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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 11 January-17 January 2012.


















 Activity for the week of 11 January-17 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.

Name Location Activity
Nyamuragira DR Congo New
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) New
Tungurahua Ecuador New
Turrialba Costa Rica New
Zubair Group Yemen New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Fuego Guatemala Ongoing
Hierro Spain Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Kizimen Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Popocatepetl Mexico Ongoing
Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Chile Ongoing
Santa Maria Guatemala Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

According to observations by scientists from the Afar Consortium Project, the fissure eruption at Nyamuragira that began on 6 November 2011 continued on 8 January 2012. The initial scoria cone appeared inactive and second cone formed to the N of the first cone. Both cones were about 300 m high. The second cone was extremely active during the duration of the observations (about 15 hours) with fire fountains over twice the height of the cone; lava flowed N. The observers, about 1.5 km away, felt the heat from the eruption as well as lapilli fall.

Source: Afar Rift Consortium



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 an explosion from Suwanose-jima on 12 January. Details of a possible resulting plume were not reported.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

IG reported a new episode of activity and increased seismicity from Tungurahua during 11-17 January. On 12 January ashfall was reported in Manzano (8 km SW), Cahuají (8 km SW), and Choglontus (13 km WSW). A lahar descended the Achupashal drainage, carrying blocks up to 1 m in diameter, and caused the road to Baños (9 km N) to be closed. Cloud cover prevented observations of the crater. On 13 January ash-and-gas emissions were observed, and ash plumes rose as high as 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Ash-fall was reported in Palitahua (6 km SSW) and roaring noises were heard in Cusúa (8 km NW) and Manzano. On 14 January ash emissions rose 500 m above the crater and drifted WSW; ashfall was reported in Choglontus, Palitahua, and Manzano. Clouds obscured views on 15 January; however ashfall was reported in Palitahua and Manzano. Lahars descended drainages in Juive (NW) and Pondoa (N), carrying blocks 10-20 cm in diameter.

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 on 11 January local people around Turrialba heard several instances of rumbling. On 12 January an eruption occurred from a fissure on the SE flank of the main crater, in an area called La Quemada. An ash plume rose 500 m above the crater and drifted NNW, rising to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. Later that day residents reported: a dark plume from La Quemada and a white vapor plume that rose from the fumarolic vent formed in the main crater on 5 January 2010.

According to a news article, the Turriabla National Park closed on 12 January and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) raised the Alert Level from Green to Yellow in the communities of La Central (34 km SW), Santa Cruz (7 km SE), and around the perimeter of the crater. Towns of Jiménez (21 km N), Oreamuno (45 km SW), Alvarado (38 km SW), and Cartago (25 km SW) remained at Alert Level Green.

Sources: La Nacion, Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)



Volcano index photo  Zubair Group  | Yemen  | 15.05°N, 42.18°E  | Elevation 191 m

Satellite imagery acquired on 15 January from the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's EO-1 satellite showed that the eruption in the northern part of the Zubair Group appeared to have stopped. The S end of the new island is about 500 m NNW of Rugged Island.

Source: NASA Earth Observatory



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 11-17 January 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 NE, E, and SE. On 14 January a pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 11-13 and on 16 January explosions from Fuego generated ash plumes that rose 400-1,000 m above the crater; the plumes drifted 10-15 km in multiple directions. Explosions generated shock waves and rumbling sounds that were detected to the SW, and windows and roofs vibrated in nearby villages. Avalanches traveled SW into the Ceniza drainage and on the W, S, and SW flanks. At night on 13 and 16 January incandescence emanated from the crater.

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



Volcano index photo  Hierro  | Spain  | 27.73°N, 18.03°W  | Elevation 1500 m

Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) reported that during 11-17 January, the submarine eruption continued S of El Hierro Island. The mean amplitude of the tremor moderately increased during the week. Eighteen seismic events were located during this period, two of them felt by residents of the island. Most of the events were grouped in the central part of the island, extending offshore to the S, at depths between 6 and 29 km, with a maximum magnitude of 2.5. Analyses of GPS deformation showed stability both in vertical and horizontal components.

Source: Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN)



Volcano index photo  Karymsky  | 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 6-13 January and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.2 km (13,800 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly at the volcano during 5-11 January and weak ash plumes that drifted 40 km E and NE on 6, 7, and 11 January. The 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 11-17 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, S, and W edges of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor during 11-17 January. Incandescence was also exhibited by short lava flows from the E pit on 13 January, small lava flows issuing from the SE spatter cone, and a small flow from the NE pit on 16 January. During 11-16 January a thermal anomaly about 2-4 km SE of Pu'u 'O'o cone was seen in satellite imagery. On 12 January, geologists on an overflight confirmed surface activity at this location. By 15 January the source of the thermal anomaly had extended to the coast.

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 moderate seismic activity at Kizimen during 6-13 January and a large thermal anomaly that was detected daily in satellite images. Video and satellite observations indicated both continued effusion of a large lava flow on the E flank and accompanying hot avalanches. Video data showed strong gas-and-steam activity all week, and on 11 January satellite images showed a gas-and-steam plume that drifted 40 km E. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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

CENAPRED reported that during 11-17 January steam-and-gas emissions rose from Popocatépetl; the plumes contained small amounts of ash during 13-17 January. Crater incandescence was observed at night during 16-17 January.

Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)



Volcano index photo  Puyehue-Cordon Caulle  | Chile  | 40.59°S, 72.117°W  | Elevation 2236 m

Based on seismicity during 11-16 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. Plumes observed with a web camera during the week rose 1-4 km above the crater, and satellite images showed ash plumes drifting 60-300 km N, NE, and SE. The Alert Level remained at Red. According to a news article, an airport cancelled all flights in and out of Bariloche, Patagonia, on 16 January because of ash plumes. An airport in Melbourne, Australia, was also forced to close due to ash from these eruptions.

Sources: BBC News, Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 11-12 and on 16 January explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose 600-800 m above the complex and drifted SW. Lava flows on 16 January on the SE and SW flanks generated block avalanches and rumbling noises.

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 low levels of seismic activity were detected at Shiveluch during 6-13 January. Satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly over the lava dome. Ground-based observers noted that a viscous lava flow continued to effuse in the crater that was formed during a 2010 eruption and hot avalanches from the lava flow were observed at night with a web camera. Moderate fumarolic activity at the lava dome was observed all week except on 10 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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Chikurachki Karymsky Ontakesan Tandikat-Singgalang
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Fernandina Lascar Ruang Zavodovski
Fogo Lengai, Ol Doinyo Ruapehu Zhupanovsky
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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)