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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 6 January-12 January 2010.


















 Activity for the week of 6 January-12 January 2010

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
Mayon Luzon (Philippines) New
Nyamuragira DR Congo New
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New
Tungurahua Ecuador New
Turrialba Costa Rica New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Barren Island Andaman Islands (India) Ongoing
Chaiten Chile Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Rabaul New Britain (Papua New Guinea) Ongoing
Redoubt United States Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Mayon  | Luzon (Philippines)  | 13.257°N, 123.685°E  | Elevation 2462 m

PHIVOLCS reported that steam emissions were seen rising from Mayon's crater from 5 to 12 January during periods of clearer weather; meteorological clouds often prevented observations of the summit. Weak incandescence from the crater was occasionally seen at night. The majority of the seismic signals originated from rockfalls and detached lava fragments rolling down the flanks. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated between 670 and 1,900 tonnes per day. On 12 January, PHIVOLCS noted that ground deformation measurements showed a deflationary trend compared to a 2 December 2009 survey. These measurements, along with decreased seismicity and sulfur dioxide output, prompted PHIVOLCS to lower the Alert Level to 2 on 13 January.

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



Volcano index photo  Nyamuragira  | DR Congo  | 1.408°S, 29.2°E  | Elevation 3058 m

The Washington VAAC reported a large sulfur dioxide plume in the vicinity of Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo during 10-11 January. According to a news article, lava from Nyamuragira continued to flow S and SW on 6 January, and had traveled 21 km to within 7 km of the road between Goma and Sake. On 7 January ashfall was reported in Goma, 30 km S.

Sources: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), OpEdNews



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

OVPDLF reported that during 5-7 January Piton de la Fournaise continued to erupt from a vent along a fissure high up on the SW Dolomieu crater wall. The vent produced lava fountains and flows that pooled in the bottom of the crater. On 7 January the vent closed, but the previously erupted lava continued to flow for the next few days. On 12 January, seismicity decreased and only minor gas emissions persisted.

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



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

The IG reported that during 5-6 January a gas-and-ash plume from Tungurahua rose to an altitude of 6.5 km (21,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 3,200 tons per day, ten times the value measured during the previous months. On 7 January seismic tremor duration and amplitude increased, and signals indicative of explosions were detected. On 6 and 7 January, incandescent blocks were ejected and fell back into the crater. During 8-10 January, cloud cover often prevented observations; on 10 January a steam-and-ash plume rose to an altitude of 6.5 km (21,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Incandescence from the crater was sometimes seen at night. Ashfall up to 5 mm thick was reported in areas W and SW on 9 and 10 January. Roaring noises and vibrating glass were occasionally noted during the reporting period.

During 11-12 January, activity increased; ash plumes rose to higher altitudes and more explosions were detected. Incandescent blocks were ejected almost 1 km above the crater and 1.5 km away from the crater, onto the flanks. Gas-and-ash plumes rose to an altitude of 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Ashfall was reported in areas to the NNW, W, SW, and S.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Volcano index photo  Turrialba  | Costa Rica  | 10.025°N, 83.767°W  | Elevation 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that a phreatic eruption from Turrialba that began on 5 January was preceded by a day of increased seismicity and about 30 minutes of almost constant tremor. Two events detected about 15 minutes apart were followed by reports of ashfall as far away as 30 km. Field observations on 6 January revealed that two small vents had opened and joined together on the SE inner wall of the SW crater. Gas emission temperatures were more than 350 degrees Celsius. On 8 January seismic activity and gas emissions decreased. Observations the next day revealed that the combined vent was about 25 m wide and 80 m long. Around 60 people had evacuated from nearby farms.

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



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 6-12 January multiple explosions from Sakura-jima often produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-2.7 km (4,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E. On 10 January a pilot reported that an ash plume drifted SE at an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Barren Island  | Andaman Islands (India)  | 12.278°N, 93.858°E  | Elevation 354 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 11 January an ash plume from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45 km S.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

SERNAGEOMIN reported that during 16 December 2009-4 January 2010 steam-and-gas plumes from Chaitén's lava-dome complex seen on the web camera during periods of clear weather rose 1.5 km above the lava domes. Seismicity, along with occasional block-and-ash flows, indicated that the lava domes continued to grow. Based on web camera views and analyses of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 6 January a plume drifted 50 km ENE at an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. The next day an ash plume drifted SE and E at the same altitude.

Sources: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



Volcano index photo  Fuego  | Guatemala  | 14.473°N, 90.88°W  | Elevation 3763 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 6 January an ash plume from Fuego drifted 45 km SE. On 8, 11, and 12 January, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4-4.7 km (13,000-15,400 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted as far as 10 km in multiple directions, causing ashfall in some areas. Incandescent material was ejected to heights up to 75 m. Some explosions were accompanied by rumbling noises and shock waves that rattled structures up to 7 km away. Avalanches descended the flanks.

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



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

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was detected in satellite imagery during 30-31 December 2009, 1 January and 4-7 January 2010. Seismic activity was above background levels during 1-8 January. The Level of Aviation 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

During 6-12 January, HVO reported that lava flows from Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex were seen above the pali by observers, or detected in satellite images. Lava did not enter the ocean at Waikupanaha. Incandescence was seen almost daily coming from multiple locations in Pu'u 'O'o crater. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a plume that drifted SW, N, and NE, dropping small amounts of ash, and occasionally fresh spatter, downwind. The NE-drifting plume resulted in poor air quality in some communities on 9 January. Incandescence originated from an active and sometimes sloshing lava surface within an opening on the deep floor of the vent cavity.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

KVERT reported that during 1-8 January seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi was above background levels and lava continued to flow down the ESE flank. Strombolian activity periodically ejected material 500 m above the crater. A new lava flow seen on the NW flank likely began during 2-3 January. On 5 January two lava flows, on the ESE flank and NW flanks, were seen in satellite imagery. Satellite imagery also revealed a large daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Pacaya  | Guatemala  | 14.382°N, 90.601°W  | Elevation 2569 m

On 8, 11, and 12 January, INSIVUMEH reported that white and blue fumarolic plumes from Pacaya's MacKenney cone rose up 400 m and drifted S and SW. Multiple lava flows on the S, SW, and W flanks traveled 25-200 m. Incandescence was noted at night from one of the inter-crater cones on 8 January and from MacKenney cone on 11 and 12 January.

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



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

CENAPRED reported that on 10 and 11 January emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl contained minor amounts of ash.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



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

RVO reported that activity from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone was at a low level during 1-10 January. No emissions from the crater were observed on most days, but white steam plumes accompanied by blue plumes were occasionally seen. On 8 January, ash emissions rose less than 200 m above the cone.

Source: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO)



Volcano index photo  Redoubt  | United States  | 60.485°N, 152.742°W  | Elevation 3108 m

On 5 January, AVO reported that because of low levels of seismic activity from Redoubt, along with the lack of any other outward signs of progressing unrest, the Volcanic Alert Level was lowered to Normal and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that incandescent avalanches traveled down the SW flanks of Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex on 8 January. A few explosions on 11 and 12 January produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 3.1-3.4 km (10,200-11,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, and SW. Avalanches from a lava flow descended the W flank of the dome.

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



Volcano index photo  Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 1-8 January seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels, possibly indicating ash plumes rising to an altitude of 7.5 km (24,600 ft) a.s.l. Fumarolic activity was occasionally seen when the weather was clear. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly from the lava dome and a gas-and-steam plume that drifted 40 km SW on 6 January. Ashfall was reported in Klyuchi (about 45 km SW) on 4 January. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Based on information from KEMSD and analyses of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 6-11 January eruptions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.3-6.4 km (14,000-21,000 ft) a.s.l.

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



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

MVO reported that during 31 December-8 January pyroclastic flows from the Soufrière Hills lava dome continued to travel predominantly down areas to the N including Whites Ghaut (NE), Farrells plain (N), and Tyers Ghaut (NW). Observations on 2 January showed that a 40-m-high, 150-m-wide lobe of lava had been extruded northwards onto the N summit of the dome. This lobe was the main source of rockfall and pyroclastic flow activity. On 3 and 4 January ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. Ashfall occurred in areas to the NW several times during the reporting period.

On 8 January, a large pyroclastic flow event occurred after a collapsing fountain of tephra was observed on the NE side of the volcano. Pyroclastic flows traveled NE down Whites Bottom Ghaut to the sea and down Tuitts Ghaut to within a few hundred meters of the sea. Pyroclastic flows also traveled NW down Tyers Ghaut and into the Belham Valley, W towards Plymouth, and E down the Tar River valley. The event lasted about 11 minutes and seismicity returned to background levels quickly. There was no precursory seismicity associated with the event. Ashfall was reported in inhabited areas in the NW.

Seismic signals indicated that another explosion occurred on 10 January. Pyroclastic flows descended the NE, NW, and W flanks, and ashfall was reported in areas to the NW. Another explosion later that day also caused ashfall in inhabited areas. The Hazard Level remained at 4.

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 explosions from Suwanose-jima during 6-9 and 11 January. Plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. on 6 and 9 January and drifted E.

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.

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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)