Monday, July 11, 2016

[ Volcano ] Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 19-25 August 2015

Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 19-25 August 2015
From: "Kuhn, Sally" <>
Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
19-25 August 2015
Sally Kuhn Sennert - Weekly Report Editor (
New Activity/Unrest: Aira, Kyushu (Japan)  | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA)  | Cotopaxi, Ecuador  | Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia  | Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France)
Ongoing Activity: Ambrym, Vanuatu  | Barren Island, Andaman Islands (India)  | Calbuco, Chile  | Colima, Mexico  | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)  | Fuego, Guatemala  | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | Manam, Papua New Guinea  | Raung, Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | Reventador, Ecuador  | Santa Maria, Guatemala  | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | Shishaldin, Fox Islands (USA)  | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | Tongariro, North Island (New Zealand)  | Tungurahua, Ecuador
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.
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New Activity/Unrest
Aira  | Kyushu (Japan)  | 31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported that a small-scale explosion from Showa Crater (Aira Caldera's Sakurajima volcano) occurred on 19 August. In a report from 21 August JMA noted that the possibility of larger-scale eruption had decreased since 15 August. Deformation data during 15-16 August suggested a dike intrusion beneath Minamidake Crater, centered 1-3 km below sea level, with an estimated volume of 2 million cubic meters. Small-scale explosions at Showa Crater occurred on 21 and 23 August. The Alert Level remained at 4 (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)
Cleveland  | Chuginadak Island (USA)  | 52.825°N, 169.944°W  | Summit elev. 1730 m
On 21 August AVO reported that elevated surface temperatures detected at Cleveland's summit crater in satellite images during the previous few days likely indicated lava effusion. Minor steam emissions rose from the crater during 21-22 August. Elevated surface temperatures during 23-25 August were again detected. 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)
Cotopaxi  | Ecuador  | 0.677°S, 78.436°W  | Summit elev. 5911 m
IG reported that during an overflight of Cotopaxi on 18 August scientists observed continuous but variable amounts of ash and steam rising more than 100 m above the crater before descending the W flank. Significant amounts of ash were deposited on the flanks in an area from the N to the SW flanks. Several new cracks on the top of some glaciers were noted, especially on the E and NE flanks, and possible new tephra deposits on the N flank were observed. Thermal images revealed no hot material on the flanks; emissions prevented measurements of the inside of the crater. During 18-19 August emissions of steam and gas from Cotopaxi were occasionally observed during periods of clear weather. During the morning of 20 August gas plumes rose just above the crater and drifted W. The next day gas-and-steam plumes rose less than 2 km above the crater and drifted NW; cloud cover continued to sometimes prevent visual observations. On 22 August at 0426 the network detected an increase in the seismic amplitude. Steam-and-ash plumes rising 2 km from the crater were more sustained and higher compared to previous days; plumes drifted NW and WSW. Tremor began at 2141, and was accompanied by the onset of continuous ash emissions. Rangers confirmed ashfall at the entrance of Cotopaxi National Park. Throughout 23 August continuous ash emissions occurred with few breaks, rising no more than 1 km above the crater, and drifting SW. IGEPN staff found 2-mm-thick ash deposits that had accumulated during an 18-hour period. On 24 August ash deposits were noted in most of the N parts of Latacunga valley and reached the S moors of Romerillos. On 25 August ash plumes drifted WNW, causing ashfall in Machachi, Chaupi, and Tambillo.
Geologic Summary. Symmetrical, glacier-clad Cotopaxi stratovolcano is Ecuador's most well-known volcano and one of its most active. The steep-sided cone is capped by nested summit craters, the largest of which is about 550 x 800 m in diameter. Deep valleys scoured by lahars radiate from the summit of the andesitic volcano, and large andesitic lava flows extend as far as the base of Cotopaxi. The modern conical volcano has been constructed since a major edifice collapse sometime prior to about 5000 years ago. Pyroclastic flows (often confused in historical accounts with lava flows) have accompanied many explosive eruptions of Cotopaxi, and lahars have frequently devastated adjacent valleys. The most violent historical eruptions took place in 1744, 1768, and 1877. Pyroclastic flows descended all sides of the volcano in 1877, and lahars traveled more than 100 km into the Pacific Ocean and western Amazon basin. The last significant eruption of Cotopaxi took place in 1904.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
Nevado del Ruiz  | Colombia  | 4.892°N, 75.324°W  | Summit elev. 5279 m
On 23 August Servicio Geológico Colombiano's (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported that volcanic tremor associated with ash emissions from Nevado del Ruiz continued. Ashfall was confirmed by officials from Civil Aviation and the Parque Nacional Natural de los Nevados, as well as residents in Pereira. Earthquakes were located under the NE part of Arenas Crater, at depths between 3.5 and 5 km. The largest event was local M 2.
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: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)
Piton de la Fournaise  | Reunion Island (France)  | 21.244°S, 55.708°E  | Summit elev. 2632 m
On 24 August OVPDLF reported continued deformation and an increase in seismicity at Piton de la Fournaise during the previous several days, and a significant increase in seismicity that morning. Sulfur dioxide gas emissions increased at 1600, and at 1711 the seismic and deformation network indicated a magmatic intrusion. Lava fountains were visible at 1850 from a fissure on the S flank of Dolomieu Crater, at about 2000 m elevation, near Rivals Crater. The fissure propagated towards the top of Rivals, and at around 2115 a fissure opened to the NW, below Bory Crater. The lava-flow rate was 30-60 cubic meters per second. By the next morning fountains at higher elevations ceased, and were only active from a 100-m-long section near Rivals Crater. The lava flow rate had significantly decreased to 10 cubic meters per second. Near the top of the active fissure a 140-m-high cone had formed.
Geologic Summary. The massive Piton de la Fournaise basaltic shield volcano on the French island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Much of its more than 530,000-year history overlapped with eruptions of the deeply dissected Piton des Neiges shield volcano to the NW. Three calderas formed at about 250,000, 65,000, and less than 5000 years ago by progressive eastward slumping of the volcano. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the floor of the calderas and their outer flanks. Most historical eruptions have originated from the summit and flanks of Dolomieu, a 400-m-high lava shield that has grown within the youngest caldera, which is 8 km wide and breached to below sea level on the eastern side. More than 150 eruptions, most of which have produced fluid basaltic lava flows, have occurred since the 17th century. Only six eruptions, in 1708, 1774, 1776, 1800, 1977, and 1986, have originated from fissures on the outer flanks of the caldera. The Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory, one of several operated by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, monitors this very active volcano.
Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)
Ongoing Activity
Ambrym  | Vanuatu  | 16.25°S, 168.12°E  | Summit elev. 1334 m
On 21 August the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory issued a statement reminding residents and visitors that Ambrym remained active; the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5). Areas deemed hazardous were near and around the active vents (Benbow, Maben-Mbwelesu, Niri-Mbwelesu and Mbwelesu), and in downwind areas prone to ashfall.
Geologic Summary. Ambrym, a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera, is one of the most active volcanoes of the New Hebrides arc. A thick, almost exclusively pyroclastic sequence, initially dacitic, then basaltic, overlies lava flows of a pre-caldera shield volcano. The caldera was formed during a major plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1900 years ago. Post-caldera eruptions, primarily from Marum and Benbow cones, have partially filled the caldera floor and produced lava flows that ponded on the caldera floor or overflowed through gaps in the caldera rim. Post-caldera eruptions have also formed a series of scoria cones and maars along a fissure system oriented ENE-WSW. Eruptions have apparently occurred almost yearly during historical time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents. However, from 1850 to 1950, reporting was mostly limited to extra-caldera eruptions that would have affected local populations.
Source: Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory
Barren Island  | Andaman Islands (India)  | 12.278°N, 93.858°E  | Summit elev. 354 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 19 August ash plumes from Barren Island rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55 km E.
Geologic Summary. Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m. The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high. The caldera, which is open to the sea on the west, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits. Historical eruptions have changed the morphology of the pyroclastic cone in the center of the caldera, and lava flows that fill much of the caldera floor have reached the sea along the western coast.
Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
Calbuco  | Chile  | 41.326°S, 72.614°W  | Summit elev. 2003 m
According to the civil protection agency, ONEMI, on 18 August OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that seismicity at Calbuco fluctuated at low levels and continued to decline, and only water vapor emissions rose from the vents. The Alert Level was lowered to Green (the lowest level on a four-color scale). ONEMI maintained an elevated Alert Level of Yellow (mid-level on a 3-color scale) for the Llanquihue and Puerto Octay provinces, and an Alert Level Green for Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas. On 21 August the 10-km exclusion zone around the volcano was lifted, but SERNAGEOMIN warned that the 1.5 km exclusion zone around the craters remained in effect and the public should continue to stay away from drainages.
Geologic Summary. Along with its neighbor Osorno, Calbuco is one of the most active volcanoes of the southern Chilean Andes. The isolated late-Pleistocene to Holocene andesitic volcano rises to 2003 m south of Lake Llanquihué in the Chilean lake district. Guanahuca, Guenauca, Huanauca, and Huanaque, all listed as synonyms of Calbuco (Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World), are actually synonyms of nearby Osorno volcano (Moreno 1985, pers. comm.). The 2003-m-high Calbuco is elongated in a SW-NE direction and is capped by a 400-500 m wide summit crater. The complex evolution of Calbuco included edifice collapse of an intermediate edifice during the late Pleistocene that produced a 3 cu km debris avalanche that reached the lake. Calbuco has erupted frequently during the Holocene, and one of the largest historical eruptions in southern Chile took place from Calbuco in 1893-1894 and concluded with lava dome emplacement. Subsequent eruptions have enlarged the lava-dome complex in the summit crater.
Source: Oficina Nacional de Emergencia-Ministerio del Interior (ONEMI)
Colima  | Mexico  | 19.514°N, 103.62°W  | Summit elev. 3850 m
Based on satellite images, webcam views, and notices from the Mexico City MWO, Colima Observatory, and Jalisco civil protection agency, the Washington VAAC reported that during 20-21 and 24 August ash-and-gas plumes from Colima rose to altitudes of 4.2-7 km (14,000-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, WNW, NW, NE, and SE. On 18 August an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. and slowly drifted W.
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 19-21 and 25-26 August ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45-110 km W, WNW, NE, and E.
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)
Fuego  | Guatemala  | 14.473°N, 90.88°W  | Summit elev. 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 22-25 August explosions at Fuego produced booming noises, and ash plumes that rose 450-650 m above the crater and drifted 12 km W. Incandescent material was ejected 100-150 m above the crater. Ashfall was reported in Panimaché (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Santa Sofía (12 km SW). Lahars descended the Trinidad drainage (S).
Geologic Summary. Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between 3763-m-high Fuego and its twin volcano to the north, Acatenango. Construction of Meseta dates back to about 230,000 years and continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. Collapse of Meseta may have produced the massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit, which extends about 50 km onto the Pacific coastal plain. Growth of the modern Fuego volcano followed, continuing the southward migration of volcanism that began at Acatenango. In contrast to the mostly andesitic Acatenango, eruptions at Fuego have become more mafic with time, and most historical activity has produced basaltic rocks. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
Karymsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)  | 54.049°N, 159.443°E  | Summit elev. 1513 m
KVERT reported that moderate explosive activity at Karymsky continued during 14-21 August. Satellite images detected ash plumes drifting 54 km SE on 15 August, and a thermal anomaly on the volcano during 15 and 18-20 August. 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 at Kilauea remained at background levels during 19-25 August. The lava lake continued to circulate and spatter in the Overlook vent. Webcams recorded multiple incandescent outgassing vents within Pu'u 'O'o. The June 27th NE-trending lava flow continued to be active in three areas 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)
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 21-22 August minor ash plumes from Manam rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 10-75 km NW and ESE.
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)
Raung  | Eastern Java (Indonesia)  | 8.125°S, 114.042°E  | Summit elev. 3332 m
PVMBG reported that ash plumes from Raung rose as high as 1 km above the crater during 16-24 August and drifted NW. Seismicity fluctuated but continued to decrease. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 24 August, and the public was reminded not to approach the crater within a 2-km radius.
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: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM)
Reventador  | Ecuador  | 0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Summit elev. 3562 m
During 19-25 August IG reported a high level of seismic activity including explosions, tremor, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions at Reventador; cloud cover often prevented visual observations. On 20 August a steam-and-ash plume rose 2 km and drifted S and SW. During 23-24 August steam-and-ash plumes rose 500-700 m and drifted NW.
Geologic Summary. Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested, dominantly andesitic Volcán El Reventador stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height comparable to the caldera rim. It has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)
Santa Maria  | Guatemala  | 14.756°N, 91.552°W  | Summit elev. 3772 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 23-25 August explosions from Caliente cone, part of Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex, generated an ash plume that rose 700-800 m and drifted W and SW. Block avalanches from lava-flow fronts descended the E flanks. Ashfall was reported in Aldea, San Marcos (10 km SW), and Palajunoj (18 km SSW).
Geologic Summary. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is one of the most prominent of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The 3772-m-high stratovolcano has a sharp-topped, conical profile that is cut on the SW flank by a large, 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit to the lower flank and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The renowned plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four westward-younging vents, the most recent of which is Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.
Source: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH)
Sheveluch  | Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | 56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Summit elev. 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 14-21 August lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch's N flank was accompanied by fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, and hot avalanches. Satellite images detected a daily thermal anomaly over the dome. 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 on 18 August a field crew conducting gas measurements at Shishaldin observed a low-level plume from the summit drifting several kilometers downwind. Seismicity continued to be elevated over background levels during 19-25 August indicating that low-level eruptive activity confined to the summit crater continued. Cloud cover mostly prevented satellite and webcam observations; elevated surface temperatures were occasionally detected in satellite images. 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)
Suwanosejima  | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)  | 29.638°N, 129.714°E  | Summit elev. 796 m
Based on JMA notices and satellite-image analyses, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 21 August ash plumes from Suwanosejima rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.
Geologic Summary. The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanosejima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. The summit of the volcano is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanosejima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from Otake, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted until 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, and the SW crater produced two lava flows that reached the western coast. At the end of the eruption the summit of Otake collapsed forming a large debris avalanche and creating the horseshoe-shaped Sakuchi caldera, which extends to the eastern coast. The island remained uninhabited for about 70 years after the 1813-1814 eruption. Lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884. Only about 50 persons live on the island.
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)
Tongariro  | North Island (New Zealand)  | 39.157°S, 175.632°E  | Summit elev. 1978 m
On 19 August GeoNet reported that activity at Tongariro's Te Maari Craters had declined significantly since the eruption in 2012, with data suggesting that unrest associated with the eruption was over. The Volcanic Alert Level was lowered to 0 (on a scale of 0-5). The Volcanic Alert Level for Ngauruhoe is separate and had been lowered to 0 on 20 April.
Geologic Summary. Tongariro is a large andesitic volcanic massif, located immediately NE of Ruapehu volcano, that is composed of more than a dozen composite cones constructed over a period of 275,000 years. Vents along a NE-trending zone extending from Saddle Cone (below Ruapehu volcano) to Te Mari crater (including vents at the present-day location of Ngauruhoe) were active during several hundred years around 10,000 years ago, producing the largest known eruptions at the Tongariro complex during the Holocene. North Crater stratovolcano, one of the largest features of the massif, is truncated by a broad, shallow crater filled by a solidified lava lake that is cut on the NW side by a small explosion crater. The youngest cone of the complex, Ngauruhoe, has grown to become the highest peak of the massif since its birth about 2500 years ago. The symmetrical, steep-sided Ngauruhoe, along with its neighbor Ruapehu to the south, have been New Zealand's most active volcanoes during historical time.
Source: New Zealand GeoNet Project
Tungurahua  | Ecuador  | 1.467°S, 78.442°W  | Summit elev. 5023 m
IG reported moderate-to-high seismic activity at Tungurahua during 19-25 August, characterized by long-period events and volcano-tectonic events. Cloud cover often prevented visual observations. On 22 August water-vapor plumes with moderate amounts of ash drifted W. A small, reddish ash emission drifted W the next day. Five explosions on 25 August were felt by surrounding communities and generated ash plumes that rose 2 km. Ashfall was reported in Chontapamba (W), Bilbao (8 km W), Juive (7 km NNW), and Pillate (8 km W).
Geologic Summary. Tungurahua, a steep-sided andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano that towers more than 3 km above its northern base, is one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes. Three major edifices have been sequentially constructed since the mid-Pleistocene over a basement of metamorphic rocks. Tungurahua II was built within the past 14,000 years following the collapse of the initial edifice. Tungurahua II itself collapsed about 3000 years ago and produced a large debris-avalanche deposit and a horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the west, inside which the modern glacier-capped stratovolcano (Tungurahua III) was constructed. Historical eruptions have all originated from the summit crater, accompanied by strong explosions and sometimes by pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached populated areas at the volcano's base. Prior to a long-term eruption beginning in 1999 that caused the temporary evacuation of the city of Baños at the foot of the volcano, the last major eruption had occurred from 1916 to 1918, although minor activity continued until 1925.
Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)


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