Activity for the week of 26 December-1 January 2008
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
| 38.692°S, 71.729°W
| Elevation 3125 m
Based on pilot reports and observations of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume from Llaima rose to an altitude of 12.5 km (41,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and ESE on 1 January. Lava was visible on the E flank and fumaroles at the summit were noted. According to a news article, the Alert level was raised to Yellow affecting four nearby communities resulting in the evacuation of 150 tourists and National Forest Service employees.
Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Associated Press, Radio Universidad de Chile
| 2.005°S, 78.341°W
| Elevation 5286 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery and pilot reports, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume from Sangay rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. on 26 December and drifted SW. A thermal anomaly was seen on satellite imagery during 26-27 December.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
Low-level tremor at Anatahan continued during 21-29 December. On 31 December, the Washington VAAC reported that a gas-and-steam plume with low ash content was visible on satellite imagery and drifted NW. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.
Sources: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)
| 6.137°S, 155.196°E
| Elevation 1855 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash-and-steam plume from Bagana drifted WSW on 26 December. A plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W on 27 December. RVO advised that intermittent activity was continuing.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
According to a news article, activity from Colima increased during 29-30 December. An ash plume was visible on 29 December. On 30 December, incandescent material was propelled from the summit and white and gray plumes rose to altitudes of 4-4.3 km (13,100-14,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, W, and NW. Authorities recommended that people avoid valleys surrounding the volcano.
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that a probable ash plume from Fuego drifted N on 26 December.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.22°N, 77.37°W
| Elevation 4276 m
INGEOMINAS reported that an ash-and-gas plume from Galeras rose to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW on 31 December. The emission was associated with an episode of spasmodic tremor. Another plume rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Based on overflights and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 25 December -1 January activity from fissure segment D from Kilauea's 21 July fissure eruption was concentrated at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and two satellitic shields to the SE. Short lava flows were noted to the SE and N. During 25-26 December, bursts of high-frequency tremor were noted every 70-90 minutes and interpreted as episodic spattering events near fissure D. Incandescence was visible from one of the lava seeps E of the perched lava channel on 1 January. Tremor remained low below Pu'u 'O'o crater. A few small earthquakes were located beneath the summit and along the S-flank fault, SW rift zone, and E rift zone.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Papua New Guinea
| 4.08°S, 145.037°E
| Elevation 1807 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery and reports from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume from Manam rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 27 December and drifted N.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
Ol Doinyo Lengai
| 2.764°S, 35.914°E
| Elevation 2962 m
The Toulouse VAAC reported that an ash plume from Ol Doinyo Lengai was observed by visiting scientists on 29 December and rose to an unreported altitude.
Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that emissions of steam-and-gas from Popocatépetl were visible during 30 December-1 January. On 31 December, a 13-minute-long high-frequency tremor event was followed by an emission of a plume with low ash content. The plume rose to an altitude of 7.4 km (24,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was above background levels during 21-28 December. Gas-and-steam plumes rose to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. during 23-24 December. Based on observations of satellite imagery, a thermal anomaly was present in the crater every day. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Based on observations of satellite imagery and information from the KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that eruption plumes rose to altitudes of 4.9-5.8 km (16,000-19,000 ft) a.s.l. during 28-29 December.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during 24-28 December the lava dome at Soufrière Hills changed very little, based on visual observations. Seismic activity was very low and low-level rockfall activity occurred in the Tar River valley. Fumarolic activity on the N and E flanks of the dome and W in the Gages Wall area 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 26 December-1 January 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)
| 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 were seen and rose to altitudes of 6-8 km (19,700-26,200 ft) a.s.l. during 25 December-1 January. Plumes drifted predominantly W and ashfall was reported in areas downwind and to the SW and N. Roaring noises and "cannon shots" were heard almost daily and windows and floors vibrated on 26, 27, and 30 December. During 26-27 December, incandescent blocks rolled down the flanks as far as 500 m. On 29 December, incandescent material observed at the summit was associated with explosive events. Incandescent blocks rolled 700 m down the NW flank on 29 December and 1,200 m down the flanks on 30 December. Incandescence at the summit was noted again on 31 December during the night.
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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