Activity for the week of 30 April-6 May 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
| Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)
| 5.92°S, 154.98°E
| Elevation 2715 m
Based on information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that Balbi erupted on 7 May. Ash was not detected on satellite imagery. [Correction: RVO later confirmed that Balbi did not erupt on 7 May and attributed the reports to thunderstorm activity.]
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 42.833°S, 72.646°W
| Elevation 1122 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that Chaitén erupted on 2 May, following increased seismicity in the region the day before. A pulsating white to gray ash plume rose to an estimated altitude greater than 21 km (68,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSE. The Alert Level was raised to Red. Based on observations of satellite imagery and pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported an ash plume at altitudes of 13.7-16.8 km (45,000-55,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted NE. According to news articles, Chile's government declared a state of emergency on 2 May and several hundred people were evacuated from the town of Chaitén (10 km SE). The eruption was initially thought to have been from Minchinmávida, about 17 km ENE, which last erupted in 1835.
According to news sources, ashfall was reported during 2-6 May both locally and up to hundreds of kilometers away, affecting water supplies and roads. Based on observations of satellite imagery and pilot reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 3-6 May ash plume rose to altitudes of 7-10.7 km (23,000-35,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, E, W, and NE. News sources indicated that about 4,000-5,000 people were evacuated from the town of Chaitén and surrounding areas as the eruption continued. On 5 May, ONEMI (Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior) reported that evacuations took place in Futaleufú, about 65 km ESE, where about 30 cm of ash accumulated. One elderly person died during the evacuation efforts. On 6 May, ONEMI and SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption became more forceful and generated a wider and darker gray ash plume to an estimated altitude of 30 km (98,400 ft) a.s.l. All remaining people in Chaitén were ordered to evacuate, as well as anyone within 50 km of the volcano.
Sources: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Associated Press, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Based on SIGMET reports and observations of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-9.1 km (18,000-30,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, and SE during 30 April-3 May. According to news articles, an ash-and-gas plume rose to an altitude of 6.2 km (20,300 ft) a.s.l. on 2 May. Ashfall was reported in local communities and dozens of residents of Querapi, about 4.5 km SE, were evacuated.
Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Associated Press, NBC News
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on information from JMA and observations of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 6-7 May eruption plumes from Sakura-jima rose to altitudes of 2.4-3.4 km (8,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted S.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Komba Island (Indonesia)
| 7.791°S, 123.585°E
| Elevation 633 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that low-level plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW on 3 and 7 May.
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 at background levels during 25 April-2 May. Possible activity was characterized by gas-and-ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2-2.5 km (6,600-8,200 ft) a.s.l. Based on seismic interpretation, a gas-and-ash explosion may have occurred on 26 April. Observations of satellite imagery revealed that a thermal anomaly was present in the crater on 25, 27, and 28 April. Based on airport data and information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption plume rose to altitudes of 3.7 km (10,000-17,000 ft) a.s.l. during 6-7 May. Ash was not detected on satellite imagery. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
Based on visual observations from HVO and National Park Service (NPS) crews and web camera views, HVO reported that during 30 April-6 May lava flowed SE through a lava tube system underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex to the Waikupanaha ocean entry. On 4 May, lava flows from breakouts on the pali reached the coastal plain. Kilauea summit earthquakes were located beneath the Halema'uma'u crater, along the S-flank faults, and along the SW and E rift zones. The eruption from the vent in Halema'uma'u Crater continued to produce white plumes with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. During most nights incandescence was seen at the base of the plume. Seismic tremor was elevated. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high and fluctuated between 540 and 1,250 tonnes per day during 30 April-5 May. The background rate was 150-200 tonnes per day.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
Nevado del Huila
| 2.93°N, 76.03°W
| Elevation 5364 m
INGEOMINAS reported that no significant morphological changes to the summit of Nevado del Huila were noted during an overflight on 6 May, although the NE and NW flanks could not be directly observed. Fumarolic plumes drifted NW. The Alert Level was lowered to Yellow (on a 4-color scale where Yellow is the second lowest).
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
| 4.271°S, 152.203°E
| Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that during 30 April-7 May ash plumes from multiple places inside Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 1.2-2.2 km (3,900-7,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, E, and SE. Intermittent roaring and rumbling noises and occasional explosions were reported. Ashfall was reported in nearby areas. Ash in Rabaul Town (3-5 km NW) suspended by wind and traffic was problematic. During 5-7 May, incandescent tephra was occasionally visible at night.
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 at background levels during 25 April-2 May. Observations of satellite imagery revealed that a thermal anomaly was present in the crater during 27, 28, and 30 April, and 1 May. On 28 April, ash deposits extending about 10 km NW were observed on satellite imagery and possible gas-and-ash explosions were detected by the seismic network. 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 during 25 April-2 May the level of volcano-tectonic earthquakes at Soufrière Hills increased and was the highest since February 2006. Degassing from a vent above Gages Wall was audible in the St. George's Hill area to the NW. Steaming from the area above Tyre's Ghaut to the NW was visible. 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
The IG reported that although visual observations were occasionally limited due to cloud cover during 29 April-6 May, ash-and-steam plumes from Tungurahua were spotted and generally rose to altitudes of 5.5-7 km (18,000-23,000 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was reported in areas to the SW and W during 29 April-1 May and on 4 May. On 30 April, explosions produced steam-and-ash plumes to altitudes of 9-10 km (29,500-32,800 ft) a.s.l. Incandescence at the summit was visible and incandescent blocks rolled down the flanks. Roaring noises were audible. On 1 May, explosions were accompanied by "cannon shots" and intense incandescence at the summit. Windows vibrated in areas 6 km NE. Incandescent blocks rolled 1 km down the flanks. On 3 May, a small lahar descended the W flank.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| United States
| 56.17°N, 159.38°W
| Elevation 2507 m
AVO reported on 3 May that the Volcanic Alert Level for Veniaminof was lowered to Normal and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green due to the absence of ash emissions and elevated surface temperatures. Seismicity was still above past background levels, but the rate and intensity had declined over the previous several weeks.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
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.
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