The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: October 7 - 13, 2020

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: October 7 - 13, 2020

New activity/unrest was reported for 1 volcano from October 7 to 13, 2020. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 16 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia).

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Fuego, Guatemala | Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Kadovar, Papua New Guinea | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Pacaya, Guatemala | Popocatepetl, Mexico | Santa Maria, Guatemala | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Slamet, Central Java (Indonesia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Telica, Nicaragua | Villarrica, Chile.

New activity/unrest

Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

56.056°N, 160.642°E, Elevation 4754 m

KVERT reported that Strombolian activity at Klyuchevskoy was continuing and a lava flow was advancing down the Apakhonchich drainage on the SE flank. Activity increased during 7-8 October and was characterized by strong explosions, collapses of parts of the drainage sides, strong thermal anomalies, and ash plumes that drifted over 200 km SE. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) on 8 October.

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. This volcano is located within the Volcanoes of Kamchatka, a UNESCO World Heritage property.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)

31.593°N, 130.657°E, Elevation 1117 m

JMA reported that very small eruptive events at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) were occasionally recorded during 5-12 October. Crater incandescence was visible at night. 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, Elevation 1229 m

Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7 and 9-13 October ash plumes from Dukono rose 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, N, NW, and W. 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, Elevation 1103 m

Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 2-9 October that sent ash plumes up to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, E, SE, and S. Ash fell in Severo-Kurilsk during 7-8 October. 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.

Fuego, Guatemala

14.473°N, 90.88°W, Elevation 3763 m

INSIVUMEH reported that there were 5-19 explosions per hour recorded during 7-13 October at Fuego, generating ash plumes as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim that generally drifted as far as 20 km in multiple directions. Shock waves rattled buildings within 7-15 km of the summit. Incandescent material ejected 100-400 m high caused avalanches of blocks in the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), El Jute, Las Lajas, and Honda drainages; avalanches sometimes reached vegetated areas. Ashfall was reported daily in several areas downwind including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Finca Palo Verde, La Rochela, Santa Sofía (12 km SW), and Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW). On 9 October lahars descended multiple drainages on Fuego’s flanks. Lahars overflowed the Las Lajas drainage on the SE flank and deposited blocks and sediment on the RN 14 road, causing its closure.

Geological summary: Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is also one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between Fuego and Acatenango to the north. Construction of Meseta dates back to about 230,000 years and continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. Collapse of Meseta may have produced the massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit, which extends about 50 km onto the Pacific coastal plain. Growth of the modern Fuego volcano followed, continuing the southward migration of volcanism that began at the mostly andesitic Acatenango. Eruptions at Fuego have become more mafic with time, and most historical activity has produced basaltic rocks. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows.

Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia)

1.488°N, 127.63°E, Elevation 1325 m

PVMBG reported that during 7-13 October white-to-gray ash plume rose 200-800 m above Ibu’s summit and drifted N and E. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater, and 3.5 km away on the N side.

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.

Kadovar, Papua New Guinea

3.608°S, 144.588°E, Elevation 365 m

Based on satellite data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 7-8 October discrete ash puffs from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and N.

Geological summary: The 2-km-wide island of Kadovar is the emergent summit of a Bismarck Sea stratovolcano of Holocene age. It is part of the Schouten Islands, and lies off the coast of New Guinea, about 25 km N of the mouth of the Sepik River. Prior to an eruption that began in 2018, a lava dome formed the high point of the andesitic volcano, filling an arcuate landslide scarp open to the south; submarine debris-avalanche deposits occur in that direction. Thick lava flows with columnar jointing forms low cliffs along the coast. The youthful island lacks fringing or offshore reefs. A period of heightened thermal phenomena took place in 1976. An eruption began in January 2018 that included lava effusion from vents at the summit and at the E coast.

Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea)

5.525°S, 148.42°E, Elevation 1330 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind-model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 6 October an ash plume from Langila rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WSW.

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 E flank of the extinct Talawe volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the N 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. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.

Pacaya, Guatemala

14.382°N, 90.601°W, Elevation 2569 m

INSIVUMEH reported that Strombolian activity and lava effusion continued at Pacaya during 7-13 October. Explosions from the cone in Mackenney Crater intensified on 8 October, ejecting material 200-300 m above the vent. At least four lava flows were active on the N and E flanks and all were 250-300 m long. By the next day three lava flows, on the NE, N, and W flanks were 200-400 m long. During 9-13 October explosions ejected material as high as 150 m. Lava flows were periodically active on NE, N, and W flanks, traveling 100-300 m.

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.

Popocatepetl, Mexico

19.023°N, 98.622°W, Elevation 5393 m

CENAPRED reported that each day during 6-13 October there were 84-143 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl, most of which contained minor amounts of ash. Gas-and-ash plumes drifted NE, WNW, W, and SSW. Minor ashfall was reported during 6-7 October in areas downwind including the municipality of Tetela del Volcán (20 km SW) in the State of Morelos, and the municipalities of Amecameca (20 km NW), Atlautla (17 km W), Ayapango (22 km NSW), and Ecatzingo (15 km SW) in the State of Mexico. Incandescence from the crater was observed during 11-12 October and occasionally intensified with some emissions. Ashfall was reported in Amecameca on 13 October. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-color scale).

Geological summary: Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since Pre-Columbian time. This volcano is located within the Las Volcanes, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.

Santa Maria, Guatemala

14.757°N, 91.552°W, Elevation 3745 m

INSIVUMEH reported that during 7-13 October lava extrusion at Santa María's Santiaguito lava-dome complex generated block-and-ash flows that descended the W, SW, S, and SE flanks, sometimes reaching the base of Caliente cone. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose as high as 1 km above the summit and drifted as far as 10 km NW, W, and SW. The lava dome was incandescent most nights, sometimes for prolonged periods of time.

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.

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

56.653°N, 161.36°E, Elevation 3283 m

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 2-9 October. A plume of re-suspended ash drifted 250 km SE during 7-8 October. 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.

Sinabung, Indonesia

3.17°N, 98.392°E, Elevation 2460 m

PVMBG reported that white plumes rose as high as 200 m above Sinabung’s summit on 7 October. Lava avalanches traveled E and SE from the summit crater for 300 m on 9 October and 300-700 m during 12-13 October. 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 in 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.

Slamet, Central Java (Indonesia)

7.242°S, 109.208°E, Elevation 3428 m

PVMBG reported that during 1 September-9 October white emissions rose as high as 100 m above Slamet’s summit. During the previous two weeks seismicity significantly decreased, specifically tremor and the signals indicating emissions. The magnitude of earthquakes returned to baseline levels. Tiltmeter data from an instrument on the upper E flank indicated inflation in the upper part of the edifice, though data from an instrument located N of the volcano indicated no overall deformation. On 8 October the Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay outside a radius of 1 km.

Geological summary: Slamet, Java's second highest volcano at 3428 m and one of its most active, has a cluster of about three dozen cinder cones on its lower SE-NE flanks and a single cinder cone on the western flank. It is composed of two overlapping edifices, an older basaltic-andesite to andesitic volcano on the west and a younger basaltic to basaltic-andesite one on the east. Gunung Malang II cinder cone on the upper E flank on the younger edifice fed a lava flow that extends 6 km E. Four craters occur at the summit of Gunung Slamet, with activity migrating to the SW over time. Historical eruptions, recorded since the 18th century, have originated from a 150-m-deep, 450-m-wide, steep-walled crater at the western part of the summit and have consisted of explosive eruptions generally lasting a few days to a few weeks.

Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

29.638°N, 129.714°E, Elevation 796 m

JMA reported nighttime incandescence and intermittent eruptive activity at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater during 2-9 October. Ashfall was occasionally reported in Toshima village, 4 km SSW. An explosion at 1155 on 8 October generated an ash plume that rose more than 700 m above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale).

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 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.

Telica

12.606°N, 86.84°W, Elevation 1036 m

INETER reported that during 6-7 October there were five explosions recorded at Telica. The largest occurred at 0742 on 7 October; it produced an ash plume that rose 600 m and drifted SW and caused ashfall around the crater.

Geological summary: Telica, one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, has erupted frequently since the beginning of the Spanish era. This volcano group consists of several interlocking cones and vents with a general NW alignment. Sixteenth-century eruptions were reported at symmetrical Santa Clara volcano at the SW end of the group. However, its eroded and breached crater has been covered by forests throughout historical time, and these eruptions may have originated from Telica, whose upper slopes in contrast are unvegetated. The steep-sided cone of Telica is truncated by a 700-m-wide double crater; the southern crater, the source of recent eruptions, is 120 m deep. El Liston, immediately E, has several nested craters. The fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Hervideros de San Jacinto, SE of Telica, form a prominent geothermal area frequented by tourists, and geothermal exploration has occurred nearby.

Villarrica, Chile

39.42°S, 71.93°W, Elevation 2847 m

POVI reported that a 12 October satellite image of Villarrica showed a strip of tephra deposits, 200 m wide and 3 km long, on the NE flank. The deposits originated from two eruptive events on 9 October. A thermal anomaly was also visible in the middle of the crater floor. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the second lowest level on a four-color scale. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the municipalities of Villarrica, Pucón (16 km N), Curarrehue, and the commune of Panguipulli, and the exclusion zone for the public of 500 m around the crater.

Geological summary: Glacier-clad Villarrica, one of Chile's most active volcanoes, rises above the lake and town of the same name. It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain. A 6-km-wide caldera formed during the late Pleistocene. A 2-km-wide caldera that formed about 3500 years ago is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesitic cone at the NW margin of the Pleistocene caldera. More than 30 scoria cones and fissure vents dot the flanks. Plinian eruptions and pyroclastic flows that have extended up to 20 km from the volcano were produced during the Holocene. Lava flows up to 18 km long have issued from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions, documented since 1558, have consisted largely of mild-to-moderate explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. Glaciers cover 40 km2 of the volcano, and lahars have damaged towns on its flanks.​

Source: GVP

Comments

Ted Lindbeck 1 month ago

You'd know, and I wish I did too, if all this activity is normal, or trending either up or down. Thank for for staying on top of it. I read you every day.

Teo Blašković (@Ted Lindbeck) 1 month ago

Thank you! Best

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