Active volcanoes in the world: February 8 - 14, 2017

Active volcanoes in the world: February 8 - 14, 2017

New activity/unrest was reported for 4 volcanoes between February 8 and 14, 2017. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 10 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA) | Pacaya, Guatemala | Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France) | Takawangha, Andreanof Islands (USA).

Ongoing activity: Bogoslof, Fox Islands (USA) | Colima, Mexico | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Sabancaya, Peru | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Turrialba, Costa Rica.

New activity/unrest

Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA)

52.825°N, 169.944°W, Elevation 1730 m

AVO reported that weakly elevated surface temperatures in Cleveland's summit crater were identified in satellite images during 7-9 February. Minor steaming was noted on 8 February. AVO noted that these observations were consistent with the presence of a lava dome that began extruding in the summit crater in late January. The Aviation 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.

Pacaya, Guatemala

14.381°N, 90.601°W, Elevation 2552 m

On 9 February INSIVUMEH reported that moderate explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney cone had been detected during the previous few days. Incandescent material was ejected 30-50 m high and filled a large part of the crater; lava spilled over the crater rim and traveled 300 m down the NW flank. Incandescent material was ejected as high as 30 m during 11-12 February. Small Strombolian explosions were visible on 13 February. The lava flow continued to advance the next day.

Geological summary: Eruptions from Pacaya, one of Guatemala's most active volcanoes, are frequently visible from Guatemala City, the nation's capital. This complex basaltic volcano was constructed just outside the southern topographic rim of the 14 x 16 km Pleistocene Amatitlán caldera. A cluster of dacitic lava domes occupies the southern caldera floor. The post-caldera Pacaya massif includes the ancestral Pacaya Viejo and Cerro Grande stratovolcanoes and the currently active Mackenney stratovolcano. Collapse of Pacaya Viejo between 600 and 1500 years ago produced a debris-avalanche deposit that extends 25 km onto the Pacific coastal plain and left an arcuate somma rim inside which the modern Pacaya volcano (Mackenney cone) grew. A subsidiary crater, Cerro Chino, was constructed on the NW somma rim and was last active in the 19th century. During the past several decades, activity has consisted of frequent strombolian eruptions with intermittent lava flow extrusion that has partially filled in the caldera moat and armored the flanks of Mackenney cone, punctuated by occasional larger explosive eruptions that partially destroy the summit of the growing young stratovolcano.

Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France)

21.244°S, 55.708°E, Elevation 2632 m

OVPF reported that during 8-14 February volcanic tremor at Piton de la Fournaise was high, with levels reaching those observed at the onset of the eruption on 31 January. The eruptive vent was perched on top of a cone that was 30-35 m high and 190 m wide (at the base). The lava level inside of the cone was low, or about half of cone's height, and incandescent material was ejected from the vent. Lava was mainly transported through a lava tube, though a few branches at end of tube were active.

Geological summary: The massive Piton de la Fournaise basaltic shield volcano on the French island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Much of its more than 530,000-year history overlapped with eruptions of the deeply dissected Piton des Neiges shield volcano to the NW. Three calderas formed at about 250,000, 65,000, and less than 5000 years ago by progressive eastward slumping of the volcano. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the floor of the calderas and their outer flanks. Most historical eruptions have originated from the summit and flanks of Dolomieu, a 400-m-high lava shield that has grown within the youngest caldera, which is 8 km wide and breached to below sea level on the eastern side. More than 150 eruptions, most of which have produced fluid basaltic lava flows, have occurred since the 17th century. Only six eruptions, in 1708, 1774, 1776, 1800, 1977, and 1986, have originated from fissures on the outer flanks of the caldera. The Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory, one of several operated by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, monitors this very active volcano.

Takawangha, Andreanof Islands (USA)

51.873°N, 178.006°W, Elevation 1449 m

On 10 February AVO stated that the seismic swarm that began at Takawangha on 23 January had significantly declined the previous week and that seismicity was nearly at background levels. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green and the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Normal.

Geological summary: Takawangha is a 1449-m-high, youthful volcano with an ice-filled caldera on northern Tanaga Island, near the western end of the Andreanof Islands. Takawangha lies across a saddle from historically active Tanaga volcano to the west; older, deeply eroded volcanoes lie adjacent to Takawangha on the east. The summit of the dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesite volcano is largely ice covered, with the exception of five Holocene craters that during the last few thousand years produced explosive eruptions and lava flows that reached the lower flanks of the volcano. No historical eruptions are known from Takawangha, although radiocarbon dating indicates explosive eruptions have occurred within the past several hundred years.

Ongoing activity

Bogoslof, Fox Islands (USA)

53.93°N, 168.03°W, Elevation 150 m

AVO reported that during 8-12 and 14 February cloud cover prevented satellite views of Bogoslof; no other data indicated eruptive activity. At 0724 on 13 February seismicity significantly increased, prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code (ACC) to Red and the Volcano Alert Level (VAL) to Warning. Satellite images acquired through 0930 showed no ash emissions above the 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. cloud deck, and no lightning was detected. AVO concluded that, despite the intensity of seismic activity, a significant ash emission was not produced during this event; the ACC was lowered to Orange and the VAL was lowered to 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.

Colima, Mexico

19.514°N, 103.62°W, Elevation 3850 m

The Universidad de Colima reported that a large explosion at Colima was recorded at 1732 on 3 February, generating an ash plume that rose 6 km above the crater rim and drifted SSW. A small pyroclastic flow traveled down the E flank. The report stated that the internal crater is about 250 m in diameter and 50-60 m deep; previous lava domes had been destroyed in late September and mid-November 2016. On 9 February the sulfur dioxide gas flux was low (19 tons/day). Based on webcam and satellite images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 11 February an ash plume rose to an altitude of 4 km (13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. On 14 February an ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.

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 and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 8-14 February ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S, SE, and E.

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.

Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia)

50.686°N, 156.014°E, Elevation 1103 m

On 10 February KVERT reported that activity at Ebeko had declined, though gas-and-steam emissions continued. 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.

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)

19.421°N, 155.287°W, Elevation 1222 m

During 8-14 February 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. All surface flows were active within 2.4 km of Pu'u 'O'o. The 61G lava flow, originating from a vent on Pu'u 'O'o Crater's E flank, continued to enter the ocean at Kamokuna. A portion of the sea cliff just W of the ocean entry collapsed on 11 February.

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.

Sabancaya, Peru

15.78°S, 71.85°W, Elevation 5967 m

Based on webcam views, satellite images, and seismic data the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that during 8-10 and 12-14 February sporadic gas-and-ash puffs rose from Sabancaya as high as an altitude of 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l.

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.

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

56.653°N, 161.36°E, Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 3-10 February 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 ash plume that drifted 112 km NW on 4 February and a thermal anomaly over the dome during 5 and 7-9 February. 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, satellite and webcam images, and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 8-13 February ash plumes from Sinabung rose to altitudes of 3.4-6.7 km (11,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, SW, and SE.

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 9 February an explosion generated an ash plume from Suwanosejima that rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

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.

Turrialba, Costa Rica

10.025°N, 83.767°W, Elevation 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that at 1610 on 8 February an ash plume rose 300 m above Turrialba's active vent and drifted N. An event at 1531 on 10 February also produced an ash plume but inclement weather prevented estimates of the plume height. During 11-12 February variable amplitude tremor was detected, and at night hot blocks ejected from the vent landed in Cráter Central. Several events on 13 February (at 0255, 0305, 0415, and 1459) produced ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km and drifted N, NW, and W. Several small ejections of incandescent material fell around the active crater during the early morning. On 14 February continuous emissions of gas and steam with low ash content were visible. A strong sulfur odor was reported in San Pablo de Oreamuno (25 km SW).

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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