The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: June 23 - 29, 2021

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: June 23 - 29, 2021

New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes from June 23 to 29, 2021. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 11 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica | Sarychev Peak, Matua Island (Russia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

Ongoing activity: Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Fuego, Guatemala | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Krysuvik-Trolladyngja, Iceland | Lewotolok, Lembata Island (Indonesia) | Manam, Papua New Guinea | Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Taal, Luzon (Philippines).

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

Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica

OVSICORI-UNA reported that at 0542 on 28 June an eruption at Rincón de la Vieja produced a steam-and-ash plume that rose 2 km above the crater rim and ejected material onto the flanks. Residents in Gavilan de Dos Ríos (7 km N and NNW) and Bromelias (6 km NNE) reported volcanic gas odors and ashfall. Lahars descended multiple drainages on the N flank.

Geological summary: Rincón de la Vieja, the largest volcano in NW Costa Rica, is a remote volcanic complex in the Guanacaste Range. The volcano consists of an elongated, arcuate NW-SE-trending ridge constructed within the 15-km-wide early Pleistocene Guachipelín caldera, whose rim is exposed on the south side. Sometimes known as the "Colossus of Guanacaste," it has an estimated volume of 130 km3 and contains at least nine major eruptive centers. Activity has migrated to the SE, where the youngest-looking craters are located. The twin cone of Santa María volcano, the highest peak of the complex, is located at the eastern end of a smaller, 5-km-wide caldera and has a 500-m-wide crater. A Plinian eruption producing the 0.25 km3 Río Blanca tephra about 3,500 years ago was the last major magmatic eruption. All subsequent eruptions, including numerous historical eruptions possibly dating back to the 16th century, have been from the prominent active crater containing a 500-m-wide acid lake located ENE of Von Seebach crater. This volcano is located within the Area de Conservación Guanacaste, a UNESCO World Heritage property.

Sarychev Peak, Matua Island (Russia)

SVERT reported that thermal anomalies over Sarychev Peak were identified in satellite images on 12, 23, 25, and 29 June. At 0020 on 30 June an ash plume was visible in satellite data rising 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting 30 km WNW. The Alert Level was raised to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) on 30 June.

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

Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

JMA reported that eruptive activity at Suwanosejima's Ontake Crater increased during 21-23 June with multiple events. Eruptive events at 2254 on 21 June and 0004 on 23 June ejected large incandescent bombs 900 m NW and SE (respectively) from the crater; eruption plumes rose 1.2 km above the crater rim. The increased activity prompted JMA to raise the Alert Level to 3 at 0015 on 23 June and warn the public to stay at least 2 m away from the active crater. During an overflight on 23 June scientists noted incandescence on the crater floor and that there were several high-temperature deposits scattered in and around the crater. White plumes rose 200-300 m above the crater rim. Multiple eruptive events during 23-28 June ejected bombs 600 m and produced ash plumes that rose as high as 2.3 km.

Geological summary: JMA reported that eruptive activity at Suwanosejima's Ontake Crater increased during 21-23 June with multiple events. Eruptive events at 2254 on 21 June and 0004 on 23 June ejected large incandescent bombs 900 m NW and SE (respectively) from the crater; eruption plumes rose 1.2 km above the crater rim. The increased activity prompted JMA to raise the Alert Level to 3 at 0015 on 23 June and warn the public to stay at least 2 m away from the active crater. During an overflight on 23 June scientists noted incandescence on the crater floor and that there were several high-temperature deposits scattered in and around the crater. White plumes rose 200-300 m above the crater rim. Multiple eruptive events during 23-28 June ejected bombs 600 m and produced ash plumes that rose as high as 2.3 km.

Ongoing activity

Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)

Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 23-29 June ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NW, and W. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Geological summary:  Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the north-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. This complex volcano presents a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of the summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia)

According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, explosions during 18-25 June produced ash plumes that rose as high as 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary:  The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.

Etna, Sicily (Italy)

INGV reported that there were nine episodes of lava fountaining at Etna’s Southeast Crater (SEC) during 21-27 June. The episodes were recorded shortly after midnight on 21 June, at dawn on 22 June, at dawn and sunset on 23 June, in the late morning on 24 June, at dawn and sunset on 25 June, in the afternoon on 26 June, and during the late morning of 27 June. Explosive activity was concentrated in the W part of SEC at three of the four saddle vents; some weak explosions occurred at the E vents. The episodes produced ash plumes that rose 5-10 km (16,400-32,800 ft) a.s.l. and lava flows that traveled SW and SE. Lava also began to effuse on 23 June from the vent on the SE flank of the SEC cone. INGV noted that these continuing episodes have caused the SEC cone to grow significantly, especially compared to the previous year, changing not only it’s morphology but the whole profile of Etna as well.

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. This volcano is located within the Mount Etna, a UNESCO World Heritage property.​

Fuego, Guatemala

INSIVUMEH reported that on 24 June lahars resulting from substantial rainfall descended the Las Lajas and El Jute drainages on Fuego’s ESE flank, carrying tree branches, trunks, and blocks as large as 1 m in diameter. During 23-29 June there were 4-15 explosions per hour, generating ash plumes as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim. Daily shock waves rattled buildings in towns around the volcano. Ashfall was reported daily in several areas downwind, including Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), La Rochela, El Zapote, and Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW). Block avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages, often reaching vegetated areas. Explosions ejected incandescent material 100-400 m above the summit each day.

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.

Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images on 23 June; the volcano was quiet or obscured by weather clouds on the other days during 18-25 June. 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.​​

Krysuvik-Trolladyngja, Iceland

The fissure eruption in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula, continued during 23-29 June. Lava fountaining and overflows from the fifth vent were periodically visible, and lava from the crater flowed in tubes as well as on the surface. The Institute of Earth Sciences noted that during 11-26 June the lava effusion rate averaged 13 cubic meters per second, which was high but similar to rates during May. The area of the flow field had grown to 3.82 square kilometers, and the total volume erupted was 80 million cubic meters. Lava flows thickened 10-15 m in the Meradalir Valley, 15 m in the Nátthaga Valley, and 20 m in the S and E part of Geldingadalur. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange due to the lack of ash and tephra emissions, though IMO warned of the potential for lapilli and scoria fallout within a 650 m radius of the active vent. 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.

Lewotolok, Lembata Island (Indonesia)

PVMBG reported that daily white-and-gray plumes from Lewotolok during 22-29 June rose as high as 600 m and drifted W. 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.​​

Manam, Papua New Guinea

The Darwin VAAC reported that on 23 June ash plumes from Manam rose to 2.1-2.4 km (7,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, WNW, and NW.

Geological summary:  The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These valleys channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most observed eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.​​

Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia)

BPPTKG reported that the lava dome just below Merapi’s SW rim and the lava dome in the summit crater both continued to grow during 18-24 June. The SW rim lava-dome volume was an estimated 1.59 million cubic meters by 24 June, with a growth rate of 11,400 cubic meters per day, and continued to shed material down the flank. A total of 17 pyroclastic flows traveled a maximum of 2.5 km down the SW flank and five traveled 1.4 km SE. Incandescent avalanches, recorded 206 times, traveled as far as 2 km down the SW flank and 600 m SE. The summit lava dome grew taller by 0.5 m. Beginning at 0443 on 25 June a series of three pyroclastic flows traveled 3 km down the SE flank and produced ash plumes that rose 1 km above the summit and drifted SE. Several towns to the SE reported ashfall. 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.​​

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 18-25 June. The newest lava block (named “Dolphin-2”) that had extruded from the top of the lava dome in February was about 200 m tall and 170 m wide at the base on 16 June; the top was slowly crumbling. 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.

Taal, Luzon (Philippines)

PHIVOLCS reported that unrest at Taal continued during 22-29 June. Low-level background tremor continued with as many as 10 volcanic earthquake per day. As many as three low-frequency volcanic earthquakes were detected during 23-26 June and 0-3 episodes of volcanic tremor during 23-27 June lasted two minutes to two hours. Upwelling of hot volcanic fluids in the crater lake produced steam-and-gas plumes that rose as high as 2.1 km and drifted in multiple directions. Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 2,284-5,129 tonnes/day. In a special report issued on 28 June PHIVOLCS warned that public that the high levels of sulfur dioxide, the gas-and-steam plumes rising as high as 3 km above the lake’s surface, and weather conditions had caused vog over the Taal Caldera region. They issued another special statement on 29 June noting that on 28 June sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 14,326 tonnes/day, the highest rate ever recorded at Taal. Voggy conditions persisted, mainly impacting the NE and E lakeshore communities, with some residents reporting adverse effects. 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.​​

Source: GVP


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