Report on Taal (Philippines) — 12 January-18 January 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 January-18 January 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Taal (Philippines). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 January-18 January 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
14.002°N, 120.993°E; summit elev. 311 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
PHIVOLCS reported that a deformation survey of Taal conducted in December 2010 showed slight inflation as compared to a survey conducted in September 2010. Field observations on 10 January revealed no significant changes. Weak steaming from a thermal area inside the main crater was noted and the lake temperature and color were normal. During 15-16 January 10 volcanic earthquakes were detected; two earthquakes were felt by residents in barangay (neighborhood) Pira-piraso, on the N side of the island. On 17 January three volcanic earthquakes were detected and on 18 January only one was reported. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5).
Geologic Background. Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines and has produced some of its most powerful historical eruptions. Though not topographically prominent, its prehistorical eruptions have greatly changed the topography of SW Luzon. The 15 x 20 km Talisay (Taal) caldera is largely filled by Lake Taal, whose 267 km2 surface lies only 3 m above sea level. The maximum depth of the lake is 160 m, and several eruptive centers lie submerged beneath the lake. The 5-km-wide Volcano Island in north-central Lake Taal is the location of all historical eruptions. The island is composed of coalescing small stratovolcanoes, tuff rings, and scoria cones that has grown about 25% in area during historical time. Powerful pyroclastic flows and surges from historical eruptions have caused many fatalities.