Active volcanoes in the world: November 2 - 8, 2016

Active volcanoes in the world: November 2 - 8, 2016

New activity was reported for 6 volcanoes between November 2 and 8, 2016. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 12 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA) | Copahue, Central Chile-Argentina border | Iya, Flores Island (Indonesia) | Langila, New Britian (Papua New Guinea) | Sabancaya, Peru | Ulawun, New Britian (Papua New Guinea).

Ongoing activity: Awu, Sangihe Islands (Indonesia) | Bagana, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) | Colima, Mexico | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Egon, Flores Island (Indonesia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Masaya, Nicaragua | Popocatepetl, Mexico | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

New activity/unrest

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

AVO reported that no activity at Cleveland had been observed following the explosion at Cleveland on 24 October. The Level of Concern Color Code was lowered to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Advisory.

Geologic 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.

Copahue, Central Chile-Argentina border
37.856°S, 71.183°W, Summit elev. 2953 m

Based on satellite and webcam images, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 4-5 and 7-8 November gas and water vapor plumes with minor ash content rose from Copahue to altitudes of 3.3-3.9 km (11,000-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and NE.

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.

Iya, Flores Island (Indonesia)
8.897°S, 121.645°E, Summit elev. 637 m

PVMBG reported that after an increase on 29 September seismicity at Iya decreased significantly, with the number of deep volcanic earthquakes slowing from a rate of five per day or less, to none on 22 October. On 31 October the Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-4).

Geologic summary: Gunung Iya is the southernmost of a group of three volcanoes comprising a small peninsula south of the city of Ende on central Flores Island. The cones to the north, Rooja and Pui, appear to be slightly older than Iya and have not shown historical activity, although Pui has a youthful profile (a reported 1671 eruption of Pui was considered to have originated from Iya volcano). Iya, whose truncated southern side drops steeply to the sea, has had numerous moderate explosive eruptions during historical time.

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 on 3 November an ash plume from Langila rose to an altitude of 3.3 km (11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55 km W. Three discreet ash plumes on 4 November all rose to the same altitude as the day before and drifted NW.

Geologic 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.

Sabancaya, Peru
15.78°S, 71.85°W, Summit elev. 5967 m

Based on webcam and satellite views and notices from IGP, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 7-8 November gas-and-water-vapor plumes with minor amounts of ash rose from Sabancaya to a maximum height of 2.2 km above the summit.

Geologic summary: Sabancaya, located on the saddle between 6288-m-high Ampato and 6025-m-high Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three volcanoes, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. Both Nevado Ampato and Nevado Sabancaya are only slightly affected by glacial erosion and consist of a series of lava domes aligned along a NW-SW trend. The name of 5967-m-high Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua Indian language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of historical eruptions date back to 1750.

Ulawun, New Britian (Papua New Guinea)
5.05°S, 151.33°E, Summit elev. 2334 m

RVO reported that during 16-31 October activity at Ulawun was at low levels. Gray and white plumes with varying densities rose 100-200 m above the summit crater and drifted SW, NW, and NE. Low rumbling was heard on 24 October. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 7 November an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 45 km E.

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 volcano, also known as the Father, rises above the north coast of the island of New Britain across a low saddle NE of Bamus volcano, the South Son. The upper 1000 m of the 2334-m-high Ulawun volcano is unvegetated. A prominent E-W-trending escarpment on the south may be the result of large-scale slumping. Satellitic cones occupy the NW and eastern flanks. A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side of Ulawun volcano, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the south 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.

Ongoing activity

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

PVMBG reported that seismicity at Awu fluctuated but declined during 1-30 October; the maximum number of shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes were eight and three, respectively, which were in the normal range. Solfatara plumes rose as high as 25 m above the vent. The Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 31 October.

Geologic 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.

Bagana, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)
6.137°S, 155.196°E, Summit elev. 1855 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4 and 6-8 October ash plumes from Bagana rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, S, ESE, and E.

Geologic summary: Bagana volcano, occupying a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is one of Melanesia's youngest and most active volcanoes. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is frequent and characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although explosive activity occasionally producing pyroclastic flows also occurs. Lava flows form dramatic, freshly preserved tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick with prominent levees that descend the flanks on all sides.

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

Based on satellite and webcam images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 4 November an ash plume from Colima rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 30 km SW.

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.

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

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 2 and 4-8 November ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, E, NE, N and NW.

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.

Egon, Flores Island (Indonesia)
8.676°S, 122.455°E, Summit elev. 1661 m

PVMBG reported that during 1 July-31 October gas plumes from Egon rose no higher than 100 m above the crater. Seismicity decreased and was dominated by signals indicating emissions. The Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 1 November.

Geologic summary: Gunung Egon volcano sits astride the narrow waist of eastern Flores Island. The barren, sparsely vegetated summit region has a 350-m-wide, 200-m-deep crater that sometimes contains a lake. Other small crater lakes occur on the flanks of the 1703-m-high volcano, which is also known as Namang. A lava dome forms the southern 1671-m-high summit. Solfataric activity occurs on the crater wall and rim and on the upper southern flank. Reports of historical eruptive activity prior to explosive eruptions beginning in 2004 were inconclusive. A column of "smoke" was often observed above the summit during 1888-1891 and in 1892. Strong "smoke" emission in 1907 reported by Sapper (1917) was considered by the Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World (Neumann van Padang, 1951) to be an historical eruption, but Kemmerling (1929) noted that this was likely confused with an eruption on the same date and time from Lewotobi Lakilaki volcano.

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)
19.421°N, 155.287°W, Summit elev. 1222 m

During 2-8 November HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent; the lava lake fluctuated between 11 and 19 m below the Halema’uma’u floor. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu'u 'O'o Crater. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's E flank, continued to enter the ocean near Kamokuna at the easternmost lava delta. Aerial observations on 3 November revealed that the E delta was relatively large with prominent cracks on the surface, suggesting instability.

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 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 28 October-4 November. Gas-and-steam emissions with variable amounts of ash rose from the summit crater and from the cinder cone in the Apakhonchich drainage on the E flank. A lava flow traveled down the Apakhonchich drainage. Satellite images showed a large and bright daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. Gas, steam, and ash plumes from explosions rose to altitudes of 5-8 km (16,400-26,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 277 km E and SE during 30-31 October and 1-3 November. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Geologic 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.

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

Based on webcam images, the Washington VAAC reported that a steam-and-gas plume from Masaya possibly contained some ash on 3 November.

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.

Popocatepetl, Mexico
19.023°N, 98.622°W, Summit elev. 5426 m

Each day during 2-8 November CENAPRED reported 40-185 steam, gas, and ash emissions from Popocatépetl. Crater incandescence was visible nightly, and at dawn on 2 November. 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 28 October-4 November lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, explosions with ash plumes as high as 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l., and hot avalanches. Satellite images showed a daily thermal anomaly over the dome. According to video and satellite data, ash plumes drifted just over 300 km NE, E, and SE during 30-31 October, and 1 and 3 November. 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.

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

Based on ground observers and the Jakarta MWO, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 6 November an ash plume from Sinabung rose to an altitude of 3.9 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.

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 andesitic-to-dacitic edifice 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, Summit elev. 796 m

Based on JMA notices and satellite-image analyses, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 5-6 October events at Suwanosejima generated ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and SW.

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 people live on the island.

Source: GVP

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