The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: March 24 – 30, 2021


New activity/unrest was reported for 10 volcanoes from March 24 to 30, 2021. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 18 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Asamayama, Honshu (Japan), Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA), Etna, Sicily (Italy), Krysuvik-Trolladyngja, Iceland, Pacaya, Guatemala, Pelee, Martinique (France), Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France), Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA), Taal, Luzon (Philippines), Veniaminof, United States.

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan), Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia), Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia), Fuego, Guatemala, Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia), Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA), Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia), Lewotolok, Lembata Island (Indonesia), Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia), Raung, Eastern Java (Indonesia), Reventador, Ecuador, Sabancaya, Peru, Sangay, Ecuador, Santa Maria, Guatemala, Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia), Sinabung, Indonesia, Soufriere St. Vincent, St. Vincent, Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

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

Asamayama, Honshu (Japan)

36.406°N, 138.523°E, Summit elev. 2568 m

On 23 March JMA raised the Alert Level for Asamayama to 2 (on a scale of 1-5), noting slight inflation on the W side of the volcano since 15 March and an increase in the number of daily volcanic earthquakes that have occurred since 20 March (36 recorded on 20 March and increasing to 77 events by 1500 on 23 March). After 23 March the number of daily volcanic earthquakes began to fluctuate, decreasing to 15 on 28 March and then 23 by 1500 on 29 March. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 800 tons per day (t/d) on 22 March, 400 t/d on 24 March, and 700 t/d on 25 March, compared to the previous measurement of 200 t/d on 25 February.

Geological summary: Asamayama, Honshu's most active volcano, overlooks the resort town of Karuizawa, 140 km NW of Tokyo. The volcano is located at the junction of the Izu-Marianas and NE Japan volcanic arcs. The modern Maekake cone forms the summit and is situated east of the horseshoe-shaped remnant of an older andesitic volcano, Kurofuyama, which was destroyed by a late-Pleistocene landslide about 20,000 years before present (BP). Growth of a dacitic shield volcano was accompanied by pumiceous pyroclastic flows, the largest of which occurred about 14,000-11,000 BP, and by growth of the Ko-Asama-yama lava dome on the east flank. Maekake, capped by the Kamayama pyroclastic cone that forms the present summit, is probably only a few thousand years old and has an historical record dating back at least to the 11th century CE. Maekake has had several major plinian eruptions, the last two of which occurred in 1108 (Asamayama's largest Holocene eruption) and 1783 CE.

Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA)

52.825°N, 169.944°W, Summit elev. 1730 m

AVO reported that a magnitude 4.3 earthquake at Cleveland was recorded during the morning of 26 March. Smaller earthquakes continued to be detected that day at a decreasing rate. There have been no signs of activity observed in infrasound or satellite data, nor evidence of volcanic gas emissions and elevated surface temperatures due to clouds. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level

Geological summary: The beautifully symmetrical Mount Cleveland stratovolcano is situated at the western end of the uninhabited Chuginadak Island. It lies SE across Carlisle Pass strait from Carlisle volcano and NE across Chuginadak Pass strait from Herbert volcano. Joined to the rest of Chuginadak Island by a low isthmus, 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, 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 it 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.

Etna, Sicily (Italy)

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

INGV reported continuing episodes of lava fountaining at Etna’s Southeast Crater (SEC) during the week of 22-28 March, though weather conditions often prevented visual observations. Weak Strombolian activity at SEC began at 2005 on 23 March and turned into lava fountaining at 0330 on 24 March. A lava flow from the SEC was observed at 0335 which split in two, one branch traveling toward the Valle del Bove and the other to the SE; the lava was followed by a pyroclastic flow at 0336 that traveled toward the Valle del Bove. The lava fountain produced an ash cloud that rose to 6-7 km (20,000-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and extended SSE, resulting in ashfall on the S slope and in Catania (29 km SSE). Lava fountaining gradually decreased at 0700, and by 0945 it had stopped. The lava flows continued to advance. Activity in Northeast (NEC), Bocca Nuova (BN), and Voragine (VOR) was characterized by variable intra-crater Strombolian activity, accompanied by sporadic and weak ash emissions that quickly dispersed.

On 24 March explosions at SEC continued after the lava fountaining had stopped, producing an ash plume that rose 4.5 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. At night, ashfall was reported in Milia and Trecastagni (16 km SE). Explosions stopped by 1347 that day. By 25 March the two active lava flows had ceased and began to cool. Weak Strombolian activity at SEC on 30 March resumed around 2030; intra-crater explosions continued in the NEC, BN, and VOR, the latter of which produced discontinuous ash emissions that rapidly dispersed in the summit area.

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.

Krysuvik-Trolladyngja, Iceland

63.917°N, 22.067°W, Summit elev. 360 m

IMO reported that the small eruption in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula continued during 24-30 March. Video and visitor photographs showed that continuous spattering and lava fountaining resulted in the formation of a second large cone adjacent to the main cone. Lava flows from both cones moved W and S within Geldingadalur valley. On 25 and 29 March the extrusion rate from the cone was an estimated 5.8 and 5.3 cubic meters per second, respectively, based on the latest Pléiades image acquisition (LMI).

A gas plume on 25 and 29 March rose to 1 km (3,300 ft) a.s.l; no ash or tephra was produced. Minor seismicity continued around the Fagradalsfjall area. Video data showed that on the morning of 28 March the N part of the largest cone along the fissure collapsed. Sulfur dioxide flux was 18-19 kg/s and drifted predominantly S. The IMO periodically issued warnings about weather conditions that would cause high concentrations of volcanic gases to settle near the eruption site, causing hazardous conditions for visitors. The Aviation Color Code remained Orange due to the lack of ash and tephra emissions.

Geological summary: The Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system is described by the Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes as an approximately 50-km-long composite fissure swarm trending about N38°E, including a 30-km-long swarm of fissures, with no central volcano. It is one of the volcanic systems arranged en-echelon along the Reykjanes Peninsula west of Kleifarvatn lake. The Fagradalsfjall and Krýsuvík fissure swarms are considered splits or secondary swarms of the Krýsuvík–Trölladyngja volcanic system. Small shield volcanoes have produced a large portion of the erupted volume within the system. Several eruptions have taken place since the settlement of Iceland, including the eruption of a large basaltic lava flow from the Ogmundargigar crater row around the 12th century. The latest eruption, identified through tephrochronology, took place during the 14th century.

Pacaya, Guatemala

14.382°N, 90.601°W, Summit elev. 2569 m

INSIVUMEH reported moderate to s trong explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney Crater during 24-30 March, accompanied by abundant ash plumes that rose to 2.9-4.5 km (9,500-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions as far as 15-20 km. Resulting ashfall was reported in El Pepinal (7 km N), San Francisco de Sales (5 km N), El Cedro (9 km NNW), Calderas (3 km N), Mesías Altas, Mesías Baja (5 km NE), El Rodeo (4 km WSW), El Patrocinio (5 km W), and San Vicente Pacaya (5 km NW). The lava flow that began on 18 March was 2.5 km long, continuing down the SW flank; the height of the flow was 2.5 m with a width of 400 m, but the advancing front was 250 wide and set fire to nearby vegetation. Incandescent material ejected 150-300 m above the rim fell around the crater on 25 and 27 March. On 30 March ash plumes drifted 7 km S, causing ashfall in El Chupadero (2-2.5 km S) and Los Pocitos (5.5 km S).

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.

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 increased during 19-26 March. The seismic network recorded at least 55 high-frequency volcano-tectonic earthquakes with magnitudes less than or equal to 1, located at depths between 1.7 km below sea level and 1 km above sea level. 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.

Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France)

21.244°S, 55.708°E, Summit elev. 2632 m

OVPF reported that seismicity remained elevated at Piton de la Fournaise during 22-26 March. On 24 March there were 81 earthquakes recorded under the summit, accompanied by deformation and 31 collapses along the edges of the Dolomieu Crater. Inflation centered 1.5 and 2 km below the crater continued through the week. On 26 March up to 95 summit volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded; the daily number of earthquakes then decreased, with 55 on 27 March and 8 on 28 March.

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.

Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA)

51.93°N, 179.58°E, Summit elev. 1221 m

AVO reported that satellite data showed minor ash deposits on Semisopochnoi's flanks. Three explosions on 25 March (at 0142, 0330, and 0645) were recorded by regional infrasound sensors. Two more explosions were detected at 2130 on 26 March and at 0030 on 27 March; high weather cloud cover at 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. prevented satellite confirmation; no ash was visible above the cloud deck during 25-27 March. The Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Orange and Watch, respectively.

Geological summary: Semisopochnoi, the largest subaerial volcano of the western Aleutians, is 20 km wide at sea level and contains an 8-km-wide caldera. It formed as a result of collapse of a low-angle, dominantly basaltic volcano following the eruption of a large volume of dacitic pumice. The high point of the island is Anvil Peak, a double-peaked late-Pleistocene cone that forms much of the island's northern part. The three-peaked Mount Cerberus was constructed within the caldera during the Holocene. Each of the peaks contains a summit crater; lava flows on the N flank of Cerberus appear younger than those on the south side. Other post-caldera volcanoes include the symmetrical Sugarloaf Peak SSE of the caldera and Lakeshore Cone, a small cinder cone at the edge of Fenner Lake in the NE part of the caldera. Most documented eruptions have originated from Cerberus, although Coats (1950) considered that both Sugarloaf and Lakeshore Cone could have been recently active.

Taal, Luzon (Philippines)

14.002°N, 120.993°E, Summit elev. 311 m

PHIVOLCS reported that seismicity increased at Taal during 24-27 March. There were around 19-302 volcanic earthquakes recorded daily, except on 28 March, and about 4-243 periods of volcanic tremor with variable durations (1-24 minutes). Four hybrid earthquakes were recorded on 24 March. Low-frequency earthquakes were detected 25, 77, 118, 7, and 16 times on 25, 26, 27, 28, and 30 March, respectively. Diffuse steam plumes from fumarolic vents in the Main Crater rose as high as 40 m. Daily measurements of sulfur dioxide emissions were 837-1,109 tonnes/day. The Alert Level for Taal remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5). PHIVOLCS strongly recommended no entry onto the island, and access to the Main Crater and Daang Kastila fissure (along the walking trail) was strictly prohibited.

Geological summary: Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines and has produced some of its most powerful historical eruptions. Though not topographically prominent, its prehistorical eruptions have greatly changed the landscape of SW Luzon. The 15 x 20 km Talisay (Taal) caldera is largely filled by Lake Taal, whose 267 km2 surface lies only 3 m above sea level. The maximum depth of the lake is 160 m, and several eruptive centers lie submerged beneath the lake. The 5-km-wide Volcano Island in north-central Lake Taal is the location of all historical eruptions. The island is composed of coalescing small stratovolcanoes, tuff rings, and scoria cones that have grown about 25% in area during historical time. Powerful pyroclastic flows and surges from historical eruptions have caused many fatalities.

Veniaminof, United States

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

AVO reported that eruptive activity at Veniaminof continued during 24-25 and 27-30 March. Highly elevated surface temperatures were visible in satellite images along with ash deposits that were primarily confined to the summit and upper flanks on 23 March. Low-level tremor was recorded in local seismic data. During 24 March explosions were recorded in local seismic data and in infrasound data sensors; frequent explosive booming (several per minute) was reported by residents in Perryville (35 km SE) and Chignik Lagoon (55 km NE). Cloud cover prevented visual confirmation during this period of increased seismicity. Fresh ash deposits extending 10 km SE in the summit caldera were observed in satellite data on 25 March. Satellite data also showed highly elevated surface temperatures at the summit and flank vent during clear weather days on 25, 28, and 29 March. Discrete, short-lived ash emissions were detected during the afternoon and evening of 27 March in images from the FAA webcam in Perryville. The intermittent events lasted several minutes and produced small ash clouds that rose less than 300 m (1,000 ft) above the vent and drifted SE, which may have resulted in trace ashfall in Perryville, though there was no confirmed evidence. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

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.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)

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

JMA reported that during 22-26 March incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera's Sakurajima volcano) was visible nightly. An explosion on 25 March produced an eruption plume that rose 1.4 km above the crater rim. On 27 March at 0236 an eruption generated an ash plume that rose 2.5-4 km above the crater rim and drifted NW, resulting in a large amount of ashfall in Kagoshima City (about 10 km W). Volcanic bombs were ejected 1-1.3 km away from the crater. An eruption on 29 March at 1557 produced an eruption plume that rose 2.2 km above the crater rim and drifted SE, resulting in a pyroclastic flow down the SE flank and ashfall in Kagoshima City and the Kagoshima Prefecture. An explosion on 30 March at 0433 generated an ash plume that rose 2.7 km above the crater and drifted E, ejecting bombs 600-900 m from the crater. Ashfall was again reported in Kagoshima City. 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 24-30 March ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 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 during 19, 21, and 24-25 March that sent ash plumes up to 2.5 km a.s.l. (8,200 ft) and drifted in different directions. Ashfall was reported in Severo-Kurilsk on 24 March. 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, Summit elev. 3763 m

INSIVUMEH reported that 6-11 explosions per hour were recorded during 24-30 March at Fuego, generating ash plumes that rose to 4.7 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, NW, and SW as far as 10-15 km. Shock waves rattled buildings near the volcano. Block avalanches descended the Seca (W), Ceniza (SSW), and Trinidad (S) drainages, often reaching vegetated areas. Ash plumes from explosions rose to 4.8 (16,000 ft) km a.s.l. and drifted N and NE on 25 March and W on 27 March far as 15-20 km, resulting in ashfall in Morelia (9 km SW), Panimache (8 km SW), Yucales (12 km SW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), Yepocapa (8 km NW), La Soledad (11 km N). Block avalanches descended the Taniluyá (SW), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages, in addition to those affected on 24 March. Weak crater incandescence was observed at night and in the early morning during 26 March. Incandescent material was ejected 100-200 m above the summit on 28 March, accompanied by ash plumes that rose to 4.8 km a.s.l. and resulted in ashfall in Palo Verde, Panimaché II, Sangre de Cristo, Yepocapa, and El Porvenir (8 km ENE).

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, Summit elev. 1325 m

PVMBG reported that on 25 March at 1814 a gray ash plume from Ibu rose to 2.3 km (7,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. White-and-gray emissions rose 200-1,000 m above the crater drifting N, S, E, and W during 25-26, 28, and 30 March. 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, has contained several small crater lakes. The 1.2-km-wide outer crater is breached on the N, creating a steep-walled valley. A large cone grew ENE of the summit, and 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. The first observed and recorded eruption was a small explosion from the summit crater in 1911. Eruptive activity began again in December 1998, producing a lava dome that eventually covered much of the floor of the inner summit crater along with ongoing explosive ash emissions.

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)

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

HVO reported that the W vent on the inner NW wall of Kilauea's Halema`uma`u Crater continued to supply the lava lake during 24-30 March. Lava flowed from the main vent into the lake through two crusted-over channels and submerged inlets, the former of which occurred during 24-25 March. The total depth of the lake measured about 224 m and lava continued to circulate in the W part; the E half of the lake remained solidified, expanding toward the W. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 950 and 650 tons/day on 22 and 26 March, respectively. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

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.

Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

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

KVERT reported that the flank eruption on Klyuchevskoy’s lower NW flank had ended on 20 March. Weak incandescence from the cinder cone and lava flows visible in webcam images reflected cooling. The temperature of the thermal anomaly identified in satellite data continued to decrease. On 24 March the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green (the lowest level). According to satellite data, a plume of resuspended ash extended for 72 km E of the volcano on 25 March; no eruption was reported. On 25 March the Aviation Color Code was briefly increased to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) and was lowered to Green by 26 March.

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.

Lewotolok, Lembata Island (Indonesia)

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

PVMBG reported that the Strombolian eruption at Lewotolok continued during 24-30 March. Daily gray-and-white ash plumes rose as high as 800 m above the summit and drifted in different directions. Incandescent material was ejected 500 m above the summit on 23, 27, and 30 March, and 300 m above the summit on 25 March. On 26 and 28 March incandescence was observed up to 100 m above the summit, accompanied by incandescent ejecta as far as 350 m to the SE. The eruptive events were accompanied by rumbling and banging sounds. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay 3 km away from the summit crater.

Geological summary: The Lewotolok (or Lewotolo) 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.

Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia)

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

BPPTKG reported that the lava dome just below Merapi's SW rim continued to grow and shed material down the flank during 19-25 March. The 2021 lava dome volume was an estimated 949,000 cubic meters on 25 March, with a growth rate of about 13,300 cubic meters per day. The Mount Merapi Selo Observation Post reported a white gas-and-steam plume rose 500 m above the crater on 25 March at 1430. Four pyroclastic flows traveled a maximum of 1.8 km down the SW flank, three of which occurred on 27 March at 0602, 0603, and 0631. An ash plume caused by a pyroclastic flow rose 3.5 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW for about 1.3 km on 27 March at 1758 on, according to a ground observer. Incandescent avalanches, recorded 104 times, traveled as far as 1.2 km down the SW flank and twice down the SE flank as far as 400 m. The summit lava dome measured 65 m tall, similar to the previous week. On 30 March there were 33 incandescent avalanches observed traveling up to 1 km down the SW flank, one of which continued up to 1.5 km. One incandescent avalanche was observed from the lava dome. 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.

Raung, Eastern Java (Indonesia)

8.119°S, 114.056°E, Summit elev. 3260 m

PVMBG reported that daily gray-and-white ash plumes rose 50-1,200 m above Raung's summit during 24-29 March. Ash plumes drifted in different 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: Raung, one of Java's most active volcanoes, is a massive stratovolcano in easternmost Java that was constructed SW of the rim of Ijen caldera. The unvegetated summit is truncated by a dramatic steep-walled, 2-km-wide caldera that has been the site of frequent historical eruptions. A prehistoric collapse of Gunung Gadung on the W flank produced a large debris avalanche that traveled 79 km, reaching nearly to the Indian Ocean. Raung contains several centers constructed along a NE-SW line, with Gunung Suket and Gunung Gadung stratovolcanoes being located to the NE and W, respectively.

Reventador, Ecuador

0.077°S, 77.656°W, Summit elev. 3562 m

IG reported that a high level of activity continued to be recorded at Reventador during 24-30 March; adverse weather conditions sometimes prevented visual confirmation. Seismicity was characterized by 49-80 daily explosions, volcano-tectonic and harmonic tremor events, and long-period earthquakes, as well as signals indicating emissions. Gas, steam, and ash plumes, often observed multiple times a day with the webcam or reported by the Washington VAAC, rose as high as 1.4 km above the summit crater and drifted mainly W, NW, SW. Crater incandescence and incandescent blocks rolling down the NE flank were observed nightly and accompanying explosions during 24-25 March.

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

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

Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported a daily average of 90 explosions at Sabancaya during 22-28 March. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2.5 km above the summit and drifted SW, W, N, and NW. Six thermal anomalies originating from the lava dome in the summit crater were identified in satellite data. Minor inflation continued to be detected in areas N of Hualca Hualca (4 km N). 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.

Sangay, Ecuador

2.005°S, 78.341°W, Summit elev. 5286 m

IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 24-30 March. Seismicity was characterized by 1-8 daily explosions, long-period earthquakes, and signals indicating emissions. Weather clouds and rain often prevented visual observations of the volcano, though based on the Washington VAAC reports, daily ash plumes were noted rising as high as 2.1 km above the summit and drifting in different directions. Images shared by the Red de Observadores Volcánicos (ROVE) (Network of Volcanic Observers) showed gas-and-steam emissions reaching 900-1,000 m above the crater drifting N on 26-27 March. A seismic station recorded occasional debris flows during 24-30 March. No ashfall was reported by residents.

Geological summary: The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador's volcanoes and its most active. The steep-sided, glacier-covered, dominantly andesitic volcano grew within horseshoe-shaped calderas of two previous edifices, which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. It towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash have been sculpted by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of a historical eruption was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The almost constant activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.

Santa Maria, Guatemala

14.757°N, 91.552°W, Summit elev. 3745 m

INSIVUMEH reported that during 24-30 March weak explosions at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex generate ash plumes that rose to 2.8-3.4 km (9,000 ft-11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, NE, SW. Collapses of blocky lava from the Caliente dome sent avalanches on the S and SW flank of the Caliente dome, causing minor ashfall around the volcano. Block avalanches were also observed on the E and S flanks; ashfall was reported in San Marcos (8 km SW) and Loma Linda Palajunoj (6 km WSW) on 25 and 27 March. Minor pyroclastic flows were reported on 28 March.

Geological summary: Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is part of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rise above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The sharp-topped, conical profile is cut on the SW flank by a 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 vents, with activity progressing W towards the most recent, 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, Summit elev. 3283 m

KVERT reported that lava dome growth at Sheveluch continued during 20-26 March, accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, incandescence, and block avalanches. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly over the lava dome all week, except on 22 and 25 March due to cloud cover. 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, Summit elev. 2460 m

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Sinabung continued during 24-30 March. The Darwin VAAC reported that an eruption on 28 March generated an ash plume that rose to 3.4 km a.s.l. (11,000 ft). Explosions on 29 March at 0024 and 1035 produced ash plumes that rose to 3.5 km a.s.l. (11,500 ft) and drifted NNE and ESE, respectively. 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.

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 slowly grow during 23-27 March, expanding to the N and S. Gas-and-steam continued to rise from the top of the dome, as well as along the contact with the pre-existing 1979 dome. On 23 March at 1030 the monitoring network recorded a swarm of small low-frequency seismic events that lasted about 45 minutes, which was likely associated with magma movement beneath the dome. Starting at 1653 the monitoring network also began to detect volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes, some of which have been felt by nearby communities, including Fancy, Owia, and Sandy Bay. On 26 March the period of elevated VT earthquakes stopped; only small, low frequency events associated with the growth of the lava dome were recorded. 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 the seismic network for Suwanosejima's Ontake Crater detected a total of 17 explosions during 19-26 March. These events produced eruption plumes that rose as high as 1.2 km above the crater rim, drifting S, W, and SW, and ejected bombs as far as 500 m away from the crater. Incandescence from the crater was occasionally visible at night. On 30 March at least 18 explosions were detected, generating ash plumes that rose 600-1,500 m above the crater drifting E, SE, and NE and ejecting material as far as 800 m S of the crater. On 31 March the Alert Level was raised to 3 (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.

Source: GVP

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.


Related articles

Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.

Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.

All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.

You can choose the level of your support.

Stay kind, vigilant and ready!

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:

One Comment

Leave a reply