Activity for the week of 5 November-11 November 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
| North Island (New Zealand)
| 38.08°S, 176.27°E
| Elevation 757 m
Two eruptions occurred at Kuirau Park in Rotorua caldera around 1100 on 6 November. They blasted mud, rock, and ash 14 m into the air. Gray mud and small rocks littered a zone ~20 m wide. The eruption destroyed trees around the crater. The eruptions occurred just meters from the site of a large blowout in 2001. The area is known for this kind of phreatic activity.
| Halmahera (Indonesia)
| 1.693°N, 127.894°E
| Elevation 1229 m
During this week repeated aviation messages mentioned Dukono ash plumes of variable density. Some of these messages are summarized as follows.
A 5 November aviation message (Volcanic Ash Advisory) noted a faint ash plume to ~2.4 km a.s.l. and extending 220 km NE of the summit based on satellite imagery (GOES 9, 5 November, 0413 UTC). Another 5 November satellite image (visual data from NOAA-15) analyzed by the U.S. Air Force reported a "very pronounced ash plume" at 2137 UTC.
A 7 November Air Force message described a faint plume stemming from ash and steam eruptions to ~3 km a.s.l. The plume remained visible for ~60 km toward the E where it blew into thicker cirrus clouds thwarting detection.
An 11 November Air Force message described ash and steam to ~3 km a.s.l. moving ESE at 18-28 km/hour. At 0521 UTC the plume extended 120 km ESE of the summit. This observation was based on GOES-9 imagery. Similar reports noted shorter plumes later that day.
Source: US Air Force Weather Agency
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3295 m
On 9 November aviation sources and web camera observations detected a small ash and steam plume at Etna. The plume rose to ~4 km a.s.l.
Sources: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV), US Air Force Weather Agency
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
On the night of 4 November observers saw crater glow and incandescent avalanches. Some incandescent avalanches descended into local valleys. Earlier that day moderate exposions prevailed, throwing material 150 m above the crater's rim. The explosions generated shock waves audible at distance.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Tiltmeters located on the NW side of Kileauea's caldera rim (Uwekahuna) and on the NW flank of the active vent along the East rift zone (Pu`u `O`o cone) showed several microradians of radial tilt, but the week's patterns were complex and plagued by instrument problems.
Moderate seismicity at the summit of Kilauea continued. Many small, low frequency earthquakes have taken place at shallow depths beneath the summit caldera. The tiny earthquakes happened at the rate of about 1-2 per minute. As has been typical of the ongoing swarm for the past several weeks, some larger earthquakes also occurred, these coming from depths of a few kilometers. Little or no volcanic tremor accompanied the swarm at the summit. In contrast, as is the norm, volcanic tremor at Pu`u `O`o remained moderate to high.
On 5 November, two small breakouts occurred. The freshly escaping lava was seen on the Kohola arm of the Mother's Day flow just below the top of the steep cliffs called Pulama pali. Observers watching a 30-40 m diameter crater located on the SW side of Pu`u `O`o crater noted a new lava pond, a new lava flow, and a fuming cone-pit. Visits to active flow fields on 7 November resulted in observations of hornitos, a 200-m-wide rootless shield, and the leading edge of 45-m-wide flow.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
A 7 November report noted continued unrest, with recent (late October) activity including unusual numbers and kinds of earthquakes. During the week ending 7 November tremor took place and earthquakes remained elevated. A 9 November satellite observation revealed an ash and steam plume to ~7 km a.s.l. and extending ~100 km from the summit.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
This tall volcano is commonly obscured by clouds and scientists are then forced to rely on seismicity detected by the monitoring network to define the number of "daily exhalations." Daily exhalations during the week of 5-11 November 2003 typically stood at ~5. By comparison, during March 1996 the daily exhalations reached ~180. Other monitored parameters during 5-11 November also indicated relative stability. Scientists also consider the energy released by the exhalation-related seismicity, and not surprisingly, this also stood much higher during mid-1996. A 17 October 2003 flight over the volcano allowed scientists to see into the crater; the crater floor looked comparatively flat, without signs of a rising dome. Good visibility on 6 November brought little sign of fumarolic steam rising from the volcano. No aviation ash advisories were issued for Popocatépetl during this week.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 0.077°S, 77.656°W
| Elevation 3562 m
Many unconsolidated deposits remain on Reventador's flanks following its sudden eruption on 3 November 2002, and strong rain fell there during 7 and 9 November 2003. During those days seismometers recorded signals interpreted as lahars. In addition, after these signals diminished, the seismometers detected the more subtle signals of tremor. Multiple volcanic earthquakes per day also occurred.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Aeolian Islands (Italy)
| 38.789°N, 15.213°E
| Elevation 924 m
According to aviation reports from the U.S. Air Force, the web camera at Stromboli captured light ash emissions on 7 and 11 November. In both cases plumes rose to ~2.5 km a.s.l.
Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Tungurahua maintained a generally low level of activity, with occasional plumes (often ash-poor) rising to less than 1 km above the summit. In contrast, a few ash-bearing emissions occurred. For example, on 5, 6, and 7 November there were ash falls of low intensity in the volcano's eastern sector. On the 6th two larger than average explosions were recorded seismically, one associated with an ash column rising to 2 km a.s.l. On the latter day there was also a modest. During this week, tremor represented a key seismic signal, with relatively few earthquakes.
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.
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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.