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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 17 December-23 December 2008.


















 Activity for the week of 17 December-23 December 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
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Llaima Chile New
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New
Santa Maria Guatemala New
Soufriere Hills Montserrat New
Tungurahua Ecuador New

Bagana Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Machin Colombia Ongoing
Manam Papua New Guinea Ongoing
Masaya Nicaragua Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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 12-19 December. Strombolian activity was noted on 12, 13, 14, and 16 December, and lava effusion on the NW flank continued. Gas-and-steam plumes containing ash rose to an altitude of 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. during 12-14 and 18 December. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly in the crater. Ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4-8 km (13,100-26,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 500 km E, NE, and SE during 12-14 and 16-18 December.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 21 December a possible eruption produced a plume to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted N. Ash emissions continued the next day. An eruption on 23 December produced an ash plume to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 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 22 December an ash plume from Llaima rose to an altitude of 3.6 km (11,800 ft) a.s.l. A second smaller emission of ash was noted later that day.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Piton de la Fournaise  | Reunion Island (France)  | 21.244°S, 55.708°E  | Elevation 2632 m

OVPDLF reported that during 16-23 December lava from Piton de la Fournaise continued to issue from two fissures inside Dolomieu crater and pond at the bottom of the crater.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPF)



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that during 17-20 and 22 December ash plumes from Caliente dome in Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex drifted SW, W, and NW. Plumes rose to an altitude of 5.8 km (19,000 ft) a.s.l. on 18 December. On 22 December, INSIVUMEH reported that white plumes drifted SW and avalanches occurred from the crater rim. Explosions the next day resulted in pyroclastic flows that descended the flanks and ash plumes to an altitude of 3.3 km (10,800 ft) a.s.l. that drifted S and SW.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

MVO reported that during 12-19 December activity from Soufrière Hills lava dome was characterized by increased lava extrusion, ash venting, rockfalls, and pyroclastic flows. Frequent pulses of ash rose from multiple places on the NW face of the lava dome and from a low on the dome behind Gages Mountain (as seen from Salem). On 13 December a pyroclastic flow traveled E down the Tar River Valley and reached the sea. Nighttime incandescence from the NW face was present during 16-19 December. Frequent rockfalls and several small pyroclastic flows descended Gages Valley. The largest pyroclastic flow, on 17 December, produced an ash cloud that rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. On 18 December, observations of the lava dome confirmed significant growth on the SW flank. Photographs showed that most of the growth had taken place since 8 December; lava was filling in the area between the lava dome and Chance's Peak. Initial calculations suggested that the dome grew at a rate of 1 cubic meter per second during this time. Two small pyroclastic flows descended Galway's Valley on 19 December.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from MVO, the Washington VAAC reported that during 19-23 December ash plumes drifted W, WSW, SW, and S. Thermal anomalies were detected on satellite imagery on 19 and 21 December. A pilot observed an ash plume at an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. on 20 December.

Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

The IG reported that during 17-23 December steam-and-ash plumes from Tungurahua rose to altitudes of 6-11 km (19,700-36,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Roaring noises were reported daily and ash fell in areas downwind (mostly to the SW) during 18-21 December. Nighttime incandescence was noted during 17 and 21-23 December. On 21 December, explosions vibrated the ground. The following day sounds resembling rolling blocks were reported, and incandescent blocks traveled 500 m down the flanks. On 23 December vibrations rattled windows in Guadalupe, about 11 km N.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Bagana  | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)  | 6.137°S, 155.196°E  | Elevation 1855 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 17 December an ash plume from Bagana 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  Chaiten  | Chile  | 42.833°S, 72.646°W  | Elevation 1122 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, web camera views, and pilot observations, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 18-19 and 23 December ash plumes from Chaitén continuously rose to altitudes 1.4-2.1 km (4,500-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ESE and SE.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

KVERT reported that during 12-19 December seismic activity at Karymsky was at background levels; possible explosions may have generated ash-and-gas plumes to an altitude of 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly in the crater during 12-14 and 17 December and an ash plume that drifted 240 km SE on 16 December. 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 17-23 December lava flowed SE through a tube system from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Thermal anomalies were detected on satellite imagery at the base of the pali and on the coastal plain. During 19-20 December geologists reported explosions at the ocean entry. Earthquakes were variously located beneath the caldera and along the S-flank fault. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume that drifted mainly SW and deposited small amounts of tephra.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



Volcano index photo  Machin  | Colombia  | 4.487°N, 75.389°W  | Elevation 2749 m

Observatory Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported that a swarm of 98 earthquakes occurred at Machín on 17 December SE of the lava domes at depths of 2-6 km. The largest earthquake was M 2.6 at a depth of 3.8 km.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



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

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 19 December an ash plume from Manam rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Masaya  | Nicaragua  | 11.984°N, 86.161°W  | Elevation 635 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 17 December a gas plume with possible ash rose to altitudes of 5.3-6.1 km (17,500-20,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

RVO reported that during 13-19 December gray ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to altitudes of 1.7-2.2 km (5,600-7,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind, including Rabaul town (3-5 km NW). Rumbling and roaring noises were reported on some days. Explosions or forceful emissions sometimes ejected incandescent lava fragments.

Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from RVO, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 22 and 23 December ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ENE.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



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 12-19 December. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. Visual observations of weak gas-and-steam emissions were noted during 12-14 and 18 December. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on information from KVERT and analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 21-22 December eruptions produced plumes to altitudes of 5.8-8.5 km (19,000-28,000 ft) a.s.l.

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



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 during 17 and 19-20 December explosions or eruptions from Suwanose-jima produced plumes to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted E on 17 and 19 December.

Source: Tokyo 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.

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.

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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)