Activity for the week of 15 January-21 January 2003
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
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that as of 19 January moderate eruptions continued at Fuego that produced ash clouds to 2 km above the summit. Ash drifted to the S and SW, depositing fine ash in the areas of Rocela, Panimache, and Palo Verde. In addition, incandescent avalanches traveled down canyons on the volcano's flanks.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3295 m
According to the Etna Volcan Sicilien website, on 15 January ash emission increased at the 2,750-m-elevation pyroclastic cone on the volcano's upper S flank. There was also an associated increase in lava emission towards the S. On the 16th explosive activity continued at the 2,750-m-elevation cone, with occasional explosions ejecting volcanic material onto an area within 300 m in the crater. On the 20th a reduction in activity occurred at the pyroclastic cone in comparison to the previous day, with ten explosions occurring in 8 hours. According to the Toulouse VAAC, low-level steam-and-ash clouds were occasionally visible on the Etna web camera.
Sources: Etna Volcan Sicilien (Charles Rivière), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 15-20 January at Kilauea, lava continued to flow into the sea at the West Highcastle entry. Most of the surface lava flows on the coastal flat crusted over, so that less incandescence was visible than the previous week. At Kilauea seismicity generally remained at background levels. The long-lasting swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor at Kilauea's summit, which began last June, continued at moderate levels. Volcanic tremor was relatively strong at Pu`u `O`o during the report week.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
Seismicity was slightly above background levels during 10-17 January at Kliuchevskoi, with 12-28 earthquakes occurring each day during 10-12 January and 33-35 earthquakes during 13-15 January. Intermittent spasmodic volcanic tremor was registered during the report week, and gas-and-steam plumes rose to 300 m above the crater. The Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
Volcanic activity continued at low-to-moderate levels at Popocatépetl during 15-20 January. Activity consisted of small-to-moderate emissions of steam, gas, and small amounts of ash, and sporadic episodes of low-amplitude harmonic tremor. On 9 January photographs of the lava dome revealed that the dome's inner crater had subsided.
The lava dome's volume was calculated to be approximately 500,000 m3. Explosive activity after the 15th was probably associated with the growth of a new lava dome. CENAPRED stated that in the next days moderate explosive activity, with ash and incandescent material emission, could occur.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Associated Press
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
Eruptions of Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone continued during 17-19 January, with activity from three different vents. Discrete convoluted ash plumes rose several hundred to a thousand meters above the volcano's summit. Plumes drifted N and NW, depositing small amounts of ash in Rabaul Town, and the villages of Malaguna, Matupit, Nonga, Tavai, Korere, and Rabura. During the report period, seismicity was at low levels. No significant short-term deformation was recorded, following a very slow inflationary trend during the previous 2 months.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 10-17 January, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch. Seismic data indicated that 12 ash-and-gas explosions reached heights of 2 km above the lava dome, and hot avalanches possibly occurred. Gas-and-steam plumes rose to 800 m above the lava dome and drifted E and NW during 10-12 January. Thermal anomalies were visible on satellite imagery. Shiveluch remained at Concern Color Code Yellow.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
The level of activity at Soufrière Hills fluctuated during 10-17 January, but generally declined from high to moderate levels. The active extrusive lobe on the lava dome's N side continued to grow, producing pyroclastic flows and rockfalls during the first days of the report period down White's Ghaut and the Tar River Valley, and to a lesser extent to Tuitt's Ghaut and the top of Tyre's Ghaut and Farrell's Plain. During 15-17 January almost all pyroclastic flows occurred in the Tar River Valley, with only minor rockfalls traveling down the dome's NE and N sides. SO2 emission rates were variable, with periods of heightened emission lasting a few hours followed by very low levels of emission. The Washington VAAC stated that several low-level ash plumes were visible on satellite imagery.
Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Volcanic activity remained at relatively low levels at Tungurahua during 15-21 January, with emissions of steam, gas, and ash producing low-level plumes.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
The elevated seismicity that began in mid-December 2002 at Veniaminof continued during 10-17 January. As during the previous week, periods of nearly constant seismicity were recorded during the report week. Discrete seismic events occurred at rates up to 1-2 events per minute, along with moderate levels of volcanic tremor. The Concern Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
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.