Report on Mayon (Philippines) — 2 May-8 May 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
2 May-8 May 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Mayon (Philippines). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 May-8 May 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
13.257°N, 123.685°E; summit elev. 2462 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
At 1848 on 7 May an explosion occurred at Mayon that was recorded by the seismic network on the volcano, but was not observed due to cloudy conditions. After the eruption, faint incandescence was visible at the crater with the naked eye during 1915-1945; the incandescence was graded as level 2 intensity. During the week ending on 29 April there had been a total of 33 low-frequency earthquakes and 12 high-frequency short-duration harmonic tremors. The SO2 flux during the same period averaged 3,100 metric tons/day, which is still significantly above the baseline value of 500 tons/day. Deformation monitoring showed that the volcano was inflated, but the present trend revealed insignificant change. Moderate steaming was typical. The crater was visible, but no glow was observed. Alert Level 3 remained in effect, prohibiting entry within the 6-km-radius permanent danger zone.
Geological Summary. Beautifully symmetrical Mayon, which rises above the Albay Gulf NW of Legazpi City, is the Philippines' most active volcano. The structurally simple edifice has steep upper slopes averaging 35-40 degrees that are capped by a small summit crater. Historical eruptions date back to 1616 and range from Strombolian to basaltic Plinian, with cyclical activity beginning with basaltic eruptions, followed by longer term andesitic lava flows. Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the approximately 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often devastated populated lowland areas. A violent eruption in 1814 killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.