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SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12-18 August 2009 20 August 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Batu Tara, Chaitén, Chile, Dukono, Ecuador, eruptions, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Kilauea, Kliuchevskoi, Koryaksky, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Popocatépetl, Rabaul, Reventador, Russia, Sakura-jima, Shiveluch, Suwanose-jima, Ubinas, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
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The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 12-18 August 2009 is available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity: Kliuchevskoi (Russia), Koryaksky (Russia), Pagan (Mariana Islands), Reventador (Ecuador), Talang (Indonesia).

Ongoing Activity: Batu Tara (Indonesia), Chaitén (Chile), Dukono (Indonesia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Popocatépetl (Mexico), Rabaul (Papua New Guinea), Sakura-jima (Japan), Shiveluch (Russia), Suwanose-jima (Japan), Ubinas (Peru).


Kliuchevskoi (Russia). An eruption on 17 August produced a plume to 5.2 km a.s.l.

Koryaksky (Russia). Seismic activity was above background levels 10-12 August. On 12 August an ash plume drifted 180 km ESE at 3.5 km a.s.l. Seismic activity increased and tremor was detected 15-16 August. A gas plume with a small amount of ash drifted 80 km WNW on 16 August, and an ash plume rose to 4 km a.s.l. 17-18 August. Ashfall up to 1 mm thick was reported in areas to the SW.

Pagan (Mariana Islands). A thermal anomaly of 2 hrs duration was detected on 14 August, followed by a small emission which drifted NW and quickly dissipated.

Reventador (Ecuador). During 21 July-3 August seismic tremor was sporadically detected, and on 4 August seismicity increased with periods of tremor frequently saturating the seismic stations. Thermal anomalies were detected on 1 and 2 August and intensified on 4, 5, and 10 August. A steam plume rose 1.2 km above the crater and drifted W on 6 August. The presence of a new lava flow on the S flank was confirmed. Incandescence in the crater was observed on 9 August. An ash plume rose to 3.6 km a.s.l. and drifted NW on 15 August.

Talang (Indonesia). Increased seismicity was detected on 15 and 16 August, leading to a raising of the Alert Level from 2 to 3 on 17 August.


Batu Tara (Indonesia). This ever-active volcano produced ash plumes during 12-13 and 15-17 August that rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 km a.s.l. and drifted 5-110 km W, NW, and N.

Chaitén (Chile). Ash plumes from the lava-dome complex rose to 1.8-2.1 km a.s.l. and drifted SE on 13 and 18 August.

Dukono (Indonesia). On 15 August an ash plume rose to 3 km a.s.l. and drifted more than 90 km NW.

Kilauea (Hawaii, USA). Lava continued to flow SE through the lava tube system to reach the ocean at the Waikupanaha ocean entry, and active surface flows were detected via satellite and visual observations. The Halema’uma’u crater vent continued to produce a diffuse white plume that drifted mainly SW. A new very brightly incandescent hole appeared on the floor of the vent over 12-13 August, which subsequently increased in size and incandescence. The sulphur dioxide emission rate continued to be elevated: 2,050 tonnes/day measured on 12 August and 900 tonnes/day measured on 14 August (2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day).

Popocatépetl (Mexico). Emissions of steam and gas sometimes contained slight amounts of ash during 10 and 12-17 August.

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea). Ash plumes from Tavurvur cone rose to 3 km a.s.l. and drifted 25-165-280 km NW on 14 August.

Sakura-jima (Japan). Eruptions and explosions were reported 12-17 August. Plumes rose to 2.1-2.7 km a.s.l. during 14-17 August and occasionally drifted E or N.

Shiveluch (Russia). During 7-17 August seismic activity was above background levels. A large daily thermal anomaly was detected over the lava dome, and ash plumes possibly rose to 5 km a.s.l.

Suwanose-jima (Russia). During 16-17 August explosions produced plumes to 1.8 km a.s.l., drifting E on 16 August.

Ubinas (Peru). An emission was seen on 15 August.


The foregoing is a summary of the Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 12-18 August 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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1. Thomas Donlon - 23 August 2009

John Seach reports recent heightened activity at Popocatepetl Mexico.

“Eruption of Popocatepetl volcano, Mexico on 20th August 2009. Ash emission to 27,000 ft altitude at 1645 hr (UT). Access is restricted to a radius of 12 km from the crater. The road between Santiago Xalitzintla (Puebla) and San Pedro Nexapa (Mexico State), including Paso de Cortes, is open only to controlled traffic.”


2. admin - 23 August 2009

Thanks for the update, Thomas. I wish John Seach would give sources for his information instead of just links to other bits of his own site…

3. Thomas Donlon - 23 August 2009

I also did a quick check for verification – but couldn’t find any reports. However, last time he had an early report it turned out be true.

I can’t rule out he made some personal, local connections in his travels.

4. admin - 23 August 2009

That’s a fair point. And Washington VAAC had an advisory on 20 August confirming ash emissions at FL270:


However, the CENAPRED bulletin archive reports nothing unusual for 20 August, and shows that the exclusion zone and road closures have been in place since 4 August 2006:


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