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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

Weekly Volcanic Activity Map

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 23 November-29 November 2005.

 Activity for the week of 23 November-29 November 2005

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.

Name Location Activity
Augustine United States New
Galeras Colombia New
Karthala Grand Comore Island New
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New

Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) Ongoing
Colima Mexico Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Langila New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Santa Ana El Salvador Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
St. Helens United States Ongoing
Tanaga Andreanof Islands (USA) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ulawun New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing

New Activity / Unrest

Volcano index photo  Augustine  | United States  | 59.363°N, 153.43°W  | Elevation 1252 m

On 29 November AVO raised the Concern Color Code at Augustine from Green to Yellow after recording long-term important changes in seismicity and ground deformation consistent with renewed volcanic unrest. There were no indications that an eruption was imminent or certain.

Beginning in May 2005, there was a slow increase in the number of earthquakes under Augustine. The earthquakes were generally small (less than M 1) and concentrated roughly 1 km below the volcano's summit. These earthquakes slowly increased from 4-8 earthquakes per day to 20-35 earthquakes per day. Additionally, data from a Global Positioning System (GPS) network on Augustine indicated that a slow, steady inflation of the volcano started in mid-summer 2005, continuing until the present. The GPS benchmark located nearest the summit moved a total of 2.5 cm. This motion is consistent with a source of inflation or pressure change centered under the volcano. This is the first such deformation detected at Augustine since measurements began just prior to the 1986 eruption. No reports of increased steaming were received by AVO, nor have satellite data shown increased thermal activity.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

Volcano index photo  Galeras  | Colombia  | 1.22°N, 77.37°W  | Elevation 4276 m

On 24 November at 0246 seismicity was recorded at Galeras that was associated with the beginning of an eruption. Ash from the eruption fell in the towns of Fontibon, San Cayetano, Postobon, and in north Pasto (E of the volcano). INGEOMINAS raised the Alert Level from 2 (probable eruption in days to weeks) to 1 (eruption imminent or occurring). The Washington VAAC observed a small puff of ash NE of the volcano at a height around ~4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. Activity decreased by the next day, so the Alert Level was reduced to 2. Thousands of people had been evacuated from the vicinity of the volcano during the week prior to the eruption.

Sources: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC), Associated Press, Reuters

Volcano index photo  Karthala  | Grand Comore Island  | 11.75°S, 43.38°E  | Elevation 2361 m

According to news reports, a phreatomagmatic eruption occurred at Karthala during the evening of 24 November. Ash fell in several towns, including in the capital city Morini along the Grand Comore island's SW coast and on the volcano's W flank. According to a UN OCHA report, local authorities estimated that about 2,000 people temporarily fled their villages in the region of Bamboa in the central part of Grand Comore Island, and sought refuge in less exposed areas, such as Mitsamiouli, Mboudé, and Oichili. During the evacuation, an infant died due to respiratory distress. Ashfall caused the closure of shops and schools in Moroni and security forces cleaned the streets using water tankers. Residents were warned to avoid inhaling ash. Preliminary assessments revealed that about 118,000 people living in 75 villages may have been affected by the contamination of domestic water tanks. This is of particular concern because it is the height of the dry season. A UN worker reported that 245,000 people live in the area exposed to ash and estimated that 175,000 could face water shortages. There were also concerns about the impact of ash on agriculture and livestock.

The Toulouse VAAC reported that ash from the early phase of the eruption was not immediately seen on satellite imagery, but that ash fell at the local airport. AFWA reported that the ash cloud was visible on satellite imagery on 25 November at a height of ~11.6 km (~38,000 ft) a.s.l. According to the Karthala Volcano Observatory, a lava lake formed in the volcano's crater. As of 29 November, seismic activity continued at the volcano.

Sources: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), IRIN News, US Air Force Weather Agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Volcano index photo  Piton de la Fournaise  | Reunion Island (France)  | 21.244°S, 55.708°E  | Elevation 2632 m

OVPDLF reported that immediately after the end of the last eruption at the Dolomieu crater of Piton de la Fournaise that began on 5 October 2005, the permanent Global Positioning System (GPS) network and extensometer network at the volcano continued to show strong surface deformation, which was a precursor for a new eruptive event. On 29 November at 0559 a seismic crisis began at the volcano and at 0625 tremor indicated the beginning of an eruption. A vent opened in the western part of Dolomieu crater and another vent opened on the volcano's N flank. Very little projected volcanic material was visible. A rapid and large lava flow traveled down the N flank in the direction of Piton Kapor. Inclement weather prohibited further observations. The Toulouse VAAC reported that ash from the eruption was not visible on satellite imagery.

Sources: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

Ongoing Activity

Volcano index photo  Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Elevation 1730 m

Activity at Cleveland further decreased during 18-25 November. Following a brief ash burst on 7 October, no further ash emissions were noted. AVO did not detect a temperature anomaly in the vicinity of the volcano after 6 November. Based on this information, AVO concluded that the likelihood of significant ash-producing events decreased, so they terminated Concern Color Code Yellow. Cleveland is not monitored with seismic equipment, therefore AVO did not assign Color Concern Code Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

Volcano index photo  Colima  | Mexico  | 19.514°N, 103.62°W  | Elevation 3850 m

Several small explosions occurred at Colima during 23-28 November, producing plumes that reached a maximum height of ~8.5 km (28,000 ft) a.s.l. on 24 November.

Sources: Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

During 23-29 November, lava from Kilauea continued to enter the sea at the East Lae`apuki area and surface lava flows were visible on the Pulama pali fault scarp. Background volcanic tremor was near normal levels at Kilauea's summit. Volcanic tremor reached moderate levels at Pu`u `O`o. Small amounts of deformation occurred at the volcano.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

Volcano index photo  Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.416°S, 150.027°E  | Elevation 564 m

During 21-27 November, two vents at the summit of Garbuna continued to release weak-to-moderate volumes of steam that rose a few hundred meters above the summit and drifted in various directions. No incandescence was seen at the volcano and no noises were heard. Seismicity was at very low levels.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

Volcano index photo  Langila  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.525°S, 148.42°E  | Elevation 1330 m

Vulcanian eruptions continued at Langila's Crater 2 during 21-27 November, with a slight increase in the level of activity compared to the previous week. The activity increase was marked by ash emissions that rose to heights between 1 and 2 km above the summit crater (or 7,650 and 10,900 ft a.s.l.). The ash clouds drifted W, SW, SE, and NW, depositing ash in those areas. Incandescence and projections of volcanic material were visible at the volcano during many nights. Crater 3 was quiet during the report period. Seismicity was at low-to-moderate levels, consisting of low-frequency earthquakes associated with the Vulcanian activity and periodic volcanic tremor.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

Volcano index photo  Rabaul  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 4.271°S, 152.203°E  | Elevation 688 m

Rabaul caldera's active Tavurvur cone was quiet after ash emissions ceased on 20 November. During 21-27 November, only very small traces of gas were released from the eruption vent and from other spots on the summit area. Seismicity was at very low levels and a small amount of ground inflation was recorded.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) via the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

Volcano index photo  Santa Ana  | El Salvador  | 13.853°N, 89.63°W  | Elevation 2381 m

During 23-28 November, seismicity at Santa Ana was above background levels. Small earthquakes occurred that were interpreted as being associated with gas pulses. The amount of gas emitted was low. The Alert Level remained at Red, the highest level, within a 5-km radius around the volcano's central crater.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET)

Volcano index photo  Soufriere Hills  | Montserrat  | 16.72°N, 62.18°W  | Elevation 915 m

Activity at Soufrière Hills increased during 18-25 November in comparison to the previous week. Growth of the volcano's lava dome was focused towards the E and S, with minor activity to the S and W. Continuous incandescence was observed at night on the SE and E sides of the lava dome. A pyroclastic flow was seen in the upper reaches of the Tar River Valley on 22 November. Minor ash emissions occurred from the volcano, including one on the afternoon of 24 November that sent an ash cloud several hundred meters above the volcano's summit. Measurements of sulfur-dioxide emissions were only possible on 2 days due to the wind direction. An average of 1,055 metric tons of sulfur dioxide was measured daily.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)

Volcano index photo  St. Helens  | United States  | 46.2°N, 122.18°W  | Elevation 2549 m

Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of Mount St. Helens continued during 23-28 November, accompanied by low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases, and minor production of ash. There were no significant changes in seismicity or deformation during the report period. St Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation color code Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)

Volcano index photo  Tanaga  | Andreanof Islands (USA)  | 51.885°N, 178.146°W  | Elevation 1806 m

AVO reported on 25 November that for several weeks seismicity beneath young volcanic vents on Tanaga Island decreased significantly from levels recorded in early October. Satellite images of the island showed no anomalous temperatures or evidence of ash emissions. AVO reported that based on the decrease in earthquake counts and frequency of tremor episodes, the likelihood of an eruption had diminished. Therefore, AVO downgraded the Concern Color Code from Yellow to Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

Volcano index photo  Tungurahua  | Ecuador  | 1.467°S, 78.442°W  | Elevation 5023 m

During 23-28 November, volcanic activity at Tungurahua remained at low levels with small emissions of steam and gas, with low ash content. Plumes rose to a maximum height of ~6.7 km (22,000 ft) a.s.l. on 23 November.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)

Volcano index photo  Ulawun  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 5.05°S, 151.33°E  | Elevation 2334 m

A thin plume emitted from Ulawun was visible extending N on satellite imagery on 23 November.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

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Agung Colo Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Lewotobi Papandayan Sotara
Ahyi Concepcion Ibu Lewotolo Parker Soufriere Hills
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Avachinsky Etna Karthala Mauna Loa Rincon de la Vieja Tandikat-Singgalang
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Banda Api Fuego Ketoi Momotombo Sakar Tinakula
Bardarbunga Fujisan Kharimkotan Monowai Salak Tofua
Barren Island Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba Kick 'em Jenny Montagu Island San Cristobal Tokachidake
Batur Galeras Kikai Moyorodake [Medvezhia] San Miguel Tolbachik
Bezymianny Galunggung Kilauea Mutnovsky San Vicente Toliman
Bogoslof Gamalama Kirishimayama Myojinsho Sangay Tongariro
Brava Gamkonora Kizimen Nabro Sangeang Api Tungurahua
Bristol Island Gaua Klyuchevskoy Negra, Sierra Santa Ana Turrialba
Bulusan Gorely Kolokol Group Negro, Cerro Santa Maria Ubinas
Calbuco Great Sitkin Korovin Nightingale Island Sarigan Ulawun
Callaqui Grimsvotn Koryaksky Nishinoshima Sarychev Peak Unnamed
Cameroon Guagua Pichincha Krakatau Nisyros Saunders Unnamed
Campi Flegrei del Mar di Sicilia Guallatiri Krummel-Garbuna-Welcker Novarupta Semeru Veniaminof
Cayambe Guntur Kuchinoerabujima NW Rota-1 Semisopochnoi Villarrica
Cereme Hachijojima Kurikomayama Nyamuragira Seulawah Agam West Mata
Chachadake [Tiatia] Hakoneyama Kusatsu-Shiranesan Nyiragongo Sheveluch Whakaari/White Island
Chaiten Heard Kverkfjoll Okataina Shishaldin Witori
Chiginagak Hekla Lamington Okmok Simbo Wolf
Chikurachki Hierro Lamongan Ontakesan Sinabung Yasur
Chiles-Cerro Negro Hokkaido-Komagatake Langila Oraefajokull Sinarka Zaozan [Zaosan]
Chillan, Nevados de Home Reef Lanin Osorno Siple Zavodovski
Chirinkotan Hood Lascar Pacaya Sirung Zhupanovsky
Chirpoi Huaynaputina Lateiki Pagan Slamet Zubair Group
Cleveland Hudson, Cerro Lengai, Ol Doinyo Paluweh Soputan
Colima Huila, Nevado del Leroboleng Panarea Sorikmarapi
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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 profile page and to the complete Weekly Report for that week. This feature was first made available on 1 April 2009.

 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.

4. Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.

5. USGS Disclaimer Statement for this Website:

Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. We strongly recommend that USGS data be acquired directly from a USGS server and not through other sources that may change the data in some way. While USGS makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information, various data such as names, telephone numbers, etc. may change prior to updating. USGS welcomes suggestions on how to improve our home page and correct errors. USGS provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of furnished data.

Some of the documents on this server may contain live references (or pointers) to information created and maintained by other organizations. Please note that USGS does not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness, or accuracy of these outside materials.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this website are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act. Information may also be used for authorized law enforcement investigations. (Last modified September 21, 1999.)

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URL: https://volcano.si.edu/reports_weekly.cfm

 Acronyms and Abbreviations

a.s.l. - above sea level

AVO - Alaska Volcano Observatory

AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)

CONRED - Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres

COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer

CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation

CVO - Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS)

GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory

GVP - Global Volcanism Program (Smithsonian Institution)

HVO - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS)

ICE - Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Costa Rica)

IG - Instituto Geofísico (Ecuador)

IGNS - Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (New Zealand) - now GNS Science

INETER - Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (Nicaragua)

INGEMMET - Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (Peru)

INGEOMINAS - Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (Colombia)

INGV-CT - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Sezione di Catania (Italy)

INSIVUMEH - Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrologia (Guatemala)

IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France)

JMA - Japanese Meteorological Agency

KEMSD - Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismilogical Department

KVERT - Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team

M - magnitude

METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite

MEVO - Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory

MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

MVO - Montserrat Volcano Observatory

MWO - Meteorological Watch Office

NEIC - National Earthquake Information Center

NIED - National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (Japan)

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTAM - Notice to Airmen

OVDAS - Observatorio Volcanologico de los Andes del Sur (Chile)

OFDA - Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance

ONEMI - Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (Chile)

OVPDLF - Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (France)

OVSICORI-UNA - Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica)

PHIVOLCS - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philippines)

RSAM - Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement

RVO - Rabaul Volcano Observatory

SERNAGEOMIN - Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria (Chile)

SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information

SNET - Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (El Salvador)

SVERT - Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (Russia)

USAID - US Agency for International Development

USGS - United States Geological Survey

UTC - Coordinated Universal Time

VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

VAFTAD - Volcanic Ash Forecast Transport And Dispersion

VDAP - Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (USGS)

VHP - Volcano Hazards Program (USGS)

VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)