Report on Taal (Philippines) — 2 February-8 February 2022
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
2 February-8 February 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Taal (Philippines). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 2 February-8 February 2022. 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 1-8 February, with persistent low-level background tremor, hot volcanic fluids circulating in the crater lake, and daily gas-and-steam plumes rising as high as 1.5 km above the lake that drifted SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions continued to be elevated, averaging 7,008-7,902 tonnes/day on 2 and 4 February.
Each day during 1-3 February the seismic network recorded as many as 152 volcanic earthquakes, 114 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes per day, five hybrid events, and 33 daily episodes of volcanic tremor each lasting 1-2 minutes. One short-lived (two minutes) phreatomagmatic burst recorded at 1555 on 2 February produced a plume that rose 300 m from the lake and drifted SW. Two low-frequency earthquakes were noted during 3-4 February and one volcanic earthquake was recorded during 7-8 February. Tilt, continuous GPS, and InSAR data all indicated that Taal Volcano Island and the Taal region had begun deflating in October 2021. 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 warned against extended stays on Taal Lake.
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.