jump to navigation

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 4-10 November 2009 12 November 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Caribbean, Chaitén, Chile, Colombia, Dukono, Ecuador, El Salvador, eruptions, Galeras, Guatemala, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Karangetang, Karymsky, Kilauea, Kliuchevskoi, Koryaksky, Mayon, Nevado del Huila, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Piton de la Fournaise, Rabaul, Reventador, Russia, Sakura-jima, Santa María, Shiveluch, Soufrière Hills, Suwanose-jima, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
Tags: , ,

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 4-10 November 2009

Click on the map for a larger version (1280 x 898 pixels).

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 4-10 November 2009 is available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity/unrest: Batur (Indonesia), Galeras (Colombia), Karangetang [Api Siau] (Indonesia), Mayon (Philippines), Nevado del Huila (Colombia), Piton de la Fournaise (Réunion), Reventador (Ecuador), San Vicente (El Salvador).

Ongoing activity: Chaitén (Chile), Dukono (Indonesia), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Kliuchevskoi (Russia), Koryaksky (Russia), Rabaul (Papua New Guinea), Sakura-jima (Japan), Santa María (Guatemala) Shiveluch (Russia), Soufrière Hills (Montserrat), Suwanose-jima (Japan).

Note: a.s.l. = ‘above sea level’.


Batur (Indonesia). From September to 7 November increased seismicity was reported, and there was a significant increase in the number of volcanic
earthquakes on 8 November. The Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale
of 1-4).

Galeras (Colombia). Seismic activity decreased during 7-10 November, although some seismic signals resembled patterns seen prior to previous eruptions. No sulphur dioxide emissions were detected. The Alert Level remained at II, Orange (‘eruption probable within days or weeks’).

Karangetang [Api Siau] (Indonesia). News articles reported a pyroclastic flow and a lahar on 4 November. Residents saw active lava flows the next day. On 11 November, incandescent material was ejected 5 m into the air.

Mayon (Philippines). On 11 November an explosion at the summit crater ejected incandescent rock fragments that were seen from nearby, and ashfall took place to the SW. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5).

Nevado del Huila (Colombia). Overflights on 4, 6, and 10 November revealed a continued high rate of lava dome growth, with the volume of the new lava dome estimated at about 25 million cubic metres. Small collapses were occurring on the W part of the dome. Gas emissions were sometimes accompanied by pulsating ash emissions. Sulphur dioxide plumes rose 2.5 km above the lava dome and were seen in satellite imagery and the web camera drifting with the prevailing winds. Washington VAAC reported that thermal anomalies on the volcano were seen intermittently through cloud cover during 4-6 and 10 November. An ash plume was reported on 7 November at an altitude of 9.4 km a.s.l., and a plume was seen drifting ESE on satellite imagery. Later that day, an ash plume was seen on satellite imagery and on the web cameras drifting SE at an altitude below 7.3 km a.s.l. The Alert Level remained at II, Orange (‘eruption probable within days or weeks’).

Piton de la Fournaise (Réunion). On 5 November a vent inside the S part of Dolomieu crater opened, following an intense seismic crisis. Within thirty minutes, a fissure on the upper SE flank propagated E and a second fissure opened on the E flank. Lava fountains 20 m high and ‘a’a lava flows were emitted from both fissures. The Alert Level was raised to 2. Lava flows ceased by the morning of 6 November and the Alert level was lowered to 1 later that day.

Reventador (Ecuador). On 5 November Washington VAAC reported an ash plume to an altitude of 7 km a.s.l. which drifted NE. Ash was not seen in satellite imagery, although meteorological clouds were present. An ash plume was reported to have risen 500 m above the crater on 7 November.

San Vicente (El Salvador). Heavy rains caused landslides and flooding in the town of Verapaz, about 6 km NW of the summit of San Vicente, during 7-8 November. Mud and boulders swept down the flanks of the volcano, and in conjunction with flooded rivers, buried homes and cars. At least 144 people were killed and about 60 were reportedly missing.


Chaitén (Chile). The lava-dome complex continued to grow during 16-30 October. The Alert Level remained at Red.

Dukono (Indonesia). Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to 3 km
a.s.l. and drifted 35 km NW on 8 November.

Karymsky (Russia). Seismic activity at Karymsky was above background levels during 29-31 October. Technical reasons meant data was not collected during 1-4 November. Seismic signals possibly indicated that ash plumes rose to 3.7 km a.s.l. on 31 October and 5 November. Analyses of satellite imagery during 29 October-5 November revealed almost daily thermal anomalies and intermittent ash plumes that drifted 180 km E. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange. Tokyo VAAC reported that eruptions on 8 and 10 November produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 3-3.4 km a.s.l. Ash was not identified on satellite imagery.

Kilauea (Hawaii, USA). During 4-10 November lava flowed SE from underneath the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the Waikupanaha ocean entry and a second location, 700 m farther to the W. Thermal anomalies detected in satellite images and visual observations revealed active surface lava flows. Breakout lava flows were located inland of the Waikpuanaha entry and also W of the County Public Viewing trail. The last remaining structure on the flow field burned on 3 November. Incandescence was seen from the Pu’u ‘O’o crater floor and an East wall vent during 6-7 November. The vent in Halema’uma’u crater continued to produce a diffuse white plume that drifted SW and likely produced some ashfall. Incandescence originated from a spattering lava pond inside the vent cavity. Preliminary measurements indicated that the sulphur dioxide emission rate at the summit remained elevated: measurements were 700 tonnes/day on 6 November and 400 tonnes/day on 9 November (2003-2007 average rate = 140 tonnes/day).

Kliuchevskoi (Russia). During 30 October-6 November seismic activity was above background levels. Strombolian activity ejected tephra 300 m above the crater and fumarolic activity was occasionally noted. Satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Koryaksky (Russia). During 30 October-6 November seismic activity did not exceed background levels. Fumarolic activity was noted on 29 October and during 4-5 November. The Level of Concern Color Code was lowered to Green.

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea). Darwin VAAC reported that on 9 November an ash plume from Tavurvur cone rose to an 1.8 km a.s.l. and drifted 110 km NW.

Sakura-jima (Japan). Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions during 4-10 November produced plumes that rose to 1.8-2.7 km a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Pilots reported ash plumes that rose to 2.4 km a.s.l. on 5 November and to 1.2 km on 9 November. Plumes drifted E and N, respectively.

Santa María (Guatemala). On 6 November an explosion from the Santiaguito lava dome complex produced a plume that rose 900 m and drifted SW. Washington VAAC reported that on 8 November a small gas plume possibly containing ash drifted less than 10 km SSW. Another small plume was seen later that day.

Shiveluch (Russia). During 30 October-6 November seismic activity was above background levels and possibly indicated that ash plumes rose to 4.7 km a.s.l. Fumarolic activity was noted and analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large
thermal anomaly over the lava dome. According to video camera data, ash plumes rose to an altitude of 8 km a.s.l. on 30 October. Ash plumes seen on satellite imagery drifted 130-255 km E on 30 October, and 1 and 5 November. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Soufrière Hills (Montserrat). During 30 October-6 November activity from the
lava dome was at a high level, with hybrid earthquakes recorded for the first time since the renewal of activity in early October. Numerous pyroclastic flows occurred in most of the major drainage valleys. On 4 November pyroclastic flows were seen traveling SW down Gingoes Ghaut to within 200 m of the sea. The frequency of pyroclastic flows increased on 5 November and particularly vigorous flows occurred in Tuitt’s Ghaut to the NE. Ash fell in inhabited areas on a few occasions. Lahars descended the Belham Valley to the W several times. The Hazard Level remained at 3.

Suwanose-jima (Japan). Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions during 4-5 November produced plumes that rose to 1.2-1.8 km a.s.l. and drifted SW and W. An explosion was also reported on 6 November.


The foregoing is a summary of the Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 4-10 November 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.

The Volcanism Blog


1. Andy James - 12 November 2009

I think the inclusion of the San Vicente landslides/floods is dubious. OK, the seriousness of the disaster was probably exacerbated by the characteristics of the volcanic flanks involved, but it hardly counts as ‘volcanic activity’.

Sorry comments are closed for this entry