Activity for the week of 12 March-18 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 12 March an ash-and-steam plume from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was slightly above background levels during 7-14 March. Observations of satellite imagery revealed that a weak thermal anomaly was present in the crater on 9 and 12 March. On 13 March, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. Ash deposits on the snow about 3-4 km SE of the summit were observed on satellite imagery. The Level of Concern Color Code was raised from Yellow to Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Based on visual observations from HVO and National Park Service (NPS) crews as well as web camera views, HVO reported that during 12-18 March lava flow activity from Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) shield was concentrated at rootless satellitic shields to the SE, in and near the Royal Gardens subdivision, and at ocean entries. During 12-13 March, lava flows entered the ocean at multiple locations on the Waikupanaha delta and at a new location 100 m E. A breakout from the E margin near the access road split into two lobes, surrounded and destroyed existing structures and covered the access road, and entered a nearby kipuka. On 14 March, lava entered the ocean at two primary Waikupanaha delta locations; the W delta was 600 m wide. An overflight revealed that the Kalalua flow (from the rootless shield complex to the E and SE of the TEB shield) advanced 240 m since 6 March. Lobes from the E-margin lava flows advanced SE into the kipuka and S of the access road, and entered the ocean during 14-15 March. Breakout lava flows were visible inland of the Waikupanaha and new ocean entires, at the base of Royal Gardens, and near the top of the pali. During 15-18 March, lava flows entered the ocean at multiple locations on the Waikupanaha delta and at a new location, 200 m W of the viewing area, named the Ki entry. On 17 March, breakouts and burned vegetation were visible within 1 km of the ocean entries.
During the reporting period, Kilauea summit earthquakes were located E of Halema'uma'u crater, along the S-flank faults, and along the SW and lower E rift zones. Sometime during 10-12 March, a new gas vent appeared just above the base of the E wall of Halema'uma'u crater. During 14-18 March, incandescence from the gas vent originated from a spot about 30 m wide within the rubble at the base of the E crater wall. Cracking rocks, possibly due to the heat, were heard by scientists at the Halema'uma'u overlook. On 17 March, the area of incandescence appeared slightly enlarged with a new area higher on the crater wall and to the N.
Sulfur dioxide emission rates from the summit area have been elevated at 2-4 times background values since early January. The emission rate abruptly increased on 12 March and fluctuated between 1,600-2,500 tonnes per day during 12-16 March, compared to a background rate of 150-200 tonnes per day. On 16 March, emission rates reached 2,500 tonnes per day, the highest recorded at Kilauea's summit since measurements began in 1979.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.416°S, 150.027°E
| Elevation 564 m
RVO reported that renewed eruptive activity from Garbuna started on 11 March and consisted of ash emissions accompanied by occasional booming noises. The resultant ash plumes rose to an altitude less that 1.6 km (5,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. Fine ashfall was reported in areas downwind. Ash emissions continued during 12-13 March. During 14-15 March, steam-and-ash plumes again rose to an altitude less that 1.6 km (5,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. Ashfall and a sulfur odor was reported from areas downwind. Occasional booming noises were heard. On 16 March, steam plumes rose to an altitude of 1.6 km (5,200 ft) a.s.l. Observers from KVO (15 km SE) reported that multiple steam plumes rose from numerous vents at the summit. Steam plumes were again noted on 17 and 18 March and a strong sulfur odor was noticed on 18 March.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 16.35°N, 145.67°E
| Elevation 790 m
The USGS reported that elevated seismicity at Anatahan continued during 12-13 March, then dropped to near background levels on 14 and 15 March. Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume was spotted around the summit area on 13 March and later that day drifted W and NNE. On 15 March, a possible diffuse ash plume was visible on satellite imagery drifting W. During 16-18 March seismicity remained low but was punctuated by occasional short bursts (typically about a minute in duration) of increased tremor. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Sources: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
Multiple steam plumes from Colima were observed rising to altitudes of 3.9-4.6 km (12,800-15,100 ft) a.s.l. during 12-18 March. Gray plumes rose to altitudes of 4-4.8 km (13,100-15,700 ft) a.s.l. on 14 and 18 March. Plumes drifted multiple directions.
Source: Gobierno del Estado de Colima
Ol Doinyo Lengai
| 2.764°S, 35.914°E
| Elevation 2962 m
Based on a pilot observation, the Toulouse VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 12.2 km (40,000 ft) a.s.l. on 13 March. The plume was not confirmed using satellite imagery. A plume at an altitude of 13.7 km (45,000 ft) a.s.l. was observed on satellite imagery on 16 March.
Source: Toulouse 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 12-18 March. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash. Ash plumes on 17 March rose to altitudes of 7.4-7.9 km (24,300-26,000 ft) a.s.l. and 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 ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 2.7-3.2 km (8,900-10,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NW, W, SW, and S during 12-19 March. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind, including Rabaul Town (3-5 km NW) and Matupit Island (2 km W). Incandescence at the summit was observed and roaring noises were occasionally heard.
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 7-14 March. Based on seismic interpretation, ash plumes possibly rose to an altitude of 4.1 km (13,500 ft) a.s.l. on 6 and 7 March. According to video footage and visual observations, fumarolic activity from the lava dome was observed during 6-8 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 11-18 March the lava dome at Soufrière Hills changed very little, based on visual observations on 12 March and other measurable parameters. The E side of the lava dome continued to erode, with material accumulating in the Tar River Valley. Fumarolic activity was concentrated on the NW and SE flanks and at the head of Gages Valley to the W. 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 and ash plumes from Tungurahua were spotted and rose to altitudes of 5.2-7 km (17,100-23,000 ft) a.s.l. during 12-18 March. Ash plumes drifted SW, W, NW, NE, and E; ashfall was reported in areas downwind (SW, W, and NW) on 13, 14, 16, and 18 March.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Based on pilot observations, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an ash plume from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-6.1 km (18,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N on 17 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.
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.