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Nevado del Huila update, 11 November 2009 11 November 2009

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Nevado del Huila volcano is still at the second-highest level of Orange, ‘eruption likely within the next few days or weeks’. The Colombian state geological service SERNAGEOMIN issued its latest bulletin at 17:00 local time on 10 November which reports that:

  • Between 4 and 10 November 1195 seismic events were recorded, ’46 related to the fracturing of rocks, 1078 to fluid dynamics within the volcanic conduits, 3 hybrid events and 68 pulses of tremor associated with the escape of gas to the surface’.
  • Three overflights have taken place, on 4, 6 and 10 November. During these flights it has been observed that the new dome ‘shows a high rate of growth and an approximate volume of extruded material of around 25 million cubic metres’. Small collapses were observed on the western part of the dome, with effects limited to the upper part of the volcanic edifice, and constant degassing was taking place around the dome.
  • The strong degassing produced columns that did not exceed 2500 metres in altitude.
  • Sulphur dioxide measurements on 10 November indicated an SO2 flow of 7943 tonnes/day, forming a column that was dispersed to the north-west of the volcano.

INGEOMINAS concludes that Nevado del Huila continues to display unstable behaviour, and that the volcano’s level of activity may increase. Continuing vigilance is the order of the day.

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

Nevado del Huila update, 4 November 2009 4 November 2009

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Nevado del Huila - image from INGEOMINAS overflight, 2 November 2009 (copyright INGEOMINAS)
Nevado del Huila: picture from 2 November 2009 overflight (copyright INGEOMINAS). [source]

Colombian volcano Nevado del Huila remains at the second-highest level of Orange, ‘eruption likely within the next few days or weeks’.

Colombia’s state geological service INGEOMINAS has issued two bulletins about Nevado del Huila within the last 24 hours. The most recent bulletin, a brief ‘reporte extraordinario’ published at 20:30 local time on 3 November, reports a partial collapse of the new lava dome, with effects limited to the summit area of the volcano:

… during the evening, localized collapses of the dome towards its western sector [were observed], which generated small pyroclastic flows and incandescence, both limited to the upper part of the volcano, without compromising, for the moment, the Páez river.

The previous bulletin, released at 17:00 local time on 3 November, includes information from the most recent overflight which took place on 2 November. This bulletin notes that ‘in the current week 1177 seismic events were recorded’, of which 82 were rock-fracturing events, 1014 related to fluid dynamics with the volcanic system, 10 were hybrid events, and there were 71 pulses of tremor related to gas and ash emissions. Two tremor pulses are described as particularly notable:

The first occurred on 28 October at 02:00 (07:00 UTC); according to a VAAC report a column of 4 km altitude was observed from the summit of the volcano. The second pulse was recorded in the early morning today, at 02:54 (07:54 UTC). This event was associated with an acoustic signal reported by local inhabitants, and ash fall in Inzá, Mosoco, Jambaló and Belalcázar, to the south-west of the volcano. The VAAC report for this event shows a column which reached an altitude of 7 km above the summit of the volcano and that dispersed mainly towards the south-west.

Through the Nevado del Huila webcam ‘intense degasification of the system with pulsing escape of ash at the surface’ has been observed. The overflights of 30 October and 2 November monitored the growth of the new lava dome which has developed on top of the dome constructed in November 2008: ‘the volume of the new dome extruded at the surface is estimated to be about nine million cubic metres’.

A short video of the 2 November overflight (.mpg, 10.1 MB) is available from this page at the Popayán observatory website. The photograph at the top of this post was taken during this overflight and shows Nevado del Huila from the north-west. Intense degassing can be seen around the new dome, located on the western flank, and fresh ash deposits blanket the slopes of the volcano (image copyright INGEOMINAS, reproduced here for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the terms of use).

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

Nevado del Huila update, 31 October 2009 31 October 2009

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Nevado del Huila - image from INGEOMINAS overflight, 29 October 2009 (copyright INGEOMINAS)

There was another overflight of Nevado del Huila volcano on 29 October, reports the Observatorio Popayán in its latest special bulletin, issued late yesterday. Among the observations reported is that the new material seen in the overflight of last Friday has been confirmed to be a new dome constructed on top of the existing dome: ‘It is stressed that the new dome has a high growth rate’. Continuous and intensive degassing was in progress, with the centres of gas emission corresponding to the position of the new dome.

The photograph above comes from the overflight and shows the new dome. Below is the webcam view of Nevado del Huila at dawn today (both images copyright INGEOMINAS, reproduced here for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the terms of use). More photographs can be found here.

Nevado del Huila, 31 October 2009 (INGEOMINAS webcam image)

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

Nevado del Huila at the NASA Earth Observatory 29 October 2009

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Ash emissions at Nevado del Huila, 28 October 2009 (NASA MODIS image)

Yesterday NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Nevado del Huila volcano in Colombia and captured this MODIS image which has just been speedily published by the NASA Earth Observatory. Grey ash emissions can be seen rising from the volcano’s summit and dispersing to the north-west. The image is accompanied by an informative caption by Robert Simmon giving the background on Huila’s recent activity (and referencing this blog, which is much appreciated).

Ash emissions at Nevado del Huila – NASA Earth Observatory (29 October 2009)

[NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response, Goddard Space Flight Center.]

The Volcanism Blog

Nevado del Huila: an overview of activity, 21-27 October 2009 28 October 2009

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The Colombian state geological service INGEOMINAS has published an overview of activity at Nevado del Huila volcano over the last few restless days: Reporte de actividad volcán Nevado del Huila, 27 oct 2009, available at the Observatorio Popayán website. Translation as follows.

Report of activity at Nevado del Huila volcano, 27 October 2009

The level of activity at the volcano continues at LEVEL ORANGE (II): ERUPTION PROBABLE WITHIN DAYS OR WEEKS.

From analysis of the information obtained via the monitoring network of Nevado del Huila volcano in the week of 21 to 27 October 2009, the INGEOMINAS Popayán volcanological and seismological observatory reports that:

- In the present week a total of 1004 seismic events have been recorded: 119 related to the fracturing of rock, 847 to fluid dynamics within the volcanic conduits, 13 were hybrid type events and 25 were pulses of tremor associated with the escape of gases and ash to the surface.

- During the week various pulses of spasmodic tremor associated with the escape of gases and ash to the surface were recorded, particularly those occuring on Friday 23 October at 04:35 (09:35 UTC) and Saturday 24 October at 12:10 (17:10 UTC). Related to these events, reports of ash fall were received from several municipalities in Cauca, Huila and Valle de Cauca. Similarly, a sulphur smell has been reported by passengers on commercial flights and residents of towns around the volcano.

- In an overflight carried out by observatory personnel on Friday 23 October with the support of the Colombian Air Force the volcanic edifice was seen to be completely covered with ash, two principal focuses of emission of gases and ash on the surface were seen, located in the upper part of Pico Central, and the extrusion of new magmatic material was visible towards the surface in the extreme north of the dome constructed in November 2008.

- In images captured via the webcam during the week, intense degasification of the system with pulsating emission of ashes at the surface was observed. The directions of the columns fluctuated in accordance with the prevailing winds in the area. In the same way, the VAAC has issued eight reports of sightings through satellite imagery that show columns of ash up to 5000 metres altitude over the summit of the volcano.

- The images captured by the AURA-OMI satellite and published by the NOAA allow observation of the continuing discharge of SO2 during 21, 22, 23, 25 and 26 October, with a maximum of 7793 tonnes/day recorded on Monday 26 October. These images match up with the record of continuous tremor observed during the week.

- On Monday 26 October SO2 was measured through the MovilDOAS system between the town of Miranda (Cauca) and the city of Popayán. An SO2 flow of 3766 tonnes/day was calculated, with dispersion towards the south-west of the volcano. In measurements of SO2 carried out by the ScanDOAS station in the city of Cali those of today stand out, in which the flow is calculated at 4551 tonnes/day in a column dispersed towards the north-west of the volcano.

- Because of the foregoing, it is concluded that the volcanic system continues to show unstable behaviour, with a predominance of processes associated with fluid dynamics, which involve the escape of ash and gases to the surface. For this reason, it is recommended that particular attention is paid to the evolution of the current phenomena, because of the possibility of movement towards a state of higher activity.

INGEOMINAS will continue to monitor and report in a timely manner on any changes that may take place.

[End of INGEOMINAS report.]

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

A dawn view of Nevado del Huila 27 October 2009

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Nevado del Huila, 27 October 2009 (INGEOMINAS webcam image)

Nevado del Huila volcano in Colombia is continuing to produce a steam plume with varying amounts of ash on a continuous basis. The image above, captured from the Nevado del Huila webcam at 06:31 local time (12:31 GMT) this morning, shows vigorous emissions rising from the volcano and a plume, which looks to contain significant ash, blowing away to the west. The latest Huila ash advisory from Washington VAAC, released at 12:26 GMT, reported the plume extending westwards for 20 nautical miles (~37 km).

The image above is a reduction of the original webcam image, which is a generous 800 x 608 pixels. The full-size detail view below shows the volcano summit. The webcam looks northwards: the main active emission area is around the lava dome, which is on the south face of Pico Central, the volcano’s highest point, although there are also emissions from a crack on the north face of Pico Central. Images from the overflight of 23 October show the summit in more detail.

Nevado del Huila, 27 October 2009 (INGEOMINAS webcam image, detail)

Images from the Nevado del Huila webcam are copyright INGEOMINAS, reproduced here for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the terms of use.

[Thanks to BJDeming who tweeted the news that the Nevado del Huila webcam was clear this morning after days of cloud.]

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

Nevado del Huila update, 24 October 2009 24 October 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Colombia, Nevado del Huila.
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Nevado del Huila - image from INGEOMINAS/FAC overflight, 23 October 2009 (copyright INGEOMINAS)

INGEOMINAS and the Colombian Air Force carried out an overflight of Nevado del Huila volcano yesterday, reports Observatorio Popayán in its latest bulletin:

  • Two principal foci of gas and ash emission at the surface were observed, located in the topmost part of Pico Central, the larger located between Pico Central and the upper part of the dome and the other located to the northwest of Pico Central, above the fissure generated in April 2007.
  • It is evident that there is extrusion of new magmatic material towards the surface in the extreme north of the dome constructed in November 2008 (western side), the extruded body presents a thermal anomaly observable through the FLIR camera.
  • The volcano is completely covered with ash because of the constant emissions taking place over recent days.

The report concludes by warning that Nevado del Huila ‘continues to display unstable behaviour’ and urging communities around the volcano to pay close attention to INGEOMINAS bulletins. The alert level for Huila remains at the second-highest level of Orange (Naranja), ‘eruption probable within days or weeks’.

A short video of the 23 October overflight (.mpg, 10.8 MB) is available from this page at the Popayán observatory website. The images at the top of this post and below are captures from the 23 October overflight video (copyright INGEOMINAS, reproduced here for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the terms of use).

Nevado del Huila - image from INGEOMINAS/FAC overflight, 23 October 2009 (copyright INGEOMINAS)

Nevado del Huila - image from INGEOMINAS/FAC overflight, 23 October 2009 (copyright INGEOMINAS)

Nevado del Huila - image from INGEOMINAS/FAC overflight, 23 October 2009 (copyright INGEOMINAS)

UPDATE. Washington VAAC has reported an eruption of Nevado del Huila at 17:10 UTC today which produced an ash plume to FL300 (30000 feet/9000 metres).

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

Nevado del Huila update, 22 October 2009 22 October 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Colombia, Nevado del Huila.
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The INGEOMINAS Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila volcano, issued a bulletin yesterday which reported ‘a decrease in the continuous tremor which has been registered since the evening of Friday 16 October’ and ‘a significant increase in long-period (LP) seismicity, possibly associated with the ascent of magmatic material to shallower levels’. The continuous emission of gases and the ‘pulsed output’ of ash from the volcano has been observed through the webcam. The alert level for Nevado del Huila remains at Orange (Naranja), ‘eruption probable within days or weeks’, and INGEOMINAS is warning local communities to be ready for any increase in the volcano’s activity.

Ashfall from the current activity at Nevado del Huila is causing problems in communities around the volcano. The local newspaper for Popayán, El Liberal, reports that ‘people living in the affected municipalities are concerned about the ash and the smells produced by the changes in the volcano’s behaviour’, and one municipality (Jambaló) has requested scientific analysis of its water supplies, which it is feared may have been contaminated by the ash.

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Alerta por probable erupción del volcán nevado del HuilaEl Liberal, 22 October 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

Latest update on Nevado del Huila 21 October 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Colombia, eruptions, Nevado del Huila.
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Further to yesterday’s reports of activity at Nevado del Huila, the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors the volcano, has issued a new bulletin reporting that ‘continuous tremor has been registered since the evening of Friday 16 October at 19:55 (00:55 17 October UTC). This seismic signal is associated with the continuous emission of ashes and gas at the surface’. Ashfall and sulphur smells were reported yesterday in areas surrounding the volcano. Webcam images showed ‘intense degassing of the system with pulsing emissions at the surface’. Emissions of sulphur dioxide have been high, with 4532 tonnes/day recorded on 17 October. The bulletin concludes that the volcano ‘is in a state of continuous activity, with a predominance of processes associated with fluid dynamics involving the output of ash and gases to the surface’, and warns that this situation ‘has the potential to evolve into higher states of activity’.

The Popayán newspaper El Liberal reports today that ‘Corinto, Caloto, Buenos Aires, Toribío, Piendamó, Belalcázar, Jambaló and Miranda municipalities have been affected by the ash emitted by Nevado del Huila’. Roofs, crops and animals were all covered by ash: ‘Although people are carrying on with their daily lives the ash and smell have caused havoc and discomfort, particularly in the north-west of Páez where there are children with red eyes, coughing and headaches because of the volcano’, says one Belalcázar resident quoted in the report. The Mayor of Páez is appealing for 12000 face masks to be provided for people living in the worst-affected areas.

The alert level for Nevado del Huila remains at the second-highest level of Orange (Naranja), ‘eruption probable within days or weeks’.

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Ya se empiezan a sentir los estragos del Nevado del HuilaEl Liberal, 21 October 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

Nevado del Huila eruption throws up a plume 20 October 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Colombia, eruptions, Nevado del Huila.
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Washington VAAC has issued an ash advisory reporting an eruption of Nevado del Huila, Colombia, beginning at 11:00 UTC today. The advisory reports that by 13:15 UTC an ash plume extended 25 km south of the volcano and had reached an altitude of FL310, which is 31000 feet or 9.5 km. The Colombian paper La Nación says that the ash has mainly affected areas inhabited by indigenous people. Neighbouring municipalities have implemented emergency measures and schools have been closed.

There is currently no new information on the website of the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila.

For all our Nevado del Huila coverage: Nevado del Huila « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Volcán sigue activoLa Nación, 20 October 2009
Nevado del Huila volcano reawakensColombia Reports, 20 October 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nevado del Huila – summary information for Nevado del Huila (1501-05=)
INGEOMINAS Popayán – main page for the Observatorio Popayán, which monitors Nevado del Huila

The Volcanism Blog

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