Activity for the week of 29 January-4 February 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.
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3320 m
According to the Italy's Volcanoes website, the eruption that began at Etna on 26-27 October 2002 ended during 28-29 January 2003. During the previous week, volcanic activity decreased at the pyroclastic cone on Etna's upper S flank and by the evening of the 28th seismic and volcanic activity had ceased.
Sources: Italy's Volcanoes, Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 29 January to 3 February at Kilauea, lava continued to enter the sea at the West Highcastle entry. Around 28 January a large lava breakout occurred from the West Highcastle lava tube about 170 m inland from the old sea cliff. As of 2 February the area of the new breakout was about 6.15 hectares. During the report period, seismicity was at background levels at Kilauea. The long-lasting swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor at Kilauea's summit, which began last June, continued at low-to-moderate levels. No significant deformation was recorded.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
Volcanic activity continued at low-to-moderate levels at Popocatépetl during 28 January to 3 February. Activity consisted of small-to-moderate emissions of steam, gas, and small amounts of ash, and sporadic episodes of low-amplitude harmonic tremor. A moderate-sized emission occurred on 2 February at 0826 that produced an ash column to a height of ~2 km above the volcano. In addition, there were episodes of harmonic low-amplitude tremor during 2 hours.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
Eruptions of Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone continued during 27 January to 2 February, with steam-and-ash emissions occurring at irregular intervals and rising about a few hundred meters above the summit. Ash plumes were blown to the SE and seismicity fluctuated at low levels. Ground-deformation measurements showed a slight inflationary trend over the last couple of days in the report period.
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 24-31 January, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch and many shallow earthquakes were recorded. According to seismic data, on 25 January a short-lived explosion produced an ash-and-gas plume that rose to 3.5 km above the lava dome. 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
Activity at Soufrière Hills was at moderate levels at the beginning of the report period (24-31 January), but increased late in the evening of 25 January and remained high for the remainder of the week. Growth of the active extrusion lobe continued on the N side of the lava dome. The direction of growth was generally towards the NNE, although the focus of rockfall and pyroclastic-flow activity varied from day to day. Numerous small-to-moderate pyroclastic flows occurred in White's Ghaut, the Tar River Valley, and Tuitt's Ghaut. A pulse of activity occurred at midday on 30 January, during which pyroclastic flows simultaneously descended several flanks of the lava dome traveling to the Tar River Valley, White's Ghaut, Tuitt's Ghaut and W to Fort Ghaut. SO2 emission rates fluctuated throughout the week. 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
Seismic and volcanic activity remained at relatively low levels at Tungurahua during 29 January to 4 February, with emissions of steam, gas, and ash producing low-level plumes. Incandescence was visible in the crater during some evenings.
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 at Veniaminof in mid-December 2002 continued through 24-31 January. Discrete seismic events occurred at rates up to 1-2 events per minute, although event rates and peak amplitudes decreased somewhat over the last 2 days. 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.