Report on Taal (Philippines) — 3 November-9 November 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
3 November-9 November 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, 3 November-9 November 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 a series of volcanic earthquakes at Taal began at 0347 on 3 November and lasted for two minutes based on the seismic data; the events were felt at Intensity I in Banyaga, Agoncillo, and Batangas, and the largest event was a local M 2.9. The events were accompanied by a series of four short-lived plumes that rose less than 1 km above the lake. The characteristics of the seismic signals were similar to the phreatic bursts recorded in July. Upwelling hot volcanic fluids were visible in the crater lake during 3-9 November, and gas-and-steam plumes rose 0.9-1.8 km above the lake and drifted mainly SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 4,877-19,463 tonnes/day. Low-level background tremor continued along with as many as 111 volcanic earthquakes per day during 2-3 and 5-9 November and as many as 85 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes per day during 2-3 and 7-8 November. There were also 6-40 daily episodes of volcanic tremor, each lasting between 1 and 19 minutes. The Volcano Alert Level remained at a 2 (on a scale of 0-5). PHIVOLCS reminded the public that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and that boating on Taal Lake was 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.