Active volcanoes in the world: January 1 - January 7, 2014

Active volcanoes in the world: January 1 - January 7, 2014

New activity was observed at 5 volcanoes in last 7 days. During the same period, ongoing activity was observed at 12 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island | Pagan, Mriana Islands | Raung, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | San Miguel, El Salvador | Sinabung, Sumatra (Indonesia)

Ongoing activity: | Dukono, Halmahera | Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Fuego, Guatemala | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Rabaul, New Britain | Reventador, Ecuador | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands and Kyushu | Ulawun, New Britain

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 23:00 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.

New activity/unrest

CLEVELAND, Chuginadak Island 
52.825°N, 169.944°W; summit elev. 1730 m

AVO reported that at 1229 on 28 December 2013 an explosion at Cleveland was detected on distant seismic and infrasound instruments. Although satellite images did not detect ash it was possible the explosion generated minor ash emissions. Elevated surface temperatures following the explosion were detected. Another similar explosion was detected at 1906 on 30 December, and a third brief explosion was detected at 1900 on 1 January 2014. Following the second and third explosions, satellite images detected distinct ash plumes, detached from the summit, drifting 75-100 km N at unknown altitudes. On 2 January AVO raised the Volcanic Alert Level to Watch and the Aviation Color Code to Orange. No further activity was detected during 3-7 January.

Geologic summary: Symmetrical Mount Cleveland stratovolcano is situated at the western end of the uninhabited dumbbell-shaped Chuginadak Island in the east-central Aleutians. The 1,730-m-high stratovolcano is the highest of the Islands of Four Mountains group and is one of the most active in the Aleutians. Numerous large lava flows descend its flanks. It is possible that some 18th to 19th century eruptions attributed to Carlisle (a volcano located across the Carlisle Pass Strait to the NW) should be ascribed to Cleveland. In 1944 Cleveland produced the only known fatality from an Aleutian eruption. 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.

PAGAN, Mariana Islands
18.13°N, 145.80°E; summit elev. 570 m

Low-level unrest continued at Pagan during 27 December 2013-2 January 2014; seismicity remained above background levels. A robust steam-and-gas plume was occasionally visible in web camera images during the reporting period. A small explosion was detected at about 0145 on 28 December. It may have produced a diffuse ash emission, but the webcam was not in operation at the time to verify. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

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.

RAUNG, Eastern Java (Indonesia) 
8.125°S, 114.042°E; summit elev. 3332 m

PVMBG reported that on 1 January seismicity at Raung increased, on 3 January diffuse white gas plumes rose 100 m and drifted W, and on 4 January diffuse brownish plumes also rose 100 m and drifted W. On 5 January the Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). 

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 3,332-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 from the volcano, 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.

SAN MIGUEL, El Salvador 
13.434°N, 88.269°W; summit elev. 2130 m

SNET reported that sulfur dioxide gas flux in tonnes per day from San Miguel was high: 2,200 on 31 December 2013, 1,740 on 1 January 2014, and 700 on 2 January. The report noted that the measurement on 2 January was likely low due to changes in wind patterns that day. During 1-2 January RSAM values ranged from 17 to 28 units. On 5 January gas plumes rose as high as 150 m above the crater. The next day light-gray gas plumes rose 200 m and drifted SW. RSAM values during 5-6 January were between 15 and 33 units.

Geologic summary: The symmetrical cone of San Miguel volcano, one of the most active in El Salvador, rises from near sea level to form one of the country's most prominent landmarks. A broad, deep crater that has been frequently modified by historical eruptions (recorded since the early 16th century) caps the truncated summit of the towering volcano, which is also known locally as Chaparrastique. Radial fissures on the flanks of the basaltic volcano have fed a series of fresh lava flows, including several erupted during the 17th-19th centuries that reached beyond the base of the volcano on the N, W, and SE sides. The SE-flank lava flows are the largest and form broad sparsely vegetated lava fields.

SINABUNG, Sumatra (Indonesia) 
3.17°N, 98.392°E; summit elev. 2460 m

Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) reported that during 30-31 December 2013 Sinabung continued to be very active. Ash plumes rose as high as 7 km above the lava dome, pyroclastic flows traveled as far as 3.5 km SE, and incandescent avalanches traveled 1.5 km SE. On 3 January the lava dome continued to grow and collapse. Pyroclastic flows occurred 172 times and traveled 2-4 km SE, and ash plumes rose 2-6 km. Two villages located 6.5 km SE, Jerawa and Desa Pintu Besi, were evacuated. On 4 January pyroclastic flows were larger and more frequent. They continued to travel up to 5 km SE as well as 3.5 km SSE. Ash plumes rose 2-4 km. On 5 January the number of hybrid earthquakes increased, indicating a growing lava dome, and pyroclastic flows traveled 1.5-4.5 km SE. During 4-5 January pyroclastic flows were recorded 426 times. On 7 January ash plumes rose 1-6 km and drifted SW, and pyroclastic flows continued to travel 1.5-4.5 km SE. The number of refugees reached 22,145.

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 of Sinabung in 1912, although no confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to 2010.    

Ongoing activity

DUKONO, Halmahera 
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 4-5 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-55 km SE.

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 N-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. Dukono is a complex volcano presenting a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of Dukono's summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

ETNA, Sicily (Italy) 
37.734°N, 15.004°E; summit elev. 3330 m

INGV reported that during 31 December 2013-1 January 2014 lava flows from a vent located on the NE flank of the cone of Etna's New Southeast Crater (NSEC) continued to travel towards the N part of the Valle de Bove; the lava flows had been active since activity resumed on 29 December. On 3 January staff doing field work noted that the effusive activity had stopped.

Geologic summary: Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BC. Historical lava flows cover much of the surface of this massive basaltic stratovolcano, the highest and most voluminous in Italy. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur at Etna. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more of the three prominent summit craters, the Central Crater, NE Crater, and SE Crater. Flank eruptions, typically with higher effusion rates, occur less frequently and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit. A period of more intense intermittent explosive eruptions from Etna's summit craters began in 1995. The active volcano is monitored by the Instituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Volcanologia (INGV) in Catania.

FUEGO, Guatemala 
14.473°N, 90.880°W; summit elev. 3763 m

Based on analyses of satellite images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 30 December 2013 an ash plume from Fuego drifted almost 30 km NW. INSIVUMEH reported that during 2-3 and 5-7 January 2014 explosions generated shock waves, ejected incandescent material as high as 250 m, and produced ash plumes that rose 300-700 m and drifted 7-12 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Sofía I and II (12 km SW). Avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), Taniluya (SW), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages.

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 3,763-m-high Fuego and its twin volcano to the N, Acatenango. Construction of Meseta volcano continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene, after which growth of the modern Fuego volcano continued the southward migration of volcanism that began at Acatenango. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded at Fuego since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows. The last major explosive eruption from Fuego took place in 1974, producing spectacular pyroclastic flows visible from Antigua.

KARYMSKY, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
54.05°N, 159.45°E; summit elev. 1536 m

KVERT reported that Vulcanian and Strombolian activity at Karymsky continued during 27 December 2013-2 January 2014. Satellite images detected a bright thermal anomaly on the volcano daily, and an ash plume that rose as high as 2 km and drifted 120 km SE on 1 January. 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 31 December 2013-7 January 2014 HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. 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 spatter cones on the N and S portions of the crater floor. The 6.3-km-long Kahauale’a 2 lava flow, fed by the NE spatter cone, remained active with scattered break-out flows that burned the forest N of Pu'u 'O'o. During 1-2 January the SE spatter cone erupted a total of five short lava flows, and on the morning of 6 January it ejected a small amount of lava.

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.

KLIUCHEVSKOI, Central Kamchatka (Russia) 
56.057°N, 160.638°E; summit elev. 4850 m

On 2 January KVERT reported that the explosive eruption at Kliuchevskoi had finished on 20 December 2013; the last strong explosion was detected on 17 December 2013. Video images showed gas-and-steam plumes continuing to rise from the volcano. Satellite images detected thermal anomalies over the summit and the lava flow on the SW flank; both areas were cooling. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Geologic summary: Kliuchevskoi is Kamchatka's highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 6000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. Kliuchevskoi rises above a saddle NE of sharp-peaked Kamen volcano and lies SE of the broad Ushkovsky massif. More than 100 flank eruptions have occurred at Kliuchevskoi during the past roughly 3000 years, with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3600 m elevation. The morphology of its 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included numerous major explosive and effusive eruptions from flank craters.

RABAUL, New Britain 
4.271°S, 152.203°E; summit elev. 688 m

RVO reported that Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone was quiet during 16-31 December. White and occasionally blue vapor plumes rose from the crater. An explosion at 0732 on 22 December generated an ash-poor plume. Weak fluctuating glow was visible at night on 31 December.

Geologic summary:The low-lying Rabaul caldera on the tip of the Gazelle Peninsula at the NE end of New Britain forms a broad sheltered harbor. The outer flanks of the 688-m-high asymmetrical pyroclastic shield volcano are formed by thick pyroclastic-flow deposits. The 8 x 14 km caldera is widely breached on the E, where its floor is flooded by Blanche Bay. Two major Holocene caldera-forming eruptions at Rabaul took place as recently as 3,500 and 1,400 years ago. Three small stratovolcanoes lie outside the northern and NE caldera rims. Post-caldera eruptions built basaltic-to-dacitic pyroclastic cones on the caldera floor near the NE and western caldera walls. Several of these, including Vulcan cone, which was formed during a large eruption in 1878, have produced major explosive activity during historical time. A powerful explosive eruption in 1994 occurred simultaneously from Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes and forced the temporary abandonment of Rabaul city.

REVENTADOR, Ecuador 
0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m

Based on a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC reported that on 31 December an ash plume from Reventador rose to an altitude of km (16,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash was not identified in satellite images due to weather clouds in the area but an occasional thermal anomaly was detected.

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.

SAKURA-JIMA, Kyushu 
31.585°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m

JMA reported that during 30 December 2013-6 January 2014 no explosions occurred from Sakura-jima's Showa Crater; weak incandescence from the crater was visible at night during 30-31 December. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that an explosion on 7 January generated a plume that rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.

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.

SHIVELUCH, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.653°N, 161.360°E; summit elev. 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 27 December 2013-2 January 2014 a newer lava dome extruded onto the NW part of Shiveluch's older lava dome. Lava-dome extrusion was accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. Moderate ash explosions generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4-5 km (13,100-16,400) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite images. 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.

SUWANOSE-JIMA, Kyushu 
29.635°N, 129.716°E; summit elev. 799 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported explosions from Suwanose-jima during 1-3 and 6 January. Explosions during 1-2 January generated plumes that rose to altitudes 0.9-1.8 km (3,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. JMA noted that the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Geologic summary: The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanose-jima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. Only about 50 persons live on the sparsely populated island. 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. Suwanose-jima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from On-take (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 On-take 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.

ULAWUN, New Britain 
5.05°S, 151.33°E; summit elev. 2334 m

RVO reported that activity at Ulawun was low during 16-31 December; diffuse ash plumes rose from the crater during 51-21 December, and white vapor emissions were visible during 22-31 December.

Geologic summary: The symmetrical basaltic to andesitic Ulawun stratovolcano is the highest volcano of the Bismarck arc, and one of Papua New Guinea's most frequently active. Ulawun rises above the N coast of New Britain opposite Bamus volcano. The upper 1,000 m of the 2,334-m-high volcano is unvegetated. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side of the volcano, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the S of this valley. Historical eruptions date back to the beginning of the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions were mildly explosive until 1967, but after 1970 several larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows, greatly modifying the summit crater.

Source: GVP

Comments

Steve Kenn 6 years ago

It’s impossible to stop a volcanic eruption but can minimize its damage by taking the proper steps. More research should be done on this with the help of new technologies. The Gem System, Ontario provides with advanced fast cycling magnetometer which helps in studying and alleviating the hazard of volcano eruption. Awareness should be given to the common people on how to avoid danger and what should do if caught near it.

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