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Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

Weekly Volcanic Activity Map

You are currently viewing Archived reports for the week of 27 February-5 March 2013.

 Activity for the week of 27 February-5 March 2013

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
Cleveland Chuginadak Island (USA) New
Etna Sicily (Italy) New
Fuego Guatemala New
Pacaya Guatemala New
Reventador Ecuador New
Rincon de la Vieja Costa Rica New
Stromboli Aeolian Islands (Italy) New
Tungurahua Ecuador New
Whakaari/White Island North Island (New Zealand) New

Aira Kyushu (Japan) Ongoing
Chirpoi Kuril Islands (Russia) Ongoing
Karymsky Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Kilauea Hawaiian Islands (USA) Ongoing
Kizimen Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Ruapehu North Island (New Zealand) Ongoing
Sheveluch Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing
Tolbachik Central Kamchatka (Russia) Ongoing

New Activity / Unrest

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

AVO reported that during 27 February-5 March clouds obscured satellite views of Cleveland's lava dome. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)

Volcano index photo  Etna  | Sicily (Italy)  | 37.748°N, 14.999°E  | Elevation 3320 m

Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo reported that seismic activity at Etna's Bocca Nuova Crater (BN) gradually increased at night during 26-27 February. Copious, puffing emission of dense vapor from BN observed at sunrise slowly grew more energetic over the next few hours. Between 1030 and 1045, the volcanic tremor amplitude rapidly rose; at the same time an eruption column largely composed of vapor formed and hot material was ejected. The plume contained moderate amounts of reddish-brown volcanic ash, mostly during 1215-1220 and 1314-1316, which led to the fall of small quantities of very fine ash on the SE flank between Zafferana and Santa Venerina. These ash emissions likely resulted from collapse or sliding of unstable material on the steep inner crater wall; the eruptive vent, which lies in the SE part of the crater, is leaning against the wall and the rapid accumulation of pyroclastic deposits in that area might have facilitated collapses.

During the phase of most intense eruptive activity, INGV staff carrying out fieldwork in the summit area, noted that volcanic bombs fell outside the crater rim onto the SW flank of the central cone. Intense explosive activity was also observed within the Voragine (VOR), which since early October 1999 had not exhibited magmatic activity. The activity began to diminish around 1320, evident from a reduction in the volcanic tremor amplitude; at 1430, the episode was essentially over, even though strong degassing continued at both BN and VOR. During the evening of 27 February vigorous Strombolian activity in VOR was reported by observers on the W and E flanks. Minor and discontinuous Strombolian activity also occurred at BN which often launched incandescent volcanic bombs up to 150 m above the crater rim. The activity continued through the night, into at least early 28 February, when NSEC also started showing signs of renewed activity after more than four days of repose.

Weak explosive activity and sporadic weak ash emissions at New SE Crater (NSEC) were observed during the early morning hours of 28 February. Weak Strombolian activity in the W part of the NSEC appeared at 0917. Thirteen minutes later Strombolian activity was occurring at the main vent in the center of NSEC. Contemporaneously, the volcanic tremor amplitude started to rise. During the following hour, eruptive activity gradually increased, while the volcanic tremor amplitude increased rapidly; at 1030, at least three vents were erupting including the former "pittino" to the W, in the saddle between the old SEC cone and NSEC cone. This activity generated a dense gas plume containing modest quantities of ash. At 1040 lava flowed through the through the deep breach cutting the SE crater rim; 25 minutes later, explosive activity increased dramatically and lava fountains rose about 100 m above the crater rim. From 1115 on, frequent powerful explosions generated visible shock waves and heavily showered the NSEC cone with large volcanic bombs. The activity intensified further between 1117 and 1122, accompanied by a conspicuous cloud of vapor and brown ash issued from the saddle between the two SEC cones. This cloud marked the progressive collapse of a large portion of the saddle, which destroyed nearly all of the SW flank of the NSEC cone, and parts of the E flank of the old SEC cone. Voluminous amounts of lava flowed from the deep notch left by the collapse, expanding first S and then SE, in the direction of the Belvedere monitoring station. Lava was also emitted from the eruptive vents at the base of the NSEC cone; this lava mixed with the flow emitted directly from the NSEC toward SE.

Sustained lava fountaining, with intense pyroclastic fallout and the generation of a huge cloud of gas and ash, continued at maximum intensity for about 20 minutes. The ash cloud drifted E, leading to abundant ash and scoria fall in the Milo-Fornazzo and Giarre-Riposto areas. At 1142 the activity started to diminish, although dense clouds of vapor and grayish-brown ash were emitted from the collapsed saddle area. At about 1150, the activity at the "pittino" became phreatomagmatic; vapor and ash were emitted and hot, wet blocks that formed spectacular vapor trails were ejected. Shortly after 1200, explosive activity at the NSEC ceased, whereas lava emission continued from the collapsed saddle area as well as from the SE flank of the NSEC cone, at a slowly diminishing rate. The lava flows continued to advance during the night of 28 February-1 March, and ceased sometime during 1 March. Strombolian activity within the VOR continued without significant variations, and was observed by INGV staff during a field visit on the morning of 1 March, at least through 1500 on 3 March.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)

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

INSIVUMEH reported that during 28 February-1 March explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose less than 250 m and lava flows traveled 300 m S down the Trinidad drainage. Activity increased on 3 March characterized by Strombolian explosions, and lava flows that traveled 1.3 km down the Trinidad drainage and 200 m SW down the Taniluya drainage. Ash plumes rose almost 350 m above the crater and drifted 10 km S. The eruption ended the next day, after 52 hours of activity. White and blue fumarolic plumes rose from the crater. During 4-5 March incandescence 100 m above the crater was observed, and ash plumes rose 200 m and drifted E. Avalanches descended the Taniluya drainage.

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

Volcano index photo  Pacaya  | Guatemala  | 14.382°N, 90.601°W  | Elevation 2569 m

INSIVUMEH reported that on 5 March a gas-and-ash plume rose from Pacaya's MacKenney cone and drifted S.

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

Volcano index photo  Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

According to the Washington VAAC, the IG reported that on 2 March lava flows were observed, and a gas-and-ash plume rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. About an hour later a pilot observed an ash plume that rose to the same altitude. No ash plumes were identified in satellite imagery, however a weak thermal anomaly was observed during 2-3 March.

Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Volcano index photo  Rincon de la Vieja  | Costa Rica  | 10.83°N, 85.324°W  | Elevation 1916 m

OVSICORI-UNA received reports at 0530 on 26 February of pulsing white plumes rising from Rincon de la Vieja's active crater about every four minutes. The seismic records showed no signals associated with a phreatic eruption or sudden gas output. Cloud cover prevented views of the active crater during an overflight later that day, however clear views of the N and S flanks and areas SW showed no changes.

Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)

Volcano index photo  Stromboli  | Aeolian Islands (Italy)  | 38.789°N, 15.213°E  | Elevation 924 m

Stromboli again produced small lava overflows from the crater terrace on the afternoon of 27 February through the following night, after an interval of 10 days of normal Strombolian activity. A second episode of lava overflow started on the evening of 1 March and ceased the next afternoon. Both overflows were fed by continuous spattering from vent N2, which lies at the top of a hornito perched on the N rim of the crater terrace.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)

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

IG reported that seismicity at Tungurahua increased on 28 February. The next day an increase in the number of long-period earthquakes was accompanied by small explosions, roaring, and ash emissions. At around 1600 on 1 March a plume of water vapor and gas containing small amounts of ash rose a few hundred meters above the crater and drifted WNW. Ashfall was reported in areas on the SW flank including Choglontús (SW) and Manzano (8 km SW). On 2 March an explosion at 1106 produced noises from blocks rolling down the flanks. Instruments detected deformation on the NW flank. Cloud cover during 1-2 March inhibited visual observations.

At night during 2-3 March incandescent blocks were ejected from the crater and rolled 300 m down the flanks. Seismicity again increased on 3 March. Ash plumes rose from the crater and produced ashfall in Manzano and Penipe (15 km SW). Cloud cover prevented views on 4 March, however ashfall was reported in Manzano. On 5 March explosions produced an ash plume that rose 1-1.5 km above the crater and drifted W.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)

Volcano index photo  Whakaari/White Island  | North Island (New Zealand)  | 37.52°S, 177.18°E  | Elevation 294 m

On 4 March GeoNet Data Centre reported that during the previous week a small ash cone surrounded by a small moat of water had been built in the crater that formerly contained the hot lake. Ash emissions had ceased, therefore the Aviation Colour Code was lowered to Yellow and the Volcanic Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 0-5). Seismic tremor levels were low, possibly because of the lack of water involvement in the current activity. Scientists aboard an overflight flight on 26 February measured around 600 tonnes per day of sulfur dioxide, and 1,950 tonnes per day of carbon dioxide, similar to other measurements made since the start of 2013.

Source: GeoNet

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 explosions from Sakura-jima during 27 February-3 March and 5 March generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-3.7 km (6,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, and E. A pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. on 28 February. JMA reported that 10 explosions from Showa Crater were detected during 1-4 March, and ejected tephra fell at most 1.3 km from the crater.

Sources: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)

Volcano index photo  Chirpoi  | Kuril Islands (Russia)  | 46.532°N, 150.871°E  | Elevation 742 m

SVERT reported that weak steam-and-gas emissions from Snow, a volcano of Chirpoi, were observed on 25 February, and 1 and 3 March. A thermal anomaly was detected in satellite images on 28 February and 3 March. Cloud cover prevented observations of the volcano on other days during 25 February-4 March. The Aviation Color Code was Yellow.

Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)

Volcano index photo  Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Elevation 1513 m

KVERT reported that moderate seismic activity at Karymsky was detected during 22 February-1 March. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the volcano during 21 and 25-28 February. 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 27 February-5 March HVO reported that the circulating lava lake periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele's hair onto nearby areas.

At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from spatter cones on the SE part of the crater floor, from a spatter cone at the NW edge of the floor, and from a perched lava lake on the NE part of the floor. Multiple lava flows from the NE spatter cone, collectively and informally called the Kahauale'a flow, traveled across the NE flank of Pu'u 'O'o cone to the cone's base and advanced 2.5 km NE over older flows. A branch also traveled S, just S of Pu'u Kahauale'a, and started fires in the kipuka. Lava flows were active above the pali (5 km SE of Pu'u 'O'o) and in a 1-km-wide area on the coastal plain. To the W, a 350-m-wide lava flow advanced towards the coast and produced scattered breakouts. Web cameras recorded steam plumes from lava sporadically entering the ocean at multiple locations.

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 that during 22 February-1 March moderate seismic activity continued at Kizimen. Video data showed that lava continued to extrude from the summit, producing summit incandescence, strong gas-and-steam activity, and hot avalanches on the W and E flanks. Satellite images detected a daily thermal anomaly over the volcano. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Volcano index photo  Ruapehu  | North Island (New Zealand)  | 39.28°S, 175.57°E  | Elevation 2797 m

On 5 March, GeoNet reported that monitoring of the Ruapehu Crater Lake showed that temperatures at depth remained above background levels but had started a declining trend. Gas data from January and February showed emission rates of 15-25 tonnes per day of sulfur dioxide and around 650 tonnes per day carbon dioxide; these are within the usual range of emissions measured at Ruapehu. Seismicity remained low, characterized by weak volcanic tremor and some shallow earthquakes. Areas of discoloration in the lake, sometimes observed during the previous few weeks, are relatively common and thought to reflect internal lake convection processes. Scientists speculated that there was a partial blockage between the deep and shallow systems causing the lake temperature to remain steady; the relatively low temperature of Crater Lake, 22-25°C since March 2012, is one of the longest periods of low lake temperatures recorded. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 1 (signs of volcano unrest) and the Aviation Colour Code remained at Yellow.

Source: GeoNet

Volcano index photo  Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

Based on visual observations and analyses of satellite data, KVERT reported that during 22 February-2 March a viscous lava flow effused on the E flank of Shiveluch's lava dome, accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. Satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. Based on video images, KVERT reported that explosions produced a gas-and-ash plume that rose to an altitude of 9 km (29,500 ft) a.s.l. on 4 March, and an ash plume rose 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 20 km SE on 6 March. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Volcano index photo  Tolbachik  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 55.832°N, 160.326°E  | Elevation 3611 m

KVERT reported that the S fissure along the W side of Tolbachinsky Dol, a lava plateau on the SW side of Tolbachik, continued to produce very fluid lava flows during 22 February-1 March that traveled to the W, S, and E sides of the plateau. Cinder cones continued to grow on the fissure. Gas-and-ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. A very large thermal anomaly on the N part of Tolbachinsky Dol was visible daily in satellite imagery. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

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Agung Colo Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Lewotobi Papandayan Sotara
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Brava Gamkonora Kizimen Nabro Sangeang Api Tungurahua
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Cereme Hachijojima Kurikomayama Nyamuragira Seulawah Agam West Mata
Chachadake [Tiatia] Hakoneyama Kusatsu-Shiranesan Nyiragongo Sheveluch Whakaari/White Island
Chaiten Heard Kverkfjoll Okataina Shishaldin Witori
Chiginagak Hekla Lamington Okmok Simbo Wolf
Chikurachki Hierro Lamongan Ontakesan Sinabung Yasur
Chiles-Cerro Negro Hokkaido-Komagatake Langila Oraefajokull Sinarka Zaozan [Zaosan]
Chillan, Nevados de Home Reef Lanin Osorno Siple Zavodovski
Chirinkotan Hood Lascar Pacaya Sirung Zhupanovsky
Chirpoi Huaynaputina Lateiki Pagan Slamet Zubair Group
Cleveland Hudson, Cerro Lengai, Ol Doinyo Paluweh Soputan
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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 profile page and to the complete Weekly Report for that week. This feature was first made available on 1 April 2009.

 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.

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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 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)