New activity/unrest was reported for 4 volcanoes from March 16 to 22, 2022. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 20 volcanoes.
New activity/unrest: Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Lonquimay, Central Chile | Manam, Northeast of New Guinea | Ruapehu, North Island (New Zealand).
Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Lewotolok, Lembata Island | Merapi, Central Java | Nevados de Chillan, Central Chile | Nyamulagira, DR Congo | Nyiragongo, DR Congo | Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska | Reventador, Ecuador | Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica | Sangay, Ecuador | Semeru, Eastern Java | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Soufriere St. Vincent, St. Vincent | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Whakaari/White Island, North Island (New Zealand) | Wolf, Isla Isabela (Galapagos).
Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
55.972°N, 160.595°E, Summit elev. 2882 m
An explosive eruption at Bezymianny began at 0310 on 15 March, producing ash plumes. KVERT raised the Aviation Color Code to Orange (the second-highest level on a four-color scale). Activity intensified at 0053 on 16 March and remained elevated for about 30 minutes. During this phase, pyroclastic flows descended the S, W, and N flanks, and ash plumes rose as high as 12 km (39,400 ft) a.s.l. that ultimately drifted more than 1,300 km NW and then NE. A large thermal anomaly over the volcano was visible through 18 March, indicating continuing lava-dome growth. Steam-and-gas emissions persisted through 23 March. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to yellow on 23 March.
Geological summary: Prior to its noted 1955-56 eruption, Bezymianny had been considered extinct. The modern volcano, much smaller in size than its massive neighbors Kamen and Kliuchevskoi, was formed about 4700 years ago over a late-Pleistocene lava-dome complex and an ancestral edifice built about 11,000-7000 years ago. Three periods of intensified activity have occurred during the past 3000 years. The latest period, which was preceded by a 1000-year quiescence, began with the dramatic 1955-56 eruption. This eruption, similar to that of St. Helens in 1980, produced a large horseshoe-shaped crater that was formed by the collapse of the summit and an associated lateral blast. Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.
Lonquimay, Central Chile
38.379°S, 71.586°W, Summit elev. 2832 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported increased seismicity at Lonquimay during the first half of March, characterized by hybrid (HB) signals accompanied by long-period (LP) events, and fewer volcano-tectonic (VT) events. Only some of the HB and VT events could be located where the epicenters were within 2-7 km of the volcano with hypocenters at depths of 4-11 km. The number of HB and VT events increased on 9 March. Deformation was not detected and no abnormal gas emissions were recorded. During 18-21 March two additional earthquakes were recorded, a VT and an HB, both with magnitudes below 1.3. Although the events were low magnitude, the seismicity was anomalous in the data going back to 2010 when monitoring stations were installed. The Alert Level was raised to Yellow, the second-lowest level on a four-color scale.
Geological summary: Lonquimay is a small, flat-topped, symmetrical stratovolcano of late-Pleistocene to dominantly Holocene age immediately SE of Tolguaca volcano. A glacier fills its summit crater and flows down the S flank. It is dominantly andesitic, but basalt and dacite are also found. The prominent NE-SW Cordón Fissural Oriental fissure zone cuts across the entire volcano. A series of NE-flank vents and scoria cones were built along an E-W fissure, some of which have been the source of voluminous lava flows, including those during 1887-90 and 1988-90, that extended out to 10 km.
Manam, Northeast of New Guinea
4.08°S, 145.037°E, Summit elev. 1807 m
The Darwin VAAC reported that during 15-17 March ash plumes from Manam rose to 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, W, and NW.
Geological summary: The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country’s most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These valleys channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island’s shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most observed eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.
Ruapehu, North Island (New Zealand)
39.28°S, 175.57°E, Summit elev. 2797 m
GeoNet reported that a warming trend of the crater lake water at Ruapehu was evident by 13 March, and by 21 March the temperature was 31 degrees Celsius. The heating cycle was accompanied by strong levels of volcanic tremor, indicating increased gas flux through the system, and an increased likelihood of eruptive activity. The Volcanic Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale from 0-5) on 21 March and the Aviation Color Code remained at Green.
Geological summary: Ruapehu, one of New Zealand’s most active volcanoes, is a complex stratovolcano constructed during at least four cone-building episodes dating back to about 200,000 years ago. The dominantly andesitic 110 km3 volcanic massif is elongated in a NNE-SSW direction and surrounded by another 100 km3 ring plain of volcaniclastic debris, including the NW-flank Murimoto debris-avalanche deposit. A series of subplinian eruptions took place between about 22,600 and 10,000 years ago, but pyroclastic flows have been infrequent. The broad summit area and flank contain at least six vents active during the Holocene. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions have been recorded from the Te Wai a-Moe (Crater Lake) vent, and tephra characteristics suggest that the crater lake may have formed as recently as 3,000 years ago. Lahars resulting from phreatic eruptions at the summit crater lake are a hazard to a ski area on the upper flanks and lower river valleys.
Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
31.593°N, 130.657°E, Summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported that very small eruptive events were recorded at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 14-21 March. Crater incandescence was visible at night. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was slightly high at 1,300 tons per day on 17 March. 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 continued during 15-22 March and very low seismicity persisted. Cloud cover prevented views of the volcano most of the week; slightly elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 20-21 March. 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 13-16 March. The volcano was either quiet or obscured by clouds on the other days during 11-18 March. 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 from vents in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater continued at variable rates during 15-22 March; effusion briefly paused during 0145-0445 on 18 March. Lava flowed in the active W part of the lava lake causing circulation in the lake that was visible on most days. At around 0700 on 16 March a lava flow originating from the embayment just N of the western vent area traveled NW onto the crater floor; this flow periodically advanced through the week. Ooze outs of lava along the lake’s margins were visible on a few of the days; a notable one began along the N margin at 0345 on 21 March and persisted through the next day. 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
The eruption at Lewotolok continued during 15-22 March according to PVMBG. Almost daily white-and-gray ash plumes rose as high as 600 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. Crater incandescence, lava effusion, and rumbling sounds were reported on most days. 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 and 4 km away from the crater on the SE flank.
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 summit lava dome during 11-17 March, but the height of the dome below the SW rim had decreased by 2 m. Seismicity remained at high levels; the intensity of the signals had increased compared to the previous week. As many as 119 lava avalanches originating from the SW dome traveled a maximum of 2 km down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank. Four avalanches traveled no more than 1 km SE down the Gendol drainage. 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.
Nevados de Chillan, Central Chile
36.868°S, 71.378°W, Summit elev. 3180 m
SERNAGEOMIN reported that lava in Nevados de Chillán’s Nicanor Crater was observed in satellite images on 1 March and coincided with elevated thermal temperatures also identified in satellite images. A higher resolution satellite image acquired on 15 March showed the extrusive lava feature in more detail; it was about 33 x 57 m elongated E-W, and had irregular edges. The emplacement of the lava was contemporaneous with nighttime crater incandescence and moderate explosive activity. Steam plumes with occasional tephra content rose to heights less than 1.5 km above the crater rim. Seismic activity had steadily declined since January. During the first half of March, sulfur dioxide emissions averaged 454 tons per day, peaking at an anomalously high value of 2,348 tons per day on 13 March. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the second-lowest level on a four-color scale. ONEMI stated that Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) remained in place for the communities of Pinto and Coihueco, noting that the public should stay at least 2 km away from the crater.
Geological summary: The compound volcano of Nevados de Chillán is one of the most active of the Central Andes. Three late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes were constructed along a NNW-SSE line within three nested Pleistocene calderas, which produced ignimbrite sheets extending more than 100 km into the Central Depression of Chile. The dominantly andesitic Cerro Blanco (Volcán Nevado) stratovolcano is located at the NW end of the massif. Volcán Viejo (Volcán Chillán), which was the main active vent during the 17th-19th centuries, occupies the SE end. The Volcán Nuevo lava-dome complex formed during 1906-1945 on the NW flank of Viejo. The Volcán Arrau dome complex was then constructed on the SE side of Volcán Nuevo between 1973 and 1986, and eventually exceeded its height. Smaller domes or cones are present in the 5-km valley between the two major edifices.
Nyamulagira, DR Congo
1.408°S, 29.2°E, Summit elev. 3058 m
Active lava on Nyamulagira’s crater floor was visible in satellite images during 8-13 March.
Geological summary: Africa’s most active volcano, Nyamulagira (also known as Nyamuragira), is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield about 25 km N of Lake Kivu and 15 km NE of the steep-sided Nyiragongo volcano. The summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Documented eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, as well as from the numerous flank fissures and cinder cones. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Recent lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit as far as Lake Kivu; extensive lava flows from this volcano have covered 1,500 km2 of the western branch of the East African Rift.
Nyiragongo, DR Congo
1.52°S, 29.25°E, Summit elev. 3470 m
Lava effusion from vents on Nyiragongo’s crater floor continued during 13-18 March based on satellite images. Significant gas emissions were visible drifting SW on 13 March.
Geological summary: One of Africa’s most notable volcanoes, Nyiragongo contained a lava lake in its deep summit crater that was active for half a century before draining catastrophically through its outer flanks in 1977. The steep slopes of a stratovolcano contrast to the low profile of its neighboring shield volcano, Nyamuragira. Benches in the steep-walled, 1.2-km-wide summit crater mark levels of former lava lakes, which have been observed since the late-19th century. Two older stratovolcanoes, Baruta and Shaheru, are partially overlapped by Nyiragongo on the north and south. About 100 parasitic cones are located primarily along radial fissures south of Shaheru, east of the summit, and along a NE-SW zone extending as far as Lake Kivu. Many cones are buried by voluminous lava flows that extend long distances down the flanks, which is characterized by the eruption of foiditic rocks. The extremely fluid 1977 lava flows caused many fatalities, as did lava flows that inundated portions of the major city of Goma in January 2002.
Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska
55.417°N, 161.894°W, Summit elev. 2493 m
AVO reported that the eruption at a vent on Pavlof’s upper E flank was ongoing during 15-22 March, and seismic tremor persisted. Cloud cover sometimes prevented webcam and satellite views of the summit area, though almost-daily elevated surface temperatures identified in satellite images were consistent with minor lava effusion. Three small explosions were detected in local and regional infrasound data during 19-20 March. 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.
0.077°S, 77.656°W, Summit elev. 3562 m
IG reported that a high level of activity continued at Reventador during 15-22 March, though cloudy weather conditions sometimes prevented visual observations. Steam-and-ash plumes, often observed multiple times a day with the webcam or reported by the Washington VAAC, rose as high as 1 km above the summit crater and drifted mainly NW, W, and SW. Crater incandescence was visible most nights; incandescent material was visible descending the S flank during 15-16 March.
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 eruptive events at Rincón de la Vieja were recorded at 0405 on 19 March, 1402 on 20 March, and 0350 on 22 March. The events lasted 1-8 minutes each and no plumes were visible due to weather conditions.
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.
2.005°S, 78.341°W, Summit elev. 5286 m
IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 15-22 March. Weather clouds and rain often prevented visual and webcam observations of the volcano, though daily ash-and-gas plumes were identified in satellite images by the Washington VAAC or in webcam views; plumes rose as high as 1 km above the volcano and drifted N, NW, W, and SW. Multiple daily thermal anomalies over the volcano were visible in satellite data. Emissions of incandescent material were occasionally visible in webcam images. The seismic network detected signals indicating descending lahars on 17, 19, and 21 March.
Geological summary: The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador’s volcanoes and its most active. The steep-sided, glacier-covered, dominantly andesitic volcano grew within horseshoe-shaped calderas of two previous edifices, which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. It towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash have been sculpted by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of a historical eruption was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The almost constant activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.
Semeru, Eastern Java
8.108°S, 112.922°E, Summit elev. 3657 m
PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 15-22 March, though weather conditions sometimes hindered views. Daily eruptive events produced white-and-gray plumes that rose 200-800 m above the summit and drifted mainly N, W, and SW. At 0353 on 22 March a pyroclastic flow originating from the end of a lava flow descended the Kobokan drainage on the SE flank and produced an ash cloud that rose 1.5 km above summit 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 15-22 March. Periods of seismic tremor and occasional small explosions were detected daily in seismic and regional infrasound data. Daily minor ash emissions and occasional steam emissions were visible in webcam images. 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 11-18 March. An ash cloud was identified in satellite images drifting 50 km WNW at an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. on 15 March. 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.
Soufriere St. Vincent, St. Vincent
13.33°N, 61.18°W, Summit elev. 1220 m
UWI Seismic Research Centre and National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) lowered the Alert Level for Soufrière St. Vincent to Green (the lowest level on a four-color scale) on 16 March, noting that seismic and fumarolic activity were at or below background levels recorded prior to the 2020-2021 eruption. The La Soufriere trail remained closed due to the uneven and dangerous terrain. The public was reminded about lahar hazards during heavy rains.
Geological summary: Soufrière St. Vincent is the northernmost and youngest volcano on St. Vincent Island. The NE rim of the 1.6-km wide summit crater is cut by a crater formed in 1812. The crater itself lies on the SW margin of a larger 2.2-km-wide caldera, which is breached widely to the SW as a result of slope failure. Frequent explosive eruptions after about 4,300 years ago produced pyroclastic deposits of the Yellow Tephra Formation, which cover much of the island. The first historical eruption took place in 1718; it and the 1812 eruption produced major explosions. Much of the northern end of the island was devastated by a major eruption in 1902 that coincided with the catastrophic Mont Pelée eruption on Martinique. A lava dome was emplaced in the summit crater in 1971 during a strictly effusive eruption, forming an island within a lake that filled the crater. A series of explosive eruptions in 1979 destroyed the 1971 dome and ejected the lake; a new dome was then built.
Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
29.638°N, 129.714°E, Summit elev. 796 m
JMA reported that eruptive activity continued to be recorded at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater during 14-21 March. As many as 27 explosions were recorded, and crater incandescence was visible nightly. Eruption plumes rose as high as 1.9 km above the crater rim and ejected blocks 300-500 m away from the crater. Ashfall was reported as far as 5 km away, including in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW) during 18-21 March. 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.
Whakaari/White Island, North Island (New Zealand)
37.52°S, 177.18°E, Summit elev. 294 m
On 23 March GeoNet reported that volcanologists observed Whakaari/White Island and took gas measurements during overflights the week before. The active vent area had subsided, and small collapses in one of the 2019 craters had occurred in between the flights. During the second flight, scientists observed geysering from a small, gray-colored pool on the S side of the main crater. In just over an hour the pool was gone and a collapse pit was in its place. Diffuse ash emissions had ceased. Gas and temperature measurements were lower (290 degrees Celsius) compared to the previous month. 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.
Wolf, Isla Isabela (Galapagos)
0.02°N, 91.35°W, Summit elev. 1710 m
IG reported that the eruption at Wolf continued during 15-22 March. Daily thermal alert counts, as many as around 176, indicated active and advancing lava flows on the SSE 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 1797 was the first documented historical eruption in the Galápagos Islands.
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report – 16 March-22 March 2022 – Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
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