Activity for the week of 16 January-22 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
| 1.22°N, 77.37°W
| Elevation 4276 m
INGEOMINAS issued a report at 1000 on 17 January, noting that the seismic pattern from Galeras observed during the previous 24 hours was similar to patterns noted before past eruptions. Later that day, at 2006, an explosive eruption was registered by the seismic network and prompted INGEOMINAS to raise the Alert Level from 3 ("changes in the behavior of volcanic activity have been noted") to 1 ("imminent eruption or in course"), on a scale of 4-1.
Based on observations of satellite imagery and information from INGEOMINAS, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 11 km (36,000 ft) a.s.l. at 2216 and drifted W on 17 January.
On 19 January, INGEOMINAS lowered the Alert Level to 2 ("likely eruption in days or weeks") because seismic events decreased in occurrence and energy. On 21 January, INGEOMINAS further lowered the Alert Level to 3 and reported that the initial ash plume from the eruption drifted SW, then W. Fine Ashfall was collected in Túquerres (about 32 km to the SW) and very fine ash was observed in neighborhoods of Ricaurte (about 71 km to the W). About 2 km away, military personnel reported that blocks 1.5 m in diameter were noted on a highway.
According to a news article, small settlements to the N were ordered to evacuate; about 100 people moved to shelters.
Sources: Associated Press, Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 38.692°S, 71.729°W
| Elevation 3125 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that eruptive activity at Llaima continued from the main crater and from two craters and a fissure on the E flank during 16-21 January. Based on observations during an overflight on 16 January, three nested pyroclastic cones within the main crater were active. The larger cone produced weak ash emissions that rose about 500 m. Ash emissions were also noted from a crater on the E flank. Glaciers on the NE slope and W flank were fractured and dislocated. Ash emissions from a NE-SW-trending fissure about 80 m in length and 10 m wide were observed. Also noted were incandescent rocks that rolled from the NE end of the fissure and ash plumes generated from rolling rocks in multiple areas during 16-17 January. On 17 January, ash emissions rose from the main crater to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l and drifted E. Weak Strombolian activity was seen from the main crater during aerial observation.
At 0732 on 18 January, a lateral explosion from the E side produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 9.1 km (29,900 ft) a.s.l. and quickly dispersed NE. Later that day, a small lateral explosion from the same area and ash-and-gas emissions from several points and new fissures were noted.
On 19 January, an explosion from the E flank produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 4.1 km (13,500 ft) a.s.l. An overflight revealed Strombolian activity in the main crater from a pyroclastic cone that was 120 m in diameter and 100 m high. The cone was not present during the overflight on 17 January. A second crater to the SW emitted gas. Sporadic ash emissions were noted from the E sector and an explosion produced a pyroclastic flow and an ash plume that quickly dissipated. On 20 January, another explosion produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 4.1 km (13,500 ft) a.s.l. Gas and ash emissions were again noted from multiple areas. On 21 January, cloud cover inhibited visual observations; one small ash emission was noted at the end of the day.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
Nevado del Huila
| 2.93°N, 76.03°W
| Elevation 5364 m
Based on aerial observations from a commercial flight on 19 January, INGEOMINAS reported that ash deposits from Nevado del Huila were seen on the W sector of a summit glacier, confirming the seismic interpretation from the previous month.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
The USGS reported that on several days during 12-20 January, sulfur dioxide plumes from Anatahan were detected by the satellite-based Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). Seismic tremor increased on 16 January and remained elevated on 20 January. 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
| 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 16-22 January activity from Kilauea's fissure segment D was concentrated at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield and satellitic shields to the SE. Lava flows from the tops and flanks of the shields traveled S and E. During 16-19 January, incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater for less than 10 minutes at a time. During 18-19 January, the summit tiltmeter network recorded the first DI (deflation-inflation) tilt event since October 2007. A few small earthquakes were located beneath the summit, Halema'uma'u crater, and Pulama pali, and along the upper and lower E rift zones and S-flank fault.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 6.102°S, 105.423°E
| Elevation 813 m
According to a news article, incandescent rocks erupted and plumes from Anak Krakatau rose to altitudes of 2.8-3.3 km (9,200-10,800 ft) a.s.l. on 20 January. Eruptions reportedly had a "deafening sound" and could be seen from Sertung and Rakata islands.
Source: Antara News
Ol Doinyo Lengai
| 2.764°S, 35.914°E
| Elevation 2962 m
A visitor to Ol Doinyo Lengai reported that it erupted on 14 January. A "shower of stones" fell at their location about 50 m from the summit and a lava flow went another direction.
Source: Ol Doinyo Lengai (Fred Belton)
| Costa Rica
| 10.2°N, 84.233°W
| Elevation 2708 m
According to a news article, an eruption of volcanic material and gases from Poás rose to an altitude of 2.9 km (9,500 ft) a.s.l. on 13 January. The article also stated that a report from OVSICORI-UNA on 22 January revealed that an eruption of gas propelled material that did not fall beyond the cone. Authorities evacuated 20 people in the vicinity of the eruption.
Source: La Nacion
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 0.8-1 km (2,600-3,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE during 17-20 and 22-23 January. On 17 January ashfall was reported in Tokua, about 20 km SE, prompting Air Niugini to cancel some flights. During 18-20 January, the ash plumes were released at 10-20 minute intervals. White plumes were emitted on 21 and 22 January. Incandescence from the center of the crater was visible at night during 17-22 January.
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 above background levels during 11-18 January. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.1 km (13,500 ft) a.s.l. on 12 and 16 January. Ash plumes at an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. were visible on the Shiveluch web camera on 16 January. Strong fumarolic activity was noted during 15-17 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.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that the lava dome at Soufrière Hills had changed very little, based on visual observations during an over flight on 23 January. Visual observations were limited during 22-29 January. Seismic activity was very low and low-level rockfall activity continued. Fumarolic activity on the N and E flanks also continued, along with active fumaroles in the Galway's area to the S of the dome and W in the Gages Wall area. 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 16-22 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 plumes were spotted and rose to altitudes of 5.5-9 km (18,000-29,500 ft) a.s.l. during 16-22 January. Ashfall was reported daily in areas mainly to the W, SW, and NW, and was heavy on 20 January. Roaring noises and "cannon shots" were heard frequently and windows and floors vibrated on 15, 20, and 21 January, as far away as the Tungurahua Observatory (OVT) in Guadalupe, about 13 km NW. On 16 January, incandescent blocks were propelled 200 m above the crater during a Strombolian eruption phase and blocks rolled 1 km down the flank. Three explosions produced blocks that rolled 2 km down the flanks. A small pyroclastic flow traveled 400 m down the NW side of the crater. Incandescence at the crater was again noted on 17 and 21 January.
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.
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.)
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: USGS Web Team
USGS Privacy Statement
RSS and CAP Feeds
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report first made available on 5 March 2008 can be utilized with the aid of various free downloadable readers. The report content of the news feed is identical to the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report minus some features including the header information (latitude and longitude and summit elevation), the Geologic Summary, and a link to the volcano's page from the Global Volcanism Program. Each volcano report includes a link from the volcano's name back to the more complete information in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report on the Smithsonian website. On 12 March 2009, GeoRSS tags were added so that the latitude and longitude for each volcano could be included with the feed.
At the end of each individual report is a list of the sources used. We would like to emphasize that the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) website (http://www.wovo.org/) lists the regional volcano observatories that have the most authoritative data for many of these events.
CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management.
Google Earth Placemarks
A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report was first made available on 1 April 2009. This file 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 page for that volcano and to the complete Weekly Report for that week.