Report on Taal (Philippines) — 23 June-29 June 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
23 June-29 June 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Taal (Philippines). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 June-29 June 2021. 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 unrest at Taal continued during 22-29 June. Low-level background tremor continued with as many as 10 volcanic earthquake per day. As many as three low-frequency volcanic earthquakes were detected during 23-26 June and 0-3 episodes of volcanic tremor during 23-27 June lasted two minutes to two hours. Upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the crater lake produced steam-and-gas plumes that rose as high as 2.1 km and drifted in multiple directions. Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 2,284-5,129 tonnes/day. In a special report issued on 28 June PHIVOLCS warned that public that the high levels of sulfur dioxide, the gas-and-steam plumes rising as high as 3 km above the lake’s surface, and weather conditions had caused vog over the Taal Caldera region. They issued another special statement on 29 June noting that on 28 June sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 14,326 tonnes/day, the highest rate ever recorded at Taal. Voggy conditions persisted, mainly impacting the NE and E lakeshore communities, with some residents reporting adverse effects. PHIVOLCS noted the continuing state of elevated unrest, reminding the public that the Alert Level for Taal remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5). PHIVOLCS strongly recommended no entry onto the island, and access to the Main Crater, Daang Kastila fissure (along the walking trail), and boating on Taal Lake was strictly prohibited.
Geological Summary. 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 landscape 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 have grown about 25% in area during historical time. Powerful pyroclastic flows and surges from historical eruptions have caused many fatalities.