Activity for the week of 8 December-14 December 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
RVO reported to the Darwin VAAC that during 8-14 December moderate eruptions continued at Manam. Satellite imagery showed a plume at a height of ~4.6 km a.s.l. extending ~220 km ENE. According to a news report, by 11 December more than 3,000 of the island's 9,000 residents had been evacuated.
Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), ABC News - Australian Broadcasting Corporation
| Sulawesi (Indonesia)
| 1.112°N, 124.737°E
| Elevation 1785 m
According to DVGHM, an eruption at Soputan on 12 December around 0050 produced an E-drifting ash cloud to ~1 km above the volcano. It was followed by a "hot cloud" that traveled about 200 m E and a lava flow that traveled SW. The eruption was preceded by an increase in tremor on 11 December and incandescence that was visible in the crater. DVGHM increased the Alert Level at Soputan to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). According to the Darwin VAAC an eruption cloud was visible on satellite imagery on 12 December at 0925 at a height of ~10.7 km a.s.l.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
During 8-14 December, explosions continued at Colima. On 13 December plumes drifted NE.
Source: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima
| 13.6°N, 40.67°E
| Elevation 613 m
During a trip to Erta Ale on 4 December, a group of scientists from SVE-SVG observed no activity in the lava lake in the volcano's South Pit crater. A solidified lava crust covered the crater floor about 15 m below the crater rim. The group also saw that new activity within North crater had produced a solidified lava bulge filling about 4/5 of the crater floor. Degassing from several small hornitos occurred in the central part of the lava bulge. During the evening, ten small incandescent vents were visible at the periphery of the lava bulge. In the morning, two plumes rose above the volcano.
Source: European Volcanological Society (SVE)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
Several small explosions occurred at Fuego during 8-14 December, producing plumes that rose to ~600 m above the volcano. During the report period, small avalanches of volcanic blocks traveled towards Taniluyá, Ceniza, and Santa Teresa ravines.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 8-14 December, surface lava flows were visible along all three arms of the PKK lava flow, from high on the Pulama pali fault scarp and on the coastal flat. By 13 December, lava entered the sea at the E Lae`apuki delta. During the report period, all vents were incandescent in the crater of Pu`u `O`o. Overall seismicity at the summit was low, but long-period earthquakes continued to occur. Tremor was essentially absent at the summit and moderate at Pu`u `O`o.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 34.094°N, 139.526°E
| Elevation 775 m
According to the Geological Survey of Japan, volcanic activity at Miyake-jima that began during the summer of 2000 continued through early December. The sulfur-dioxide flux remained high through November 2004, with 3,000-10,000 tons emitted per day. The flux seemed to remain constant since October 2002. On 30 November a minor eruption occurred after a 2-year lull. Several minor eruptions followed, with the most recent eruption occurring on 9 December.
Source: Geological Survey of Japan
| DR Congo
| 1.52°S, 29.25°E
| Elevation 3470 m
The Toulouse VAAC reported that faint sulfur-dioxide plumes from Nyiragongo were visible on satellite imagery on 8 and 10 December.
Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
During 8-14 December, weak-to-moderate explosions occurred at Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex, producing plumes to a maximum height of 1.5 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)
| United States
| 46.2°N, 122.18°W
| Elevation 2549 m
During 8-14 December, 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 suggested that the lava reaching the surface was gas poor, thereby reducing the probability of highly explosive eruptions in the near term.
A reading on 8 December from a single GPS (global positioning system) station high on the outer SE flank of the volcano showed about 2 cm of progressive southeastward movement over the previous 3 weeks. According to CVO, this minimal movement was apparently in response to new lava impinging on the SE crater wall and is an expected consequence of the nature of the dome growth occurring in the crater. Aerial views of the crater on 11 December showed that the new lava dome was becoming increasingly fractured as a new, ambiguous, pattern of growth began to emerge. St. Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation color code Orange.
Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
During 12-14 December, activity at Tungurahua consisted of small-to-moderate explosions and several long-period earthquakes. Emissions of steam, gas, and small amounts of ash rose to a maximum height of 2 km above the volcano.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
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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.
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