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Archive for the ‘Chaiten’ Category

2010 Year of Super Volcanoes?

Posted by feww on January 30, 2010

Global Volcanism is on the rise!

2010 May Prove to Be Year One of Super Volcanic Activities

Fire-Earth Moderators believe the increase in global volcanism could  include renewed activities at some of the planet’s super volcanoes.

VolcanoWatch Weekly [28 January 2010]

VoW: Volcano Ash Threatens Ecuador’s Ambato City

19 – 26 January 2010 – SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/Unrest

Volcano News (Source: GVP)

MVO reported that during 15-22 January activity from Soufrière Hills consisted of cycles of vigorous ash venting, rockfalls, and pyroclastic flows. On 18 January, a small lava-dome collapse from the W side of the volcano generated a large pyroclastic flow that traveled 4 km and reached the sea.

IG reported that during 20-26 January explosions from Tungurahua were detected by the seismic network. Ashfall was noted almost daily in areas to the SW and sometimes to the W and NW. During 20-23 January lava fountains and explosions ejected incandescent blocks that fell onto and rolled down the flanks.

Ongoing Activity

Barren Island, Andaman Is;  Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia); Chaitén, Southern Chile; Fuego, Guatemala; Gaua, Banks Islands (SW Pacific);  Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka;  Kilauea, Hawaii (USA);  Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia);  Llaima, Central Chile;  Sakura-jima, Kyushu;  Santa María, Guatemala;  Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia);  Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

Related Links:

More Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

VolcanoWatch Weekly [ previous 4 entries ]

Posted in Chaiten, Global Volcanism, Soufrière Hills, Tungurahua, Volcano News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [26 Oct 2009]

Posted by feww on October 26, 2009

FEWW Volcanic Forecast

On April 21, 2009 in Sumatra’s Mt Kerinci Erupts FEWW made the following forecast

FEWW Volcanic Forecast:

1. The Loyalty – New Hebrides  Arc Collision. Intense volcanic activity should be expected throughout 2009 and beyond along the New Hebrides arc, the Vanatu region (also to the north to include Solomon Island and Santa Cruz Island), possibly continued along the New Hebrides Trench (to include Matthew and Hunter Island). Volcanoes that are located in the above-described area include:

  • Savo (Solomon Island)
  • Tinakula (Santa Cruz Island – SW Pacific)
  • Suretamatai
  • Motlav
  • Gaua
  • Mere Lava
  • Aoba
  • Ambrym
  • Lopevi
  • Kuwae
  • North Vate
  • Traitor’s Head
  • Yasur
  • Eastern Gemini Seamount
  • Matthew Island
  • Hunter Island

2. Pacific Plate subduction beneath the Okhotsk Plate. Subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Okhotsk Plate continues to create Intense volcanism. Starting 2009, however, a much greaterthan the average number of volcanoes located on the Kuril Islands island arc, Kamchatka volcanic arc and Japan trench to the south may erupt with renewed intensity.

And the following on June 5, 2009, having first introduced Mt Kaba earlier on Weekly Volcano Watch: 16 April 2009

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast:

FEWW Moderators forecast  new volcanic activity/ unrest at 50 or more volcanoes throughout the rest of 2009.

List of the volcanoes to watch this year [and in 2010] includes:

Barcena (0.8), Socorro (0.8), Curacoa (0.99), Atitlán (0.65), Vesuvius (>0.6), Bazman (0.6), Mount Shasta (>0.5), Kaba (>0.5), Bandai (>0.5), Eastern Gemini Seamount or Mathew Island volcano (0.65), Fonualei (0.65), Mount Rainier (>0.5), Jan Mayen (>0.6), Thule (0.4), Sibayak (>0.5), Volcán Guallatiri (0.65), Taveuni (>0.4),  two or more volcanoes on the island of Hokkaido (0.65), E-san (0.7), Oshima-Oshima (0.7), Komaga-take (0.65)

SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 14-20 October 2009 listed both  Kaba and Gaua Volcanoes as erupting:

On 13 October, Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory confirmed that Gaua’s Mount Garat was erupting based on fieldwork done by scientists during 3-7 October. Seismic records showed multiple explosions, and a gas flux measurement of 3,000 metric tons of sulfur dioxide was detected on 3 October. The Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 0-5).

And

On 20 October, CVGHM reported that seismic activity from Kaba increased in August and remained elevated in September and October. Inflation was also detected. When weather permitted, diffuse white plumes were seen rising 25-50 m above the crater rim and drifting E. Based on the deformation and increased seismicity, CVGHN raised the Alert Level to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(14 October – 20 October 2009)

New activity/Unrest:

Ongoing Activity:

Related Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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Recent Posts on Chaitén:

Posted in Chaiten, Ebeko, Kizimen, Kliuchevskoi, Nevado del Huila, Piton de la Fournaise, Soufrière Hills | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Rhyolitic volcanoes pack a much bigger punch

Posted by feww on October 11, 2009

Quote of the Day:

“The largest eruptions on the planet have been rhyolitic …  you might have fewer of these volcanoes, but they pack a way bigger punch.”

—Jonathan Castro of the Institut des Sciences de la Terre in Orléans, France.

30410914-072_med
Flow banding in rhyolite lava from Mono-Inyo Craters volcanic chain, California (black bands composed of obsidian). Source: USGS

Large rhyolitic volcanoes include

  • Yellowstone, Wyoming (hotspot track near the Idaho-Oregon border)
  • Long Valley, California
  • Valles, New Mexico
  • Chaiténvolcano, Chile
  • Japanese Volcanoes
  • Taupo Volcanic Zone,  New Zealand
  • Ethiopian hotspot in northeastern Africa

Chaiten - UPI
After 9,000 years of slumber, Chile’s Chaiténvolcano erupted spewing lava and ejecting ash up to 20 km into into the atmosphere, with lightning added for extra dramatic effect. (Photograph by Carlos Gutierrez/UPI,  dated May 3, 2008) . Image may be subject to copyright.

Rhyolite often erupts explosively because its high silica content results in extremely high viscosity (resistance to flow), which hinders degassing. When bubbles form, they can cause the magma to explode, fragmenting the rock into pumice and tiny particles of volcanic ash.

Rhyolite:

Rhyolite which is erupted at temperatures of 700 to 850° C, is a light-colored rock consisting of

  • Silica (SiO 2 ) content greater than about 68 percent (by weight )
  • Sodium and potassium oxides up to  about 5 percent.
  • Common mineral types include biotite, feldspar and quartz (found in a glassy matrix)

Related Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

Recent Posts on Chaitén:

Posted in Chaiten, Long Valley, Taupo Volcanic Zone, Valles, Yellowstone | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [30 September 2009]

Posted by feww on October 2, 2009

VOW: Golden Trout Creek

A cluster of 66 shocks have rocked a a 15 square km area centered about 36.392°N, 117.861°W, some 41 km east of the Golden Trout Creek volcano field in central California, in the past few days. Although most of the quakes were tremors measuring less than M 3.0, the largest shock measured 5.2.

Volcano Details:

Country:  United States
Region:  California (USA)
Volcano Type: Volcanic field
Volcano Status: Tephrochronology
Last Known Eruption: 5550 BC ± 1000 years
Summit Elevation: 2,886 m  (9,468 feet)
Latitude: 36.358°N   (36°21’30″N)
Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP)


The Golden Trout Creek volcanic field consists of a group of Quaternary alkali olivine basaltic cinder cones and lava flows in the Toowa valley of the Sierra Nevada about 25 km south of Mount Whitney. Lava flows from the Golden Trout Creek volcanic field erupted through Mesozoic granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada batholith during several episodes dating back to about 743,000 years ago, when the Little Whitney cinder cone and lava flows were erupted. The South Fork cone was erupted about 176,000 years ago and produced the largest lava flow of the volcanic field, which traveled 10 km to the west, possibly as far as the floor of Kern Canyon. Tunnel cone to the north of South Fork (Red Hill) cone is undated, but its lava flow is overlain by glacial deposits and it is thought to be only slightly younger than South Fork cone. The youngest lava flow, from Groundhog cone, is unglaciated and thought to be about 5-10,000 years old (Moore and Lanphere 1983). The lava flow from Groundhog cone traveled 6 km west down Golden Trout Creek on top of the older flow from South Fork cone.—GVP.  
Photo: Rick Howard, 2002 (courtesy of Del Hubbs, U S Forest Service).

SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(23 September – 29 September 2009)

New activity/Unrest:

News From GVP:

CVGHM reported that on 26 September a “thunderous” noise from Dieng was heard from 2 km away. The next day, a phreatic eruption from an unspecified crater ejected mud as far away as 140 m S.

KVERT reported that on 17 and 22 September a weak thermal anomaly over Karymsky was detected in satellite imagery. Scientists flying near Karymsky in a helicopter on 22 September saw ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. —GVP

Ongoing Activity:

Related Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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Posted in Central Kamchatka, Chaiten, FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast, island of Java, Karymsky, Kliuchevskoi, Mayon, Sakar, Shiveluch, Socorro, Sumatra, volcanism, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chaitén Still Awake!

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

Chaitén: A New Phase of Activity?

On June 29, 2009, after a magnitude 5.3 quake struck off coast of Isen, Chile, at a depth of 10km, the Moderators forecast:

FEWW believes that the quake could be followed by more shocks, a number of which could be larger in magnitude, along the Chile Ridge, near the coast of Chile and about the subducting Nazca Plate. Additional seismic activity in the region could result in a new, more intense phase of activity in Chaitén, or prime other regional volcanoes for eruption.

Well, Chaitén is still awake, doing what volcanoes do best: Spewing ash, steam, sulfur…

Ash and Steam Plume from Chaitén

chaiten_ali_2009270
The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the NASA/USGS Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite acquired this natural color image of Chaitén on September 27, 2009, at roughly 10:30 am local time.  According to a report, there was an ash plume extending 56 km (35 miles) northwest of the summit at the time the image was taken.
NASA image by Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Robert Simmon. [Edited by FEWW]

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Posted in Chaiten, Chaiten volcano, obduction, oceanic tectonic plate, orogeny. Tagged: block rotation, Plate Tectonics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [16 September 2009]

Posted by feww on September 17, 2009

VOW: Krakatoa [Krakatau]

Krakatoa is a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait located between Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. Both the volcano and island group share the same name.

Four enormous explosions almost entirely destroyed Krakatoa island on August 27, 1883. The violent explosions were reportedly heard in Perth, Western Australia,  some 3,500 km away. It was heard even on the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius, about 4,800 km away.

The shockwave from the last explosion, which ejected volcanic matter 80 km into the atmosphere, echoed around the planet seven times.

Karakatoa
An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 violent explosion of Krakatoa.

The eruption ejected about 21 cubic kilometers of volcanic matter and completely destroyed two-thirds of the Krakatoa island.

island map
The Island Map (Simkin and Fiske, 1983). Image may be subject to copyright.

Anak Krakatau (the Child of Krakatau)  is the only active vent left from Krakatoa. u is  This volcano has built itself slowly from the sea floor since the paroxysmal eruption of 1883.  Anak Krakatau is located between the northern two vents, Danan and Perboewatan, that were destroyed in the 1883 eruption.  For the most part, the eruptions are Vulcanian, slowly building the island with a combination of lava, ash, and pumice.

location map
Krakatoa: Location Map. Source of the original map: USGS

Krakatoa_01
Krakatoa: An early 19th Century image.

Early in the morning of May 20, 1883, the captain of the German warship Elizabeth reported seeing an ~11-km-high cloud of ash and dust rising above the uninhabited island of Krakatau, thus documenting the first eruption from this Indonesian island in at least two centuries. Over the ensuing two months, crews on commercial vessels and sightseers on charted ships would experience similar spectacles, all of which were associated with explosive noises and churning clouds of black to incandescent ash and pumice. From a distance, the largest of these natural fanfares impressed the local inhabitants on the coastal plains of Java and Sumatra, creating a near-festive environment. Little did they realize, however, that these awe-inspiring displays were only a prelude to one of the largest eruptions in historic times. A series of cataclysmic explosions began at mid-day on August 26, and ended on August 27 with a stupendous paroxysmal eruption. On this day, the northern two-thirds of the island collapsed beneath the sea, generating a series of devastating pyroclastic flows and immense tsunamis that ravaged adjacent coastlines. The events that began on August 26 would mark the last 24 hours on earth for over 36,000 people [possibly as many as 120,000,] and the destruction of hundreds of coastal villages and towns. —Geology-/SDSU [Spelling mistakes corrected by FEWW.]

ashcroft -riv thames
William Ashcroft painting “On the Banks of the River Thames” in London, November 26, 1883 [Exactly three months after Krakatoa's cataclysmic 1883 eruption.]

The Krakatoa eruption affected the climate driving the weather patterns wild for the next 5 years. Average global temperatures fell by about 1.2 °C in the following years, returning to normal only in 1888.

landsat PP1
Krakatoa Image by Landsat Pathfinder Project (Dated May 18, 1992)

Anak Krakatau’s most recent eruptive episode began in 1994, with near continuous Strombolian eruptions, punctuated by larger explosions.  In its most recent eruption, which began in April 2008, the volcano released hot gases, rocks, and lava. Scientists monitoring the volcano have warned people to stay out of a 3 km zone around the island. By and large, the eruptions are Vulcanian, helping to slowly build the island with ash, lava and pumice at an average rate of about 60 cm per month.

Fearing an imminent eruption, Volcanological Survey of Indonesia raised Anak’s  eruption alert level to Orange on May 6, 2009.

SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(9 September – 15 September 2009)

New activity/unrest:

News From GVP:

  • PHIVOLCS reported that 11 earthquakes from Mayon were detected during 14-15 September. On 15 September, three ash explosions produced a brownish plume that rose no more than 700 m above the crater and drifted SW.
  • On 11 September, KVERT reported strong explosions from Shiveluch. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes rose to an altitude greater than 15 km (49,200 ft) a.s.l. The seismic network then detected eight minutes of pyroclastic flows from the lava dome; resulting plumes rose to an altitude of approximately 10 km (32,800 ft) a.s.l. —GVP

Tafu-Maka


A bathymetric map prepared during a NOAA Vents Program November 2008 expedition shows two submarine volcanoes, Tafu (Tongan for “source of fire”) and Maka (Tongan for “rock”). The volcanoes lie along a NE-SW-trending ridge on the southern part of the back-arc NE Lau Spreading Center (NELSC). The November 2008 expedition discovered submarine hydrothermal plumes consistent with very recent (days to weeks?) submarine lava effusion from Maka volcano.  Image courtesy of NOAA Vents Program, 2008. Caption: GVP.

Ongoing Activity:


HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 8:30 AM HST (Wednesday, September 16, 2009 18:30 UTC)

KILAUEA VOLCANO (CAVW #1302-01-)
19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH

Activity Summary for past 24 hours: The third DI event in a week started yesterday morning and switched to DI inflation overnight. Moderate glow was visible after dark from the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent (summit). Sulfur dioxide emission rates from the Halema`uma`u and east rift zone vents remain elevated. Lava from the TEB vent (east rift zone) flows through tubes to the ocean and feeds surface flows.

Past 24 hours at Kilauea summit:
Glow was visible from the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent overnight. This morning, trade winds are blowing the plume, denser than yesterday morning, to the southwest over the Ka`u Desert. The most recent sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 900 tonnes/day on September 11, which is well above the 2003-2007 average of 140 tonnes/day. Very small amounts of ash-sized rock dust waft up from the vent and are deposited nearby on the crater rim.

halema uma u
This Quicktime movie shows two active vents on the floor of the Halema`uma`u cavity. Lava is just below the rim of the two vents, creating frequent spattering which falls around their rims. Within the larger of the two (on the right), lava can be seen vigorously sloshing. For scale, these vents are about 10 yards wide. The first half of the movie is shown in normal mode, with the second half shown in ‘nightshot’ mode.

The summit tiltmeter network recorded the third DI event in a week with deflation just before 8 am yesterday and inflation just after midnight last night. The GPS network, which is less sensitive than the tiltmeter network, recorded less than 2 cm of contraction over the last 3 months with brief periods of extension coinciding with strong DI inflation on September 1-2 and 11-12; they recorded contraction since 9/13.

Seismic tremor levels remain elevated; two weak hybrid earthquakes followed by 15-20 minutes of sustained tremor were recorded starting around 7:30 pm last night. The number of RB2S2BL earthquakes continued to increase slightly but remained below background levels. Six earthquakes were recorded beneath Kilauea – three beneath the summit caldera, two deep quakes below the lower southwest rift zone, and one on south flank faults. —HVO

  • Videos and Images are available at: HVO

Related Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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Posted in Chaiten, FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast, island of Java, Sumatra, volcanism, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [2 September 2009]

Posted by feww on September 5, 2009

Supervolcanoes may awaken

VOW: Mt Tambora

Mt tambora indonesia
Photo: Mark Webster/Lonely Planet Images. Image may be subject to copyright.

Tambora Photo
Country:    Indonesia
Region:    Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesia)
Volcano Type:     Stratovolcano
Last Known Eruption:     1967 ± 20 years
Summit Elevation:     2,850 m     (9,350 feet)
Latitude:     8.25°S
Longitude:     118.00°E
Source: GVP


Tambora volcano on Indonesia’s Sumbawa Island was the site of the world’s largest historical eruption in April 1815. This NASA Landsat mosaic shows the 6-km-wide caldera truncating the 2850-m-high summit of the massive volcano. Pyroclastic flows during the 1815 eruption reached the sea on all sides of the 60-km-wide volcanic peninsula, and the ejection of large amounts of tephra caused world-wide temperature declines in 1815 and 1816. NASA Landsat7 image (worldwind.arc.nasa.gov). Caption GVP.

Mount Tambora (or Tomboro) is an active stratovolcano on Sumbawa island, Indonesia. Sumbawa is flanked both to the north and south by oceanic crust, and Tambora was formed by the active subduction zones beneath it. This raised Mount Tambora as high as 4,300 m (14,000 ft), making it one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago.

Tambora erupted in 1815 with a rating of seven on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, making it the largest eruption since the Lake Taupo eruption in about 180 AD. It was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island (more than 2,000 km  away). Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands. Most deaths from the eruption were from starvation and disease, as the eruptive fallout ruined agricultural productivity in the local region. The death toll was at least 71,000 people (perhaps the most deadly eruption in history), of whom 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption. The eruption created global climate anomalies; 1816 became known as the Year Without Summer because of the effect on North American and European weather. Agricultural crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in the worst famine of the 19th century. (Source: Wikipedia; edited by FEWW)

SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(26 August-1 September 2009)

New activity/unrest:

  • Kanlaon, Negros Island (central Philippines)
  • Kolokol Group, Urup Island  (Kurile Islands,Sakhalin Oblast region, Russia)
  • Koryaksky, Eastern Kamchatka, Russia

Ongoing Activity:

Related Links:

FEWW Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

Posted in Chaiten, Kanlaon, Kolokol Group, Koryaksky, Kīlauea, Popocatépetl, Shiveluch | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [6 August 2009]

Posted by feww on August 6, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 29 July – 4 August 2009

VOW: Kizimen

55°08’ N, 160°20’ E, summit elevation 2,375 m

Kizimen volcano is a Holocene edifice situated in Shchapina graben, on the southeastern edge of the Central Kamchatka Depression. The volcano is cut by NE-strking faults and deep gullies, which expose the whole suite of its rocks. The only historic eruption of the volcano (“fire flames and black smoke”)  was reported by local hunters in 1928, however, it should have been a weak one since no deposits of this age are seen at the foot of the volcano. Copyrighted photo by Vikto Dvigalo. Caption:  Holocene Kamchataka volcanoes; http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/volcanoes/holocene/main/main.htm

Kizimen is an isolated, conical stratovolcano that is morphologically similar to Mount St. Helens prior to its 1980 eruption. The summit of Kizimen consists of overlapping lava domes, and blocky lava flows descend the flanks of the volcano, which is the westernmost of a volcanic chain north of Kronotsky volcano. The 2376-m-high Kizimen was formed during four eruptive cycles beginning about 12,000 years ago and lasting 2000-3500 years. The largest eruptions took place about 10,000 and 8300-8400 years ago, and three periods of long-term lava dome growth have occurred. The latest eruptive cycle began about 3000 years ago with a large explosion and was followed by lava dome growth lasting intermittently about 1000 years. An explosive eruption about 1100 years ago produced a lateral blast and created a 1.0 x 0.7 km wide crater breached to the NE, inside which a small lava dome (the fourth at Kizimen) has grown. A single explosive eruption, during 1927-28, has been recorded in historical time. USGS

New activity/unrest:

Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

Notes:

On 2 August, KVERT reported that seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi had gradually increased since 30 July, and continuous seismic tremor was detected. A strong thermal anomaly was seen in satellite imagery at night.

On 31 July, KVERT reported that seismic activity from Kizimen had increased since 11 July. Several tens of shallow earthquakes per day were detected. (Source: GVP)

Ongoing Activity:

Recent Kilauea Status Reports, Updates, and Information Releases

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE Wednesday, August 5, 2009 7:39 AM HST (Wednesday, August 5, 2009 17:39 UTC)

KILAUEA VOLCANO (CAVW #1302-01-)
19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Aviation Color Code:
ORANGE
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH

Activity Summary for past 24 hours: The Halema`uma`u Overlook vent remained dark; sulfur dioxide emission rates from Halema`uma`u and east rift zone vents were elevated; lava from the TEB vent, on the east rift zone, flows through tubes to the Waikupanaha ocean entry west of Kalapana; surface flows are active on the pali.

Past 24 hours at Kilauea summit: No lava or glow has been visible within the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent since the July 4 DI event. This morning, the plume is white and opaque and is blowing toward the southwest. Tephra production by the vent has been very low over the past several weeks, mostly characterized by ash-sized rock dust from small wall collapses in the vent. No rock falls or gas rushing sounds were heard at the vent during this morning’s ash collection. (HVO)

Related Links:

FEWW Links:

Global Volcanism, Volcanic Activity Report, Volcano Hazard, VolcanoWatch, volcanism, volcanoes. Tagged: , , , , .

Posted in Batu Tara, Chaiten, volcanism, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [23 July 2009]

Posted by feww on July 23, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 15 July – 21 July 2009

Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

VOW: Revisiting Mount Tambora Volcano, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia

Tambora
On April 10, 1815, the Tambora Volcano produced the largest eruption in recorded history. An estimated 150 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of tephra—exploded rock and ash—resulted, with ash from the eruption recognized at least 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) away to the northwest. While the April 10 eruption was catastrophic, historical records and geological analysis of eruption deposits indicate that the volcano had been active between 1812 and 1815. Enough ash was put into the atmosphere from the April 10 eruption to reduce incident sunlight on the Earth’s surface, causing global cooling, which resulted in the 1816 “year without a summer.”

This detailed astronaut photograph depicts the summit caldera of the volcano. The huge caldera—6 kilometers (3.7 miles) in diameter and 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) deep—formed when Tambora’s estimated 4,000-meter- (13,123-foot) high peak was removed, and the magma chamber below emptied during the April 10 eruption. Today the crater floor is occupied by an ephemeral freshwater lake, recent sedimentary deposits, and minor lava flows and domes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Layered tephra deposits are visible along the northwestern crater rim. Active fumaroles, or steam vents, still exist in the caldera.

In 2004, scientists discovered the remains of a village, and two adults buried under approximately 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) of ash in a gully on Tambora’s flank—remnants of the former Kingdom of Tambora preserved by the 1815 eruption that destroyed it. The similarity of the Tambora remains to those associated with the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius has led to the Tambora site’s description as “the Pompeii of the East.”

Astronaut photograph ISS020-E-6563 was acquired on June 3, 2009  [photo caption said acquired March 6, 2009] , with a Nikon D3 digital camera fitted with an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 20 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.

New activity/unrest:

Ongoing Activity:

  • Bagana, Bougainville
  • Barren Island, Andaman Is
  • Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia)
  • Chaitén, Southern Chile
  • Egon, Flores Island (Indonesia)
  • Ibu, Halmahera
  • Kilauea, Hawaii
  • Makian, Halmahera
  • Rabaul, New Britain
  • Sarychev Peak, Matua Island
  • Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia)
  • Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
  • Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

Related Links:

FEWW Links:

Posted in Batu Tara, Chaiten, Komba Island, Sakura-jima, Sarychev Peak | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [9 July 2009]

Posted by feww on July 9, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 1 July – 8 July 2009

Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

NOTES: A large sulfur dioxide plume and several thermal anomalies from Manda Hararo were detected in satellite imagery during 28-30 June. On 8 July, a scientist that visited the area reported fresh lava flows, an eruptive fissure that was about 5 km long, and gas emitting from multiple cones.

According to news articles, PHIVOLCS implemented increased monitoring of Mayon after a recent rise in seismicity. Incandescence in the crater and a slight increase in sulfur dioxide gas output over background levels were also noted. (Source: GVP)

MANDA HARARO Northeastern Africa 12.17°N, 40.82°E; summit elev. 600+ m


Steam rises from new fissures that fed lava flows at the Manda Hararo complex, as seen on August 20, 2007. The Manda Hararo complex is the southernmost axial range of western Afar. The massive complex is 105 km long and 20-30 km wide, and represents an uplifted segment of a mid-ocean ridge spreading center. Voluminous fluid lava flows issued from NNW-trending fissures of the Ethiopian rift. Photo courtesy of Gezahegn Yirgu, 2007 (Addis Ababa University). Caption: GVP.

A large sulfur dioxide plume and several thermal anomalies from Manda Hararo were detected in satellite imagery during 28-30 June. Thermal anomalies detected in satellite imagery indicated a surface lava flow in the Karbahi region. Karbahi is a graben area with numerous active faults, fissures, and basalt flows, NW of the center of the broad Manda Hararo volcanic complex. Preliminary data suggested that the eruption was larger than the previous eruption in August 2007. On 8 July, a scientist that visited the area reported fresh lava flows, an eruptive fissure that was about 5 km long, and gas emitting from multiple cones.


A steaming volcanic vent in the Afar desert. The black basalt rock erupted onto the surface on 28 June and now covers an area of 10 square kilometres. Photograph: Talfan Barnie, University of Cambridge via Guardian Science Blog. Image may be subject to copyright.

Geologic Summary. The southernmost axial range of western Afar, the Manda Hararo complex is located in the Kalo plain, SSE of Dabbahu volcano. The massive complex is 105 km long and 20-30 km wide, and represents an uplifted segment of a mid-ocean ridge spreading center. A small basaltic shield volcano is located at the northern end of the complex, south of which is an area of abundant fissure-fed lava flows. Two basaltic shield volcanoes, the largest of which is Unda Hararo, occupy the center of the complex. The dominant part of the complex lies to the south, where the Gumatmali-Gablaytu fissure system is located. Voluminous fluid lava flows issued from these NNW-trending fissures, and solidified lava lakes occupy two large craters. Lava flows from the Gablaytu and Manda shield volcanoes overlie 8000-year-old sediments. Hot springs and fumaroles occur around Daorre lake. The first historical eruption from Manda Hararo produced fissure-fed lava flows in 2007. (Source: GVP)

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates

Alaska Volcano Observatory Update: July 09, 2009 0105 UTC

  • Redoubt Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

  • Cleveland Activity – Color Code – YELLOW : Alert Level – ADVISORY

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE: Wednesday, July 8, 2009  18:14 UTC

  • Kilauea Activity  –  Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Mauna Loa Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

Related Links:

FEWW Links:

Posted in Chaiten, Sakura-jima, Shiveluch, Ubinas, Volcanic Activity Report, volcanism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [18 June 2009]

Posted by feww on June 20, 2009

Sarychev Peak Erupts

NASA Earth Observatory ISS020-E-09048
A fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station allowed the astronauts this striking view of Sarychev Volcano (Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan) in an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009.

Astronaut photograph ISS020-E-9048 was acquired on June 12, 2009, with a Nikon D2XS digital camera fitted with a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 20 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by M. Justin Wilkinson, NASA-JSC. Instrument: ISS – Digital Camera

sarychev_omi_2009167 - SO2

sarychev_omi_key-1

In mid-June 2009, Sarychev Peak Volcano on Matua Island in the northwest Pacific began a series of eruptions of large amounts of ash. According to atmospheric scientist Simon Carn, who is part of the science team for the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite, it was also almost certainly the largest sulfur dioxide event so far this year. This image shows average column sulfur dioxide concentrations between June 10 and 17, 2009, based on data from OMI. High concentrations of sulfur dioxide stretched westward from the volcano as far as Sakhalin Island and mainland Russia and eastward as far as Alaska.

Powerful volcanic eruptions can inject sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere. At these altitudes, the sulfates can linger for months or years, cooling the climate by reflecting incoming sunlight. Data from other satellites (such as CALIPSO) suggest that the volcanic plume reached altitudes of 10–15 kilometers, and perhaps as high as 21 km. NASA image courtesy Simon Carn, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey. Instrument: Aura – OMI [Edited by FEWW.]

[If you thought that looks like a lot, imagine what 38,058,000,000,000.00 kg of CO2 looks like. more than 38,058 MMT of Co2 are released to the environment as a result of human activity: World Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Consumption Including Flaring, Cement Production, and Tropical Deforestation.

FEWW estimates that human activity emitted about 222 times more CO2 in 2008 than the total sum of  all carbon dioxide spewed from volcanic eruptions that year. ]

FEWW Comments:

FEWW cannot rule out the possibility that Sarychev Peak activity may continue unabated, with a pattern of eruptions not dissimilar to the Chaitén scenario.

Previous Comments by FEWW

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

Volcanic Activity Report:  10 June – 16 June 2009

Source: Global Volcanism program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 06:06:23 PDT

  • Redoubt Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Kilauea Activity  –  Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Veniaminof Activity – Color Code GREEN : Alert Level NORMAL

  • Mauna Loa Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

Redoubt Volcano Latest Observations [2009-06-20 02:34:17]

The eruption of Redoubt continues. Seismic activity remains low but above background levels.  Webcam images of the summit are currently obscured by clouds and darkness. AVO continues to monitor Redoubt’s activity 24/7.

Related Links:

Posted in Chaiten, Climate Change, climate cooling, stratosphere, sulfate aerosols | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [20 May 2009]

Posted by feww on May 21, 2009

Calm Before Volcanic Storm?

A quiet week for new volcanic activity, at least by recent standards. With Galeras excluded, for obvious reasons, there were only three new activities reported this week.

It’s interesting to note that the first mention of West Mata was apparently made in an entry on  Vents Program. The entry 2008 Expedition to Lau Basin appears to be dated November 27, 2008, but later updated, posted by John Lupton, Chief Scientist. Perhaps Mr Lupton could clarify whether his organization plays by “Las Vegas Rules.”

Our Thanks also to Dr. Erik Klemetti for acknowledging this blog as the main source of his entry on the Saudi Arabian earthquake swarm.  We would love to inspect Dr Klemetti’s doctoral thesis.

Volcanic Activity Report: 13 May – 19 May 2009

Source: Global Volcanism program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

VoW: Harrat Lunayyir (Volcanic Field)

See earlier entry on the Western Arabia Harrat Lunayyir VF


Harrat Lunayyir (Volcanic Field) Western Arabia

Harrat Lunayyir (Volcanic Field) Western Arabia. Image from Google Earth. Image may be subject to copyright.

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 18:54 PDT (May 21, 2009 01:54 UTC)

  • Redoubt Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Kilauea Activity  –  Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Veniaminof Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

  • Mauna Loa Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

Related Links:

Tonga Related Links:

Posted in Batu Tara, Chaiten, Harrat Lunayyir, volcanism, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Weekly VolcanoWatch [13 May 2009]

Posted by feww on May 14, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 6 May – 12 May 2009

Source: Global Volcanism program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

VoW: Curacoa


A submarine volcano south of Curacoa Reef at the northern end of the Tofua volcanic arc was first observed in eruption in 1973. Explosive eruptions, which produced large rafts of dacitic pumice covering an area of more than 100 sq km, were observed from the island of Tafahi, 27 km to the SSW. The eruption site was located about 6.5 km SW of Curacoa Reef. Multiple submarine vents are apparently located in this area; a second eruption was reported in 1979 from a location 13 km north of Tafahi. Photo by the crew of the vessel “Port Nicholson,” 1973 (courtesy of Tom Simkin, Smithsonian Institution). Caption: GVP.

FEWW Forecast: FEWW earth model suggests Curacoa may explode spectacularly in one or more episodes this year. [Photos, or eye-witness accounts of any activity will get an honorable mention on the blog.]

  • Country: Tonga
  • Region: Tonga Islands
  • Volcano Type: Submarine volcano
  • Last Known Eruption: 1979
  • Summit Elevation: -33 m – 108 feet
  • Latitude: 15.62°S 15°37’0″S
  • Longitude: 173.67°W 173°40’0″W

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 22:20 AKDT (May 14, 2009 06:20 UTC)

  • Redoubt Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Kilauea Activity  –  Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

  • Veniaminof Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

  • Mauna Loa Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

Related Links:

Posted in Chaiten, Curacoa, Ebeko, Kīlauea, Rinjani | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Volcano Watch Weekly: 23 April 2009

Posted by feww on April 23, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 15 April – 21 April 2009

Source: Global Volcanism program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

  • Ebeko, Paramushir Island  (Russia)
  • Fernandina, Galápagos Islands  (Ecuador)
  • Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
  • NW Rota-1, Mariana Islands (Central Pacific)
  • Pagan, Mariana Islands (Central Pacific)
  • Paluweh, Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesia)

VoW: Shasta

Volcano: Mount Shasta
Location: Siskiyou County, California
Latitude: 41.40 N
Longitude: 122.18 W
Height: 4,317 Meters  (14,161 Feet)
Type: Stratovolcano
Composition: Silicic andesite to dacite
Source: USGS (Cascades Volcano Observatory)


Mount Shasta and Shastina, California. USGS Photograph taken by Lyn Topinka, 1984 .

From: Miller, 1980, Potential Hazards from Future Eruptions in the Vicinity of Mount Shasta Volcano, Northern California: USGS Bulletin 1503

Mount Shasta is located in the Cascade Range in northern California about 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of the Oregon-California border and about midway between the Pacific Coast and the Nevada border. One of the largest and highest of the Cascade volcanoes, snowclad Mount Shasta is near the southern end of the range that terminates near Lassen Peak. Mount Shasta is a massive compound stratovolcano composed of overlapping cones centered at four or more main vents; it was constructed during a period of more than 100,000 years. … Two of the main eruptive centers at Mount Shasta, the Shastina and Hotlum cones were constructed during Holocene time, which includes about the last 10,000 years.

For more information including eruptive history and probable future potential hazard see: Mount Shasta and Vicinity, California


The most voluminous of the Cascade volcanoes, northern California’s Mount Shasta is a massive compound stratovolcano composed of at least four main edifices constructed over a period of at least 590,000 years.
Roughly 46 cu km of an ancestral Shasta volcano was destroyed by one of Earth’s largest known Quaternary subaerial hummocky debris avalanches, which filled the Shasta River valley NW of the volcano about 350,000 year ago.  The Hotlum cone, forming the present summit, and the Shastina lava dome complex were constructed during the early Holocene, as was the SW flank Black Butte lava dome. Eruptions from these vents have produced pyroclastic flows and mudflows that affected areas as far as 20 km from the summit. Eruptions from Hotlum cone continued throughout the Holocene. Shasta’s only historical eruption was observed from the ship of the explorer La Perouse off the California coast in 1786.  Photo by Dave Wieprecht, 1995 (U.S. Geological Survey). Caption: GVP


The deposits of an exceptionally large debris avalanche extend from the base of Mount Shasta volcano northward across the floor of Shasta Valley in northern California. The debris-avalanche deposits underlie an area of about 675 square kilometers, and their estimated volume is at least 45 cubic kilometers. Radiometric limiting dates suggest that the debris avalanche occurred between about 300,000 and 380,000 years ago. Hundreds of mounds, hills, and ridges formed by the avalanche deposits are separated by flat areas that slope generally northward at about 5 meters per kilometer. The hills and ridges are formed by the block facies of the deposits, which includes masses of andesite lava tens to hundreds of meters across as well as stratigraphic successions of unconsolidated deposits of pyroclastic flows, lahars, air-fall tephra, and alluvium, which were carried intact within the debris avalanche. The northern terminus of the block facies is near Montague, at a distance of about 49 kilometers from the present summit of the volcano. The flat areas between hills and ridges are underlain by the matrix facies, which is an unsorted and unstratified mudflowlike deposit of sand, silt, clay, and rock fragments derived chiefly from the volcano. Boulders of volcanic rock from Mount Shasta are scattered along the west side of Shasta Valley and in the part of Shasta Valley that lies north of Montague, at heights of as much as 100 meters above the adjacent surface of the debris-avalanche deposits. The boulders represent a lag that was formed after the main body of the avalanche came to rest, when much of the still-fluid matrix facies drained away and flowed out of Shasta Valley down the Shasta River valley and into the Klamath River. About 300 years ago, three rockfall-debris avalanches occurred from domes at the Chaos Crags eruptive center near Lassen Peak. The Chaos Crags avalanches traveled as far as 4.3 kilometers from their source areas. USGS Photograph taken September 22, 1982, by Harry Glicken. Caption: CVO


Mount Shasta, California Debris Avalanche Deposit. Source: USGS – CVO

Ongoing Activity:


FEWW Volcanic Forecast:

(see: Sumatra’s Mt Kerinci Erupts )

1. The Loyalty – New Hebrides  Arc Collision. Intense volcanic activity should be expected throughout 2009 and beyond along the New Hebrides arc, the Vanatu region (also to the north to include Solomon Island and Santa Cruz Island), possibly continued along the New Hebrides Trench (to include Matthew and Hunter Island). Volcanoes that are located in the above-described area include:

  • Savo (Solomon Island)
  • Tinakula (Santa Cruz Island – SW Pacific)
  • Suretamatai
  • Motlav
  • Gaua
  • Mere Lava
  • Aoba
  • Ambrym
  • Lopevi
  • Kuwae
  • North Vate
  • Traitor’s Head
  • Yasur
  • Eastern Gemini Seamount
  • Matthew Island
  • Hunter Island

2. Pacific Plate subduction beneath the Okhotsk Plate. Subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Okhotsk Plate continues to create Intense volcanism. Starting 2009, however, a much greater than the average number of volcanoes located on the Kuril Islands island arc, Kamchatka volcanic arc and Japan trench to the south may erupt with renewed intensity.

Related Link and FEWW previous forecasts:

Posted in Chaiten, Galapagos Islands, Koryaksky, volcanic activity, volcanism | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Weekly Volcano Watch: 26 March 2009

Posted by feww on March 26, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 18 March – 24 March 2009

Source: SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

VoW: Fonualei, Tonga Islands (SW Pacific)

  • Country: Tonga
  • Subregion Name: Tonga Islands
  • Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
  • Volcano Status: Historical
  • Last Known Eruption: 1957
  • Summit Elevation: 180 m (591 feet)
  • Latitude: 18.02°S  (18°1’0″S)
  • Longitude: 174.325°W  (174°19’30″W)
  • Source: USGS


Fonualei:  Seen from the NE, Fonualei volcano has an upturned saucer profile. The small, less than 2-km-wide island of Fonualei contains a fumarolically active crater, which is breached to the SW with a fresh lava flow extending to the sea and forming a rugged shoreline. Blocky lava flows from a central pyroclastic cone have reached the sea through notches in the rim of a small caldera. Eruptions at Fonualei have been recorded since 1791, with the two largest taking place in October 1846 and July 1847. [In 1847,] explosive eruptions produced large pumice rafts, and ashfall damaged crops on the island of Vavua (56 km away) and fell on vessels up to 950 km distant. In 1939 explosive and effusive activity occurred from summit and flank vents, and water spouts were reported 1.6 km SE of the island. Photo by Paul Taylor (published in Taylor and Ewart, 1997). Caption: GVP

FEWW Comment: Fonualei may be one of the next volcanoes in the Tonga region to erupt in the next 30-90 days.

Ongoing Volcanic Activity:

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.

Elevated Volcanic Activity in the US [Source: USGS]

Mar 25, 2009 at 21:08:47 PDT [PDT is 7 hours behind of Coordinated Universal Time,UTC]

The following U.S. volcanoes are known to be above normal background (elevated unrest or eruptions) or have shown activity that warranted an Information Release (for example, an earthquake swarm).

Volcano Alert Levels & Aviation Color Codes defined at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem.

Volcano Hazards

Redoubt: Alert Level=WATCH. Aviation Color Code=ORANGE. As of Mar 25, 2009, 13:35 ADT

  • No explosions in last 36 hours and seismicity has declined. Possible lava dome growth at the summit. Explosions could resume without much warning.
    (Change to current status occurred on Mar 25, 2009 13:35 ADT from Alert Level WARNING and Aviation Color Code RED )For more information see http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Redoubt.php

Kilauea: Alert Level=WATCH. Aviation Color Code=ORANGE. As of Mar 25, 2009, 07:53 HST

  • Elevated SO2 and some tephra from Halema`uma`u vent; elevated SO2 from Pu`u `O`o vent; lava in tubes to ocean. (Change to current status occurred on Jul 2, 2007 20:09 HST from Alert Level ADVISORY and Aviation Color Code YELLOW ). For more information see http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php

Cleveland: Alert Level=ADVISORY. Aviation Color Code=YELLOW. As of Mar 24, 2009, 12:46 ADT

Mauna Loa: Alert Level=ADVISORY. Aviation Color Code=YELLOW. As of Mar 2, 2009, 15:05 HST

Program Webcams page links to webcams at 19 of the 169 active volcanoes in the U-S.

Posted in ashfall, Chaiten, Fonualei, Kīlauea, volcanism | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Weekly Volcano Watch: 19 March 2009

Posted by feww on March 19, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 11 March – 17 March 2009

Source: SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

VoW: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, Tonga

Tonga Islands 20.57°S, 175.38°W; summit elev. 149 m – submarine volcano

An underwater volcanic eruption near the twin islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai spewed a large column of  off-white smoke into the air. The plume rose to altitudes of about 8 km [possibly as high as 15km.]

tonga-ap
Hunga Ha’apai eruption [March 17-18, 2009] Aerial photo by Trevor Gregory/AP. Source. Image may be subject to copyright.

Observers flying near the area of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (about 62 km NNW of Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga) on 16 or 17 March reported seeing an eruption. Photos showed an eruption plume with a wide base that rose from the sea surface and mixed with meteorological clouds. Based on information from the Tonga airport and analysis of satellite imagery, the Wellington VAAC reported that on 18 March, a plume rose to altitudes of 4.6-7.6 km (15,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

Geologic Summary. The small islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai cap a large seamount located about 30 km SSE of Falcon Island. The two linear andesitic islands are about 2 km long and represent the western and northern remnants of a the rim of a largely submarine caldera lying east and south of the islands. Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai reach an elevation of only 149 m and 128 m above sea level, respectively, and display inward-facing sea cliffs with lava and tephra layers dipping gently away from the submarine caldera. A rocky shoal 3.2 km SE of Hunga Ha’apai and 3 km south of Hunga Tonga marks the most prominent historically active vent. Several submarine eruptions have occurred at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai since the first historical eruption in 1912. GVP reported.


The small islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai cap a large seamount located about 30 km SSE of Falcon Island. The two linear andesitic islands are about 2 km long and represent the western and northern remnants of a the rim of a largely submarine caldera lying east and south of the islands. Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai reach an elevation of only 149 m and 128 m above sea level, respectively, and display inward-facing sea cliffs with lava and tephra layers dipping gently away from the submarine caldera. A rocky shoal 3.2 km SE of Hunga Ha’apai and 3 km south of Hunga Tonga marks the most prominent historically active vent. Submarine eruptions were reported here in 1912 and 1937 and from a fissure 1 km SSE of Hunga Ha’apai in 1988. Aerial photo by Tonga Ministry of Lands, Survey, and Natural Resources, 1991 (published in Taylor and Ewart, 1997). Caption: GVP.


Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano from space. Image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite  on March 18, 2008. “In this image, the area around the eruption appears bright blue-green, likely resulting from sediment suspended in the water. The brilliant white patch at the center of the sediment-rich area may result from vapor released by the volcano. Northwest of the eruption site, a serpentine pumice raft floats on the water. The highly porous nature of pumice enables this volcanic rock to form floating rafts. (A larger pumice raft resulted from a similar eruption in the Tonga Islands in August 2006.).” Earth Observatory said.


A March 18 photo of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption as seen from the Nuku’alofa waterfront. Photo: AP/Matangi Tonga Online. Source. Image may be subject to copyright.

volcanoes-of-tonga
USGS Map of Major Volcanoes of Tonga with the approximate location of
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano marked.


Photo dated
Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Source: Xinhua/AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Video: Underwater volcano erupts off Tonga

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano

Flights were disrupted and airlines alerted after the undersea Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted.  Air New Zealand flights were forced to divert to  avoid  smoke, which reportedly rose to a height of about 15 km, various media reported.

The volcano located about 12km off the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu  is thought to have erupted on Monday. Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai is one of about 40 submarine volcanoes in the area.

It’s thought that the eruption does not pose an immediate threat to the residents because trade winds are blowing the smokes and  gases away from the island.

“It’s a very significant eruption, on quite a large scale.” Said Tonga’s Geological Service Chief, Keleti Mafi.

Rumble III

On March 13, the underwater volcano Rumble III,  located about 300km northeast of Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, was discovered to have undergone a “startling change” losing about 100m of its summit, with the 800m-wide crater completely missing, apparently in a catastrophic explosion.

Metis Shoal

On February 3, FEWW forecast that Metis Shoal, a submarine volcano located midway between the islands of Kao and Late (about 50 km NNE of Kao), was about to erupt, or was currently undergoing a period of unrest.

FEWW moderators believe that both  Metis Shoal, if indeed it has erupted / is erupting, and Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanoes may have been triggered simultaneously.

FEWW List of Forgotten Volcanoes

Ongoing Volcanic Activity:

Elevated Volcanic Activity and Information Releases

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 17:47:50 PDT.

The following U.S. volcanoes are known to be above normal background (elevated unrest or eruptions) or have shown activity that warranted an Information Release (for example, an earthquake swarm).

Times are local to the volcano and in 24-hr format.
Volcano Alert Levels & Aviation Color Codes defined at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem.

Volcano Hazards Program Webcams page links to webcams at 19 of the 169 active volcanoes in the U-S.

Related Links:

Posted in Chaiten, Galeras, Metis Shoal, Redoubt, Rumble III | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Weekly Volcano Watch: 5 March 2009 [Take 2]

Posted by feww on March 5, 2009

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for Thursday, Mar 5, 2009 at 06:40:05 PST

Volcano Hazards Program Webcams page links to webcams at 19 of the 169 active volcanoes in the U-S.

Volcanic Activity Report: 25 February-3 March 2009

Source: SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest:

Volcano of the Week: Jan Mayen


Remote Jan Mayen Island, located in the Norwegian Sea along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge about 650 km NE of Iceland, consists of two volcanic complexes separated by a narrow isthmus. The large Beerenberg basaltic stratovolcano (Nord-Jan) forms the NE end of the 40-km-long island, which is ringed by high cliffs. Beerenberg is a large 2277-m-high glacier-covered stratovolcano with a 1-km-wide summit crater and numerous cinder cones that were erupted along flank fissures. It is composed primarily of basaltic lava flows with minor amounts of tephra. Historical eruptions at Beerenberg date back to the 18th century. The Sor-Jan group of pyroclastic cones and lava domes occupies the SW tip of Jan Mayen. The Holocene Sor-Jan cinder cones, tephra rings, and trachytic lava domes were erupted from short fissures with a NE-SW trend.
Photo by Gernot Hecker, 2005 (Wikimedia Commons). Caption: GVP.

  • Volcano: Jan Mayen
  • Country: Norway
  • Subregion: Jan Mayen Island
  • Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
  • Last Known Eruption: 1985
  • Summit Elevation: 2,277 m (7,470 feet)
  • Latitude: 71.08°N (71°5’0″N)
  • Longitude: 8.17°W (8°10’0″W)


Ongoing Activity:

Posted in Chaiten, Jan Mayen, Kīlauea, Redoubt, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Volcano Watch: 10 February 2009

Posted by feww on February 12, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 4 February – 10 February 2009

Source: SI / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

Volcano of the Week: Popocatépetl

A plume of steam and ash rises above Popocatépetl, whose Aztec name means “Smoking Mountain.” This December 1994 aerial view is of the NE side of the massive stratovolcano, which towers more than 3200 m above the Valley of Mexico to the right.

Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, towers to 5426 m 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America’s 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas south of the volcano. The modern volcano was constructed to the south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 AD, have occurred from Popocatépetl since the mid Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since precolumbian time.  Photo courtesy of ENAPRED, Mexico City, 1994. Caption: GVP

Volcano Name: Volcán Popocatépetl

Country: México

Volcano Type: Stratovolcanoes

Last Known Eruption: 2008 (in or after)

Summit Elevation: 5426 m (17,802 feet)

Latitude:      19.023°N (19°1’24″N)

Longitude: 98.622°W (98°37’20″W)

“CENAPRED reported that emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl were visible during 4-10 February; the plumes occasionally contained slight amounts of ash. On 6 February, an ash plume rose 800 m above the crater at 0839, and was followed by 75 minutes of increased seismicity.” GVP said.

Ongoing Activity:

Posted in Chaiten, Colima, Kīlauea, Redoubt, Volcano Watch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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