Active volcanoes in the world: January 4 - 10, 2017

Active volcanoes in the world: January 4 - 10, 2017

New activity/unrest was observed at 6 volcanoes between January 4 and 10, 2017. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 13 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Bogoslof, Fox Islands (USA) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Sabancaya, Peru | San Miguel, El Salvador.

Ongoing activity: Bagana, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) | Colima, Mexico | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Masaya, Nicaragua | Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia | Nevados de Chillan, Chile | Reventador, Ecuador | Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

New activity/unrest

Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
55.972°N, 160.595°E, Elevation 2882 m

KVERT reported strong gas-and-steam emissions at Bezymianny during 31 December 2016-6 January 2017 and a daily thermal anomaly over the volcano. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Geological summary: Prior to its noted 1955-56 eruption, Bezymianny had been considered extinct. The modern volcano, much smaller in size than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi, was formed about 4700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11,000-7000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955-56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large horseshoe-shaped crater that was formed by collapse of the summit and an associated lateral blast. Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.

Bogoslof, Fox Islands (USA)
53.93°N, 168.03°W, Elevation 150 m

AVO reported that a five-minute-long seismic signal detected by sensors on islands near Bogoslof began at 2118 on 3 January along with a series of lightning strikes identified by the World Wide Lightning Location Network. An ash cloud identified in satellite data rose as high as 10 km (33,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. AVO raised theAviation Color Code (ACC) to Red and the Volcano Alert Level (VAL) to Warning. No other indications of activity were noted for the next few days, the ACC and the VAL were lowered to Orange and Watch, respectively, on 5 January. Later that day, at 1324, seismicity again escalated, and lightning strikes indicated another significant and short-lived (five minutes) explosion. The ash plume was visible on satellite images and observed by pilots, and had risen to an estimated altitude of 10.7 km (35,000 ft) a.s.l., detached, and drifted NNW. The ACC was raised to Red and the VAL was raised to Warning, but were again lowered one level the next day. Seismic and infrasound data from neighboring islands indicated another explosive event, beginning at 2230 on 8 January. Seismic data suggested two strong pulses, during 2233-2234 and at 2256, consistent with two distinct volcanic clouds observed in satellite images. The second cloud was larger, rising to an altitude of 10.7 km (35,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting NW. The ACC was raised to Red and the VAL was raised to Warning, but were again lowered one level to Orange and Watch, respectively, the next day.

Geological summary: Bogoslof is the emergent summit of a submarine volcano that lies 40 km north of the main Aleutian arc. It rises 1500 m above the Bering Sea floor. Repeated construction and destruction of lava domes at different locations during historical time has greatly modified the appearance of this "Jack-in-the-Box" volcano and has introduced a confusing nomenclature applied during frequent visits of exploring expeditions. The present triangular-shaped, 0.75 x 2 km island consists of remnants of lava domes emplaced from 1796 to 1992. Castle Rock (Old Bogoslof) is a steep-sided pinnacle that is a remnant of a spine from the 1796 eruption. Fire Island (New Bogoslof), a small island located about 600 m NW of Bogoslof Island, is a remnant of a lava dome that was formed in 1883.

Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia)
50.686°N, 156.014°E, Elevation 1103 m

KVERT reported that gas-and-steam plumes sometimes containing minor amounts of ash were emitted from Ebeko during 30 December 2016-6 January 2017. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.

Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.056°N, 160.642°E, Elevation 4754 m

KVERT reported that during 2-6 January daily satellite images showed a thermal anomaly over Klyuchevskoy. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

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.

Sabancaya, Peru
15.78°S, 71.85°W, Elevation 5967 m

Based on webcam and satellite views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 3-10 January intermittent ash puffs from Sabancaya likely rose as high as 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW, W, N, and NE; weather clouds sometimes obscured satellite and webcam views, and the webcam was not operational during 5-6 January.

Geological summary: Sabancaya, located in the saddle NE of Ampato and SE of 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, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. The name Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua 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.

San Miguel, El Salvador
13.434°N, 88.269°W, Elevation 2130 m

Based on satellite observations, the Washington VAAC reported that on 7 January steam plumes with minor amounts of ash rose from San Miguel to an altitude of 2.6 km (8,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 130 km SW. Only steam-and-gas plumes were detected later that day.

Geological summary: The symmetrical cone of San Miguel volcano, one of the most active in El Salvador, rises from near sea level to form one of the country's most prominent landmarks. The unvegetated summit of the 2130-m-high volcano rises above slopes draped with coffee plantations. A broad, deep crater complex that has been frequently modified by historical eruptions (recorded since the early 16th century) caps the truncated summit, also known locally as Chaparrastique. Radial fissures on the flanks of the basaltic-andesitic volcano have fed a series of historical lava flows, including several erupted during the 17th-19th centuries that reached beyond the base of the volcano on the north, NE, and SE sides. The SE-flank lava flows are the largest and form broad, sparsely vegetated lava fields crossed by highways and a railroad skirting the base of the volcano. The location of flank vents has migrated higher on the edifice during historical time, and the most recent activity has consisted of minor ash eruptions from the summit crater.

Ongoing activity

Bagana, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)
6.137°S, 155.196°E, Elevation 1855 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-8 January ash plumes from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 45 km NE and E.

Geological 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, Elevation 3850 m

Based on webcam and satellite images, the Mexico City MWO, and Colima Towers, the Washington VAAC reported that during 3-10 January ash plumes from Colima rose to altitudes of 4.7-6.7 km (17,000-25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, SE, S, and SW. The Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil de Colima reported that an explosion detected at 1602 on 7 January was slightly stronger than a moderate level, and that winds were drifting SSE.

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.

Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)
1.693°N, 127.894°E, Elevation 1229 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-5 and 7-10 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 120 km SE, E, and NE.

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, Elevation 1222 m

During 4-10 January HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent; the lake level rose as high as 9 m below the Halema’uma’u floor. Webcams recorded incandescence from long-active sources within Pu'u 'O'o Crater and from a vent high on the NE flank of the cone. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's E flank, continued to enter the ocean at Kamokuna. An active branch of 61G remained active E of Pu'u 'O'o and advanced slowly E at a rate of only a few tens of meters per day.

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 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.

Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
5.525°S, 148.42°E, Elevation 1330 m

Based on analyses of satellite images and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 2 January a weak ash plume from Langila rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE. A thermal anomaly was also detected via satellite. On 5 January an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 45 km 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, Elevation 635 m

Based on analysis of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 5 January a gas, steam, and ash plume from Masaya drifted W.

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, Elevation 5279 m

Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales reported that during 3-9 January seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz continued to indicate unrest. Some of the seismic signals were associated with gas-and-ash emissions, as confirmed by webcam images and officials in the Parque Nacional Natural los Nevados. A low-energy thermal anomaly was identified by the MIROVA system on 9 January. On 6 January a gas, water vapor, and ash plume rose 2.5 km above the crater rim and drifted between SW and NE directions. A seismic event at 0745 on 8 January was associated with an ash emission which drifted SW. 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.

Nevados de Chillan, Chile
36.863°S, 71.377°W, Elevation 3212 m

Based on a pilot observation, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 6 January a dark-colored fumarolic plume rose from Nevados de Chillán to an altitude of 2.9 km (9,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 4.5 km E. The webcam recorded the event as a small, sporadic puff that quickly dissipated; the emission was not identified in satellite images.

Geological summary: The compound volcano of Nevados de Chillán is one of the most active of the Central Andes. Three late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes were constructed along a NNW-SSE line within three nested Pleistocene calderas, which produced ignimbrite sheets extending more than 100 km into the Central Depression of Chile. The largest stratovolcano, dominantly andesitic, Cerro Blanco (Volcán Nevado), is located at the NW end of the group. Volcán Viejo (Volcán Chillán), which was the main active vent during the 17th-19th centuries, occupies the SE end. The new Volcán Nuevo lava-dome complex formed between 1906 and 1945 between the two volcanoes and grew to exceed Volcán Viejo in elevation. The Volcán Arrau dome complex was constructed SE of Volcán Nuevo between 1973 and 1986 and eventually exceeded its height.

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

During 4-10 January IG reported a high level of seismic activity including explosions, long-period earthquakes, harmonic tremor, and signals indicating emissions at Reventador. Although cloud cover often prevented visual observations, ash plumes were noted rising as high as 1 km above the crater and drifting W and NW during 6-7 January.

Geological 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.

Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia)
8.108°S, 112.92°E, Elevation 3676 m

Based on analysis of satellite images and information from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 9 January ash plumes from Semeru rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N.

Geological summary: Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises abruptly to 3676 m above coastal plains to the south. Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas. A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE. Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano. Semeru has been in almost continuous eruption since 1967.

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

KVERT reported that during 30 December 2016-6 January 2017 lava-dome extrusion onto Sheveluch’s N flank was accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, ash explosions, and hot avalanches. Satellite images showed a daily thermal anomaly over the dome, and ash plumes that drifted about 100 km N and NE on 30 and 31 December. 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, Elevation 2460 m

Based on PVMBG observations and satellite images, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 2-3 and 8-10 January ash plumes from Sinabung rose 3.6-6.4 km (12,000-21,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, NE, and E. Plumes drifted as far as 55 km E ln 8 January. A thermal anomaly was detected on 9 January.

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 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, Elevation 796 m

Based on JMA notices and satellite-image analyses, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 4-5 January ash plumes from Suwanosejima rose to altitudes of 1.2-1.8 km (4,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and W.

Geological 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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