Activity for the week of 30 January-5 February 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
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
The USGS reported that elevated seismic tremor levels at Anatahan were detected during the last week in January through 5 February. Observations of satellite imagery showed that the lake in the E crater had disappeared, and steam and sulfur dioxide plumes drifted generally W and SW. On 3 February, an ash plume rose to an estimated altitude of below 2.3 km (7,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. On 5 February, the USGS announced that the Volcanic Alert Level was raised to Watch and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange as a result of the observed ash emissions.
Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program
| 0.171°S, 78.598°W
| Elevation 4784 m
IG reported seven moderate phreatic explosions from Guagua Pichincha on 1 February, following a few weeks of slightly increased internal activity and a few days of almost constant precipitation. IG recommended that visitors stay away from inside the caldera.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| 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 30 January-4 February. An overflight on 28 January revealed Strombolian eruptions from a central pyroclastic cone in the main crater accompanied by emissions of ash and ballistic fragments. The craters surrounding the cone were incandescent and emitted bluish sulfur dioxide. Ash-and-gas plumes drifted WSW. A pyroclastic flow deposit was seen on the E flank. During 29 January-1 February, Strombolian eruptions were seen when weather permitted and emissions of ash and gases formed plumes that rose to altitudes of 3.6-6.1 km (11,800-20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, SE, NE, and NW. Sporadic activity from the N and S lateral fissures on the E flank was also noted. During 1-2 February, ballistics propelled from the main crater landed both inside and outside of the crater. Strombolian activity declined on 2 February and steam and ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.6-9.1 km (15,100-29,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. Emissions from multiple points along fissures on the E flank were noted.
On 3 February, material from intense Strombolian activity was propelled 500 m above the crater floor and fell inside and outside of the crater. Multiple lava flows from the W edge of the main crater descended about 150 m. Incandescent blocks from lava-flow fronts rolled down the flank. Plumes rose to an approximate altitude of 4.6 km (15,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WNW. Lava flows originating from a lava lake were observed during an overflight. These flows extended about 1.5-2 km in length and caused strong steam plumes due to their interaction with a glacier. According to a news article, about 20 people were evacuated from an area of La Selva, in the community of Vilcún (43 km W).
Activity was similar on 4 February. A phreatic explosion on the E flank was accompanied by steam plumes and a small pyroclastic flow. Orange ash emissions were noted from the S lateral fissure. Ash plumes from the main crater rose to an altitude of 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.
Based on pilot observations, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.6-6.7 km (15,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, NE, and W during 5-6 February.
Sources: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), ReliefWeb
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions from Sakura-jima on 3 February produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.7 km (5,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. Ash was not detected on satellite imagery. On 5 February, a pilot reported an ash plume at an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Komba Island (Indonesia)
| 7.791°S, 123.585°E
| Elevation 633 m
On 4 February, CVGHM reported that since 9 October 2007, white plumes from Batu Tara were a daily occurrence. On 8 January, gray plumes rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (4,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. On 26 and 30 January, white plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.7 km (4,900-5,600 ft) a.s.l. and also drifted E. The Darwin VAAC reported that eruption plumes were observed from a ship on 31 January, but ash was not identified on satellite imagery. The Alert level remained at 1 (on a scale of 1-4).
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that ash plumes from Fuego rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W on 4 February.
Source: 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 30 January-5 February 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. Lava in the original perched lava channel, formed from the 21 July fissure eruption, overflowed the N end. On 30 January, the channelized 'a'a lava flow from a rootless shield that collapsed on 26 January advanced, burning small kipukas and another small area of the Royal Gardens subdivision. The lava flow was inactive the next day. During 30-31 February, the rootless shields at the SE end of the field (within 2 km of fissure D) issued abundant lava flows overnight. The lava pond within the Shield-4 collapse overflowed several times; lava flows advanced S.
Incandescence was observed in Pu'u 'O'o crater for less than 10 minutes at a time every day during the reporting period. A few small earthquakes were located beneath Halema'uma'u crater and along the S-flank faults, SW rift zone, and upper E rift zone.
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 30 January-5 February. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash. On 4 February, ash emissions were accompanied by an explosion that propelled incandescent fragments 300 m from the crater.
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 gray and brown ash plumes and steam plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 0.9-2.7 km (3,000-8,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE during 31 January-5 February. Incandescence from the center of the crater was visible almost every night. On 1 February, ashfall was reported in Kokopo, about 20 km SE. Roaring noises were heard from near-by areas during 1-3 February. On 4 February, a strong smell of hydrogen sulfide gas was reported from Rabaul Town (3-5 km NW).
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that gas plumes with possible ash content from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex drifted SW on 30 January. Ash plumes drifted WNW on 3 February.
Source: 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 slightly above background levels during 25 January-1 February. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.9 km (12,800 ft) a.s.l. daily. Fumarolic activity was noted on 24, 29, and 30 January. According to 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 that during 30 January-5 February the lava dome at Soufrière Hills changed very little, based on visual observations during an over flight on 30 January and from multiple locations. 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 30 January-5 February 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 limited due to cloud cover, ash plumes were spotted and rose to altitudes of 6-9 km (19,700-29,500 ft) a.s.l. during 30 January-5 February. Ash plumes drifted mainly W, NW, and E, and ashfall was also reported in areas to the SW, N, and NE. Roaring noises and "cannon shots" were heard almost everyday and the seismic network detected between 65-208 explosions daily.
On 30 January, incandescence at the summit was observed at night and incandescent blocks that were propelled from the summit by explosions rolled 600 m down the W flank. Explosions rattled windows as far away as the Tungurahua Observatory (OVT) in Guadalupe, about 13 km NW. A lahar descended the Mandur drainage, to the NW. On 1 and 4 February, incandescence at the summit was again noted and incandescent blocks traveled down the flanks. On 4 February, heavy ashfall to the SW was reported and explosions rattled windows in near-by areas. On 5 February, ashfall was reported in areas to the NW.
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.
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