The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: September 1 – 7, 2021


New activity/unrest was reported for 5 volcanoes from September 1 to 7, 2021. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 14 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Askja, Iceland | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Pagan, Mariana Islands (USA) | Pavlof, United States | Whakaari/White Island, North Island (New Zealand).

Ongoing activity: Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Fuego, Guatemala | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Grimsvotn, Iceland | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Krysuvik-Trolladyngja, Iceland | Lewotolok, Lembata Island (Indonesia) | Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia) | Popocatepetl, Mexico | Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Telica, Nicaragua.

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

Askja, Iceland

65.033°N, 16.783°W, Summit elev. 1080 m

On 3 September IMO reported that inflation at Askja had begun in early August based on ground deformation data derived from satellite images and continuous GPS data. The uplift was centered at the W edge of Oskjuvatn caldera and vertically deformed at a rate of about 5 cm per month. Data indicated that the source of the inflation was at a depth of about 3 km and caused a volume change of about 0.01 cubic kilometers per month; the source was unknown, though most likely was caused by an influx of magma. The Aviation Color Code remained at Green.

Geological summary: Askja is a large basaltic central volcano that forms the Dyngjufjöll massif. It is truncated by three overlapping calderas, the largest of which is 8 km wide and may have been produced primarily from subglacial ring-fracture eruptions rather than by subsidence. A major rhyolitic explosive eruption from Dyngjufjöll about 10,000 years ago was in part associated with the formation of Askja caldera. Many postglacial eruptions also occurred along the ring-fracture. A major explosive eruption on the SE caldera margin in 1875 was one of Iceland's largest during historical time. It resulted in the formation of a smaller 4.5-km-wide caldera, now filled by Öskjuvatn lake, that truncates the rim of the larger central caldera. The 100-km-long Askja fissure swarm, which includes the Sveinagja graben, is also related to the Askja volcanic system, as are several small shield volcanoes such as Kollatadyngja. Twentieth-century eruptions have produced lava flows from vents located mostly near Öskjuvatn lake.

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)

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

HVO reported that ground deformation beneath the S part of Kilauea's summit ceased on 30 August and the earthquake rate decreased during 30-31 August. The data suggested that a magma intrusion had slowed or stopped. Earthquake rates and ground deformation remained near pre-intrusion levels through 7 September. The Volcano Alert Level and Aviation Color Code remained at Advisory and Yellow, 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.

Pagan, Mariana Islands (USA)

18.13°N, 145.8°E, Summit elev. 570 m

Continuous gas-and-ash plumes from Pagan were observed in satellite images for most of 1 September, prompting the USGS to raise the Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Orange/Watch, respectively. The plumes drifted 150 km NW and SW at an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. The emissions briefly paused at 2300 and then resumed; satellite images acquired the next morning, on 2 September, showed gas-and-ash plumes drifting 650 km. A plume of ash and sulfur dioxide was identified in satellite data, drifting 150 km W at an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. early on 3 September. Ash deposits in and around the crater and on downwind parts of the island were observed in 4 September images. During 4-6 September gas-and-ash plumes rose to 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted at least 400 km W. Sulfur dioxide emissions were observed in satellite data on 6 September; ash emissions paused sometimes during 6-7 September as activity declined. A robust steam plume possibly containing a minor amount of ash was visible in satellite data on 7 September drifting 24 km W at an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l.

Geological summary: Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Mariana Islands volcanoes, consists of two stratovolcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. Both North and South Pagan stratovolcanoes were constructed within calderas, 7 and 4 km in diameter, respectively. North Pagan at the NE end of the island rises above the flat floor of the northern caldera, which may have formed less than 1,000 years ago. South Pagan is a stratovolcano with an elongated summit containing four distinct craters. Almost all of the recorded eruptions, which date back to the 17th century, have originated from North Pagan. The largest eruption during historical time took place in 1981 and prompted the evacuation of the sparsely populated island.

Pavlof, United States

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

AVO reported that seismicity at Pavlof was low, though elevated above background levels during 31 August-7 September. Inclement weather sometime prevented satellite and webcam views of the volcano. A sulfur dioxide plume was visible in satellite images on 2 September. 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 reported that beginning at 0630 on 2 September minor ash emissions from the active vent at Whakaari/White Island were visible in webcam images. The emissions were observed in satellite images drifting SW and reaching the Bay of Plenty coastline. GeoNet noted that short episodes of minor ash emissions had been recorded during the previous few weeks, though none were as sustained as the 2 September episode. Minor ash emissions were also recorded on 3 September, but then ceased. The webcam continued to record nighttime incandescence from the vent, at least through 6 September, suggesting that temperatures were likely 500-600°C. Steam-and-gas plumes were voluminous, and coupled with weather conditions, were easily visible from the coast. Deformation measurement showed a broad area of subsidence around the vent area, possibly from the release of pressurized gas at depth and the more voluminous plumes. Additionally, the ash emissions may have possibly been caused by wall fragments falling into the vent. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

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

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, explosions during 28-29 August produced ash plumes that rose as high as 1.9 km (6,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and E. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

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

Fuego, Guatemala

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

INSIVUMEH reported that 7-15 explosions per hour were recorded during 31 August-7 September at Fuego, generating ash plumes as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim and shock waves that often rattled buildings around the volcano. Ash plumes mostly drifted as far as 15 km SW, W, NW, and N, causing daily ashfall in several areas downwind, including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Yucales (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Finca Palo Verde, Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), and San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW). 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 100-350 m above the summit on most days. On 1 September lahars descended the SE, S, and SW flanks (the Las Lajas, El Jute, and Seca drainages), carrying fine material along with tree branches and blocks 2 m in diameter. Lahars descended the El Jute, Las Lajas, and Ceniza drainages during 6-7 September.

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 elevated surface temperatures at Great Sitkin and daily small earthquakes were detected during 31 August-7 September, consistent with the growing lava dome. Gas plumes were observed almost daily in satellite data. 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.

Grimsvotn, Iceland

64.416°N, 17.316°W, Summit elev. 1719 m

On 1 September the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) stated that the water level of the Skaftá river at Sveinstindur (the closest gauging station at 28 km downstream from the ice margin) rose, suggesting the beginning of a Skaftárhlaup or glacial outburst flood (also called a jökulhlaup), that originated from Grímsvötn's Western Skaftá caldera. A sulfur odor was also noted in the vicinity of Skaftá and Hverfisfljót. IMO warned that hydrogen sulfide released from the floodwater as it drained from the caldera lake was particularly potent at the river outlet from the ice margin, where concentrations may reach toxic levels. The flow rate in the Skaftá peaked at 520 cubic meters per second downstream near the bridge at Eldvatn on 2 September and then declined to 412 cubic meters per second in the afternoon of 3 September. As a result, the ice shelf began to subside around 2300 on 4 September, dropping 1 m by 1145 the next morning, based on GPS data. On 6 September the discharge rate increased rapidly and peaked at 610 cubic meters per second at 1400, then declined later that day. Data suggested that the peak discharge rate on 6 September was due to a second release of water from the eastern part of the caldera lake. On 7 September the flow rate had increased to 520 cubic meters per second. Based on an overflight IMO concluded that the glacial flooding from both the E and W parts of the lake was smaller in volume and flow rates compared to a similar event in 2018.

Geological summary: Grímsvötn, Iceland's most frequently active volcano in historical time, lies largely beneath the vast Vatnajökull icecap. The caldera lake is covered by a 200-m-thick ice shelf, and only the southern rim of the 6 x 8 km caldera is exposed. The geothermal area in the caldera causes frequent jökulhlaups (glacier outburst floods) when melting raises the water level high enough to lift its ice dam. Long NE-SW-trending fissure systems extend from the central volcano. The most prominent of these is the noted Laki (Skaftar) fissure, which extends to the SW and produced the world's largest known historical lava flow during an eruption in 1783. The 15-cu-km basaltic Laki lavas were erupted over a 7-month period from a 27-km-long fissure system. Extensive crop damage and livestock losses caused a severe famine that resulted in the loss of one-fifth of the population of Iceland.

Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)

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

KVERT reported that ash plumes from Karymsky were visible in satellite images drifting 50 km NE and E during 26-27 August, and a thermal anomaly over the volcano was visible every day during 26 August -2 September except for on 29 August. 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

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, paused on 2 September. Steam-and-gas emissions were seen rising from the crater during 2-7 September. 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 emission 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)

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

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 31 August-7 September. White and gray plumes rose as high as 600 m above the summit and drifted W and NW. Rumbling and banging were heard on most days. Incandescent material was ejected 300 m on 1 September, as far as 1 km SE during 4-5 September, and 200 m during 6-7 September. 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 of Merapi's two lava domes, situated just below the SW rim and in the summit crater, continued to grow during 27 August-2 September. The SW dome grew 2 m taller and had an estimated volume of 1.44 million cubic meters and the summit lava dome grew 1 m taller and had an estimated volume of 2.84 million cubic meters. A total of six pyroclastic flows descended the SW flank as far as 2.5 km; as many as 80 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km SW. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay 3-5 km away from the summit based on location.

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.

Popocatepetl, Mexico

19.023°N, 98.622°W, Summit elev. 5393 m

CENAPRED reported that each day during 31 August-7 September there were 66-102 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl. Cloudy weather often prevented views of the volcano. Crater incandescence was visible during the morning of 1 September and explosions were recorded at 2135, 2254, and 2345 later that same day. The Washington VAAC noted that ash plumes rose to 5.8-6.1 km (19,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and W during 5-6 September based on satellite and webcam views. Explosions were recorded by CENAPRED at 1642 on 5 September and 0820 on 6 September. Emissions had a low ash content during 6-7 September; explosions occurred at 0212 and 0414 on 7 September. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-color scale).

Geological summary: Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since Pre-Columbian time.

Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia)

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

PVMBG reported that at 0544 on 2 September an observer saw an ash plume from Semeru rising 200 m above the summit and drifting SW. At 0549 on 6 September an ash plume rose 500 m and drifted N. 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 eruptive activity at Semisopochnoi's North Cerberus crater continued during 31 August-7 September. Multiple daily explosions were detected by seismic and infrasound networks. Ash-and-steam plumes from the explosions were sometimes confirmed in satellite and webcam images rising to altitudes lower than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l., though during 6-7 September ash plumes rose as high as 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. Local ashfall on the island was visible in satellite data. Sulfur dioxide emissions were detected in satellite images during 31 August-2 September and on 6 September. 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.

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 27 August-3 September. A gas-and-steam plume with some ash was visible in satellite data drifting 54 km NE and NW on 26 and 28 August. 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 three explosions at Suwanosejima's Ontake Crater produced eruption plumes that rose as high as 4.8 km above the crater rim during 27 August-3 September. Large volcanic bombs were ejected 700 m from the crater. Crater incandescence was visible nightly and ashfall was often reported in Toshima village (4 km SSW). 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.

Telica, Nicaragua

12.606°N, 86.84°W, Summit elev. 1036 m

INETER reported that at 0525 on 1 September an explosion at Telica produced an ash plume that rose 250 m above the crater rim and drifted N and NW. Emissions periodically continued later that day, without explosions, and caused minor ashfall in areas to the NW, W, and SW including in the communities of Aguas Frías, San Pedro Nuevo, and Las Marías (7 km NNW).

Geological summary: Telica, one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, has erupted frequently since the beginning of the Spanish era. This volcano group consists of several interlocking cones and vents with a general NW alignment. Sixteenth-century eruptions were reported at symmetrical Santa Clara volcano at the SW end of the group. However, its eroded and breached crater has been covered by forests throughout historical time, and these eruptions may have originated from Telica, whose upper slopes in contrast are unvegetated. The steep-sided cone of Telica is truncated by a 700-m-wide double crater; the southern crater, the source of recent eruptions, is 120 m deep. El Liston, immediately E, has several nested craters. The fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Hervideros de San Jacinto, SE of Telica, form a prominent geothermal area frequented by tourists, and geothermal exploration has occurred nearby.


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 September-7 September 2021 Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

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Stay kind, vigilant and ready!

$5 /month

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

$50 /year

$10 /month

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

$100 /year

$25 /month

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

$200 /year

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

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