Activity for the week of 9 May-15 May 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
| Eastern Java (Indonesia)
| 8.058°S, 114.242°E
| Elevation 2769 m
CVGHM reported that during 1-30 April white plumes from Ijen rose 100-200 m above the crater; during 1-11 May diffuse white plumes rose 50-100 m. From the beginning of April until 13 May the amplitude and number of earthquakes gradually decreased and the crater lake water temperature decreased by eight degrees Celsius. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 13 May.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Siau Island (Indonesia)
| 2.781°N, 125.407°E
| Elevation 1797 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 14 May an ash plume from Karangetang rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 130 km SE. On 16 May an ash plume again rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. then drifted about 110 km SE.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Grand Comore Island
| 11.75°S, 43.38°E
| Elevation 2361 m
Observers in the villages of Mde and Mkazi, on the W flank of Karthala, reported increased incandescence from the summit during the night of 9-10 May.
Source: Michael Zorick (Comoros Officer, Embassy of the United States of America)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that during 8-10 May multiple gas-and-ash plumes rose 1.5 km above Popocatépetl's crater and drifted NE. Incandescent fragments ejected from the crater landed on the N and E flanks as far as 500 m away. According to a news article an airport in Puebla was closed due to ash plumes on 8 and 10 May. Seismicity increased on 11 May. Ash plumes rose 3 km above the crater and drifted NE and incandescent fragments ejected from the crater rolled 1 km down the flanks. Gas-and-ash plumes rose 2.5 km and drifted ENE. On 12 May gas-and-ash plumes rose 4 km above the crater. Incandescent tephra was ejected 2 km above the crater and again rolled 1 km down the flanks. Ashfall was reported in most municipalities within the state of Tlaxcala (50 km NE of the volcano), in addition to smaller towns nearer to the volcano such as Santiago Xalitzintla (15 km NE) and San Nicolás de los Ranchos (16 km ENE). An airport in Puebla was again closed due to ash. During 13-15 May gas-and-ash plumes rose from the crater and drifted NE, and incandescent tephra was ejected from the crater. The Alert Level remained at Yellow Phase Three.
Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED), Reuters
| Pantar Island (Indonesia)
| 8.508°S, 124.13°E
| Elevation 862 m
CVGHM reported that on 8 May a three-hour long ash eruption from Sirung was accompanied by loud sounds and incandescence that reached 10 m above the crater. An ash plume rose 3.5 km above the crater and drifted N, producing ashfall up to 4 mm thick near the crater. During 9-12 May white plumes rose 30-50 m above the crater. A sulfur odor was reported in areas up to 3 km away on 12 May. That same day CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and recommended that visitors not approach the volcano within a 2.5 km radius.
Based on a report from a ground-based observer and analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC noted that on 12 May an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 95 km SW.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
JMA reported that during 11-15 May explosive eruptions from Sakura-jima's Showa Crater occurred nine times and ejected tephra as far as 1.3 km from the crater. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 9 and 11-15 May explosions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.7 km (6,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, S, SE, E, and N. A pilot observed an ash plume on 12 May that rose to an altitude of 2.1 (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.
Sources: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
| Chuginadak Island (USA)
| 52.825°N, 169.944°W
| Elevation 1730 m
AVO reported that during 9-12 and 15 May cloudy weather conditions prevented satellite observations of Cleveland's summit crater. Elevated surface temperatures were detected in images on 13 May and possibly the next day. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported that moderate seismic activity from Karymsky continued to be detected during 4-11 May, and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. during 7-8 May. Satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly on the volcano. 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 9-15 May HVO reported that the circulating lava lake periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. On 14 May laser measurements indicated that the lava-lake surface was about 67 m below the Halema'uma'u Crater floor. Almost daily measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, and occasionally fresh spatter from an active source at the SE edge of the lava lake, onto nearby areas. Incandescence was visible from both a lava pond in a small pit on the E edge and a small spatter cone on the SE edge of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor, and from two skylights on the uppermost part of the lava-tube system. Geologists observed slowly advancing lava flows on 13 May that were about 1.4 km from the coast. A short lava flow issued from an incandescent vent on the S part of Pu'u 'O'o's crater floor.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 18.13°N, 145.8°E
| Elevation 570 m
According to NASA's Earth Observatory, a satellite image of Pagan acquired on 7 May showed a gas-and-steam plume drifting W. The plume's blue tint suggested the presence of sulfur dioxide; elevated levels of sulfur dioxide to the W of the volcano were detected in satellite images later that day. The USGS reported that minor steam-and-gas plumes were observed in partly cloudy satellite images during 4-11 May. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.
Sources: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program, NASA Earth Observatory
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 13-14 May incandescent explosions from Santa María's Caliente dome produced ash plumes that rose 700 m above the crater and drifted WSW. Avalanches from the dome and lava-flow fronts descended the flanks.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that explosive activity at Shiveluch continued during 4-11 May. Ground-based observers and satellite imagery indicated that a viscous lava flow continued to effuse in the active crater and was accompanied by fumarolic activity. Seismic data and visual observations showed that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 10 and 5 km (32,800 and 16,400 ft) a.s.l. on 5 May and during 6-8 May, respectively. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 4-5 and 8-10 May. Ash plumes drifted 800 km SE on 5 May, and an ash cloud 95 km SE of the volcano was observed on 7 May.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during 4-11 May activity at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level. Multiple areas of incandescence on the lava dome, at temperatures greater that 500 degrees Celsius, were visible on 5 May. Heavy rains on 10 May generated a small lahar in the Belham Valley (NW). The Hazard Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported that during 9-15 May visual observations of Tungurahua were often limited due to cloud cover. On 10 May a steam plume with low ash content rose 200 m above the crater and drifted W. Seismicity increased on 12 May. Explosions caused windows to vibrate in areas near the volcano. Sounds resembling blocks rolling down the flanks as well as roaring noises were reported. A plume with low ash content rose 2-3 km above the crater and drifted W and NW. The next day a plume rose 200 m above the crater and drifted W.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
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
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.
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.
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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.