Activity for the week of 11 July-17 July 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
| 0.95°N, 77.87°W
| Elevation 4764 m
According to INGEOMINAS, a 10 July report from the Observatorio de Pasto noted that during recent months seismic swarms at Cumbal had been detected. Steam plumes from fumarolic fields were common. Nearby residents reported increases in gas emissions and seismicity, as well as possible noises. The Alert Level was increased to III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| 27.73°N, 18.03°W
| Elevation 1500 m
Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) reported that during 11-17 July both seismic activity and deformation at El Hierro decreased. There were 87 seismic events located, most of them offshore SW of El Hierro Island at about 20 km depth. Only six earthquakes were M 2.7 or higher, and the maximum magnitude recorded was 3.4, corresponding to two events: 14 July at 1952 and 17 July at 0746. The deformation rate decreased, with maximum values of less than 1 cm in the horizontal components.
Source: Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN)
| Mariana Islands (USA)
| 18.13°N, 145.8°E
| Elevation 570 m
According to the USGS, a minor, low-altitude ash cloud from Pagan was reported by the Washington VAAC on 10 July and confirmed by the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO). The VAAC noted that the plume drifted almost 50 km NW at an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. Local observers indicated localized ashfall on or near the island. 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, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
JMA reported that explosions from Sakura-jima's Showa Crater on 13, 15, and 17 July ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m from the crater. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that an explosion on 10 July produced an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. Explosions during 16-17 July produced plumes that rose to an altitude of 1.8-3 km (6,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, N, NW, and W.
Sources: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
| Komba Island (Indonesia)
| 7.791°S, 123.585°E
| Elevation 633 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) reported that during 13-15 July ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55-110 km NW and W.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Chuginadak Island (USA)
| 52.825°N, 169.944°W
| Elevation 1730 m
AVO reported that on 11 July a low-altitude ash cloud from Cleveland was detected in satellite imagery. During 12-15 July cloud cover prevented views of the volcano. Elevated surface temperatures were detected in images on 15 July. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| Sicily (Italy)
| 37.748°N, 14.999°E
| Elevation 3295 m
Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo reported that on the evening of 2 July weak incandescence began to illuminate a gas plume rising from Bocca Nuova, marking the resumption of eruptive activity in this crater nearly one year after a short period of Strombolian and effusive activity. Observatory staff visited the crater the next day and observed Strombolian activity from a single vent, a few meters in diameter, at the base of the SE crater wall. Incandescent bombs and scoria ejected by the explosions fell back around the vent.
During the following days, the activity within Bocca Nuova continued with minor fluctuations; on 4 July, a few bombs fell outside the E crater rim, and on 8 July a small lava flow was observed on the flank of the pyroclastic cone growing around the active vent. Similar activity was also observed on 11 and 13 July. On 16 July, the amplitude of the volcanic tremor recorded by the summit seismic network showed a consistent increase, which was accompanied by an intensification of the activity within Bocca Nuova. During the night of 16-17 July, continuous, bright glow from the crater was visible from populated areas around the volcano.
Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that on 10 July lahars traveled SE down Fuego's Las Lajas and El Jute drainages carrying blocks 1-1.5 m in diameter. The lahar in Las Lajas was hot and had a sulfur odor. During 10-12 July explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 150-800 m above the crater and drifted W. On 11 July ashfall was reported in Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW) and surrounding areas. Tephra avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW) drainage. During 16-17 July explosions generated ash plumes that rose 200-600 m above the crater and drifted 10 km S and SW. Incandescence emanated from the crater and avalanches descended the Taniluyá (SW) and Ceniza (SSW) drainages.
In a special bulletin on 17 July, INSIVUMEH reported that seismic patterns indicated the beginning of a new phase of activity; avalanches on the S and SW flanks were constantly active, and a new lava flow emerged on the SW flank that traveled 200 m and produced blocks that rolled SW down the Taniluya drainage.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| 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 6-16 July, and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.5 km (8,200 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed a weak thermal anomaly on the volcano on 12 and 14 July. 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 11-17 July HVO reported that the circulating lava lake periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. Measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of spatter and Pele's hair onto nearby areas. The lava pond in a small pit on the E edge of the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor was 7-8 m below the rim on 12 July. The pond and two vents along the S edge of the floor were visible with the web cameras. A vent on the W part of the crater was also briefly incandescent. Lava flows were active on the pali and the coastal plain; the active lava-flow front was about 1.3 km from the ocean.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
Nevado del Ruiz
| 4.892°N, 75.324°W
| Elevation 5279 m
According to INGEOMINAS, the Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported that on 11 July seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz decreased, however the data continued to indicate gas and ash emissions during 11-17 July. Satellite imagery and ground-based observations showed sulfur dioxide emissions. On 11 July ashfall was reported in Pereira (40 km WSW). The Alert Level remained at II (Orange; "eruption likely within days or weeks").
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that during 10-17 July seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing gas-and-ash emissions; cloud cover prevented observations during most of this period. Incandescence from the crater was periodically observed and sometimes increased with accompanying emissions. On 11 July a gas-and-steam plume rose 1.5 km above the crater and drifted WSW. On 16 July an ash plume rose 1.2 km and drifted SE. A few minutes later a gas-and-steam plume rose 1.5 km. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Three.
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 6-13 July explosive activity at Shiveluch continued and seismic data indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,700 ft) a.s.l. Observers noted gas-and-steam activity on 11 and 16 July; weather conditions prevented observations of the volcano on the other days. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 7-12 and 14-16 July. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during 6-13 July activity at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level. Mild roaring was heard in nearby locations. A few small pyroclastic flows occurred on the E side of the lava dome, at the head of the Tar River Valley, and traveled less than 1 km. 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 10-12 July explosions from Tungurahua were detected by the seismic network. On 11 July a gas-and-ash plume rose 1 km above the crater and drifted W. Residents reported "cannon shot" sounds, along with sounds resembling blocks rolling down the flanks. Slight ashfall was reported in Bilbao (8 km W). On 12 July gas-and-steam plumes rose 0.3-1 km high and an ash plume rose 1.5 km high. Cloud cover often prevented observations of the volcano during 13-16 July; clear views on the morning of 15 July showed no activity at the crater. A small explosion was detected on 14 July and an explosion on 17 July generated a steam plume with low ash content.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
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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