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VolcanoWatch Weekly [25 June 2009]

Posted by feww on June 25, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report:  17 June – 23 June 2009

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

New activity/unrest:

Notes:

The eruption from Sarychev Peak that began on 11 June continued through the 19th. Another explosive eruption on 15 June was followed by a plume that extended 360 km NW. Ash clouds from earlier explosions reached 13.7 km (45,000 feet) altitude. Ash emissions continued during 17-18 June.

During 21 June ash plumes from Rinjani rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) and drifted 55 km N. (Source: GVP)

Volcano of the Week: Rabaul Caldera

Rabaul caldera, named after the town of Rabaul (town is built inside the caldera), is a large volcano in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Its Tavurvur  and Vulcan cones erupted in 1994, devastating Rabaul and killing about a dozen people. It’s 1937 eruption killed more than 500 people.

Country: Papua New Guinea
Geographical region: New Britain
Volcano Type: Pyroclastic shield
Last Known Eruption: 2009 (continuing)
Summit Elevation: 688 m  (2,257 feet)
Latitude: 4.271°S  (4°16’15″S)
Longitude: 152.203°E  (152°12’10″E)
Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP)


Tavurvur volcano – part of Rabaul Caldera –– Papua New Guinea. Image Credit and Licensing details.

rabaul_amo_2009093
Rabaul Volcano on the northeastern end of New Britain captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on April 3, 2009 releasing plumes of volcanic ash and steam. NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid (!) Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center.


The low-lying Rabaul caldera on the tip of the Gazelle Peninsula at the NE end of New Britain forms a broad sheltered harbor utilized by what was the island’s largest city prior to a major eruption in 1994. The outer flanks of the 688-m-high asymmetrical pyroclastic shield volcano are formed by thick pyroclastic-flow deposits. The 8 x 14 km caldera is widely breached on the east, where its floor is flooded by Blanche Bay and was formed about 1400 years ago. An earlier caldera-forming eruption about 7100 years ago is now considered to have originated from Tavui caldera, offshore to the north. Three small stratovolcanoes lie outside the northern and NE caldera rims of Rabaul. Post-caldera eruptions built basaltic-to-dacitic pyroclastic cones on the caldera floor near the NE and western caldera walls. Several of these, including Vulcan cone, which was formed during a large eruption in 1878, have produced major explosive activity during historical time. A powerful explosive eruption in 1994 occurred simultaneously from Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes and forced the temporary abandonment of Rabaul city. Photo by Wally Johnson, 1969 (Australia Bureau of Mineral Resources). Caption: GVP).

FEWW expects ongoing activity, punctuated by explosive eruptions by the volcano, for the rest of 2009 and possibly most of 2010.

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 18:14:32 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: Local time: June 24, 2009 1705 AKDT (June 25, 2009 0105 UTC)
The eruption of Redoubt continues. Seismic activity remains low but above background levels.

Related Links:

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