VOLCANO: SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 12-18 August 2009

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SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 12-18 August 2009
From:  Sally Kuhn Sennert <KUHNS@xxxxxx>
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SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
12-18 August 2009
URL: http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/
 
 
New Activity/Unrest: | Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Koryaksky, Eastern Kamchatka | Pagan, Mariana Islands (Central Pacific) | Reventador, Ecuador | Talang, Sumatra (Indonesia)
 
Ongoing Activity: | Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia) | Chaitén, Southern Chile | Dukono, Halmahera | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Popocatépetl, México | Rabaul, New Britain | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Ubinas, Perú
 
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. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.
 
Note: Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.
 
 
New Activity/Unrest
 
 
KLIUCHEVSKOI Central Kamchatka (Russia) 56.057°N, 160.638°E; summit elev. 4835 m
 
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 17 August an eruption from Kliuchevskoi produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l.
 
Geologic Summary. Kliuchevskoi is Kamchatka's highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 7,000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4,835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. More than 100 flank eruptions, mostly on the NE and SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3,600 m elevation, have occurred during the past 3,000 years. The morphology of its 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included major explosive and effusive events from flank craters.
 
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/JP/messages.html
 
 
KORYAKSKY Eastern Kamchatka 53.320°N, 158.688°E; summit elev. 3456 m
 
KVERT reported that during 10-12 August seismic activity from Koryaksky was above background levels. On 12 August, an ash plume seen on satellite imagery drifted 180 km ESE at an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. During 15-16 August seismic activity increased, and seismic tremor was detected. On 16 August, a gas plume with a small amount of ash was seen on satellite imagery drifting 80 km WNW. During 17-18 August, an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall up to 1 mm thick was reported in areas to the SW. The Level of Concern Color Code was raised to Orange.
 
Geologic Summary. The large symmetrical Koryaksky stratovolcano is the most prominent landmark of the NW-trending Avachinskaya volcano group, which towers above Kamchatka's largest city, Petropavlovsk. Erosion has produced a ribbed surface on the eastern flanks of the 3456-m-high volcano; the youngest lava flows are found on the upper western flank and below SE-flank cinder cones. No strong explosive eruptions have been documented during the Holocene. Extensive Holocene lava fields on the western flank were primarily fed by summit vents; those on the SW flank originated from flank vents. Lahars associated with a period of lava effusion from south- and SW-flank fissure vents about 3900-3500 years ago reached Avacha Bay. Only a few moderate explosive eruptions have occurred during historical time. Koryaksky's first historical eruption, in 1895, also produced a lava flow.
 
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/index_eng.php
 
 
PAGAN Mariana Islands (Central Pacific) 18.13°N, 145.80°E; summit elev. 570 m
 
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 14 August a 2-hour-long thermal anomaly detected over Pagan was followed by a small emission. The emission, hotter than its surroundings, drifted NW and quickly dissipated.
 
Geologic Summary. Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Marianas Islands volcanoes, consists of two stratovolcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. Both North and South Pagan stratovolcanoes were constructed within calderas, 7 and 4 km in diameter, respectively. The 570-m-high Mount Pagan at the NE end of the island rises above the flat floor of the caldera, which probably formed during the early Holocene. South Pagan is a 548-m-high stratovolcano with an elongated summit containing four distinct craters. Almost all of the historical eruptions of Pagan, which date back to the 17th century, have originated from North Pagan volcano. The largest eruption of Pagan during historical time took place in 1981 and prompted the evacuation of the sparsely populated island.
 
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/messages.html
 
 
REVENTADOR Ecuador 0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
 
The IG reported that seismic tremor from Reventador was sporadically detected during 21 July-3 August. On 4 August, seismicity increased and periods of tremor frequently saturated the seismic stations. Thermal anomalies detected in satellite imagery on 1 and 2 August became more intense on 4, 5, and 10 August. On 6 August, a steam plume rose 1.2 km above the crater and drifted W. Incandescent blocks were ejected from the crater and fell onto the flanks. Thermal images taken from a location 7 km E of Reventador revealed a linear area of higher temperatures, confirming the presence of a new lava flow on the S flank. Incandescence in the crater was seen during observations on 9 August. According to the Washington VAAC, IG reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3.6 km (11,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW on 15 August.
 
Geologic Summary. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well E of the principal volcanic axis. It is a forested stratovolcano that rises above the remote jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 3-km-wide caldera breached to the E was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1,300 m above the caldera floor. Reventador has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera.
 
Sources: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG) http://www.igepn.edu.ec/,
Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/messages.html
 
 
TALANG Sumatra (Indonesia) 0.978°S, 100.679°E; summit elev. 2597 m
 
On 17 August, CVGHM raised the Alert Level for Talang from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) because of increased seismicity during the previous two days. Foggy conditions prevented visual observations. Visitors and tourists were advised not to go within a 3-km radius of the summit.
 
Geologic Summary. Talang, which forms a twin volcano with the extinct Pasar Arbaa volcano, has two crater lakes on its flanks. The largest of these is 1 x 2 km wide Danau Talang. No historical eruptions have occurred from the summit of the volcano, which lacks a crater. All historical eruptions from Gunung Talang volcano have involved small-to-moderate 19th-century explosive activity originating from a series of small craters in a valley on the upper NE flank.
 
Source: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) http://portal.vsi.esdm.go.id/joomla/
 
 
Ongoing Activity
 
 
BATU TARA Komba Island (Indonesia) 7.792°S, 123.579°E; summit elev. 748 m
 
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 12-13 and 15-17 August ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 m (5,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 5-110 km W, NW, and N.
 
Geologic Summary. The small isolated island of Batu Tara in the Flores Sea about 50 km north of Lembata (formerly Lomblen) Island contains a scarp on the eastern side similar to the Sciara del Fuoco of Italy's Stromboli volcano. Vegetation covers the flanks of Batu Tara to within 50 m of the 748-m-high summit. Batu Tara lies north of the main volcanic arc and is noted for its potassic leucite-bearing basanitic and tephritic rocks. The first historical eruption from Batu Tara, during 1847-52, produced explosions and a lava flow.
 
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/AU/messages.html
 
 
CHAITEN Southern Chile 42.833°S, 72.646°W; summit elev. 1122 m
 
Based on web camera views and analyses of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 13 and 18 August ash plumes from Chaitén's Domo Nuevo 1 and Domo Nuevo 2 lava-dome complex rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.
 
Geologic Summary. Chaitén is a small, glacier-free caldera with a Holocene lava dome located 10 km NE of the town of Chaitén on the Gulf of Corcovado. A pyroclastic-surge and pumice deposit considered to originate from the eruption that formed the elliptical 2.5 x 4 km wide summit caldera was dated at about 9400 years ago. A rhyolitic, 962-m-high obsidian lava dome occupies much of the caldera floor. Obsidian cobbles from this dome found in the Blanco River are the source of prehistorical artifacts from archaeological sites along the Pacific coast as far as 400 km away from the volcano to the north and south. The caldera is breached on the SW side by a river that drains to the bay of Chaitén, and the high point on its southern rim reaches 1122 m.
 
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/AG/messages.html
 
 
DUKONO Halmahera 1.68°N, 127.88°E; summit elev. 1335 m
 
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 15 August an ash plume from Dukono rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted more than 90 km NW.
 
Geologic Summary. Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the N-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. Dukono is a complex volcano presenting a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of Dukono's summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.
 
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/AU/messages.html
 
 
KILAUEA Hawaii (USA) 19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
 
During 12-18 August, HVO reported that lava flowed SE from underneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Thermal anomalies detected in satellite images and visual observations revealed active surface flows on the flow field.
 
The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a diffuse white plume that drifted mainly SW. Small amounts of ash-sized "rock dust," were retrieved from collection bins placed near the plume; possibly fresh tephra, including Pele's Hair, was collected on 12 August. Rushing gas sounds were often heard in the vicinity of the vent. During 12-13 August, a new, brightly incandescent hole appeared on the floor of the vent. The vent increased in size and incandescence continued to be seen on the web camera during the reporting period. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit remained elevated; 2,050 and 900 tonnes per day was measured on 12 and 14 August; respectively. The 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day.
 
Geologic Summary. Kilauea, one of five coalescing volcanoes that comprise the island of Hawaii, is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Eruptions at Kilauea originate primarily from the summit caldera or along one of the lengthy E and SW rift zones that extend from the caldera to the sea. About 90% of the surface of Kilauea is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 sq km, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.
 
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/
 
 
POPOCATEPETL México 19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5426 m
 
CENAPRED reported that during 10 and 12-17 August emissions of steam and gas from Popocatépetl sometimes contained slight amounts of ash.
 
Geologic Summary. Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, towers to 5,426 m 70 km SE of Mexico City and is North America's second-highest volcano. Frequent historical eruptions have been recorded since the beginning of the Spanish colonial era. A small eruption on 21 December 1994 ended five decades of quiescence. Since 1996 small lava domes have incrementally been constructed within the summit crater and destroyed by explosive eruptions. Intermittent small-to-moderate gas-and-ash eruptions have continued, occasionally producing ashfall in neighboring towns and villages.
 
Source: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED) http://www.cenapred.unam.mx/es/
 
 
RABAUL New Britain 4.271°S, 152.203°E; summit elev. 688 m
 
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 14 August ash plumes from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 25-165-280 km NW.
 
Geologic Summary. The low-lying Rabaul caldera on the tip of the Gazelle Peninsula at the NE end of New Britain forms a broad sheltered harbor. 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 E, where its floor is flooded by Blanche Bay. Two major Holocene caldera-forming eruptions at Rabaul took place as recently as 3,500 and 1,400 years ago. Three small stratovolcanoes lie outside the northern and NE caldera rims. 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.
 
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/AU/messages.html
 
 
SAKURA-JIMA Kyushu 31.585°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
 
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported eruptions and explosions from Sakura-jima during 12-17 August. Plumes rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.7 km (7,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. during 14-17 August and occasionally drifted E or N.
 
Geologic Summary. Sakura-jima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow was associated with the formation of the 17 x 23-km-wide Aira caldera about 22,000 years ago. The construction of Sakura-jima began about 13,000 years ago and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kita-dake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minami-dake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.
 
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/JP/messages.html
 
 
SHIVELUCH Central Kamchatka (Russia) 56.653°N, 161.360°E; summit elev. 3283 m
 
KVERT reported that during 7-17 August seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly over the lava dome. Based on interpretations of seismic data, ash plumes possibly rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.
 
Geologic Summary. The high, isolated massif of Shiveluch volcano (also spelled Sheveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group and forms one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanoes. The currently active Molodoy Shiveluch lava-dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within a large breached caldera formed by collapse of the massive late-Pleistocene Strary Shiveluch volcano. At least 60 large eruptions of Shiveluch have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Frequent collapses of lava-dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced large debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera. Intermittent explosive eruptions began in the 1990s from a new lava dome that began growing in 1980. The largest historical eruptions from Shiveluch occurred in 1854 and 1964.
 
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/index_eng.php
 
 
SUWANOSE-JIMA Ryukyu Islands (Japan) 29.635°N, 129.716°E; summit elev. 799 m
 
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions from Suwanose-jima during 16-17 August produced plumes that rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. Plumes drifted E on 16 August.
 
Geologic Summary. The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanose-jima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. Only about 50 persons live on the sparsely populated island. The summit of the volcano is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanose-jima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent Strombolian activity from On-take, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted nearly a half century. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, after which the island was uninhabited for about 70 years. The SW crater produced lava flows that reached the western coast in 1813, and lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884.
 
Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/JP/messages.html
 
 
UBINAS Perú 16.355°S, 70.903°W; summit elev. 5672 m
 
Based on a SIGMET notice, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that an emission from Ubinas was seen on 15 August. Ash was not detected in satellite imagery.
 
Geologic Summary. A small, 1.2-km-wide caldera that cuts the top of Ubinas, Peru's most active volcano, gives it a truncated appearance. Ubinas is the northernmost of three young volcanoes located along a regional structural lineament about 50 km behind the main volcanic front of Peru. The upper slopes of the stratovolcano, composed primarily of Pleistocene andesitic lava flows, steepen to nearly 45 degrees. The steep-walled, 150-m-deep summit caldera contains an ash cone with a 500-m-wide funnel-shaped vent that is 200 m deep. Debris-avalanche deposits from the collapse of the SE flank of Ubinas extend 10 km from the volcano. Widespread Plinian pumice-fall deposits from Ubinas include some of Holocene age. Holocene lava flows are visible on the volcano's flanks, but historical activity, documented since the 16th century, has consisted of intermittent minor explosive eruptions.
 
Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/VAAC/OTH/AG/messages.html
 
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