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SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 18-24 November 2009 26 November 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Batu Tara, Caribbean, Chaitén, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, eruptions, Galeras, Guatemala, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Kliuchevskoi, Mexico, Pacaya, Papua New Guinea, Popocatépetl, Rabaul, Reventador, Russia, Sakura-jima, Santa María, Sarychev Peak, Shiveluch, Soufrière Hills, Suwanose-jima, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
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SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 18-24 November 2009

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The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 18-24 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: Galeras (Colombia), Sarychev Peak (Russia).

Ongoing activity: Batu Tara (Indonesia), Chaitén (Chile), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Kliuchevskoi (Russia), Pacaya (Guatemala), Popocatépetl (Mexico), Rabaul (Papua New Guinea), Reventador (Ecuador), Sakura-jima (Japan), Santa María (Guatemala), Shiveluch (Russia), Soufrière Hills (Montserrat), Suwanose-jima (Japan).

Note: a.s.l. = ‘above sea level’.


Galeras (Colombia). An explosive eruption occurred on 20 November. Local inhabitants reported five explosions, sound waves and crater incandescence. The resulting ash plume was reported by Washington VAAC to have possibly risen to 14.3 km a.s.l. The plume drifted N, and ashfall was reported 10 km N, NNW and E. Seismicity increased after the eruption and then gradually decreased, and the alert level was lowered on 21 November from Red to Orange (‘eruption probable within days or weeks’).

Sarychev Peak (Russia). On 21 November a thermal anomaly was detected by satellite.


Batu Tara (Indonesia). Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume to 2.4 km a.s.l. which drifted 90 km NW on 24 November.

Chaitén (Chile). Buenos Aires VAAC reported a gas plume from the lava-dome complex on 23 November which rose to 2.4 km a.s.l. and drifted SSE.

Karymsky (Russia). Seismic activity was above background levels on 12, 14 and 16 November, with no data available for other days during 13-20 November because of technical reasons. Elevated seismicity possibly indicated ash plumes rising to 3 km a.s.l. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly and ash plumes that drifted 130 km E during 12-14 and 17 November. Tokyo VAAC reported that on 23 November an eruption produced a plume that rose to 4 km a.s.l. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Kilauea (Hawaii, USA). During 18-24 November lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from beneath the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex to reach the ocean at multiple locations between Waikupanaha and an area 700 m further W. Thermal anomalies detected by satellite and visual observations revealed active surface lava flows at locations on and at the base of the pali, at the TEB vent, and on the coastal plain. Incandescence was seen on the Pu’u ‘O’o crater floor. The Halema’uma’u crater vent continued to produce a white or off-white plume that drifted mainly SW and dropped small amounts of ash downwind. Incandescence originated from a circulating and spattering lava pond that occasionally rose above and drained back below holes in the vent cavity floor. On 21 November, a sliver of the rim collapsed and was followed by an explosion that produced a dense brown plume that dissipated after a few minutes. The sulphur dioxide emission rate at the summit remained elevated: 700-1,100 tonnes/day was measured during 18-20 and 23 November (2003-2007 average rate = 140 tonnes/day).

Kliuchevskoi (Russia). During 13-20 November seismic activity was above background levels. Strombolian activity ejected tephra 200 m above the crater during 13-15 November. On 14 November, a new lava flow traveled 500 m down the ESE flank. Satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Pacaya (Guatemala). White and blue plumes from MacKenney cone rose up to 400 m and drifted SSW on 20 and 24 November. Multiple lava flows on the S and SW flanks traveled 100-250 m SE and SW. Incandescence was observed at night.

Popocatépetl (Mexico). During 18-20 November steam-and-gas plumes were emitted that sometimes contained ash. On 21 November a small explosion was detected by the seismic network, accompanied by an ash plume that rose to 8.9 km a.s.l. and drifted E, causing ashfall in Atlixco (23 km SE), Huejotzingo (27 km NE), and areas in the state of Tlaxcala.

Rabaul (Papua New Guinea). Darwin VAAC reported that ash plumes from Tavurvur cone rose to 2.1 km a.s.l. and drifted 35-90 km NW on 19 November.

Reventador (Ecuador). Based on a pilot observation, Washington VAAC reported that on 20 November an ash plume from Reventador rose to 6.1 km a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was detected on satellite imagery.

Sakura-jima (Japan). Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions on 18 and 23 November produced plumes that rose to 2.1-2.7 km a.s.l. and drifted S and E.

Santa María (Guatemala). On 20 November two explosions from the Santiaguito lava dome complex produced an ash plume that drifted SW. Avalanches descended the SW flank of the dome. An explosion on 24 November produced an ash plume the rose to 3.3 km a.s.l. and drifted SE. Ashfall was reported in areas downwind.

Shiveluch (Russia). During 13-20 November seismic activity was above background levels, indicating ash plumes possibly rising to 5.3 km a.s.l. Video cameras observed fumarolic activity and hot avalanches on 14 and 15 November. A large daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome was detected by satellite. Tokyo VAAC reported that on 18 November an eruption produced a plume that rose to 5.5 km a.s.l. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Soufrière Hills (Montserrat). During 13-20 November activity from the lava dome consisted of ash venting along with semi-continuous rockfalls and pyroclastic flows that were concentrated on the W flank. Ashfall occurred across many areas of the island. Views of the lava dome on 16 November showed that the dome height had decreased because of collapses and that a deep channel had developed NE of Chances Peak. Pyroclastic flows in the Gages Valley (W) continued down Spring Ghaut and Aymer’s Ghaut, and spread onto the alluvial fan below St. Georges Hill. On 19 November, heavy ashfall occurred to the NW between Old Towne and Brades. The Hazard Level remained at 3.

Suwanose-jima (Japan). Tokyo VAAC reported an explosion from Suwanose-jima on 18 November. Details of possible resulting emissions were not reported.


The foregoing is a summary of the Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 18-24 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.

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