Active volcanoes in the world: November 12 - 18, 2014

Active volcanoes in the world: November 12 - 18, 2014

New activity/unrest was observed at 6 volcanoes from November 12 - 18, 2014. Ongoing activity was observed at 15 volcanoes. 

New activity/unrest: Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Pavlof, United States | Popocatepetl, Mexico | Sinarka, Shiashkotan Island (Russia) | Turrialba, Costa Rica | Zhupanovsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) 

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Asosan, Kyushu (Japan) | Bardarbunga, Iceland | Chirpoi, Kuril Islands (Russia) | Copahue, Central Chile-Argentina border | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Fuego, Guatemala | Mayon, Luzon (Philippines) | Ontakesan, Honshu (Japan) | Poas, Costa Rica | Reventador, Ecuador | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Shishaldin, Fox Islands (USA) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

New activity/unrest:

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)
19.421°N, 155.287°W  | Elevation 1222 m

During 12-18 November HVO reported that Kilauea’s 27 June NE-trending lava flow continued to be active. On 15 November the closest active lava to Pahoa Village Road was about 630 m upslope of the road. Multiple breakouts were active upslope of Apa’a Street and Cemetery Road, including a breakout traveling along the S margin of the earlier flow that crossed Cemetery Road and burned the road surface. During an overflight on 17 November, scientists noted a marked decrease in the surface breakouts that have been active N of Kaohe Homesteads, and near Apa’a Street and the Pahoa Japanese Cemetery during the previous few weeks. This decrease in supply was caused by a large breakout from the lava tube at Pu’u Kahauale’a, near Pu'u 'O'o, which began overnight during 14-15 November. A report on 18 November noted that the lower portion of the lava flow, near the Kaohe Homesteads and Pahoa, had stalled, but breakouts remained active in the upslope portion of the flow between 1.6 km and 9 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o.

The circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u Crater. Gas emissions remained elevated. The plume from the ventcontinued to deposit variable amounts of tephra onto nearby areas; smaller particles may have been dropped several kilometers away. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater, glow emanated from several outgassing openings in the crater floor.

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.

Pavlof, United States
55.417°N, 161.894°W  | Elevation 2493 m

On 12 November AVO raised the Aviation Color Code for Pavlov to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch, citing the beginning of a new phase of eruptive activity at about 1500. An observer in Cold Bay (52 km SW) reported that ash emissions rose slightly above the summit; minor ash emissions were also recorded by an FAA-operated webcam in Cold Bay beginning at 1650. Seismicity increased and remained elevated. Lava fountaining occurred from a vent just N of the summit and flows of rock debris and ash descended the N flank. A thermal anomaly appeared in satellite images at 1740. The eruption continued on 14 November. A narrow ash plume observed in satellite images drifted 200 km at an altitude of 4.8 km (16,000 ft) a.s.l.

The eruption intensified on 15 November prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Red and the Volcano Alert Level to Warning. Ash plumes rose to an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 200 km NW. The intensity of seismic tremor had increased significantly. Pilot reports through 1230 indicated that the ash plume had risen to an altitude of 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. At about 1900 seismicity abruptly decreased and remained low. Satellite observations confirmed a significant decrease in ash emissions; discrete seismic events possibly indicated minor ash emissions that were not detected in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Watch. Pilot reports on 16 November indicated no eruptive activity, and satellite images showed diminished temperatures in the summit crater. During 17-18 November seismic activity remained at low levels and elevated surface temperatures on the upper NW flank were observed, consistent with a flow of lava and/or hot debris.

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 Pavlof, 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 took place in 1911, at the end of a 5-year-long eruptive episode, when a fissure opened on the N flank, ejecting large blocks and issuing lava flows.

Popocatepetl, Mexico
19.023°N, 98.622°W  | Elevation 5426 m

CENAPRED reported that during 12-15 November seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing emissions of water vapor, gas, and small amounts of ash; ashwas not observed during 16-18 November. Incandescence from the crater at night was noted. The Alert Level remained at to Yellow, Phase Two.

Geologic summary: Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, towers to 5426 m 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred from Popocatépetl since the mid Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since precolumbian time.

Sinarka, Shiashkotan Island (Russia)
48.875°N, 154.175°E  | Elevation 934 m

SVERT reported that satellite images of Sinarka showed steam-and-gas emissions drifted 40 km E on 11 November. The next day a weak thermal anomaly was detected. Gas-and-steam activity became more robust; emissions drifted NE. A weak thermal anomaly was again detected on 16 November. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow.

Geologic summary: Sinarka volcano, occupying the northern end of Shiashkotan Island in the central Kuriles, has a complex structure. A small, 2-km-wide depression open to the NW has been largely filled and overtopped by an andesitic postglacial central cone that itself contains a lava dome that forms the 934 m high point of the island. Another lava dome, Zheltokamennaya Mountain, lies 1.5 km to the SW along the buried SW rim of the caldera, and a smaller dome lies along the northern caldera rim. Historical eruptions have occurred at Sinarka during the 17th and 18th centuries. The last and largest of these, during 1872-78, was once thought to originate from Kuntomintar volcano at the southern end of the island, but is now attributed to Sinarka volcano (Gorshkov, 1970).

Turrialba, Costa Rica
10.025°N, 83.767°W  | Elevation 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported an explosion from Turrialba that started at 1926 on 13 November which lasted about 10 minutes. Another explosion occurred at 1342 on 14 November and lasted about 15 minutes, although the strongest part was 7 minutes long. National park officials reported ashfall at the top of Irazú. Volcanologists observed the 14 November explosion and collected samples at Hacienda La Central, 3 km SE of West Crater.

Geologic summary: Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica's Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of Irazú volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive 3340-m-high Turrialba is exceeded in height only by Irazú, covers an area of 500 sq km, and is one of Costa Rica's most voluminous volcanoes. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters.

Zhupanovsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
53.589°N, 159.15°E  | Elevation 2899 m

KVERT reported that moderate explosive eruptions at Zhupanovsky likely continued during 7-14 November. Satellite images detected ash plumes drifting 270 km SE during 7-10 November. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

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.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
31.593°N, 130.657°E  | Elevation 1117 m

JMA reported that three explosions from Showa Crater at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano ejected tephra as far as 800 m during 10-14 November. Incandescence from the crater was visible during 12-13 November. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that during 12-17 November plumes rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SE.

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.

Asosan, Kyushu (Japan)
32.884°N, 131.104°E  | Elevation 1592 m

JMA reported that Alert Level 2 at Asosan continued during 10-14 November. A white plume rose 400 m above the crater. Incandescence from Nakadake Crater was visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Geologic summary: The 24-km-wide Asosan caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. The last of these, the Aso-4 eruption, produced more than 600 cu km of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Nakadake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 AD. The Nakadake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 CE. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Nakadake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations.

Bardarbunga, Iceland
64.63°N, 17.53°W  | Elevation 2009 m

During 12-18 November, IMO maintained Aviation Colour Code Orange due to continued activity at Bárdarbunga’s Holuhraun eruptive fissure; lava from the lava lake in the main vent, Baugur Crater, flowed ESE. Subsidence of the Bárdarbunga Caldera continued and local air pollution from gas emissions persisted. Seismicity remained strong, although a report on 14 November noted that the number of earthquakes over M 5 seemed to be decreasing. The lava field covered 71.9 square kilometers on 14 November.

Geologic summary: The large central volcano of Bárdarbunga lies beneath the NW part of the Vatnajökull icecap, NW of Grímsvötn volcano, and contains a subglacial 700-m-deep caldera. Related fissure systems include the Veidivötn and Trollagigar fissures, which extend about 100 km SW to near Torfajökull volcano and 50 km NE to near Askja volcano, respectively. Voluminous fissure eruptions, including one at Thjorsarhraun, which produced the largest known Holocene lava flow on Earth with a volume of more than 21 cu km, have occurred throughout the Holocene into historical time from the Veidivötn fissure system. The last major eruption of Veidivötn, in 1477, also produced a large tephra deposit. The subglacial Loki-Fögrufjöll volcanic system located SW of Bárdarbunga volcano is also part of the Bárdarbunga volcanic system and contains two subglacial ridges extending from the largely subglacial Hamarinn central volcano; the Loki ridge trends to the NE and the Fögrufjöll ridge to the SW. Jökulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods) from eruptions at Bárdarbunga potentially affect drainages in all directions.

Chirpoi, Kuril Islands (Russia)
46.525°N, 150.875°E  | Elevation 742 m

SVERT reported that satellite images over Snow, a volcano of Chirpoi, showed a weak thermal anomaly on 16 November. Cloud cover obscured views on other days during 11-17 November. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Geologic summary: Chirpoi, a small island lying between the larger islands of Simushir and Urup, contains a half dozen volcanic edifices constructed within an 8-9 km wide, partially submerged caldera. The southern rim of the caldera is exposed on nearby Brat Chirpoev Island. The symmetrical Cherny volcano, which forms the 691 m high point of the island, erupted twice during the 18th and 19th centuries. The youngest volcano, Snow, originated between 1770 and 1810. It is composed almost entirely of lava flows, many of which have reached the sea on the southern coast. No historical eruptions are known from 742-m-high Brat Chirpoev, but its youthful morphology suggests recent strombolian activity.

Copahue, Central Chile-Argentina border
37.856°S, 71.183°W  | Elevation 2953 m

The Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 15-16 November diffuse steam-and-gas emissions from Copahue recorded by the ODVAS webcam contained a small amount of ash.

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.

Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)
1.68°N, 127.88°E  | Elevation 1335 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-17 November ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 35 km NE and N. On 20 November ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 20 km SSW.

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.

Fuego, Guatemala
14.473°N, 90.88°W  | Elevation 3763 m

INSIVUMEH reported that during 13-18 November explosions at Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 550-750 m above the crater and drifted 10-12 km S and W. Shock waves from some of the explosions rattled structures near the volcano. Incandescent material was sometimes ejected above the crater. Ashfall was reported in Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), and surrounding communities.

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.

Mayon, Luzon (Philippines)
13.257°N, 123.685°E  | Elevation 2462 m

PHIVOLCS reported that during 12-18 November white plumes rose from Mayon's crater and drifted S, SSW, SW, WSW, and WNW, often downslope. As many as three volcanic earthquakes and one rockfall event were recorded per day. Data from a deformation study conducted during 9-13 November indicated deflation relative to results from a 21-28 October survey, although the volcano remained inflated relative to the baseline. Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 0-5 scale). PHIVOLCS reminded residents of the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) around the volcano and the 7-km Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) on the SE flank.

Geologic summary: Beautifully symmetrical Mayon volcano, which rises to 2462 m above the Albay Gulf, is the Philippines' most active volcano. The structurally simple volcano has steep upper slopes averaging 35-40 degrees that are capped by a small summit crater. Historical eruptions at this basaltic-andesitic volcano date back to 1616 and range from strombolian to basaltic plinian, with cyclical activity beginning with basaltic eruptions, followed by longer term andesitic lava flows. Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the approximately 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often devastated populated lowland areas. Mayon's most violent eruption, in 1814, killed more than 1200 people and devastated several towns.

Ontakesan, Honshu (Japan)
35.893°N, 137.48°E  | Elevation 3067 m

JMA reported that cloud cover often prevented visual observations of Ontakesan during 12-18 November; white plumes rose 200 m above the crater rim and drifted E during 16-17 November. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Geologic summary: The massive Ontakesan stratovolcano, the second highest volcano in Japan, lies at the southern end of the Northern Japan Alps. Ascending this volcano is one of the major objects of religious pilgrimage in central Japan. It is constructed within a largely buried 4 x 5 km caldera and occupies the southern end of the Norikura volcanic zone, which extends northward to Yakedake volcano. The older volcanic complex consisted of at least four major stratovolcanoes constructed from about 680,000 to about 420,000 years ago, after which Ontakesan was inactive for more than 300,000 years. The broad, elongated summit of the younger edifice is cut by a series of small explosion craters along a NNE-trending line. Several phreatic eruptions post-date the roughly 7300-year-old Akahoya tephra from Kikai caldera. The first historical eruption took place in 1979 from fissures near the summit. A non-eruptive landslide in 1984 produced a debris avalanche and lahar that swept down valleys south and east of the volcano. Very minor phreatic activity caused a dusting of ash near the summit in 1991 and 2007. A significant phreatic explosion in September 2014, when a large number of hikers were at or near the summit, resulted in many fatalities.

Poas, Costa Rica
10.2°N, 84.233°W  | Elevation 2708 m

On 13 November OVSICORI-UNA reported a drastic decrease in temperature and gas flow from vents around the lava dome on the S edge of the hot lake at Poás. In addition incandescence from the dome was no longer visible, activity from fumaroles in the lake had decreased, and the lake water changed from greenish to milky. Phreatic eruptions had not occurred since late October.

Geologic summary: The broad, well-vegetated edifice of Poás, one of the most active volcanoes of Costa Rica, contains three craters along a N-S line. The frequently visited multi-hued summit crater lakes of the basaltic-to-dacitic volcano, which is one of Costa Rica's most prominent natural landmarks, are easily accessible by vehicle from the nearby capital city of San José. A N-S-trending fissure cutting the 2708-m-high complex stratovolcano extends to the lower northern flank, where it has produced the Congo stratovolcano and several lake-filled maars. The southernmost of the two summit crater lakes, Botos, is cold and clear and last erupted about 7500 years ago. The more prominent geothermally heated northern lake, Laguna Caliente, is one of the world's most acidic natural lakes, with a pH of near zero. It has been the site of frequent phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions since the first historical eruption was reported in 1828. Eruptions often include geyser-like ejections of crater-lake water.

Reventador, Ecuador
0.077°S, 77.656°W  | Elevation 3562 m

IG reported moderate volcanic activity including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and tremor at Reventador during 12-18 November. During 12-14 and 18 November steam plumes with a minor ash content rose at most 1 km and drifted NW and N. Cloudy conditions frequently obscured views of the summit.

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.

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.653°N, 161.36°E  | Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 7-14 November lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by incandescence, hot avalanches, and fumarolicactivity. Satellite images detected a weak thermal anomaly over the dome on 12 November; cloud cover prevented views of the volcano on the other days. TheAviation 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.

Shishaldin, Fox Islands (USA)
54.756°N, 163.97°W  | Elevation 2857 m

AVO reported that seismicity at Shishaldin remained elevated during 12-18 November. Elevated crater temperatures were detected in satellite images during periods of clear weather. 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.

Sinabung, Indonesia
3.17°N, 98.392°E  | Elevation 2460 m

On 14 November BNPB reported that activity at Sinabung remained elevated; avalanches occurred 79 times, and pyroclastic flows generated by three of the avalanches traveled 4 km S. Ash plumes rose 1 km and the lava flow was active 500 m down from the crater on the S and W flanks. The report stated that 2,986 people from 956 households remained displaced. The Darwin VAAC reported that ash plumes drifting W, SW, and S were recorded by a webcam during 12-18 November. Dense white plumes and intermittent pyroclastic flows were visible on 19 November.

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.

Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
29.638°N, 129.714°E  | Elevation 796 m

The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 14 November an explosion at Suwanosejima produced a plume that 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: GVP

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