The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: January 26 – February 1, 2022


New activity/unrest was reported for 10 volcanoes from January 26 to February 1, 2022. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 15 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Ambae, Vanuatu | Ambrym, Vanuatu | Batu Tara, Komba Island | Callaqui, Central Chile | Chikurachki, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Lascar, Northern Chile | Soufriere Hills, Montserrat | Taal, Luzon (Philippines) | Three Sisters, Oregon | Wolf, Isla Isabela (Galapagos).

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Davidof, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Lewotolok, Lembata Island | Merapi, Central Java | Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska | Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica | Santa Maria, Southwestern Guatemala | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Turrialba, Costa Rica | Yasur, Vanuatu.

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

Ambae, Vanuatu

15.389°S, 167.835°E, Summit elev. 1496 m

On 27 January the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that the cone in Ambae’s Lake Voui continued to grow and produce steam-and-ash emissions. Minor ashfall was reported in areas downwind, including in local villages. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5) and the public was warned to stay outside of the Danger Zone defined as a 2-km radius around the active vents in Lake Voui and away from drainages during heavy rains.

Geological summary: The island of Ambae, also known as Aoba, is a massive 2,500 km3 basaltic shield that is the most voluminous volcano of the New Hebrides archipelago. A pronounced NE-SW-trending rift zone dotted with scoria cones gives the 16 x 38 km island an elongated form. A broad pyroclastic cone containing three crater lakes (Manaro Ngoru, Voui, and Manaro Lakua) is located at the summit within the youngest of at least two nested calderas, the largest of which is 6 km in diameter. That large central edifice is also called Manaro Voui or Lombenben volcano. Post-caldera explosive eruptions formed the summit craters about 360 years ago. A tuff cone was constructed within Lake Voui (or Vui) about 60 years later. The latest known flank eruption, about 300 years ago, destroyed the population of the Nduindui area near the western coast.

Ambrym, Vanuatu

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

On 27 January the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported that steam-and-gas emissions rose from Ambrym’s Benbow Crater, and incandescence from the same crater was visible at night. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5). 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.

Batu Tara, Komba Island

7.791°S, 123.585°E, Summit elev. 633 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 31 January an ash plume from Batu Tara rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ESE.

Geological summary: The small isolated island of Batu Tara in the Flores Sea about 50 km N of Lembata (fomerly Lomblen) Island contains a scarp on the eastern side similar to the Sciara del Fuoco of Italy's Stromboli volcano. Vegetation covers the flanks to within 50 m of the summit. Batu Tara lies north of the main volcanic arc and is noted for its potassic leucite-bearing basanitic and tephritic rocks. The first historical eruption, during 1847-52, produced explosions and a lava flow.

Callaqui, Central Chile

37.92°S, 71.45°W, Summit elev. 3164 m

In a special statement issued on 27 January, SERNAGEOMIN reported that a small area of incandescence on the SW part of Callaqui’s summit crater was visible in webcam images overnight beginning at 2155 on 26 January. The glow was persistent and visible during dark hours, and was likely the result of increased temperatures at fumarolic vents. More intense gas emissions from the same area were visible rising 380 m the next day. The report noted that this was the first time incandescence had been recorded since the camera was installed in 2012. The Alert Level remained at Green, the lowest level on a four-color scale.

Geological summary: The late-Pleistocene to Holocene Callaqui stratovolcano has a profile of an overturned canoe, due to its construction along an 11-km-long, SW-NE fissure above a 1.2-0.3 million year old Pleistocene edifice. The ice-capped, basaltic-andesite volcano contains well-preserved cones and lava flows, which have traveled up to 14 km. Small craters 100-500 m in diameter are primarily found along a fissure extending down the SW flank. Intense solfataric activity occurs at the southern portion of the summit; in 1966 and 1978, red glow was observed in fumarolic areas (Moreno 1985, pers. comm.). Periods of intense fumarolic activity have dominated; few historical eruptions are known. An explosive eruption was reported in 1751, there were uncertain accounts of eruptions in 1864 and 1937, and a small phreatic ash emission was noted in 1980.

Chikurachki, Paramushir Island (Russia)

50.324°N, 155.461°E, Summit elev. 1781 m

KVERT reported that strong gas-and-steam emissions from Chikurachki were first visible at 1200 on 31 January and likely contained ash. The plume had drifted 80 km SW at altitudes of 4.5-5 km (14,800-16,400) a.s.l. by 1418. KVERT raised the Aviation Color Code to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale). Activity continued through the next day; a satellite image acquired at 0319 on 1 February showed ash plumes rising as high as 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting 104 km WSW.

Geological summary: Chikurachki, the highest volcano on Paramushir Island in the northern Kuriles, is actually a relatively small cone constructed on a high Pleistocene volcanic edifice. Oxidized basaltic-to-andesitic scoria deposits covering the upper part of the young cone give it a distinctive red color. Frequent basaltic plinian eruptions have occurred during the Holocene. Lava flows from 1781-m-high Chikurachki reached the sea and form capes on the NW coast; several young lava flows also emerge from beneath the scoria blanket on the eastern flank. The Tatarinov group of six volcanic centers is located immediately to the south of Chikurachki, and the Lomonosov cinder cone group, the source of an early Holocene lava flow that reached the saddle between it and Fuss Peak to the west, lies at the southern end of the N-S-trending Chikurachki-Tatarinov complex. In contrast to the frequently active Chikurachki, the Tatarinov volcanoes are extensively modified by erosion and have a more complex structure. Tephrochronology gives evidence of only one eruption in historical time from Tatarinov, although its southern cone contains a sulfur-encrusted crater with fumaroles that were active along the margin of a crater lake until 1959.

Lascar, Northern Chile

23.37°S, 67.73°W, Summit elev. 5592 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported minor increases in surficial activity at Láscar. Nighttime incandescence from the crater began to be visible at least since 11 January. A total of 14 thermal anomalies were identified in satellite data during 13-28 January; the intensity of the anomalies increased on 17 January and peaked on 22 January. Emissions of gas and steam were more frequent and robust as compared to previous months, with the highest plume rising over 1 km above the crater rim on 22 January. Sulfur dioxide emissions were identified in satellite data on 8 and 17 January; instruments at EMU station, 6 km ESE, recorded increased emission rates during 17-19 January with a peak average of 1,787 tons per day on 18 January. Seismicity was at normal levels overall during 12-28 January. Low numbers and magnitudes of volcano-tectonic (VT) and long-period (LP) earthquakes were recorded by the seismic network, though 27 VT events that were low magnitude (M 1 or below) were recorded on 22 January. Satellite images acquired on 26 January showed no recent morphological changes at the crater nor deposits around the crater area. The Alert Level remained at Green (the lowest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: Láscar is the most active volcano of the northern Chilean Andes. The andesitic-to-dacitic stratovolcano contains six overlapping summit craters. Prominent lava flows descend its NW flanks. An older, higher stratovolcano 5 km E, Volcán Aguas Calientes, displays a well-developed summit crater and a probable Holocene lava flow near its summit (de Silva and Francis, 1991). Láscar consists of two major edifices; activity began at the eastern volcano and then shifted to the western cone. The largest eruption took place about 26,500 years ago, and following the eruption of the Tumbres scoria flow about 9000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern edifice, where three overlapping craters were formed. Frequent small-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded since the mid-19th century, along with periodic larger eruptions that produced ashfall hundreds of kilometers away. The largest historical eruption took place in 1993, producing pyroclastic flows to 8.5 km NW of the summit and ashfall in Buenos Aires.

Soufriere Hills, Montserrat

16.72°N, 62.18°W, Summit elev. 915 m

MVO issued a statement about Soufrière Hills on 28 January explaining overall trends observed in monitoring data since lava extrusion ended in 2010. They noted that although activity at the volcano had been low when analyzed on a week-to-week basis, subtle trends have emerged in the data in recent months that indicate an overall but small increase in unrest. The number of volcano-tectonic earthquakes were low, averaging one per day since the last eruption ended, though during 2018-2021 the average increased from 0.4 to 1.2 per day. Fumarolic temperatures which initially showed a cooling trend during 2013-2017 began to rise in 2018. The increase was most notable at one specific fumarole that had a temperature increase from 200 to 500 degrees Celsius; the high temperature was similar to those last recorded in 2013. Sulfur dioxide gas flux during 2020-2021 averaged 100-200 tonnes per day higher than the fluxes recorded 2018-2019, though remained below 2012-2013 levels. Slow inflation of the whole island had continued since 2010, with no changes to the patterns of deformation; changes associated with volcano-tectonic swarms were only observed in areas close to the dome. An increase in rockfall activity was also noted. MVO reiterated that these changes since about 2018 were minor and did not merit an increase in the Hazard Level, which remained at 1 (on a scale of 1-5).

Geological summary: The complex, dominantly andesitic Soufrière Hills volcano occupies the southern half of the island of Montserrat. The summit area consists primarily of a series of lava domes emplaced along an ESE-trending zone. The volcano is flanked by Pleistocene complexes to the north and south. English's Crater, a 1-km-wide crater breached widely to the east by edifice collapse, was formed about 2000 years ago as a result of the youngest of several collapse events producing submarine debris-avalanche deposits. Block-and-ash flow and surge deposits associated with dome growth predominate in flank deposits, including those from an eruption that likely preceded the 1632 CE settlement of the island, allowing cultivation on recently devegetated land to near the summit. Non-eruptive seismic swarms occurred at 30-year intervals in the 20th century, but no historical eruptions were recorded until 1995. Long-term small-to-moderate ash eruptions beginning in that year were later accompanied by lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows that forced evacuation of the southern half of the island and ultimately destroyed the capital city of Plymouth, causing major social and economic disruption.

Taal, Luzon (Philippines)

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

PHIVOLCS reported that unrest at Taal continued during 25-31 January, and low-level background tremor persisted. One volcanic earthquake was recorded during 25-28 January. Hot volcanic fluids were upwelling in the crater lake, and daily gas-and-steam plumes rose 1.5-2 km above the lake that drifted SW and NW. Sulfur dioxide emissions continued to be elevated, averaging 10,506-18,705 tonnes/day.

A series of nine phreatomagmatic bursts from the lake occurred between 1550 on 29 January and 0449 on 30 January. Each event was short-lived, only lasting between 10 seconds and two minutes, and recorded as trace signals in the seismic data but as distinct signals in the infrasound data. Each burst produced a steam-rich plume rising 400-900 m. Sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 4,829 tonnes per day on 30 January. Seismic data during 29-30 January consisted of 31 volcanic earthquakes and 14 tremor events with durations of 1-3 minutes, and during 30-31 January 13 volcanic earthquakes were recorded along with one tremor signal that lasted three minutes. Emissions rose as high as 1 km and drifted SW. 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 warned against extended stays on Taal Lake.

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.

Three Sisters, Oregon

44.133°N, 121.767°W, Summit elev. 3159 m

A special statement was issued by USGS on 31 January noting an increased rate of uplift at Three Sisters during the previous few years. An area 20 km in diameter, centered 5 km W of South Sister, inflated up to 2.2 cm between June 2020 and August 2021, based on analysis of satellite data. GPS data indicated that the uplift had continued to the present. Additionally, bursts of small earthquakes were recorded in October 2021, December 2021, and January 2022, all located within the area of deformation.

Uplift in that area was first detected in the mid-1990s; the rate was highest during 1999-2000 at 5 km per year, but then slowed until 2020. A total of 30 cm of uplift was recorded from 1995 to 2020. The cause of the deformation was uncertain, though it was likely occurring due to small accumulations of magma at about 7 km depth based on conclusions from a 1990 study. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Normal and the Aviation Color Code remained at Green as there was no evidence of an imminent eruption.

Geological summary: The north-south-trending Three Sisters volcano group dominates the landscape of the Central Oregon Cascades. All Three Sisters stratovolcanoes ceased activity during the late Pleistocene, but basaltic-to-rhyolitic flank vents erupted during the Holocene, producing both blocky lava flows north of North Sister and rhyolitic lava domes and flows south of South Sister volcano. Glaciers have deeply eroded the Pleistocene andesitic-dacitic North Sister stratovolcano, exposing the volcano's central plug. Construction of the main edifice ceased at about 55,000 yrs ago, but north-flank vents produced blocky lava flows in the McKenzie Pass area as recently as about 1600 years ago. Middle Sister volcano is located only 2 km to the SW and was active largely contemporaneously with South Sister until about 14,000 years ago. South Sister is the highest of the Three Sisters. It was constructed beginning about 50,000 years ago and was capped by a symmetrical summit cinder cone formed about 22,000 years ago. The late Pleistocene or early Holocene Cayuse Crater on the SW flank of Broken Top volcano and other flank vents such as Le Conte Crater on the SW flank of South Sister mark mafic vents that have erupted at considerable distances from South Sister itself, and a chain of dike-fed rhyolitic lava domes and flows at Rock Mesa and Devils Chain south of South Sister erupted about 2000 years ago.

Wolf, Isla Isabela (Galapagos)

0.02°N, 91.35°W, Summit elev. 1710 m

IG reported that the eruption at Wolf continued during 26 January-1 February. Daily thermal alert counts, anywhere from a few to well over one hundred, indicated advancing lava flows on the SE flank.

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 24-31 January. Two explosions occurred on 28 January. One of them, recorded at 1319, produced an ash plume that rose 3.4 km above the crater rim and ejected blocks as high as 1.7 km. Ash fell in Arimura (4.5 km SE) and Kurokami (4 km E). JMA noted that until this event explosion plumes had not exceeded 3 km since 5 April 2021. 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.

Davidof, Aleutian Islands (USA)

51.97°N, 178.33°E, Summit elev. 328 m

An earthquake swarm, either related to tectonic processes or volcanic unrest, was recorded in the vicinity of Davidof during 25-26 January. The largest earthquake was a M 4.9 recorded at 1602 on 25 January. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory due to the possibility of escalating volcanic unrest. Small earthquakes were detected during 27 and 29 January-1 February, though at a lower rate. No anomalous activity was visible in partly-to-mostly cloudy satellite and webcams views. A similar earthquake swarm occurred in December 2021.

Geological summary: A cluster of small islands between Segula and Little Sitkin in the western Aleutians, the largest of which is Davidof, are remnants of a stratovolcano that collapsed during the late Tertiary, forming a 2.7-km-wide caldera. The islands include Khvostof, Pyramid, Lopy, and Davidof; the latter three form the eastern rim of the mostly submarine caldera, sometimes referred to as the "Aleutian Krakatau." The islands were constructed above a roughly 100-m-deep submarine platform extending NW to Segula Island; the floor of the caldera lies 80 m below sea level. The islands are vegetated, but lava flows are recognizable, and Smith et al. (1978) suggested a possible Holocene age.

Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)

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

AVO reported that slow lava effusion at Great Sitkin continued during 26 January-1 February, though cloudy conditions often prevented satellite and webcam views. Clearer satellite and webcam views during 30-31 January confirmed growth of the flow field, including the W and S lava flows. Elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 31 January-1 February. 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.

Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)

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

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was visible in satellite images during 23-26 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 at the vent of the main cone in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater continued intermittently during 26 January-1 February. The lake level fluctuated, reflecting variable lava supply to the lake and periods of inflation and deflation. Lava effused from the vent during 26-28 January, and the W part of the lake was active along with a small pond N of the W vent cone. A few small flows oozed out from the N margin of the lake and an area of spattering in the E part of the crater built a new, small, steep-sided cone. Field crews working near the crater on 27 January heard loud gas-jetting sounds from the new cone.

Active lava was no longer visible in the crater by 0800 on 29 January. During 29-30 January the lake was mostly crusted over, though foundering of the crust in the E part of the lake exposed lava and circulating lava was occasionally visible in the small pond N of the main cone. Lava again began flowing from the main cone just before 2130 on 30 January. Lava quickly filled the ponded area just to the N and flowed into the lake. The lake began to rise and overflowed the S margins by midnight, and the N margins by 0500 on 31 January. Lava flows from the S part of the lake fed flows that traveled SE along the walls of the crater until 1100. Multiple ooze outs from the N margin continued through 1 February. 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.

Lewotolok, Lembata Island

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

PVMBG reported that white-and-gray ash plumes from Lewotolok rose 200 m above the summit and drifted E and SE during 30-31 January. 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

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 21-27 January. Seismicity remained at high levels. As many as 30 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 1.8 km SW down the Bebeng drainage, and two pyroclastic flows traveled 2.5 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 25 January-1 February, and seismicity was elevated with periods of tremor. A pilot observed the active flow on the E flank on 25 January. Elevated surface temperatures consistent with the lava flow persisted through 30 January; cloud cover prevented views during 31 January-1 February. 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.

Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica

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

OVSICORI-UNA reported that eruptions were recorded at Rincón de la Vieja at 2250 on 26 January, at 0716 and 1050 on 27 January, at 1308 on 30 January, and at 0447 on 1 February. No plumes were visible due to cloud cover or darkness.

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

In a special bulletin posted on 29 January, INSIVUMEH reiterated that the eruption at Santa María’s Santiaguito lava-dome complex is in a high-extrusion phase. The lava dome in the crater continued to grow and produce avalanches, and two lava flows were active on the W and SW flanks. Seismic data indicated an intensification of descending avalanches starting around 1845 that likely affected the S and SW flanks, though cloudy weather prevented visual confirmation. Notable ashfall was reported in San Marcos Palajunoj (8 km SW), El Palmar (12 km SSW), Quetzaltenango (18 km WNW), and especially in Loma Linda (6 km WSW). Avalanches continued to be detected by the network and seen by OVSAN (Observatorio del volcán Santiaguito) observers through 31 January. The avalanches originated from collapses of the lava flow on the SW flank and descended the W and SW flanks. During 30 January until about 1800 on 31 January a total of 10 pyroclastic flows were detected by the seismic network and observed in webcam images. During 31 January-1 February dense gas emissions rose 600-800 m above the dome, and nighttime incandescence emanated from the dome and the W-flank flow. Avalanches continued to descend the SW and W flanks, several reached the base of the cone.

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.

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 25 January-1 February. Seismicity was elevated, characterized by periods of tremor and small earthquakes. Steam and low-level ash emissions likely occurred daily, though due to weather clouds they were only confirmed in webcam images during 25-26 and 29-31 January and 1 February. Numerous small explosions were recorded by local seismic and infrasound sensors during 29 January-1 February. 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 21-28 January. Intense steam-and-gas emissions were visible. Gas, steam, and ash plumes drifted 55 km SW on 21 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: 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 incandescence at Suwanosejima's Ontake Crater was visible nightly during 24-28 January. There were 27 explosions recorded, producing ash plumes that rose at least 3 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). Eruptive activity continued during 28-31 January. 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.

Turrialba, Costa Rica

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

OVSICORI-UNA reported that three areas of incandescence in Turrialba’s Cráter Oeste were visible during 26-27 January.

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.

Yasur, Vanuatu

19.532°S, 169.447°E, Summit elev. 361 m

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) reported that activity at Yasur continued at a high level of “major unrest,” as defined by the Alert Level 2 status. Ash-and-gas emissions and loud explosions continued to be recorded. Alert Level 2 is the middle level on a scale of 0-4. The public was reminded not to enter the restricted area within 600 m around the cone, defined by Danger Zone A on the hazard map.

Geological summary: Yasur, the best-known and most frequently visited of the Vanuatu volcanoes, has been in more-or-less continuous Strombolian and Vulcanian activity since Captain Cook observed ash eruptions in 1774. This style of activity may have continued for the past 800 years. Located at the SE tip of Tanna Island, this mostly unvegetated pyroclastic cone has a nearly circular, 400-m-wide summit crater. The active cone is largely contained within the small Yenkahe caldera, and is the youngest of a group of Holocene volcanic centers constructed over the down-dropped NE flank of the Pleistocene Tukosmeru volcano. The Yenkahe horst is located within the Siwi ring fracture, a 4-km-wide, horseshoe-shaped caldera associated with eruption of the andesitic Siwi pyroclastic sequence. Active tectonism along the Yenkahe horst accompanying eruptions has raised Port Resolution harbor more than 20 m during the past century.


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 26 January-1 February 2022 Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

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