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Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 8-14 June 2011 16 June 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Aso, Batu Tara, Caribbean, Chile, Dieng Volcanic Complex, Eritrea, eruptions, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Kizimen, Mayon, Nabro, Pacific, Puyehue, Russia, Sakura-jima, Shiveluch, Soufrière Hills, Tengger Caldera, United States, Vanuatu, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports, Yasur.

The Smithsonian Institution and United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, compiled by Sally Kuhn Sennert, has been issued for the week 8-14 June 2011. Another week high in volcanic interest:

  • Kizimen: eruptive episode with ash plumes reaching 4-5 km altitude
  • Nabro: eruption following an earthquake swarm sent ash to 13.7 km altitude
  • Puyehue-Cordón Caulle: eruption continues with continuous ash emission and pyroclastic flows
  • Mayon: slight inflation detected at the summit

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 8-14 June 2011

Click on the map for a larger version (1211 x 784 pixels).

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 8-14 June 2011 is now available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity/unrest: Aso (Japan), Dieng Volcanic Complex (Indonesia), Kizimen (Russia), Nabro (Eritrea), Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile), Yasur (Vanuatu).

Ongoing activity: Batu Tara (Indonesia), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Mayon (Philippines), Sakura-jima (Japan), Shiveluch (Russia), Soufrière Hills (Montserrat), Tengger Caldera (Indonesia).

Note: ‘a.s.l.’ = ‘above sea level’.


Aso (Japan). Based on notices from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 7-9 June plumes from Aso rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW, N, NE and E. [GVP: Aso]

Dieng Volcanic Complex (Indonesia). CVGHM reported that during 31 May-10 June carbon dioxide gas emissions declined from Timbang, a cone that is part of the Dieng Volcanic Complex. Seismicity decreased during 5-7 June and was not detected during 8-10 June. White plumes were not observed. On 10 June the Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). [GVP: Dieng Volcanic Complex]

Kizimen (Russia). KVERT reported that during 3-10 June seismicity from Kizimen was above background levels and strong tremor continued to be detected. Seismic data indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 6.6 km (21,700 ft) a.s.l. during 5-8 June. Satellite images showed a large bright thermal anomaly on the volcano during 3-5, 7, and 9 June, and an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. on 9 June. During 11-12 June seismicity significantly increased. Seismic data indicated 10 strong explosions and ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4-5.9 km (13,120-19,350 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed a wide ash plume that drifted 135 km SE and a large bright thermal anomaly. The Aviation Colour Code was raised to Red. On 12 June volcanic tremor magnitude decreased, then sharply decreased about 4 hours later. The next day ash plumes observed in satellite imagery drifted 760 km E at altitudes that did not exceed 5.9 km (19,350) a.s.l. A large bright thermal anomaly continued to be detected. Volcanic-tremor magnitude again increased for about a three-hour period, then decreased and remained low on 14 June. Satellite imagery from that day showed a large pyroclastic flow deposit on the NE flank from 11-13 June activity. An ash plume drifted 26 km S on 15 June. [GVP: Kizimen]

Nabro (Eritrea). According to the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program an earthquake swarm was detected during the evening of 12 June on the border of Ethiopia and Eritrea in the vicinity of Nabro, the most prominent of three volcanoes with large summit calderas aligned in a NE-SW direction SW of Dubbi volcano. The swarm began at 1837 with an M 5.1 earthquake. Several more were detected between M 4.3 and 5.1 over the next few hours. Two M 5.7 earthquakes at depths of 10.1 km and 9.9 km were detected at 2332 on 12 June and 0003 on 13 June, respectively. The Toulouse VAAC reported that an eruption from Nabro (originally attributed to Dubbi) started between 0000 and 0200 on 13 June. An eruption plume initially rose to altitudes of 9.1-13.7 km (30,000-45,000 ft) a.s.l. then was later detected at altitudes of 6.1-10.7 km (20,000-35,000 ft) a.s.l. during 13-14 June. According to the Eritrean Ministry of Information, ashfall covered hundreds of kilometres and the government evacuated area residents. Witnesses noted that the eruption had started at about 2100 on 13 June. Satellite images that same day showed the plume drifting more than 1,000 km NW, over parts of Sudan. On 14 June a detached ash cloud was detected over southern Israel according to news articles. A plume from Nabro was not obvious on satellite imagery. [GVP: Nabro]

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile). OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption from the Cordón Caulle rift zone, part of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex, that began on 4 June continued on 5 June. At least five pyroclastic flows were generated from partial collapses of the eruptive column and traveled N in the Nilahue River drainage. The pyroclastic flows were possibly 10 km long. On 6 June the continuous ash plume changed direction and was blown ENE as far as 178 km while the previous portion of the plume continued to drift ESE over the ocean. On 7 June the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 5.5-9.8 km (18,000-32,000 ft) a.s.l. and were 65-95 km wide. OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that on 8 June satellite imagery showed a 1,200-km-long eruption plume drifting NE, then SE over the Atlantic Ocean. Personnel working in the area reported that the ash plume rose 7.5 km above the crater. On 9 June climatologic conditions prevented ground-based observations of the plume, however satellite imagery showed a 200-km-long plume drifting NE. Pumice and vitreous tephra had accumulated in many area lakes and rivers, and ash had turned many rivers darker. Despite poor visibility due to meteorological conditions on 10 June, the plume was observed to have risen 3.7 km above the crater and drifted SE. News articles stated that flight disruptions continued in Argentina and Uruguay, and flights from airports in Brazil had been cancelled. On 11 June the plume was whiter than previous days and rose to heights 4-4.5 km above the crater and drifted 350 km E. A dispersed plume was detected as far as 600 km ENE. Some flights resumed in affected parts of Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. An overflight on 11 June revealed that the vent was located at the head of the Nilahue River’s basin, immediately to the N of the 1960 eruption fissure location. Abundant amounts of ash had accumulated around the vent as well as to the E and SW. Ash plumes rose 4-4.5 km above the crater; an explosion that day caused an ash plume to rise 8 km above the crater. On 12 June seismicity was relatively stable except for four hybrid earthquakes and a pulse of tremor that lasted about 2 hours and 40 minutes. A series of explosions (up to 8 events per minute) were also registered. Very dense, dark grey ash plumes rose 8 km above the crater. Satellite imagery showed a distinct eruption plume drifting 300 km E, with a diffuse plume reaching 1,000 km ENE. According to news articles, the ash plume that had been drifting mostly E since the beginning of the eruption had reached Australia and beyond, causing flight cancellations in southern Australia and New Zealand. Scientists aboard an overflight on 13 June observed the plume height oscillating and noted that the eruptive vent diameter was 300-400 m. Gas-and-steam plumes rose from two or three locations along the same fissure as the eruptive vent. Pulses of tremor were associated with dark grey ash plumes that rose 9 km above the crater. Ashfall and column collapses were noted. At night incandescence from the base of the plume reached 1.5-2 km high. Satellite imagery showed the plume drifting 250 km SE. On 14 June explosions generated pyroclastic flows (that traveled N), with associated ash-and-gas plumes. Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the VAAC stated that ash plumes rose to altitudes of 5.5-7.6 km (18,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. while previously emitted ash plumes drifted NE, E, and SE at altitudes of 0.9-3 km (3,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. SERNAGEOMIN reiterated that the Alert Level remained at 6, Red. [GVP: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle]

Yasur (Vanuatu). On 13 June the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that activity from Yasur decreased during the previous week after a brief period of high activity with significant explosions and ashfall. Even though Strombolian activity occasionally ejected bombs that fell around the crater, explosions had become slightly weaker and less frequent. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 0-4). [GVP: Yasur]


Batu Tara (Indonesia). Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 8-13 June ash plumes from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55-75 km NW, N, and E. [GVP: Batu Tara]

Karymsky (Russia). KVERT reported moderate seismic activity at Karymsky during 3-10 June and that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 6 km (15,100 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly during 3-4 June and an ash plume that drifted 254 km SE on 4 June. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange. [GVP: Karymsky]

Kilauea (Hawaii, USA). HVO reported that two lava lakes at Kilauea were active during 8-14 June. The level of the summit lava lake remained mostly stable deep in the vent inset within the E wall of Halema’uma’u Crater. Occasional increases in the lake level covered a vent on the south side wall; on other days lava from the vent cascaded down into the lake. A gas plume from the vent drifted SW. At Pu’u ‘O’o, lava from vents near the W and NE edges of the perched lava lake in the center of the crater floor continued to fill the lake. The lake level fluctuated and infrequently overflowed the edges or flowed through a rim breach, sending lava onto the Pu’u ‘O’o crater floor. There was also minor lava activity from at least one source at the base of the SW crater wall. [GVP: Kilauea]

Mayon (Philippines). PHIVOLCS reported that a deformation survey of Mayon conducted during 31 May-4 June showed slight inflation since a 6-10 March survey. White steam emitted from the summit crater during 8-13 June crept down the NW and WNW flanks. Incandescence from the crater was also observed. The Alert Level remained at 1 and the public was reminded not to enter the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ). [GVP: Mayon]

Sakura-jima (Japan). Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 8-9 and 14 June explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.1-3 km (7,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE. During 8-9 and 13-14 June, pilots observed ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 2.4-3.7 km (8,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. [GVP: Sakura-jima]

Shiveluch (Russia). KVERT reported that during 3-10 June seismic activity at Shiveluch indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 9 km (29,500 ft) a.s.l. on 5 June and to altitudes of 5-7 km (16,400-22,960 ft) a.s.l. during 4-6 and 8 June. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the lava dome during 3-4 June, and ash plumes that drifted 734 km SE on 4 June and 377 km NE during 5-6 June. Based on information from Yelizovo Airport (UHPP), the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 10 June an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange. [GVP: Shiveluch]

Soufrière Hills (Montserrat). MVO reported that during 3-10 June activity at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level. Unusual wind directions caused a sulfur odor in inhabited areas multiple times during the reporting period. On 9 June a pyroclastic flow traveled down the S flank, the first to go S in more than a year. The pyroclastic flow generated an ash cloud that drifted N and caused light ashfall in NW Montserrat. The Hazard Level remained at 3. [GVP: Soufrière Hills]

Tengger Caldera (Indonesia). CVGHM reported that during 1-10 May white-to-grey ash plumes from Tengger Caldera’s Bromo cone rose 400-600 m above the crater and drifted ENE, and incandescence emanated from the crater. During 11-20 May white-to-grey ash plumes rose 200-400 m above the crater and drifted E. Ash plumes continued to rise from the crater during 1-13 June to heights of 100-200 m above the crater and drifted E. Ash continued to fall in areas within 2 km E and NE during May and June. On 13 June the Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). [GVP: Tengger Caldera]

The foregoing is a summary of the Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 8-14 June 2011. 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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