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Papua New Guinea: Karkar erupts, plume reaches 13.7 km 25 November 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Karkar, Papua New Guinea.
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Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) has reported a significant eruption of Karkar volcano in Papua New Guinea. The first advisory was issued at 08:39 UTC and reported ‘eruption to at least FL330′, which is 33,000 feet or 10,000 metres altitude. More recent advisories (the latest at the time of posting, issued at 20:57 UTC, is here) are reporting ash to FL450, which is 45,000 feet or 13,700 metres altitude. (Darwin VAAC advisories are most conveniently accessed via the NOAA website.)

No other information on this eruption appears to be available at the moment. The last confirmed eruption of Karkar, which is an island volcano consisting of two nested calderas. was in 1979. In late 2007 and early 2008 an increase in thermal and seismic activity at Karkar was observed: gas emissions in January 2008 produced white plumes and withering of vegetation around Bagiai cone, which has been the seat of recent historical eruptions.

[Thanks to Volcanism Blog reader Jan B. for the tip-off about Karkar.]

UPDATE. Erik Klemetti has more at Eruptions: Large eruption at Karkar in Papua New Guinea?.

UPDATE 26 NOV 2009. As commenters have noted below, further eruptions have been reported by Darwin VAAC: a plume to FL300 (30,000 feet or 9100 metres altitude) was reported at 2316 UTC on 25 November.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Karkar – summary information for Karkar (0501-03=)

The Volcanism Blog

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Comments

1. Chance Metz - 25 November 2009

IDD41295
VA ADVISORY
DTG: 20091125/2316Z
VAAC: Darwin

VOLCANO: Karkar 0501-03
PSN: S0439 E14558
AREA: New_Guinea NE_of
SUMMIT ELEV: 1839M

ADVISORY NR: 2009/5
INFO SOURCE: MT-SAT
AVIATION COLOUR CODE: RED
ERUPTION DETAILS: ANOTHER VA PLUME OBS TO FL300 AT VOLCANO

OBS VA DTG:
OBS VA CLD:

FCST VA CLD +6HR:
FCST VA CLD +12HR:
FCST VA CLD +18HR:

RMK: A MORE DETAILED ADVISORY WILL FOLLOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Graphic at [lower case]
http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/advisories.shtml
NXT ADVISORY: NO LATER THAN 20091126/0515Z

Looks like Karkar has erupted again to 30,000 feet. would be nice if we had more info on this eruption.

2. Perry Debell - 25 November 2009

Over the last couple of days, I have noticed more earthquakes in the Pacific to the north of NZ. http://www.iris.edu/seismon/bigmap/index.phtml

The current image shows the ‘quake in Papua, New Guinea. Should we expect more eruptions in Indonesia as the the ‘quakes appear to move east to west, north of Australia?

3. Chance Metz - 25 November 2009

This is a more detailed advisory.

Received FVAU0295 at 23:32 UTC, 25/11/09 from ADRM
VA ADVISORY
DTG: 20091125/2332Z
VAAC: Darwin

VOLCANO: Karkar 0501-03
PSN: S0439 E14558
AREA: New_Guinea NE_of
SUMMIT ELEV: 1839M

ADVISORY NR: 2009/6
INFO SOURCE: MT-SAT1R
AVIATION COLOUR CODE: RED
ERUPTION DETAILS: VA PLUME TO FL300 OBSERVED AT 25/2232Z.

OBS VA DTG: 25/2315Z
OBS VA CLD:
SFC/FL300 S0435 E14600 – S0435 E14510 – S0520 E14540 -
S0435 E14600 MOV W 15KT
SFC/FL450 S0435 E13745 – S0525 E13225 – S1030 E13235 -
S0950 E13820 – S0435 E13745 MOV W 25KT

FCST VA CLD +6HR: 26/0515Z
SFC/FL300 S0440 E14600 – S0425 E14445 – S0530 E14525 – S0440 E14600
SFC/FL450
FCST VA CLD +12HR: 26/1115Z
SFC/FL300 S0435 E14600 – S0425 E14415 – S0540 E14500 – S0435 E14600
SFC/FL450
FCST VA CLD +18HR: 26/1715Z
SFC/FL300 S0435 E14600 – S0420 E14345 – S0605 E14435 – S0435 E14600
SFC/FL450

RMK: INITIAL ERUPTION TO FL450 MAY STILL EXIST OVER ARAFURA SEA
FORECAST BOUNDERY EXTRAPOLATED Graphic at [lower case]
http://www.bom.gov.au/info/vaac/advisories.shtml
NXT ADVISORY: NO LATER THAN 20091126/0515Z

4. activolcans - 26 November 2009

Third ash plum in the morning, 10000 m altitude ~.

5. Chance Metz - 27 November 2009

https://www.nemoc.navy.mil/site/satellite/areaSelectGeo.php?pacom_mtsat

go to this website to see satilite imagery of Karkar volcano. This is a military website and you either have to know what you are looking for or be lucky to find it.

6. Jan Messersmith - 29 November 2009

My original report to http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/11/large_eruption_at_karkar_in_pa.php

—————

I live in Madang. We felt a minor earthquake at the time mentioned. However, though obscured by some clouds, we looked in vain for any action at Kar Kar Island, which I can see clearly from my veranda. We called friends who live on Kar Kar island and they told us that nothing was happening. Tomorrow (Saturday 28 November) I’m going to go over there in my boat to see if I can get some pictures, if anything is going on. Nobody in Madang has seen any activity. Could there be some error? We watch Kar Kar pretty carefully. I can’t imagine that we could miss any action this significant.

—————

My follow-up report:

It’s now Sunday morning here in Madang. I was out on the boat for several hours yesteday with Kar Kar in plain view about 50 kilometres away. We saw nothing out of the ordinary. We have seen minor eruptions before, with some ash and gas. There was nothing of this nature yesterday or any other day since the report. Nobody around here has heard any reports of activity. There are boats going back and forth every day and we have phone contact with friends on the island who have reported no activity. This looks pretty much like an incorrect report. Either that or it is the virst major invisible eruption.

If anybody wants more specific info, let me know.

7. The Day That Kar Kar Volcano Did Not Erupt | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi - 4 December 2009

[...] from two sources to figure out what happened (or rather what didn’t  happen). One is the Volcanism Blog where you can see the original report and my comments below it. The other is Eruptions where you [...]


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