Activity for the week of 2 January-8 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
| Papua New Guinea
| 4.649°S, 145.964°E
| Elevation 1839 m
RVO reported that white vapor emissions from the Bagiai cone in Karkar's inner caldera were observed by a visiting field team during 27-31 December. The resultant white vapor plume was also visible from the mainland. Communities to the W and SW reported hearing roaring noises associated with gas emissions. Images sent to RVO on 11 December indicated that the vegetation on the SE flank was completely withered.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| 38.692°S, 71.729°W
| Elevation 3125 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that seismic tremor coincided with the onset of gas emissions and the ejection of pyroclastic material from Llaima on 1 January. Within a few hours, a Strombolian phase began. An increase in volume of the Captrén River on the N flank was observed. On 2 January, small emissions of ash and gas (mainly steam) and three small lahars on the N and W flanks were observed during an overflight. Tremor also decreased and an explosion was observed. Based on pilot reports and observations of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an unconfirmed altitude of 12.5 km (41,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E on 2 January. A lava flow on the E flank was also noted.
On 3 January, another overflight revealed that the explosion that occurred on the previous day took place from an area high on the E flank and not from within the crater. Emissions of gas and ash were small and sporadic. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume was visible on satellite imagery at an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.
Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| 34.094°N, 139.526°E
| Elevation 775 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption plume from Miyake-jima rose to an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE on 7 January.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 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 5.5-8 km (18,000-26,200 ft) a.s.l. during 2-8 January. Plumes drifted NW and W. Ashfall was reported in areas to the W and SW during 3-4 and 7-8 January.
On 1 January, ash emissions were continuous and incandescent blocks rolled down the flanks. Roaring noises and "cannon shots" were heard, and the ground and windows vibrated in areas to the NNE and NNW. On 3 January, the seismic network recorded a high number of explosions. Some explosions caused acoustic waves similar to "cannon shots" that vibrated windows in areas to the W and NW. These explosions ejected incandescent blocks from the summit crater that rolled 500 m down the flanks. On 4 January, "cannon shots" were again noted as far as 13 km away; this caused large windows to vibrate in areas to the W and glass to break in Puñapí. Explosions vibrated the ground in one town and generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude less that 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. During 5-8 January, roaring noises and "cannon shots" continued; windows and floors vibrated as far as the Tungurahua Observatory (OVT) in Guadalupe, about 13 km NW, on 6 January.
According to news articles, nearly 1,000 people were evacuated on 6 January to spend the night in evacuation shelters. They were allowed to return to their villages in the daytime to tend to homes, crops, and animals.
Sources: Associated Press, Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported explosions from Sakura-jima on 2 and 7 January. Details of possible resultant ash plumes were unknown.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
The USGS reported that during 29 December-5 January 2008, low-level steaming and sulfur dioxide emission from Anatahan were visible on satellite imagery. Seismicity briefly increased on 2 January and then diminished. A report suggested that the lake level in the E crater had been dropping since September. 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
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 12.769°N, 124.056°E
| Elevation 1535 m
According to a news article, at least seven minor earthquakes near Bulusan during 6-7 January prompted authorities to enforce the no-entry policy within the permanent danger zone, defined by a 4-km radius around the volcano. The Alert Level remained at 1 (out of 5).
Source: GMA News
| 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 2-8 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. Lava flows traveled S and stalled within 2.2 km SE of fissure D. From 21 July 2007 to 4 January 2008, the Pu'u 'O'o cone contracted about 0.45 m, based on interpretation of GPS data. Incandescent flashes at the top of the TEB shield were visible during 4-6 January and one short lava flow to the N was detected on 6 January. On 7 January, a lava pond was seen in a vent on top of the TEB shield during an overflight. During 7-8 January, brief flashes and one lava overflow at the top of the shield was seen on the web camera. Tremor remained low below Pu'u 'O'o crater. A few small earthquakes were located beneath the summit and along the S-flank fault.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that emissions of steam-and-gas from Popocatépetl were visible during 2-8 January. On 5 January, a steam-and-gas plume with low ash content was reported. An altitude of the plume was unknown due to cloud cover. About two hours later, CENAPRED received reports of slight ashfall in Paso de Cortés, about 7.5 km N of the summit.
Based on information from the Mexico City MWO and observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 7.3 km (24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, NE, and SE on 5 January.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that white plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone were observed during 28 December-3 January. Incandescence at the summit was noticeable at night and loud roaring noises were often heard after rain.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Shiveluch was slightly above background levels during 28 December-4 January. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.8 km (19,000 ft) a.s.l. during 28-31 December and on 1 and 3 January. Moderate fumarolic activity was noted on 30 December and 2 January. 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 information from the KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that eruption plumes rose to altitudes of 6.4 and 4.9 km (21,000 and 16,000 ft) a.s.l. on 4 and 6 January, respectively.
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 fumarolic activity on the N and E flanks of the Soufrière Hills lava dome continued during 28 December-8 January. Active fumaroles were also noted in the Galway's area to the S of the dome and W in the Gages Wall area. Occasional rockfalls were restricted to the Tar River valley. Observations during an overflight on 3 January confirmed that the lava dome morphology had not changed since the previous reporting period. 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 2-8 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. A new small spine was seen on top of the active lobe during an overflight on 31 December. The spine was hot enough to be snow-free and interpreted as confirmation that the dome continued to grow. Clouds frequently inhibited visual observations.
Source: US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)
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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