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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 26 January-1 February 2011.


















 Activity for the week of 26 January-1 February 2011

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
Galeras Colombia New
Kirishimayama Kyushu (Japan) New
Mayon Luzon (Philippines) New
Popocatepetl Mexico New
Tengger Caldera Eastern Java (Indonesia) New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Bulusan Luzon (Philippines) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Kizimen Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Sangay Ecuador Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Taal Luzon (Philippines) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


Volcano index photo  Galeras  | Colombia  | 1.22°N, 77.37°W  | Elevation 4276 m

INGEOMINAS reported that on 25 January an emerging seismic pattern from Galeras, characterized by "tornillo-type" earthquakes, was similar to patterns detected prior to past eruptions. Staff noted a strong sulfur gas odor and observed emissions from various areas of the crater that drifted N. Based on changes in seismicity and observed gas emissions, INGEOMINAS raised the Alert Level to II (Orange; "probable eruption in term of days or weeks"). Scientists again observed emissions from various areas of the crater during an overflight on 27 January, but with a slight increase in the number of vents. Gas plumes drifted NW. "Tornillo-type" earthquakes ceased on the morning of 30 January.

Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)



Volcano index photo  Kirishimayama  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.934°N, 130.862°E  | Elevation 1700 m

According to the Earthquake Research Institute, an explosion on 26 January from Shinmoe-dake (Shinmoe peak), a stratovolcano of the Kirishima volcano group, prompted JMA to raise the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-5). Lightning in the ash plume was visible in video footage that same day. Based on reports from JMA, analyses of satellite imagery, and pilot observations, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 26-27 January ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. According to news articles, tephra fell as far away as 8 km on 27 January and disrupted airline and train services. Some people in Miyazaki (55 km E) voluntarily evacuated and approximately 30 people in Takaharu (15 km E) spent the night in an evacuation center. Video footage showed people clearing ash from the streets.

During an overflight on 29 January, scientists observed a new lava dome in the crater, about 50 m in diameter and incandescent in some areas. They also observed that the crater lake was gone and pyroclastic-flow deposits, 500-600 m long, were present in the SW crater. Notices issued from the Tokyo VAAC during 28-30 January stated that ash emissions were continuing. On 31 January, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. A news article noted that an explosion on 1 February was heard more than 7 km away, and broke glass in buildings and cars as far as 8 km away.

Sources: Volcano Research Center-Earthquake Research Institute (University of Tokyo), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Japan Today, Agence France-Presse (AFP), BBC News



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

During 25-27 January, PHIVOLCS reported that one volcanic earthquake at Mayon was detected each day by the seismic network. Although cloud cover mostly prevented observation during 25-31 January, emissions of white steam were occasionally observed during cloud breaks. Incandescence from the crater was seen at night during 30-31 January. The Alert Level remained at 1 and the public was reminded not to enter the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



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

CENAPRED noted that steam-and-gas emissions rose from Popocatépetl during 26 January-1 February. An explosion at 2056 on 31 January ejected incandescent fragments as far as 500 m down the E flank and produced an ash plume that rose 2 km and drifted E. The Washington VAAC noted that the ash plume was observed in satellite imagery on 1 February drifting more than 275 km NE.

Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Tengger Caldera  | Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | 7.942°S, 112.95°E  | Elevation 2329 m

According to news articles, ash plumes from Tengger Caldera's Bromo cone caused flights between Perth and Bali to be disrupted during 27-28 January. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 28 January an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 370 km E and SE. On 29 January an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 93 km E. The ash cloud from the previous day was again detected and slowly drifted N. Based on analysis of imagery from multiple satellites and information from CVGHM, the VAAC reported that during 29-31 January ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55 km NW.

Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), The Sydney Morning Herald, The West Australian



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 26 January-1 February explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-2.4 km (4,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E. On 31 January, a pilot reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

During 25-27 and 29-30 January, PHIVOLCS reported that up to five daily volcanic earthquakes at Bulusan were detected by the seismic network. Cloud cover prevented observations of the summit area. A deformation survey conducted during 25-29 January showed slight deflation relative to a December 2010 survey. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5).

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



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

KVERT reported that moderate seismic activity was detected at Karymsky during 21-28 January. Seismic data showed that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.8 km (12,500 ft) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was observed daily in satellite imagery, and ash plumes were observed drifting 65 km S and 100 km NE on 26 and 27 January, respectively. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on information from the Yelizovo Airport (UHPP), the Tokyo VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE on 1 February.

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



Volcano index photo  Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

During 26 January-1 February, activity continued from the summit caldera and east rift zone. At the summit caldera, the level of the lava-pool surface in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater circulated and remained mostly stable at approximately 125 m below the crater floor, periodically rising or falling. Nighttime incandescence was visible from the Jaggar Museum on the NW caldera rim. A plume from the vent that drifted mostly SW deposited ash and fresh spatter nearby.

At the east rift zone, lava that broke out of the Quarry tube in a saddle between two rootless shields around 610 m elevation, continued to advance both E and W, producing scattered break-out flows. At the lowest elevation of the E branch, lava advanced along Highway 130 near Kalapana, periodically burning vegetation, and to the S towards the coast. Multiple small ocean entries were active on the W part of the Puhi-o-Kalaikini lava delta. Incandescence emanated from a spatter cone on the N portion of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor and from the fuming vent in the E wall of the crater.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)



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

KVERT reported that during 21-28 January seismicity from Kizimen was high but variable, and many shallow volcanic earthquakes as well as volcanic tremor continued to be detected. Seismic data analyses suggested that ash plumes possibly rose to an altitude greater than 10 km (32,800 ft) a.s.l. on 23 and 25 January, and not more than 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. on the other days. Satellite images showed a bright thermal anomaly over the volcano daily, and ash plumes that drifted more than 325 km W, S, and E. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that a possible eruption on 29 January produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. Subsequent images that day and during 30 January-1 February showed continuing ash emissions.

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



Volcano index photo  Sangay  | Ecuador  | 2.005°S, 78.341°W  | Elevation 5286 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 27 January small ash clouds from Sangay drifted N and quickly dissipated.

Source: 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 during 21-28 January moderate seismic activity from Shiveluch was recorded, and an intense thermal anomaly over the volcano was detected in satellite imagery. Gas-and-steam emissions were visually observed during 23-26 January and an ash plume was observed rising to an altitude of 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. on 26 January. Satellite imagery showed an ash plume drifting 54 km S on 26 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 31 January and 1 February possible eruptions detected in satellite imagery produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 3.4-3.7 km (11,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. Subsequent notices on both days stated that ash had dissipated.

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



Volcano index photo  Taal  | Luzon (Philippines)  | 14.002°N, 120.993°E  | Elevation 311 m

During 25-27 and 29-30 January, PHIVOLCS reported that up to six volcanic earthquakes at Taal were detected daily by the seismic network. Field observations during 23-25 January revealed an increase in the number of steaming vents inside Main Crater and a drop in the lake level. The lake water temperature and pH values were normal. Visual observations on 27 January showed that steaming at a thermal area in the crater was weak. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5).

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)



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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.

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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)