Logo link to homepage

Report on Kanlaon (Philippines) — August 2003


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 28, no. 8 (August 2003)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke.

Kanlaon (Philippines) Frequent ash explosions from 7 March until 23 July 2003

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Kanlaon (Philippines) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 28:8. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200308-272020



10.4096°N, 123.13°E; summit elev. 2422 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A report on 19 September 2003 from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) summarized activity at Canlaon from 7 March to 23 July 2003. This included the ash ejections of 10 and 11 July (BGVN 28:07). There were 46 ash explosions recorded since March, characterized by emission of steam clouds with small amounts of ash rising 100-1,500 m above the active crater. Prevailing winds dispersed the ash mainly SW and SE, which settled predominantly over the mid-upper slopes of the volcano.

Seismic activity remained elevated through this period, with epicenters of some high-frequency events located near the active crater, focal depths ranged from near-surface down to 18 km. From June to July, the numbers of recorded low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and low-frequency short-duration harmonic tremor events increased. This coincided with phreatic episodes between 8 June and 23 July 2003.

On 23 July an ash explosion was observed from Kanlaon Volcano Observatory, 8.5 km ESE of the crater. Ash-laden steam clouds were ejected to heights of ~800 m above the active crater. After 23 July only weak steam emission was noted, and seismic activity returned to low levels.

Geological Summary. Kanlaon volcano (also spelled Canlaon) forms the highest point on the Philippine island of Negros. The massive andesitic stratovolcano is covered 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 active vent, Lugud crater, to the south. Eruptions recorded since 1866 have typically consisted of phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor local ashfall.

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