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Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 22-28 February 2012 1 March 2012

Posted by admin in activity reports, Alaska, Bezymianny, Canary Islands, Chile, Cleveland, Costa Rica, Ecuador, eruptions, Guatemala, Hawaii, Hierro, Japan, Kamchatka, Kanaga, Karymsky, Kilauea, Kizimen, Mexico, Popocatépetl, Puyehue, Russia, Sakura-jima, Santa María, Shiveluch, Spain, Tungurahua, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.

The latest Smithsonian Institution and United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report has been published by the Global Volcanism Program, covering the week 22 February to 28 February 2012. The report is compiled by Sally Kuhn Sennert. Some of the highlights:

  • Rincón de la Vieja: two eruptions from Rincón de la Vieja’s active crater
  • Tungurahua: moderate activity continues, with ashfall, incandescence, steam-and-ash plume
  • Puyehue-Cordón Caulle: low-level eruptive activity continues, with lava flows and ash plumes
  • Santa María: explosions produced 0.6-1.3 km plumes and ashfall, pyroclastic flows reported

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 22-28 February 2012

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

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 22-28 February 2012 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: Cleveland (Alaska, USA), Kanaga (Alaska, USA), Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica), Tungurahua (Ecuador).

Ongoing activity: Bezymianny (Russia), Hierro (Canary Islands), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Kizimen (Russia), Popocatépetl (Mexico), Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile), Sakura-jima (Japan), Santa María (Guatemala), Shiveluch (Russia).

Note: ‘a.s.l.’ = ‘above sea level’.


Cleveland (Alaska, USA).  AVO reported that satellite observations of Cleveland during 22-28 February revealed that the growth of the lava dome continued at a slow rate. Cloud cover over the volcano prevented views of the lava dome during 22 and 25-28 February. On 23 February a thermal anomaly was detected in partly cloudy satellite images. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange. No current seismic information was available because Cleveland does not have a real-time seismic network. [GVP: Cleveland]

Kanaga (Alaska, USA). AVO reported that no unusual activity was detected in seismic data or in partly-cloudy satellite images of Kanaga during 22-24 and 26-28 February. Low-level volcanic tremor was detected on 25 February. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Colour Code remained at Yellow. [GVP: Kanaga]

Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica). OVSICORI-UNA reported that seismic data revealed two eruptions on 19 and 20 February from Rincón de la Vieja’s active crater. Two more eruptions also occurred on 23 February. Explosions were heard in Guachipelin (11 km SW) between 0400 and 0430. [GVP: Rincón de la Vieja]

Tungurahua (Ecuador). IG reported moderate activity at Tungurahua during 22-28 February. Steam plumes with some ash content rose to altitudes of 1-2 km (3,300-6,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W during 22-24 February. Ash fall was reported in Palitahua (6 km SSW), Choglontus (13 km WSW), and Manzano (8 km SW) on 23 February, and in the Mapayacu (SW) and Achupashal (NW) gorges on 24 February. Strombolian activity was observed on 24 February, and incandescence material that rose as high as 500 m above the crater fell on the W and NW flanks. Ashfall was reported to the SW in Manzano again on 25 February. A steam-and-ash plume rose as high as 800 m above the crater and drifted W on 26 February. Crater incandescence was observed on 23 and 27 February. [GVP: Tungurahua]


Bezymianny (Russia). KVERT reported high levels of seismic activity at Bezymianny during 17-24 February and a thermal anomaly that was detected daily in satellite images. Two short volcanic tremor episodes were reported on 15 and 22 February. Gas-and-steam plumes, observed in satellite images, drifted NE on 20 and 22 February. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange. [GVP: Bezymianny]

Hierro (Canary Islands).  Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) reported that during 22-28 February the seismic amplitude recorded at every IGN station on El Hierro Island remained at very low values. Weak and intermittent discolouration was observed on the sea surface over the emission area. Only once were emitted lava fragments observed during the reported period. 107 seismic events were located, most of them in the central part of the island, with a few extending offshore to the S. Depths of the hypocentres varied between 8 and 20 km and magnitudes between 0.1 and 2.6 (46 events with magnitude 1 or greater). Three events were felt by residents with a maximum intensity value of III (EMS-98). GPS deformation analyses showed a slight trend to N in the stations located at the N of the island. [GVP: Hierro]

Karymsky (Russia). KVERT reported that seismic activity continued at a moderate level at Karymsky during 17-24 February, and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly at the volcano during 16-21 February and an ash plume that drifted 15 km E on 21 February. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange. [GVP: Karymsky]

Kilauea (Hawaii, USA). During 22-28 February, HVO reported that the lava lake circulated and periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater. Web camera views and satellite images indicated that lava flows remained active within the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision more than 7.5 km SE of Pu’u ‘O’o. Lava flows also remained active high on the pali and across the December 2011 flows. Incandescence was visible on the NE and SE edges of the Pu’u ‘O’o crater floor and on the upper part of the lava-tube system on Pu’u ‘O’o’s E flank during 23 and 26-28 February. On 22 February a small lava flow from the SE source was observed by the web camera. Two minor lava flows issued from the NE source on 26 February, and one lava flow issued from NE source on 27 February. On 25 February HVO geologists aboard an overflight reported that the small cone on the NE source periodically ejected spatter, and the SE source fumed and produced a lava flow. They also noted that the flow advanced as two lobes; one lobe traveled along the E margin of the December 2011 flows and another advanced along the W margin of the December 2011 flows. During 27-28 February the web camera and satellite images indicated that both the E and W lobes continued moving down the pali. [GVP: Kilauea]

Kizimen (Russia). During 17-24 February, KVERT reported moderate seismicity at Kizimen, strong gas-and-steam activity, and a large thermal anomaly that was detected daily in satellite images. Video and satellite observations indicated both continued effusion of a large lava flow on the E flank and accompanying hot avalanches. A large avalanche on the E flank, W of the lava flow, was observed on 21 February, and an ash plume rose to an altitude of 1 km (3,280 ft) a.s.l. On 22 February about 20 avalanches were reported. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange. [GVP: Kizimen]

Popocatépetl (Mexico). CENAPRED reported that during 22-28 February steam-and-gas emissions rose from Popocatépetl and crater incandescence was observed at night. Ash plumes rose 500-900 m above the crater during 22-24 February. [GVP: Popocatépetl]

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile) Based on seismicity detected during 21-27 February, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption from the Cordón Caulle rift zone, part of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex, continued at a low level. SERNAGEOMIN and ONEMI scientists aboard an overflight on 21 February reported that lava reached the valley of the Nilahue River, and two lava flows advanced to the N margin of the W crater. Some areas were covered in pumice and grey ash deposits. During 23-24 February plumes observed with a web camera rose 1 km above the crater; clouds prevented views on 22 and 25-26 February. Satellite images showed ash plumes drifting 60-100 km N and E during 22-23 February. Clouds prevented clear satellite views during 24-26 February. Crater incandescence was observed on 26 February. The Alert Level remained at Red. [GVP: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle]

Sakura-jima (Japan). Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 22 and 24 February explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. [GVP: Sakura-jima]

Santa María (Guatemala). INSIVUMEH reported that during 22-24 and 27-28 February explosions from Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose 600-1,300 m above the complex and drifted WSW, W, and WNW. Pyroclastic flows were generated during 22-23 February, and ash fall was reported in El Rosario (45 km SW), Monte Bello (S), Palajunoj (SW), and Quetzaltenango (18 km WNW) on 23 February. Clouds of gas and tephra were also observed on 23 February. Constant avalanches descended the S flank during 23-24 and 27-28 February. Ash fall was reported in Monte Claro (S), San Marcos (46 km NW), Buena Vista (49 km NW), El Rosario, Monte Bello, and Palajunoj during 24 and 27-28 February. White plumes rose from the Caliente Cone and drifted WSW on 27 February. [GVP: Santa María]

Shiveluch (Russia). KVERT reported that during 17-24 February low levels of seismic activity were detected at Shiveluch and satellite imagery showed a weak thermal anomaly. According to visual and satellite observations, a viscous lava flow continued to effuse in the crater that was formed during a 2010 eruption. Moderate fumarolic activity at the lava dome was observed during 19-23 February; clouds prevented observations on the other days of the week. The Aviation Colour Code remained at Orange. [GVP: Shiveluch]

The foregoing is a summary of the Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report covering 22 February to 28 February 2012. 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. Ron Schott - 1 March 2012

Welcome back, Ralph!

2. parclair - 1 March 2012

So good to have you back. I’ve missed your blog.

3. admin - 1 March 2012


4. Silver Fox - 1 March 2012

Welcome back!

5. Guillermo Abramson (@guilleabramson) - 1 March 2012

Welcome indeed.

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