The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: January 13 - 19, 2021

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: January 13 - 19, 2021

New/activity unrest was reported for 7 volcanoes from January 13 to 19, 2021. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 15 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia) | Pelee, Martinique (France) | Sarychev Peak, Matua Island (Russia) | Soufriere St. Vincent, St. Vincent | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Lewotolo, Lomblen Island (Indonesia) | Ruapehu, North Island (New Zealand) | Sabancaya, Peru | Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Shishaldin, Fox Islands (USA) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Veniaminof, United States | Yasur, Vanuatu.

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 23:00 UTC every Wednesday, these reports are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports about recent activity are published in issues of the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

New activity/unrest

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)

19.421°N, 155.287°W, Summit elev. 1222 m

HVO reported that low lava fountains from a vent on a cone on the inner NW wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater fed flows that traveled down a channel into a perched lava lake during 13-19 January. The western half of the lake deepened from 198 m to 202 m while the stagnant eastern half remained a few meters lower. The lake was perched 1-2 m above the rim. On 13 January a small portion of the cone collapsed, causing a second vent to open adjacent to the main vent and effuse lava for less than 20 minutes. The islands remained stationary in the E part of the lake; the dimensions of the largest island remained unchanged. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 4,700 tons/day on 14 January.

Geological summary: Kilauea, which overlaps the E 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 km2, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea)

5.525°S, 148.42°E, Summit elev. 1330 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 13 January an ash plume from Langila produced an ash plume that rose to 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.

Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia)

7.54°S, 110.446°E, Summit elev. 2910 m

BPPTKG reported that the “2021 lava dome” continued to emerge just below Merapi’s SW rim during 8-14 January, producing a total of 128 incandescent lava avalanches that traveled as far as 900 m down the Krasak River drainage on the SW flank. A comparison of photos taken on 7 and 14 January showed that the morphological changes in the summit area were attributed to the emergence of new lava domes. The 2021 dome volume was an estimated 46,766 cubic meters on 14 January, with a growth rate of about 8,500 cubic meters per day. Deformation continued, though at a lower rate; Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) data showed a distance shortening between points in the NW at a rate of 6 cm per day. Seismic activity significantly decreased compared to the previous week.

At around 0400 on 16 January a pyroclastic flow descended 1.5 km down the Krasak drainage and produced an ash plume that rose 500 m. A pyroclastic flow was visible in webcam images around 1700 on 16 January, though somewhat obscured due to weather clouds, and traveled an estimated 1 km. From 1800 on 16 January to 0600 on 17 January there were a total of 56 incandescent lava avalanches that went a maximum distance of 1.5 km SW. During the first six hours of 18 January six incandescent avalanches descended 600 m SW. At 0543 a pyroclastic flow traveled about 1 km down the Krasak drainage and produced an ash plume that rose 50 m above the summit and drifted SE. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public were warned to stay 5 km away from the summit.

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 2,000 years ago, leaving a large arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Subsequent growth of the steep-sided Young Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent 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.

Pelee, Martinique (France)

14.809°N, 61.165°W, Summit elev. 1394 m

L'Observatoire Volcanologique et Sismologique de Martinique (OVSM) reported that seismicity at Pelée remained at significant levels during 8-15 January, though had slightly decreased compared to the previous week. The seismic network recorded at least 22 high-frequency, volcano-tectonic earthquakes with magnitudes less than 1, located at shallow depths between 600 and 1,000 m above sea level. Two low-frequency, long-period earthquakes were also noted. The Alert Level remained at Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: Renowned Montagne Pelée forms the northern end of the island of Martinique. Three major edifice failures since the late Pleistocene, the last about 9,000 years ago, have left large open calderas breached to the SW inside which the modern volcano has been constructed. More than 20 major eruptions have occurred here during the past 5,000 years. Extensive pyroclastic-flow deposits, incised by steep-walled ravines, mantle the slopes of the volcano. The l'Etang Sec summit crater is filled by two lava domes emplaced during the 1902 and 1929 eruptions. Recorded eruptions date back to the 18th century; only two modest phreatic or phreatomagmatic eruptions took place prior to 1902. The catastrophic 1902 eruption, which destroyed the city of St. Pierre, became the type-example of Pelean eruptions and marked the onset of modern volcanological studies of the behavior of pyroclastic flows.

Sarychev Peak, Matua Island (Russia)

48.092°N, 153.2°E, Summit elev. 1496 m

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sarychev Peak was identified during 7-10 and 12-13 January. A gas-and-steam plume drifted 40 km NE on 12 January. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) on 10 January.

Geological summary: Sarychev Peak, one of the most active volcanoes of the Kuril Islands, occupies the NW end of Matua Island in the central Kuriles. The andesitic central cone was constructed within a 3-3.5-km-wide caldera, whose rim is exposed only on the SW side. A dramatic 250-m-wide, very steep-walled crater with a jagged rim caps the volcano. The substantially higher SE rim forms the 1496 m high point of the island. Fresh-looking lava flows, prior to activity in 2009, had descended in all directions, often forming capes along the coast. Much of the lower-angle outer flanks of the volcano are overlain by pyroclastic-flow deposits. Eruptions have been recorded since the 1760s and include both quiet lava effusion and violent explosions. Large eruptions in 1946 and 2009 produced pyroclastic flows that reached the sea.

Soufriere St. Vincent, St. Vincent

13.33°N, 61.18°W, Summit elev. 1220 m

University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) and National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) reported that the lava dome in Soufrière St. Vincent’s main crater continued to grow during 13-19 January.

Observations on 14 January revealed that the dome was growing taller as well as expanding to the E and W. During an overflight on 15 January scientists saw extensive vegetation damage on the E, S, and W inner crater walls; damage previously noted along the upper part of the SW crater rim had expanded downslope. The dome dimensions were estimated to be 340 m long, 160 m wide, and 90 m high.

Scientists visited the dome on 16 January and collected rock samples from the W part of the dome. They recorded temperatures around 590 degrees Celsius from the expanding dome front. Gas emissions were most notable from a small circular depression at the top of the dome. At night during 15-17 January residents to the W saw incandescence emanating from the crater, a phenomenon likely to be more frequent as the dome grows higher. Gas emissions were visible in the afternoon of 17 January rising from the top of the dome as well as from areas of contact between the new and old domes. An area of burnt vegetation extended from the dome along the W part of the crater floor.

By the end of the week both new seismic and continuous GPS monitoring stations had been installed and were transmitting data, bring the total number of dedicated seismic stations to five. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: Soufrière St. Vincent is the northernmost and youngest volcano on St. Vincent Island. The NE rim of the 1.6-km wide summit crater is cut by a crater formed in 1812. The crater itself lies on the SW margin of a larger 2.2-km-wide caldera, which is breached widely to the SW as a result of slope failure. Frequent explosive eruptions after about 4,300 years ago produced pyroclastic deposits of the Yellow Tephra Formation, which cover much of the island. The first historical eruption took place in 1718; it and the 1812 eruption produced major explosions. Much of the northern end of the island was devastated by a major eruption in 1902 that coincided with the catastrophic Mont Pelée eruption on Martinique. A lava dome was emplaced in the summit crater in 1971 during a strictly effusive eruption, forming an island within a lake that filled the crater. A series of explosive eruptions in 1979 destroyed the 1971 dome and ejected the lake; a new dome was then built.

Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

29.638°N, 129.714°E, Summit elev. 796 m

JMA reported that incandescence at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater was visible nightly during 11-15 January. Intermittent explosions produced ash plumes that rose as high as 1.4 km above the crater rim and ejected bombs 400 m away from the crater. The Alert Level was lowered to 2 (on a 5-level scale) on 14 January; JMA noted that no large bombs were ejected more than 1 km from the crater beginning on 29 December 2020.

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.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)

31.593°N, 130.657°E, Summit elev. 1117 m

JMA reported that during 11-18 January incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was often visible nightly. The sulfur dioxide emission rate remained high, reaching 2,100 tons per day on 13 January. Five explosions and three eruptive events were recorded, producing eruption plumes that rose 1.3-2 km above the crater rim and ejecting bombs 500-900 m away from the crater. 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, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 13-14 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and WSW. 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 during 7-10 and 13-14 January; ash plumes rose up to 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. and 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.

Etna, Sicily (Italy)

37.748°N, 14.999°E, Summit elev. 3320 m

INGV reported that during 11-17 January activity at Etna was characterized by intra-crater Strombolian activity at Northeast Crater (NEC), occasional ash emissions from the Voragine (VOR) and Bocca Nuova (BN) craters, and Strombolian activity, lava effusion, and ash emissions at the Southeast Crater (SEC). In general, the activity was similar to the pervious week, though activity at SEC on 18 January was notable.

Lava effusion began around 0700 on 17 January but was confined to the SEC summit cone. At around 0740 the lava breached the crater and lava flowed down to the base of the cone. The effusion rate increased by 0819 and an ash emission was possibly visible; the lava flow lengthened and had reached an elevation of 3,000 m by 1000. Weather clouds moved in and prevented visual observations until 1830 on 18 January when the lava flow was visible again; it was no longer being fed and was cooling. Volcanic tremor amplitude increased and Strombolian activity intensified at 2000. A new lava flow emerged at 2015 and traveled towards the Valle del Bove, reaching an elevation of 2,900 m. Low lava fountains were visible at 2130 and an ash plume drifted ESE, causing ashfall on the downwind flank. Lava flows descended the SE, E, and NE flanks of the SEC. Explosive activity significantly decreased at 2200. Two distinct lava flows were visible, with one heading N and the other moving towards the Valle del Bove. Tremor and infrasound signals decreased to pre-episode levels by 2230. The the lava flows were stable and cooling on 19 January.

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.

Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)

54.049°N, 159.443°E, Summit elev. 1513 m

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images during 8-15 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south. The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.

Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

56.056°N, 160.642°E, Summit elev. 4754 m

KVERT reported that Strombolian and sometimes Vulcanian activity at Klyuchevskoy continued during 8-15 January and lava advanced down the Kozyrevsky drainage on the S flank. A large bright thermal anomaly was identified daily in satellite images. Steam-and-gas plumes with some ash rose to 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 90 km in multiple directions. The Aviation Color Code remined at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

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.

Lewotolo, Lomblen Island (Indonesia)

8.274°S, 123.508°E, Summit elev. 1431 m

PVMBG reported that a Strombolian eruption at Lewotolo continued during 13-19 January. Gray-and-white ash plumes rose 200-700 m above the summit daily and rumbling sounds were reported. Strombolian explosions ejected material 100-500 m above the summit, and incandescent material was ejected as far as 1.5 km SE from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay 4 km away from the summer crater.

Geological summary: The Lewotolo (or Lewotolok) stratovolcano occupies the eastern end of an elongated peninsula extending north into the Flores Sea, connected to Lembata (formerly Lomblen) Island by a narrow isthmus. It is symmetrical when viewed from the north and east. A small cone with a 130-m-wide crater constructed at the SE side of a larger crater forms the volcano's high point. Many lava flows have reached the coastline. Eruptions recorded since 1660 have consisted of explosive activity from the summit crater.

Ruapehu, North Island (New Zealand)

39.28°S, 175.57°E, Summit elev. 2797 m

GeoNet reported that volcanic tremor at Ruapehu declined to low levels on 29 December 2020, and remained low; volcanic gas emissions returned to background levels by the next day. Water chemistry had only slightly changed compared to data collected a few weeks prior. Although the temperature of the crater lake water remained high (40 degrees Celsius), the period of heightened unrest was over; the Volcanic Alert Level was lowered to 1 and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green on 11 January.

Geological summary: Ruapehu, one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes, is a complex stratovolcano constructed during at least four cone-building episodes dating back to about 200,000 years ago. The dominantly andesitic 110 km3 volcanic massif is elongated in a NNE-SSW direction and surrounded by another 100 km3 ring plain of volcaniclastic debris, including the Murimoto debris-avalanche deposit on the NW flank. A series of subplinian eruptions took place between about 22,600 and 10,000 years ago, but pyroclastic flows have been infrequent. A single historically active vent, Crater Lake (Te Wai a-moe), is located in the broad summit region, but at least five other vents on the summit and flank have been active during the Holocene. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have occurred in historical time from the Crater Lake vent, and tephra characteristics suggest that the crater lake may have formed as early as 3,000 years ago. Lahars produced by phreatic eruptions from the summit crater lake are a hazard to a ski area on the upper flanks and to lower river valleys.

Sabancaya, Peru

15.787°S, 71.857°W, Summit elev. 5960 m

Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported a daily average of 29 explosions at Sabancaya during 11-17 January. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 3 km above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. One thermal anomaly over the crater was identified in satellite data. Minor inflation continued to be detected in areas N of Hualca Hualca (4 km N) and on the SE flank. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) and the public were warned to stay outside of 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.

Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia)

8.108°S, 112.922°E, Summit elev. 3657 m

PVMBG reported that during 1-15 January incandescent avalanches of material from the Jonggring Seleko Crater at Semeru sometimes traveled 500-1,000 m down the Kobokan drainage on the SE flank. Incandescent material was ejected 10-30 m above the summit and white-and-gray plumes rose 200-300 m and drifted N. Weather conditions often prevented visual observations. A pyroclastic flow was detected at 1451 on 1 January, though weather clouds prevented visual confirmation. At 1724 on 16 January incandescent avalanches traveled as far as 1 km down the Kobokan drainage and a pyroclastic flow traveled about 4-4.5 km down the same drainage. A large ash cloud rose along the length of the pyroclastic flow to 2 km above the summit and drifted NE and N. Ashfall was reported in areas to the N. During 18-19 January dense gray-white plumes rose 300-500 m above the summit and drifted N. Rumbling was heard and incandescent material was ejected 30 m high. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 1 km and extensions to 4 km in the SSE sector.

Geological summary: Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises above coastal plains to the south. Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas. A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE. Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano.

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

56.653°N, 161.36°E, Summit elev. 3283 m

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 8-15 January. 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.

Shishaldin, Fox Islands (USA)

54.756°N, 163.97°W, Summit elev. 2857 m

AVO reported that several outages affected GPS, seismic, and infrasound stations used to monitor Shishaldin. On 15 January AVO changed both the Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level to Unassigned, reflecting the lack of this data to detect unrest. The volcano continued to be monitored with local webcams, satellite data, and remote infrasound, seismic, and lightning networks.

Geological summary: The beautifully symmetrical Shishaldin is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. The glacier-covered volcano is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes along an E-W line in the eastern half of Unimak Island. The Aleuts named the volcano Sisquk, meaning "mountain which points the way when I am lost." A steam plume often rises from its small summit crater. Constructed atop an older glacially dissected volcano, it is largely basaltic in composition. Remnants of an older ancestral volcano are exposed on the W and NE sides at 1,500-1,800 m elevation. There are over two dozen pyroclastic cones on its NW flank, which is blanketed by massive aa lava flows. Frequent explosive activity, primarily consisting of Strombolian ash eruptions from the small summit crater, but sometimes producing lava flows, has been recorded since the 18th century.

Sinabung, Indonesia

3.17°N, 98.392°E, Summit elev. 2460 m

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Sinabung continued during 13-19 January, though weather conditions often prevented visual conformation. White-and-gray ash plumes rose as high as 500 m above the summit during 14-15 January, and avalanches of material traveled 700-1,000 m down the SE flank. Dense white-and-gray ash plumes rose 500 m during 17-18 January. 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.

Veniaminof, United States

56.17°N, 159.38°W, Summit elev. 2507 m

AVO reported that seismic data for Veniaminof had not been received since 8 December 2020 due to a problem with the satellite link at Port Heiden. Both the Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level were changed to Unassigned on 15 January, reflecting the lack of available seismic data to detect unrest.

Geological summary: Veniaminof, on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3,700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.

Yasur, Vanuatu

19.532°S, 169.447°E, Summit elev. 361 m

Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that an ash-and-gas emission rose above Yasur’s crater rim at 1734 on 18 January. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-4). VMGD reminded residents and tourists that hazardous areas were near and around the volcanic crater, and that volcanic ash and gas could reach areas impacted by trade winds.

Geological summary: Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous Strombolian and Vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, this mostly unvegetated pyroclastic cone has a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. The active cone is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera, and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.

Source: GVP


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