Activity for the week of 14 December-20 December 2016
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
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 55.972°N, 160.595°E
| Elevation 2882 m
KVERT reported that lava-dome extrusion likely continued at Bezymianny during 14-16 December. A gas-and-steam plume containing a small amount of ash drifted about 118 km W on 15 December. The Tokyo VAAC noted that ash plumes rose as high as 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. that same day. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Sources: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Fox Islands (USA)
| 53.93°N, 168.03°W
| Elevation 150 m
AVO reported that a short-lived explosive eruption at Bogoslof, observed and reported by several pilots around 1600 on 20 December, produced an ash plume that rose to 10.3 km (34,000 ft) a.s.l. A subsequent pilot report made 50 minutes later indicated that activity had decreased. Satellite data showed a discrete, short-lived explosion just prior to 1600, and a detached plume that drifted S. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to Red and the Volcano Alert Level to Warning.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| 19.514°N, 103.62°W
| Elevation 3850 m
Based on information from the National Civil Protection coordinator, news articles reported that an explosion at Colima occurred at 0943 on 16 December, generating an ash plume that rose 2.3 km above the crater rim and drifted NNW. At 0807 on 17 December an explosion sent an ash plume 1 km above the crater that then drifted NE. Later that day at 2058 a strong explosion (the strongest registered within the past 16 months) ejected incandescent material onto the flanks and ash plumes as high as 2 km. Lava flows and rolling incandescent material traveled as far as 1.7 km down the flanks. Explosions on 18 December produced ash plumes that again rose as high as 2 km above the crater.
Sources: Informador, Informador, CBS News, Reuters
| Central Chile-Argentina border
| 37.856°S, 71.183°W
| Elevation 2953 m
According to ONEMI, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that during the first two weeks of December activity at Copahue continued to be dominated by weak Strombolian explosions, likely from a pyroclastic cone forming on the floor of El Agrio crater. The Alert Level remained at Yellow (second highest level on a four-color scale); SERNAGEOMIN recommended no entry into a restricted area within 1.5 km of the crater. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the municipality of Alto Biobío.
Based on satellite and webcam images, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 13-20 December gas-and-ash plumes from Copahue rose to altitudes of 3-3.9 km (10,000-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, ENE, E, and SE.
Sources: Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)
| 6.137°S, 155.196°E
| Elevation 1855 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-17 December ash plumes from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| 0.029°N, 77.986°W
| Elevation 5790 m
IG reported that a seismic swarm detected at Cayambe on 5 June was characterized by an increase in the number of volcano-tectonic events. The swarm occurred near an active fault system, NE of the volcano. The seismic activity progressively declined to baseline levels during August. A minor increase was again observed in September, with events migrating to locations underneath the volcano, and then became more pronounced in November. Anomalously large-magnitude earthquakes occurred on 14 November (M 3.3) and on 27 November (M 3.6). Another swarm was also detected on 27 November. Seismicity continued above baseline levels through 2 December. In addition, climbers reported an increase in a sulfur odor.
On 13 December IG noted that during the previous week there was an average of 68 earthquakes/day, mainly volcano-tectonic events and some long-period signals. A M3 event located at a depth of 7 km below the summit was recorded on 8 December. Climbers continued to report an increase in a sulfur odor, and also the presence of new cracks in the glacier near the summit.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| 45.9°S, 72.97°W
| Elevation 1905 m
Based on an OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN notice, ONEMI reported that seismicity at Cerro Hudson had become more stable during 1-15 December, after an increase in the magnitude of the highest energy events had been detected the previous month. The volcano Alert Level remained at Yellow (second highest level on a four-color scale), and ONEMI noted that the Alert Level remained at Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the communities of Aysén, Río Ibáñez, and Chile Chico.
| Halmahera (Indonesia)
| 1.693°N, 127.894°E
| Elevation 1229 m
PVMBG reported that during 1 January-19 December white-and-gray plumes rose as high as 1.2 km above the rim of Dukono's Malupang Warirang crater, and were accompanied by roaring heard at the Dukono observation post 11 km away. The eruption plume height generally fluctuated though was higher during periods in May and from late November into December; ashfall increased during the periods of higher plume heights, and was noted in villages within 11 km N, NE, and SW. Seismcity at Dukono remained high. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and tourists were advised not to approach the crater within a radius of 2 km.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
In a special bulletin from 20 December, INSIVUMEH reported increased activity at Fuego. Moderate to strong explosions which sometimes produced shock waves occurred at a rate of 8-13 per hour, and ash plumes rose as high as 950 m and drifted more than 15 km W, SW, and S. Incandescent material was ejected 200-300 m above the crater and landed 300 m away on the flanks. Avalanches of material descended the flanks. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including Panimaché (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), and Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW).
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Hawaiian Islands (USA)
| 19.421°N, 155.287°W
| Elevation 1222 m
During 14-20 December HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent; the lake level rose as high as 13 m below the Halema’uma’u floor. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu'u 'O'o Crater and from a vent high on the NE flank of the cone. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's E flank, continued to enter the ocean near Kamokuna at the easternmost lava delta. An active branch of 61G remained active E of Pu'u 'O'o and advanced slowly E at a rate of only a few tens of meters per day.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
Nevados de Chillan
| 36.868°S, 71.378°W
| Elevation 3180 m
According to ONEMI on 16 December, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that in recent days there had been sporadic explosions at craters formed at Nevados de Chillán in 2016. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the middle level on a three-color scale, and the public was reminded not to approach the craters within a 3-km radius.
Source: Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI)
| 15.787°S, 71.857°W
| Elevation 5960 m
IGP's OVS reported that during 12-18 December seismicity at Sabancaya continued to be dominated by long-period earthquakes; hybrid earthquakes decreased from 14 events per day to 6. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 3.5 km above the crater and drifted more than 35 km NW, E, SE, and S.
Based on webcam and satellite views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 14-20 December gas-and-water-vapor emissions and sporadic ash puffs rose 6.4-8.2 km (21,000-27,000 ft) a.s.l. (2.3 km above the crater) and drifted SW, WSW, W, and NW.
Sources: Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP), Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 10-16 December lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, ash explosions, and hot avalanches. Satellite images showed a daily thermal anomaly over the dome. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 3.17°N, 98.392°E
| Elevation 2460 m
Based on PVMBG observations, webcam views, and satellite images, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 15, 17, and 19 December ash plumes from Sinabung rose 3-5.8 km (10,000-19,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and S.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 29.638°N, 129.714°E
| Elevation 796 m
Based on JMA notices and satellite-image analyses, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 17-18 December ash plumes from Suwanosejima rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and SW.
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
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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