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Archive for the ‘Volcano Hazards’ Category

Chaparrastique Eruption Forces Mass Evacuations in El Salvador

Posted by feww on December 30, 2013

Chaparrastique volcano eruption prompts evacuation of hundreds of communities

Civil protection authorities in El Salvador have imposed a 5-km exclusion zone around the San Miguel volcano, aka Chaparrastique, and are evacuating up to 5,000 villagers that live near the volcano.

The 2,130-m high volcano,  El Salvador’s third highest, ejected columns of smoke and ash up to 5km above the summit.

Chaparrastique, located about  15km SW of San Miguel city (population: 180,000), showed signs of increased activity on December 13.

The eruption has so far deposited more than 10cm of ash in the nearby areas within the coffee-producing region, officials said.

CHAPARRASTIQUE erupts 29-12-13
Chaparrastique erupts. Screen dump from a local news report timed at about 10:30 am local time December 29, 2013.

El Salvador

El Salvador sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire, close to Middle America Trench, and is subject to significant tectonic movement, causing frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. The tiny country (population: 6.3 million) is home to at least 23 volcanoes.

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Popocatepetl Volcano Alert Level Raised

Posted by feww on July 7, 2013

Popocatepetl peppers Mexico City with ash, airlines suspend flights

Increased level of explosive activity at Popocatepetl prompts Mexican authorities to raise the volcano warning to the third-highest level on the center’s seven-step scale.

Several airlines have reportedly suspended flights into Mexico City after ash from the massive volcano fell on the the capital and nearby towns.

Popocatepetl ejects volcanic blocks, July 5, 2013. Source: CENAPRED

Latest Bulletin:  July 06 15:00 h (July 05, 20:00 GMT)

Because of the increased activity of the Popocatepetl volcano, the National Coordination of Civil Protection (CNPC) of the Ministry of Interior (SEGOB), the National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) and Scientific Advisory Committee determined in agreement, to raise the volcanic alert level from yellow phase 2 to yellow phase 3.

The Volcanic Alert Level is at Yellow, Phase 3.

p0705139 - 2
Explosive activity at Popocatepetl summit crater-
July 5, 2013. Source: CENAPRED

activity at Popocatepetl, viewed from TLAMACAS station –  July 5, 2013.  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.

Earlier bulletin  177 SEGOB – Posted July 06 11:00 h (July 05, 16:00 GMT)

In the last 24 hours monitoring system Popocatepetl volcano has registered 20 hours and low to high frequency tremor, accompanied by a persistent emission of a column of gas and ash that reached 3 kilometer height, northwest direction. Additionally the monitoring system has registered 4 hours of high intensity harmonic tremor. There were also 3 explosive events of moderate magnitude, the most important of which was presented this morning at 00:33 h. Due to weather conditions due to the weather it was not possible to observe the volcano during these events. However, in the early hours of the morning the continuous emission of gases and ash that reached more than 2 miles high and heading northwest was observed. (see image 1).

The Volcanic Alert Level is at Yellow, Phase 2.

CENAPRED places particular emphasis in the following recommendations:

1. Access is restricted within a radius of 12 km from the crater. Permanence in this area is not allowed.

2. The road between Santiago Xalitzintla (Puebla) and San Pedro Nexapa (Mexico State), including Paso de Cortes, is open only to controlled traffic.


Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Volcano Hazards, Volcano News, Volcano Watch | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mount Aso Explodes

Posted by feww on May 18, 2011

Japan’s Largest Active Volcano Erupts

Mount Aso exploded on Tuesday May 17 at 19:09UTC, prompting Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) to raise the volcanic alert level for the volcano to 2.

Officials in Kumamoto Prefecture, home to the volcano, have imposed a 1 km exclusion zone around the 1,060m high Mt Naka, also warning of ejecta hazards, Kyodo news agency reported.

The central cone group of Aso hosts five peaks: Eboshi, Kishima, Naka, Neko, and Taka.

The explosive eruption followed minor activity  at the volcano on Friday and a small eruption on Sunday.

Another small  eruption on Monday resulted in a column of smoke and ash ejected 500m above the summit at about 10:am local time.

Mount Aso’s Naka dake volcano in Aso Kujū National Park, Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan, 17 Aug 2009.  Credit:  Igorberger

Current Volcanic Warnings (Japan, Island of Kyushu)

Asosan’s Mt Naka is at warning level 2:  Do not approach the crater. Mt Kirishima and Mt Sakurajima are currently at warning level 3: Do not approach the volcano  Source: JMA (copyrighted, for educational use only.)

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The Fiery Line Between Life and NO LIFE!

Posted by feww on March 9, 2011

Volcanic Eruptions 

Image of the Day

The Devil is in the details

A source spatters lava on the east wall of Kilauea Volcano’s Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater. Credit: HVO.  Click image to enlarge.

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HVO Links:

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

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VolcanoWatch Weekly [20 May 2010]

Posted by feww on May 20, 2010

Summary of Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

[Source: SI/USGS]

New Activity/Unrest (12 May-18 May 2010)

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

Ongoing Activity:

For additional information, see source.

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FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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Recent Posts on Chaitén:

Posted in environment, volcano, Volcano Hazards, Volcano News, Volcano Watch | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano: ASTER data

Posted by feww on April 24, 2010

ASTER data of Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

The following data have been acquired by the ASTER instrument on the NASA Terra satellite, and posted on Internet by University of Pittsburgh volcanologist Michael Ramsey. The data were collected both day and night. ASTER acquires data in the visible/near infrared (VNIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) during day time overpasses and in the TIR at night. The VNIR images are at 15 m/pixel resolution and the TIR are 90 m/pixel (each image covers approximately 60 km by 60 km).

Eyjafjallajokull Eruption Day time visible/near infrared image (13.5 MB) dated April 19, 2010.

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Serial No 1,618. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in eyjafjalla, Eyjafjallajökull, Eyjafjallajökull eruption, Iceland volcano, iceland volcanoes, magma, Volcano Hazards, Volcanology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

VolcanoWatch Weekly [2 July 2009]

Posted by feww on July 3, 2009

VoW: Yellowstone Volcano

Location: 44.43°N 110.67°W
Summit Elevation:  2,805 m
Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Remote sensor imagery of Yellowstone Caldera. Source: a frame-freeze picture from Yellowstone Volcano Due To Erupt

The rim of the Yellowstone Caldera.  Source ESA (mirrored from

What’s brewing under the old rocks?

  • Earthquake swarms are common at Yellowstone.
  • Increased seismic activity at Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park  in late December 2008 decreasing  since January 8, 2009.
  • Seismic activity  could continue.
  • The recent swarm is well above typical activity at Yellowstone, but  not unprecedented.
  • Earthquake swarms within the Yellowstone caldera typically occur with magnitudes of about 4.0.
  • A swarm with about 3,000 events occurred in 1985 on the northwest rim of the caldera, lasting for three months, with largest earthquakes up to M4.9  recorded. (Source: Volcanoes USGS )

Yellowstone Lake showing location and times of the recent earthquakes from Dec. 27, 2008 (blue) to Jan. 8, 2009 (red). The M 3.0 and greater earthquakes are shown as stars, the smaller earthquakes are shown as circles. During the swarm, the earthquake locations appear to have moved north. For more information on the depths of the earthquakes, see the cross section from X to X’ below.
(Source: Volcanoes USGS/ YVO )

The depth versus location of the Yellowstone Lake earthquake swarm from X to X’ on the Yellowstone Lake map. Earthquakes are shown from Dec. 27, 2008 (blue) to
Jan. 8, 2009 (red). The M 3.0 and greater earthquakes are shown as stars, the smaller earthquakes are shown as circles.  (Source: Volcanoes USGS
/ YVO )

Number of reviewed Yellowstone Lake earthquakes in six-hour and three-hour intervals from 12/27/08 to 01/06/09. The green line on the left figure gives the cumulative
number of earthquakes; the steep slopes correspond to increase in earthquake number. The red line in the figure on the right gives the cumulative moment, or energy; its sharp increase in the first few days is due to a greater number of large earthquakes with their greater energy release. The total cumulative moment is equivalent in energy to about one M 4.5 earthquake. Click on the image for a full-size version.
(Source: Volcanoes USGS/ YVO )

What causes earthquakes at Yellowstone?

USGS / YVO cite a combination of geological factors including:

  • Regional stress associated with normal faults such as the nearby Teton and Hebgen Lake faults
  • Magmatic movements at depth (>7 kms)
  • Hydrothermal fluid activity caused by boiling groundwater which is heated by magma.

However,  YVO has not reported any anomalous changes in hot springs discharges, gas emissions …

In 2004 the Yellowstone caldera underwent period of accelerated uplift, clocking 7 cm/yr, or three times  faster than  in the recorded history; however the movement has now slowed down to  a maximum rate of 4 cm/yr (or about 175 % of the pre-2004 records.)

The uplift is most noticeable at the White Lake GPS station, as has been discussed in our monthly YVO updates during the past year. As of late October 2007, the total uplift since 2004 at that location is about 17 cm. Chang and his colleagues credit the relatively rapid rise to recharge of magma into the giant magma chamber that underlies the Yellowstone Caldera. They also used numerical modeling to infer that the magma intruded about 10 km (6 miles) beneath the surface.

This interferogram provides a map view of ground movements at Yellowstone. Each color contour represents a line of equal uplift relative to the ENVISAT satellite between Sept. 2004 and Aug. 2006. The center of the uplift is an elliptical region stretching from the northeastern part of the Yellowstone Caldera (the dashed black line) to the southwest. This area of maximum uplift encompasses both Yellowstone’s resurgent domes, features long known for similar movements. During this time period, the north-rim uplift anomaly subsided (bullseye in the upper left part of the interferogram). The yellow lines are roads. The yellow triangles are locations of GPS stations with continuous data. The light blue lake within the caldera is Yellowstone Lake. Thin black lines are mapped faults. Figure courtesy of C. Wicks, USGS. Caption: USGS / YVO

Yellowstone caldera Map. USGS   Click Image to Enlarge.

Source: USGS

Source: Yellowstone National Park.


USGS / YVO: “At this time, there is no reason to believe that magma has risen to a shallow level within the crust or that a volcanic eruption is likely. ”

FEWW: Perhaps, a new mindset is needed to help understand the true nature, “utility function” and full range of  all possible scenarios that might occur at the super volcano site. Let’s start looking at Yellowstone in the Big Picture frame.  There may be a few sobering “surprises” in store!

Volcanic Activity Report: 24 June-30 June 2009

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

New activity/unrest:

NOTE: A small explosive eruption of Cleveland on 25 June prompted AVO to raise the Volcano Alert Level to Watch and the Aviation Color Code to Orange. An ash cloud that detached from the volcano was seen on satellite imagery moving S at an estimated altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. No further activity was reported. On 27 June, AVO lowered the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow. (Source: GVP)

Ongoing Activity:

Latest U.S. Volcano Alerts and Updates for July 03, 2009 0040 UTC

  • Redoubt Activity – Color Code YELLOW : Alert Level ADVISORY

  • Kilauea Activity  –  Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

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

  • 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.

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