The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: May 25 – 31, 2022

Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

New activity/unrest was reported for 4 volcanoes from May 25 to 31, 2022. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 22 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA) | Dempo, Southeastern Sumatra | Yakedake, Honshu (Japan).

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Ambae, Vanuatu | Dukono, Halmahera | Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Fuego, South-Central Guatemala | Gaua, Banks Islands (Vanuatu) | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Kuchinoerabujima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Lewotolok, Lembata Island | Manam, Northeast of New Guinea | Merapi, Central Java | Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska | Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica | Santa Maria, Southwestern Guatemala | Semeru, Eastern Java | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Yasur, Vanuatu.

New activity/unrest

Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

55.972°N, 160.595°E | Summit elev. 2882 m

KVERT reported that the eruption at Bezymianny continued, characterized by strong fumarolic emissions, lava-dome incandescence, explosions, and hot avalanches. Seismicity increased during 23-28 May. Multiple and notable collapses of hot avalanches on the E flank produced ash plumes that rose to 4-5 km (13,100-16,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 70-320 km in multiple directions.

Activity significantly increased on 28 May, local time. According to Kamchatka Volcanological Station (Volkstat), observers saw ash plumes from Bezymianny rising over Klyuchevsky volcano around lunchtime. The plume altitudes gradually increased and late in the evening a large, strong, explosive event occurred; ash plumes rose to 11 km (36,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. According to KVERT satellite data showed ash plumes rising 10-12 km (32,800-39,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifting ESE at 1920. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red (the highest level on a four-color scale). By 2010 the ash plumes had risen to 15 km (49,000 ft) a.s.l., and previous ash emissions had drifted 365 km SE. Volkstat observers noted that activity began to decline by about 2020 and plume altitudes did not exceed 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. At 2207 KVERT issued a VONA noting that the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Orange as the most intense phase of the explosive eruption had ended. Ash plumes continued to be emitted, though they rose no higher than 5 km based on webcam views. Two ash plumes were identified in satellite images; the first was drifting 212 km SE at an altitude of 9.5 km (31,200 ft) a.s.l. and the second was drifting 650 km SE at unspecified altitudes. On 29 May at 1000 gas-and-steam plumes with some ash were visible in webcam images rising as high as 4.5 km a.s.l. and drifting 45 km SE. Satellite images showed that the large ash cloud from the day before had drifted 1,635 km SE.

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 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.

Cleveland, Chuginadak Island (USA)

52.825°N, 169.944°W | Summit elev. 1730 m

AVO reported that during 24-31 May daily elevated surface temperatures over Cleveland were identified in satellite images, along with plumes of steam and sulfur dioxide gas. Crater subsidence in the summit crater was detected during 26-27 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Geological summary: The beautifully symmetrical Mount Cleveland stratovolcano is situated at the western end of the uninhabited Chuginadak Island. It lies SE across Carlisle Pass strait from Carlisle volcano and NE across Chuginadak Pass strait from Herbert volcano. Joined to the rest of Chuginadak Island by a low isthmus, Cleveland is the highest of the Islands of the Four Mountains group and is one of the most active of the Aleutian Islands. The native name, Chuginadak, refers to the Aleut goddess of fire, who was thought to reside on the volcano. Numerous large lava flows descend the steep-sided flanks. It is possible that some 18th-to-19th century eruptions attributed to Carlisle should be ascribed to Cleveland (Miller et al., 1998). In 1944 it produced the only known fatality from an Aleutian eruption. Recent eruptions have been characterized by short-lived explosive ash emissions, at times accompanied by lava fountaining and lava flows down the flanks.

Dempo, Southeastern Sumatra

4.016°S, 103.121°E | Summit elev. 3142 m

PVMBG reported that at 0154 on 31 May a phreatic eruption at Dempo produced ashfall in areas within 5 km, including Pagar Alam Utara district (E) and North Dempo District. Ash deposits were as thick as 1 mm. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public were reminded to stay 1 km away from the crater and as far as 2 km on the N flank.

Geological summary: Dempo is a prominent stratovolcano that rises above the Pasumah Plain of SE Sumatra. The andesitic volcanic complex has two main peaks, Gunung Dempo and Gunung Marapi, constructed near the SE rim of a 3 x 5 km caldera breached to the north. The Dempo peak is slightly lower, and lies at the SE end of the summit complex. The taller Marapi cone was constructed within a crater cutting the older Gunung Dempo edifice. Remnants of seven craters are found at or near the summit, with volcanism migrating WNW over time. The large, 800 x 1100 m wide historically active crater cuts the NW side of the Marapi cone and contains a 400-m-wide lake located at the far NW end of the crater complex. Historical eruptions have been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive activity that produced ashfall near the volcano.

Yakedake, Honshu (Japan)

36.227°N, 137.587°E | Summit elev. 2455 m

JMA raised the Alert Level for Yakedake to 2 (on a scale of 1-5) on 24 May, noting that the number of small volcanic earthquakes with epicenters near the summit began increasing around 2300 the day before. The report also noted that minor inflation near the summit was continuing. Daily small volcanic earthquakes continued to be counted through 31 May.

Geological summary: Yakedake rises above the popular resort of Kamikochi in the Northern Japan Alps. The small dominantly andesitic stratovolcano, one of several Japanese volcanoes named Yakedake or Yakeyama (“Burning Peak” or “Burning Mountain”), was constructed astride a N-S-trending ridge between the older volcanoes of Warudaniyama and Shirataniyama. Akandanayama, about 4 km SSW, is a stratovolcano with lava domes that was active into the Holocene. A 300-m-wide crater is located at the summit, and explosion craters are found on the SE and N flanks. Frequent small-to-moderate phreatic eruptions have occurred during the 20th century. On 11 February 1995 a hydrothermal explosion in a geothermal area killed two people at a highway construction site.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)

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

JMA reported that a very small eruptive event was recorded at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 23-30 May. Crater incandescence was visible at night during 23-27 May. 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.

Ambae, Vanuatu

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

On 27 May the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards (VMGD) reported that the cone in Ambae’s Lake Voui continued to produce steam and ash emissions. 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.

Dukono, Halmahera

1.693°N, 127.894°E | Summit elev. 1229 m

Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 26-28 and 30-31 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to 2.1-2.7 km (7,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 2-km exclusion zone.

Geological summary: Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the north-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. This complex volcano presents a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of the summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

Etna, Sicily (Italy)

37.748°N, 14.999°E | Summit elev. 3357 m

INGV reported that during 23-29 May activity at Etna’s Southeast Crater (SEC) was characterized by intermittent Strombolian activity and occasional ash emissions. At 0805 on 29 May a fissure opened in the upper part of the Valle del Bove. Two vents along the fissure, located at 2,850 and 2,730 m elevation, produced slow-moving lava flows that had advanced E to 2,090 m elevation by the next day. During an aerial survey conducted on 30 May scientists observed a series of about four arc-shaped fractures on the E flank of SEC, between 3,000 and 3,200 m elevation, and unstable and slumped material which had moved downslope.

Geological summary: Mount Etna, towering above Catania on the island of Sicily, has one of the world’s longest documented records of volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.

Fuego, South-Central Guatemala

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

INSIVUMEH reported that 2-9 explosions per hour were recorded at Fuego during 24-31 May, generating ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim. The ash plumes drifted as far as 30 km in multiple directions, causing ashfall on most days in areas downwind including La Soledad (11 km N), Chimaltenango (21 km NNE), Parramos, Yepocapa (8 km N), Quisaché, Santa Isabel, La Rochela, El Zapote (10 km S), and La Trinidad (S). Ashfall was probable but not reported on three of the days. Daily shock waves rattled structures in communities around the volcano and occasional rumbling was heard. Block avalanches descended the upper flanks in all directions, but most commonly were visible in the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Honda, and Las Lajas (SE) drainages. Explosions ejected incandescent material 100-400 m above the summit on most days. Lahars descended the Ceniza and El Jute (SE) drainages during 27-28 May.

Geological summary: Volcán Fuego, one of Central America’s most active volcanoes, is also one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala’s former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between Fuego and Acatenango to the north. Construction of Meseta dates back to about 230,000 years and continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. Collapse of Meseta may have produced the massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit, which extends about 50 km onto the Pacific coastal plain. Growth of the modern Fuego volcano followed, continuing the southward migration of volcanism that began at the mostly andesitic Acatenango. Eruptions at Fuego have become more mafic with time, and most historical activity has produced basaltic rocks. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows.

Gaua, Banks Islands (Vanuatu)

14.281°S, 167.514°E | Summit elev. 729 m

On 27 May Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards (VMGD) reported that steam emissions continued to be emitted at Gaua based on satellite images and local observers. The steam plumes may have contained volcanic gases. Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5) and the public was warned to stay away from the main cone.

Geological summary: The roughly 20-km-diameter Gaua Island, also known as Santa Maria, consists of a basaltic-to-andesitic stratovolcano with an 6 x 9 km wide summit caldera. Small parasitic vents near the caldera rim fed Pleistocene lava flows that reached the coast on several sides of the island; several littoral cones were formed where these lava flows reached the sea. Quiet collapse that formed the roughly 700-m-deep caldera was followed by extensive ash eruptions. The active Mount Garet (or Garat) cone in the SW part of the caldera has three pit craters across the summit area. Construction of Garet and other small cinder cones has left a crescent-shaped lake. The onset of eruptive activity from a vent high on the SE flank in 1962 ended a long period of dormancy.

Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)

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

AVO reported that the eruption at Great Sitkin continued during 24-31 May, though weather clouds sometimes hindered observations. Almost daily elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite data, consistent with lava effusion, and satellite images during 28-29 May showed that the lava field had expanded. Steam emissions were occasionally visible. 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 identified in satellite images during 20 and 23-27 May. 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 continued to effuse from a vent in the lower W wall of Kilauea’s Halema`uma`u Crater during 24-31 May, entering the lava lake and flowing onto the crater floor. The surface of the lava lake was continuously active all week, though the height of the lake was high and relatively stable. Nearly-continuous breakouts of lava occurred along the NW and W margins of the lake. 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.

Kuchinoerabujima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

30.443°N, 130.217°E | Summit elev. 657 m

JMA lowered the Alert Level for Kuchinoerabujima to 1 (on a scale of 1-5) on 25 May, noting that the number of volcanic earthquakes had decreased to low levels. The report noted that sulfur dioxide emissions had continued to remain low, and that no changes in temperature or the extent of the geothermal areas around the crater were observed.

Geological summary: A group of young stratovolcanoes forms the eastern end of the irregularly shaped island of Kuchinoerabujima in the northern Ryukyu Islands, 15 km W of Yakushima. The Furudake, Shindake, and Noikeyama cones were erupted from south to north, respectively, forming a composite cone with multiple craters. All historical eruptions have occurred from Shindake, although a lava flow from the S flank of Furudake that reached the coast has a very fresh morphology. Frequent explosive eruptions have taken place from Shindake since 1840; the largest of these was in December 1933. Several villages on the 4 x 12 km island are located within a few kilometers of the active crater and have suffered damage from eruptions.

Lewotolok, Lembata Island

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

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during the month of May. White, gray, and black plumes rose as high as 1.2 km above the summit crater, and white-and-gray plumes rose 100-500 m. Lava flows were active on the crater floor. On 31 May lava flow breached the E crater rim and traveled 500 m E, towards the Jontona Village, located 4 km E of the summit. 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.

Manam, Northeast of New Guinea

4.08°S, 145.037°E | Summit elev. 1807 m

The Darwin VAAC reported daily ash plumes at Manam during 25-29 May. At 0720 on 25 May an ash plume rose to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W, and dissipated within 30 minutes. Ash plumes rose to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW during 25-26 May. An eruptive event, observed at 0657 on 27 May by RVO and webcam images, produced an ash plume that rose to 2.4 km a.s.l. based on webcam views; weather clouds prevented satellite views of the emissions. On 28 May an ash plume rose to 2.1 km a.s.l. and drifted NE. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was visible following the emission. On 29 May diffuse ash plumes rose to 2.1-2.4 km a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.

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.

Merapi, Central Java

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

BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi continued during 20-26 May. The heights and morphologies of the SW lava dome and the central lava dome were unchanged from the previous week, and seismicity remained at high levels. As many as 144 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank. Three pyroclastic flows traveled 2 km down the Bebeng drainage. Seismicity remained high. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay 3-7 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 a vent on Pavlof’s upper E flank was ongoing during 24-31 May, and seismic tremor persisted. Daily elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images consistent with the effusion of short lava flows on the upper E flank. An active flow that was 650 m long was visible in satellite images during 28-29 May. 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 several small phreatic explosions at Rincón de la Vieja were recorded during 25-28 May. A phreatic explosion at 1730 on 25 May produced minor ashfall on local plants located on the upper flanks. Weather conditions often prevented views of plumes.

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 23-31 May. Incandescence from Caliente crater and the lava flows on the W and SW flanks was visible nightly and during some early mornings. Avalanches of incandescent blocks descended the W, SW, and S flanks of Caliente. The lava flows continued to advance in the San Isidro channel, and produced block avalanches from the ends and sides of the flows that descended the S, SW, and S flanks. Ash from these avalanches fell in areas on and around the volcano. The lava flow was 3.3 km long by 27 May. Cement-like lahars descended the Cabello de Ángel drainage (a tributary of Nimá I on the SE flank) during 27-28 May, carrying tree trunks, branches, and blocks up to 1 m in diameter.

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

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

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 24-31 May. Several eruptive events (recorded at 0553 and 0627 on 28 May, at 0819 on 29 May, and at 0529 on 30 May) produced ash plumes that rose 300-600 m above the summit and drifted N and SW. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4). The public was warned to stay at least 5 km away from the summit, and 500 m away from Kobokan drainages within 17 km of the summit, and 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 24-31 May. Seismicity continued to be elevated with intermittent tremor and several daily explosions recorded by infrasound and seismic instruments. Weather clouds often prevented satellite and webcam views; sporadic ash emissions were visible during 27-28 May and likely occurred on other days as well. Sulfur dioxide emissions were detected during 27-29 May, and elevated surface temperatures were identified during 28-29 May. 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 20-27 May, and lava-dome extrusion continued. 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 23-29 May activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing explosions from four vents in Area N (North Crater area) and three vents in Area C-S (South-Central Crater area). During most of the week explosions from Area N vents (N1 and N2) averaged 3-6 events per hour; explosions from the N1 vent ejected lapilli and bombs 80-150 m high, and minor gas emissions and weak spattering was visible at N2 vents. No explosions occurred at the S1 and C vents in Area C-S (except for on 25 May); low- to medium-intensity explosions at the two S2 vents occurred at a rate of 0-4 per hour and ejected coarse material 80-150 m high. At 1611 on 25 May a high-energy explosive event occurred at the N vent in S2, ejecting material beyond the area viewed by the Pizzo webcam, located about 250 m elevation. A second explosion, recorded at 1612 at the C vent, ejected course material 80 m high.

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 33 explosions were recorded at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater during 23-30 May. Eruption plumes rose as high as 1.9 km above the crater rim and material was ejected 500 m above the vent. Crater incandescence was visible at night. Ash fell in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW) during 23-27 May. 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.

Yasur, Vanuatu

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

On 27 May 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 (the middle level on a scale of 0-4). Ash-and-gas emissions and loud explosions continued to be recorded, with bombs falling in and around the crater. The public was reminded to not 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.

Reference:

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report – 25 May-31 May 2022 –
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

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