Activity for the week of 19 February-25 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.
New Activity / Unrest
| Sulawesi (Indonesia)
| 1.358°N, 124.792°E
| Elevation 1580 m
An eruption at Lokon-Empung on 23 February around 1100 produced an ash cloud that rose 2.5 km above the crater. According to news reports, ash fell in the villages of Kinilouw and Kakaskasen and the Tondano Lake. On the 24th authorities put residents near the volcano on alert and banned recreational activities on Lokon-Empung's flanks. Two small eruptions on the 24th sent ash 200 m above the volcano. Lokon-Empung was at Alert Level 3 (on a scale of 1-4).
Sources: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), News 24
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 20-24 February at Kilauea, a small amount of lava entered the sea at the West Highcastle entry, and W of there lava flowed into the sea at the Kohala entry (an event that began on 15 February). Fresh lava oozed out of the cooling Kohala lava flow, both within the body of the flow and along its E margin. During the report period, lava continued to cross the Chain of Craters Road. Generally, seismicity remained at normal levels, with the long-lasting swarm of long-period earthquakes and tremor at Kilauea's summit, which began last June, continuing at low-to-moderate levels. Moderate tremor was recorded by the nearest seismometer to Pu`u `O`o. During 17-21 February, several small periods of inflation and deflation, which were consistent with each other in magnitude and patterns, were recorded at Uwekahuna and Pu`u `O`o tiltmeters.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
Seismicity was above background levels during 13-15 February at Kliuchevskoi, and slightly above background levels during 16-19 February. From 14 to 81 earthquakes occurred each day at depths of ~30 km. Continuous spasmodic volcanic tremor was registered during the report week, and gas-and-steam plumes rose to 1 km 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
Several emissions of steam, gas, and ash occurred during 19-25 February associated with the continued destruction of Popocatépetl's lava dome. One of the larger emissions occurred on 21 February at 1820 and produced a NE-drifting ash cloud to a height of 4 km above the volcano. It was followed by an emission the next day at 0239, which produced a NE-drifting ash cloud to 2 km above the volcano. Both emissions ejected incandescent fragments ~1.5 km from the volcano, causing fires in pasture land. According to the Washington VAAC, emissions on the 22nd produced two ash plumes that were visible on satellite imagery; one extended from the central Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula at a height ~10.7 km a.s.l., and a second smaller plume was over the Bay of Campeche at ~9.4 km a.s.l. Later that day, ash was visible on satellite imagery extending from Lake Okeechobee, Florida, NE into the Atlantic Ocean.
Sources: Associated Press, Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 0.077°S, 77.656°W
| Elevation 3562 m
During 20-21 February, heavy rain mixed with fine volcanic material on Reventador's flanks, generating mudflows that traveled down the Montana River. The mud flows obstructed travel on a highway. During 15-21 February, seismic activity remained at low levels and there was no indication of increased volcanism. IG stated that since the rainy season is beginning near Reventador, residents must be aware of the danger of possible mudflows.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
During 14-21 February, seismicity remained above background levels at Shiveluch and many shallow earthquakes were recorded. Seismic data indicated that 17 ash-and-gas explosions reached heights of 1.5 km above the lava dome, and hot avalanches possibly occurred. Video footage showed several ash-and-gas clouds, with the highest cloud rising to 6.5 km a.s.l on 15 February accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Volcanic spasmodic tremor occurred and gas-and-steam plumes rose to 1 km above the crater. 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 remained at moderate levels during 14-21 February. Remote camera footage indicated continued lava-dome growth on the NE lobe. Pyroclastic flows and rockfalls were concentrated more on the E flank of the lava dome and in the Tar River Valley than in recent weeks, although there were several periods of activity on the N flank, with pyroclastic flows in Tuitt's Ghaut and at the top of Farrell's Plain. SO2 emission rates were at low-to-moderate levels. 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)
| Aeolian Islands (Italy)
| 38.789°N, 15.213°E
| Elevation 924 m
INGV-CT reported that the effusive eruption that began at Stromboli on 28 December 2002, continued through 25 February 2003. Between 30 December 2002 and 15 February 2003 lava flowed from a main vent located at ~500 m elevation in the middle of the Sciara del Fuoco (a horseshoe-shaped scarp), within the scar left by the 30 December 2002 landslide. Another vent, located at ~600 m elevation at the NE base of Crater 1 (NE crater), had been active several times during the eruption, forming slow, short flows that lasted a few hours to a few days. On 15 February, after a gradual decrease in effusion rate, the vent at ~500 m elevation became inactive. This was accompanied by the opening of a new vent at ~600 m elevation, which emitted small lava flows on the upper Sciara del Fuoco. A small, complex flow field was formed with several lava tubes and ephemeral vents. This was the first time since the start of the eruption that activity at the ~500-m-elevation vent completely ceased, and the first time that the ~600-m-elevation vent remained active for over 10 days. Detailed daily reports of volcanic activity (in Italian) are available at the INGV-CT website.
Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Seismic and volcanic activity remained at low-to-moderate levels at Tungurahua during 19-20 February, with emissions of steam, gas, and ash producing low-level plumes. A moderate explosion on 19 February at 0249 deposited a small amount of ash in the sector of Ulba. Seismicity increased slightly during the eruption, but returned to low levels afterwards.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
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.
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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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.