This week, 4 volcanoes had new activity, whereas ongoing activity was reported for 13 volcanoes. This report covers active volcanoes in the world recorded from June 19 – June 25, 2013 based on Smithsonian/USGS criteria.
New activity/unrest: | Ambrym, Vanuatu (SW Pacific) | Chirinkotan, Kuril Islands | Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula | Veniaminof, Alaska Peninsula
Ongoing activity: | Copahue, Central Chile-Argentina border | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Kizimen, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Manam, Northeast of New Guinea (SW Pacific) | Pagan, Mariana Islands | Paluweh, Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesia) | Popocatépetl, México | Reventador, Ecuador | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Santa María, Guatemala | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Tolbachik, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
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.
AMBRYM, Vanuatu (SW Pacific)
16.25°S, 168.12°E; summit elev. 1334 m
On 21 June the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that satellite images on 2, 4, 11, 14, and 16 June detected gas emissions from Ambrym. Emissions of minor amounts of ash and substantial amounts of gas from the active vents had been detected during the previous week. The report warned that communities on the island, especially those downwind of Ambrym, may experience ashfall and acid rain that could damage to the environment and contaminate water. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-4).
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.
CHIRINKOTAN, Kuril Islands
48.980°N, 153.480°E; summit elev. 724 m
Based on analysis of satellite images, SVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was detected on 21 June. A thermal anomaly and steam-and-gas emissions were detected on 23 June.
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.
PAVLOF, Alaska Peninsula
55.42°N, 161.887°W; summit elev. 2519 m
AVO reported that during 19-25 June the eruption at Pavlov continued; seismic tremor and occasional explosions were detected. Cloud cover prevented web camera views. During 19-20 and 24 June elevated surface temperatures detected in satellite images were consistent with lava effusion. A small ash plume from the summit vent was also detected in satellite image on 19 June, and possibly detected during 20-22 June.
At 2250 on 24 June seismicity increased and became the strongest seismic activity detected so far during 2013. The seismicity was characterized by continuous intense tremor and frequent small explosions likely associated with lava fountaining and ash production. Seismicity remained high on 25 June. Satellite images and pilot observations indicated that a plume drifted W at altitudes as high as 8.2-8.5 km (27,000-28,000 ft) a.s.l. Satellite images also detected a strong thermal anomaly at the summit. Trace amounts of ash fell in King Cove, 48 km SW. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Photo of Pavlof Volcano taken on June 25 from Sand Point, Alaska. This image shows an ash cloud and incandescence at the summit. Incandescence is indicative of lava fountaining and is coincident with a distinct increase in seismic activity on the morning of June 25, 2013.(Credit: Sand Point, Alaska webcam, AVO)
Geologic summary: The most active volcano of the Aleutian arc, Pavlof is a 2519-m-high Holocene stratovolcano that was constructed along a line of vents extending NE from the Emmons Lake caldera. Pavlof and its twin volcano to the NE, 2142-m-high Pavlof Sister, form a dramatic pair of symmetrical, glacier-covered stratovolcanoes that tower above Pavlof and Volcano bays. A third cone, Little Pavolf, is a smaller volcano on the SW flank of Pavlof volcano, near the rim of Emmons Lake caldera. Unlike Pavlof Sister, Pavlof has been frequently active in historical time, typically producing strombolian to vulcanian explosive eruptions from the summit vents and occasional lava flows. The active vents lie near the summit on the north and east sides. The largest historical eruption of Pavlof took place in 1911, at the end of a 5-year-long eruptive episode; a fissure opened on the northern flank of the volcano, ejecting large blocks and issuing lava flows.
VENIAMINOF, Alaska Peninsula
56.17°N, 159.38°W; summit elev. 2507 m
AVO reported that the eruption of Veniaminof continued during 18-25 June, indicated by volcanic tremor detected by the seismic network. Cloudy weather sometimes prevented views of the caldera, although most days satellite images showed very high elevated surface temperatures at the cinder cone inside the caldera consistent with lava effusion. On 18 June small ash clouds that rose less than 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. were intermittently observed in web-camera images. On 24 June satellite images detected elevated surface temperatures and a plume that drifted SW. The web camera recorded a small area of incandescence on the intracaldera cone. On 25 June the web camera showed a light-colored plume rising from the intracaldera cone to just above the caldera rim. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color code remained at Orange.
Photo of lava, lava fountaining, and eruption plume at Veniaminof's active cone, near midnight on the night of June 24, 2013. (Credit: Photo courtesy of Jaylon Kosbruk)
Geologic summary: Massive Veniaminof volcano, one of the highest and largest volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3,700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the N, is deeply notched on the W by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the S. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which reaches an elevation of 2,156 m and rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.
COPAHUE, Central Chile-Argentina border
37.85°S, 71.17°W; summit elev. 2997 m
Based on web camera views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 26 June steam-and-gas emissions from Copahue possibly contained ash. Ash was not detected in clear satellite images.
Geologic summary: Volcán Copahue is an elongated composite cone constructed along the Chile-Argentina border within the 6.5 x 8.5 km wide Trapa-Trapa caldera that formed between 0.6 and 0.4 million years ago near the NW margin of the 20 x 15 km Pliocene Caviahue (Del Agrio) caldera. The eastern summit crater, part of a 2-km-long, ENE-WSW line of nine craters, contains a briny, acidic 300-m-wide crater lake (also referred to as El Agrio or Del Agrio) and displays intense fumarolic activity. Acidic hot springs occur below the eastern outlet of the crater lake, contributing to the acidity of the Río Agrio, and another geothermal zone is located within Caviahue caldera about 7 km NE of the summit. Infrequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded at Copahue since the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions from the crater lake have ejected pyroclastic rocks and chilled liquid sulfur fragments.
KARYMSKY, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
54.05°N, 159.45°E; summit elev. 1536 m
KVERT reported that technical problems prevented seismic data collection at Karymsky during 14-21 June. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was detected in satellite images during 17-18 June; weather conditions prevented views on the other days. 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 about 7,600-7,700 radiocarbon years ago. Construction of the Karymsky stratovolcano began about 2,000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2,300-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. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions has originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, which is located immediately S of Karymsky volcano and erupted simultaneously with Karymsky in 1996.
KILAUEA, Hawaii (USA)
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
During 19-25 June HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater but remained about 40-45 m below the crater floor. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele's hair onto nearby areas.
At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from three spatter cones and a small lava pond on the E part of the crater floor. The Kahauale’a II lava flows, fed by the NE spatter cone, were active as far N as 2.5 km and as far NNW as 1.9 km, and burned forest in both areas. At about 2230 on 18 June breakouts from the Kahauale’a II lava tube, near the NE spatter cone and high on the NE flank of Pu'u 'O'o cone, produced lava that traveled N down the flank. Peace Day activity, fed by lava tubes extending from Pu'u 'O'o, consisted of some breakout activity on the pali and coastal plain, and ocean entries at locations inside and outside the National Park boundary.
Geologic summary: Kilauea, one of five coalescing volcanoes that comprise the island of Hawaii, is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Eruptions at Kilauea originate primarily from the summit caldera or along one of the lengthy E and SW rift zones that extend from the caldera to the sea. About 90% of the surface of Kilauea is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 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.
KIZIMEN, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
55.130°N, 160.32°E; summit elev. 2376 m
KVERT reported that during 14-21 June moderate seismic activity continued at Kizimen. Video and satellite data showed that lava continued to extrude from the summit, producing incandescence, strong gas-and-steam activity, and hot avalanches on the W and E flanks. A thermal anomaly was detected in satellite images during 14-17 and 20 June. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Geologic summary: Kizimen is an isolated, conical stratovolcano that is morphologically similar to Mount St. Helens prior to its 1980 eruption. The summit of Kizimen consists of overlapping lava domes, and blocky lava flows descend the flanks of the volcano, which is the westernmost of a volcanic chain north of Kronotsky volcano. The 2,376-m-high Kizimen was formed during four eruptive cycles beginning about 12,000 years ago and lasting 2,000-3,500 years. The largest eruptions took place about 10,000 and 8300-8400 years ago, and three periods of longterm lava-dome growth have occurred. The latest eruptive cycle began about 3,000 years ago with a large explosion and was followed by lava-dome growth lasting intermittently about 1,000 years. An explosive eruption about 1,100 years ago produced a lateral blast and created a 1.0 x 0.7 km wide crater breached to the NE, inside which a small lava dome (the fourth at Kizimen) has grown. A single explosive eruption, during 1927-28, has been recorded in historical time.
MANAM, Northeast of New Guinea (SW Pacific)
4.080°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m
Based on observations of satellite imagery and wind data analyses, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 22 June ash plumes from Manam rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 45 km NE and NW.
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," regularly spaced 90 degrees apart, channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. 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 avalanche valley. Frequent historical eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded at Manam 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.
PAGAN, Mariana Islands
18.13°N, 145.80°E; summit elev. 570 m
Satellite imagery showed a vigorous plume of gas and steam drifting from Pagan during periods of clear weather from 15 to 21 June. A field crew working on the island confirmed the emissions. This activity was typical of Pagan in the recent months; no ash had been detected in satellite images.
Geologic summary: Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Mariana Islands volcanoes, consists of two stratovolcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. Both North and South Pagan stratovolcanoes were constructed within calderas, 7 and 4 km in diameter, respectively. The 570-m-high Mount Pagan at the NE end of the island rises above the flat floor of the caldera, which probably formed during the early Holocene. South Pagan is a 548-m-high stratovolcano with an elongated summit containing four distinct craters. Almost all of the historical eruptions of Pagan, which date back to the 17th century, have originated from North Pagan volcano. The largest eruption of Pagan during historical time took place in 1981 and prompted the evacuation of the sparsely populated island.
PALUWEH, Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesia)
8.32°S, 121.708°E; summit elev. 875 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 19 June ash plumes from Paluweh rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 35 km SE.
Geologic summary: Paluweh volcano, also known as Rokatenda, forms the 8-km-wide island of Paluweh N of the volcanic arc that cuts across Flores Island. Although the volcano rises about 3,000 m above the sea floor, its summit reaches only 875 m above sea level. The broad irregular summit region contains overlapping craters up to 900 m wide and several lava domes. Several flank vents occur along a NW-trending fissure. The largest historical eruption of Paluweh occurred in 1928, when a strong explosive eruption was accompanied by landslide-induced tsunamis and lava-dome emplacement.
19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5426 m
CENAPRED reported that at 1448 on 18 June an explosion from Popocatépetl generated an ash plume that rose 2 km above the crater and drifted NW, and ejected incandescent tephra 100 m from the crater. During 19-25 June seismicity indicated gas-and-steam emissions that sometimes contained small amounts of ash; cloud cover often prevented visual confirmation although plumes were observed most days. Incandescence from the crater was occasionally observed and sometimes increased with accompanying emissions. During 23-24 June a water vapor, gas, and ash plume rose 800 m and drifted NW. On 24 June ashfall was reported in Amecameca (20 km NW). The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two.
Emission of ash and steam from Popocatépetl on June 24, 2013 (Credit: TLAMACAS, CENAPRED)
Geologic summary: Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, towers to 5,426 m 70 km SE of Mexico City and is North America's second-highest volcano. Frequent historical eruptions have been recorded since the beginning of the Spanish colonial era. A small eruption on 21 December 1994 ended five decades of quiescence. Since 1996 small lava domes have incrementally been constructed within the summit crater and destroyed by explosive eruptions. Intermittent small-to-moderate gas-and-ash eruptions have continued, occasionally producing ashfall in neighboring towns and villages.
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
According to the Washington VAAC a pilot observed an emission from Reventador that rose to an altitude of 4.9 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l. on 20 June. The VAAC also noted that seismic records from IG were consistent with an emission of ash or gas, and that satellite images did not detect ash.
Image showing eruption at Reventador on June 26, 2013 (Credit: Instituto Geofisico)
Geologic summary: Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well E of the principal volcanic axis. It is a forested stratovolcano that rises above the remote jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 3-km-wide caldera breached to the E was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1,300 m above the caldera floor. Reventador 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.
31.585°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported that during 21-24 June Sakura-jima's Showa Crater had five explosions, ejecting tephra that fell at most 1.3 km from the crater. Crater incandescence was occasionally detected at night. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 20 June explosions were detected, and on 21 June a pilot observed ash. On 23 and 25 June explosions produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.8 km (5,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE. On 23 June a pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.
Geologic summary: Sakura-jima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow was associated with the formation of the 17 x 23-km-wide Aira caldera about 22,000 years ago. The construction of Sakura-jima began about 13,000 years ago and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kita-dake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minami-dake. 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.
SANTA MARIA, Guatemala
14.756°N, 91.552°W; summit elev. 3772 m
INSIVUMEH reported that on 19 June an explosion from Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated a white plume that rose 700 m and drifted SW. On 20 June lahars that descended the Nimá I and Tambor river drainages on the S flank were 30 m wide and 3 m thick. The lahar in Nimá I carried blocks up to 3 m wide as well as branches and tree trunks. The lava dome continued to grow on 22 June and fed a lava flow that traveled S, which produced avalanches from the flow front. An explosion on 23 June generated a gray plume that rose 500 m and drifted SW, causing ashfall in Monte Claro (S). On 23 and 25 incandescent avalanches descended the S flank. Explosions on 25 June produced ash plumes that rose 700-1,000 m and drifted 10 km S and SW.
Geologic summary: Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is one of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The stratovolcano has a sharp-topped, conical profile that is cut on the SW flank by a large, 1-km-wide crater, which formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902 and extends from just below the summit to the lower flank. The renowned Plinian eruption of 1902 followed a long repose period and devastated much of SW Guatemala. The large 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, accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions and periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.
SHIVELUCH, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.653°N, 161.360°E; summit elev. 3283 m
Based on visual observations and analyses of satellite data, KVERT reported that during 14-21 June a viscous lava flow effused on the N flank of Shiveluch's lava dome, accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. On 22 June an explosion was detected by the seismic network at 1246 and lasted about four minutes. A second explosion at 1310 produced an ash plume observed with the web camera that rose to an altitude of 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Geologic summary: The high, isolated massif of Shiveluch volcano (also spelled Sheveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group and forms one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanoes. The currently active Molodoy Shiveluch lava-dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within a large breached caldera formed by collapse of the massive late-Pleistocene Strary Shiveluch volcano. At least 60 large eruptions of Shiveluch have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Frequent collapses of lava-dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced large debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera. Intermittent explosive eruptions began in the 1990s from a new lava dome that began growing in 1980. The largest historical eruptions from Shiveluch occurred in 1854 and 1964.
TOLBACHIK, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
55.830°N, 160.330°E; summit elev. 3682 m
KVERT reported that the S fissure along the W side of Tolbachinsky Dol, a lava plateau on the SW side of Tolbachik, continued to produce very fluid lava flows during 14-21 June that traveled to the W, S, and E sides of the plateau. Cinder cones continued to grow along the S fissure and weak gas-and-steam plumes were observed. A large thermal anomaly on the N part of Tolbachinsky Dol was visible daily in satellite imagery. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Geologic summary: The massive Tolbachik basaltic volcano is located at the southern end of the dominantly andesitic Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The Tolbachik massif is composed of two overlapping, but morphologically dissimilar volcanoes. The flat-topped Plosky Tolbachik shield volcano with its nested Holocene Hawaiian-type calderas up to 3 km in diameter is located east of the older and higher sharp-topped Ostry Tolbachik stratovolcano. The summit caldera at Plosky Tolbachik was formed in association with major lava effusion about 6500 years ago and simultaneously with a major southward-directed sector collapse of Ostry Tolbachik volcano. Lengthy rift zones extending NE and SSW of the volcano have erupted voluminous basaltic lava flows during the Holocene, with activity during the past two thousand years being confined to the narrow axial zone of the rifts. The 1975-76 eruption originating from the SSW-flank fissure system and the summit was the largest historical basaltic eruption in Kamchatka.