Monday, July 11, 2016

[ Volcano ] Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 5-11 August 2015

Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 5-11 August 2015
From: "Kuhn, Sally" <>
Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
5-11 August 2015
Sally Kuhn Sennert - Weekly Report Editor (
New Activity/Unrest: Chirinkotan, Kuril Islands (Russia)  | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA)  | Manam, Papua New Guinea  | Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia  | Zhupanovsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
Ongoing Activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan)  | Colima, Mexico  | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)  | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | Raung, Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | Shishaldin, Fox Islands (USA)  | Sinabung, Indonesia
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.
Note: Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.
New Activity/Unrest
Chirinkotan  | Kuril Islands (Russia)  | 48.98°N, 153.48°E  | Summit elev. 724 m
According to SVERT observers reported a weak eruption at Chirinkotan on 10 August, characterized by block flows and pyroclastic flows that reached the coast. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange.
Geologic Summary. The small, mostly unvegetated 3-km-wide island of Chirinkotan occupies the far end of an E-W-trending volcanic chain that extends nearly 50 km west of the central part of the main Kuril Islands arc. Chirinkotan is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises 3000 m from the floor of the Kuril Basin. A small 1-km-wide caldera about 300-400 m deep is open to the SE. Lava flows from a cone within the breached crater reached the north shore of the island. Historical eruptions have been recorded at Chirinkotan since the 18th century. Fresh lava flows also descended the SE flank of Chirinkotan during an eruption in the 1880s that was observed by the English fur trader Captain Snow.
Source: Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT)
Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Summit elev. 1730 m
AVO reported that during an overflight of Cleveland on 4 August a field crew observed a cooling pad of lava that covered the crater floor. A thermal camera detected temperatures of the dome surface in the range of 550-600 degrees Celsius. Minor vapor and diffuse ash emissions inside the crater were noted. During 4-6 August satellite images detected slightly elevated surface temperatures at the summit and the webcam recorded very minor steam emissions at times of clear weather. A small explosion occurred at 2203 on 6 August; no ash emissions were observed in satellite or webcam images. Small steam plumes rose from the crater during 9-10 August. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
Geologic Summary. Beautifully symmetrical Mount Cleveland stratovolcano is situated at the western end of the uninhabited, dumbbell-shaped Chuginadak Island. It lies SE across Carlisle Pass strait from Carlisle volcano and NE across Chuginadak Pass strait from Herbert volcano. Cleveland is joined to the rest of Chuginadak Island by a low isthmus. The 1730-m-high Mount Cleveland is the highest of the Islands of the Four Mountains group and is one of the most active of the Aleutian Islands. The native name for Mount Cleveland, Chuginadak, refers to the Aleut goddess of fire, who was thought to reside on the volcano. Numerous large lava flows descend the steep-sided flanks. It is possible that some 18th-to-19th century eruptions attributed to Carlisle should be ascribed to Cleveland (Miller et al., 1998). In 1944 Cleveland produced the only known fatality from an Aleutian eruption. Recent eruptions have been characterized by short-lived explosive ash emissions, at times accompanied by lava fountaining and lava flows down the flanks.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
Manam  | Papua New Guinea  | 4.08°S, 145.037°E  | Summit elev. 1807 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery and wind data analyses, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 6 and 8-9 August ash plumes from Manam rose to altitudes of 2.7-6.4 km (9,000-21,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 650 km NW, SW, and SE.
Geologic Summary. The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical 1807-m-high basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These "avalanche valleys" channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent historical eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
Nevado del Ruiz  | Colombia  | 4.892°N, 75.324°W  | Summit elev. 5279 m
Based on satellite images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 6 August two small ash puffs from Nevado del Ruiz rose to an altitude of 7.3 km (24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. Ash emissions later that day drifted over 20 km NW.
Geologic Summary. Nevado del Ruiz is a broad, glacier-covered volcano in central Colombia that covers >200 sq km. Three major edifices, composed of andesitic and dacitic lavas and andesitic pyroclastics, have been constructed since the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern cone consists of a broad cluster of lava domes built within the caldera of an older edifice. The 1-km-wide, 240-m-deep Arenas crater occupies the summit. The prominent La Olleta pyroclastic cone located on the SW flank may also have been active in historical time. Steep headwalls of massive landslides cut the flanks. Melting of its summit icecap during historical eruptions, which date back to the 16th century, has resulted in devastating lahars, including one in 1985 that was South America's deadliest eruption.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
Zhupanovsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 53.589°N, 159.15°E  | Summit elev. 2899 m
On 7 August KVERT reported that explosive activity at Zhupanovsky had finished but collapses of the S part of the active crater continued. On 6 August ash plumes rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 25-60 km SW. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow.
Geologic Summary. The Zhupanovsky volcanic massif consists of four overlapping stratovolcanoes along a WNW-trending ridge. The elongated volcanic complex was constructed within a Pliocene-early Pleistocene caldera whose rim is exposed only on the eastern side. Three of the stratovolcanoes were built during the Pleistocene, the fourth is Holocene in age and was the source of all of Zhupanovsky's historical eruptions. An early Holocene stage of frequent moderate and weak eruptions from 7000 to 5000 years before present (BP) was succeeded by a period of infrequent larger eruptions that produced pyroclastic flows. The last major eruption took place about 800-900 years BP. Historical eruptions have consisted of relatively minor explosions from the third cone.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
Ongoing Activity
Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported that explosions at Showa Crater (Aira Caldera's Sakurajima volcano) occurred twice during 3-7 August, ejecting tephra as far as 500 m away from the crater. An explosion on 8 August ejected tephra 800 m away. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).
Geologic Summary. The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
Colima  | Mexico  | 19.514°N, 103.62°W  | Summit elev. 3850 m
Based on satellite images, notices from the Mexico City MWO, wind data, and webcam views, the Washington VAAC reported that during 5-9 and 11 August multiple ash emissions from Colima rose to altitudes of 5.5 km (18,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-150 km NNE, NNW, NW, W, and SW. A thermal anomaly was detected on 11 August.
Geologic Summary. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the 4320 m high point of the complex) on the north and the 3850-m-high historically active Volcán de Colima at the south. A group of cinder cones of late-Pleistocene age is located on the floor of the Colima graben west and east of the Colima complex. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the south, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, and have produced a thick apron of debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions (most recently in 1913) have destroyed the summit and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.
Source: Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)
Dukono  | Halmahera (Indonesia)  | 1.68°N, 127.88°E  | Summit elev. 1335 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 5-11 August ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-85 km W, N, and NE.
Geologic Summary. Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the north-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. This complex volcano presents a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of the summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Summit elev. 1513 m
KVERT reported that moderate explosive activity at Karymsky continued during 31 July-7 August. On 2 and 6 August satellite images detected a thermal anomaly and ash plumes that drifted 40 km N and W. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Geologic Summary. Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south. The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
Kilauea  | Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | 19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Summit elev. 1222 m
HVO reported that seismicity beneath Kilauea's summit, upper East Rift Zone, and Southwest Rift Zone was at background levels during 5-11 August. The lava lake continued to circulate and spatter in the Overlook vent. Webcams recorded multiple incandescent outgassing vents within Pu'u 'O'o, including a small lava pond (40-50 m across and 21 m deep) in a collapsed pit. The June 27th NE-trending lava flow continued to be active with surface flows within 4-8 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o Crater; smoke plumes from burning vegetation marked the most distal flows.
Geologic Summary. Kilauea volcano, which overlaps the east flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, has been Hawaii's most active volcano during historical time. Eruptions of Kilauea are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation extending back to only 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that were interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity that lasted until 1924 at Halemaumau crater, within the summit caldera. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and SW rift zones, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 sq km, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.
Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)
Raung  | Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | 8.125°S, 114.042°E  | Summit elev. 3332 m
Based on weather models, webcam views, and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 5-11 August ash plumes from Raung rose to altitudes of 4.3-5.2 km (14,000-17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 760 km ESE, SE, SSE, and SW.
Geologic Summary. Raung, one of Java's most active volcanoes, is a massive stratovolcano in easternmost Java that was constructed SW of the rim of Ijen caldera. The 3332-m-high, unvegetated summit of Gunung Raung is truncated by a dramatic steep-walled, 2-km-wide caldera that has been the site of frequent historical eruptions. A prehistoric collapse of Gunung Gadung on the W flank produced a large debris avalanche that traveled 79 km, reaching nearly to the Indian Ocean. Raung contains several centers constructed along a NE-SW line, with Gunung Suket and Gunung Gadung stratovolcanoes being located to the NE and W, respectively.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Summit elev. 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 31 July-7 August lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch's N flank was accompanied by fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, and hot avalanches. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly over the dome during 31 July, and 2-3 and 5-6 August. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Geologic Summary. The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 cu km volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. The summit of roughly 65,000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes dot its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.
Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)
Shishaldin  | Fox Islands (USA)  | 54.756°N, 163.97°W  | Summit elev. 2857 m
AVO reported that seismicity at Shishaldin continued to be elevated over background levels during 5-11 August indicating that low-level eruptive activity confined to the summit crater continued. Cloud cover sometimes prevented satellite and webcam observations; elevated surface temperatures were sometimes detected in satellite images and steaming from the crater was occasionally recorded by the webcam. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.
Geologic Summary. The beautifully symmetrical volcano of Shishaldin is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. The 2857-m-high, glacier-covered volcano is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes along an E-W line in the eastern half of Unimak Island. The Aleuts named the volcano Sisquk, meaning "mountain which points the way when I am lost." A steady steam plume rises from its small summit crater. Constructed atop an older glacially dissected volcano, it is Holocene in age and largely basaltic in composition. Remnants of an older ancestral volcano are exposed on the west and NE sides at 1500-1800 m elevation. There are over two dozen pyroclastic cones on its NW flank, which is blanketed by massive aa lava flows. Frequent explosive activity, primarily consisting of strombolian ash eruptions from the small summit crater, but sometimes producing lava flows, has been recorded since the 18th century.
Source: US Geological Survey Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO)
Sinabung  | Indonesia  | 3.17°N, 98.392°E  | Summit elev. 2460 m
Based on weather models and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 6 August ash plumes from Sinabung rose to an altitude of 6.5 km (21,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 35 km ESE. On 10 August an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l.
Geologic Summary. Gunung Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano with many lava flows on its flanks. The migration of summit vents along a N-S line gives the summit crater complex an elongated form. The youngest crater of this conical, 2460-m-high andesitic-to-dacitic volcano is at the southern end of the four overlapping summit craters. An unconfirmed eruption was noted in 1881, and solfataric activity was seen at the summit and upper flanks in 1912. No confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to explosive eruptions during August-September 2010 that produced ash plumes to 5 km above the summit.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


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