New activity/unrest was observed at 5 volcanoes from February 3 - 9, 2016. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 14 volcanoes.
New activity/unrest: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Santa Maria, Guatemala | Soputan, Sulawesi (Indonesia) | Turrialba, Costa Rica | Zhupanovsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia).
Ongoing activity: Colima, Mexico | Copahue, Central Chile-Argentina border | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Fuego, Guatemala | Karangetang, Siau Island (Indonesia) | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Lokon-Empung, Sulawesi (Indonesia) | Masaya, Nicaragua | Momotombo, Nicaragua | Popocatepetl, Mexico | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Tengger Caldera, Eastern Java (Indonesia).
Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
31.593°N, 130.657°E, Summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported that an explosive eruption at Showa Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) began at 1856 on 5 February and generated an ash plume that rose 1.3-1.8 km above the crater rim. Lightning was observed in the ash cloud, and incandescent tephra was ejected as far as 1.8 km onto the flanks. The Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a 5-level scale); it had previously been lowered to 2 on 25 November 2015. During an overflight the next day scientists did not see any significant changes to the crater; a plume obscured views of Minamidake summit crater. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 100 tons/day, which was the same level measured on 3 February.
Explosions were detected on 8 February. Based on JMA reports and satellite data, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 8-9 February ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-3.3 km (5,000-11,000 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.
Santa Maria, Guatemala
14.756°N, 91.552°W, Summit elev. 3772 m
INSIVUMEH reported that strong explosions at Caliente cone, part of Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex, began at 1023 on 7 February and generated rumbling sounds and shock waves detected as far as 25 km away. Pyroclastic flows descended the E and SE flanks. A dense mushroom-shaped ash cloud obscured the E, SW, and S parts of the volcano, and then rose 6 km above the crater. It drifted in multiple directions NW to SW. During 8-9 February white gas plumes rose 300 m above the lava dome and drifted E and SW.
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.
Soputan, Sulawesi (Indonesia)
1.112°N, 124.737°E, Summit elev. 1785 m
BNPB reported that explosions at Soputan were detected at 1300, 1437, and 2008 on 6 February; observers 10 km away saw dense reddish gray ash plumes rising 3 km above the crater. At 0106, 0204, 0311, and 0320 on 7 February Strombolian activity ejected tephra as high as 1 km above the crater. A pyroclastic flow traveled 2 km down the E flank. Thunderous sounds were reported, and dense ash plumes rose 2.5 km and drifted W. Constant tremor was detected. Ashfall was reported in multiple districts including Pasan (5 km SSE), Tombatu (16 km SSW), Belang (17 km SSE), and Ratatotok (20 km S). The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4); residents and tourists were advised not to approach the craters within a radius of 4 km, or 6.5 km on the WSW flank.
Geologic summary: The Soputan stratovolcano on the southern rim of the Quaternary Tondano caldera on the northern arm of Sulawesi Island is one of Sulawesi's most active volcanoes. The youthful, largely unvegetated volcano rises to 1784 m and is located SW of Riendengan-Sempu, which some workers have included with Soputan and Manimporok (3.5 km ESE) as a volcanic complex. It was constructed at the southern end of a SSW-NNE trending line of vents. During historical time the locus of eruptions has included both the summit crater and Aeseput, a prominent NE-flank vent that formed in 1906 and was the source of intermittent major lava flows until 1924.
Turrialba, Costa Rica
10.025°N, 83.767°W, Summit elev. 3340 m
OVSICORI-UNA reported that at 1240 on 5 February passive gas-and-ash emissions rose from Turrialba; foggy conditions prevented estimates of ash-cloud height and drift direction, although the plume likely drifted SW. Residents of La Silvia, 2 km NW, reported a sulfur odor and ashfall. For a period of 15 minutes, starting at 1350 on 6 February, passive gas-and-ash emissions rose about 500 m above West Crater and drifted NW. According to the Washington VAAC the webcam recorded gray emissions on 8 February.
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, Summit elev. 2899 m
KVERT reported that moderate steam-and-gas activity at Zhupanovsky continued during 29 January-5 February. A thermal anomaly was detected in satellite images on 30 January. 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.
19.514°N, 103.62°W, Summit elev. 3850 m
Based on satellite images, wind data, webcam images, and notices from the Mexico City MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that during 3-8 February ash plumes from Colima rose to altitudes of 4.9-6.7 km (16,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 75-140 km in multiple directions.
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.
Copahue, Central Chile-Argentina border
37.856°S, 71.183°W, Summit elev. 2953 m
Based on satellite and webcam views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 3-9 February Copahue generated almost continuous steam plumes containing minor amounts of ash that rose to altitudes of 3-3.6 km (10,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 150 km ENE, ESE, SE, and S.
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)
1.693°N, 127.894°E, Summit elev. 1229 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 3-9 February ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-270 km NW, W, WSW, SW, and S.
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.
14.473°N, 90.88°W, Summit elev. 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 6-9 February explosions at Fuego generated ash plumes that rose 150-950 m above the crater and drifted as far as 15 km SE, SW and W. Incandescent material was ejected 200 m high, producing avalanches within the crater and down the Trinidad (S), Ceniza (SSW), Taniluyá (SW), and Santa Teresa (W) drainages. A 1-km-long lava flow was active in the Las Lajas (S) drainage.
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.
Karangetang, Siau Island (Indonesia)
2.78°N, 125.4°E, Summit elev. 1784 m
Based on observations conducted at the Karangetang Volcano Observation Post in the village of Salili, PVMBG reported that during 27 Janaury-3 February the lava dome was incandescent at night. Variable amounts of white and blue emissions rose as high as 100 m above Main Crater. RSAM values doubled in January due to an increase in the number of shallow volcanic earthquakes. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4); visitors and residents were warned not to approach Karangetang within a 4-km radius.
Geologic summary: Karangetang (Api Siau) volcano lies at the northern end of the island of Siau, north of Sulawesi. The stratovolcano contains five summit craters along a N-S line. It is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, with more than 40 eruptions recorded since 1675 and many additional small eruptions that were not documented in the historical record (Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World: Neumann van Padang, 1951). Twentieth-century eruptions have included frequent explosive activity sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars. Lava dome growth has occurred in the summit craters; collapse of lava flow fronts has also produced pyroclastic flows.
Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
54.049°N, 159.443°E, Summit elev. 1513 m
KVERT reported that moderate explosive activity at Karymsky continued during 29 January-5 February. Satellite images detected a daily thermal anomaly, and ash plumes that drifted about 270 km E and SE on 31 January and during 1-2 and 4 February. 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.
Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)
19.421°N, 155.287°W, Summit elev. 1222 m
HVO reported that seismicity beneath Kilauea's summit, upper East Rift Zone, and Southwest Rift Zone was at background levels during 3-9 February. The lava lake continued to circulate and spatter in the Overlook vent. Webcams recorded multiple incandescent outgassing vents within Pu'u 'O'o Crater and high on the NE rim. On 8 February a small lava flow erupted from the E vent. The June 27th NE-trending lava flow continued to be active within 6 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o Crater, burning some areas of forest.
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.
Lokon-Empung, Sulawesi (Indonesia)
1.358°N, 124.792°E, Summit elev. 1580 m
Although inclement weather sometimes obscured views of Lokon-Empung's Tompaluan Crater, PVMBG reported that during 1 December 2015-4 February 2016 observers at the post in Kakaskasen Tomohon (North Sulawesi, 4 km from the crater) saw white plumes rising as high as 400 m above the crater. Seismicity fluctuated but decreased overall. No deformation was detected. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 5 February. Residents and tourists were reminded not to approach the crater within a radius of 1.5 km.
Geologic summary: The twin volcanoes Lokon and Empung, rising about 800 m above the plain of Tondano, are among the most active volcanoes of Sulawesi. Lokon, the higher of the two peaks (whose summits are only 2 km apart), has a flat, craterless top. The morphologically younger Empung volcano to the NE has a 400-m-wide, 150-m-deep crater that erupted last in the 18th century, but all subsequent eruptions have originated from Tompaluan, a 150 x 250 m wide double crater situated in the saddle between the two peaks. Historical eruptions have primarily produced small-to-moderate ash plumes that have occasionally damaged croplands and houses, but lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows have also occurred. A ridge extending WNW from Lokon includes Tatawiran and Tetempangan peak, 3 km away.
11.984°N, 86.161°W, Summit elev. 635 m
INETER reported that during 4-5 and 7-8 February volcanic tremor at Masaya was at high levels. On 8 February the lava lake in the vent on the SE part of the Santiago crater floor was partially visible.
Geologic summary: Masaya is one of Nicaragua's most unusual and most active volcanoes. It lies within the massive Pleistocene Las Sierras pyroclastic shield volcano and is a broad, 6 x 11 km basaltic caldera with steep-sided walls up to 300 m high. The caldera is filled on its NW end by more than a dozen vents that erupted along a circular, 4-km-diameter fracture system. The twin volcanoes of Nindirí and Masaya, the source of historical eruptions, were constructed at the southern end of the fracture system and contain multiple summit craters, including the currently active Santiago crater. A major basaltic plinian tephra erupted from Masaya about 6500 years ago. Historical lava flows cover much of the caldera floor and have confined a lake to the far eastern end of the caldera. A lava flow from the 1670 eruption overtopped the north caldera rim. Masaya has been frequently active since the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, when an active lava lake prompted attempts to extract the volcano's molten "gold." Periods of long-term vigorous gas emission at roughly quarter-century intervals cause health hazards and crop damage.
12.422°N, 86.54°W, Summit elev. 1297 m
INETER reported that during 4-5 and 7-8 February both RSAM values at Momotombo were low to moderate and emissions were at moderate levels.
Geologic summary: Momotombo is a young, 1297-m-high stratovolcano that rises prominently above the NW shore of Lake Managua, forming one of Nicaragua's most familiar landmarks. Momotombo began growing about 4500 years ago at the SE end of the Marrabios Range and consists of a somma from an older edifice that is surmounted by a symmetrical younger cone with a 150 x 250 m wide summit crater. Young lava flows from Momotombo have flowed down the NW flank into the 4-km-wide Monte Galán caldera. The youthful cone of Momotombito forms a 391-m-high island offshore in Lake Managua. Momotombo has a long record of strombolian eruptions, punctuated by occasional larger explosive activity. The latest eruption, in 1905, produced a lava flow that traveled from the summit to the lower NE base. A small black plume was seen above the crater after an April 10, 1996 earthquake, but later observations noted no significant changes in the crater. A major geothermal field is located on the southern flank of the volcano.
19.023°N, 98.622°W, Summit elev. 5426 m
CENAPRED reported that during 2-9 February the seismic network at Popocatépetl recorded 17-83 daily emissions consisting of water vapor, gas, and ash, and as many as nine explosions per day. Ash plumes during 6-7 February rose 700-800 m above the crater and drifted E. Crater incandescence was noted most nights and increased in intensity with some emissions. Explosions at 1630 and 1709 on 8 February generated ash plumes that rose 1 km and drifted ENE. The Alert Level remained at 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.
Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.653°N, 161.36°E, Summit elev. 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 29 January-5 February lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, ash explosions, and hot avalanches. Satellite images detected a daily and intense thermal anomaly over the dome. Ash plumes drifted about 60 km SW on 29 January. 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.
3.17°N, 98.392°E, Summit elev. 2460 m
Based on satellite images, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 9 February ash plumes from Sinabung rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 40 km NW.
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.
Tengger Caldera, Eastern Java (Indonesia)
7.942°S, 112.95°E, Summit elev. 2329 m
Based on satellite images and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 6 and 9 February ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-45 km NE and W.
Geologic summary: The 16-km-wide Tengger caldera is located at the northern end of a volcanic massif extending from Semeru volcano. The massive volcanic complex dates back to about 820,000 years ago and consists of five overlapping stratovolcanoes, each truncated by a caldera. Lava domes, pyroclastic cones, and a maar occupy the flanks of the massif. The Ngadisari caldera at the NE end of the complex formed about 150,000 years ago and is now drained through the Sapikerep valley. The most recent of the calderas is the 9 x 10 km wide Sandsea caldera at the SW end of the complex, which formed incrementally during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. An overlapping cluster of post-caldera cones was constructed on the floor of the Sandsea caldera within the past several thousand years. The youngest of these is Bromo, one of Java's most active and most frequently visited volcanoes.