Activity for the week of 3 September-9 September 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.
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 7 September an eruption plume from Sakura-jima rose straight up to an altitude greater than 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 42.833°S, 72.646°W
| Elevation 1122 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 3-5 September two moderately vigorous plumes from Chaitén were visible on the web camera and rose to altitudes of 2.1-3.1 km (6,900-10,200 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted NW, N, SE, and S. The plume emitted from the S sector was wider and contained more ash than the plume emitted from the N sector. Clouds prevented observations during 7-8 September.
Based on web camera views, analysis of satellite imagery, and information from the Puerto Montt Flight Information Region (FIR), the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 3-6 and 8 September, ash plumes rose continuously to altitudes of 1.5-3 km (5,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, ESE, and SE.
Sources: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN), Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was above background levels during 29 August-5 September. Possible explosions may have generated ash plumes to an altitude of 3.8 km (12,500 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed ash plumes drifting SE on 29 August and a thermal anomaly in the crater during 29-31 August. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 7 September an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Andreanof Islands (USA)
| 52.177°N, 175.508°W
| Elevation 314 m
AVO reported that during 3-9 September seismic activity from Kasatochi, detected by stations approximately 40 km W on Great Sitkin island, was low. Vigorous steam-and-gas plumes that rose above the crater and drifted up to 32 km downwind were observed on 3 and 4 September by passing mariners. On 4 September the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow. Clouds mostly prevented satellite image observations; weak thermal anomalies were detected on 5 and 7 September.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
HVO reported that during 3-9 September, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry and one further to the E. On 5 September, geologists saw multiple surface flows during an aerial observation: four on the coastal plain, and a large 'a'a flow and a small pahoehoe flow in the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision.
The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. The plume was occasionally tinged brown in association with small local earthquakes. Weak night-time incandescence was intermittently seen at the base of the plume, and rock impact sounds were heard in the vicinity of the crater. The sample collection bin contained tephra, Pele's hair, Pele's tears, and a variously shaped glass fragments. On 5 September, scientists saw the surface of a sloshing lava lake, 50 m in diameter, about 100 m below the vent rim while hovering over the vent in a helicopter. A second view revealed a roiling pond with multiple bursting bubbles that changed into a central upwelling circulation pattern. The level of the lake dropped slightly before the cycle restarted.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 38.692°S, 71.729°W
| Elevation 3125 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that clouds had prevented visual observations of Llaima during 29 August-2 September. On 3 September, fumarolic plumes that originated from three points on the pyroclastic cones in the main crater drifted N. An explosion produced an ash plume that also drifted N; ash deposits on the N flank suggested previous emissions. On 4 September gas plumes from the main crater drifted W. Gas-and-steam plumes were emitted during 5-7 September. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Yellow.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| DR Congo
| 1.52°S, 29.25°E
| Elevation 3470 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Toulouse VAAC reported a diffuse sulfur plume from Nyiragongo on 9 September. The plume may have contained some ash.
Source: Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
Piton de la Fournaise
| Reunion Island (France)
| 21.244°S, 55.708°E
| Elevation 2632 m
OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise during 8-9 September was characterized by hundreds of earthquakes. The Alert Level was not changed.
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)
| 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 continued to be emitted during 1-8 September. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind. Ash accumulation in Rabaul Town was significant in mid-to-late July and in August; fresh ashfall and re-suspended ashfall due to winds and cars caused "unpleasant" conditions. During 1-6 September, conditions improved due to decreased ashfall, changes in wind patterns, and light rains that inhibited ash re-suspension. Continuous incandescence at the summit was observed, and roaring and rumbling noises were heard. Explosions also ejected incandescent lava fragments.
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-6 and 8-9 September ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-3 km (6,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW.
Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Eastern Java (Indonesia)
| 8.108°S, 112.922°E
| Elevation 3657 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 9 September ash plumes from Semeru rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSW.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (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 29 August-5 September. Gas-and-steam plumes with a small amount of ash were generated from avalanches on 29 and 30 August and rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. 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 29 August-5 September, data suggested that the W side of the Soufrière Hills lava dome continued to grow. Lahars and rockfalls dominated the activity. Lahars likely descended the Tar River valley on 29 and 31 August. On 1 September, a lahar descended the Belham River valley to the NW; the event lasted approximately 50 minutes. A new vent on the NW part of the lava dome, a little further N of the previous Gages vent, was observed during an overflight on 4 September. The smell of volcanic gases was occasionally noticed when the wind blew N and NE. The Hazard Level remained at 3.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Based on reports from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported explosions from Suwanose-jima during 5-7 September. Resultant plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted E on 5 September.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
The IG reported that clouds mostly prevented visual observations of Tungurahua during 3-9 September. On 3 September, a small lahar carried blocks down river drainages to the NW. Steam plumes rose 200 m above the crater on 6 September. On 8 September, a lahar descended a drainage to the S and carried blocks up to 50 cm in diameter.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| 16.355°S, 70.903°W
| Elevation 5672 m
Based on SIGMET reports and pilot observations, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 5-6 September ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-6.4 km (18,000-21,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE and SE.
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.
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