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Report on Kanlaon (Philippines) — March 2003


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 28, no. 3 (March 2003)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.

Kanlaon (Philippines) Steam emission in June 2002; ash emissions in November 2002 and March 2003

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Kanlaon (Philippines) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 28:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200303-272020



10.412°N, 123.132°E; summit elev. 2435 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported a sudden increase in steaming activity at Canlaon (also spelled Kanlaon) on 28 June 2002. At about 0436, "dirty white steam" was observed rising up to 200 m above the active crater and drifting SW and SSW. However, there was no corresponding significant earthquake activity; the seismic network detected only two high-frequency volcanic earthquakes in the 24-hour window around the event. A small ash puff on 28 November 2002 at 0721 rose ~100 m above the active crater and drifted SW. The event was recorded as a volcanic tremor at the Cabagnaan and Guintubdan seismic stations. Traces of ash deposits were observed at Cabagnaan Station, located SSW of the active crater. Moderate emission of white to dirty white steam was observed immediately after the ash puff. As of 1100 on 28 November, activity had decreased to only minor white steaming from the summit with a few discrete tremors.

A PHIVOLCS report on 17 March indicated that the hazard status of Canlaon had been raised to Alert Level 1 following an ash emission on that day and one the previous week. At about 0530 on 17 March observatory personnel noted the emission of a grayish volcanic plume. The dirty white steam clouds rose 50 m above the active crater and drifted SW and SSW. No corresponding significant earthquake activity accompanied the event; the seismic network detected only two small low-frequency volcanic earthquakes in the preceding 24 hours. PHIVOLCS interpreted the activity as being hydrothermal in nature at shallow levels in the crater, with no indication of active magma intrusion. Details of the ash emission that occurred "last week" were not provided.

Alert Level 1 signifies that there could be possible ash explosions in the coming days or weeks. For this reason, PHIVOLCS reiterated that the public should avoid entering the 4-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone.

Geological Summary. Kanlaon volcano (also spelled Canlaon), the most active of the central Philippines, forms the highest point on the island of Negros. The massive andesitic stratovolcano is dotted with fissure-controlled pyroclastic cones and craters, many of which are filled by lakes. The largest debris avalanche known in the Philippines traveled 33 km SW from Kanlaon. The summit contains a 2-km-wide, elongated northern caldera with a crater lake and a smaller, but higher, historically active vent, Lugud crater, to the south. Historical eruptions, recorded since 1866, have typically consisted of phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ashfalls near the volcano.

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, PHIVOLCS Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue, University of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs. dost.gov.ph/).