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Archive for the ‘major volcanoes’ Category

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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Cleveland and Kīlauea Remain at ORANGE Alert

Posted by feww on April 6, 2012

Explosion destroys dome in Cleveland summit crater

Sudden explosions of blocks and ash may occur, while the volcano remains active, with the ash clouds rising to above 20,000 feet above sea level, AVO said.

  • Elevation:  5,676 ft (1,730 m)
  • Location: 52.8222° N, 169.945° W
  • Quadrangle: Samalga

Mt Cleveland. Photo taken at 18:00 UTC on 11 Mar 2012 while transiting north through Samalga pass. Several small explosions were detected in days prior to the time of the photo, but very little ash is observed on the upper flanks.  Credit:  Matthew Davis/NOAA.


19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W,
Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1,247 m)
Current Volcano Ale,rt Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Activity Summary for past 24 hours:  The summit continued to inflate slowly while back-to-back DI events and sympathetic summit lava lake oscillations continued. Overnight, glow was visible within the Halema`uma`u gas plume and from sources within Pu`u `O`o crater. To the southeast, surface flows continued to be active on the pali and the coastal plain; there was no ocean entry. Seismic tremor levels were low; gas emissions were elevated: HVO

Kīlauea Volcano.  Active flows continued over a broad area on the coastal plain on April 5, 2012.  “This composite image combines a normal photograph and a thermal image to show the areas of active breakouts. Yellow areas are active flows while red areas are inactive, but still warm, flows. The flow front in the lower right was 1.6 km (1 mile) from the ocean,” HVO said.

Alert Level Increased for Iliamna Volcano, AK

Iliamna Activity – Color Code YELLOW Alert Level ADVISORY

Since January 2012 the earthquake rate at Iliamna Volcano has steadily increased and now exceeds normal background levels.

Iliamna Volcano. View from the SSE of Iliamna showing the prominent NE shoulder fumarole field near the summit. Note glacier disturbance (movement) on the east flank (upper Red Glacier).  Photo: Game McGimsey/AVO/USGS.


Location: Mariana Islands  (18.13 ºN,  145.8 ºE)
Elevation: 570 m
Recent Eruption: 2006
Volcanic Alert Level: ADVISORY
Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

A gas and steam plume continued to extend downwind from the summit vent throughout the past week, but there were no further reports of unrest or activity at Pagan volcano, USGS said.

Other Volcanic Activity/ Unrest (Source: GVP)

New Activity/Unrest:

Ongoing Activity:

Related Links

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Heightened Activity at Kilauea Volcano

Posted by feww on March 7, 2011

New Fissure at  Kilauea Spews Lava 25m into the Air

Sunday, March 6, 2011 6:34 PM HST (Monday, March 7, 2011 04:34 UTC)

19.42°N 155.29°W, Summit Elevation 4,091 ft (1,247 m)
Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Aviation Color Code: RED

HVO said: “A fissure that opened on Kilauea’s east rift zone after yesterday’s collapse of the Pu’u ‘O’o crater floor continues to erupt lava. Activity along the fissure was sporadic overnight and throughout today, with periods of quiet punctuated by episodes of lava spattering up to 25 m (80 ft) high.”

Fire Earth: A new fissure at Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii spatters lava

A close-up of spattering fissure. Credit: HVO. Click image to enlarge.

View looking at the NE end of the actively propagating fissure. Lava is just breaking the surface in foreground crack.  Credit: HVO. Click image to enlarge.

Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses [5 March 2011]

Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses due to magma withdrawal. Incandescent rubble can be seen crumbling and rolling down the scarp. The east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō is in the foreground. Credit: HVO

Several video clips showing wall and rim collapses of Halema`uma`u

There was a series of vent wall and rim collapses on March 3, much like those than occurred in January and February. This video, compiled from the Webcam on the rim of Halema`uma`u above the vent, is one of the larger collapses, and shows the northwest rim of the vent falling into the lava lake. Credit: HVO. Click image to view the video clip.

Click image to view a clip captured by a video camera on the rim of Halema`uma`u to the southwest of the vent, showing a small chunk of the western rim of the vent collapsing into the lava lake.  Credit: HVO.

Archive image of lava from a previous eruption at Kilauea Volcano.  Credit: HVO

Source: [ Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection]

Map showing the extent of the “July 2007 eruption”, or Episode 58, flow field relative to surrounding communities. Reddish-brown is the active flow as mapped on January 13, 2011, while bright red shows the advancement of the flow from January 13-February 4. Light red represents older flows erupted during Episode 58 of the ongoing East Rift Zone eruption. Episode 58 started in July 2007. Flows erupted during 1983-2007 are shown in more muted colors and labeled with the years in which they were active. Click image to enlarge. Credit: HVO

Map showing the extent of the active flows. Reddish-brown is the flow as mapped on February 4, 2011, while bright red shows the advancement of the flow from January 13-February 4. Small ocean entries remains active at the front of both the western and eastern branches of the flow. Light red represents older flows erupted during Episode 58 of the ongoing East Rift Zone eruption. Episode 58 started in July 2007. Lava erupted while Kupaianaha was active from 1986-1992 (Episode 48) is shown in light yellow. Click image to enlarge. Credit: HVO

The Big Island, Hawaii

The Island of Hawaiʻi (the Big Island or Hawaiʻi Island) is a volcanic island With an area of 4,028 square miles (10,432 km²), it is the largest island in the United States and larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined.

The Island of Hawaiʻi is built from five separate shield volcanoes that erupted somewhat sequentially, one overlapping the other. These are (from oldest to youngest):

  • Kohala (dormant),
  • Mauna Kea (dormant),
  • Hualālai (dormant),
  • Mauna Loa (active, partly within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park), and
  • Kīlauea (very active; part of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park).

This simulated true-color image of the island of Hawai’i was derived from data gathered by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) on the Landsat 7 satellite between 1999 and 2001. Image: NASA/NOAA

The lava fountain on shield 3 (12-15 m high). USGS Archive image.

Related Links:

Other Volcano News:

New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu crater lake has heated up to 40ºC, reported to be the lake’s third-highest temperature rise in 10 years.

HVO Links:

Kīlauea Update | Mauna Loa Status | Deformation | Maps | Webcams | Images | Movies

Kīlauea Summit

Halema`uma`u, Kīlauea Volcano
Halema`uma`u from HVO
Halema`uma`u from Overlook, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii
Halema`uma`u from Overlook
Kīlauea East Rift Zone

Pu`u `Ō `ō, Kīlauea Volcano
Pu`u `Ō `ō
Thanksgiving Eve Breakout From Pu`u `Ō `ō
Thanksgiving Eve Breakout From Pu`u `Ō `ō
Napau Crater, Kīlauea Volcano
Napau Crater
Mauna Loa Summit

Mokuawe`owe`o, Mauna Loa Summit Caldera
Mokuawe`owe`o, Mauna Loa Summit Caldera

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Week 37 Volcano Watch

Posted by feww on September 18, 2008

10 September-16 September 2008

New Activity/Unrest:

Bagana, Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea

(September 16, 2008 ) Darwin VAAC analysis of satellite imagery revealed low-level ash plume from Bagana rising to an altitude of 2.4 km a.s.l., drifting SW.

More information and a Geologic Summary of Bagana


Latitude: 6°8’24″S, Longitude: 155°11’42″E

Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia’s youngest and most active volcanoes. Bagana is a massive symmetrical, roughly 1750-m-high lava cone largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire lava cone could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity at Bagana is frequent and is characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50-m-thick with prominent levees that descend the volcano’s flanks on all sides. (Image and caption: Global Volcanic Program. Image may be subject to copyright.)

Map of the Region. Credit: USGS

Ongoing 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.

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