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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.
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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).


Galeras (Colombia). On 17 May an overflight observed gas emissions from multiple points in and around the main crater, and thermal anomalies surpassing 180°C. There were two magnitude 2.9 earthquakes 6 km SSE of the crater at depths of 2-3 km over 17-18 May and a magnitude 2.3 earthquake 5 km SSW at depth 3-5 km. Gas plumes from Galeras contained some ash over the period 15-19 May. The alert level was lowered to Yellow on 19 May.

Manam (Papua New Guinea). An ash plume was reported to have risen to 3 km a.s.l. and drifted ~20 km SE on 13 May.

San Cristóbal (Nicaragua). A diffuse plume was reported to have drifted 45 km SW on 19 May.

West Mata (Tonga). West Mata is a small submarine cone in the Lau Basin, about 200 km SW of Samoa. On 6 and 7 May NOAA scientists used a remotely operated vehicle to observe eruptions from two vents of West Mata, a small submarine volcanic cone in the northeast Lau Basin, about 200 km SW of Samoa. Explosive activity with lava fountaining and tephra ejection was observed, along with the eruption of pillow lava from another location. Incandescence was visible for minutes at a time.


Batu Tara (Komba Island, Indonesia). Ash plumes were reported to have risen to 3 km a.s.l. and drifted 35-75 km W NW and N over 14-19 May.

Chaitén (Chile). Over the period 5-12 May gas-and-ash plumes from the lava dome complex rose up to 1.5 km above the domes, and gravitational collapses generated block-and-ash flows. Seismicity remained elevated. A diffuse ash plume reportedly rose to 2 km and drifted NE on 13 May.

Dukono (Halmahera, Indonesia). An ash plume from Dukono reportedly rose to 3 km a.s.l. and drifted 110 km N on 14 May.

Kilauea (Hawaii). Lava continued to flow SE through the lava tube system to the Waikupanaha and Kupapa’u ocean entries over 13-19 May. The Halema’uma’u crater vent continued to produce a predominantly white plume, with occasional hints of brown, drifting mainly W. Below the floor of the vent a molten lava pool produced varying degrees of incandescence.

Redoubt (Alaska, USA). The lava dome continued to grow, with vigorous steam emissions from the margins of the dome. Occasional rockfalls produced minor ash clouds. The volume of the dome was estimated at 30-60 million cubic metres on 15 May. There was a reduction in seismicity over 13-19 May but seismic activity remained elevated, with rock avalanche events, discrete earthquakes, and minor volcanic tremor.

Reventador (Ecuador). Ash was observed on 15 May, but no ash or thermal anomaly was detected on satellite imagery.

Sakura-jima (Japan). An eruption on 19 May produced a plume to 2.7 km a.s.l. that drifted SE.

Shiveluch (Kamchatka, Russia). Over 8-15 May seismic activity was above background levels and occasional ash plumes are likely have risen to 5.4 km a.s.l. A daily thermal anomaly was detected at the lava dome.

Soufrière Hills (Montserrat). Low-level activity during 8-15 May: multiple lahars descended ravines 12-15 May, occasionally ash-laden steam plumes occurred periodically from the base of Tyre’s ghaut

Suwanose-jima (Japan). An explosion reportedly occurred on13 May. On 17 May an ash plume reportedly rose to 2.1 km a.s.l.

Tungurahua (Ecuador). Over 13-19 May, the volcano roared occasionally and hid itself among rain clouds and mist. Fine ashfall occurred in Manzano, 8 km SW, on 13 and 18 May; explosions were noted on 15 May and a steam-and-ash plume rose to 7 km a.s.l. and drifted ENE. Over 16-18 May steam and steam-and-ash plumes drifted NW, W, and E, and blocks rolled down the flan During 17-18 May, blocks were heard or seen rolling down the flanks.

Ubinas (Peru). During 15-19 May ash plumes rose to 5.5-7.6 km a.s.l. and drifted SW, NW, and SSE.

Ulawan (Papua New Guinea). On 10 May, white vapor plumes rose 1.5 km. Occasional roaring and rumbling noises and weak incandescence were reported by local people.


The foregoing is a summary of the Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 13-19 May 2009. It is provided for information only, and is based on but not a substitute for the full report, which comes with its own criteria and disclaimers. The map base is derived from the Smithsonian Institution/USGS/US Naval Research Laboratory This Dynamic Planet website.

For all our coverage of the SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports: Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports « The Volcanism Blog.

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