The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: July 20 – 26, 2022
New activity/unrest was reported for 2 volcanoes from July 20 to 26, 2022. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 15 volcanoes.
New activity/unrest: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia).
Ongoing activity: Chiles-Cerro Negro, Colombia-Ecuador | Dukono, Halmahera | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Ibu, Halmahera | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Krakatau, Sunda Strait | Lewotolok, Lembata Island | Merapi, Central Java | Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska | Reventador, Ecuador | Sangay, Ecuador | Semeru, Eastern Java | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).
Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
A notable eruption at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) occurred on 24 July. The event was preceded by inflation first detected at around 0900 on 18 July. JMA warned residents that the inflation represented an intrusion of magma that could result in a large explosion. Sulfur dioxide emissions were at 1,900 tons per day, measured during a field visit on 22 July. Four eruptive events recorded between 23 July and 1500 on 24 July produced plumes that rose 1.2 km above the crater rim; the events did not change the rate of inflation. A larger eruptive event occurred at 2005 on 24 July that ejected bombs more than 2.4 km E, the first time material fell beyond 2 km from the crater since 4 June 2020. The event produced minor plumes that rose 300 m before mingling with weather clouds. The Alert Level was raised to 5 (the highest level on a 5-level scale) at 2050, signaling that residents should evacuate. According to a news article 51 people in 33 households living within a 3-km radius of both Minamidake and Showa craters left their homes. Ashfall was reported in Kagoshima City (about 10 km W). JMA noted that inflation ceased after the event. On 25 July JMA scientists conducted a field visit and confirmed that bombs were deposited more than 2.4 km from the vent and observed ashfall in an area from Shirahamacho to Kurokamicho. During 25-26 July a few small explosions and eruptive events generated plumes that rose as high as 2.2 km above the crater rim and disappeared into the weather clouds. Deformation had stagnated.
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.
Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia)
KVERT reported that moderate activity at Ebeko was ongoing during 14-21 July. According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island, about 7 km E) explosions generated ash plumes that rose up to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and S. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was identified in satellite images during 17-18 July. 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 flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.
Chiles-Cerro Negro, Colombia-Ecuador
nstituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN) and the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto del Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC OVSP) both monitor the Cerro Negro de Mayasquer and Chiles volcanoes, called the Chiles-Cerro Negro volcanic complex (CCNVC), and both issued reports on the seismic swarm that began on 27 May. This seismicity was mainly characterized by VT earthquakes, typically indicating rock fracturing events. The swarm continued during 12-26 July, though the number and size of events were variable. The earthquakes were located along a fracture zone on and as far as 3.5 km S of Chiles volcano, at depths less than 6 km. The number of long-period (LP) and very-long-period (VLP) earthquakes, low-energy events indicating fluid movement, had increased in the previous two weeks; 60 of such events were recorded on 17 July, the highest daily number of events recorded since the beginning of permanent monitoring in November 2013, and 64 were recorded in 20 July. During 12-23 July a total of 43 earthquakes had local magnitudes greater than 2; four of those events, a M 3.3 recorded at 1038 on 16 July, a M 2.8 at 0816 on 22 July, a M 3.5 at 1746 on 22 July, and a M 3 at 2247 on 23 July were all felt in surrounding areas, including in the municipality of Cumbbal, in the department of Nariño. At 0833 on 25 July a M 5.6 was recorded, with a hypocenter located about 10 km S of Tufiño (Carchi province, Ecuador). Building damage was reported in San Gabriel, Tulcán, and El Ángel (Ecuador) and in the Municipalities of Túquerres and Cumbal (Colombia).
Data from continuous GPS geodetic bases located in the vicinity of the Chiles volcano showed a trend of inflation at a rate of approximately 28 mm/year that has been recorded since 2016 (the beginning of deformation monitoring) through the end of 2020, when the deformation stabilized. Neither inflation nor deflation was detected during the beginning of 2020 or in 2021. Inflation was again detected in March, at a rate of 32 mm/year. The rate of inflation notably increased during April-July to an average of 106 mm/year, occurring in at least two deformation zones, one S of Chiles and another in the Potrerillos caldera. The Alert Level remained at 3 (Yellow; the second lowest level on a four-color scale).
Geological summary: The Chiles-Cerro Negro volcanic complex includes both the Pleistocene Chiles and the Cerro Negro de Mayasquer stratovolcanoes astride the Colombia-Ecuador border. Cerro Negro has a caldera open to the west, with andesitic and dacitic lava flows of possible Holocene age (Hall 1992, pers. comm.) and solfataras on the shore of a small crater lake. An eruption reported in 1936 may have been from Reventador (Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World). The higher, glacier-covered summit of Chiles, about 4 km ESE of Cerro Negro, last erupted about 160,000 years ago, but it has a caldera open to the north with hot springs and an active hydrothermal system on its eastern flank.
PVMBG reported that during 19-25 July almost daily white-and-gray ash plumes from Dukono rose as high as 300 m above the summit and drifted N, E, and W. 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.
Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)
AVO reported that slow lava effusion at Great Sitkin continued during 19-26 July. Elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 19-20 July; weather clouds obscured satellite and webcam views during most of the rest of the week. Seismicity was low, and occasional local earthquakes were recorded. Steam emissions were visible in satellite images during 25-26 July. 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. This volcano is located within the Aleutian Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.
PVMBG reported that the eruption at Ibu continued during 21-25 July. Gray-and-white ash plumes of variable densities generally rose as high as 2 km above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at a 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater and 3.5 km away on the N side.
Geological summary: The truncated summit of Gunung Ibu stratovolcano along the NW coast of Halmahera Island has large nested summit craters. The inner crater, 1 km wide and 400 m deep, has contained several small crater lakes. The 1.2-km-wide outer crater is breached on the N, creating a steep-walled valley. A large cone grew ENE of the summit, and a smaller one to the WSW has fed a lava flow down the W flank. A group of maars is located below the N and W flanks. The first observed and recorded eruption was a small explosion from the summit crater in 1911. Eruptive activity began again in December 1998, producing a lava dome that eventually covered much of the floor of the inner summit crater along with ongoing explosive ash emissions.
Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images during 14-21 July. Ash plumes were identified in satellite images drifting 170 km S and SE on 15 July. 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)
HVO stated that by 19 July about 98 million cubic meters of lava had been erupted from a vent in the lower W wall of at Kilauea’s Halema
umau Crater since the current eruption began on 29 September 2021, raising the crater floor by 133 m. Lava continued to effuse from the vent during 19-26 July, entering the lava lake and flowing onto the crater floor. The lake level remained at the bounding levees, though lava oozed from the lake margins on most days. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was approximately 1,300 tons/day on 21 July. The Aviation Color Code and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Orange and Watch, respectively.
Geological summary: Kīlauea 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. This volcano is located within the Hawaiian Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage property.
Krakatau, Sunda Strait
The Darwin VAAC reported that during 20 and 22-24 July ash plumes from Anak Krakatau rose to 2.6-3 km (9,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, WSW, and W based on satellite and webcam images as well as weather models. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4).
Geological summary: The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 or 535 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan, and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan, and left only a remnant of Rakata. This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927. This volcano is located within the Ujung Kulon National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage property.
Lewotolok, Lembata Island
PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 20-26 July. Daily white or white-and-gray emissions rose as high as 500 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. Photos in some posted reports showed Strombolian activity at the active vent. 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
BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi continued during 15-21 July. The heights and morphologies of the SW and central lava domes were unchanged from the previous week, and seismicity remained at high levels. As many as 22 lava avalanches traveled down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank, reaching a maximum distance of 1.8 km. 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
AVO reported that a minor eruption at a vent on Pavlof’s upper E flank was ongoing during 19-26 July. Seismic tremor persisted and multiple daily explosions were detected in seismic and infrasound data. Elevated surface temperatures were identified almost daily in satellite images; weather clouds sometimes prevented views. Diffuse ash emissions were visible in webcam images during 19-20 July. A low-level ash cloud that rose to 2.6 km (8,600 ft) a.s.l. was observed by a pilot at around 1150 on 22 July and corresponded to a slightly larger explosion detected in infrasound data. Steam emissions were visible in satellite images during 25-26 July. 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.
IG characterized the ongoing eruption at Reventador as moderate during 19-26 July. Gas-and-ash plumes, observed with the webcam or reported by the Washington VAAC, rose as high as 1.4 km above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. An active lava flow descending the NE flanks was visible in thermal webcam images during 21-24 July.
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.
IG reported a high level of activity at Sangay during 19-26 July. Daily ash-and-gas plumes were identified in IG webcam images and visible in satellite images according to the Washington VAAC. Plumes rose as high as 2 km above the volcano and drifted WNW, W, and S. Incandescent material was seen descending the SE flank during 21-22 July.
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. This volcano is located within the Sangay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage property.
Semeru, Eastern Java
PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 19-26 July. At 1455 on 24 July an ash plume rose 300 m above the summit and drifted 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 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. This volcano is located within the Bromo Tengger Semeru-Arjuno, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.
Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that the ongoing eruption at Sheveluch was characterized by explosions, hot avalanches, and lava-dome extrusion during 15-21 July. A daily thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images, and ash plumes were visible drifting 125 km E and SE during 16 and 18-19 July. 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)
JMA reported that the eruption at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater continued during 18-25 July. There were four explosions, producing eruption plumes that rose as high as 1.2 km above the crater rim and ejecting larger material 300 m from the vent. Crater incandescence was observed nightly, and volcanic tremor was occasionally recorded. The Alert Level remained at 2 and the public was warned to stay 1 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.
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report – July 20 – 26, 2022 – Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
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