Activity for the week of 22 August-28 August 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
Etorofu-Yakeyama [Grozny Group]
| Iturup (Etorofu) Island (Japan/Russia)
| 45.012°N, 147.871°E
| Elevation 1158 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, SVERT reported that on 22 August a gas-and-ash plume rose 500 m above Grozny Group and drifted 15 km NE. Fumarolic activity increased during 23-25 August. Observers reported that an ash plume rose to 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. on 25 August. That same day the Tokyo VAAC reported that a possible eruption from Etorofu-Yake-yama, a lava dome of the Grozny Group, may have produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.
Sources: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)
| Sulawesi (Indonesia)
| 1.112°N, 124.737°E
| Elevation 1785 m
CVGHM reported that the Alert Level for Soputan had been lowered to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 26 June. Seismicity increased during 8-22 August; on 23 August volcanic earthquakes and avalanches significantly increased. White plumes rose 50-150 m above the crater. An eruption at 1936 on 26 August ejected incandescent tephra 50 m above the crater and produced a plume that rose 1 km and drifted W. The Alert Level was raised to 3.
Based on information from CVGHM, NOAA, and analysis of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 27 August an ash plume rose to an altitude of 12.1 km (40,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 150 km W. The eruption lasted four hours. Later, a plume detected in satellite imagery rose to an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. On 28 August an ash plume drifted 220 km SW at an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 16.72°N, 62.18°W
| Elevation 915 m
MVO reported that during 13-20 July activity at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was generally at a low level. Seismicity had slightly increased, and was at the highest level since the ash-venting episode in March, but remained consistent with a pause in lava extrusion. The Hazard Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).
Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)
| Western Java (Indonesia)
| 6.77°S, 107.6°E
| Elevation 2084 m
CVGHM reported that seismicity at Tangkubanparahu increased significantly on 13 August; earthquakes continued to be recorded through 23 August. The Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Visitors and residents were prohibited from going within a 1.5-km radius of the active crater.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported that at about noon on 21 August Tungurahua entered a second stage of activity since the onset of the eruption that began early in August. The second stage was characterized by low-to-moderate levels of activity; emissions decreased and intense seismic tremor declined to sporadic episodes lasting only a few minutes. During 22-28 August visual observations were often limited due to cloud cover. On 22 August steam-and-gas plumes rose from the crater, roaring was heard, and ashfall was reported in Choglontús (SW). Explosions at night ejected incandescent tephra that landed on the flanks 500 m below the crater. The next day gas-and-ash plumes rose 1.5-4 km above the crater and drifted W and NW. Ashfall was reported in Choglontús, Pillate (7 km W), and El Tablón. On 24 August gas-and-ash plumes rose 2 km and drifted W. During 24-25 August ash fell in Manzano (8 km SW), Choglontus, Chacauco (NW), Bilbao (8 km W), and Pillate. Explosions on 26 August generated ash-and-gas plumes that rose 2-3 km and drifted NW.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
JMA reported that during 20-24 August eight explosive eruptions from Sakura-jima's Showa Crater were detected and ejected tephra as far as 1.8 km from the crater. Gas measurements taken on 20 and 22 August showed elevated sulfur dioxide emissions compared to the previous week. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions during 22-26 August produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.7 km (6,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NW, and W. Explosions were detected on 28 August.
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 on 22 August ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45 km W. During 25-7 August ash plumes rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-110 km W.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Chuginadak Island (USA)
| 52.825°N, 169.944°W
| Elevation 1730 m
AVO reported that nothing unusual was observed at Cleveland in cloudy to partly cloudy satellite images during 22-26 August. Slightly elevated surface temperatures were detected at the summit during 23-24 August. Cloud cover prevented observations during 27-28 August. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that on 22 August the seismic network at Fuego detected lahars that traveled SE down the Las Lajas and El Jute drainages. During 22-27 August lava flows traveled 150-300 m down the Taniluyá drainage (SW) and as far as 400 m down the Ceniza drainage (SSW), generating incandescent block avalanches that reached vegetated areas. Incandescent material was ejected 100 m above the crater. White plumes rose to low heights and drifted SW, W, and NW.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| 1.22°N, 77.37°W
| Elevation 4276 m
INGEOMINAS reported that during 21-28 August seismicity at Galeras increased. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated, but remained at low-to-moderate levels. Cameras around the volcano recorded emissions during 21-26 August; the emissions contained ash on 26 August. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 54.049°N, 159.443°E
| Elevation 1513 m
KVERT reported moderate seismic activity from Karymsky during 17-27 August, and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5.8 km (19,000 ft) a.s.l. on 25 August and to an altitude of 2.4 km (7,900 ft) a.s.l. on 27 August. Satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly on the volcano. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 25 August an eruption produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 5.8 km (19,000 ft) a.s.l. The altitude was based on seismic analysis.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 22-28 August HVO reported that the circulating lava lake periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. The gas plume from the vent likely continued to deposit variable amounts of spatter and Pele's hair onto nearby areas. There were no significant geologic changes in Pu'u 'O'o Crater; incandescence emanated from a lava lake in a pit on the NE part of the crater floor, from a pit crater on the S part of the crater floor, and from a vent at the base of the SE flank. The vent on the S part of the crater floor produced a small lava flow on 26 August. Lava flows were active on the pali and the coastal plain, and were as close as 2 km from the ocean on 28 August.
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 during 22-28 August variations in volcanic tremor amplitude were detected at Nevado del Ruiz, possibly associated with continuing gas and ash emissions. Cameras located near the volcano showed gas plumes rising 800 m above the crater and drifting NE on 23 August, and rising 1 km the next day. Gas plumes rose 300-500 m and drifted W and N during 26-28 August. Field measurements and analysis of satellite imagery showed a significant amount of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere during 24 and 26-27 August. 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 22-28 August seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing gas-and-steam emissions that may have contained ash; cloud cover often prevented visual observations of the volcano. During 22-28 August gas-and-steam plumes rose from the crater, and drifted WSW, W, and WNW during 22-24 August. Incandescence from the crater was observed at night during 23-26 August. Bluish steam-and-gas plumes rose from the crater on 27 August. At 2233 an explosion produced an ash plume and ejected incandescent tephra that fell back into the crater. More robust emissions that rose 500 m were sometimes accompanied by incandescence from the crater. Later a plume rose 1.5 km. The next day bluish steam-and-gas plumes rose 1.2 km. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Three.
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 22-26 August explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex produced ash plumes that rose 700 m above Caliente dome and drifted SW. Block avalanches originated from the fronts of multiple active flows, particularly on the SE flank. Fumarolic plumes rose 150-400 m and drifted SW. During 25-26 August ashfall was reported in Monte Claro (S). An explosion on 27 August produced a white plume that rose 600 m and drifted SE, causing ashfall in San Jose. Avalanches descended the SE flank.
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 during 17-24 August a viscous lava flow was active on the NE flank of Shiveluch's lava dome and was accompanied by hot avalanches. The summit of the dome was incandescent; satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly over the area during 17-24 August. 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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