Active volcanoes in the world: May 11 - 17, 2016

Active volcanoes in the world: May 11 - 17, 2016

New activity/unrest was observed at 2 volcanoes between May 11 and 17, 2016. During the same period, ongoing activity was observed at 18 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Awu, Sangihe Islands (Indonesia)  | Ruapehu, North Island (New Zealand).

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan)  | Alaid, Kuril Islands (Russia)  | Chirpoi, Kuril Islands (Russia)  | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA)  | Colima, Mexico  | Cotopaxi, Ecuador  | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)  | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)  | Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | Langila, New Britian (Papua New Guinea)  | Masaya, Nicaragua  | Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia  | Pavlof, United States  | Sangay, Ecuador  | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)  | Sinabung, Indonesia  | Telica, Nicaragua  | Turrialba, Costa Rica.

New activity/unrest

Awu, Sangihe Islands (Indonesia)
3.67°N, 125.5°E, Summit elev. 1320 m

PVMBG reported that seismicity at Awu fluctuated during April and the first part of May. On 11 May the number of earthquakes rose significantly; the number of local tectonic and deep volcanic earthquakes was the highest recorded in the last year, and the number of shallow volcanic earthquakes was the second highest recorded (the highest number was recorded on 24 November 2015, prompting an increase in the Alert Level). Earthquake hypocenters were located at depths between 0.5 and 4 km. On 12 May the Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-4); residents and tourists were advised to stay 4 km away from the crater.

Geological summary: The massive Gunung Awu stratovolcano occupies the northern end of Great Sangihe Island, the largest of the Sangihe arc. Deep valleys that form passageways for lahars dissect the flanks of the volcano, which was constructed within a 4.5-km-wide caldera. Powerful explosive eruptions in 1711, 1812, 1856, 1892, and 1966 produced devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused more than 8000 cumulative fatalities. Awu contained a summit crater lake that was 1 km wide and 172 m deep in 1922, but was largely ejected during the 1966 eruption.

Ruapehu, North Island (New Zealand)
39.28°S, 175.57°E, Summit elev. 2797 m

On 17 May GeoNet reported that the lake temperature of Ruapehu's summit Crater Lake had decreased from a high of 46 degrees Celsius to 39 degrees, with some of the decrease attributed to rain and snowfall. Moderate levels of volcanic tremor continued, and analysis of water samples collected the previous week showed no changes in the lake chemistry. During recent visits, scientists measured a larger output of volcanic gases. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 (moderate to heightened unrest) and the Aviation Colour Code remained at Yellow.

Geological summary: Ruapehu, one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes, is a complex stratovolcano constructed during at least four cone-building episodes dating back to about 200,000 years ago. The 110 cu km dominantly andesitic volcanic massif is elongated in a NNE-SSW direction and surrounded by another 100 cu km ring plain of volcaniclastic debris, including the Murimoto debris-avalanche deposit on the NW flank. A series of subplinian eruptions took place between about 22,600 and 10,000 years ago, but pyroclastic flows have been infrequent. A single historically active vent, Crater Lake, is located in the broad summit region, but at least five other vents on the summit and flank have been active during the Holocene. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have occurred in historical time from the Crater Lake vent, and tephra characteristics suggest that the crater lake may have formed as early as 3000 years ago. Lahars produced by phreatic eruptions from the summit crater lake are a hazard to a ski area on the upper flanks and to lower river valleys.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
31.593°N, 130.657°E, Summit elev. 1117 m

JMA reported that an explosion at the Minamidake summit crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) generated an ash plume that rose 3.7 km above the crater rim. During 13-16 May explosions from Showa Crater generated an ash plume that rose as high as 3.5 km above the crater rim. On 13 May the Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Geological 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.

Alaid, Kuril Islands (Russia)
50.861°N, 155.565°E, Summit elev. 2285 m

KVERT reported that moderate activity at Alaid continued during 6-13 May. Satellite images showed an intense daily thermal anomaly over the volcano and a lava flow on the SW flank. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: The highest and northernmost volcano of the Kuril Islands, 2285-m-high Alaid is a symmetrical stratovolcano when viewed from the north, but has a 1.5-km-wide summit crater that is breached widely to the south. Alaid is the northernmost of a chain of volcanoes constructed west of the main Kuril archipelago and rises 3000 m from the floor of the Sea of Okhotsk. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the lower flanks of basaltic to basaltic-andesite Alaid volcano, particularly on the NW and SE sides, including an offshore cone formed during the 1933-34 eruption. Strong explosive eruptions have occurred from the summit crater beginning in the 18th century. Reports of eruptions in 1770, 1789, 1821, 1829, 1843, 1848, and 1858 were considered incorrect by Gorshkov (1970). Explosive eruptions in 1790 and 1981 were among the largest in the Kuril Islands during historical time.

Chirpoi, Kuril Islands (Russia)
46.525°N, 150.875°E, Summit elev. 742 m

SVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Snow, a volcano of Chirpoi, was detected in satellite images during 9-11 and 14 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Geological 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.

Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA)
52.825°N, 169.944°W, Summit elev. 1730 m

AVO reported that an explosion at Cleveland was detected at 0732 on 10 May by infrasound (air pressure) sensors. Cloud cover prevented satellite views during most of the previous week; nothing noteworthy was detected in satellite data and no anomalous seismicity was recorded after the explosion through 14 May. Energetic steaming and highly elevated surface temperatures in the summit crater were observed in satellite data on 15 May. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

Geological summary: Beautifully symmetrical Mount Cleveland stratovolcano is situated at the western end of the uninhabited, dumbbell-shaped Chuginadak Island. It lies SE across Carlisle Pass strait from Carlisle volcano and NE across Chuginadak Pass strait from Herbert volcano. Cleveland is joined to the rest of Chuginadak Island by a low isthmus. The 1730-m-high Mount Cleveland is the highest of the Islands of the Four Mountains group and is one of the most active of the Aleutian Islands. The native name for Mount Cleveland, Chuginadak, refers to the Aleut goddess of fire, who was thought to reside on the volcano. Numerous large lava flows descend the steep-sided flanks. It is possible that some 18th-to-19th century eruptions attributed to Carlisle should be ascribed to Cleveland (Miller et al., 1998). In 1944 Cleveland produced the only known fatality from an Aleutian eruption. Recent eruptions have been characterized by short-lived explosive ash emissions, at times accompanied by lava fountaining and lava flows down the flanks.

Colima, Mexico
19.514°N, 103.62°W, Summit elev. 3850 m

Based on information from the Mexico City MWO and webcam views, the Washington VAAC reported that duirng 15-17 May ash plumes from Colima rose to altitudes of 5.5-7.6 km (18,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ENE and E.

Geological 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.

Cotopaxi, Ecuador
0.677°S, 78.436°W, Summit elev. 5911 m

During an overflight of Cotopaxi on 10 May, scientists observed minor gas emissions rising 600 m above the crater and drifting N and NW. Glaciers remained cracked, though glacial melting observed in recent months had decreased considerably. The temperature of flank fumaroles had decreased slightly.

Geological summary: Symmetrical, glacier-clad Cotopaxi stratovolcano is Ecuador's most well-known volcano and one of its most active. The steep-sided cone is capped by nested summit craters, the largest of which is about 550 x 800 m in diameter. Deep valleys scoured by lahars radiate from the summit of the andesitic volcano, and large andesitic lava flows extend as far as the base of Cotopaxi. The modern conical volcano has been constructed since a major edifice collapse sometime prior to about 5000 years ago. Pyroclastic flows (often confused in historical accounts with lava flows) have accompanied many explosive eruptions of Cotopaxi, and lahars have frequently devastated adjacent valleys. The most violent historical eruptions took place in 1744, 1768, and 1877. Pyroclastic flows descended all sides of the volcano in 1877, and lahars traveled more than 100 km into the Pacific Ocean and western Amazon basin. The last significant eruption of Cotopaxi took place in 1904.

Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)
1.693°N, 127.894°E, Summit elev. 1229 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 11-17 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 65 km in multiple directions.

Geological 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.

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 11-17 May. The lava lake continued to circulate and eject spatter in the Overlook vent. Webcams recorded glow from multiple spatter cones on the Pu'u 'O'o Crater floor and from skylights in the lava tube on the NE flank of the cone. Vents in the SW and E parts of the crater periodically produced small lava flows within the crater. The June 27th NE-trending lava flow continued to be active within 5.8 km NE of Pu'u 'O'o Crater.

Geological 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.

Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.056°N, 160.642°E, Summit elev. 4754 m

KVERT reported that a Strombolian eruption at Klyuchevskoy continued during 6-13 May. Satellite and video data showed a lava flow effusing on the SE flank, down the Apakhonchich drainage. Satellite images showed an intense thermal anomaly over the volcano. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange.

Geological summary: Klyuchevskoy (also spelled 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. It 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 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 the 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.

Langila, New Britian (Papua New Guinea)
5.525°S, 148.42°E, Summit elev. 1330 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 11-13 May ash plumes from Langila rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 25-85 km NNW, NW, and W.

Geological summary: Langila, one of the most active volcanoes of New Britain, consists of a group of four small overlapping composite basaltic-andesitic cones on the lower eastern flank of the extinct Talawe volcano. Talawe is the highest volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila volcano was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the north and NE sides of Langila. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded since the 19th century from three active craters at the summit of Langila. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.

Masaya, Nicaragua
11.984°N, 86.161°W, Summit elev. 635 m

INETER reported that between 1700 and 2400 on 3 May volcanic tremor at Masaya increased; RSAM values spiked at 1,000 units and then dropped to 250. Gas emissions at Santiago crater were at low-to-moderate levels, and the lava lake continued to strongly circulate. On 5 May RSAM values fluctuated between 250 and 500 units which are low-to-moderate values.

Geological 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.

Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia
4.892°N, 75.324°W, Summit elev. 5279 m

Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales reported that during 10-16 May seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz was characterized by long-period and very-long-period earthquakes, episodes of continuous tremor, and pulses of volcanic tremor associated with gas-and-ash emissions. Thermal anomalies near Arenas Crater were identified in satellite images during 11-12 May. Significant amounts of water vapor and gas rose from the crater during the week. A gas, steam, and ash plume rose 1.7 km and drifted NW and W on 12 May. Based on information from SGC, the Washington VAAC reported that on 17 May an ash emission rose to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. Cloud cover in the area prevented satellite observations of the activity. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; the second lowest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: Nevado del Ruiz is a broad, glacier-covered volcano in central Colombia that covers >200 sq km. Three major edifices, composed of andesitic and dacitic lavas and andesitic pyroclastics, have been constructed since the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern cone consists of a broad cluster of lava domes built within the caldera of an older edifice. The 1-km-wide, 240-m-deep Arenas crater occupies the summit. The prominent La Olleta pyroclastic cone located on the SW flank may also have been active in historical time. Steep headwalls of massive landslides cut the flanks. Melting of its summit icecap during historical eruptions, which date back to the 16th century, has resulted in devastating lahars, including one in 1985 that was South America's deadliest eruption.

Pavlof, United States
55.417°N, 161.894°W, Summit elev. 2493 m

AVO reported that at about 1035 on 13 May seismic activity at Pavlof increased to levels typically associated with low-level eruptive activity; cloud cover prevented visual observations of the volcano though no thermal signals or ash emissions were evident through the cloud deck. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch due to the possibility of an eruption in progress. On 14 May seismicity remained above background levels. Clear satellite and webcam views revealed no evidence for an eruption, and no ash emissions or thermal anomalies at the summit were observed. During 1927-2107 on 14 May ash emissions were evident in webcam views and reported by local observers. A diffuse ash plume rose to altitudes of 4.6-5.5 km (15,000-18,000 ft) a.s.l. and remained in the vicinity of the volcano. Elevated surface temperatures were detected in satellite data at 0850 on 15 May. Periods of elevated volcanic tremor and a small explosion associated with minor ash emissions began at 0445 on 17 May; observers in Cold Bay (60 km SE) and Sand Point (90 km E) reported ash emissions interspersed with steam emissions. A National Weather Service SIGMET noted that ash was below an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l.

Geological 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.

Sangay, Ecuador
2.005°S, 78.341°W, Summit elev. 5286 m

IG reported that at the beginning of March Sangay began a new phase of activity which continued through at least 12 May without significant changes. The number of tremor events and long-period earthquakes were slightly higher in March as compared to the number recorded in April and May, and the number of explosions was slightly higher in April and May. Surficial activity was characterized by frequent ash emissions generated by explosive activity. Thermal anomalies on the flanks were also detected, mostly within 5 km of the summit crater, which possibly corresponded to short-range pyroclastic flows and lava flows. No abnormal sulfur dioxide emission were detected.

Geological summary: The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador's volcanoes, and its most active. The dominantly andesitic volcano has been in frequent eruption for the past several centuries. The steep-sided, 5230-m-high glacier-covered volcano grew within horseshoe-shaped calderas of two previous edifices, which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. It towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash have been sculpted by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of a historical eruption was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The almost constant activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.653°N, 161.36°E, Summit elev. 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 6-13 May lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, ash explosions, and hot avalanches. Satellite images showed an intense daily thermal anomaly over the dome. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Geological 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.

Sinabung, Indonesia
3.17°N, 98.392°E, Summit elev. 2460 m

BNPB reported that a lahar passed through Kutambaru village, 20 km NW of Sinabung and near the Lau Barus River, at 1545 on 9 May, killing one person and injuring four more. One person was missing. A news article noted that three houses were also damaged. Based on satellite images and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 11-13 and 16 May ash plumes rose to altitudes of 3-4.5 km (10,000-15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, W, WNW, and NW.

Geological 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.

Telica, Nicaragua
12.602°N, 86.845°W, Summit elev. 1061 m

Based on information from INETER, SINAPRED reported that 30 explosion at Telica occurred during 7-8 May, producing gas-and-ash plumes that rose 600 m and drifted S and SW. The explosions originated from a new vent in the N part of the crater; lava emissions were also observed. INETER reported high micro-seismicity and low outgassing during 11-16 May. Incandescence from vents on the crater floor was visible during 11-12 May; sounds from jetting gasses were noted on 11 May. RSAM values were 180-190 units during 11-12 May, dropping to 80 units during 12-14 May.

Geological summary: Telica, one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, has erupted frequently since the beginning of the Spanish era. This volcano group consists of several interlocking cones and vents with a general NW alignment. Sixteenth-century eruptions were reported at symmetrical Santa Clara volcano at the SW end of the group. However, its eroded and breached crater has been covered by forests throughout historical time, and these eruptions may have originated from Telica, whose upper slopes in contrast are unvegetated. The steep-sided cone of 1061-m-high Telica is truncated by a 700-m-wide double crater; the southern crater, the source of recent eruptions, is 120 m deep. El Liston, immediately SE of Telica, has several nested craters. The fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Hervideros de San Jacinto, SE of Telica, form a prominent geothermal area frequented by tourists, and geothermal exploration has occurred nearby.

Turrialba, Costa Rica
10.025°N, 83.767°W, Summit elev. 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that an explosion at Turrialba at 1140 on 16 May generated gas-and-ash emissions, though the height of the plume was not determined due to fog. Wind models suggested that the ash plume rose 3 km above the crater and drifted WNW towards Valle Central. Officials on farms 2.5 km WNW reported abundant ashfall. Sustained tremor with significant and highly-variable amplitude continued to be recorded. On 17 May gas-and-steam emissions, intermittently but frequently containing ash, were recorded by the webcam. Throughout the day volcanic tremor amplitude decreased substantially, though numerous earthquakes continued to be recorded. Ash emissions gradually ended. At 1800 the seismic network began recording a large number of very-long-period earthquake, and at around 2200 volcanic tremor with significant amplitude was detected. Seismicity remained high the next morning.

Geological 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.

Source: GVP

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