Logo link to homepage

Report on Kanlaon (Philippines) — January 2017

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 42, no. 1 (January 2017)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke. Research and preparation by Jackie Gluck.

Kanlaon (Philippines) Three ash explosions on 18 June 2016; steam plumes through July

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Kanlaon (Philippines) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 42:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN201701-272020.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

An ash explosion from Kanlaon on 24 November 2015 was the start of activity that included intermittent ash emissions through December and during 29-31 March 2016 (BGVN: 4014). That activity was followed by decreasing tremor and steam plumes rising to as high as 800 during the first days of April 2016. A short series of explosions on 18 June 2016 were the last ash emissions through 2016, based on Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reports. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5) throughout the reporting period, indicating low level of volcanic unrest.

PHIVOLCS reported that ground deformation measurements from continuous GPS data as of 2 June 2016 indicated slight inflation of the edifice since December 2015. Weak to moderate emission of white steam plumes that rose 540 m during 15-17 June and drifted SW and NW.

A series of three eruptive events occurred on 18 June, beginning at 0919 and lasting 27 minutes. These events were recorded by the seismic monitoring network as consecutive explosion-type earthquakes that lasted 30, 42, and 29 seconds, respectively. The first event, a steam-and-gas explosion, generated a light gray-to-white ash plume that initially rose 1.5 km above the crater and then later to 3 km (figure 3). The second event, an ash eruption immediately following the first event, produced a dense black ash plume that rose 500 m. Lastly, a grayish ash plume rose 500 m. Minor ashfall was reported to the W in the barangays of Ara-al, San Miguel, and Yubo in La Carlota City (14 km W), Sag-ang in La Castellana (16 km SW), and Ilijan in Bago City (30 km NW). A diffuse sulfur odor was detected in Ara-al.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 3. Photo sequence showing eruption plumes from Kanlaon at 0919 on 18 June 2016. Courtesy PHIVOLCS.

PHIVOLCS reported that during 20, 22-23, and 25-26 June white steam plumes rose as high as 800 m and drifted WNW, NW and SW; wispy steam plumes were observed on 27 June. Starting at 1640 on 23 June the seismic network recorded a 4-minute-long, explosion-type signal; weather clouds prevented visual observations of the summit area.

White plumes were again seen during 20-25 July. On 20 July plumes were a dirty-white color; on 21-22 they were of white steam; and on 25 July they rose 200 m and drifted NW and SW. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted at the active vent averaged 234 tonnes/day on 21 July.

Ground deformation data from continuous GPS measurements as of 3 September 2016 indicated no significant change of the edifice since August 2016.

Geologic Background. 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, Univ. of the Philippines Campus, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (URL: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/).