Activity for the week of 24 November-30 November 2004
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
| Papua New Guinea
| 4.08°S, 145.037°E
| Elevation 1807 m
High-level volcanic activity continued at Manam during 24-30 November. The Darwin VAAC reported that satellite imagery showed eruption cloud tops at a height of ~18 km a.s.l. on 24 November and that RVO reported strong Strombolian eruptions and lava flows. By 28 November plumes were visible on satellite imagery at a height of ~5.5 km a.s.l. On 30 November the Washington VAAC did not see plumes on satellite imagery, but RVO reported that the eruption continued.
According to news reports, evacuation of the ~9,600 residents of the island of Manam began on 28 November. Food gardens, cash crops, trees, and houses (about 20 bush houses) were destroyed on the island and the drinking water was contaminated. Residents were being evacuated to Bogia, about 2 hours away by boat. There were unconfirmed reports of two deaths, due to drinking "ash-contaminated water," and five injuries.
Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Papua New Guinea Post-Courier Online, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Associated Press, Reuters
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
During 26-30 November, several small explosions occurred at Colima. Based on information from the Mexico City MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that a steam-and-ash emission occurred on 25 November. Satellite imagery showed the plume 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)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
During 24-26 November there were several explosions at Fuego. On 25 and 26 November ash plumes from these explosions rose to low levels above the volcano. Incandescent lava was hurled ~100 m above the volcano and avalanches of block lava traveled towards the Taniluyá and Ceniza ravines.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Surface lava flows at Kilauea were visible along two to three arms of the PKK lava flow on the Pulama pali fault scarp during 24-30 November. Most vents in the crater of Pu`u `O`o were incandescent. Lava entered the ocean through 26 November. On 30 November, seismicity at Kilauea's summit was low, with a few long-period earthquakes continuing to occur. Tremor was essentially absent at the summit and moderate at Pu`u `O`o. About 7 microradians of inflation occurred at Pu`u `O`o on 29 November.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.056°N, 160.642°E
| Elevation 4754 m
Around 26 November, the Concern Color Code at Kluichevskoi was reduced from Yellow to Green, the lowest level. During 19-26 November, seismicity was at background levels. Gas-and-steam plumes were seen up to 5 km a.s.l. on 24 November and weak fumarolic activity was observed on several days.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| DR Congo
| 1.52°S, 29.25°E
| Elevation 3470 m
The Goma Volcano Observatory reported that during 10-17 November continuous volcanic tremor was recorded at all seismic stations located around Nyiragongo. Visual observation of the volcano's summit on 12 and 13 November revealed that the lava lake surface had widened considerably, with strong lava fountains. Numerous Pele's hairs and scoriae were seen on the cone's S, W, and N sides. A gas plume and incandescence were visible rising above the volcano. All fractures that opened during the 2002 eruption on the volcano's S flank had widened slightly and showed minor temperature increases.
During 18-29 November, continuous banded tremor at high amplitudes occurred beneath the volcano, but the amplitudes seemed to be lower that those recorded during 9-18 November. Visual observations at the summit on 25 and 26 November revealed a slight decrease in the level of the lava lake, although there continued to be strong lava fountains and a high flux in lava and gases. Pele's hair, scoriae, a gas plume, and incandescence were all still present. Measurements of the fractures on the volcano's slopes showed that they remained stable. The Alert Level at Nyiragongo remained at Yellow.
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
During 24-26 November, weak-to-moderate explosions occurred at Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex, producing plumes to a maximum height of 1.3 km above the crater. Block-lava avalanches traveled down the SW flank of Caliente Dome.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
During 19-26 November, the seismic network at Soufrière Hills recorded 25 hybrid earthquakes, five volcano-tectonic earthquakes, three rockfalls, and one long-period earthquake. The sulfur-dioxide flux was between 125 and 330 metric tons per day, averaging 195 metric tons per day during the report period.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| United States
| 46.2°N, 122.18°W
| Elevation 2549 m
During 24-30 November, growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of St. Helens continued and was accompanied by intermittent emissions of steam and ash. Overall seismicity remained at low levels compared to that observed early in this unrest, consistent with a continuing, slow rise of magma driving uplift of the crater floor and feeding the extrusion of lava onto the surface, where it builds a dome. The overall low rates of seismicity and gas emission suggest that the lava reaching the surface is gas poor, thereby reducing the probability of highly explosive eruptions in the near term.
A shallow M 3.1 earthquake that occurred in the volcano's crater on 27 November around 0500 was the first earthquake greater than M 3 that had been recorded since the new lava dome emerged in mid-October. This and other similar-sized earthquakes during the report period represented nothing unusual in the expected sequence of events accompanying lava-dome growth.
Good weather conditions on 29 November allowed photographs to be taken of the new lava dome in the S part of the crater with a welt, or broad area of uplift. The dome was smooth and elongated due to ongoing extrusion from a vent on its N end, which lies at the S margin of the 1980-86 lava dome. The lava emerged from the vent with enough strength that it pushed earlier-extruded lava S toward the crater wall. The leading edge of the extruded lava reached the crater wall. St. Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation color code Orange.
Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption occurred at Suwanose-jima on 30 November at 1607. The eruption produced a plume to a height of ~1.2 km.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
During 26-29 November, activity at Tungurahua consisted of small-to-moderate explosions and several long-period earthquakes. Emissions mainly consisted of steam, gas, and small amounts of ash that rose to ~2 km above the volcano. During the morning of 28 November a small amount of ash fell on the village of Puela, ~8 km SW of the volcano.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
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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