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SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 3-9 February 2010 10 February 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Bezymianny, Caribbean, Colombia, Dukono, Ecuador, eruptions, Fukutoku-Okanoba, Galeras, Guatemala, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Kliuchevskoi, Pacaya, Pacific, Russia, Sakura-jima, Sarychev Peak, Shiveluch, Soufrière Hills, Suwanose-jima, Tungurahua, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
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Some of the volcanic activity headlines this week:

  • Fukutoku-Okanoba: Surtseyan explosions from this undersea volcano
  • Pacaya: Strombolian activity reaching 30 metres above the cone
  • Kliuchevskoi: Strombolian activity projecting material up to 300 metres above the crater
  • Sakura-jima: lava fountain activity reaching up to 1 km in height, and an ash plume alive with lightning

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 3-9 February 2010

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

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 3-9 February 2010 has been released but is not yet available on the Global Volcanism Program website because of technical problems caused by severe weather in the eastern United States. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

UPDATE: Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 3-9 February 2010 is now available at the Global Volcanism Program website.

New activity/unrest: Bezymianny (Russia), Fukutoku-Okanoba (Japan), Pacaya (Guatemala).

Ongoing activity: Dukono (Indonesia), Galeras (Colombia), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Kliuchevskoi (Russia), Sakura-jima (Japan), Sarychev Peak (Russia), Shiveluch (Russia), Soufrière Hills (Montserrat), Suwanose-jima (Japan), Tungurahua (Ecuador).

Note: a.s.l. = ‘above sea level’.

NEW ACTIVITY/UNREST

Bezymianny (Russia). KVERT reported that during 29-30 January and 2 February a thermal anomaly from Bezymianny’s lava dome was detected in satellite imagery. The anomaly was larger during 7-8 February, prompting KVERT to raise the Level of Concern Colour Code to Orange. Strong activity from Kliuchevskoi volcano had obscured seismic signals from Bezymianny since 4 January.

Fukutoku-Okanoba (Japan). According to news articles, JMA reported Surtseyan explosions from Fukutoku-Okanoba, 5 km NE of the island of Minami-Iwo-jima, on 3 February. Steam-and-ash plumes rose 100 m a.s.l. and the surrounding sea turned yellow-green. Video footage of the event was captured by people aboard a Japanese Coast Guard patrol boat. One article stated that the sea in the area had regularly changed colours since the 1950s, most recently in December 2009.

Pacaya (Guatemala). INSIVUMEH reported that activity from Pacaya consisting of effusion of lava flows, the source of which had migrated towards the S from the N flank since April 2006, ceased on 30 January 2010. On 5 February, Strombolian explosions from MacKenney cone ejected material 30 m into the air and lava from the crater moved down the flank. The activity was heard in the village of San Francisco de Sales, 5 km N. A new lava flow originating from a depression on the NE flank was seen on 6 February.

ONGOING ACTIVITY

Dukono (Indonesia). The Darwin VAAC reported that during 5-6 February ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55-150 km SW and W.

Galeras (Colombia). On 9 February, INGEOMINAS lowered the Alert Level for Galeras to III (Yellow; ‘changes in the behaviour of volcanic activity’). During the previous few days, seismicity was low and sulphur dioxide emissions were low to moderate.

Karymsky (Russia). KVERT reported that during 29 January-5 February seismic activity from Karymsky was above background levels and possibly indicated weak ash explosions. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a thermal anomaly over the volcano on 28 January and 1 February. The Level of Concern Colour Code remained at Orange.

Kilauea (Hawaii, USA). During 3-9 February, HVO reported an active lava surface about 200 m below a vent in the floor of Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u crater. The lava surface occasionally spattered, and both rose and drained through holes in the cavity floor. A plume from the vent drifted mainly SW, dropping small amounts of ash, and occasionally fresh spatter, downwind. Measurements indicated that the sulphur dioxide emission rate at the summit remained elevated; 1,200 and 700 tonnes per day were measured on 4 and 8 February, respectively. The 2003-2007 average rate was 140 tonnes per day. Lava from beneath the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex flowed over 3 km SE through a lava tube system before breaking out onto the surface. Thermal anomalies detected by satellite and visual observations revealed active lava flows above and on the pali, and on the coastal plain. By 8 February, pahoehoe lava flows had advanced 700 m from the base of the pali S onto the coastal plain. Incandescence was sometimes seen from a vent low on the S wall of Pu’u ‘O’o crater.

Kliuchevskoi (Russia). KVERT reported that during 29 January-5 February seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi was above background levels and lava continued to flow down the NW flank. Strombolian activity periodically ejected material 300 m above the crater, and phreatic explosions occurred from the front of the lava flow. Satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. On 30 and 31 January, gas-and-steam plumes rose to an altitude of 6.2 km (20,300 ft) a.s.l. The Level of Concern Colour Code remained at Orange.

Sakura-jima (Japan). Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 3-9 February multiple explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-3 km (5,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and N. On 5, 6, and 7 February, pilots reported that ash plumes sometimes drifted SE and S at altitudes of 1.5-3.4 km (5,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. An eruption on 8 February produced an estimated 1-km-high lava fountain, and an ash plume with abundant lightning. Incandescent material fell onto the flanks.

Sarychev Peak (Russia). SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly on Sarychev Peak was detected by satellite on 3 February.

Shiveluch (Russia). KVERT reported that during 29 January-5 February seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels, possibly indicating ash plumes rising to an altitude of 5.7 km (18,700 ft) a.s.l. Fumarolic activity was observed on 1 February; cloud cover prevented observations on other days. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly from the lava dome. The Level of Concern Colour Code remained at Orange.

Soufrière Hills (Montserrat). MVO reported that during 29 January-5 February activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome was variable as the lava dome continued to grow. Cycles of vigorous ash venting, rockfalls, and pyroclastic flows occurred every seven to twelve hours. Pyroclastic flows traveled mostly W down Gages into Spring Ghaut, as far as 3 km, but also occurred in Whites Ghaut to the NE. Rockfall activity was abundant on the N flank. On 4 February, ash fell across NW Montserrat. Observations the next day revealed that the central W part of the lava dome had grown and was 1,070 m a.s.l. Pyroclastic flows following a Vulcanian explosion on 5 February traveled W, reaching Plymouth and spreading 500 m across the sea. Pyroclastic flows also traveled as far as 2 km NW down Tyers Ghaut and NE down Whites Ghaut. An ash plume rose to an altitude of 6.4 km (21,000 ft) a.s.l. A small Vulcanian explosion on 8 February generated pyroclastic flows that mostly traveled W down Gages Valley. Small pyroclastic surges observed using a thermal camera descended the N flanks. An ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and ENE. Ashfall was reported in NW Montserrat and in SW Antigua, 50 km NW. The Hazard Level remained at 4.

Suwanose-jima (Japan). Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported explosions from Suwanose-jima during 5-6 and 9 February. Details of possible resulting emissions were not reported.

Tungurahua (Ecuador). The IG reported that 14-51 explosions from Tungurahua were detected by the seismic network during 3-9 February. Inclement weather often prevented observations of the volcano; an ash plume was seen rising to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall was noted almost daily in areas to the SW, W, and NW, and was particularly heavy towards the end of the reporting period. Roaring noises and sounds resembling ‘cannon shots’ were heard. Explosions sometimes caused windows and structures to vibrate, including large windows at the Tungurahua Observatory (OVT) in Guadalupe, 11 km N. Occasionally at night incandescence emanated from the crater and incandescent blocks rolled down the flanks as far as 1 km. On 3 February lahars descended drainages to the W and SW, carrying tree trunks and blocks up to 1 m in diameter, and causing the road from Riobamba to Baños to close. Strombolian activity from the crater was seen during 6-8 February.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND DISCLAIMER

The foregoing is a summary of the Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 3-9 February 2010. 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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