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Increased volcanic activity continues in February

increased-volcanic-activities-continue-in-february

Trend of increased volcanic events continues through February. New activities were observed at Cleveland on Chuginadak Island, indonesian Gamalama on Halmahera, Krakatau, Lewotolo on Lomblen Island and Paluweh at Lesser Sunda Islands as well as Pagan at Mariana Islands, Soufriere Hills at Monserat and Nyamuragira, Democratic Republic of Congo. Unrests continue at Dukono, Etna, El Hierro, Karymsky, Kizimen, Shiveluch, Kilauea, Popocatépetl, Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Sakura-jima, Santorini, Santa María, Fuego and Tungurahua.

The dark summit dome on Cleveland volcano seen in August 2011. This dome was destroyed during the explosive eruptions on December 25 and 29, 2011, but a new dome is already forming. This cycle of dome growth and destruction is common at volcanoes such as Cleveland. (Credit: Wired)

On 31 January the Volcano Alert Level for Cleveland was raised to Watch and the Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange due to the formation of a new 40-m-wide lava dome in the summit crater. Recent eruptions from Mt. Cleveland have been characterized by short-lived explosive ash emissions, at times accompanied by lava fountaining and lava flows down the flanks. (Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO))

The VolcanoDiscovery Team observed the fissure eruption at Nyamuragira that began on 6 November 2011 during 22-25 January 2012 from the newly formed cinder cones located about 10 km easr of the summit crater. They reported three coalescent cones with the largest cone containing a small lava lake.  Lava flows from thevent extended several kilometers.  Lava flows from Nyamuragira cover 1,500 sq km of the East African Rift. (GVP)

Seismic activity from Paluweh or Rokatenda increased during 12-18 January, prompting CVGHM to raise the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 19 January. The largest historical eruption of Paluweh occurred in 1928, when a strong explosive eruption was accompanied by landslide-induced tsunamis and lava-dome emplacement.

Chile’s Puyehue Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex (NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data. Caption by Robert Simmon and Mike Carlowicz.)

The Darwin VAAC reported that during 30-31 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) and drifted 220 km southwest.

Low-level gas-and-steam plumes from Pagan were observed in satellite imagery during 20-27 January. Based on information from the Honolulu MWO, satellite imagery, and a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC reported gas emissions and a possible light-brown ash plume drifting E on 30 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Featured image: Steam rises from Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano in Puebla, Mexico (Credit: Violeta Schmidt)

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