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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 8 December-14 December 2010.


















 Activity for the week of 8 December-14 December 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
Kizimen Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) New
Klyuchevskoy Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Piton de la Fournaise Reunion Island (France) New
Tungurahua Ecuador New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Bezymianny Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Bulusan Luzon (Philippines) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Karangetang Siau Island (Indonesia) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Pacaya Guatemala Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Soufriere Hills Montserrat Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Kizimen  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.131°N, 160.32°E  | Elevation 2334 m

KVERT reported that during 3-8 December seismicity at Kizimen was above background levels. An increase in seismicity reported on 9 December was possibly caused by snow avalanches. That same day, the Tokyo VAAC reported that according to KEMSD an eruption produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. Ash was not identified in satellite images. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

On 9 December, seismicity significantly increased and the Aviation Color Code level was raised to Orange. A bright thermal anomaly was observed in satellite imagery the next day. On 13 December an explosive eruption generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 3-3.5 km (9,800-11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. Based on information from KEMSD and analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 10 km (33,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. KVERT noted that lightning in the ash plumes was observed. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. Ash deposits in Kozyrevsk and Tigil, 110 and 308 km NW, respectively, were 5 mm thick. Later that day seismic activity decreased; the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Orange.

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



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

KVERT reported that during 3-10 December seismic activity at Kliuchevskoi was slightly above background levels. Satellite imagery showed a weak thermal anomaly over the crater during 3 and 6-8 December. Gas-and-steam plumes sometimes containing ash were observed during 3-4 and 8-9 December. The Aviation Color Code level remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

On 9 December, OVPDLF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise was followed by inflation of the entire summit region. Many small landslides occurred in Dolomieu crater. Later that day lava flows from two fissures on the N flank of Piton de la Fournaise, about 1 km NW of Dolomieu crater rim, traveled about 1.5 km N and NW. The next day seismicity and deformation measurements indicated that eruption of lava had stopped.

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



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

During 7-14 December, IG reported that ash-and-steam plumes from Tungurahua rose to altitudes of 6-9 km (19,700-30,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WNW, W, SSW, and SW. Ashfall was reported in areas as far as 8 km NW, 15 km W and SW, and 30 km S. Roars and sounds resembling "cannon shots" were noted almost daily. Explosions often caused windows and structures to vibrate. At night during 7-8 December Strombolian explosions ejected material 600 m above the crater. Blocks rolled 600-800 m down the flanks. On 9 December a pyroclastic flow traveled 3 km down the NW flank. During 9-10 and 12 December incandescent blocks rolled down the flanks. During 12-13 December incandescent blocks were ejected 500 m above the crater.

On 14 December, IG issued a special report stating that a lava flow with an estimated volume of hundreds of thousands of cubic meters traveled 1 km down the W flank on 4 December. The report noted that the flow was the second since the eruptions onset in 1999.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)



Ongoing Activity


Volcano index photo  Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Elevation 1117 m

Based on information from JMA and analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 8 December an eruption from Sakura-jima produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE. During 11-12 December explosions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E. On 12 December a pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE and E.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Bezymianny  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.972°N, 160.595°E  | Elevation 2882 m

KVERT reported that, based on air photos taken of Bezymianny by helicopter on 21 November, a new area of lava possibly had extruded from the top of the lava dome. During 3-10 December seismicity did not exceed background levels. On 3 and 7 December gas-and-steam emissions were seen, the same days a weak thermal anomaly was detected in satellite imagery. The Aviation Color Code level remained at Yellow.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Bulusan  | Luzon (Philippines)  | 12.769°N, 124.056°E  | Elevation 1535 m

During 8-12 December, PHIVOLCS reported that 1-2 volcanic earthquakes from Bulusan were detected by the seismic network. Cloud cover prevented visual observations. On 13 December, 7 volcanic earthquakes were detected. Steam rose from the crater and known thermal vents. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5).

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



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

On 8 December, INSIVUMEH reported that explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 500 m above the crater and drifted S and SW. The Washington VAAC stated that on 10 December an ash plume was observed in satellite imagery. During 13-14 December, INSIVUMEH again reported explosions; ash plumes rose 400-900 m above the crater and drifted S and SE. Some of the explosions were heard 10 km away and generated shock waves that rattled structures nearby, including Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (10 km SW), Santa Sofía, and Yucales (12 km SW). Avalanches descended the S and W flanks. At night, incandescent material was ejected 100 m high.

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



Volcano index photo  Karangetang  | Siau Island (Indonesia)  | 2.781°N, 125.407°E  | Elevation 1797 m

CVGHM reported that during November until 12 December observers at the station at Salili, S of the volcano, noted a drastic decrease in the occurrence of pyroclastic flows on Karangetang's flanks. Seismicity also decreased, and white plumes rose up to 300 m above the craters. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)



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 during 3-10 December. Seismic data suggested that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. during 4-7 December. Thermal anomalies were detected in satellite imagery on 3 and 6 December. The Aviation Color Code level 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 8-14 December, HVO reported that activity at Kilauea continued from the summit caldera and the east rift zone. At the summit caldera, the level of the lava-pool surface in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater remained mostly stable at approximately 130 m below the crater floor, periodically rising 15-20 m higher. Nighttime incandescence has been visible from the Jaggar Museum on the NW caldera rim since early 2010. A plume from the vent drifted in multiple directions and deposited ash and fresh spatter nearby.

At the east rift zone, lava flowed a short distance through the TEB lava-tube system before breaking out onto the surface at a saddle between two rootless shields at around the 610 m elevation, forming a lava pond atop a new shield. Two breakout lava flows traveled about 120 m down the pali. Lava flows from a small spatter cone on the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor continued. A small lava flow traveled W on 10 December. On 13 December lava flowed from a second spatter cone, located on the NW edge of the crater.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

On 8, 13, and 14 December, INSIVUMEH reported that gas-and-steam plumes rose from Pacaya's MacKenney cone and drifted SE, SW, and S, respectively.

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



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

INSIVUMEH reported that on 8 December explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex produced ash plumes that rose 700 m above Caliente dome and drifted SE. Ashfall was reported on the SE flanks and in the village of San José. The seismic network recorded block avalanches in addition to the explosions. The Washington VAAC stated that on 10 December an ash plume was observed in satellite imagery drifting 21 km W. According to INSIVUMEH, explosions ejected ash plumes that rose 300-700 m above the crater and drifted SE on 13 December. During 13-14 December block avalanches were detected by the seismic network. On 14 December weak pyroclastic flows were observed.

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



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

KVERT reported that moderate seismic activity from Shiveluch was detected during 3-10 December. A bright thermal anomaly over the volcano was observed in satellite imagery. Plumes composed of either gas and steam or ash were seen in satellite imagery drifting 322 km SE on 3 December. Seismic data analyses on 6 December suggested that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. Gas-and-steam activity was observed visually during 3, 6, and 8-9 December. The Aviation Color Code level remained at Orange.

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and information from KVERT, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 14 December an eruption produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 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 3-10 December activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level. Observations from helicopter revealed fresh rockfall and pyroclastic flow deposits in the Tar River valley (E) that originated from the E face of the lava dome. On 6 December a small pyroclastic flow occurred in the 11 February collapse scar. The next day a small lahar occurred in the upper part of the Belham valley to the NW. The Hazard Level remained at 3.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)



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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)