Activity for the week of 12 December-18 December 2007
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.
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
Low-level tremor at Anatahan continued during 7-14 December. On 10 December, a plume was visible on MODIS satellite imagery that was unconfirmed by field reports. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.
Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program
| Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)
| 6.137°S, 155.196°E
| Elevation 1855 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that a low-level plume from Bagana drifted SW on 10 December and an ash-and-steam plume was observed on 17 December.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
Although visual observations were occasionally limited due to cloud cover, steam and steam-and-ash plumes from Colima were observed rising to altitudes of 4-4.4 km (13,100-14,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifting SW, N, NE, and E during 12-16 and 18 December.
Source: Gobierno del Estado de Colima
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported on 12 October that explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.2-4.8 km (13,800-15,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SW. Ashfall was reported from areas to the W. The explosions were accompanied by rumbling noises, degassing sounds, and shock waves detected up to 15 km away. The Washington VAAC reported a thermal anomaly along with ash plumes drifting W and NW that were visible on satellite imagery during 15-16 December. INSIVUMEH reported that on 17 December, Fuego returned to normal levels after the 15-16 December eruption. A few explosions were registered by the seismic network and ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.5 km (17,800 ft) a.s.l. plumes drifted S and SW.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Based on overflights and web camera views, HVO reported that fissure segment D from Kilauea's 21 July fissure eruption continued to feed perched lava ponds within a lava flow that frequently overflowed its channel edges during 12-18 December. An overflight on 13 December revealed that flows from the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) were limited to breakouts at the base of the shield and were not active past 800 m from the source. Lava spattered and overturned in Pond 1 and overflowed the rim. On 16 December, a 4-5-m-high hornito at the summit of the TEB shield was active. On 17 December, lava from the TEB was about 1.1 km SE from fissure D and fume puffed from the top of the shield about every 15-20 minutes when visible. During 17-18 December, crust overturned in a new lava pond that had formed from a seep on the E side of Pond 3, and lava in the pond overflowed the margins. A few small earthquakes were located beneath the summit, and along the upper and lower E rift zones and S-flank fault.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
Ol Doinyo Lengai
| 2.764°S, 35.914°E
| Elevation 2962 m
Based on information from the Tanzania MVO and pilot reports, the Toulouse VAAC reported that an ash plume from Ol Doinyo Lengai rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. on 13 December.
Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 14.382°N, 90.601°W
| Elevation 2569 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 12-17 December constant lava flows on the W flank of Pacaya's MacKenney cone were about 100-200 m in length. Based on seismic interpretation, a small explosion occurred in the crater on 12 December. Fumaroles produced plumes that drifted S and SW and incandescence at night was observed from the summit.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that ash plumes from the new vent in the NE crater of Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (3,900 ft) a.s.l. during 10-13 December. Plumes drifted SE, W, NW, and E. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind, including Rabaul town on 11 December. Occasional incandescence at the summit was observed. During 13-18 December, white plumes were observed and a strong smell of hydrogen-sulfide gas was reported.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 12-17 December explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex produced ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 4.1-4.5 km (13,500-14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. The explosions were accompanied by degassing sounds and constant avalanches on the W and SW flanks. Degassing from Caliente cone produced plumes that rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was above background levels during 7-14 December. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. during 7-9 December. Visual observations and video footage analysis indicated that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. on 12 December and gas-and-steam plumes rose to altitudes of 4-5 km (13,100-16,400 ft) a.s.l. during the reporting period. Based on observations of satellite imagery, a thermal anomaly was present in the crater every day. On 18 December, KVERT reported that the number of shallow earthquakes increased from 70 on 10 December to 390 on 17 December. KVERT warned that the aviation hazard increased. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during 7-17 December the lava dome at Soufrière Hills changed very little, based on visual observations. Seismic activity was very low and low-level rockfall activity continued. Fumarolic activity on the N and E flanks of the dome continued. The Alert Level remained elevated at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| United States
| 46.2°N, 122.18°W
| Elevation 2549 m
Data from deformation-monitoring instruments indicated that during 12-18 December lava-dome growth at Mount St. Helens continued. Seismicity persisted at low levels, punctuated by M 1.5-2.5, and occasionally larger, earthquakes. Clouds occasionally inhibited visual observations.
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 eruption plumes from Suwanose-jima rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. during 14-17 December and drifted E. Ash was not visible on satellite imagery.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 0.979°S, 100.681°E
| Elevation 2575 m
CVGHM lowered the Alert Level at Talang to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 14 December based on visual observations and a decrease in the number of earthquakes. During 7-10 December, observations of the summit were limited by inclement weather. On 11 December, "smoke" rose to a maximum altitude of 3.3 km (10,800 ft) a.s.l. from the Main crater. Plumes were also observed from South crater and Gabuo Atas solfatara field. Visitors were advised not to go within a 2-km radius of the summit.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported that although visual observations were occasionally limited due to cloud cover, ash-and-steam and ash plumes from Tungurahua rose to altitudes of 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. during 11-18 December. Roaring noises and "cannon shots" were heard. During 10-11 December, seismic signal interpretation was characterized by explosions and almost constant emission of ash plumes. Incandescent blocks were expelled from the summit and rolled down the flanks. On 11 December, explosions vibrated windows and the ground in areas near the volcano. During 10-14 December, ashfall was reported from areas downwind, including areas to the SW, W, and NW, and was almost constant during 10-12 December. On 13 December, incandescent blocks rolled down the flanks. Noises indicating blocks rolling down the flanks were heard on 15 December, but were not observed due to cloud cover.
During 16-18 December, explosions rattled windows in areas around the volcano, including Tungurahua Observatory (OVT) in Guadalupe, 11 km N, on 16 December. Ash plumes drifted SW. On 18 December, a steam plume rose to an altitude of 8.5 km (27,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. Constant steam-and-ash plumes were observed during an overflight. Ashfall was reported in areas to the NE. Based on pilot reports, observations of satellite imagery, and information from IG, the Washington VAAC reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 6.7-13.7 km (22,000-45,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NW on 18 December.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Based on Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET) advisories and pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes from Ubinas drifted NW during 11-12 December.
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
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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