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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 29 February-6 March 2012.


















 Activity for the week of 29 February-6 March 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
Bezymianny Central Kamchatka (Russia) New
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) New
Etna Sicily (Italy) New
Kanaga Andreanof Islands (USA) New
Tungurahua Ecuador New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Bagana Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) 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
Suwanosejima Ryukyu Islands (Japan) Ongoing


New Activity / Unrest


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

KVERT reported that during 24 February-2 March seismic activity at Bezymianny remained elevated, with about 7-19 weak events registered daily. A thermal anomaly was detected in satellite images. Gas-and-steam activity was observed on 26 February; clouds obscured the volcano on the other days. One short volcanic tremor episode was detected on 29 February. About 40 seismic events were detected on 1 March and, according to satellite data analysis, the size and brightness of a thermal anomaly abruptly increased on 2 March. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. During 2-5 March there were 25-40 weak seismic events detected; cloud cover prevented observations of the volcano.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



Volcano index photo  Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Elevation 1730 m

AVO reported that during 24 February-2 March satellite images of Cleveland revealed no unusual activity and no significant changes in the size of the lava dome. A weak thermal anomaly was detected in satellite imagery on 3 March. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. No current seismic information was available because Cleveland does not have a real-time seismic network.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3295 m

Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo reported that the third episode of lava fountaining from Etna's New Southeast Crater (New SEC) occurred on the morning of 4 March and was more explosive than the preceding episode. The beginning of the eruption was characterized by a rapid increase in volcanic tremor amplitude coincident with Strombolian explosions that increased in intensity and frequency. Just after 0800 lava overflowed the deep breach in the SE rim of the crater and reached the SE base of the cone within 15 minutes, then advanced towards the W rim of the Valle del Bove. Explosive activity changed to continuous lava fountaining and an eruption plume developed at about 0830. Large pyroclasts fell on the steep flanks of the cone, causing avalanches.

At about 0850 small pyroclastic flows generated by the partial collapse of the eruption column mainly descended the NE flank, and somewhat down the S flank. A lava flow was emitted from a new eruptive vent on the upper SW flank of the New SEC cone and descended into the saddle between the old and new SEC cones. The lava interacted with snow, causing powerful explosions and small pyroclastic flows. These phreatic explosions generated jets of vapor and launched rock fragments to distances of several tens of meters. A lahar developed which traveled toward the "Belvedere" monitoring station, on the W rim of the Valle del Bove, and passed a few tens of meters to the N of the monitoring instruments.

A lava flow also issued from an eruptive fissure on the upper N flank of the cone and descended a few hundred meters to the NE, surrounding the N base of the cone. After descending the steep W slope of the Valle del Bove, the flow split into several branches on the more gently sloping terrain. These branches exceeded in length those of 9 February, reaching a total distance of about 3.5 km from the crater. Shortly after 1000, the activity started to diminish; lava fountaining ceased at 1032, two hours after the onset of the paroxysmal phase. The lava flow emitted from the fissure on the SW flank of the cone continued advancing for a few hours after the cessation of the activity.

The eruption column rose several kilometers above the summit of Etna. Ash and lapilli were carried NE by the wind, affecting the areas around Piedimonte, Etneo, and Taormina. Fine ash fell as far as the Messina area and southern Calabria. Again, the pyroclastic cone of the New SEC had grown in height, mainly on its N rim.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)



Volcano index photo  Kanaga  | Andreanof Islands (USA)  | 51.923°N, 177.168°W  | Elevation 1307 m

AVO reported that the level of unrest at Kanaga declined to background levels. On 2 March the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Normal and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)



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

IG reported that during 29 February-2 March cloud cover prevented views of Tungurahua. On 3 March seismicity increased. Clouds mostly prevented observations; during breaks in the cloud cover ash plumes were observed rising 3 km above the crater and drifting S and SW. Explosions ejected blocks that rolled down the flanks. Two of the explosions generated sounds resembling cannon shots, and vibrated windows. Ashfall was reported in Choglontus (13 km WSW), Manzano (8 km SW), Cahuají (8 km SW), and Motilones (W). On 4 March ashfall was reported in Yuibug and observers noted hot deposits from a small pyroclastic flow that occurred high in the Achupashal drainage (NW). Ash plumes observed during breaks in the cloud cover on 5 March rose 1 km and drifted W. Ash again fell in Choglontus. Clouds prevented observations on 6 March.

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, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 29 February-7 March explosions from Sakura-jima often produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-3 km (4,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, E, and SE. A pilot observed an ash plume on 5 March. Another pilot report on 6 March noted a plume drifting SE at an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



Volcano index photo  Bagana  | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)  | 6.137°S, 155.196°E  | Elevation 1855 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 7 March an ash plume from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 37 km SW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)



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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 1-2 March explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 600 m above the crater and drifted 15 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in Yepocapa (W), Sangre de Cristo (W), and Panimache II (SW). Some explosions produced rumbling and degassing sounds. A 300-m-long lava flow descended the SW flank and produced block avalanches that reached vegetated areas. On 4 March the number of explosions increased to about 4-5 per hour. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose 600 m above the crater and drifted 12 km SSW. Rumbling sounds were heard 7 km away.

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 29 February-6 March the seismic amplitude detected by every IGN station in El Hierro remained at very low values. Neither water discoloration nor activity was observed on the sea surface over the emission area. On 5 March, the Scientific Committee stated that the submarine eruption was over, but the volcanic process that started on mid July 2011 had not finished. The Canary Islands Government lowered the Volcanic Alert Code from Red to Yellow, maintaining a maritime exclusion zone around the emission area.

Thirty four seismic events were located, most of them in the central part of the island, extending offshore to the S. Depths of the hypocenters varied between 7 and 24 km, and magnitudes were 0.1-2.1 (twenty eight events were magnitudes equal to or greater than 1). One of these events was felt by residents and had a maximum intensity value of II (EMS-98). GPS data did not show persistent trends in any horizontal or vertical 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 24 February-2 March, and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.9 km (12,800 ft) a.s.l. during 23-27 February. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the volcano on 25 February; clouds obscured views on the other days. 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 29 February-6 March, HVO reported that the lava lake circulated and periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. Web camera views and satellite images indicated that lava flows continued to advance, reaching more than 7.5 km SE of Pu'u 'O'o. Active flows were also visible at the top of the pali SE of Pu'u 'O'o. Incandescence was visible on the NE and SE edges of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor and on the upper part of the lava-tube system on the E flank. According to a news article, the last house in the Royal Gardens subdivision was destroyed by a lava flow on 2 March.

Sources: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), Hawaii Tribune Herald



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

KVERT reported moderate seismic activity at Kizimen during 24 February-2 March and a large thermal anomaly that was detected in satellite images on most days. Video and satellite observations indicated both continued effusion of a large lava flow on the E flank and hot avalanches. Video data also showed strong gas-and-steam activity. 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 1-6 March steam-and-gas emissions rose from Popocatépetl. Emissions contained small amounts of ash on 1 March and crater incandescence was observed at night. During the night on 2 March crater incandescence rose 200-300 m above the crater.

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 detected during 28 February-4 March, 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. During 28-29 February plumes observed with a web camera and satellite images rose 1 km above the crater and drifted 40 km NNE. During 2-3 March plumes rose 0.7-3 km above the crater and drifted SE. Cloud cover prevented observations of the crater on 4 March. The Alert Level remained at Red.

Source: 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 1-2 March explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose 800 m above the crater and drifted 20 km W and SW. Block avalanches descended the SW flank, and lava flows were active on the S, SW, and NE flanks. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that during 3-4 March ash plumes drifted SW. On 5 March an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l.

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 seismic activity at Shiveluch was low during 23 February-2 March. Ground-based observers and satellite imagery indicated that a viscous lava flow continued to effuse in the crater formed during a 2010 eruption. Seismic activity increased on 28 February and hot avalanches likely occurred at the lava dome. Satellite imagery showed a weak thermal anomaly over the lava dome during 23-26 February. Moderate fumarolic activity at the lava dome was observed during 1-2 March; cloud cover prevented observations on the other days. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)



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 6 March. Details of a possible resulting plume were not reported.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)



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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.

Some of the documents on this server may contain live references (or pointers) to information created and maintained by other organizations. Please note that USGS does not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness, or accuracy of these outside materials.

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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)