Report on Mayon (Philippines) — 8 October-14 October 2003
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
8 October-14 October 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Mayon (Philippines). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 October-14 October 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
13.257°N, 123.685°E; summit elev. 2462 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
PHIVOLCS raised the Alert Level at Mayon from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 0-5) on 11 October after incandescence was seen in the E portion of the volcano's crater, sulfur-dioxide emission rates increased from ~1,600 tons on 1 October to ~2,380 tons on 9 October, and the number of volcanic earthquakes had been increasing slightly for several weeks. PHIVOLCS believes that slow magma intrusion may be occurring. The 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone remained in effect.
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.