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SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6-12 October 2010 14 October 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Arenal, Argentina, Batu Tara, Caribbean, Chile, Costa Rica, Dukono, Ecuador, eruptions, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Kliuchevskoi, Piton de la Fournaise, Planchón-Peteroa, Poás, Reventador, Russia, Sakura-jima, Sangay, Shiveluch, Soufrière Hills, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
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The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 6-12 October 2010 is compiled by Sally Kuhn Kennert and published by the Global Volcanism Program. Some selected highlights:

  • Piton de la Fournaise: continuing high level of activity, with elevated seismicity and summit inflation
  • Planchón-Peteroa: plumes rising to altitudes between 3 and 6 km a.s.l.
  • Poás: phreatic eruptions throw material tens of metres above the surface of the crater lake

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 6-12 October 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 29 September – 5 October 2010 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: Piton de la Fournaise (Réunion Island), Planchón-Peteroa (Chile), Reventador (Ecuador).

Ongoing activity: Arenal (Costa Rica), Batu Tara (Indonesia), Dukono (Indonesia), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Kliuchevskoi (Russia), Poás (Costa Rica), Sakura-jima (Japan), Sangay (Ecuador), Shiveluch (Russia), Soufrière Hills (Montserrat).


Chile: the latest from Planchón (and Chaitén) 8 October 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Argentina, Chaitén, Chile, eruptions, Planchón-Peteroa.
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Chilean state geological service SERNAGEOMIN has issued a new bulletin (4 October 2010) giving the latest information about the ongoing activity at Planchón-Peteroa and Chaitén volcanoes.

The report on Planchón-Peteroa, covering the period 16-30 September, says that data from monitoring of the volcano indicates that ‘the current activity is characterized by the active presence of a body of magma, interacting with the upper hydrothermal system of the volcano, which continues in a minor eruptive process’. A high level of seismic activity has been recorded, associated with fluid movements in the interior of the volcano. including a continuous tremor signal. An overflight on 30 September revealed that the volcano is continuing to produced ‘pyroclastic eruptive activity of a low intensity’, but that there has been a ‘slight increase in the vigour of the emissions compared with that seen over the last three weeks’. Other observations from the overflight:

The eruptive activity has remained constant in the south-western crater, with a relatively dense column of ash, gases and diffuse emanations of water vapour. The emission of ash and gases was maintained from the lower north-eastern edge of the crater, but it was more continuous and vigorous than was observed during the flights of 7 and 9 September. From the air, a column a little more dense than on those occasions could be observed.

The ash column rising from the crater was inclined towards the east to a height of approximately 400 metres above the level of emission. From this point the column was dispersed and diluted over a wide area of Argentine territory. During the overflight, the greater part of the ash plume in suspension was distributed towards the east and, from there, a part towards the north-east, for tens of kilometres, at heights of up to 6000 metres a.s.l. A more dilute trace of the plume extended to the south and south-east at maximum altitudes of 3000 metres a.s.l. between Argentine valleys.

The report concludes that the volcano’s current behaviour suggests that ‘the magma body and the hydrothermal system are remaining in a certain equilibrium’. The alert level remains at Yellow level 4.

A detailed version of the Planchón bulletin in PDF can be found by going to the ‘informes’ page on the horrible OVDAS website and clicking on Región del Maule (VII) Volcán Planchón-Peteroa in the list under ‘Informes, Reportes y Otros Informes’ for the list of recent reports, or you can open the PDF directly by clicking here.

As for Chaitén, things remain active but quiet: a slight increase in seismic activity was registered during 20-28 September compared to levels earlier in the month, but ‘the energy released by the volcanic system remains at relatively low levels, comparable to earlier months’. SERNAGEOMIN is maintaining an alert level of Yellow level 3.

Watching Planchón: the main page of the Proyecto Observación Volcán Villarrica (POVI) website currently features information on the Planchón activity, and SERNAGEOMIN-OVDAS has a webcam at Romeral which provides a very good view of Planchón-Peteroa, weather permitting.

References to volcano alert levels on this blog are not authoritative and are not necessarily up to date. You should always check with official sources for the latest alert levels.

[Thanks to Guillermo for letting me know about the new SERNAGEOMIN bulletin.]

Global Volcanism Program: Planchón-Peteroa – summary information for Planchón-Peteroa (1507-04=)
Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-041=)
Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería – Chilean state geological service SERNAGEOMIN
Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur – the ghastly website for OVDAS

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Alert in Argentina for Peteroa volcano (updated) 22 September 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Argentina, Chile, eruptions, Planchón-Peteroa.
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Press reports this morning say that the authorities in Argentina have put out a yellow alert for Planchón-Peteroa volcano on the Argentine-Chilean border. An eruption which began on 18 September has produced a dense dark plume and ashfall across Argentine territory, and reports say that the volcano is increasing its activity. No evacuation has been ordered for nearby areas, but local inhabitants have been warned to take precautions against any increase in the ashfall.

The NASA Earth Observatory has a satellite image captured on 18 September of Planchón-Peteroa’s plume, which certainly looks very dark and ashy as it blows across Argentina (H/T: Eruptions).

UPDATE. Officials in Argentina now deny that any yellow alert has been applied to Peteroa, says the latest report in Diario Los Andes. However, both Chile and Argentina are continuing to monitor the volcano, the activity of which is described by Argentine geologists as ‘above normal’. There has been with light ashfall in areas affected by Peteroa’s plume, and a strong smell of sulphur has been reported. On the Argentine side of the border smallholders raise sheep and cattle in the area around the volcano, and there are concerns that they may be affected by the volcano’s emissions.

Volcán Peteroa: Informe proporcionado por ICES (Centro Internacional de Ciencias de la Tierra) – MendozaOpina.com, 20 September 2010
En Malargüe siguen de cerca la actividad del volcán PeteroaDiario Los Andes, 21 September 2010
Alerta en Mendoza por la erupción de un volcán – Clarín.com, 22 September 2010
El Peteroa sigue activo, pero descartan declarar alerta amarillaDiario Los Andes, 22 September 2010

Global Volcanism Program: Planchón-Peteroa – summary information for Planchón-Peteroa (1507-04=)
Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería – SERNAGEOMIN, the Chilean state geological service

The Volcanism Blog

NASA Earth Observatory: cool flows at Llullaillaco 29 March 2010

Posted by admin in Argentina, Chile, Llullaillaco, NASA Earth Observatory, volcanoes.
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Llullaillaco volcano, Argentina-Chile border (ISS astronaut photograph, 9 Dec 2009)

The latest image of the day at the NASA Earth Observatory is this astronaut photograph of Llullaillaco volcano, which is situated on the Argentina/Chile border. Llullaillaco is the highest historically active volcano in the world, 6739 metres high, and last erupted in the nineteenth century. The lava flow extending to the north of the volcano shows very clearly features typical of a viscous flow on a steep slope. Lava at the edges of the flow has cooled more rapidly than that in the centre to produce the walled channel effect of a flow levée, while the faster cooling of the upper surface of the lobe at the front of the flow has produced characteristic layering and pressure ridges at 90 degrees to the direction of the flow. The Earth Observatory caption refers to the lobes of this flow as coulées (but this is what I call a coulée).

It’s also interesting to note, given the time of year, that the head of the Easter Bunny is clearly visible between the two lobes of the lava flow in the top right of the image:

The Llullaillaco Easter Bunny

[Astronaut photograph ISS022-E-8285 was acquired on December 9, 2009, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using an 800mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 22 crew.]

Llullaillaco volcano, Argentina-Chile border – NASA Earth Observatory, 29 March 2010

The Volcanism Blog