Activity for the week of 17 December-23 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.
| Kuril Islands (Russia)
| 50.861°N, 155.565°E
| Elevation 2285 m
During 12-19 December, KVERT reduced the Concern Color Code at Alaid from Yellow to Green. Seismicity had been slightly above background levels since 31 October, but KVERT seismologists concluded that it was not related to volcanic activity.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
Ash clouds from eruptions at Colima on 19 December were visible on satellite imagery at a maximum height of ~8.5 km a.s.l., extending up to ~15 km E.
Sources: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 0.677°S, 78.436°W
| Elevation 5911 m
Seismicity at Cotopaxi during 8-14 December was above background levels, much like the previous week. During the report period, there was an increase in high-frequency tremor, but it remained within "normal" limits. A weak scent of sulfur was reported and steam columns rose to low levels.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Halmahera (Indonesia)
| 1.693°N, 127.894°E
| Elevation 1229 m
A thin plume emitted from Dukono on 17 December was visible on satellite imagery extending ~90 km E.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
During 18-22 December, moderate explosions at Fuego produced low-level ash plumes that drifted SE and W. Avalanches of volcanic material traveled down the volcano's W and SW flanks toward Taniluya and Santa Teresa ravines.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
Seismicity was above background levels at Karymsky during 12-19 December, with 160-240 local shallow earthquakes occurring per day. Explosions, possibly bearing ash, rose to 1-3 km above the volcano. Karymsky remained at Concern Color Code Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 18-22 December, eruptive activity at the Pu`u `O`o vent of Kilauea continued unabated. Fresh lava from the southwestern vents within Pu`u `O`o coated a quarter of the crater floor. No active flows were observed on Pulama pali or the coastal flat below Paliuli and no lava entered the ocean. As of 18 December surface lava flows at high elevations along the Mother's Day lava-tube system ignited trees. A few small earthquakes were recorded at Kilauea's summit along with steady weak tremor. Volcanic tremor continuously occurred at moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o and small amounts of inflation and deflation were detected during the report period.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
At Kliuchevskoi seismicity was above background levels during 12-19 December, with ~150 shallow M 1.75-2.25 earthquakes occurring along with a large number of weaker events. Strombolian activity was noted on the nights of 11 and 13 December. Gas-and-steam plumes, possibly containing small amounts of ash, rose to low levels above the volcano. Kliuchevskoi remained at Concern Color Code Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
During 18-22 December, weak-to-moderate explosions occurred at Santa Maria's Santiaguito lava-dome complex. The resultant plumes drifted mainly S and SE towards the Monte Claro, Monte Bello, La Florida, and El Faro fincas (ranches). Nearly constant avalanches of volcanic material traveled S and SW from the fronts of lava flows. Based on information from Retalhuleu airport, the Washington VAAC reported a minor emission from Santiaguito on 18 December. No ash was visible on satellite imagery.
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
During 12-19 December, volcanic activity at Soufrière Hills was low, with few counts of all types of seismic signals. Only 2 rockfalls and 12 hybrid earthquakes were recorded. Sulfur-dioxide emissions remained fairly stable at around 500 tons per day during most of the week, but there was a significant increase to 3,600 tons on 18 December.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Based on information from the Japanese Meteorological Agency, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an explosion at Suwanose-jima on 21 December at 1828 produced a plume to an unknown height.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
Volcanic activity continued at relatively high levels at Tungurahua during 17-22 December, with the occurrence of several moderate explosions. During the afternoon of 18 December a signal from a lahar in the sector of Cusúa NW of the volcano was recorded. According to the Washington VAAC, plumes from Tungurahua were visible on satellite imagery at a maximum height of ~7.5 km a.s.l.
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.