Activity for the week of 5 March-11 March 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
| Komba Island (Indonesia)
| 7.791°S, 123.585°E
| Elevation 633 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 11 March, an ash-and-steam plume from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Based on visual observations and web camera views when weather permitted, HVO reported that during 5-11 March lava flow activity from Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield was concentrated at rootless satellitic shields to the E and SE, in the Royal Gardens subdivision, and at two ocean entries. A lava flow from the rootless shield complex traveled E towards Kalalua. Earthquakes were located beneath Halema'uma'u crater, along the S-flank faults, beneath the summit, and along the SW rift zones.
During 4-6 March, the TEB flow expanded E above and within Royal Gardens, and also split into two 100-m-wide lobes (E and W) about 150 m N of the County access road. According to local sources, at about 2330 local time on 5 March the W lobe entered the ocean at the Waikupanaha entry, named for a nearby pond that was covered by lava in the 1990s. During 7-11 March, incandescence was visible from vents on top of two of the SE satellitic shields. On 8 March, the W lobe continued to build a delta; the E lobe was 470 m from the ocean. A public viewing area with excellent views of the pahoehoe flows opened. On 9 March, the Waikupanaha entry steamed from four points, but small streams of lava were only visible entering the ocean in the evening. The delta was 500 m wide and extended 100-150 m out into the ocean. During 9-10 March, smoke plumes and incandescence from Royal Gardens suggested that active breakouts from the tube system had possibly diminished the amount of lava arriving at the ocean. Diffuse incandescence was observed on the web camera in Pu'u 'O'o crater on 10 and 11 March.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
Ol Doinyo Lengai
| 2.764°S, 35.914°E
| Elevation 2962 m
Based on pilot reports, MWO reports, and observations of satellite imagery, the Toulouse VAAC reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 8.8-10.7 km (29,000-35,000 ft) a.s.l. during 5-6 and 9 March. A cloud at an altitude of 12.2 km (40,000 ft) a.s.l. that possibly contained ash was detected in satellite imagery on 11 March. The cloud drifted S.
Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
The USGS reported that levels of seismicity at Anatahan were elevated during 5-10 March, but decreased significantly on 11 March. On 5 March, diffuse ash plumes drifted as far as 120 km NW and 95 km SE. During 5-7 March, continuous ash emissions produced plumes that rose to altitudes less than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, SW, and W. On 8 and 9 March, a sulfur dioxide plume was detected by the satellite-based Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and drifted SW and WSW. According to reports from the Washington VAAC, a diffuse ash plume rose to an altitude less than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W on 10 March.
Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program
| Siau Island (Indonesia)
| 2.781°N, 125.407°E
| Elevation 1797 m
Based on a pilot observation, the Darwin VAAC reported a possible low-level ash plume on 12 March.
Source: Darwin 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 5-11 March. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash. An explosion on 8 March resulted in ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 6.4 km (21,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. An ash plume was spotted the next day that rose to the same altitude and also drifted NE.
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 during 4-7 March white plumes rose from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone and incandescence at the summit was noted. Ash was emitted on 6 March. A slight smell of hydrogen-sulfide gas was reported in areas to the S on 5 March. During 8-11 March, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.2-1.7 km (3,900-5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, W, SW, S, and SE. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind, including Kokopo town (SE) during 8-10 March, and Rabaul town (NW) on 11 March.
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 and small hot avalanches descended the lava dome during 29 February-7 March. Ash plumes were possibly present. According to video footage and visual observations, fumarolic activity was observed during 29 February and 2-6 March. Observations of satellite imagery revealed that a thermal anomaly was present in the crater 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 4-11 March the lava dome at Soufrière Hills changed very little, based on visual observations during an overflight on 6 March. The E talus slope continued to erode, with both fresh and older material accumulating in the Tar River Valley. Fumaroles around the lava dome were active, but less vigorous W in the Gages Wall area on 7 March. The Alert Level remained elevated at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported that although visual observations were very limited due to cloud cover, ash-and-steam plumes from Tungurahua were spotted and rose to altitudes of 5.5-8 km (18,000-26,200 ft) a.s.l. during 4-11 March. Incandescence at the summit was observed at night during 4-6 March. Ash plumes drifted W, SW, S, SE, E, and NE; ashfall was reported in areas downwind on 5, 6, and 10 March. Lahars descended drainages to the W and in the Pampas sector to the S on 6 and 8 March. On 8 March, lahars mobilized blocks up to 3 m in diameter. Very active fumaroles near the crater were spotted on 11 March.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Based on pilot reports and observations of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and SW on 9 March.
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
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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