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Archive for the ‘Pyroclastic flow’ Category

Mount Merapi Eruption Satellite Image

Posted by feww on November 16, 2010

Merapi NOT Consulted about the Golf Course

Large pyroclastic flow runs along Gendol River south of Mt Merapi


This false-color satellite image from the ASTER instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite shows evidence of a large pyroclastic flow along the Gendol River south of Mount Merapi. Light gray volcanic deposits (either from pyroclastic flows or lahars) fill the course of the Gendol. Just north of the Merapi Golf Course (light red feature) is a much wider area where a pyroclastic flow spread across the landscape, causing almost total devastation. Within this dark gray area, most of the trees were knocked down and the ground was coated by ash and rock. The flow deposits are largely surrounded by healthy vegetation, colored bright red. A light gray ash plume extends the west of the volcano, guided by the prevailing winds. Near the plume, heavy ashfall has coated the fields and forests, coloring them dull red to gray. Image and caption: NASA E-O. Click image to enlarge. Download large image (2 MB, JPEG)

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Montserrat: What Next?

Posted by feww on December 13, 2009

Uncertain Future for Montserrat Island

Montserrat island could become completely uninhabitable by 2013 or earlier

Based on the pattern of volcanic activity at Soufriere Hills volcano since 1995, evidence of increased volcanism globally and a number of other  factors, the FEWW EarthModel forecasts the probability of Montserrat island becoming completely uninhabitable as follows:

Probability of Montserrat Becoming Uninhabitable in the Near Future

  • 2009 ≥ 50%
  • 2010 ≥ 56%
  • 2011 ≥ 60%
  • 2012 ≥ 70%
  • 2013 ≥ 80%

Montserrat Island Details:

  • Capital:
    • Plymouth (destroyed in 1997- see photo below)
    • Brades (de facto)
  • Location: Montserrat Island
  • Coordinates: (16.72 N, 62.18 W)
  • Height: 915 meters (3,010 feet)
  • Official languages:     English
  • Ethnic groups:     West African, Mulatto, British, Irish
  • Government:     British Overseas Territory
  • Area:   102 km²  (39 sq mi )


View E across ash-covered Plymouth, the former capital city and major port of Montserrat, toward Soufriere Hills volcano.
Before the volcano became active in July 1995, about 5,000 people lived in Plymouth, located 4 km west of English’s Crater. During the first two years of the eruption, ash and noxious gas from explosions and pyroclastic flows frequently settled on Plymouth. On August 3, about 3 weeks after this image was taken, the first significant pyroclastic flow swept through the evacuated town. The flow triggered many fires and caused extensive damage to buildings and community facilities by direct impact and burial.
Date: 12 July 1997. Credit: R.P. Hoblitt/ USGS.


Political map of Caribbean islands.

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Posted in FEWW Volcanic Forecast, HUMAN EHANCED NATURAL DISASTERS, Pyroclastic flow, volcanic activity | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Dynamic Duo Volcanoes Erupt

Posted by feww on December 12, 2009

Nicaragua’s Volcán Concepción spewed smoke and ash into the air

Nicaragua’s Concepcion volcano erupted Saturday spewing smoke into the air and showering ash on nearby villages. Nicaragua’s Ineter geophysics agency has alerted the authorities about the possibility of further eruptions.

Dozens of mud structures in the area were damaged and a dozen people injured in 2005 episode of seismic activity at Volcán Concepción.


Volcán Concepción is one of Nicaragua’s highest and most active volcanoes. The symmetrical basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano forms the NW half of the dumbbell-shaped island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua and is connected to neighboring Madera volcano by a narrow isthmus. A steep-walled summit crater is 250 m deep and has a higher western rim. N-S-trending fractures on the flanks of the volcano have produced chains of spatter cones, cinder cones, lava domes, and maars located on the NW, NE, SE, and southern sides extending in some cases down to Lake Nicaragua. Concepción was constructed above a basement of lake sediments, and the modern cone grew above a largely buried caldera, a small remnant of which forms a break in slope about halfway up the north flank. Frequent explosive eruptions during the past half century have increased the height of the summit significantly above that shown on current topographic maps and have kept the upper part of the volcano unvegetated. Photo by Jaime Incer. Caption by GVP

Volcán Concepción Details

Last Known Eruption: 2007
Summit Elevation: 1,700? m  (5,577 feet)
Latitude: 11.538°N  (11°32’16″N)
Longitude: 85.622°W (85°37’21″W)
Source: GVP

Meanwhile

Soufrière Hills Volcano spewed pyroclastic debris, forcing evacuations of Zone C

MVO raised the Hazard Level to 4 on 10 December, making  Zone C off limit, and allowing only daytime access  to Zone B.


Soufrière Hills Volcano in Montserrat spews ash into the air.

MVO had previously reported high level of activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano citing ” nine hundred and fifty seven rockfall signals, two hundred and seven long period events, three volcano tectonic and one hundred and six hybrid earthquakes recorded. Activity has continued in cycles although these cycles have become more irregular in time in the last few days.”

“Pyroclastic flow and rockfall activity has been concentrated on the northern side of the volcano.” It also reported  large pyroclastic flows from Tuitt’s Ghaut, onto Farrell’s plain and into Tyers Ghaut, with many runout distances  reaching 2 km from the lava dome.

“At around 6:40 am on 10 December there was a notably large seismic signal recorded associated with a relatively large pyroclastic flow down Tyers Ghaut. This flow had a runout distance of 3.5 km, stopping just beyond the west end of Lee’s village.” MVO said.


Ash and Steam Plume, Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. Gray deposits including pyroclastic flows and lahars are visible extending from the volcano toward the coastline. Credit NASA. Astronaut photograph ISS021-E-5555 was acquired on October 11, 2009.

Soufrière Hills became active in 1995  and has since continued to erupt rendering more than half of Montserrat island uninhabitable, burying the capital city, Plymouth, and prompting widespread evacuations.  On June 25, 1997 the volcano erupted, killing 19 people and prompting about 60 percent of the population (about 8,000 refugees) to leave the island.

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