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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 22 October-28 October 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 22 October-28 October 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
Colima Mexico New
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Kuchinoerabujima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) New
Popocatepetl Mexico New
Villarrica Chile New
White Island North Island (New Zealand) New

Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Galeras Colombia Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Nevado del Huila Colombia Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Semeru Eastern Java (Indonesia) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing
Tungurahua Ecuador Ongoing
Ubinas Peru Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Colima  | Mexico  | 19.514°N, 103.62°W  | Elevation 3850 m

Multiple white plumes from Colima were observed rising to altitudes of 3.9-4.1 km (12,800-13,500 ft) a.s.l. during 22-28 October. Gray plumes were observed during 25-28 October and rose to altitudes of 3.9-4.5 km (12,800-14,800 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted mainly SW, W, and NW.

Source: Gobierno del Estado de Colima



Volcano index photo  Klyuchevskoy  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.056°N, 160.642°E  | Elevation 4754 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity at Kliuchevskoi was above background levels during 17-24 October. Fumarolic activity was noted during 17-19 and 22-23 October by video and visual observations. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly in the crater. The Level of Concern Color Code remained Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Kuchinoerabujima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 30.443°N, 130.217°E  | Elevation 657 m

On 27 October, JMA raised the Alert Level for Kuchinoerabu-jima from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-5). GPS measurements indicated that inflation just below the summit crater, which had started in September, was continuing. Fumarolic activity near summit had also increased. On 4 September, JMA had raised the Alert Level for from 1 to 2 because of the increased seismicity.

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)



Volcano index photo  Popocatepetl  | Mexico  | 19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5393 m

CENAPRED reported emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl during 22-28 October. The plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash on 27 and 28 October.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



Volcano index photo  Villarrica  | Chile  | 39.42°S, 71.93°W  | Elevation 2847 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported that on 26 October three gray plumes with little ash content were emitted from Villarrica and rose to an altitude of 3.2 km (10,500 ft) a.s.l. The plumes quickly dispersed to the E. About 20 minutes later a darker gray plume rose to an altitude of 3.3 km (10,800 ft) a.s.l. Projecto Observación Visual Volcán Villarrica (POVI) reported that the latter plume deposited a thin layer of tephra several kilometers in length on the E flank.

Sources: Proyecto Observación Villarrica Internet (POVI), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  White Island  | North Island (New Zealand)  | 37.52°S, 177.18°E  | Elevation 321 m

White Island's Crater Lake has continued to rise since December 2007, after being almost completely evaporated in late October 2007. By 23 October the lake was reported to have risen 15 m and was beginning to affect the geothermal features on the Main Crater floor. New springs formed on the floor and old springs flowed again. The lake temperature remained hot at 57 degrees Celsius and the color had changed to light green, reflecting a decrease in suspended sediment. High-temperature fumaroles (101-103 degrees Celsius) were located on the S side of the Main Crater floor. Steam, gas, and mud emissions had increased from the largest vent during the previous few weeks. The Alert Level remained at Level 1 (on a scale of 0-5), indicating signs of volcano unrest.

Source: GeoNet



Ongoing Activity


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

Based on web camera views and analysis of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 24 and 26-28 October, continuous ash plumes from Chaitén rose to altitudes of 2.1-7.3 km (7,000-24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE and E. A thermal anomaly was detected on 27 October.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Galeras  | Colombia  | 1.22°N, 77.37°W  | Elevation 4276 m

On 28 October, INGEOMINAS reported that during the previous week pulsating white plumes occasionally tinged gray rose from Galeras to altitudes of 4.7-5.5 km (15,400-18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



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 17 and 20 October and at background levels on the other days during 18-24 October. Possible explosions may have generated ash plumes to an altitude of 3.2 km (10,500 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater on 17, 19, and 21 October; clouds prevented observations on the other days. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

HVO reported that during 22-28 October lava flowed SE through a tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Lava flow production possibly paused during 26-27 October. Multiple surface lava flows on the pali were noted. On 23 October, a plume drifted above the County Viewing Area near the ocean entry and rained acid droplets, causing a closure. Explosions at the ocean entry were reported on 24 October. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at Pu'u 'O'o was 1,000 tonnes per day on 23 and 24 October, half of the background rate of the 2005-2007 average. Weak winds caused the viewing area to close again on 25 October.

During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were variously located beneath and to the S of the caldera, along the S-flank faults, and along the SW rift zone. Beneath Halema'uma'u crater earthquakes ranged from less than 30 per day to 70 (background is about 40), but were too small to be located more precisely. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume that drifted mainly SW. Night-time incandescence was intermittently seen at the base of the plume, and sounds resembling distant surf, rock clattering, and rock impacts were heard in the vicinity of the crater. Weak winds resulted in poor air quality at the summit during 21 and 25-28 October. During an overflight on 24 October, HVO geologists used a FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) camera to view the vent. The vent (about 80 m by 60 m) was wider than a lower orifice (about 30 m by 15 m), but narrower than a chamber above the orifice, resulting in an over-hanging vent rim prone to collapse. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 500-900 tonnes per day during 22-24 October. The 2003-2007 rate average was 140 tonnes per day.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Nevado del Huila  | Colombia  | 2.93°N, 76.03°W  | Elevation 5364 m

INGEOMINAS reported that on 26 October an episode of tremor at Nevado del Huila lasted about 1 hour and 40 minutes, and was interpreted to have possibly been associated with ash emissions. On 28 October local residents and passengers aboard a commercial flight reported smelling sulfur.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



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

RVO reported that during 21-26 October ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (8,900 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and W. During 21-24 October ashfall was reported in areas downwind, continuous incandescence from the vent was observed, and loud rumbling and roaring noises were reported. During 24-25 October ash plumes drifted to the NW area between Namanula Hill and Rabaul town. On 26 October, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, creating hazy conditions in Rabaul town (3-5 km NW).

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 22 October a plume from Semeru rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW.

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 above background levels during 17-24 October. Based on interpretations of seismic data, a large number of hot avalanches were inferred to have descended the lava dome and produced ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 6.7 km (22,000 ft) a.s.l. Significant hot avalanches that produced ash plumes to altitudes of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. were seen on 16 and 20 October. Fumarolic activity was visible on the web camera during 17-20 and 22-23 October. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome, and ash plumes drifted 60 km E on 20 October. Ash plumes about 10 by 11 km and 10 by 5 km in horizontal dimensions drifted about 30-40 km SE on 19 and 22 October, respectively. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

MVO reported that during 17-24 October the activity level at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was slightly higher than the previous week and consisted mainly of volcanic seismicity. There was no evidence of lava extrusion. On the evening of 17 October several points of incandescence from locations previously glowing on 8 October were observed through binoculars. On 20 October three pyroclastic flows descended the Tar River Valley. They generated small ash plumes that drifted over unpopulated areas to the W and SW, towards Plymouth. The Hazard Level remained at 3.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



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

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that Suwanose-jima produced explosion or eruption plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 km (5,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and E during 21, 23, 25-26, and 28 October.

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 inclement weather mostly prevented observations of Tungurahua during 22-28 October; fumarolic activity was noted on 22 October. On 23 October muddy waters descended the Vascún River to the N, causing a landslide and a ruptured water pipe that serviced Baños.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



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

Based on SIGMET notices, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 22 October ash plumes were continuously emitted from Ubinas and rose to altitudes of 5.5-6.7 km (18,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted S.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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 News Feeds and Google Placemarks


The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) 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.




The CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) feeds are XML files specifically formatted for disaster management. They are similar in content to the RSS feed, but contain no active links.




A Google Earth network link for the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 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.

 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:

- 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.


Disclaimers

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.

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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.

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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)