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Report on Mayon (Philippines) — 23 December-29 December 2009


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 December-29 December 2009
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2009. Report on Mayon (Philippines) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 23 December-29 December 2009. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (23 December-29 December 2009)



13.257°N, 123.685°E; summit elev. 2462 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

PHIVOLCS reported that during 23-29 December about 240 explosions from Mayon were seen during times of good visibility. Off-white, brownish, or grayish ash plumes rose as high as 2 km above the crater rim and drifted W and SW. Lava flowed down the Bonga-Buyuan (SE), Miisi (S), and Lidong (ESE) gullies, and on 29 December was 5.8 km from the summit crater in the Buyuan channel. Intermittent rumbling and booming noises were noted and seismicity continued to be elevated. Detached incandescent fragments descended the flanks. Sulfur dioxide emissions fluctuated between about 2,300 and 9,000 tonnes per day. On 24 December lava fountains rose 500 m above the summit crater. Three pyroclastic flows on 25 December traveled 2 km.

Geological Summary. Symmetrical Mayon, which rises above the Albay Gulf NW of Legazpi City, is the most active volcano of the Philippines. The steep upper slopes are capped by a small summit crater. Recorded eruptions since 1616 CE 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 damaged populated lowland areas. A violent eruption in 1814 killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.

Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)