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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 23 July-29 July 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 23 July-29 July 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.

Name Location Activity
Anatahan Mariana Islands (USA) New
Chaiten Chile New
Chikurachki Paramushir Island (Russia) New
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) New
Dukono Halmahera (Indonesia) New
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) New
Llaima Chile New
Manam Papua New Guinea New
Okmok Fox Islands (USA) New
Reventador Ecuador New
Soufriere Hills Montserrat New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Batu Tara Komba Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Bezymianny Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Krakatau Indonesia Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Semeru Eastern Java (Indonesia) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Anatahan  | Mariana Islands (USA)  | 16.35°N, 145.67°E  | Elevation 790 m

The USGS reported that seismic tremor from Anatahan slowly increased during 16-26 July. A diffuse sulfur-dioxide plume drifted W on 17 July. According to a Washington VAAC report a low-level plume possibly containing ash drifted 50 km NW on 26 July. The Volcanic Alert Level was raised to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow. According to another Washington VAAC report on 28 July, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. Seismic tremor continued to increase. A sulfur dioxide plume drifted NW. The Volcanic Alert Level was raised to Watch and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange. During 29-30 July, seismic tremor levels remained elevated, but possibly slightly decreased.

Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program



Volcano index photo  Chaiten  | Chile  | 42.833°S, 72.646°W  | Elevation 1122 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported that clouds obscured camera views of Chaitén's eruption plume on 21 and 22 July. The E-drifting eruption plume was weaker when observed on 23 July and only rose to an altitude of less than 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. In contrast, during 21-23 July earthquakes greater than M 2.6 increased in number and magnitude. The Alert Level was raised to Volcanic Alert Red Level 6.

An overflight on 24 July revealed a plume that rose to an altitude of 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. It vented from an area S of a previous emission point, on the S flank of the new lava dome. The plume intermingled with other plumes generated by explosions. A gas-and-steam plume was emitted from a depression, also on the S flank, that was possibly formed by an explosion or partial collapse the previous day or two. Gas-and-steam plumes were emitted from the base of the E flank. On 24 July, ashfall near the city of Chaitén was about 3 cm thick. During 24-29 July, clouds generally prevented visual observations; occasionally the plume was visible and rose to an altitude of 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. On 27 July, ashfall was again reported in the city of Chaitén.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Chikurachki  | Paramushir Island (Russia)  | 50.324°N, 155.461°E  | Elevation 1781 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, KVERT reported that on 29 July an ash plume from Chikurachki drifted more than 30 km WSW. The level of seismicity was unknown because Chikurachki lacks dedicated seismic instruments. The Level of Concern Color Code was raised to Yellow.

Based on reports from KVERT, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 29 July, an eruption plume rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Elevation 1730 m

AVO reported that satellite views of Cleveland were hindered on 23 July due to cloud cover. On 24 July, a low-level ash plume and a strong thermal anomaly were noted near the summit. The thermal anomaly suggested the presence of an active lava flow. The thermal anomaly continued to be detected during 26-28 July and possible ash plumes drifted SE, E, and NE at altitudes of 3-6.1 km (10,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. during 27-29 July.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Dukono  | Halmahera (Indonesia)  | 1.693°N, 127.894°E  | Elevation 1229 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 25-27 July ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Elevation 1513 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was above background levels on 18, 19, and 23 July and at background levels during 20-22 and 24-25. Explosive activity that produced ashfall was seen by area volcanologists. Interpretation of the seismic data suggested that on 19, 21, and 23 July possible ash-and-gas plumes rose to altitudes of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Observations of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater during 19-21 July. The Level of Concern Color Code was raised to Orange.

Based on information from the Yelizovo Airport (UHPP), the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 25 July an ash plume rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Llaima  | Chile  | 38.692°S, 71.729°W  | Elevation 3125 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported that cloud cover prevented observations of Llaima during 22-23 July. On 24 July a bluish gas was emitted from a pyroclastic cone in the main crater and steam plumes rose from the W margin of the crater. Later that day, gas-and-ash plumes rose 100 m above the crater and dissipated to the SSE. During an overflight prompted by increased seismicity on 26 July, scientists observed weak explosions and airborne spatter from a double crater at the N base of the pyroclastic cone. Area residents reported hearing "detonations" coming from the direction of the volcano and they observed small ash plumes. Strombolian activity intensified and ejected material 500-800 m above the crater. Rhythmic explosions ejected spatter 1 km above the summit and up to 2 km towards the E. A plume rose to an altitude of 10 km (32,800 ft) a.s.l. Lava flows emitted at a high rate descended the W and S flanks and ice evaporated, producing steam plumes. SERNAGEOMIN raised the Alert Level to Red.

SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption during 26-27 July lasted for 11.5 hours. During 28 and 29 July, the volcano was in a state of calm.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Elevation 1807 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 29 July low-level plumes from Manam rose to an altitude 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WNW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Okmok  | Fox Islands (USA)  | 53.43°N, 168.13°W  | Elevation 1073 m

AVO reported that on 23 July, seismicity from Okmok changed from episodic volcanic tremor to nearly continuous mid-level volcanic tremor. Although cloud cover obscured views of Okmok, previously emitted ash plumes were observed to the ESE. On 24 July, a thermal anomaly was possibly present on satellite imagery. On 25 July, seismic amplitude increased. Based on pilot reports and observations of satellite imagery, AVO reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 10.7-12.2 km (35,000-40,000 ft) a.s.l. The Volcano Alert Level was raised to Warning and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Red.

On 26 July, seismic activity decreased and satellite imagery indicated that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 6.1-6.7 km (20,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. The Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Watch and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Orange. Seismicity increased again on 27 July. Satellite imagery possibly indicated another thermal anomaly; a possible plume at an altitude of less than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. was also noted. On 28 July, seismic tremor decreased. An ash plume at a possible altitude of 8.2 km (27,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted 90 km SE. Seismicity changed from nearly continuous volcanic tremor to episodic. Later that day and on 29 July, ash plumes possibly rose to an altitude of 10.7 km (35,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E to SE. The Volcano Alert Level was raised to Warning and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Red.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

The IG reported that the number of earthquakes per day from Reventador increased during July and were the greatest on 24 and 25 July. At 1500 on 27 July, continuous seismic tremor was registered and was followed by observations of incandescence around the crater. Thermal anomalies were also identified on satellite imagery. At 1900 explosions produced ash plumes and ejected incandescent material that fell onto and rolled down the flanks. On 28 July, ash plumes drifted NW and W. Ashfall was reported in Olmedo, about 50 km NW. Later that day, ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4-6 km (13,100-19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. On 29 July, steam plumes rose from the crater and drifted NW. A sulfur smell was reported at areas around the volcano. A lava flow traveled S.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  Soufriere Hills  | Montserrat  | 16.72°N, 62.18°W  | Elevation 915 m

MVO reported no evidence of lava-dome growth at Soufrière Hills during 18-26 July. At least six eruptive events occurred during 20-22 July, each producing ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. or lower. The ash plumes drifted W; ashfall was reported in Old Towne. Rumbling noises were heard in nearby areas and lightning strikes were observed. Small pyroclastic flows during 20-21 July traveled E down the Tar River valley with the largest one reaching within 500 m of the ocean. The Alert Level remained elevated at 4 (on a scale of 0-5).

On 26 July, seismicity increased significantly and then decreased. Seismicity increased again at approximately 0100 on 27 July and continued at a high level until about 0935 when a short series of eruptive events started. The first and largest ash-venting event of this series produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 2.5 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW. Ashfall was reported in Plymouth and St George's Hill. Two events that followed produced ash plumes to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l.

A partial lava-dome collapse began at 1127 on 28 July without any precursory activity. Part of the dome's W flank collapsed and generated pyroclastic flows that reached Plymouth and the sea. A few explosions during the collapse produced ash plumes; the largest ash plume rose to an altitude of 12 km (40,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Elevation 1117 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 25-28 July ash plumes from Sakura-jima rose to altitudes of 2.4-4.3 km (8,000-14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NE, and S.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Batu Tara  | Komba Island (Indonesia)  | 7.791°S, 123.585°E  | Elevation 633 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 24-29 July ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 1.5-3.7 km (5,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW, W, NW, and N.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Bezymianny  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.972°N, 160.595°E  | Elevation 2882 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Bezymianny was above background levels on 20 July and at background levels the other days during 18-25 July. Fumarolic activity was observed during 18-22 July and area volcanologists reported that the lava dome continued to grow. Weak thermal anomalies over the lava dome were detected in satellite imagery on 18, 19, and 20 July. KVERT lowered the level of Concern Color Code to Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

Based on visual observations from HVO geologists, video footage, and web camera views, HVO reported that during 23-29 July, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex to the Waikupanaha ocean entry. A bench collapse at the ocean entry occurred on 22 July. Pu'u 'O'o crater incandescence originated from vents on the crater floor and was reflected in a gas plume emitted from a vent on the E wall. A surface lava flow was seen behind the coastal bench on 28 July. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at Pu'u 'O'o was high at 4,700 and 5,400 tonnes per day on 24 and 26 July, respectively; the average background rate is about 2,000 tonnes per day.

During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were variously located beneath Halema'uma'u crater, along the Koa'e fault system, beneath Makaopuhi crater, along the S-flank faults, and along the SW rift zone. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater, another 20-60 small earthquakes per day also occurred but were too small to be located more precisely. The vent in the crater continued to produce a white plume with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. Night-time incandescence was seen at the base of the plume. Rock-clattering sounds were heard in the vicinity of Halema'uma'u crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high and between 600 and 800 tonnes per day, during 24-26 July. The pre-2008 background rate was 150-200 tonnes per day. On 26 July, incandescent material was ejected from the vent in Halema'uma'u crater.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Krakatau  | Indonesia  | 6.102°S, 105.423°E  | Elevation 813 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that ash plumes from Anak Krakatau rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 27 July and drifted NW. A meteorological cloud obscured satellite views the next day but the VAAC warned that ash may still be present in the area.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Rabaul  | New Britain (Papua New Guinea)  | 4.271°S, 152.203°E  | Elevation 688 m

Based on observations of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 23-24 and 26-29 July ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 km (5,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Santa Maria  | Guatemala  | 14.757°N, 91.552°W  | Elevation 3745 m

INSIVUMEH reported that on 22 July seismic stations monitoring Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex detected a lahar below the S flank in the Nima I river. Explosions observed on 23, 28, and 29 July from Caliente cone produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.8-3.3 km (9,200-10,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and W. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind. A lava flow and avalanches of blocks descended the SW flank. On 28 July, weak pyroclastic flows also traveled down the SW flank.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)



Volcano index photo  Semeru  | Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | 8.108°S, 112.922°E  | Elevation 3657 m

The Darwin VAAC reported that on 27 July an ash plume at an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. was spotted by a pilot in the vicinity of Semeru. Ash was not identified on satellite imagery.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Sheveluch  | 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 July. Moderate fumarolic activity was seen on 18 and 22 July. Observations of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 18-22 July; clouds obscured views on other days. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Suwanosejima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 29.638°N, 129.714°E  | Elevation 796 m

Based on pilot reports, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 30 July an ash plume from Suwanose-jima rose to an altitude of 0.6 km (2,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Tungurahua  | Ecuador  | 1.467°S, 78.442°W  | Elevation 5023 m

The IG reported that during 22-23 July, explosions from Tungurahua were detected by the seismic network. An ash plume rose to an altitude of 9 km (29,500 ft) a.s.l. On 25 July, lahars descended two drainages on the W flank. On 26 July, ash-and-steam plumes drifted NW and SW, and explosions and roaring noises were reported. Nighttime incandescence from the crater was noted. On 27 July, roaring noises accompanied ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 8-10 km (26,200-32,800 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was reported in areas to the SW. During 27-29 July, incandescence was seen around the crater and blocks rolled 800 m down the flanks. Noises were reported and explosions caused windows to vibrate. Ashfall was reported in areas to the SW.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  Ubinas  | Peru  | 16.355°S, 70.903°W  | Elevation 5672 m

Based on SIGMET reports, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-5.8 km (18,000-19,000 ft) a.s.l. on 23 July and drifted SE.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 Criteria & Disclaimers

Criteria

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:

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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.

 Acronyms and Abbreviations

a.s.l. - above sea level

AVO - Alaska Volcano Observatory

AVHRR - Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer

CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)

CONRED - Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres

COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer

CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation

CVO - Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS)

GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory

GVP - Global Volcanism Program (Smithsonian Institution)

HVO - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS)

ICE - Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Costa Rica)

IG - Instituto Geofísico (Ecuador)

IGNS - Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (New Zealand) - now GNS Science

INETER - Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (Nicaragua)

INGEMMET - Instituto Geológical Minero y Metalúrgico (Peru)

INGEOMINAS - Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (Colombia)

INGV-CT - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Sezione di Catania (Italy)

INSIVUMEH - Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia e Hidrologia (Guatemala)

IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France)

JMA - Japanese Meteorological Agency

KEMSD - Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismilogical Department

KVERT - Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team

M - magnitude

METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite

MEVO - Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory

MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

MVO - Montserrat Volcano Observatory

MWO - Meteorological Watch Office

NEIC - National Earthquake Information Center

NIED - National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (Japan)

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTAM - Notice to Airmen

OVDAS - Observatorio Volcanologico de los Andes del Sur (Chile)

OFDA - Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance

ONEMI - Oficina Nacional de Emergencia - Ministerio del Interior (Chile)

OVPDLF - Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (France)

OVSICORI-UNA - Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional (Costa Rica)

PHIVOLCS - Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philippines)

RSAM - Real-time Seismic Amplitude Measurement

RVO - Rabaul Volcano Observatory

SERNAGEOMIN - Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria (Chile)

SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information

SNET - Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (El Salvador)

SVERT - Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (Russia)

USAID - US Agency for International Development

USGS - United States Geological Survey

UTC - Coordinated Universal Time

VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

VAFTAD - Volcanic Ash Forecast Transport And Dispersion

VDAP - Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (USGS)

VHP - Volcano Hazards Program (USGS)

VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)