Active volcanoes in the world: February 15 - 21, 2017

Active volcanoes in the world: February 15 - 21, 2017

New activity was reported for 5 volcanoes between February 15 and 21, 2017. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported at 14 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Barren Island, Andaman Islands (India) | Krakatau, Indonesia | Lanin, Central Chile-Argentina border | Pacaya, Guatemala | Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France).

Ongoing activity: Bagana, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) | Bogoslof, Fox Islands (USA) | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA) | Colima, Mexico | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia | Reventador, Ecuador | Sabancaya, Peru | Santa Maria, Guatemala | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Turrialba, Costa Rica.

New activity/unrest

Barren Island, Andaman Islands (India)

12.278°N, 93.858°E, Elevation 354 m

The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), reported that a new eruption at Barren Island began on 23 January. Scientists aboard a research vessel were collecting sea floor samples when they observed a sudden ash emission. The team moved closer, about 1.6 km from the volcano, and noted small eruptive episodes lasting 5-10 minutes. Ash emissions were visible in the daytime, and lava fountains feeding lava flows on the flanks were visible at night. The team revisited the volcano on 26 January and observed similar activity during the four hours they stayed. They sampled sediments and water in the vicinity of the eruption and recovered volcanic ejecta.

Geological summary: Barren Island, a possession of India in the Andaman Sea about 135 km NE of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, is the only historically active volcano along the N-S-trending volcanic arc extending between Sumatra and Burma (Myanmar). The 354-m-high island is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises from a depth of about 2250 m. The small, uninhabited 3-km-wide island contains a roughly 2-km-wide caldera with walls 250-350 m high. The caldera, which is open to the sea on the west, was created during a major explosive eruption in the late Pleistocene that produced pyroclastic-flow and -surge deposits. Historical eruptions have changed the morphology of the pyroclastic cone in the center of the caldera, and lava flows that fill much of the caldera floor have reached the sea along the western coast.

Krakatau, Indonesia

6.102°S, 105.423°E, Elevation 813 m

PVMBG reported that seismicity at Anak Krakatau increased on 17 February, with earthquakes indicating emissions slowing transforming into continuous tremor. Harmonic tremor began to be recorded at 1810 on 19 February. Almost an hour later, at 1904, Strombolian explosions ejected incandescent material 200 m high.

Geological summary: The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan volcanoes, and left only a remnant of Rakata volcano. This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927.

Lanin, Central Chile-Argentina border

39.637°S, 71.502°W, Elevation 3776 m

Servicio Nacional de Geología and Minería (SERNAGEOMIN) Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) reported that beginning at 1524 on 15 February a seismic swarm at Lanin, consisting of 59 volcanic-tectonic, long-period, and spasmodic tremor events, lasted for 45 minutes. The largest volcano-tectonic event was a M 1.8. The Alert Level was raised to Yellow (second highest level on a four-color scale); ONEMI declared an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the community of Curarrehue (32 km N).

Geological summary: Lanín is a large conical late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcano along the Chile-Argentina border. The dominantly effusive basaltic-to-trachydacitic volcano lies at the eastern end of a NW-SE-trending volcanic group beginning with Villarrica that is transverse to the Andean chain. The beautifully symmetrical, 3776-m-high Lanín rises 2500 m above its base; shoulder areas on the upper flanks hint at a buried caldera. The volcano was formed in four eruptive stages dating back to the early Pleistocene or late Pliocene. The last two stages occurred during the late-Pleistocene and Holocene. A small lava dome at the summit fed blocky lava flows to the north about 2200 years ago. Lanín was reported active after an earthquake in 1906, but Sapper (1917) stated that newspaper accounts are strongly disputed, and no historical eruptions are known. A postglacial tuff ring (Volcán Arenal) is located below the SW flank in Argentina. A younger lava flow from Lanín covers deposits of Volcán Arenal and extends south into Lago Paimún.

Pacaya, Guatemala

14.381°N, 90.601°W, Elevation 2552 m

INSIVUMEH reported that during 14-21 February small Strombolian explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney cone periodically generated small lava flows (200 m long on 21 February) that were active for hours at a time. CONRED noted that at night on 15 February residents in Los Positos in Villa Canales (13 km NE), and in Mesillas Altas and Bajas in Amatitlán (12 km N) reported vibrations and rumbling.

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 volcanic tremor at Piton de la Fournaise fluctuated during 14-21 February. Lava was mainly transported through a lava tube, and 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.

Ongoing activity

Bagana, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)

6.137°S, 155.196°E, Elevation 1855 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16 and 18-20 February ash plumes from Bagana rose to altitudes of 2.4-3.4 km (8,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSE, S, and SW. Ash plumes drifted as far as 85 km during 19-20 February.

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.

Bogoslof, Fox Islands (USA)

53.93°N, 168.03°W, Elevation 150 m

AVO reported that during 15-16 February cloud cover prevented satellite views of Bogoslof; no other data indicated eruptive activity. At 0955 on 17 February seismic data indicated the beginning of an explosive event, prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code (ACC) to Red and the Volcano Alert Level (VAL) to Warning. Individual pulses of seismicity was recorded until 1140, and then afterwards seismicity was low. Satellite images and pilot observations indicated that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 11.6 km (38,000 ft) a.s.l. The event was also verified by infrasound and lightning data. Another short-lived explosive event began at 1546, detected in infrasound and seismic data. A volcanic cloud identified in satellite images rose as high as 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. 

An explosion at 0450 on 18 February was detected in seismic, infrasound, and lightning data. The seismic data suggested that ash emissions lasted several minutes, and then seismicity decreased. A preliminary evaluation of satellite data indicated that a cloud rose at least as high as 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l.; the cloud drifted SW. On 19 February the ACC was lowered to Orange and the VAL was lowered to Watch. Later that day seismic and infrasound data recorded a series of short-lived explosive pulses during 1708-1745. The ACC was raised to Red and the VAL was raised to Warning. A plume identified in satellite images rose as high as 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 160 km SE over Unalaska Island. AVO geologists on the island described the cloud has having a white upper portion and a slightly darker lower portion. Storms in the region impacted data communications at AVO's facility in Dutch Harbor on 20 February, limiting AVO's ability to forecast and detect eruptions at Bogoslof.

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.

Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA)

52.825°N, 169.944°W, Elevation 1730 m

AVO reported that although weather clouds mostly prevented satellite and webcam views of Cleveland during 15-21 February, slightly elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite imagery during 18-19 February. 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.

Colima, Mexico

19.514°N, 103.62°W, Elevation 3850 m

Based on Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia - Universidad de Colima observations, the Unidad Estatal de Protección Civil de Colima reported that during 10-16 February there were 10 low-intensity explosions at Colima. Gas emissions were at low-to-moderate levels. The report noted that the public should not enter the 8-km-radius exclusion zone.

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 14 and 16-21 February ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

Geological summary: Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the north-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. This complex volcano presents a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of the summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)

19.421°N, 155.287°W, Elevation 1222 m

During 15-21 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.

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 17-18 February ash plumes from Langila rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 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

Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales reported that during 14-20 February seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz continued to indicate unrest. Earthquakes were located at depths of 1.1-1.7 km, in areas N, NE, SE, and SW of the volcano, but mainly beneath Arenas Crater. The largest event was a local M 1.4. Signals indicating fracturing rock increased in both size and number as compared to the previous week. Significant amounts of water vapor and gas continued to be emitted. Gas, steam, and ash plumes rose 1.2 km above the crater rim on 18 February and drifted NE, SE, and SW. Thermal anomalies were identified by the MIROVA system during 14, 16-17, and 19-20 February. 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.

Reventador, Ecuador

0.077°S, 77.656°W, Elevation 3562 m

During 15-21 February 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, activity was noted almost daily. Minor ashfall was reported on 15 February, and the next morning crater incandescence was visible. During 17-19 and 21 February steam, gas, and ash plumes rose 1-2 km above the crater rim and mainly drifted S and W. "Gunshot” sounds were heard on 18 February.

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.

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 14-21 February sporadic gas-and-ash puffs rose from Sabancaya, and during 16-17 and 20 February rose to altitudes of 7.3-8.2 km (24,000-27,000 ft) a.s.l. Weather clouds often hindered observations of the volcano.

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.

Santa Maria, Guatemala

14.756°N, 91.552°W, Elevation 3772 m

INSIVUMEH reported that during 16-17, 19, and 20-21 February a few explosions at Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated ash plumes that rose 700 m above the complex and drifted SW. Minor ashfall was reported in La Florida (5 km S) on 19 February and in Monte Claro (S) during 20-21 February.

Geological summary: Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is one of the most prominent of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The 3772-m-high stratovolcano has a sharp-topped, conical profile that is cut on the SW flank by a large, 1.5-km-wide crater. The oval-shaped crater extends from just below the summit to the lower flank and was formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902. The renowned plinian eruption of 1902 that devastated much of SW Guatemala followed a long repose period after construction of the large basaltic-andesite stratovolcano. The massive dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four westward-younging vents, the most recent of which is Caliente. Dome growth has been accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions, with periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

56.653°N, 161.36°E, Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 10-17 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 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, satellite and webcam images, and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 16-18 and 20-21 February ash plumes from Sinabung rose to altitudes of 3-4.3 km (10,000-14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, SW, 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.

Turrialba, Costa Rica

10.025°N, 83.767°W, Elevation 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that during 15-16 February high-amplitude tremor at Turrialba remained constant, and sporadic gas emissions with minor amounts of ash drifted S and E. Occasional ballistics were ejected from the crater. During 16-17 February sporadic gas emissions with low ash content rose no higher than 300 m and drifted NW and SW. Tremor amplitude had decreased to moderate levels. Similar emissions were observed during 20-21 February, although they drifted NW and NE.

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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