Activity for the week of 28 December-3 January 2012
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
| 37.92°S, 71.45°W
| Elevation 3164 m
Based on a pilot observation, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that the top of an ash plume from Callaqui was at 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 2 January. Ash was not detected in satellite imagery under clear skies.
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Chuginadak Island (USA)
| 52.825°N, 169.944°W
| Elevation 1730 m
AVO reported that an ash cloud from Cleveland rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 80 km ESE on 29 December. AVO raised the Volcano Alert Level to Watch and the Aviation Color Code to Orange. During 30 December-3 January there were no new signs of explosive activity; the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow on 30 December. No current seismic information was available because Cleveland does not have a real-time seismic network.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| 1.22°N, 77.37°W
| Elevation 4276 m
INGEOMINAS reported that activity continued at Galeras during 28 December- 3 January, with steam rising from the main crater and two craters to the N and SW (Paisita and Chavas, respectively). A web camera showed gas emissions on 28, 30, and 31 December and on 1 January. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| Halmahera (Indonesia)
| 0.8°N, 127.33°E
| Elevation 1715 m
According to news articles, at least three people were killed and 1,000-2,600 more from several villages were displaced by lahars from Gamalama during on 27-28 December. The lahars destroyed many homes in the Tubo and Tofure villages and along the Togorara and Marikurubu rivers. The Alert Level remains at 3 (on a scale from 1-4).
Sources: BBC News, The Jakarta Post
| Lomblen Island (Indonesia)
| 8.272°S, 123.505°E
| Elevation 1423 m
CVGHM reported that white plumes rose 50-250 m above the summit of Lewotolo during the month of December. Seismicity increased on 31 December and intensified on 2 January, the same day incandescence was observed. Based on visual and seismic observations, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 2 January, then later that day raised the Alert Level to 3.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Sulawesi (Indonesia)
| 1.358°N, 124.792°E
| Elevation 1580 m
CVGHM reported that on 27 December seismic activity at Lokon-Empung suggested that an eruption had occurred, but fog prevented visual observations of the crater area. CVGHM noted on 28 December that the Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and reminded residents and tourists to not approach within a 2.5 km radius of the crater. Based on information from CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 29 December an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Costa Rica
| 10.2°N, 84.233°W
| Elevation 2708 m
OVSICORI-UNA reported that fieldwork at Poás on 16 December showed new geyser activity from a vent on the N flank of the lava dome that formed in 2011. A water-and-mud fountain rose 5-6 m high, flowed into the lake, and built a terrace along the S shore. Gas-and-steam plumes rose from the lava dome.
Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)
| 0.686°N, 99.539°E
| Elevation 2145 m
CVGHM lowered the Alert Level for Sorikmarapi on 30 December from 2 to 1 (on a scale of 1-4).
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported moderate seismic activity at Tungurahua during 28 December-3 January. On 31 December small steam emissions were observed, and on 3 January a gas-and-steam plume rose 200 m above the crater. Ash-fall from last week's explosions accumulated to a depth of 2-4 mm in villages to the SW.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 28 and 30 December-3 January explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.7 km (5,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, SE, and S.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 29 December-3 January explosions from Fuego generated ash plumes that rose 400-800 m above the crater; the plumes usually drifted SSW and WSW, but on 30 December they drifted 10 km E and NW. During the week explosions generated shock waves and rumbling sounds that were detected 10 km away. House windows and roofs vibrated in nearby villages. Incandescence emanated from the crater at night, and avalanches traveled SW into the Taniluyá and Ceniza drainages, and S in the Santa Teresa drainage during 29 December-2 January. On 3 January the wind lifted ash to an altitude of 500 m. Based on information from satellite observations, the Washington VAAC reported that a possible ash plume drifted SE on 3 January. That same day, information from INSIVUMEH and satellite imagery indicated small emissions that rose to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l and drifted SE.
Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 27.73°N, 18.03°W
| Elevation 1500 m
Instituto Geográfic Nacional (IGN) reported that during 28 December-3 January, the submarine eruption continued S of El Hierro Island. The tremor signal almost disappeared for a few hours on 28 December, after three hours with pulses every 30 seconds. The tremor amplitude started increasing again at approximately 16:35. Most of the days, large lava fragments and fine material could be observed on the emission area.
Twenty-four seismic events were located during this period, most of them grouped in the central part of the island, extending offshore both to the N and S. The depth of most of these events ranged between 9 and 23 km, with a maximum magnitude of 2.5. GPS data analyses showed very little deformation, with a slight trend to the N in the stations located at the N of the island.
Source: Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity continued at a moderate level at Karymsky during 23-30 December and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly at the volcano during 22-24 and 27-28 December; clouds prevented views on the other days. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 28 December-3 January, HVO reported that the lava lake circulated and periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater, remaining below the inner ledge (75 m below the crater floor). Almost daily measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash and fresh spatter nearby.
Incandescence was visible from small spatter cones on the E and S edges of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor and along the 21 September 2011 fissure on the SE flank of the Pu'u 'O'o cone. Geologists on an overflight reported that pahoehoe lava flows were significantly broader (700-1,000 m) across the coastal plain and were entering the ocean along a 900 m wide area of the coast on 27 December. Lava flows continued to be active about 6.8 km SE of Pu'u 'O'o and entered the ocean W of Ka'ili'ili on 28 December. During 29 December-2 January a web camera showed no surface activity on the pali, weak sporadic flows near the coast, and weak plumes from the ocean entry. At night during 31 December-2 January incandescence was seen above the pali; on the night of 1 January ground based observers reported lava on the pali. Clouds prevented observations from a web camera on 3 January.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 55.131°N, 160.32°E
| Elevation 2334 m
KVERT reported moderate seismic activity at Kizimen during 23-30 December and a large thermal anomaly that was detected daily in satellite images. Video and satellite observations indicated that a large lava flow on the E flank continued to effuse. Gas-and-steam plumes drifted 150 km N and 30 km SE on 24 and 27 December, respectively. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Based on information from Yelizovo Airport (UHPP) and analysis of satellite imagery, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an ash plume rising to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted NW on 28 December.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that during 28 December-3 January steam-and-gas emissions rose from Popocatépetl and a gas plume rose to an altitude of 1 km on 28 December. Two small landslides were recorded inside the crater on 2 January. During 2-3 January gas plumes rose to an altitudes of 600-700 m above the crater and drifted NE.
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| 40.59°S, 72.117°W
| Elevation 2236 m
Based on seismicity during 28 December-3 January, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption from the Cordón Caulle rift zone, part of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex, continued at a low level. Small incandescent explosions were observed at night during 28 December-3 January. Plumes observed with a web camera during the week rose 1-5 km above the crater. Satellite images showed ash plumes drifting 20-80 km N, NNE, NE, and SE during 28 December-3 January, dispersing ash to distances of 100-260 km. On 28 December ash fell as far away Argentina, up to 580 km SE. The Alert Level remained at Red.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that moderate seismic activity was detected at Shiveluch during 23-30 December. Satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly over the lava dome and gas-and-steam plumes drifting 30 km N and SE on 24 and 27 December, respectively. Ground-based observers noted that a viscous lava flow continued to effuse in the crater formed during a 2010 eruption. Moderate fumarolic activity at the lava dome was observed during 22-24 December; clouds prevented observations on the other days of the week. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
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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