Report on Bulusan (Philippines) — 11 May-17 May 2011
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 May-17 May 2011
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2011. Report on Bulusan (Philippines). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 May-17 May 2011. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
12.769°N, 124.056°E; summit elev. 1535 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 13 May, PHIVOLCS reported that an explosion from Bulusan's summit crater was accompanied by a rumbling sound audible up to 5 km away. The event was recorded by the seismic network as an explosion-type earthquake lasting for about 10 minutes. Cloud cover prevented observations of the summit area. Field investigation conducted immediately after the explosion confirmed the presence of thin ash deposits (0.5- 2.5 mm) approximately 9 km away from the crater in the NW and SW sectors. Several barangays in the municipalities of Juban and Irosin reported light ashfall. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5). Entry into the permanent danger zone, defined by a 4-km radius around the volcano, was prohibited.
During 15-16 May the seismic network detected four earthquakes. Then, on 16 May, the number of earthquakes rapidly increased to 80 in a seven-hour period. On 17 May PHIVOLCS reported that 144 earthquakes were recorded in the previous 24 hours. Steam rose from the active vents.
Geologic Background. Luzon's southernmost volcano, Bulusan, was constructed along the rim of the 11-km-diameter dacitic-to-rhyolitic Irosin caldera, which was formed about 36,000 years ago. It lies at the SE end of the Bicol volcanic arc occupying the peninsula of the same name that forms the elongated SE tip of Luzon. A broad, flat moat is located below the topographically prominent SW rim of Irosin caldera; the NE rim is buried by the andesitic complex. Bulusan is flanked by several other large intracaldera lava domes and cones, including the prominent Mount Jormajan lava dome on the SW flank and Sharp Peak to the NE. The summit is unvegetated and contains a 300-m-wide, 50-m-deep crater. Three small craters are located on the SE flank. Many moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century.