Activity for the week of 23 January-29 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 reported that white plumes from Galeras's main crater and gas emissions from several points along the margins of the crater were observed during aerial observations on 23 January. Plumes drifted W. Several impact craters were spotted; the largest one was about 15 m in diameter and 5 m deep. Thermal images of the main crater revealed a maximum temperature of 150 degrees Celsius.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| 4.487°N, 75.389°W
| Elevation 2749 m
Observatory Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported unusual seismicity at Machín during 6-8 January. Long-period earthquakes were detected S of the main lava dome. On 7 January, volcano-tectonic seismic signals were registered and occasionally felt and reported by near by residents. The simultaneous occurrence of both types of seismic signals was unusual for Machín.
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
The USGS reported that elevated seismic tremor levels at Anatahan detected on 16 January were sustained through 23 January and episodic during 23-28 January. During 20-28 January, a sulfur dioxide plume was detected by the satellite-based Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and drifted W and SW. A steam plume was also detected on satellite imagery. 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
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported on 24 January that explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.2-4.5 km (13,800-14,800 ft) a.s.l. ands drifted S, SW, and W. Some explosions produced shock waves that were detected 3 km away. At night, small avalanches of blocks traveled W towards the Taniluyá ravine. Based on reports from INSIVUMEH, CONRED reported on 28 January that the Alert Level was lowered to Green.
Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that a narrow plume of gas and possible ash drifted SW on 30 January.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Based on observations during overflights, and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 23-29 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 issued from the tops and flanks of the shields. A crusted lava pond a few meters below the rim of the TEB shield was seen during an over flight on 25 January. A lava flow that advanced 1 km and started another rootless shield was also spotted during the aerial observations. On 28 January, low lava fountaining was seen from the TEB vent and a couple of the shields. The original perched lava channel formed from the 21 July fissure eruption refilled and overflowed the N end. On 29 January, a channelized 'a'a lava flow from a rootless shield that collapsed on 26 January advanced about 0.6 km into the Royal Gardens subdivision. The new 29 January flows mostly moved over older lava.
Incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater for less than 10 minutes at a time every day during the reporting period. During 22-23 January, the summit tiltmeter network recorded the first DI (deflation-inflation) tilt event that coinciding with rain. A few small earthquakes were located along the S-flank faults and SW rift zone.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 38.692°S, 71.729°W
| Elevation 3125 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that eruptive activity at Llaima continued from the main crater and from multiple areas on the E flank during 23-27 January. On 23 January, a brown ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l and drifted W. Based on observations during an overflight later that day, Strombolian eruptions took place from a central pyroclastic cone in the main crater and were accompanied by emissions of brown ash. A small hornito emitting bluish gas and a lava field were noted between the pyroclastic cone and the inner margins of the crater.
On 24 January, explosions from the E flank were detected and on 26 January, steam plumes were observed. Strombolian eruptions in the main crater accompanied by gas and ash emissions continued during 24-27 January. Ash plumes rose to altitudes of 3.3-4.1 km (10,800-13,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, E, SE, and S.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| 14.382°N, 90.601°W
| Elevation 2569 m
INSIVUMEH reported on 24 January that white and blue fumarolic plumes from Pacaya's MacKenney cone drifted S and SW. Four lava flows traveled about 100 m to the W. Based on reports from INSIVUMEH, CONRED reported on 28 January that the Alert Level was lowered to Green.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl were visible during 23-29 January. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash. On 28 January, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 8.6 km (28,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| 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 rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (4,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE during 24-25 January. Incandescence at the summit was seen at night. On 26 January, ash plumes that were emitted about every 10-20 minutes rose to an altitude of 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. Slight ashfall was reported in areas on the E coast. Deformation-monitoring instruments indicated that uplift started on 23 January and peaked during 25-26 January with 2 cm of inflation. On 28 January, white plumes rose to an altitude of 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. On 29 and 30 January, ash-and-gas plumes rose to the same altitude as the previous day but drifted SW, W, and E.
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 18-25 January. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,100 ft) a.s.l. during 17-18, 20, and 23 January. Fumarolic activity was noted on 19, 20, and 22 January. Based on observations of satellite imagery, a thermal anomaly was present in the crater every day during the reporting period. 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 changed very little, based on visual observations during an over flight on 23 January. Visual observations were limited during 22-28 January. Seismic activity was very low and low-level rockfall activity continued. Fumarolic activity on the N and E flanks continued. Active fumaroles were also noted 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 23-29 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 steam plume that rose from the dome and slightly above the crater rim was visible on 25 January. 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 23-29 January. Ashfall was reported daily in areas mainly within 10 km to the SW, W, NW, and NE. On 24 January, ashfall was reported from San Juan, about 40 km WSW and from Bilbao, 8 km W, where the ashfall was 2 mm thick. On 25 January, ashfall was reported in Riobamba, 30 km S.
During 22-25, 27, and 29 January, incandescence at the summit was observed at night and incandescent blocks that were propelled from the summit by explosions rolled 500-800 m down the flanks. Roaring noises and "cannon shots" were heard almost daily during 23-29 January. Lahars descend multiple drainages on 29 January and blocked the road to Baños in the La Pampas sector to the S.
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.
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