Activity for the week of 30 January-5 February 2019
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
| Andaman Islands (India)
| 12.278°N, 93.858°E
| Elevation 354 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 26 January ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 0.9 km (3,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
| Siau Island (Indonesia)
| 2.781°N, 125.407°E
| Elevation 1797 m
PVMBG reported that the current eruption at Karangetang began with increased seismicity and thermal anomalies in November 2018. Since then activity was dominated by lava-dome growth, avalanches, and pyroclastic flows. A gray ash plume rose above the summit craters on 30 January. By 2 February ’a’a lava from Kawah Dua (North Crater) had traveled 2.5 km NNW down the Melebuhe River drainage, prompting the evacuation of eight families (about 21 people). A section of the local road was closed, from W of the Batuare River to Kali Melebuhe. Seismic signals indicating avalanches sharply increased on 3 February. Lava and pyroclastic flows originated from the Kawah Dua crater, traveling as far as 1 km W down the Sumpihi River drainage, 2 km NW down the Batuare River, and 2.9 km NW down the Malebuhe drainage. BNPB reported that 112 residents (from Niambangeng, Kampung Beba, and Batubulan villages) had evacuated by 1730 on 4 February, and according to a news article the lava crossed the highway at 1800. The lava flow continued to progress and reached the ocean during 5-6 February.
Sources: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), KompasTV
| Central Java (Indonesia)
| 7.54°S, 110.446°E
| Elevation 2910 m
PVMBG reported that during 25-31 January the volume of the lava dome in Merapi’s summit crater was 461,000 cubic meters, relatively unchanged from the previous week. During 0000-2000 on 29 January as many as nine incandescent rockfall events were recorded, with material traveling 200-700 m SE in the Gendol River drainage. Three pyroclastic flows, recorded at 2017, 2053, and 2141, traveled 1.1-1.4 km down the Gendol drainage, and produced minor ashfall in areas E including Boyolali (17 km E), Mriyan (5 km E), and Mojosongo (44 km E). The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.
Source: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Central Chile-Argentina border
| 35.223°S, 70.568°W
| Elevation 3977 m
Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur (OVDAS)-SERNAGEOMIN and ONEMI reported an increase in ash emissions at Planchón-Peteroa beginning at 1700 on 1 February, with ash plumes rising as high as 2 km and drifting E. This activity was accompanied by the appearance of discrete, very-low-frequency seismic events which were only recorded that day. On 3 February webcams showed gas-and-ash plumes rising to heights less than 2 km. The Alert Level remained at Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the volcano, and ONEMI maintained Alert Level Yellow for the communities of Molina (66 WNW), Curicó (68 km NW), Romeral (75 km NW), and Teno (68 km NW).
Sources: Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI), Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)
| Kyushu (Japan)
| 31.593°N, 130.657°E
| Elevation 1117 m
JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible during 28 January-1 February. An explosion at 1400 on 1 February produced an ash plume that rose 600 m above the crater rim. During a field survey that same day the sulfur dioxide emission rate was high at 3,000 tons/day, an increase from the previous measurement of 1,800 tons/day recorded on 22 January. An explosion at 0228 on 3 February produced an ash plume that rose 1 km and ejected tephra 800-1,100 m from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
| Chuginadak Island (USA)
| 52.825°N, 169.944°W
| Elevation 1730 m
AVO reported that analysis of recent satellite data suggested that the lava dome in Cleveland’s summit crater first observed on 12 January may have stopped growing on 16 January, and since then the center of the dome slowly subsided. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were evident in satellite data during 28 January-4 February. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
| Halmahera (Indonesia)
| 1.693°N, 127.894°E
| Elevation 1229 m
Based on satellite data, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 28 January an ash plume from Dukono rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. During 3-5 February ash plumes rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SW, W, and NW. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and visitors were warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.
Sources: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
| Paramushir Island (Russia)
| 50.686°N, 156.014°E
| Elevation 1103 m
Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 25 January-1 February that sent ash plumes to 2.3 km (7,500 ft) a.s.l. Ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk on 27 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| 14.473°N, 90.88°W
| Elevation 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that 10-18 explosions per hour were detected at Fuego during 29-31 January. Ash plumes from the explosions rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim and drifted E and NE. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind including Alotenango, Antigua Guatemala (18 km NE), and Guatemala City (70 km E). Incandescent material was ejected 300 m high and caused avalanches of material that traveled down Seca (W), Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), and Las Lajas (SE) ravines. During 31January-1 February there were 14-16 explosions recorded per hour, with ash plumes rising as high as 1.1 km and drifting 20-25 km S and SE. Ash fell in the communities of El Rodeo (10 km SSE), El Zapote, Ceilan, and La Rochela. Incandescent material rose 200-400 m high causing avalanches of material to descend the Seca, Taniluyá (SW), Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas, and Honda (E) ravines. Shock wave causing vibration in the communities near the volcano.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
| Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
| 30.443°N, 130.217°E
| Elevation 657 m
JMA reported that during 1713-1915 on 29 January an eruption at Kuchinoerabujima’s Shindake Crater produced an ash plume that rose 4 km above the crater rim and drifted E, and a pyroclastic flow. Ash fell in parts of Yakushima. During 30 January-1 February and 3-5 February white plumes rose as high as 600 m. An event that lasted during 1141-1300 on 2 February generated a plume that rose 600 m. 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 an overflight of Popocatépetl on 27 January observers noted that the inner crater was 150 m deep and had an unchanged diameter of 300 m. There was no visible lava dome at the bottom of the crater. Each day during 28 January-5 February there were 81-207 steam-and-gas emissions with low ash content. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-color scale).
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED)
| 0.077°S, 77.656°W
| Elevation 3562 m
During 28 January-5 February IG reported a high level of seismic activity at Reventador, including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions. Steam, gas, and ash plumes sometimes rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and drifted W and NW. Incandescent blocks were observed rolling 600-800 m down the flanks on most days.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
| Central Kamchatka (Russia)
| 56.653°N, 161.36°E
| Elevation 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 25 January-1 February Sheveluch’s lava dome continued grow, extruding blocks on the N side, and producing hot avalanches and fumarolic plumes. Video and satellite data recorded gas-and-steam plumes with some ash content rising to 4-4.5 km (13,100-14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 415 km E and W. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
| Costa Rica
| 10.025°N, 83.767°W
| Elevation 3340 m
OVSICORI-UNA reported that minor, sporadic ash emissions that rose to low heights above Turrialba’s active crater were recorded on most days during 28 January-4 February. An event at 0640 on 1 February produced a taller plume which rose 1.5 km above the crater rim and drifted NW.
OVSICORI-UNA noted that activity had been slowly decreasing in 2019. No volcano-tectonic earthquakes had been recorded, and tremors were decreasing in both energy and duration. The number of low-frequency, volcanic earthquakes (LPs) remained stable, although they had decreasing amplitudes. No explosions had been recorded, and emissions were weak, had short durations, and very dilute ash contents.
Source: Observatorio Vulcanologico y Sismologico de Costa Rica-Universidad Nacional (OVSICORI-UNA)
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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