The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: June 5 – 11, 2019
New activity/unrest was reported for 5 volcanoes from June 5 to 11, 2019. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 13 volcanoes.
New activity/unrest: Colima, Mexico | Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France) | Sinabung, Indonesia.
Ongoing activity: Agung, Bali (Indonesia) | Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Kerinci, Indonesia | Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Krakatau, Indonesia | Manam, Papua New Guinea | Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia) | Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica | Sabancaya, Peru | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy).
19.514°N, 103.62°W, Summit elev. 3850 m
Centro Universitario de Estudios e Investigaciones de Vulcanologia – Universidad de Colima reported that small explosions and intermittent steam-and-gas emissions, originating mainly from the NE side of the crater, continued to be recorded during 1-7 June. Weather conditions often prevented visual observations of the crater.
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.
Etna, Sicily (Italy)
37.748°N, 14.999°E, Summit elev. 3295 m
INGV reported that explosions at the fissure segment at 2,850 m elevation on the SE base of Etna’s New Southeast Crater (NSEC) declined in frequency and intensity during 3-4 June; explosions ceased on 5 June. The lava flow from the fissure was active only near the vent on 5 June and by the next day had ceased and began cooling. Sporadic ash emissions rose from Northeast Crater (NEC) and quickly dissipated on 6 June.
The report noted that the NE edge of the NSEC cone had dropped several meters, likely in conjunction with a period of ash emissions on 30 May. In addition, a hot zone high on the SE flank of the cone that was established prior to the recent eruption was extensively covered with colored fumarolic deposits by 6 June.
Geological summary: Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.
Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)
52.076°N, 176.13°W, Summit elev. 1740 m
AVO reported that a small steam explosion at Great Sitkin was detected in seismic data at 1318 on 7 June. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.
Geological summary: The Great Sitkin volcano forms much of the northern side of Great Sitkin Island. A younger parasitic volcano capped by a small, 0.8 x 1.2 km ice-filled summit caldera was constructed within a large late-Pleistocene or early Holocene scarp formed by massive edifice failure that truncated an ancestral volcano and produced a submarine debris avalanche. Deposits from this and an older debris avalanche from a source to the south cover a broad area of the ocean floor north of the volcano. The summit lies along the eastern rim of the younger collapse scarp. Deposits from an earlier caldera-forming eruption of unknown age cover the flanks of the island to a depth up to 6 m. The small younger caldera was partially filled by lava domes emplaced in 1945 and 1974, and five small older flank lava domes, two of which lie on the coastline, were constructed along northwest- and NNW-trending lines. Hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles occur near the head of Big Fox Creek, south of the volcano. Historical eruptions have been recorded since the late-19th century.
Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France)
21.244°S, 55.708°E, Summit elev. 2632 m
OVPF reported that a seismic crisis at Piton de la Fournaise began at 0603 on 11 June and was accompanied by rapid deformation. Tremor began at 0635, indicating an eruption, though inclement weather conditions prevented visual confirmation; a gas plume was recorded in webcam images. Scientists observed the eruption during a field visit around 0930, describing at least five active fissures on the SSE flank of Dolomieu Crater. Weather conditions continued to hinder visual observations. Three fissures at relatively lower elevations produced 30-m-high lava fountains and lava flows. Two higher-elevation fissures were no longer active. By 1530 only the lowest-elevation fissure remained 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.
3.17°N, 98.392°E, Summit elev. 2460 m
PVMBG reported that at 1628 on 9 June an eruption at Sinabung produced a dense black-gray ash plume that rose around 7 km above the summit, drifted W and SW, and generated pyroclastic flows that traveled 3.5 km SE and 3 km S. Roaring was heard at the Sinabung observation post. Continuous emissions were visible rising 500 m above the summit for a period on 10 June. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 3 km and extensions to 5 km on the SE sector and 4 km in the NE sector.
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. The youngest deposit is a SE-flank pyroclastic flow 14C dated by Hendrasto et al. (2012) at 740-880 CE. 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.
Agung, Bali (Indonesia)
8.343°S, 115.508°E, Summit elev. 2997 m
PVMBG reported that at 1212 on 10 June an explosion at Agung produced a gray ash plume that rose about 1 km and drifted SE and E. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) with the exclusion zone set at a 4-km radius.
Geological summary: Symmetrical Agung stratovolcano, Bali's highest and most sacred mountain, towers over the eastern end of the island. The volcano, whose name means "Paramount," rises above the SE caldera rim of neighboring Batur volcano, and the northern and southern flanks extend to the coast. The summit area extends 1.5 km E-W, with the high point on the W and a steep-walled 800-m-wide crater on the E. The Pawon cone is located low on the SE flank. Only a few eruptions dating back to the early 19th century have been recorded in historical time. The 1963-64 eruption, one of the largest in the 20th century, produced voluminous ashfall along with devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused extensive damage and many fatalities.
Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
31.593°N, 130.657°E, Summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported that during 3-10 June very small eruptive events at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) were recorded, as well as periodic crater incandescence. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).
Geological summary: The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.
Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)
1.693°N, 127.894°E, Summit elev. 1229 m
Based on satellite and wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 5-11 June ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.
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, Summit elev. 1103 m
Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions on 3 June that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. The plumes drifted E. 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.
1.697°S, 101.264°E, Summit elev. 3800 m
PVMBG reported that at 0604 on 7 June a grayish ash emission from Kerinci rose 800 m above the summit and drifted E according to a ground observer. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and tourists were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.
Geological summary: Gunung Kerinci in central Sumatra forms Indonesia's highest volcano and is one of the most active in Sumatra. It is capped by an unvegetated young summit cone that was constructed NE of an older crater remnant. There is a deep 600-m-wide summit crater often partially filled by a small crater lake that lies on the NE crater floor, opposite the SW-rim summit. The massive 13 x 25 km wide volcano towers 2400-3300 m above surrounding plains and is elongated in a N-S direction. Frequently active, Kerinci has been the source of numerous moderate explosive eruptions since its first recorded eruption in 1838.
Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.056°N, 160.642°E, Summit elev. 4754 m
On 12 June ash plumes from Klyuchevskoy rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 10 km N, prompting KVERT to raise the Aviation Color Code to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale). Ash emissions continued later that day with plumes rising to 5 km a.s.l. and drifting 68 km WNW.
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.
6.102°S, 105.423°E, Summit elev. 813 m
PVMBG reported that Anak Krakatau’s seismic network recorded one eruptive event at 0850 on 10 June. The event as not followed by visible ash emissions, though observations were hindered by weather conditions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km radius hazard zone from the crater.
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 or 535 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, and left only a remnant of Rakata. 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.
Manam, Papua New Guinea
4.08°S, 145.037°E, Summit elev. 1807 m
The Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-8 June ash plumes from Manam rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, based on satellite data and weather models.
Geological summary: The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical 1807-m-high basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These "avalanche valleys" channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most historical eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent historical eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.
Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia)
7.54°S, 110.446°E, Summit elev. 2910 m
PVMBG reported that during 3-10 June the lava-dome volume at Merapi did not change and was an estimated 458,000 cubic meters, based on analyses of drone footage. Extruded lava fell into the upper parts of the SE-flank, generating one block-and-ash flow that traveled 1 km down the Gendol drainage on 9 June. White plumes rose as high as 75 m above the summit. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and residents were warned to remain outside of the 3-km exclusion zone.
Geological summary: Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately north of the major city of Yogyakarta. It is the youngest and southernmost of a volcanic chain extending NNW to Ungaran volcano. Growth of Old Merapi during the Pleistocene ended with major edifice collapse perhaps about 2000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequently growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, began SW of the earlier collapse scarp. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated lands on the western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time.
Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica
10.83°N, 85.324°W, Summit elev. 1916 m
OVSICORI-UNA reported that a 10-minute-long eruption at Rincón de la Vieja began at 0343 on 11 June. Emissions were not visible due to weather conditions.
Geological summary: Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge that was constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of 1916-m-high Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater.
15.787°S, 71.857°W, Summit elev. 5960 m
Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported that during 3-9 June an average of 12 explosion per day were recorded at Sabancaya. Ash plumes rose 2.9 km above the crater rim. On 7 June explosions generated ash plumes that drifted 30 km S and SW. The public was warned to not approach the crater within a 12-km radius.
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, Summit elev. 3283 m
KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch’s lava dome was identified daily in satellite images during 1-7 June. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).
Geological summary: The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 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.
Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy)
38.789°N, 15.213°E, Summit elev. 924 m
INGV reported that during 3 and 6-9 June activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing Strombolian explosions and degassing from multiple vents within the crater terrace. Explosions from two vents (N1 and N2) in Area N (north crater area, NCA) occurred at a rate of 1-4 per hour, ejecting material 80 m high and producing ash plumes. Explosions from two vents (S1 and S2) in Area C-S (South Central crater area) occurred at a rate of 3-8 per hour, ejecting material 80-150 m high. Gas plumes rose from vent C.
Geological summary: Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period from about 13,000 to 5000 years ago was followed by formation of the modern edifice. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5000 years ago as a result of the most recent of a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.
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Volcanic explosions can be predicted two months in advance by knowing the path of exploding star hotspots.