Activity for the week of 24 September-30 September 2014
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
| 64.633°N, 17.516°W
| Elevation 2000 m
During 23-30 September, IMO maintained Aviation Colour Code Orange due to continued activity at Bárdarbunga’s Holuhraun eruptive fissure. Subsidence of the Bárdarbunga caldera continued and had reached 27-28 m by 24 September. On 29 September the subsidence rate slowed slightly and was about 40 cm per 24 hours. Lava production continued at the same rate; the lava field was 46 square kilometers on 30 September.
Source: Icelandic Met Office (IMO)
| Central Chile-Argentina border
| 37.856°S, 71.183°W
| Elevation 2953 m
On 26 September a special volcanic activity report issued by OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN noted a seismic swarm at Copahue; between 1600 and 1900 the seismic network recorded 140 long-period events. Cameras near the volcano recorded increased emissions; mostly white plumes with some ash rose 200-500 m and drifted SE. The report also noted that swarms had been recorded in late July and during 1-16 September. The Alert Level remained at Yellow.
Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| Luzon (Philippines)
| 13.257°N, 123.685°E
| Elevation 2462 m
PHIVOLCS reported that during 24-30 September the seismic network at Mayon recorded 0-9 volcanic earthquakes and 1-6 rockfall events per day. White steam plumes drifted SW and NW. According to a news article, the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office noted that more than 54,000 people were in evacuation shelters. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 0-5 scale).
Sources: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), ABS-CBN News
| Honshu (Japan)
| 35.893°N, 137.48°E
| Elevation 3067 m
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, an unexpected phreatic eruption at Ontakesan occurred at 1152 on 27 September after an 11-minute period of tremor and uplift detected just minutes beforehand. The eruption produced a pyroclastic flow that traveled more than 3 km down the S flank and an ash plume that rose 7-10 km and drifted E. Ashfall was extensive in the area and up to 50 cm thick near the craters. The Alert Level was raised to 3.
Earthquakes near the summit had temporarily increased during 10-11 September, and low-frequency signals were detected on 14 September.
News articles on 1 October noted that 47 people had died, most of them found at the summit area while others were at a slightly lower elevation. Almost 70 more people were injured. Survivors described falling ash and boulders, and being in total darkness for several minutes as they made their way down the flanks. The volcano is popular to climb and nearly 300 people were hiking on the mountain that day.
Seismicity fluctuated but remained elevated during 28 September-1 October. Ash-and-gas plumes rose 300-400 m above the craters and drifted E and SE.
Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Huffington Post, Huffington Post
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 19-26 September lava-dome extrusion onto Shiveluch’s N flank was accompanied by ash explosions, incandescence, hot avalanches, and fumarolic activity. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly over the dome during 18 and 22-25 September. Strong explosions that began at 1238 on 24 September generated ash plumes that rose 11-11.5 km (36,000-37,700 ft) a.s.l. A large ash cloud, 250 by 207 km, drifted NNE. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red and then lowered back to Orange that same day as the explosive activity subsided.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
JMA reported that 12 explosions from Showa Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m during 26-29 September. Incandescence from Showa Crater was visible at night during 26-27 September. An explosion on 28 September produced a dense ash plume that rose 3 km. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that during 24-30 September plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-4 km (6,000-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, S, SE, and E. On 27 September a pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l.
Sources: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| 16.25°S, 168.12°E
| Elevation 1334 m
On 1 October the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported a slight increase in activity from Ambrym. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4).
Source: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD)
| Halmahera (Indonesia)
| 1.693°N, 127.894°E
| Elevation 1229 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 24-25 September ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. During 28-30 September ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45-95 km NE.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 23-30 September HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele's hair onto nearby areas; smaller particles may have been dropped several kilometers away. Small collapses from the inner wall occasionally occurred and on 24 September produced a small brown plume from the vent. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor. Volcanologists on an overflight on 26 September observed sloshing lava in the pits.
The 27 June NE-trending lava flow remained active upslope from the leading edge. By 22 September the flow had extended 16.4 km from the vent (measured in a straight line), placing the active flow front within the NW portion of the Kaohe Homesteads, a vacant forested portion of the subdivision, 2.3 km upslope from Apa`a Street and 3.3 km from Pahoa Village Road. Two slow-moving lobes behind the flow front advanced; the nearest lobe was about 125 m behind the stalled front. During an overflight on 29 September volcanologists observed breakouts where the flow first entered the crack system about 8 km behind the stalled front, and where it exited the system about 3 km upslope from the front. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Warning.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 30.443°N, 130.217°E
| Elevation 657 m
JMA reported that no eruptions occurred from Kuchinoerabujima during 26-29 September. White plumes rose 300 m above the crater. Low-level seismicity continued and tremor was absent. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
| 19.023°N, 98.622°W
| Elevation 5393 m
CENAPRED reported that during 24-30 September seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing emissions of water vapor, gas, and occasional small amounts of ash. Incandescence from the crater was observed at night. The Alert Level remained at to Yellow, Phase Two.
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| 15.787°S, 71.857°W
| Elevation 5960 m
IGP and INGEMMET reported that during 24-30 September seismicity at Sabancaya remained elevated; long-period, volcano-tectonic, and hybrid earthquakes were detected. White gas emissions rose as high as 1 km above the crater and drifted SE. The plumes were grayish from ash on 26 and 29 September.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP), Instituto Geológico Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET)
| 14.757°N, 91.552°W
| Elevation 3745 m
INSIVUMEH reported that on 24 September heavy rainfall triggered a hot lahar that descended the Cabello de Ángel River, a tributary of the Nimá I river drainage on the S flank of Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex. The lahar carried tree trunks and branches, had a strong sulfur odor, and was 18 m wide and 2 m deep. During 27-28 and 29-30 September lava flows traveled down the S flank and steam plumes rose 400-500 m and drifted 600-800 m SW.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Fox Islands (USA)
| 54.756°N, 163.97°W
| Elevation 2857 m
AVO reported that, although cloud cover sometimes obscured views of Shishaldin during 24-30 September, seismicity indicated that a low-level eruption was possibly continuing. Elevated surface temperatures at the summit were periodically detected in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| 3.17°N, 98.392°E
| Elevation 2460 m
According to news articles a pyroclastic flow at Sinabung traveled 2 km SE down the flanks at 1343 on 24 September. The height of a corresponding ash plume could not be determined because it rose into the cloud cover. About 4,700 people remained in evacuation shelters. On 30 September at 1720 an ash plume rose 2 km and a pyroclastic flow traveled 3.5 km.
Sources: Associated Press, People's Daily Online (China), Okezone
| 1.467°S, 78.442°W
| Elevation 5023 m
IG reported that during 24-30 September visual observations of Tungurahua were sometimes limited due to cloud cover. On 24 September an ash plume rose 1.5 km and drifted NW. Ashfall was reported in Manzano (8 km SW), Choglontus (SW), and Quero (20 km NW). The next day ash plumes rose 500 m and drifted NW. On 27 September an ash plume rose 1 km and drifted SW. Nighttime incandescence from the crater was noted.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
| 53.589°N, 159.15°E
| Elevation 2899 m
KVERT reported that an explosive eruption at Zhupanovsky continued during 19-26 September. Ground-based observers noted ash plumes drifting SW to Avachinsky Bay during 23-24 September. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly during 18 and 23-24 September, as well as ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 3.5-4 km (11,500-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 80 km SW and NE during 23-24 September. 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.
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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