Activity for the week of 22 December-28 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.
New Activity / Unrest
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3320 m
INGV-CT reported that a strong explosion from the W vent of Etna's Bocca Nuova crater at 0446 on 22 December produced an ash plume that rose a few hundred meters above the summit and drifted NE. The explosion of hot, though not incandescent, material and subsequent ash emission was observed and recorded by thermal cameras at Montagnola and Nicolosi (14 km S). Light ashfall was reported as far away as Linguaglossa (18 km NE). Small emissions of reddish-brown ash continued to occur before noon.
Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 55.131°N, 160.32°E
| Elevation 2334 m
KVERT reported that during 17-24 December seismic activity at Kizimen was above background levels, and a thermal anomaly over the lava dome was detected in satellite imagery. The number of shallow seismic earthquakes increased from 110 events on 17 December to 304 events on 22 December. Volcanic tremor was detected on 23 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
During 26-28 December seismicity increased and there were possible small ash explosions and hot avalanches. A thermal anomaly over the lava dome was seen in satellite imagery. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. On 27 December seismic analysis indicated that ash plumes possibly rose to altitudes of 3.5-4.5 km (11,500-14,800 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed ash plumes drifting 140 km W at an altitude of 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. On 28 December, based on a Yelizovo Airport (UHPP) notice, the Tokyo VAAC reported an ash plume drifting W at an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 12.702°N, 87.004°W
| Elevation 1745 m
Based on a METAR weather notice from the Chinandega airport (MNCH), the Washington VAAC reported that on 23 December a 13-km-wide volcanic plume from San Cristóbal drifted 75 km SW. Additional details of the plume content were not known.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Aeolian Islands (Italy)
| 38.789°N, 15.213°E
| Elevation 924 m
INGV-CT reported that a sequence of three explosions from Stromboli's "S" vent in the S part of the crater terrace were recorded on 19 December by thermal monitoring cameras in Vancori and Pizzo. The first explosion ejected coarse-grained pyroclastic material, followed by fine-grained tephra, more than 250 m above the crater terrace. A slightly less intense explosion occurred less than a minute later. The third and weakest explosion ejected material 180-200 m above the crater, generating an ash plume that dispersed over the W and NE parts of the island.
Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)
| Eastern Java (Indonesia)
| 7.942°S, 112.95°E
| Elevation 2329 m
CVGHM reported that during 8-19 December gray-to-brown plumes from Tengger Caldera's Bromo cone rose 400-800 m above the crater and drifted E, NE, and N. On 19 December explosions produced an ash plume that rose 2 km above the crater rim. Ashfall was heavy around the crater and was reported in areas as far away as the Juanda Airport (70 km NNW) in Surabaya. The ash damaged agricultural land, impacted trees and river valleys, and disrupted transportation infrastructure. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and tourists were not permitted within a 2-km-radius of the active crater.
During 20-25 December gray-to-brown plumes rose 800-1,200 m above the crater and drifted N and NE. Ejected material fell back around the crater. On 25 December, ash and occasionally lapilli fell at the Bromo observation post, about 2 km away. The ashfall was about 20 cm thick.
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and information from CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 26-27 December an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 150 km NE.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
The IG reported that during 21-23 December steam-and-ash plumes rose from Tungurahua and drifted NW, W, and SW. Ash fell in Bilbao, 8 km W, on 22 December. On 23 December explosions caused windows to vibrate in Cusúa (8 km NW), Pondoa (8 km N), and Baños (9 km N), producing sounds resembling "cannon shots." One of the explosions ejected incandescent material that rolled down to the lower flanks. Another produced a steam-and-ash plume that rose to an altitude of 11 km (36,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW.
On 24 December steam-and-ash plumes rose 8 km (26,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and SW. Explosions caused windows to vibrate and sounds resembling "cannon shots" were noted. On 25 December incandescent material was ejected from the crater and rolled 2 km down the flanks. Steam-and-ash plumes rose from the crater during 25-27 December; ashfall was reported in Choglontús (SW) on the 25th. Ash plumes observed on 28 December drifted W. Incandescence from the crater was also noted.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on pilot observations, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 22-23, 25, and 27 December ash plumes from Sakura-jima rose to altitudes of 1.8-3.7 km (6,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 12.769°N, 124.056°E
| Elevation 1535 m
On 23 December, PHIVOLCS reported that an explosion from Bulusan's summit crater was recorded by seismographs as an explosion-type earthquake following tremor that lasted for almost 31 minutes. A grayish steam-and-ash plume rose to about 500 m above the crater rim and drifted S-SW. Based on information from PHIVOLCS, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 24 December an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW.
Sources: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
On 22 December, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume from Fuego observed in satellite imagery drifted 28 km NW. INSIVUMEH reported that on 23 December explosions produced ash plumes that rose 600-1,200 m above the crater and drifted 10-15 km SE. Explosions the next day generated ash plumes 400 m above the crater. Incandescent material was ejected 100 m above the crater at night during 27-28 December. On 28 December ash plumes from explosions rose as high as 500 m above the crater and drifted more than 5 km S and SW. Avalanches descended multiple drainages.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was slightly above background levels during 16-19 December and did not exceed background levels during 20-24 December. Seismic data suggested that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (9,800 ft) a.s.l. Thermal anomalies were detected in satellite imagery during 18-21 December. The Aviation Color Code level remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 22-28 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 125-130 m below the crater floor, periodically rising 20-30 m higher. Nighttime incandescence was visible from the Jaggar Museum on the NW caldera rim. A plume from the vent that drifted NW, N, and NE deposited ash and fresh spatter nearby.
At the east rift zone, lava that broke out of the Quarry tube onto the surface, at a saddle between two rootless shields at around the 610 m elevation, continued to advance in two branches. The E branch advanced along the E edge of the Quarry flow to about 60 m elevation and burned small remnants of a forest. On 22 December a breakout lava flow from the 365-m elevation advanced 820 m. Multiple scattered breakout lava flows were observed during the reporting period. Incandescence from a small spatter cone on the north-central part of Pu'u 'O'o crater floor continued. Lava from a second spatter cone, located on the NW edge of the crater, advanced E on the crater floor and then stalled on 27 December.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| 6.102°S, 105.423°E
| Elevation 155 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 24 December an ash plume from Anak Krakatau rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 65-75 km SE.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that moderate seismic activity from Shiveluch was detected during 17-24 December. A bright thermal anomaly over the volcano was observed in satellite imagery. Moderate gas-and-steam activity was visually observed during 19-20 and 23 December. Ash explosions on 23 December produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes as high as 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation Color Code level remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during 17-24 December activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level. A small pyroclastic flow traveled 1.5 km down the Gages valley to the W on 19 December. The Hazard Level remained at 3.
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
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.
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