 December, emissions of steam, gas, and ash continued at Tungurahua. The highest reported ash cloud was produced from an eruption on 4 December at 1215. It reached a height of 3.5 km above the volcano and drifted NW. Ashfall occurred in the settlements of Arrayan and Pilate. During 6-8 December, seismicity slightly increased from relatively low levels the rest of the week.

Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

An aerial inspection of Pago on 10 December confirmed that lava continued to slowly flow from the volcano. The lava flow remained confined by the walls of Witori caldera. Variable amounts of steam was emitted from vents. Blue vapor, which was inferred to be juvenile volcanic gas, was emitted from the northwestern-most vent. Seismicity continued to be at background levels, and consisted of small volcano-tectonic earthquakes.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center



Weekly Reports Archive

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Campi Flegrei del Mar di Sicilia Kanaga Nyamuragira Takawangha
Cayambe Kanlaon Nyiragongo Talang
Cereme Karangetang Okataina Tambora
Chachadake [Tiatia] Karkar Okmok Tanaga
Chaiten Karthala Ontakesan Tandikat-Singgalang
Chiginagak Karymsky Oraefajokull Tangkoko-Duasudara
Chikurachki Kasatochi Osorno Tangkuban Parahu
Chiles-Cerro Negro Katla Pacaya Tara, Batu
Chillan, Nevados de Kavachi Pagan Telica
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Chirpoi Kelut Paluweh Tengger Caldera
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Colima Ketoi Papandayan Tinakula
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Concepcion Kick 'em Jenny Pavlof Tokachidake
Copahue Kikai Peuet Sague Tolbachik
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Cuicocha Kirishimayama Planchon-Peteroa Tongariro
Cumbal Kizimen Poas Tungurahua
Dabbahu Klyuchevskoy Popocatepetl Turrialba
Dempo Kolokol Group Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Ubinas
Descabezado Grande Korovin Rabaul Ulawun
Dieng Volcanic Complex Koryaksky Raikoke Unknown Source
Dukono Krakatau Ranakah Unnamed
Ebeko Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker Raoul Island Unnamed
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Erta Ale Lamongan Rinjani Wolf
Etna Langila Ritter Island Yasur
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Eyjafjallajokull Lascar Ruang Zavodovski
Fernandina Lateiki Ruapehu Zhupanovsky
Fogo Lengai, Ol Doinyo Ruiz, Nevado del Zubair Group
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Fournaise, Piton de la Lewotobi Sakar
Fourpeaked Lewotolo Salak
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 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

Criteria

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.


Disclaimers

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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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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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.

 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)