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Archive for the ‘active volcano’ Category

Piton de la Fournaise Eruption Caught on Video

Posted by feww on August 3, 2015

Reunion island volcano erupts for three days

The eruption prompted evacuation on Friday, as rivers of lava rolled down the slopes of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano.

A World Heritage Site, Piton de la Fournaise is  one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

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Colima Volcano Erupts, Hundreds Evacuated in W. Mexico

Posted by feww on July 12, 2015

Hundreds evacuated, airport closed as Colima volcano ejects large amounts of ash into the air

Colima volcano is behaving “atypically,” showing signs similar to a major eruption in 1913, said Mexico’s interior ministry.

The 1913 eruption, the largest on record since  1576, lasted for 5 days between January 20 and 24.

About 800 residents within a 12-km radius of the volcano have been evacuated. The authorities have also closed the airport in the state of Colima, due to the large amounts of volcanic ash “falling in the area,” said reports.

The volcano began erupting early Thursday and became increasingly active, spewing lava and large amounts of ash.

Colima, kla, Volcán de Fuego [“Volcano of Fire,”] is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico. It is also potentially the most hazardous volcano in the country, with more than 300,000 people living within a 40-km radius of the mountain.

Recent volcanic eruptions leading to mass evacuations

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Thousands Flee Mount Sinabung Eruption

Posted by feww on September 16, 2013

Mount Sinabung records first eruption in 3 years

Thousands of people from 12 villages near the volcano located in North Sumatra’s Karo regency were forced to flee their homes after Mount Sinabung erupted on Sunday, it’s first eruption since 2010, reports said.

The volcano erupted at at 2:45 a.m. local time and continued to eject volcanic matter for at least 7 hours.

“There is the potential for another eruption; therefore, we are calling on people to remain alert,” said the Geological Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Center (PVMBG).

Mt Sinabung erupted in August 2010 after 410 years of dormancy. The eruption claimed a dozen lives and displaced thousands of others.

The eruption which occurred on August 29, 2010 was followed by a more powerful explosion the next day, and much stronger blast on September 7, 2010.

Mount Sinabung -ANTARA
Mount Sinabung spewing volcanic ashes as seen from Simpang Empat Village in Karo, North Sumatera (9/15). Credit:  ANTARA/Septianda Perdana. 


Approximate location of Sinabung is marked  on the map by FEWW.
Mount Sinabung is one of Indonesia’s 130  active volcanoes

Sinabung Volcano: Summary of Details

Country: Indonesia
Region: Sumatra
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
Volcano Status: Holocene
Last Known Eruption: Unknown [1600?]
Summit Elevation: 2,460
m
Latitude: 3.17°N
Longitude: 98.392°E
Source: GVP

Sinabung is located in Group K Volcanoes


Map of Volcanoes.
Background Map: University of Michigan. Designed and enhanced by Fire Earth Blog. Click image to enlarge.

The PVMBG categorizes Sinabung as a type A volcano, or those that have erupted since 1600. Type B volcanoes have not erupted since 1600 but show signs of activity, and type C are those that have not erupted in recorded history, said a report.

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Mount Rokatenda Erupts, Kills 6 People

Posted by feww on August 10, 2013

Restive Mount Rokatenda on Palue, Indonesia, finally erupts

Mount Rokatenda, located on the small island of Palue about 2,000km east of Jakarta, erupted spewing ash and rocks more than 2,000 meter into the air.

Hot ash and lava from the eruption fell on a nearby beach, killing at least 6 people including 2 children, officials said.

Rokatenda has been restive since last October, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of villagers.

The eruption started at 04:27 on Saturday (20:27 UTC Friday) and lasted for about 4 hours, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

=================

Mount Rokatenda is one of about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands. Much of the country sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an area crisscrossed by numerous fault lines and prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.

Mount Merapi’s 2010 eruption in central Java left up to 400 people dead and more than 250,000 others displaced.

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ETNA Erupts Spectacularly

Posted by feww on February 20, 2013

Vulcan, the god of fire, signals 2013 intentions

Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano, erupted spectacularly shooting a fountain of fire into the air.


Video by Klaus Dorschfeldt

Italy’s highest and most voluminous volcano, Mt Etna stands 3,333 tall overlooking Catania, Sicily’s second largest city.

Repeated eruptive episodes at Etna, including intermittent emissions of small quantities of ash have been observed from both the New Southeast Crater (NSEC) and Bocca Nuova Crater since February 2, 2013, GVP cited  Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.

Related Links

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February 20, 2013 – DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,116 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,116 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in active volcano, Global Volcanism, Most Active Volcano, Mt Etna, Mt Etna eruption, Significant Event Imagery, significant events, significant geophysical disturbances, volcano, volcano eruprted | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Popocatépetl Volcano Erupts Explosively

Posted by feww on April 18, 2012

‘El Popo’ forecast: Large-scale explosions, high probability of incendiary fragments and ash showers

Mexican authorities have raised the alert level for the Popocatepetl southeast of Mexico City following recent activity. The volcano’s eruption in 2000 forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from the three states that surround the volcano in central Mexico.


Popocatépetl Volcano (“smoking mountain” in Aztec) is North America’s 2nd-highest volcano. The massive stratovolcano stands 5,450m high and lies about 65 kilometers (40 miles)  southeast of  Mexico City (19.023°N, 98.622°W ) in the eastern segment of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. Mexico’s Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) has warned of large scale explosions, with high probability of  incendiary fragments and ash showers. Image source:  CENAPRED, Mexico.

A lava dome is growing in the volcano’s crater, CENAPRED said in a recent bulletin. The massive volcano also has been ejecting incandescent fragments and ash, and spewing steam and volcanic gasses.

The volcano is expected to experience “significant explosions with growing intensity, hurling incandescent rocks significant distances,” with a high probability of ash showers, the center said.  Adding that local residents should expect possible flows of lava and lahar down the volcano’s flanks.

The following is the latest bulletin issued by CENAPRED

Abr 18 07:00 (12:00 Abr 18 GMT)

At 06:35 h (local time), the monitoring system recorded the beginning of an exhalation sequence with tremor, that continues at the moment of this report. The first exhalation of this sequence had an explosive component. It generated the emission of incandescent fragments over the north and northeast flanks at distances of 500-800 m (see image 1) and a dense plume of steam, gases and ash (see image 2). The incandescent fragments fall over the snow and generated a small water and ash flow.

Likely, ash fall will occur over the villages in the eastern and southeastern sectors of the volcano.

During the 12 previous hours the monitoring system registered 6 low intensity exhalations, accompanied by steam, gas and small amount of ash. The most important occurred at 00:46 h y 04:59 h (see image 3), which increased the incandescence over the crater rim.

During the night the cloudy conditions doesn##t allow to observe the volcano. During the early morning the volcano could be seen with a continuous emission of steam and gas, that increased the amounts of ash and the density since 06:36 h.

The traffic light alert signal remains in Yellow Phase 3. This level implies:

1. Announcing the situation and measures taken to the public and the media. 2. Prepare personnel, equipment and evacuation shelters. 3. Implement specific measures in the most vulnerable. 4. Implement preventive measures against ash fall, lahars and against fragments in vulnerable regions. 5. Alert air navigation systems. 6. Limit access to the volcano over a larger area.

See also:

Related Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Etna Erupts Explosively

Posted by feww on April 14, 2012

Mt Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, erupted for the sixth time this year

Etna’s spectacular eruption, which began Thursday, is the 24th explosion since January 2011.


Etna erupted explosively for the 6th time so far this year. Freeze frame from an AP news video clip.


Mount Etna (37.734°N, 15.004°E) is Europe’s highest volcano, towering 3,330m above Catania, Sicily’s second largest city. Photo by Jean-Claude Tanguy, 1991 (University of Paris). Source: GVP.

  • News video clips show large volumes of lava and plumes of smoke and ash being ejected from a new crater on the volcano’s southeast flank.
  • The massive volcano is located about 15km from the village of Zafferana Etnea and 30km from Catania, Sicily’s second largest city.
  • Etna boasts  one of the world’s longest documented records of activity, with its historical volcanism dating back to 1500 BC.
  • The latest eruption which began on Thursday is the 24th in a series that started in January 2011. The last three eruption have occurred in 12-day intervals.
  • Also known as the “the Mountain of Fire,” the basaltic stratovolcano covers an area of about 1,200km2.
  • The Mongibello is in near constant state of activity.
  • More than a quarter of Sicily’s population lives on the slopes of Mount Etna.

Related Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

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Mt Etna Erupts

Posted by feww on July 20, 2011

Sicilian volcano erupts for the seventh time this year

Mt Etna’s latest eruption Tuesday night (UTC) forced the authorities to close the Catania’s Fontanarossa International Airport.

The volcano ejected fountains of lava up to 500 meters into the air, according to local reports.

There was no ash fallout as of posting, and the air port was reportedly reopened 6 hours later.

The authorities have warned nearby residents that more eruptions could occur without warning.

Mt Etna (summit elevation: 3,333m) is one of the world’s most active volcanoes.


Europe’s largest and most active volcano lights up the Sicilian night with a fountain and cascade of lava [Jan 11, 2011]. Image credit: ANSA. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Mount Lokon Eruption Forces 6,000 to Evacuate

Posted by feww on July 17, 2011

UPDATE Posted @ 12:35UTC

Violent eruption at Mt Lokon sent a massive plume of smoke and ash into the air about 3,500-meters above the Tompaluan crater

According to local reports residents were returning to their homes along the mountain’s slopes, when the eruption occurred. The force of Sunday explosion however send them scurrying back into emergency shelters.

An estimated 30,000 villagers live within a 3.5-km evacuation zone which was established on Sulawesi Island a week ago.


Mount Lokon’s eruption seen from Tomohon, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 14, 2011. Image Credit: Jakarta Post/ANN. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Latest Lokon-Empung eruptions eject ash plume 800m into the air

Mt Lokon erupted at least 3 times on Saturday spewing thick plume of grey ash and volcanic fumes above the Tompaluan crater, located between the Lokon-Empung peaks.

Alert Level  raised to 4 by Indonesia’s CVGHM  has remained at the maximum level since July 11 eruption, when the volcano ejected ash about 5km above the crater summit.

Mount Lokon, one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, is located about 20 km from North Sulawesi provincial capital of Manado.

“Historical eruptions have primarily produced small-to-moderate ash plumes that have occasionally damaged croplands and houses, but lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows have also occurred.” GVP said.

Lokon-Empung Summary of Details 

Country/ Region: Indonesia (Sulawesi)
Summit Elevation: 1,580 m
Coordinates: 1.358°N, 124.792°E


The twin volcanoes Lokon and Empung rise above the towns of Kakaskasen and Kinilow as viewed from the flanks of Mahawu volcano. The more prominent Lokon volcano (left), is higher than Empung volcano (right) and lacks a summit crater. Most historical eruptions from Lokon-Empung, one of the most active volcanoes on Sulawesi Island, have originated from Tompaluan crater, which can be seen surrounded by fresh ash deposits in the saddle between the two peaks. Gunung Tetawiran rises beyond the saddle. Photo by Agus Solihin, 1998 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia); caption by GVP.


A Map of Listed Volcanoes of Indonesia.

Latest Volcanic Eruptions/ Activities

Ongoing Activity:

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Kamchatka Volcanoes The Fat Lady?

Posted by feww on December 24, 2010

Kamchatka Volcanoes May Be Instrumental to the ‘Epilogue’

Activity at Kamchatka Volcanoes Could Increase Dramatically in the Period Leading to Collapse

There are about 165 volcanoes on Kamchatka Peninsula, 29 of which are still active. About 120 of the volcanoes are believed to have erupted during the Holocene Epoch (approximately 12,000 years ago to present time).


Klyuchevskaya, the highest and most active volcano on Kamchatka peninsula, ejects a thin plume of steam and ash on December 23, 2010, when this false-color image was taken by the ASTER instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite. Source: NASA-EO


ISS astronaut photograph of volcanoes on Kamchatka Peninsula (
ISS025-E-17440) was acquired on November 19, 2010. Source: NASA-EO

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FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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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 »

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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Weekly Volcano Watch: 16 April 2009

Posted by feww on April 16, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 8 April – 14 April 2009

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

New activity/unrest:

VoW: Kaba

Country:  Indonesia
Region:  Sumatra
Volcano Type:  Stratovolcano
Last Known Eruption: 2000
Summit Elevation:  1,952 m (6,404 feet)
Latitude: 3.52°S (3°31’0″S)
Longitude: 102.62°E (102°37’0″E)

Data Source: GVP

Kaba3
Mt. Kaba. Image Source: Mountain. Image may be subject to copyright.


Kaba, a twin volcano with Mount Hitam, has an elongated summit crater complex dominated by three large historically active craters trending ENE from the summit to the upper NE flank. The SW-most crater of 1952-m-high Gunung Kaba, Kawah Lama, is the largest. Most historical eruptions have affected only the summit region of the volcano. They mostly originated from the central summit craters, although the upper-NE flank crater Kawah Vogelsang also produced explosions during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Photo by Setiadarma, 1989 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia). Caption: GVP.

Ongoing Activity:

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Chaitén: Volcano with a Mission?

Posted by feww on January 22, 2009

Dormant for 9,500 years, Chaitén recalled to service by nature

Continuing Activity at Chaitén Volcano

Chaitén Volcano, southern Chile, 42.833°S, 72.646°W; summit elev. 1122 m. False-color images: Red indicates vegetation; deep blue water and off-white is the plume from the volcano. Image: Earth Observatory. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured the above image of Chaitén Volcano on January 19, 2009. the two versions of the image posted here are (uppermost) a close-up view, and (top) a view with the surrounding area.

1. After about 9,500 years of dormancy, as if recalled to service by nature, Chile’s Chaitén Volcano erupted violently on May 2, 2008.  The volcano has since continued intermittent activity,  spewing plumes of ash and steam into the atmosphere and ejecting pumice across Patagonia.

2. Lahars from the volcano inundated a coastal town of the same name (population 4,300), whose inhabitants were evacuated last year.

3. Chile’s  SERNAGEOMIN reported an increase in Chaitén’s seismic activity  during 9-12 January, global Volcanism said. “The unstable slopes of Domo Nuevo 2 and spine collapses continued to produce block-and-ash flows. Based on SIGMET notices, analysis of satellite imagery, and web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 15, 17, 19, and 20 January ash plumes rose to altitudes 1.5-2.1 km (5,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, and SE. A small thermal anomaly was detected in satellite imagery on 19 January.”

4. “When the Philippine’s Mount Pinatubo erupted in June 1991, it was a tremendous, explosive eruption that buried the surrounding countryside in a thick layer of ash and mud and pumped a cloud of ash and gas high into the atmosphere. Sulfur dioxide rose high into the stratosphere 34 kilometers above Earth’s surface and circled the globe. The gas combined with water to form a fog-like screen of sulfate aerosols that shielded Earth’s surface like a giant shade, and for more than a year the global average temperature dropped by 0.5 degrees Celsius.” EO said.

5. When Chaiten erupted on May 2, 2008, some experts beileved that it was unlikely that it would have an effect on global temperatures.

6. Firstly, Chaiten did not released a large amount of sulfate aerosols into the atmosphere.

7. Secondly, its location was unfavorable. Because it was located in southern Chile far from the equator, its impact would be limited. “Most of the volcanoes that have influenced global temperatures are located in the center of the globe near the equator. Winds in the stratosphere in the tropics quickly circulate sulfate aerosols around the globe. By contrast, stratospheric winds near the poles tend to push sulfate aerosols towards the poles and towards the surface, limiting the area influenced by the aerosols.” EO said.

8. Chaiten was therefore deemed as unlikely to influence global temperatures even if the sulfur dioxide coming from the volcano were higher.

9. However, as Chaiten continues to remain active, it would only be a matter of time before its full impact on the climate is known.

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