Active volcanoes in the world: January 11 - 17, 2017

Active volcanoes in the world: January 11 - 17, 2017

New activity/unrest was reported for 7 volcanoes between January 11 and 17, 2017. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 9 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Bogoslof, Fox Islands (USA) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Lopevi, Vanuatu | Sabancaya, Peru.

Ongoing activity: Colima, Mexico | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia | Nevados de Chillan, Chile | 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 6-13 January, and a thermal anomaly over the volcano during 8-10 and 12 January. On 13 January KVERT noted that activity had gradually decreased after an intensification during 5-24 December 2016, though a thermal anomaly remained visible. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow.

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 photos taken by a pilot on 10 January showed Bogoslof covered with dark gray ash, and a roughly 300-m-diameter submarine explosion crater on the E side of the island. Unrest continued during 11-17 January. Two short-lived explosions (five to six minutes long) were seismically detected at 1123 and 1230 on 12 January and observed by pilots. The estimated altitudes of the first and second plumes were 5.5 and 4.4 km (18,000 and 14,500 ft) a.s.l., respectively. Seismicity again increased at 2126 on 14 January and remained elevated. Six explosive events were detected between 2216 on 14 January and 0350 on 15 January. No volcanic clouds were identified in satellite data, although one lightning strike was recorded at 2232 on 14 January. Increased seismicity on 17 January indicated minor explosive activity; steam plumes with minor amounts of ash rose no higher than 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

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

On 16 January KVERT reported that activity at Ebeko had decreased; satellite images showed quiet conditions during the past few weeks, and only steam-and-gas emissions were observed on 12 January. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest 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.

Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia)
1.488°N, 127.63°E, Elevation 1325 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 15 January a minor ash plume from Ibu rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 30 km E. On 17 January PVMBG noted that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l., or 200 m above the summit, and drifted E.

Geological summary: The truncated summit of Gunung Ibu stratovolcano along the NW coast of Halmahera Island has large nested summit craters. The inner crater, 1 km wide and 400 m deep, contained several small crater lakes through much of historical time. The outer crater, 1.2 km wide, is breached on the north side, creating a steep-walled valley. A large parasitic cone is located ENE of the summit. A smaller one to the WSW has fed a lava flow down the W flank. A group of maars is located below the N and W flanks. Only a few eruptions have been recorded in historical time, the first a small explosive eruption from the summit crater in 1911. An eruption producing a lava dome that eventually covered much of the floor of the inner summit crater began in December 1998.

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

KVERT reported that during 6-13 January gas-and-steam emissions from Klyuchevskoy sometimes contained minor amounts of ash. Satellite images showed a daily thermal anomaly over the volcano and ash plumes that drifted 160 km ESE during 9-10 January. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) on 16 January.

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.

Lopevi, Vanuatu
16.507°S, 168.346°E, Elevation 1413 m

Based on a pilot observation and webcam views, the Wellington VAAC reported that an eruption at Lopevi began at 0500 on 13 January, and produced a plume that rose no higher that 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. That same day the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that the Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 0-5), indicating that a minor eruption was in progress.

Geological summary: The small 7-km-wide conical island of Lopevi, known locally as Vanei Vollohulu, is one of Vanuatu's most active volcanoes. A small summit crater containing a cinder cone is breached to the NW and tops an older cone that is rimmed by the remnant of a larger crater. The basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has been active during historical time at both summit and flank vents, primarily along a NW-SE-trending fissure that cuts across the island, producing moderate explosive eruptions and lava flows that reached the coast. Historical eruptions at the 1413-m-high volcano date back to the mid-19th century. The island was evacuated following major eruptions in 1939 and 1960. The latter eruption, from a NW-flank fissure vent, produced a pyroclastic flow that swept to the sea and a lava flow that formed a new peninsula on the western coast.

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

Based mostly on webcam views, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that sporadic gas-and-ash puffs rose from Sabancaya during 11-14 and 16-17 January. Partial satellite views on 13 January revealed an ash plume at an altitude of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. On 16 January a pilot observed an ash plume that had risen to an altitude of 8.2 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l., though meteorological cloud cover prevented satellite and webcam confirmation.

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.

Ongoing activity

Colima, Mexico
19.514°N, 103.62°W, Elevation 3850 m

Based on webcam and satellite images, and the Mexico City MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that during 11-17 January ash plumes from Colima rose to altitudes of 4.1-6.4 km (15,000-24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

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 11-17 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted almost 300 km N, NE, E, and SE.

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 11-17 January HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise and fall, circulate, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook vent. 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. Active surface flows near Pu'u 'O'o advanced ESE; one branch was 2.4 km from the vent on 12 January.

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 imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 12-13 and 15 January ash plumes from Langila rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ESE and SE.

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.

Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia
4.892°N, 75.324°W, Elevation 5279 m

Based on information from Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC), the Washington VAAC reported that on 13 January an ash emission rose from Nevado del Ruiz to an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. Weather clouds prevented satellite views of the emission, and the webcam recorded gas-and-steam emissions with possible ash content.

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

The Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 13 January an ash puff recorded by a webcam rose from Nevados de Chillán and quickly dissipated. On 15 January a narrow ash plume observed in satellite images, by a pilot, and recorded by a webcam drifted W and dissipated.

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.

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

KVERT reported that during 6-13 January 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. 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, webcam views, and satellite images, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 11-17 January ash plumes from Sinabung rose to altitudes of 4-7.3 km (13,000-24,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NNE, E, SE, and S.

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 on 17 January an ash plume from Suwanosejima rose to an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S.

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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