Activity for the week of 11 March-17 March 2009
Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 11 March-17 March 2009.
You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 11 March-17 March 2009.
Activity for the week of 11 March-17 March 2009
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.
|Ebeko||Paramushir Island (Russia)||New|
|Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai||Tonga Islands||New|
|Koryaksky||Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)||New|
|Semeru||Eastern Java (Indonesia)||New|
|Batu Tara||Komba Island (Indonesia)||Ongoing|
|Karymsky||Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)||Ongoing|
|Kilauea||Hawaiian Islands (USA)||Ongoing|
|Nevado del Huila||Colombia||Ongoing|
|Rabaul||New Britain (Papua New Guinea)||Ongoing|
|Sheveluch||Central Kamchatka (Russia)||Ongoing|
|Suwanosejima||Ryukyu Islands (Japan)||Ongoing|
Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) | 50.686°N, 156.014°E | Elevation 1103 m
Galeras | Colombia | 1.22°N, 77.37°W | Elevation 4276 m
INGEOMINAS reported an explosive eruption from Galeras that began at 1555 on 13 March; the Alert Level was raised from II (Orange; "probable eruption in term of days or weeks") to I (Red; "imminent eruption or in progress"), on a scale of 4-1. Inclement weather prevented direct observations of the volcano. The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) indicated that a plume rose to an altitude of 12.3 km (40,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. The eruption produced sounds heard in areas 10 km E and W. Ashfall was reported in multiple areas E and NW; a sulfur odor was also reported in some areas. On 14 March, gas plumes with some ash content rose to an altitude of 6.3 km (20,700 ft) a.s.l. The Alert Level was lowered to back to II.
According to news articles, authorities ordered the evacuation of about 8,000 people living in high-risk areas, but few went to evacuation shelters.
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai | Tonga Islands | 20.536°S, 175.382°W | Elevation 114 m
Observers flying near the area of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai (about 62 km NNW of Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga) on 16 or 17 March reported seeing an eruption. Photos showed an eruption plume with a wide base that rose from the sea surface and mixed with meteorological clouds. Based on information from the Tonga airport and analysis of satellite imagery, the Wellington VAAC reported that on 18 March, a plume rose to altitudes of 4.6-7.6 km (15,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.
Koryaksky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | 53.321°N, 158.712°E | Elevation 3430 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Koryaksky was elevated on 6 and 8 March and at background levels on the other days during 7-13 March. Observers reported that gas plumes containing a small amount of ash rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions during the reporting period. The plumes were also seen on satellite imagery. Ash deposits were seen near the volcano. The Level of Concern Color Code remained Orange.
Based on information from the Yelizovo Airport and KVERT, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 11-12 and 15 March ash plumes rose to altitudes of 3-5.2 km (10,000-17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, E, and N.
Redoubt | United States | 60.485°N, 152.742°W | Elevation 3108 m
AVO reported that during 11-15 March seismic activity at Redoubt was low but remained above background levels. On 12, 14, and 15 March clear web camera views showed steam plumes that rose just above the summit. At about 1305 on 15 March, seismic activity increased and about four hours of volcanic tremor ensued. AVO scientists aboard an overflight saw a steam-and-ash plume rise to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and produce minor ashfall on the summit crater floor and down the S flank. The emissions originated from a new vent, located just S of the 1990 lava dome and W of the prominent ice collapse feature near the N edge of the summit crater. About twenty minutes later, a sediment-laden flow occurred from a small area in the ice on the upper part of Drift glacier. Steam plumes were later noted. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to Orange and the Alert Level to Watch. Clear web camera views on 17 March showed no unusual activity.
Semeru | Eastern Java (Indonesia) | 8.108°S, 112.922°E | Elevation 3657 m
Based on information from CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 12 March an eruption from Semeru produced a plume to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash was not identified on satellite imagery.
Aira | Kyushu (Japan) | 31.593°N, 130.657°E | Elevation 1117 m
On 14 March, JMA reported two Vulcanian explosions from Sakura-jima to heights of 400-500 m above an unspecified crater; ejected bombs landed as far away as 800 m. Both the summit crater and Showa crater on the E flank had recently been active. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an eruption on 17 March produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.
Arenal | Costa Rica | 10.463°N, 84.703°W | Elevation 1670 m
OVSICORI-UNA reported that during February, activity originating from Arenal's Crater C consisted of gas emissions, sporadic Strombolian eruptions, and occasional avalanches from lava-flow fronts that traveled down the SW flanks. Acid rain and small amounts of ejected pyroclastic material affected the NE and SE flanks. Small avalanches of volcanic material traveled down several ravines. Crater D showed only fumarolic activity.
Asamayama | Honshu (Japan) | 36.406°N, 138.523°E | Elevation 2568 m
Batu Tara | Komba Island (Indonesia) | 7.791°S, 123.585°E | Elevation 633 m
Chaiten | Chile | 42.833°S, 72.646°W | Elevation 1122 m
Based on web camera views, analysis of satellite imagery, and SIGMET notices, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 11-15 March ash plumes from Chaitén rose to altitudes of 2.1-3.7 km (7,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NNE, NE, E, and SE. A thermal anomaly was detected in satellite imagery on 15 March.
Fuego | Guatemala | 14.473°N, 90.88°W | Elevation 3763 m
On 12, 16, and 17 March, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.2-4.8 km (13,800-15,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S and SW. Incandescent material was ejected 75 m into the air. Some explosions produced rumbling sounds heard in nearby towns. White plumes rose 150-200 m above the summit. During 16-17 March, fine ashfall was reported in areas downwind.
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and SIGMET notices, the Washington VAAC reported that during 12-13 March ash plumes drifted S and SW. On 13 March, the ash plume rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,500 ft) a.s.l.
Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | 54.049°N, 159.443°E | Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was at background levels during 6-13 March. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes likely rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 6-12 March, and ash plumes that drifted in multiple directions during the reporting period. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Based on information from KVERT and pilot observations, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 13 March an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.
Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA) | 19.421°N, 155.287°W | Elevation 1222 m
During 11-17 March, HVO reported that lava flowed SE from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry and occasionally producing explosions. Thermal anomalies noted during most days on the coastal plain suggested surface flows. During 11-13 March, scattered surface flows near the Prince lobe were noted. On 13 March, a 30-m-wide lava flow entered the ocean at Kupapa'u, a second ocean entry location to the W of Waikupanaha. Kupapa'u was active during 14-17 March.
The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume; southwesterly winds often caused poor air quality in communities to the N. Incandescence from the vent was seldom seen. On 12 March, seemingly fresh spatter was collected from bins placed near the plume; minimal amounts of ash were collected the next day. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit was 1,000 tonnes per day on 13 March; the 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day. Field visits to the caldera floor indicated that there was an ash emission event sometime before dawn on 15 March, possibly following a wall collapse within the Halema'uma'u vent. Ash coated several monitoring instruments and was detected in Volcano, about 6 km NE. On 16 March, the plume drifted N and dusted HVO with ash.
Nevado del Huila | Colombia | 2.93°N, 76.03°W | Elevation 5364 m
INGEOMINAS reported that during 11-17 March whitish colored gas plumes from Nevado del Huila viewed through the web camera rose to a maximum altitude of 6.4 km (21,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NW. The Alert Level remained at Orange.
Pacaya | Guatemala | 14.382°N, 90.601°W | Elevation 2569 m
Rabaul | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | 4.271°S, 152.203°E | Elevation 688 m
RVO reported that during 9-15 March gray ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to a maximum altitude of 2.7 km (8,900 ft) a.s.l. Incandescence was seen at night and incandescent tephra was occasionally ejected from the crater during periods of heightened activity. Light ashfall was reported in areas to the NW and SE.
Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)
Santa Maria | Guatemala | 14.757°N, 91.552°W | Elevation 3745 m
On 12, 16, and 17 March, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.7-3.5 km (8,900-11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SW. A few avalanches originated from an active lava flow and traveled down the SW flank. White plumes rose 100 m and drifted W. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 12 March an ash plume drifted S. On 15 March, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and WSW.
Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) | 56.653°N, 161.36°E | Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 6-13 March seismic activity at Shiveluch was above background levels and strong fumarolic activity was seen. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes likely rose to an altitude of 6.2 km (20,300 ft) a.s.l. Incandescence from the lava dome was seen at night. According to observers, ash plumes from hot avalanches rose to an altitude of 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE during 9-10 March. Analysis of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome and ash plumes that drifted about 175 km SE during 7 and 10-11 March. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | 29.638°N, 129.714°E | Elevation 796 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 15 and 16 March eruptions from Suwanose-jima produced plumes that rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted E on 15 March.
Tungurahua | Ecuador | 1.467°S, 78.442°W | Elevation 5023 m
On 11 March, IG reported that a steam-and-ash plume from Tungurahua rose 600 m above the summit and drifted E and NE. Fumaroles on the NE flank were active. On 12 and 16 March, plumes with low ash content rose to altitudes of 6-7 km (19,700-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. Steam plumes were occasionally seen during 13-14 and 17 March, and a plume rose 300-500 m above the summit and drifted E and W on 15 March.
Ubinas | Peru | 16.355°S, 70.903°W | Elevation 5672 m
Based on a SIGMET notice and analysis of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 11-12 March ash plumes from Ubinas rose to altitudes of 5.5-7.3 km (18,000-24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. A SIGMET notice described an ash plume that rose to altitudes of 9.1-9.8 km (30,000-32,000 ft) a.s.l. on 15 March; ash was not identified in satellite imagery.
Weekly Reports Archive
|Ambang||Gaua||Maly Semyachik||Sarychev Peak|
|Anatahan||Great Sitkin||Manda Hararo||Semeru|
|Apoyeque||Guagua Pichincha||Maroa||Seulawah Agam|
|Axial Seamount||Hokkaido-Komagatake||Metis Shoal||Slamet|
|Azul, Cerro||Home Reef||Misti, El||Soputan|
|Balbi||Huila, Nevado del||Monowai||Soufriere Hills|
|Bamus||Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai||Montagu Island||Soufriere St. Vincent|
|Banda Api||Ibu||Moyorodake [Medvezhia]||South Sarigan Seamount|
|Barren Island||Iliamna||Myojinsho||St. Helens|
|Bezymianny||Inielika||Negra, Sierra||Sulu Range|
|Callaqui||Kadovar||NW Rota-1||Tair, Jebel at|
|Campi Flegrei Mar Sicilia||Kanaga||Nyiragongo||Talang|
|Chillan, Nevados de||Kavachi||Palena Volcanic Group||Tenerife|
|Concepcion||Kick 'em Jenny||Peuet Sague||Tolbachik|
|Descabezado Grande||Kolokol Group||Rabaul||Ulawun|
|Dieng Volcanic Complex||Korovin||Ranakah||Unknown Source|
|Epi||Kverkfjoll||Rincon de la Vieja||Witori|
|Erta Ale||Lamongan||Ritter Island||Yasur|
|Etorofu-Yakeyama [Grozny Group]||Lanin||Ruang||Zavodovski|
|Fernandina||Lengai, Ol Doinyo||Ruiz, Nevado del||Zubair Group|
|Fournaise, Piton de la||Lewotolo||Salak|
|Fourpeaked||Little Sitkin||San Cristobal|
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
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.
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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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
CENAPRED - Centro Nacionale de Prevencion de Desastres (México)
COSPEC - Correlation Spectrometer
CVGHM (formerly VSI) - Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation
GMS - Geostationary Meteorological Satellite
GVO - Goma Volcano Observatory
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)
KEMSD - Kamchatkan Experimental and Methodical Seismilogical Department
M - magnitude
METEOSAT - Meteorological Satellite
MEVO - Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory
MWO - Meteorological Watch Office
NOTAM - Notice to Airmen
OVDAS - Observatorio Volcanologico de los Andes del Sur (Chile)
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)
UTC - Coordinated Universal Time
VAAC - Volcanic Ash Advisory Center
VAFTAD - Volcanic Ash Forecast Transport And Dispersion
VRC - Volcano Research Center (Japan)