The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: August 18 - 24, 2021

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: August 18 - 24, 2021

New activity/unrest was reported for 6 volcanoes from August 18 to 24, 2021. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 20 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Chirinkotan, Kuril Islands (Russia) | Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba, Volcano Islands (Japan) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Krysuvik-Trolladyngja, Iceland | Pavlof, United States | Whakaari/White Island, North Island (New Zealand).

Ongoing activity: Atka, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Fuego, Guatemala | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Kadovar, Papua New Guinea | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Lewotolok, Lembata Island (Indonesia) | Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia) | Pacaya, Guatemala | Reventador, Ecuador | Sangay, Ecuador | Santa Maria, Guatemala | Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Taal, Luzon (Philippines) | Tengger Caldera, Eastern Java (Indonesia).

New activity/unrest

Chirinkotan, Kuril Islands (Russia)

48.98°N, 153.48°E, Summit elev. 724 m

SVERT and KVERT reported that moderate eruptive activity continued at Chirinkotan during 14-23 August, characterized by explosions and ash plumes that rose to 2.5-4.5 km (4,900-9,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 125 km S, E, SE, and SW. At 1110 on 18 August an explosion produced an ash plume, 20 x 27 km in size, that rose to 2-3 km (6,600-9,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 7 km NE and as far as 100 km SE. An explosion at 0935 on 23 August rose to 1.5-2.5 km (4,900-8,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 8 km SW and later, as far as 126 km W. The Tokyo VAAC reported ash plumes to 2.7-4.9 km (9,000-16,000 ft) a.s.l. that drifted S, NE, and SW during 18 and 23 August. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geologic summary: The small, mostly unvegetated 3-km-wide island of Chirinkotan occupies the far end of an E-W volcanic chain that extends nearly 50 km W of the central part of the main Kuril Islands arc. It is the emergent summit of a volcano that rises 3000 m from the floor of the Kuril Basin. A small 1-km-wide caldera about 300-400 m deep is open to the SW. Lava flows from a cone within the breached crater reached the shore of the island. Historical eruptions have been recorded since the 18th century. Lava flows were observed by the English fur trader Captain Snow in the 1880s.

Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba, Volcano Islands (Japan)

24.285°N, 141.481°E, Summit elev. -29 m

The Japan Coast Guard reported that the eruption at Fukutoku-Oka-no-Ba continued during 16-22 August. Gas-and-steam emissions continued to be observed from the center of the island on 16 August. The pumice raft that was first identified on 15 August had expanded to about 100 km to the WNW and was about 13 km wide. Brown discoloration was visible surrounding the new island, which had a variable shape but a consistent diameter of 1 km by 16 August. A local fisherman in the Ogasawara Islands who was fishing in South Iwo Jima (5 km NNE) posted photos and videos on 17, 20, and 22 August that showed strong white gas-and-steam plumes rising above the volcano. On 20 August lightning was visible within the gas-and-steam plume. On 22 August the plume was observed during 0430-0630.

Geological summary: Fukutoku-Oka-no-ba is a submarine volcano located 5 km NE of the pyramidal island of Minami-Ioto. Water discoloration is frequently observed from the volcano, and several ephemeral islands have formed in the 20th century. The first of these formed Shin-Ioto ("New Sulfur Island") in 1904, and the most recent island was formed in 1986. The volcano is part of an elongated edifice with two major topographic highs trending NNW-SSE, and is a trachyandesitic volcano geochemically similar to Ioto.

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)

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

HVO reported that a swarm of earthquakes beneath the S part of Kilauea that began at 1630 on 23 August continued into the early morning of 24 August. The earthquake swarm increased in intensity at 0130 and was accompanied by an increase in the rate of ground deformation to the W of the swarm, as recorded by the Sandhill tiltmeter. This possibly indicated that there was magma movement 1-2 km beneath the S part of the caldera. Over 140 earthquakes were recorded during 24 August, the largest of which was an Mw 3.3; a majority of them were less than Mw 1. Small earthquakes continued at a rate of at least 10 earthquakes per hour through 24 August. As a result, the Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level were raised to Orange and Watch, respectively.

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.

Krysuvik-Trolladyngja, Iceland

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

The fissure eruption in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula, continued during 18-24 August, though weather often obscured the view of the vents. During 18-19 August new lava flows were observed overflowing the SW and NE crater rims and traveling S, E, and SE in the Geldingadalur and Meradalir valleys. Gas-and-steam plumes often accompanied these flows. On 20 August a large collapse from the inner crater rim was observed in video images (Langihryggur camera), generating some ash emissions. Lava flows traveled toward the Nàtthagi valley during 21-24 August, based on webcam data. Video taken during 21-22 August showed some lava fountaining and flows overflowing the sides of the main cone, accompanied by white gas-and-steam emissions. 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 also warned of 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.

Pavlof, United States

55.417°N, 161.894°W, Summit elev. 2493 m

AVO reported that occasional small explosions and elevated seismicity at Pavlof were detected in geophysical data during 18-19 August; clouds often obscured the view of the volcano. Observations from webcams and pilots indicated minor low-level ash emissions during 18-19 August. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were frequently detected during 18-22 August in the active vent based on satellite and webcam data. The Volcano Alert Level and Aviation Color Code remained at Watch and Orange, respectively.

Geological summary: The most active volcano of the Aleutian arc, Pavlof is a 2519-m-high Holocene stratovolcano that was constructed along a line of vents extending NE from the Emmons Lake caldera. Pavlof and its twin volcano to the NE, 2142-m-high Pavlof Sister, form a dramatic pair of symmetrical, glacier-covered stratovolcanoes that tower above Pavlof and Volcano bays. A third cone, Little Pavlof, is a smaller volcano on the SW flank of Pavlof volcano, near the rim of Emmons Lake caldera. Unlike Pavlof Sister, Pavlof has been frequently active in historical time, typically producing Strombolian to Vulcanian explosive eruptions from the summit vents and occasional lava flows. The active vents lie near the summit on the north and east sides. The largest historical eruption took place in 1911, at the end of a 5-year-long eruptive episode, when a fissure opened on the N flank, ejecting large blocks and issuing lava flows.

Whakaari/White Island, North Island (New Zealand)

37.52°S, 177.18°E, Summit elev. 294 m

GeoNet maintained the Volcanic Alert Level at 2 and the Aviation Color Code at Yellow for Whakaari/White Island. A volcanic earthquake was recorded at 1900 on 19 August that continued for ten minutes; other seismic activity has been minor. Webcam images showed some incandescence during the night, which suggested that temperatures in the vent area were likely 500-600°C. On 22 August at 0740 a period of minor ash emissions was observed from the active vent area that lasted for two minutes, based on webcam images. Low levels of ground deformation around the active vent and lake area were identified in satellite radar data.

Geological summary: The uninhabited Whakaari/White Island is the 2 x 2.4 km emergent summit of a 16 x 18 km submarine volcano in the Bay of Plenty about 50 km offshore of North Island. The island consists of two overlapping andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcanoes. The SE side of the crater is open at sea level, with the recent activity centered about 1 km from the shore close to the rear crater wall. Volckner Rocks, sea stacks that are remnants of a lava dome, lie 5 km NW. Descriptions of volcanism since 1826 have included intermittent moderate phreatic, phreatomagmatic, and Strombolian eruptions; activity there also forms a prominent part of Maori legends. The formation of many new vents during the 19th and 20th centuries caused rapid changes in crater floor topography. Collapse of the crater wall in 1914 produced a debris avalanche that buried buildings and workers at a sulfur-mining project. Explosive activity in December 2019 took place while tourists were present, resulting in many fatalities. The official government name Whakaari/White Island is a combination of the full Maori name of Te Puia o Whakaari ("The Dramatic Volcano") and White Island (referencing the constant steam plume) given by Captain James Cook in 1769.

Ongoing activity

Atka, Andreanof Islands (USA)

52.331°N, 174.139°W, Summit elev. 1448 m

AVO reported that small earthquakes and seismic tremors at Atka continued to be detected, though at near background levels during 18-24 August. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level at Advisory.

Geological summary: The largest volcanic center in the central Aleutians, Atka consists of a central shield and Pleistocene caldera with several post-caldera volcanoes. A major dacitic explosive eruption accompanied formation of the caldera about 500,000 to 300,000 years ago. The most prominent of the post-caldera stratovolcanoes are Kliuchef and Sarichef, both of which may have been active in historical time. Sarichef has a symmetrical profile, but the less eroded Kliuchef is the source of most if not all historical eruptions. Kliuchef may have been active on occasion simultaneously with Korovin volcano to the north. Hot springs and fumaroles are located on the flanks of Mount Kliuchef and in a glacial valley SW of Kliuchef. This volcano is located within the Aleutian Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.

Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia)

50.686°N, 156.014°E, Summit elev. 1103 m

According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, and the Tokyo VAAC, explosions continued during 14-20 August and produced ash plumes that rose as high as 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l and drifted S, SE, E, and NE. Thermal anomalies were detected in satellite imagery on 13 and 14 August. On 25 August an explosion produced an ash plume that rose to 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 10 km 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.

Fuego, Guatemala

14.473°N, 90.88°W, Summit elev. 3763 m

INSIVUMEH reported that 6-13 explosions per hour were recorded during 18-25 August at Fuego, though the weather sometimes prevented visual confirmation. The resulting ash plumes rose to 4.5-4.8 km (14,800-15,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 15 km W, SW, S, and NW, causing daily ashfall downwind in Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Yucales (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), and Yepocapa (8 km NW). White gas-and-steam plumes rose to 4.5 km (14,764 ft) a.s.l. on 19 and 25 August. Shock waves often rattled buildings around the volcano as far as 15 km from the summit. Block avalanches accompanied the explosions, descending the Santa Teresa, Ceniza (SSW), Taniluyá (SW), Trinidad (S), Seca (W), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages, sometimes reaching vegetated areas. Incandescent ejecta was visible rising 100-400 m above the summit during the nights and early mornings of 20-23 August.

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.

Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)

52.076°N, 176.13°W, Summit elev. 1740 m

AVO reported that the lava dome at Great Sitkin remained active during 17-24 August; satellite imagery showed changes from a diameter of 800 m on 17 August to 850-860 m throughout 18-21 August. Elevated surface temperatures and daily small earthquakes were consistent with an active dome. Gas-and-steam plumes were visible to local ground observers and in satellite imagery during 20-22 and 24 August. The Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Orange and Watch, respectively.

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. This volcano is located within the Aleutian Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.

Ibu, Halmahera (Indonesia)

1.488°N, 127.63°E, Summit elev. 1325 m

PVMBG reported that during 18-24 August gray-and-white ash plumes from Ibu rose 200-800 m above the summit and drifted N, W, and NW. On 18 August at 0810 an ash plume rose 800 m above the summit and drifted W. A thermal anomaly was visible in satellite images during 22-23 August, according to the Darwin VAAC. The Alert Level remained at a 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.

Kadovar, Papua New Guinea

3.608°S, 144.588°E, Summit elev. 365 m

Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 19 August an ash plume from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.

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

Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)

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

KVERT reported that ash emissions from Karymsky were observed in satellite data during 14-20 August; gas-and-steam plumes containing some ash were also noted. The Tokyo VAAC reported that multiple ash plumes rose to 2.4-3.4 km (8,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE, SW, S, and E during 17-21 August. On 19 August an explosion produced an ash plume that rose 2-2.5 km (6,600-8,200 ft) a.s.l and drifted 60 km ESE. Ash plumes during 19-20 August rose to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite imagery all week. 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.

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 20 August ash plumes from Langila rose to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted WNW. A thermal anomaly was observed at the summit based on satellite imagery on 20 August.

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 daily white, gray, and sometimes black plumes from Lewotolok rose 50-1,500 m above the summit and drifted SW, NW, and W during 18-24 August. Eruptive activity on 18 and 22 August generated an ash plume that rose 1 and 1.5 km above the summit, respectively, both of which drifted W. Material was ejected as far as 500 m SE on 18 August. On 22 August at 1244 an ash plume was reported 1.5 km above the summit and drifted generally 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.

Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia)

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

BPPTKG reported that both the lava dome just below Merapi’s SW rim and the lava dome in the summit crater remained active during 13-19 August. Webcam images showed some changes in the SW dome due to lava avalanches and pyroclastic flows; there were no significant changes in the central dome. The volume of the SW lava dome was 1.35 million cubic meters. During 13-19 August a total of 20 pyroclastic flows were observed descending the SW flank as far as 3.5 km. Lava avalanches were observed 172 times to the SW, traveling up to 2 km. BNPB noted that ashfall was reported in several areas on 16 August, including Dukun, Sawangan, Tegalrejo, Secang, Gowok, Mertoyudan, Selo, Mojotengah, Temanggung, Kedu, Pringsurat, Bulu, Tlogomulyo, Kranggan, and Parakan. PVMBG reported that during 18-19 and 23-24 August white plumes rose 20-200 m above the crater and drifted in different directions. As many as 331 lava avalanches traveled a maximum distance of 1.5 km SW. Two pyroclastic flows moved as far as 2 km, though the direction was not observed. The Alert Level remained at a 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.

Pacaya, Guatemala

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

INSIVUMEH reported that white-to-blue gas-and-steam emissions rose as high as 600 m above Pacaya’s Mackenney crater and drifted as far as 2 km S, SW, and N during 18-25 August. Seismic stations recorded some weak explosion and degassing events on 18 August.

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.

Reventador, Ecuador

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

IG reported that several ash emissions from Reventador during 18-24 August rose 500-1,400 m above the summit and drifted NW, W, SW, and S; sometimes weather conditions prevented visual confirmation. Seismicity was characterized by daily explosions, harmonic tremor, long-period earthquakes, and signals that indicated emissions. The Washington VAAC reported gas-and-steam and ash plumes to 1.4 km above the summit that drifted W, NW, and SW, often observed multiple times per day in satellite imagery or webcams. Nighttime crater incandescence was frequently observed, accompanied by incandescent blocks rolling down the NE, E, and S flanks as far as 600 m. A lava flow was reported traveling down the NE flank during 17-18 August.

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.

Sangay, Ecuador

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

IG reported gas-and-ash emissions from Sangay rising 500-1,500 m above the summit that drifted W and SW during 19-20 and 24 August. During 20-23 August gas-and-steam plume rose 1-2 km above the summit and drifted W, SW, and NW. Weather clouds and rain sometimes prevented visual and webcam observations of the volcano. Ash plumes were identified in satellite images by the Washington VAAC, rising 570-1,500 m above the volcano and drifting W and SW during 19-21 and 23-24 August. During the evening on 19 August explosions accompanied by incandescent blocks were reported around 1852 rolling down the SE drainage. Signals indicating lahars were recorded by the seismic network during 18-19 and 22-23 August.

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. This volcano is located within the Sangay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage property.

Santa Maria, Guatemala

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

INSIVUMEH reported that daily ash plumes from Santa Maria’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex during 18-25 August rose to 2.8-3.5 km (9,200-11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 8 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in San Marcos (8 km SW), Loma Linda Palajunoj (6 km WSW), and surrounding farms on 24 August. An active lava flow 600 m long extended down the W and S flanks of the dome during 18-24 August. Collapses of blocky lava from the Caliente dome generated block-and-ash avalanches down the W, S, and SW flanks, often reaching the base and causing minor ashfall on the flanks. Weak explosions accompanied these avalanches on 21 August and generated abundant gas-and-steam emissions. Nighttime incandescence was often observed from the lava flow and dome.

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 a vertical gray-and-white plume from Semeru rose 400-500 m above the summit and drifted SW on 19 August. This eruption continued during 20-24 August, but the height of the plume was not observed due to cloud cover. 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. This volcano is located within the Bromo Tengger Semeru-Arjuno, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.

Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA)

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

AVO reported that multiple explosions and seismicity at Semisopochnoi's North Cerberus crater continued during 18-24 August. Low-level gas-and-ash emissions, including occasional sulfur dioxide emissions were detected in satellite and webcam data during 18-24 August and rose no higher than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.; views were often obscured due to weather. On 20 August minor ashfall deposits were reported; ashfall may have continued following explosive events during the rest of the week. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch.

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. This volcano is located within the Aleutian Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

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

KVERT reported that the growth of the lava dome at Sheveluch continued during 14-24 August, accompanied by strong fumarolic activity, dome incandescence, and hot avalanches. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite imagery all week. Gas-and-steam plumes containing some ash drifted 370 km SW, E, and SE. On 21 and 24 August ash plumes rose to 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 86 km SE and 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted as far as 100 km SE, respectively. The Tokyo VAAC reported ash plumes during 17-25 August that rose to 3.7-5.5 km (12,000-18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, S, SE. 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.

Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

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

JMA reported that explosions at Suwanosejima's Ontake crater were detected on 19, 20, and 21 August. The first explosion at 0137 on 19 August produced an ash plume that rose 3 km above the crater and drifted NE, followed by another at 1613 that generated an ash plume 2.2 km above the crater and drifted N. A small amount of ashfall was reported in Yakushima, Nishinoomote, and Nakatane. A third explosion at 2059 that day produced an ash plume that rose 2.5 km above the crater and drifted N; ashfall was reported in Toshima village (4 km SSW). Explosions at 0628 and 0713 on 20 August generated ash plumes that rose 2.5-3 km above the crater and drifted N, resulting in ashfall in Toshima village, with smaller amounts of ash in Yakushima, Mishima, Ibusuki, Minamikyushu, and Makurazaki. On 21 August at 0617 an explosion generated an ash plume that rose 3.2 km above the crater and drifted N. A large amount of ashfall (over 1 mm) was reported in Toshima village and smaller amounts (less than 0.1 mm) were reported in Makurazaki, Minamisatsuma, Minamikyushu, Kagoshima, Ibusuki, and Hioki. A second explosion followed at 0906 that produced an ash plume 3.2 km above the crater that drifted N. The Tokyo VAAC reported ash plumes to 1.5-3.9 km (5,000-13,000 ft) altitude that drifted NE during 18-25 August. 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 gas-and-steam plumes from Taal rose 1-3 km and sulfur dioxide emissions peaked at 15,347 tonnes/day on 19 August and declined to an average of 8,351 tonnes/day during 13-19 August. The Volcano Alert Level remained at a 2 (on a scale of 0-5). PHIVOLCS reminded the public that the entire Taal Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

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 18-24 August white gas-and-steam plumes rose 50-400 m above Tengger Caldera’s Bromo cone and drifted SW, W, and NW. A weak thermal anomaly was visible in Sentinel-2 infrared satellite images on 23 August. 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. This volcano is located within the Bromo Tengger Semeru-Arjuno, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.

Source: GVP


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