New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes from May 12 to 18, 2021. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 24 volcanoes.
New activity/unrest: Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy).
Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Krysuvik-Trolladyngja, Iceland | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Lewotolok, Lembata Island (Indonesia) | Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia) | Pacaya, Guatemala | Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France) | Sabancaya, Peru | Sangay, Ecuador | Santa Maria, Guatemala | Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Sinabung, Indonesia | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Taal, Luzon (Philippines) | Tengger Caldera, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Ugashik-Peulik, United States | Ukinrek Maars, United States | Veniaminof, United States.
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.
Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)
52.076°N, 176.13°W, Summit elev. 1740 m
AVO reported that elevated surface temperatures at Great Sitkin had been identified in satellite images since January and had been increasing in frequency during the previous two months. A minor increase in seismicity began to be recorded on 9 May and volcanic gas emissions increased on 10 May. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory on 12 May.
Geological summary: The Great Sitkin volcano forms much of the northern side of Great Sitkin Island. A younger parasitic volcano capped by a small, 0.8 x 1.2 km ice-filled summit caldera was constructed within a large late-Pleistocene or early Holocene scarp formed by massive edifice failure that truncated an ancestral volcano and produced a submarine debris avalanche. Deposits from this and an older debris avalanche from a source to the south cover a broad area of the ocean floor north of the volcano. The summit lies along the eastern rim of the younger collapse scarp. Deposits from an earlier caldera-forming eruption of unknown age cover the flanks of the island to a depth up to 6 m. The small younger caldera was partially filled by lava domes emplaced in 1945 and 1974, and five small older flank lava domes, two of which lie on the coastline, were constructed along northwest- and NNW-trending lines. Hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles occur near the head of Big Fox Creek, south of the volcano. Historical eruptions have been recorded since the late-19th century.
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 7-14 May. A new lava block (named “Dolphin-2”) that extruded from the top of the lava dome was visible in a 15 May photo. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).
Geological summary: The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. The summit of roughly 65,000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes dot its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.
Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy)
38.789°N, 15.213°E, Summit elev. 924 m
INGV reported a collapse event at Stromboli’s Area N (North Crater area) on 19 May. A series of explosions began at 1447, producing a pyroclastic flow that at 1451 descended the Sciara del Fuoco to the coast and traveled 1 km over the sea. The explosions and pyroclastic flow produced large, dense ash clouds that rose above both the summit area and along the entire length of the pyroclastic flow. A series of less intense pyroclastic flows began at 1502 that also reached the sea. Lava flows from Area N also descended the Sciara del Fuoco to the coast.
Geological summary: Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period took place between about 13,000 and 5,000 years ago. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild Strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.
Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
31.593°N, 130.657°E, Summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported that during 10-17 May nightly incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible. Very small eruptive events were occasionally recorded. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale), and residents were warned to stay 2 km away from the crater.
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 11-17 May 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 6, 9, and 12-13 May that sent ash plumes to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NE, E, and SE. 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.
Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia)
1.488°N, 127.63°E, Summit elev. 1325 m
PVMBG reported that during 11-12 and 15-17 gray-and-white ash plumes from Ibu rose 200-800 m above the summit and drifted mainly N, W, and S. Inclement weather sometimes prevented visual observations, especially during 13-14 May. 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.
Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
54.049°N, 159.443°E, Summit elev. 1513 m
KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images on 7 and 9 May; weather clouds prevented observations during 8-14 May. 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.
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 229-m-deep lava lake at a low rate through a submerged inlet during 12-18 May. Lava circulated in two small pools in the W part. The solidified portion comprised 99 percent of the total area, based on thermal measurements acquired on 13 May. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 115-225 tons per day during 12-14 May, continuing a downward trend that began in mid-April. 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.
63.917°N, 22.067°W, Summit elev. 360 m
IMO reported that the fissure eruption in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula, continued during 11-18 May. The lava effusion rate was 10.8 meters per second, lower than the 12.9 meters per second rate recorded the week before. Pulsating lava fountains from crater 5, about 7-8 episodes per hour, sent material higher than 300 m. Very high fountains were visible in Reykjavik. Lava continued to flow into the Meradalir Valley; on 17 May video showed sections of the cone’s rim collapsing into the crater. By 18 May the area of the flow field had grown to 2.06 square kilometers, the total volume erupted was 38 million cubic meters. Authorities directed the construction of earthen barriers to prevent lava flowing into the Nátthaga valley and possibly overtaking Highway 427 (Suðurstrandarvegur) to the S, protecting the road and buried fiberoptic cables. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange due to the lack of ash and tephra emissions. Authorities warned of increased gas emissions hazards.
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.
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 15 May ash plumes from Langila rose as high as 3 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. A lower portion of the cloud at 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted NW at the upper portion drifted S. On 16 May an ash plume rose to 2.1 km
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.
Lewotolok, Lembata Island (Indonesia)
8.274°S, 123.508°E, Summit elev. 1431 m
PVMBG reported that white-and-gray plumes from Lewotolok rose as high as 600 m and drifted W and NW during 12-17 May. Incandescent material was ejected 100-300 m above the summit during 14-16 May and 300 m SE on 15 May. Rumbling and thumping sounds were heard during 14-17 May. 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 and the lava dome in the summit crater both continued to extrude lava during 7-13 May. The SW rim lava-dome volume was an estimated 1.16 million cubic meters on 2 May, with a growth rate of about 11,500 cubic meters per day, and continued to shed material down the flank. A total of four pyroclastic flows traveled a maximum of 1.5 km down the SW flank. Incandescent avalanches, recorded 49 times, traveled as far as 1.8 km down the SW flank and twice went 700 m SE. The summit lava dome grew 2 m taller during 6-16 May. Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) data showed a distance shortening between points in the NW at a rate of 0.7 cm per day, indicating minor inflation. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was 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.
14.382°N, 90.601°W, Summit elev. 2569 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 12-18 May the cone on Pacaya’s N flank (near Cerro Chino) continued to be active, feeding lava flows and occasionally ejecting incandescent material as high as 40 m. The lava flow slowly advanced mainly W, though remained about 2.4 km long. The flow also spread laterally and shed incandescent blocks, especially along the flow margins and where the flow travels down steep slopes. Gas-and-ash plumes visible almost daily rose as high as 900 m above the summit and drifted W, SW, and S. Ashfall was reported in El Rodeo (4 km WSW) during 15-16 May and in El Patrocinio (about 5 km W) during 15-17 May.
Geological summary: Eruptions from Pacaya, one of Guatemala's most active volcanoes, are frequently visible from Guatemala City, the nation's capital. This complex basaltic volcano was constructed just outside the southern topographic rim of the 14 x 16 km Pleistocene Amatitlán caldera. A cluster of dacitic lava domes occupies the southern caldera floor. The post-caldera Pacaya massif includes the ancestral Pacaya Viejo and Cerro Grande stratovolcanoes and the currently active Mackenney stratovolcano. Collapse of Pacaya Viejo between 600 and 1500 years ago produced a debris-avalanche deposit that extends 25 km onto the Pacific coastal plain and left an arcuate somma rim inside which the modern Pacaya volcano (Mackenney cone) grew. A subsidiary crater, Cerro Chino, was constructed on the NW somma rim and was last active in the 19th century. During the past several decades, activity has consisted of frequent strombolian eruptions with intermittent lava flow extrusion that has partially filled in the caldera moat and armored the flanks of Mackenney cone, punctuated by occasional larger explosive eruptions that partially destroy the summit of the growing young stratovolcano.
Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France)
21.244°S, 55.708°E, Summit elev. 2632 m
OVPF reported that the eruption at Piton de la Fournaise continued during 12-18 May at both craters, though at low levels. Lava flows mainly traveled though lava tubes and emerged from the end of the flow field, advancing E to 920 m elevation by 13 May. Minor inflation of the summit area was recorded. Dense gas plumes rose from both craters. The Alert Level remained at 2-2.
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.
15.787°S, 71.857°W, Summit elev. 5960 m
Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported a daily average of 37 explosions at Sabancaya during 10-16 May. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 3.5 km above the summit and drifted S, SE, E, and NE. Ashfall was reported in the district of Chivay (NE), in the area of Achacota. Eight thermal anomalies originating from the lava dome in the summit crater were identified in satellite data. Minor inflation continued to be detected near 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.
2.005°S, 78.341°W, Summit elev. 5286 m
IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 12-18 May. Weather clouds and rain often prevented visual and webcam observations of the volcano; daily lahars were detected by the seismic network. Ash plumes rose 900-1,200 m and drifted W during 14-15 May. Several dense ash emissions were identified in satellite images on 16 May. According to the Washington VAAC ash plumes rose as high as 12.2 km (40,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N; part of the ash plume drifted WSW at 6.4 km (21,000 ft) a.s.l. Minor ashfall was reported in the local community of Ishupamba (Province of Chimborazo), near the volcano. Ash plumes rose 1.2-1.5 km above the volcano and drifted WSW and SW during 17-18 May.
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 on 15 May lahars descended Santa María's Cabello de Ángel (a tributary of Nimá I) drainage, carrying tree trunks, branches, and blocks 1-3 m in diameter. The lahars reached the El Faro estate. The next day lahars descended the Cabello de Ángel and Nimá I drainages carrying blocks up to 1 m in diameter. The lahars were 25 m wide and 1 m deep, and had a sulfur odor.
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.
Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia)
8.108°S, 112.922°E, Summit elev. 3657 m
PVMBG reported that Semeru continued to erupt during 12-18 May. Dense gray-and-white plumes rose 300-700 m above the summit and drifted SW and N during 13-15 and 17 May. Avalanches of material traveled as far as 200 m down the Kobokan drainage on 13 May. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), with a general exclusion zone of 1 km and extensions to 5 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.
Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA)
51.93°N, 179.58°E, Summit elev. 1221 m
AVO reported that weakly elevated surface temperatures and sulfur dioxide gas emissions at Semisopochnoi were identified in satellite images during 16-17 May. Several small explosions were recorded in infrasound data during 17-18 May; a small ash cloud was observed in a satellite image from 1521. Sulfur dioxide gas emissions and steaming from the active vents were identified in satellite data. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level was raised to Watch on 18 May.
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.
3.17°N, 98.392°E, Summit elev. 2460 m
PVMBG reported that the eruption at Sinabung continued during 12-18 May. Weather conditions often prevented visual observations of the volcano; white fumarolic plumes were visible on 11, 13, and 15 May rising as high as 700 m above the summit and drifting in multiple directions. On 11 May an eruptive event produced a gray ash plume that rose up to 1 km. Avalanches of material traveled 1 km down the E and SE flanks on 12 May. On 13 May gray ash plumes rose 700-1,000 m above the summit, pyroclastic flows traveled 2.5 km down the E and SE flanks, and avalanches moved down the E and SE flanks as far as 1 km. On 14 May pyroclastic flows traveled as far as 4 km SE. 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.
Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
29.638°N, 129.714°E, Summit elev. 796 m
JMA reported that six explosions at Suwanosejima's Ontake Crater produced eruption plumes that rose as high as 2 km above the crater rim during 7-14 May. Large volcanic bombs were ejected 400 m from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 2 and the public was warned to stay 1 km away from the crater.
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.
Taal, Luzon (Philippines)
14.002°N, 120.993°E, Summit elev. 311 m
PHIVOLCS reported that unrest at Taal continued during 11-18 May. Low-level background tremor that had begun at 0905 on 8 April continued, along with 0-201 daily low-frequency events, 2-355 daily volcanic earthquakes, and 0-249 periods of volcanic tremor with variable durations (1-35 minutes); seismicity was the lowest during 13-14 May. Most of the earthquakes were very shallow (less than 5 km deep) beneath Taal Volcano Island (TVI) and the NE part of Taal Lake. Upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the crater lake during most days was accompanied by steam plumes that were as tall as 300 m. On other days fumarolic plumes from vents in Main Crater rose 5-40 m. Almost-daily measurements of sulfur dioxide emissions were 2,214-3,758 tonnes/day, though a peak of 5,179 tonnes/day was recorded on 12 May and comparable to a 13 January 2020 measurement taken when the volcano was erupting. Tilt data showed a minor but abrupt inflation signal on 17 May; slow and steady inflation of the Taal region was recorded by multiple instruments after the January 2020 eruption. On 18 May PHIVOLCS noted the continuing state of elevated unrest, reminding the public that 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, Daang Kastila fissure (along the walking trail), and boating on Taal Lake 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.
Tengger Caldera, Eastern Java (Indonesia)
7.942°S, 112.95°E, Summit elev. 2329 m
PVMBG reported that during 14-17 May white-and-gray plumes rose as high as 500 m above the summit of Tengger Caldera’s Bromo cone and drifted in multiple directions. A sulfur odor was noted at the observation post. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and visitors were warned to stay outside of a 1-km radius of the crater.
Geological summary: The 16-km-wide Tengger caldera is located at the northern end of a volcanic massif extending from Semeru volcano. The massive volcanic complex dates back to about 820,000 years ago and consists of five overlapping stratovolcanoes, each truncated by a caldera. Lava domes, pyroclastic cones, and a maar occupy the flanks of the massif. The Ngadisari caldera at the NE end of the complex formed about 150,000 years ago and is now drained through the Sapikerep valley. The most recent of the calderas is the 9 x 10 km wide Sandsea caldera at the SW end of the complex, which formed incrementally during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. An overlapping cluster of post-caldera cones was constructed on the floor of the Sandsea caldera within the past several thousand years. The youngest of these is Bromo, one of Java's most active and most frequently visited volcanoes.
Ugashik-Peulik, United States
57.751°N, 156.368°W, Summit elev. 1474 m
On 12 May AVO changed the Aviation Color Code and Volcano Alert Level for Ugashik-Peulik to Green and Normal, respectively, reflecting that communication with seismic stations had been re-established, allowing for the location of earthquakes and detection of unrest.
Geological summary: The Ugashik-Peulik volcanic complex lies south of Becharof Lake and east of Upper Ugashik Lake. Late-Pleistocene caldera formation was followed by the emplacement of at least five Holocene lava domes within the 4.5-km-wide caldera. Most of the caldera walls consist of basement sandstones of Jurassic age. Following caldera formation the small, 3 km3 Peulik stratovolcano grew 2.5 km to the N. Lava flows from Peulik cover the caldera rim to the south and extend to Becharof Lake, 6 km N. A small lava dome on the E flank of Peulik was the source of a small block-and-ash flow. The summit of Peulik contains a 1.5-km-wide crater breached to the west that is partially filled by a lava dome. Debris-avalanche deposits cover a 75 km2 area to the NW. A single documented historical eruption took place from Peulik in 1814.
Ukinrek Maars, United States
57.832°N, 156.51°W, Summit elev. 91 m
On 12 May AVO changed the Aviation Color Code and Volcano Alert Level for Ukinrek-Maars to Green and Normal, respectively, reflecting that communication with seismic stations had been re-established, allowing for the location of earthquakes and detection of unrest.
Geological summary: Ukinrek Maars are two explosion craters that were created in an area without previous volcanic activity during a 10-day phreatomagmatic eruption March-April 1977. The basaltic maars were erupted through glacial deposits in the Bering Sea lowlands 1.5 km S of Becharof Lake and 12 km W of Peulik volcano; their location is related to the regional Bruin Bay fault. The elliptical West Maar, which was the first to form, is 105 x 170 m wide and 35 m deep. The other maar, 600 m to the east, is 300 m wide and 70 m deep. Both maars are now filled by crater lakes; the eastern lake encircles a 49-m-high lava dome that was emplaced at the end of the eruption. Base surges were directed primarily to the NW. Juvenile material from the Ukinrek eruptions was of mantle-derived olivine basaltic composition. The dacitic Gas Rocks lava domes, of Quaternary age, are located on the shores of Becharof Lake, 3 km N of Ukinrek maars and were the site of a phreatic eruption about 2,300 years ago.
Veniaminof, United States
56.17°N, 159.38°W, Summit elev. 2507 m
No eruptive activity at Veniaminof had been recorded in seismic or infrasound data since early April. On 12 May AVO changed both the Aviation Color Code and Volcano Alert Level to Unassigned, noting that several seismic station outages impeded the ability to detect seismic unrest at the volcano. Monitoring was ongoing based on the utilization of the remaining seismic stations, the regional infrasound networks, the detection of lightning, and satellite image monitoring.
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.
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
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!