jump to navigation

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 13-19 May 2009 20 May 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Alaska, Batu Tara, Caribbean, Chaitén, Chile, Colombia, Dukono, Ecuador, eruptions, Galeras, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Kilauea, Manam, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Redoubt, Reventador, Russia, Sakura-jima, San Cristóbal, Shiveluch, Suwanose-jima, Tonga, Tungurahua, Ulawun, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 13-19 May 2009

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 13-19 May 2009 is available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity: Galeras (Colombia), Manam (Papua New Guinea), San Cristóbal (Nicaragua), West Mata (Tonga).

Ongoing activity: Batu Tara (Komba Island, Indonesia), Chaitén (Chile), Dukono (Halmahera, Indonesia), Kilauea (Hawaii), Redoubt (Alaska, USA), Reventador (Ecuador), Sakura-jima (Japan), Shiveluch (Kamchatka, Russia), Soufrière Hills (Montserrat), Suwanose-jima (Japan), Tungurahua (Ecuador), Ubinas (Peru), Ulawan (Papua New Guinea).

(more…)

Volcano images from NASA Earth Observatory 19 April 2009

Posted by admin in Alaska, Chile, Ecuador, Fernandina, Llaima, NASA Earth Observatory, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Rabaul, Redoubt, Tonga, United States, volcano images.
Tags: ,
comments closed

A lot has been going on around the world, volcanically speaking, over the past few weeks, and the NASA Earth Observatory has been featuring some wonderful satellite imagery of current volcanic events.

Submarine eruption in the Tonga Islands (NASA image, 26 March 2009)
Submarine eruption in the Tonga Islands (acquired 26 March 2009): an ASTER image from NASA’s Terra satellite showing new land created by the eruption at Hunga Ha’apai, sediment-laden water around the island, and evidence of the destruction of vegetation by the volcanic action.

Plume from Mount Redoubt (NASA image, 26 March 2009)
Plume from Mount Redoubt (acquired 26 March 2009): a series of images captured by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) of the plume produced by Mount Redoubt between 09:00 and 11:30 local time on 26 March 2009.

Plume from Rabaul volcano (NASA image, 3 April 2009)
Plume from Rabaul Volcano (acquired 3 April 2009): a MODIS image from NASA’s Aqua satellite shows an off-white plume (suggesting mainly water vapour content) from Rabaul blowing away to the south-east.

Sulfur dioxide plume from Isla Fernandina (NASA image, 14 April 2009)
Sulfur dioxide plume from Isla Fernandina (aquired 14 April 2009): the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite captured data on the SO2 plume emitted by the eruption of Fernandina in the Galapagos Islands.

Plume from Mount Pagan (NASA image, 15 April 2009)
Plume from Mount Pagan (acquired 15 April 2009): a MODIS image from NASA’s Terra satellite shows a gas-and-steam plume released by an eruption of Mount Pagan in the Mariana Islands.

Eruption from Llaima volcano, Chile (NASA image, 16 April 2009)
Eruption from Llaima volcano, Chile (acquired 16 April 2009): the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured a stunning unobstructed view of Llaima’s barren, lava-layered summit area.

The NASA Earth Observatory is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, and is inviting everyone to vote on their favourite Images of the Day from the last ten years of wonderful satellite imagery. Seven of the fifty finalists are volcano-related, and any one of them would be a worthy winner.

The Volcanism Blog

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 18 March 2009 – 24 March 2009 26 March 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Alaska, Batu Tara, Caribbean, Chaitén, Chile, Colombia, Dempo, eruptions, Etna, Galeras, Gamkonora, Hawaii, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Koryaksky, Kuchinoerabo-jima, Lewotobi, Okmok, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Popocatépetl, Rabaul, Redoubt, Russia, Sakura-jima, Shiveluch, Soufrière Hills, Tonga, Tungurahua, Ubinas, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
Tags: ,
comments closed

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 18 March 2009 - 24 March 2009

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 18 March 2009 to 24 March 2009 is now available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity: Galeras (Colombia), Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (Tonga), Koryaksky (Kamchatka, Russia), Redoubt (Alaska, USA).

Ongoing activity: Batu Tara (Komba Island, Indonesia), Chaitén (Chile), Dempo (Sumatra, Indonesia), Etna (Italy), Gamkonora (Halmahera, Indonesia), Karymsky (Kamchatka, Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Kuchinoerabu-jima (Japan), Lewotobi (Flores Island, Indonesia), Okmok (Alaska, USA), Popocatépetl (Mexico), Rabaul (Papua New Guinea), Sakura-jima (Japan), Shiveluch (Kamchatka, Russia), Soufrière Hills (Montserrat), Tungurahua (Ecuador), Ubinas (Peru).

(more…)

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai update, 20 March 2009 20 March 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Pacific, submarine volcanism, Tonga.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

Tonga submarine eruption, 20 March 2009 0130GMT (NASA Aqua image)
Above: MODIS image from NASA Aqua satellite captured at 01:30 GMT on 20 March 2009. The island of Tongatapu is at the lower edge of the image. The site of the eruption is marked by the yellow arrow: a small plume can be seen extending ENE, and floating ash is staining the sea around the volcano greenish-blue. [source]

Eruptive activity at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai appears to have declined somewhat over the last 12 hours, according to the latest advisory from Wellington VAAC (10:29 GMT 19 March 2009). The VAAC advisory, based on pilot observations and satellite imagery, reports ‘no more active eruptions, steaming to 6000ft [1800 metres]‘, with ‘white and wispy ash haze extending to large areas ENE blw 5000ft [below 1500 metres]‘. An earlier advisory (17:58 GMT 19 March 2009) reported frequent eruptions and ash clouds to FL130 (13000 feet, 4000 metres), with a plume extending 300 miles (480 kilometres) ENE.

At 01:30 GMT today NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a MODIS image which showed only a small plume extending less than 10 kilometres ENE of the volcano (from the NASA MODIS Rapid Response site: original image is here, detail reproduced above).

The BBC has some fresh video of the eruption from the inspection trip made by Tongan geologists yesterday. CBS News has the AP report of the eruption, with added video, pictures, and the usual mad/dumb/hilarious comments from the visiting public; they also have a short photo essay on the eruption (titled, in typically odd CBS fashion, ‘Undersea Volcano Erupts Photos’). And the Boston Globe’s ‘Big Picture’ feature lives up to its name with spectacular big, big pictures of the eruption.

As if this eruption wasn’t enough of a reminder that Tonga is situated in a geologically highly active part of the planet, there was a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in the Tongan Arc yesterday. There is no reason to suspect a direct link to the eruption. A tsunami alert was issued following the earthquake, but was later cancelled because it was ‘a tiny tsunami … nothing to worry about’.

UPDATE: Lousy science reporting from the BBC, who are asserting on the basis of no evidence at all that ‘An earthquake may have triggered an underwater volcano to erupt’. Nice video, clueless commentary: Quake may have caused eruption. Additional update, Dr Klemetti at Eruptions is also irritated by this stuff: ‘absolutely terrible “science” journalism … silly note of dread … all conjecture’.

For all our coverage of the Tonga eruption: Tonga « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Undersea volcano making waves in the Pacific – CBS News, 19 March 2009
Volcano shatters Pacific calm around TongaThe Independent, 20 March 2009
South Pacific volcano inspected – BBC News, 20 March 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai – summary information about Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (0403-04=)
Tonga volcanoes and volcanics – overview from the USGS

The Volcanism Blog

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 March 2009 – 17 March 2009 19 March 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Alaska, Arenal, Asama, Batu Tara, Chaitén, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fuego, Galeras, Guatemala, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Koryaksky, Nevado del Huila, Pacaya, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Rabaul, Redoubt, Russia, Sakura-jima, Santa María, Shiveluch, Suwanose-jima, Tonga, Tungurahua, Ubinas, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
Tags: ,
comments closed

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 11 March 2009 - 17 March 2009

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 11 March 2009 to 17 March 2009 is now available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity: Ebeko (Paramushir Island), Galeras (Colombia), Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (Tonga), Koryaksky (Kamchatka, Russia), Redoubt (Alaska, USA), Semeru (Java, Indonesia).

Ongoing activity: Arenal (Costa Rica), Asama (Japan), Batu Tara (Komba Island, Indonesia), Chaitén (Chile), Fuego (Guatemala), Karymsky (Kamchatka, Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Nevado del Huila (Colombia), Pacaya (Guatemala), Rabaul (Papua New Guinea), Sakura-jima (Japan), Santa María (Guatemala), Shiveluch (Kamchatka, Russia), Suwanose-jima (Japan), Tungurahua (Ecuador), Ubinas (Peru).

(more…)

More on Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai 19 March 2009

Posted by admin in eruptions, Pacific, submarine volcanism, Tonga.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

The eruption is ongoing at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai: the latest volcanic ash advisory from Wellington VAAC, issued at 05:23GMT today, reports ash emissions at FL130 (13000 feet or about 4000 metres), expected to rise to FL150 (15000 feet or about 4500 metres) over the next few hours. The Aviation Herald quotes Airways New Zealand reports of ash up to 15km, but VAAC statements give no confirmation of this figure.

The Aqua MODIS image of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption that we were able to preview on this blog yesterday (thanks to our friends at NASA) is now available at the NASA Earth Observatory, in the ‘natural hazards’ category: Submarine Eruption in the Tonga Islands (18 March 2009). The image comes with the usual annotations and detailed commentary.

BBC News has a video of the eruption (some stills from the same video can be found at our earlier post) which is a beautiful case study in hydrovolcanic phenomena: voluminous steam clouds, violent explosive activity, dark and rapidly expanding eruptions of volcanic ejecta, debris clouds spreading across the ocean. Spectacular stuff. The video also shows clearly that there are currently two active vents.

Associated Press reports Tongan authorities saying that ‘there have been no reports of fish or other animals being affected’. This seems on the face of it unlikely, and is contradicted by other reports. A TVNZ report on the eruption says that ‘Boaties who were close by when the eruption took place talked of burning birds falling from the sky’ and that ‘wildlife from the island closest to the eruption have been completely destroyed’, while ABC Radio Australia quotes a Tongan journalist: ‘There were lots of dead fishes and dead birds’.

Tongan government geologists will be making an inspection of the area by boat today. They couldn’t go earlier, as no-one could agree who should pay the Tongan Navy for the fuel the trip would use.

For all our coverage of the Tonga eruption: Tonga « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai – summary information about Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (0403-04=)
Tonga volcanoes and volcanics – overview from the USGS

News
Underwater volcano erupts off Tonga – BBC News, 19 March 2009
Underwater volcano sends huge columns of ash into Pacific skyThe Times, 19 March 2009
Underwater volcano continues erupting – TVNZ, 19 March 2009
Tongan inspection team heads to undersea volcano – Associated Press, 19 March 2009
Tonga officials inspect volcano’s environmental impact – ABC News, 19 March 2009
Tonga undersea volcano hampers Pacific air trafficAviation Herald, 19 March 2009
Undersea volcano erupts off Tonga – Press Association, 19 March 2009
Geologists inspect underwater volcano site off Tonga – ABC Radio Australia, 19 March 2009
Visual checks to be made of underwater volcano – Radio New Zealand, 19 March 2009

The Volcanism Blog

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption images 19 March 2009

Posted by admin in eruptions, Pacific, submarine volcanism, Tonga.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

A Japanese reader of The Volcanism Blog has sent in the following images of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption, captured from a video taken on 18 March 2009.

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption, 18 March 2009

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption, 18 March 2009

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption, 18 March 2009

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption, 18 March 2009

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption, 18 March 2009

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption, 18 March 2009

These images clearly show that there are two active vents. The white plume consists mainly of steam, the dark masses are dark pyroclastic material projected violently upwards as water enters the magmatic vents, creating powerful phreatic explosions. The ragged-edged effect visible on the dark clouds is caused by larger fragments of ejected material following parabolic curves as they are hurled upwards and outwards, trailing smaller fragments behind them.

UPDATE: The video from which these images are clearly taken has turned up on the BBC News website: Underwater volcano erupts off Tonga. At the end of the video, around the point from which the final image reproduced above comes, voices can be heard off-camera saying ‘I think we should run away’, and ‘turn the boat around’.

For all our coverage of the Tonga eruption: Tonga « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai – summary information about Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (0403-04=)
Tonga volcanoes and volcanics – overview from the USGS

The Volcanism Blog

Satellite image of Tonga eruption 18 March 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Pacific, submarine volcanism, Tonga.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

The MODIS equipment on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a true-colour image of the submarine eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in Tonga at 01:45GMT (14:45 local time) on 18 March 2009. The full-size image can be found at the NASA MODIS Rapid Response site. Below is a detail of the image showing the eruption (yellow arrow). North is at the top; the island at the lower edge is Tongatapu Island, where the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa is located, while upper right are the islands of the Nomuka Group. The eruption is producing a dense plume of steam which shows up white against the ocean. Volcanic ash can be seen floating on the ocean surface around the plume.

Tonga submarine eruption, 18 March 2009 0145GMT (NASA Aqua image)

Click here to view the original full-size image (at 250m per pixel scale – other resolutions can be selected) at the NASA MODIS Rapid Response site. There is also now a nice clear mapped version here.

(Thanks to Robert Simmon of NASA for drawing my attention to this image.)

UPDATE: This image is now available at the NASA Earth Observatory, in the ‘natural hazards’ category: Submarine Eruption in the Tonga Islands (18 March 2009).

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai – summary information about Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (0403-04=)
Tonga volcanoes and volcanics – overview from the USGS

The Volcanism Blog

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai erupts 17 March 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Pacific, submarine volcanism, Tonga.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

And what, precisely (you ask), is Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai? It is, or rather, they are, two islands that cap a large seamount in the Tonga Islands. Passengers and crew on a flight over the area witnessed a fresh eruption there yesterday, the first since 1988.

Blog post and pictures can be found here, and Eruptions has all the facts and background here.

Hunga venting on Thursday 18 March viewed from Kanokupolu Beach (photograph by Shane Egan, copyright Matangitonga.to).
Above: Plume from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption viewed from Kanokupolu Beach, Nuku’alofa, 18 March 2009. Photograph by Shane Egan, copyright Matangi Tonga, used with permission. [source]

UPDATE, 18 March 2009. Various news sources have picked up the story and are listed below. Among the details reported are a possible connection to a magnitude 4.4 earthquake last Friday, 35km W of Tongan capital Nuku’alofa. In Tonga itself, Matangi Tonga has a detailed story with pictures of the eruption plume taken from Nuku’alofa. Stuff.co.nz reports that New Zealand air traffic is being disrupted by the eruption, and quotes an Airways New Zealand spokeswoman as saying that the volcano’s eruption column is reaching 15000 metres altitude. Wellington VAAC, however, currently reports ash at flight level 150, which is 15000 feet (4500 metres). The highest altitude they have reported the emissions reaching is flight level 250, 25000 feet, which is 7600 metres.

Click here for a satellite image of the eruption (MODIS/NASA Aqua).

The Hunga's volcanic eruption as seen from the Nuku'alofa waterfront (photograph by Pesi Fonua, copyright Matangitonga.to).
Above: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai plume photographed from Nuku’alofa waterfront, 18 March 2009. Photograph by Pesi Fonua, copyright Matangi Tonga, used with permission. [source]

The plume from an underwater volcanic eruption goes up thousands of metres. Photo from Kanokupolu Beach by Shane Egan (copyright Matangitonga.to).
Above: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai plume photographed from Kanokupolu Beach, Nuku’alofa, 18 March 2009. Photograph by Shane Egan, copyright Matangi Tonga, used with permission. [source]

Images from Matangi Tonga are reproduced here with the kind permission of Pesi Fonua, Publisher/Editor. The Volcanism Blog is very grateful for permission to use these images.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai – summary information about Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai (0403-04=)
Tonga volcanoes and volcanics – overview from the USGS

News
Undersea volcano erupts off Tongan coast – Associated Press, 18 March 2009
Undersea volcano erupts off Tonga – ABC News, 18 March 2009
Underwater eruption close to Nuku’alofa – Matangi Tonga, 18 March 2009
Underwater volcano erupts near Tongan capital – ABC Radio Australia News, 18 March 2009
Deep sea volcano erupts off coast – 9 News, 18 March 2009
Volcanic eruption disrupts NZ flights – Stuff.co.nz, 19 March 2009

The Volcanism Blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 120 other followers