Increased activity at Taal volcano, Philippines

increased-activity-at-taal-volcano-philippines

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is reporting increased activity at Taal volcano on January 29 and 30, 2022. The volcano remains on Alert Level 2.

9 small phreatomagmatic bursts, lasting from 10 seconds to 2 minutes, were registered in 24 hours to 21:00 UTC on January 29. During the same period, 31 volcanic earthquakes were registered, including 14 volcanic tremors lasting from 1 to 3 minutes.1

Voluminous steaming/degassing activity was observed, rising up to 2 km (6 561 feet) and drifting southwest and northeast.

Volcanic sulfur dioxide gas emission was measured at 10 036 tonnes/day on January 29.

Entry into Taal Volcano Island (Permanent Danger Zone or PDZ), especially the Main Crater and Daang Kastila fissures is not allowed.

Flying any aircraft close to the volcano as well as boating on Taal Lake are also prohibited.

Possible hazards that can occur:

  • steam-driven or phreatic or gas-driven explosions
  • volcanic earthquakes
  • minor ashfall
  • lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas

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 topography of SW Luzon.

The 15 x 20 km (9 x 12 miles) Talisay (Taal) caldera is largely filled by Lake Taal, whose 267 km2 (103 mi2) surface lies only 3 m (9.8 feet) above sea level.

The maximum depth of the lake is 160 m (525 feet), and several eruptive centers lie submerged beneath the lake. The 5 km (3.1 miles) 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 the area during historical time. Powerful pyroclastic flows and surges from historical eruptions have caused many fatalities.2

References:

1 TAAL VOLCANO – Summary of 24 Hr Observation to 21:00 UTC on January 29, 2022 – PHIVOLCS

2 Taal – Geological summary – GVP

Featured image: Taal volcano on January 27, 2022. Credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, TW

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