Activity for the week of 10 December-16 December 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
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an explosion at Suwanose-jima on 15 December at 1946 produced a plume to an unknown height.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
As of 12 December there was an average of three explosions per day at Colima that rose 2-3 km above the crater. Most of the ash from these explosions drifted ENE. A significant explosion on 11 December at 0258 sent volcanic bombs down the NE and N flanks and deposited ash in the city of Ciudad Guzmán, 25 km to the NE. According to the Washington VAAC, ash from an explosion on 14 December was visible on satellite imagery at a height of ~6 km a.s.l.
Sources: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Halmahera (Indonesia)
| 1.693°N, 127.894°E
| Elevation 1229 m
During 10-16 December, thin ash plumes from Dukono were sometimes visible on satellite imagery extending to a maximum distance of ~90 km E and NE.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
During 10-16 December, weak explosions at Fuego continued to produce ash clouds that rose 200-1,000 m above the volcano. Explosions and avalanches on 16 December sent volcanic material W and SW towards Taniluya and Santa Teresa ravines. Civil Aeronautics recommended that airplanes avoid the area near the volcano due to ash in the atmosphere.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 10-16 December, eruptive activity continued at Kilauea's Pu`u `O`o vent. Various vents within Pu`u `O`o were occasionally active and new lava flows covered parts of the crater floor. No surface lava flows were visible on the coastal flat or Pulama pali. During 15-16 December, only steady weak tremor was recorded at Kilauea's summit, tremor at Pu`u `O`o was at moderate levels, and slight deformation occurred.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| DR Congo
| 1.408°S, 29.2°E
| Elevation 3058 m
During December, seismicity continued at Nyamuragira and may have increased.
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG)
| DR Congo
| 1.52°S, 29.25°E
| Elevation 3470 m
GVO reported that in December activity at Nyiragongo remained at relatively low levels, with the constant presence of an active lava lake inside the crater. The Alert Level remained at Yellow.
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG)
Piton de la Fournaise
| Reunion Island (France)
| 21.244°S, 55.708°E
| Elevation 2632 m
As of 16 December, significant seismicity continued at Piton de la Fournaise. Hikers were only permitted limited access to the volcano due to the possibility of further volcanic activity.
Sources: Fournaise.info, Clicanoo - Le Journal de l'Ile de la Reunion
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
Weak-to-moderate explosions continued at Santa Maria's Santiaguito lava dome during 10-16 December. On 10 December ash mainly drifted SE toward the areas of Sana María de Jesús and las Majadas. Avalanches traveled to the S and SW from the fronts of lava flows. According to the Washington VAAC, on 12 December ash clouds were visible on satellite imagery at a height of ~4.5 km drifting SW.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
Volcanic activity at Soufrière Hills was at low levels during 5-12 December, with low counts of all types of seismic signals. Visual observations confirmed that no new lava-dome growth occurred in the crater since July 2003, although some old lava-dome material from the crater walls had slumped and wall rocks had degraded due to steaming. Sulfur-dioxide flux measurements varied during the week from 800-900 tons per day at the beginning of the report period to 300-500 tons per day towards the end of the week.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| Aeolian Islands (Italy)
| 38.789°N, 15.213°E
| Elevation 924 m
The Stromboli Web video camera showed a small explosion on 10 December that produced a plume to a height of ~1 km above the volcano. No ash was visible on satellite imagery.
Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
During 11-16 December, volcanic activity remained relatively high at Tungurahua with several explosions producing ash-and-gas plumes to a maximum height of 4 km. There were also many long-period earthquakes that were associated with near-constant gas-and-ash emissions. Explosions on 11 December deposited ash in the towns of Quero, Santa Fe de Galán, and lesser amounts in Bilbao. According to the Washington VAAC, ash-and-gas plumes were visible on satellite imagery several times during the report week.
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.