The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: January 19 – 25, 2022


New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes from January 19 to 25, 2022. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 17 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Ambrym, Vanuatu | Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, Tonga Islands | Wolf, Isla Isabela (Ecuador).

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Kanlaon, Philippines | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia) | Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska | Reventador, Ecuador | Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica | Santa Maria, Southwestern Guatemala | Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Taal, Luzon (Philippines) | Turrialba, Costa Rica.

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

Ambrym, Vanuatu

16.25°S, 168.12°E, Summit elev. 1334 m

On 25 January the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) raised the Alert Level for Ambrym to 2 (on a scale of 0-5) due to a significant increase in activity beginning at around 0400. Steam emissions rose from Marum Crater, and at 0515 a steam, gas, and ash plume rose from Benbow Crater. Satellite data recorded increased sulfur dioxide emissions from Benbow, and residents of Ambrym and surrounding islands reported seeing incandescence from crater overnight. VMGD warned the public to stay outside of the Permanent Danger Zone A defined as a 1-km radius around Benbow Crater and a 2-km radius around Marum Crater, and additionally to stay 500 m away from the ground cracks created by the December 2018 eruption.

Geological summary: Ambrym, a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera, is one of the most active volcanoes of the New Hebrides Arc. A thick, almost exclusively pyroclastic sequence, initially dacitic then basaltic, overlies lava flows of a pre-caldera shield volcano. The caldera was formed during a major Plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1,900 years ago. Post-caldera eruptions, primarily from Marum and Benbow cones, have partially filled the caldera floor and produced lava flows that ponded on the floor or overflowed through gaps in the caldera rim. Post-caldera eruptions have also formed a series of scoria cones and maars along a fissure system oriented ENE-WSW. Eruptions have apparently occurred almost yearly during historical time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents. However, from 1850 to 1950, reporting was mostly limited to extra-caldera eruptions that would have affected local populations.

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai, Tonga Islands

20.536°S, 175.382°W, Summit elev. 114 m

No additional eruptive events were detected at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai after the large and explosive eruption on 15 January. The gas, steam, and ash plume produced during that eruption rose into the stratosphere and drifted W. Based on volcanic ash advisories issued by the Wellington VAAC and then by the Darwin VAAC, the horizontal extent of the plume grew from 18,000 square kilometers at 1739 on 15 January to 12 million square kilometers by 1300 on 19 January. The plume narrowed and lengthened along an E-W axis, moving W over Australia. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green on 19 January. According to the Darwin VAAC the plume continued to drift W at altitudes between 12.8 and 19.2 km (42,000 and 63,000 ft) a.s.l. during 19-22 January; the ash was diffuse and difficult to distinguish from meteorological clouds, though the sulfur dioxide signal was stronger. By 22 January the leading-edge of the plume had reached the E coast of Africa. By 2150 the Darwin VAAC noted that ash was no longer detectable.

Tsunami waves generated by the 15 January eruption caused an oil spill near at the La Pampilla refinery along Peru’s coast, affecting a 38-km-stretch of beach from Ventanilla to Peralvillo Beach in Chancay, according to Peru’s Agency for Environmental Assessment and Enforcement (OEFA). An estimated 6,000 barrels of oil were spilled, significantly impacting an estimated 180 hectares of beach, almost 715 hectares of ocean, and local fisherman.

In a media release on 21 January, the Government of Tonga reported that ashfall and tsunami had damaged all islands. International humanitarian aid had reached the islands the day before, five days after the eruption ceased. Inter-island and international communication remained challenging though was partially restored; a relief flight from New Zealand brought telecommunication equipment and a repair vessel was en-route to the damaged seafloor fiber-optic cable. Floating debris, likely including pumice, hindered sea transportation. Domestic flights remained suspended, though international flights carrying relief supplies were able to land and aerial surveys of damage were conducted. According to a social media post from 23 January residents swept ash off of a Salote Pilolevu Airport runway in Ha’apai. News reports shared stories of survivors and showed images of damage around the islands.

Dozens of earthquakes, M 4.5-5, were centered in the vicinity of the volcano after the eruption, at least through 24 January. The type of earthquake signal was unknown, though they likely represented post-eruption movement along existing faults and not magma movement.

Geological summary: The small islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai cap a large seamount located about 30 km SSE of Falcon Island. The two linear andesitic islands are about 2 km long and represent the western and northern remnants of the rim of a largely submarine caldera lying east and south of the islands. Hunga Tonga reaches an elevation of about 114 m above sea level, and both islands display inward-facing sea cliffs with lava and tephra layers dipping gently away from the submarine caldera. A rocky shoal 3.2 km SE of Hunga Ha'apai and 3 km south of Hunga Tonga marks a historically active vent. Several submarine eruptions have occurred at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai since the first historical eruption in 1912. An eruption that began in mid-December 2014 built a new island between the other two large islands.

Wolf, Isla Isabela (Ecuador)

0.02°N, 91.35°W, Summit elev. 1710 m

IG reported that the eruption at Wolf continued during 18-25 January. Daily thermal alerts counts were in the hundreds, centered over the advancing lava flows on the SE flank. Diffuse gas emissions were visible drifting SW during 18-20 January. Activity levels were stable during the beginning of the week then began to trend downward by 21 January.

Geological summary: Wolf, the highest volcano of the Galápagos Islands, straddles the equator at the north end of the archipelago's largest island, Isabela. The 1710-m-high edifice has steeper slopes than most other Isabela volcanoes, reaching angles up to 35 degrees. A 6 x 7 km caldera, at 700 m one of the deepest of the Galápagos Islands, is located at the summit. A prominent bench on the west side of the caldera rises 450 above the caldera floor, much of which is covered by a lava flow erupted in 1982. Radial fissures concentrated along diffuse rift zones extend down the north, NW, and SE flanks, and submarine vents lie beyond the north and NW fissures. Similar unvegetated flows originating from a circumferential chain of spatter and scoria cones on the eastern caldera rim drape the forested flanks to the sea. The proportion of aa lava flows at Volcán Wolf exceeds that of other Galápagos volcanoes. An eruption in in 1797 was the first documented historical eruption in the Galápagos Islands.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)

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

JMA reported that incandescence from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) was visible at night during 17-24 January. Sulfur dioxide emissions were somewhat high on 17 January at 1,000 tons per day. Two explosions on 18 January produced ash plumes that rose as high as 2 km above the crater rim and ejected ballistics 1-1.3 km away from the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale), and residents were warned to stay 2 km away from the crater.

Geological summary: The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.

Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)

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

AVO reported that slow lava effusion at Great Sitkin likely continued during 18-25 January, and seismicity remained at very low levels. Elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite data during 19-22 January. 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.

Kanlaon, Philippines

10.412°N, 123.132°E, Summit elev. 2435 m

PHIVOLCS issued a special notice for Kanlaon on 21 January, noting that a total of 18 volcanic earthquakes were recorded in the past day. Four of those events were classified as shallow “tornillo” signals indicating gas movement along shallow fractures in the upper part of the volcano. Ground deformation data from continuous GPS and tilt measurements indicated slight inflation of the volcano since mid-October 2021. The seismic activity and ground deformation was likely caused by shallow hydrothermal processes and could generate phreatic events. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5) and PHIVOLCS reminded the public to remain outside of the 4-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone.

Geological summary: Kanlaon volcano (also spelled Canlaon), the most active of the central Philippines, forms the highest point on the island of Negros. The massive andesitic stratovolcano is dotted with fissure-controlled pyroclastic cones and craters, many of which are filled by lakes. The largest debris avalanche known in the Philippines traveled 33 km SW from Kanlaon. The summit contains a 2-km-wide, elongated northern caldera with a crater lake and a smaller, but higher, historically active vent, Lugud crater, to the south. Historical eruptions, recorded since 1866, have typically consisted of phreatic explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ashfalls near the volcano.

Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)

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

KVERT reported that on 15 and 17 January explosions at Karymsky produced ash plumes that rose as high as 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 172 km W. A thermal anomaly was visible in satellite images on 16 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale). Dates are based on UTC times; specific events are in local time where noted.

Geological summary: Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed during the early Holocene. The caldera cuts the south side of the Pleistocene Dvor volcano and is located outside the north margin of the large mid-Pleistocene Polovinka caldera, which contains the smaller Akademia Nauk and Odnoboky calderas. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, located immediately south. The caldera enclosing Karymsky formed about 7600-7700 radiocarbon years ago; construction of the stratovolcano began about 2000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been vulcanian or vulcanian-strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater.

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)

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

HVO reported that lava effusion resumed at the vent in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater at around 1045 on 18 January. By 1630 the level of the lava lake had risen 12 m, slightly surpassing the high recorded on 12 January, but then slightly dropped within 30 minutes. The W part of the lake was active. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was about 2,100 tonnes per day the next day. During 19-20 January lava oozed out along the SE and NW margins of the lake, though by the afternoon of the 20th the active portion of the lake was small and located N of the cone. Just after 0400 on 21 January the effusion rate increased and the W half of the lake was again active. Notable overflows of lava later that evening sent flows NW, SW, and SE. The lake level dropped 9 m during the morning of 22 January, and again only a small portion of the lake was active. Lava oozed out from the E and NW lake margins. Lava input into the small lake became intermittent starting at around 1500 on 23 January, though lava oozed out along the NW and S margins. The effusion rate increased at 0552 on 25 January and lava flowed W and N along the crater margins. By 0820 the lava lake had risen 11 m. The Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Orange and Watch, respectively.

Geological summary: Kilauea overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano in the island of Hawaii. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation since 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity at Halemaumau crater in the summit caldera until 1924. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1,500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and Southwest rift zones, which extend to the ocean in both directions. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the surface is younger than 600 years. The long-term eruption from the East rift zone between 1983 and 2018 produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroyed hundreds of houses, and added new coastline.

Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia)

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

BPPTKG reported no significant morphological changes at Merapi’s lava domes, located just below the SW rim and in the summit crater, during 14-20 January. Seismicity remained at high levels. As many as 91 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km SW down the Bebeng drainage, and one pyroclastic flow traveled 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.

Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska

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

AVO reported that the eruption at Pavlof was ongoing during 18-25 January, with periods of elevated tremor. Small daily explosions were recorded on local and regional infrasound sensors during 18-22 January. A satellite image from 19 January showed that the lava flow on the E flank was 1.3 km long, and a lahar on the same flank was 4.4 km long. Elevated surface temperatures consistent with the active lava flow persisted through 25 January. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

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.

Reventador, Ecuador

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

IG reported that a high level of activity continued at Reventador during 18-25 January. Gas-and-ash plumes, often observed multiple times a day with the webcam or reported by the Washington VAAC, sometimes rose higher than 1 km above the summit crater and drifted mainly NW, W, and SW. Crater incandescence was visible at night during 19-20 January. Cloudy weather sometimes prevented visual observation during 21-23 January. Lava flows on the E and NE flanks were visible during 23-25 January and continued to advance.

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.

Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica

10.83°N, 85.324°W, Summit elev. 1916 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that two eruptions were recorded at Rincón de la Vieja, at 2227 on 20 January and 0225 on 23 January, though weather conditions prevented visual confirmation of plumes. Each event was 1-2 minutes long. At 1139 on 25 January an eruption produced a plume that rose 500-1,000 m.

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.

Santa Maria, Southwestern Guatemala

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

INSIVUMEH reported that the eruption at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex continued during 19-25 January. Crater incandescence was visible at night. Avalanches generated by both lava effusion at the W and SW part of Caliente dome and collapsing material descended the W, SW, and SE flanks, often reaching the base of the dome. Periodically the avalanches produced curtains of ash along their paths that dissipated near the volcano. Almost daily explosions produced ash plumes that rose 700-900 m above the summit and drifted 10-15 km W and SW; ashfall was reported in areas downwind during 21-23 January including in San Marcos Palajunoj (8 km SW) and Loma Linda (6 km WSW). Lava flows on the W and SW flanks were 500 and 700 m long, respectively.

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 an eruptive event at 0911 on 21 January produced an ash plume that rose 200 m above Semeru’s summit and drifted N. A second event, recorded at 0741 on 25 January, generated an ash plume that rose 200 m and drifted SE. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4). The public was warned to stay at least 500 m away from Kobokan drainages within 17 km of the summit, along with other drainages originating on Semeru, including the Bang, Kembar, and Sat, due to lahar, avalanche, and pyroclastic flow hazards.

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 low-level eruptive activity at Semisopochnoi's North Cerberus cone continued during 18-25 January. Seismicity was elevated, characterized by periods of tremor and low-frequency earthquakes. Steam emissions were periodically visible in webcam images during 18-19 January and minor explosions were recorded by local seismic and infrasound sensors on 19 January. Steam and low-level ash emissions were visible in webcam and satellite images during 20-25 January. Daily explosions were recorded during 21-25 January, and elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite data during 22-23 January. 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 14-21 January. Intense steam-and-gas emissions with ash were visible during 15-16 January; plumes rose as high as 6.5 km (21,300 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 77 km W. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale). Dates are based on UTC times; specific events are in local time where noted.

Geological summary: The high, isolated massif of Sheveluch volcano (also spelled Shiveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group. The 1300 km3 volcano is one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanic structures. The summit of roughly 65,000-year-old Stary Shiveluch is truncated by a broad 9-km-wide late-Pleistocene caldera breached to the south. Many lava domes dot its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large horseshoe-shaped caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. At least 60 large eruptions have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.

Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy)

38.789°N, 15.213°E, Summit elev. 924 m

INGV reported that during 17-23 January activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing explosions from five vents in Area N (North Crater area) and two vents in Area C-S (South-Central Crater area). Explosions from Area N vents (N1 and N2) averaged 7-14 events per hour; explosions from two vents in the N1 vent ejected lapilli and bombs 80 m high and those at three N2 vents ejected material less than 80 m high. Spattering at N2 had been intense the week before, depositing material onto the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco that then rolled down the flank to the coastline on 16 January; spattering was again intense on 22 January. No explosions occurred at the S1 and C vents in Area C-S; explosions at the two S2 vents occurred at a rate of 3-4 per hour and ejected coarse material mixed with fine ash higher than 80 m.

Geological summary: Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period took place between about 13,000 and 5,000 years ago. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild Strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.

Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

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

JMA reported that incandescence at Suwanosejima's Ontake Crater was visible nightly during 17-24 January. There were 46 explosions recorded, producing ash plumes that rose at least 1.8 km above the crater rim and ejected material up to 1 km away from the crater. Rumbling sounds and ashfall were reported in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW). The Alert Level remained at 3 and the public was warned to stay 2 km away from the crater.

Geological summary: The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanosejima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. The summit is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanosejima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from Otake, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted until 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, and the SW crater produced two lava flows that reached the western coast. At the end of the eruption the summit of Otake collapsed forming a large debris avalanche and creating the horseshoe-shaped Sakuchi caldera, which extends to the eastern coast. The island remained uninhabited for about 70 years after the 1813-1814 eruption. Lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884. Only about 50 people live on the island.

Taal, Luzon (Philippines)

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

PHIVOLCS reported that unrest at Taal continued during 18-25 January. Low-level background tremor persisted; one volcanic earthquake was recorded during 18-19 January. Hot volcanic fluids were upwelling in the crater lake, and daily gas-and-steam plumes rose 0.6-2.4 km above the lake and drifted SW. Sulfur dioxide emissions continued to be elevated, averaging 10,986 and 11,228 tonnes/day on 20 and 23 January, respectively. 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) and that boating on Taal Lake is 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.

Turrialba, Costa Rica

10.025°N, 83.767°W, Summit elev. 3340 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported that periodic eruptive events, lasting 1-2 minutes each, were recorded at Turrialba’s West Crater during 19-24 January. At 0546 on 19 January an eruption produced an ash plume that rose 200 m above the summit and drifted W. A small eruption at 1052 generated a plume that rose 50 m and drifted NW. At 0706 on 24 January an event generated a plume that rose 100 m and drifted SW. Two points of incandescence on the internal SW crater wall were also visible.

Geological summary: Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica's Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of Irazú volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive edifice covers an area of 500 km2. Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters.


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 January-25 January 2022 Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

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