The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: August 31 – September 6, 2022
New activity/unrest was reported for 5 volcanoes from August 31 to September 6, 2022. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 18 volcanoes.
New activity/unrest: Chikurachki, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Karthala, Grand Comore Island | Marapi, Central Sumatra | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Ta’u, American Samoa (SW Pacific).
Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Dukono, Halmahera | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Fuego, South-Central Guatemala | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Kadovar, Northeast of New Guinea | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Kuchinoerabujima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Lewotolok, Lembata Island | Merapi, Central Java | Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska | Santa Maria, Southwestern Guatemala | Semeru, Eastern Java | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Whakaari/White Island, North Island (New Zealand).
Chikurachki, Paramushir Island (Russia)
50.324°N, 155.461°E | Summit elev. 1781 m
KVERT reported that an ash plume from Chikurachki was identified in satellite images drifting 94 km ESE on 26 August. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale). According to the Tokyo VAAC an ash plume was identified in satellite images at 1730 on 2 September, local time, drifting NE at an altitude of 3.7 m (12,000 ft). Dates are based on UTC times; specific events are in local time where noted.
Geological summary: Chikurachki, the highest volcano on Paramushir Island in the northern Kuriles, is a relatively small cone constructed on a high Pleistocene edifice. Oxidized basaltic-to-andesitic scoria deposits covering the upper part of the young cone give it a distinctive red color. Frequent basaltic Plinian eruptions have occurred during the Holocene. Lava flows have reached the sea and formed capes on the NW coast; several young lava flows are also present on the E flank beneath a scoria deposit. The Tatarinov group of six volcanic centers is located immediately to the south, and the Lomonosov cinder cone group, the source of an early Holocene lava flow that reached the saddle between it and Fuss Peak to the west, lies at the southern end of the N-S-trending Chikurachki-Tatarinov complex. In contrast to the frequently active Chikurachki, the Tatarinov centers are extensively modified by erosion and have a more complex structure. Tephrochronology gives evidence of an eruption around 1690 CE from Tatarinov, although its southern cone contains a sulfur-encrusted crater with fumaroles that were active along the margin of a crater lake until 1959.
Karthala, Grand Comore Island
11.75°S, 43.38°E | Summit elev. 2361 m
According to the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile – Comores, the Observatoire Volcanologique du Karthala (OVK) reported that a significant increase in the number of small earthquakes beneath Karthala’s W flank began to be detected on 15 July. The abnormal activity persisted, so on 16 August the Alert Level was raised to Yellow (the lowest level on a three-level scale) and residents were asked to limit activities on and around the volcano. On 5 September OVK recommended that the Alert Level remain at Yellow.
Geological summary: The southernmost and largest of the two shield volcanoes forming Grand Comore Island (also known as Ngazidja Island), Karthala contains a 3 x 4 km summit caldera generated by repeated collapse. Elongated rift zones extend to the NNW and SE from the summit of the Hawaiian-style basaltic shield, which has an asymmetrical profile that is steeper to the S. The lower SE rift zone forms the Massif du Badjini, a peninsula at the SE tip of the island. Historical eruptions have modified the morphology of the compound, irregular summit caldera. More than twenty eruptions have been recorded since the 19th century from the summit caldera and vents on the N and S flanks. Many lava flows have reached the sea on both sides of the island. An 1860 lava flow from the summit caldera traveled ~13 km to the NW, reaching the W coast to the N of the capital city of Moroni.
Marapi, Central Sumatra
0.38°S, 100.474°E | Summit elev. 2885 m
In a special notice posted on 2 September PVMBG reported that tiltmeter deformation data for Marapi showed a trend of inflation at the summit and deflation along the flanks. Seismicity continued to fluctuate with the dominating signal indicating hydrothermal activity. A phreatic eruption was the most likely kind of volcanic activity that could occur at the volcano, based on the recent data, and it could occur without warning; PVMBG reminded the public to stay at least 3 km away from the summit. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).
Geological summary: Gunung Marapi, not to be confused with the better-known Merapi volcano on Java, is Sumatra’s most active volcano. This massive complex stratovolcano rises 2,000 m above the Bukittinggi Plain in the Padang Highlands. A broad summit contains multiple partially overlapping summit craters constructed within the small 1.4-km-wide Bancah caldera. The summit craters are located along an ENE-WSW line, with volcanism migrating to the west. More than 50 eruptions, typically consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been recorded since the end of the 18th century; no lava flows outside the summit craters have been reported in historical time.
Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA)
51.93°N, 179.58°E | Summit elev. 1221 m
AVO reported ongoing low-level seismicity and steam emissions at Semisopochnoi during 30 August-6 September. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 1-2 September. Several small ash eruptions from the N crater of Mount Cerberus were visible in webcam images during 2-3 September and detected in seismic and infrasound data. Satellite and webcam views were cloudy during 4-5 September. 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.
Ta’u, American Samoa (SW Pacific)
14.23°S, 169.454°W | Summit elev. 931 m
HVO reported that an earthquake swarm around Ta’u, in the Manu’a Islands of American Samoa, continued during 30 August-6 September. Less than 30 earthquakes per day were large enough to be felt by residents and many more earthquakes undetectable by humans were also recorded; no earthquakes were reportedly felt during 5-6 September. The data suggested that the earthquakes were consistently occurring in an area about 5-15 km off the N shore of the island, at depths of 10-15 km below the surface. There was no change in the frequency or size of earthquakes and the position of the swarm remained unchanged. USGS staff installed GPS equipment during 4-6 September. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory and the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.
Geological summary: The 10-km-wide Ta’u Island, located at the E end of the Samoan islands, is ringed by sea cliffs. It is the emergent portion of the large Lata shield volcano. A major flank collapse event around 22 ka resulted in the steep scarps on the southern side of the island. Two smaller shields were constructed along rift zones at the NW and NE tips of the island. The NW corner of the island has a tuff-cone complex that ejected large dunite xenoliths and coral blocks. Numerous Holocene post-caldera cones occur at the summit and on the flanks.
Aira, Kyushu (Japan)
31.593°N, 130.657°E | Summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported low but continuing activity from Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 29 August-5 September. Small eruptive events were recorded throughout the week, and crater incandescence was visible nightly. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 2,500 tons per day on 30 August, the same rate as the last measurement on 16 August. 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.
1.693°N, 127.894°E | Summit elev. 1229 m
PVMBG reported that daily ash plumes from Dukono rose as high as 800 m above the summit and drifted SW, W, and NW. The plume colors were various shades white, gray, and black and had variable densities from diffuse to dense. 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.
Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia)
50.686°N, 156.014°E | Summit elev. 1103 m
KVERT reported that moderate activity at Ebeko was ongoing. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was identified in satellite images on 25 and 31 August. According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island, about 7 km E) explosions generated ash plumes during 25-26, 28, and 30-31 August, and 1 September, that rose up to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N and E. Ashfall was reported in Severo-Kurilsk on 30 August. 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.
Fuego, South-Central Guatemala
14.473°N, 90.88°W | Summit elev. 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that 4-13 explosions per hour were recorded at Fuego during 30 August-6 September, generating ash plumes that rose as high as 1.1 km above the crater rim. The ash plumes drifted as far as 30 km N, NW, W, and SW, causing daily ashfall in areas downwind including Morelia (9 km SW), Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), Los Yucales (12 km SW), Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW), El Porvenir (8 km ENE), San Pedro Yepocapa (8 km NW), and Finca Palo Verde. Daily shock waves rattled structures in communities within about 10 km around the volcano. Daily block avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Seca (W), Trinidad (S), Taniluyá (SW), Honda, and Las Lajas (SE) drainages, often reaching vegetated areas. Explosions ejected incandescent material 100-300 m above the summit each day. Lahars resulting from substantial rainfall descended the Las Lajas and El Jute drainages on the ESE flank and the Ceniza drainage on the SSW flank during 29-30 August and on 2 September, carrying tree branches, trunks, and blocks as large as 2 m in diameter.
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.
Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)
52.076°N, 176.13°W | Summit elev. 1740 m
AVO reported that slow lava effusion at Great Sitkin likely continued during 30 August-6 September with lava thickening over the vent and expanding outward; the lava flows did not advance. Minor steaming from the summit was observed during 30-31 August, and elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 2-5 September. Seismicity was very low. Weather clouds sometimes prevented satellite and webcam views. 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.
Kadovar, Northeast of New Guinea
3.608°S, 144.588°E | Summit elev. 365 m
Based on satellite and wind model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 31 August an ash plume from Kadovar rose to an altitude of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW.
Geological summary: The 2-km-wide island of Kadovar is the emergent summit of a Bismarck Sea stratovolcano of Holocene age. It is part of the Schouten Islands, and lies off the coast of New Guinea, about 25 km N of the mouth of the Sepik River. Prior to an eruption that began in 2018, a lava dome formed the high point of the andesitic volcano, filling an arcuate landslide scarp open to the south; submarine debris-avalanche deposits occur in that direction. Thick lava flows with columnar jointing forms low cliffs along the coast. The youthful island lacks fringing or offshore reefs. A period of heightened thermal phenomena took place in 1976. An eruption began in January 2018 that included lava effusion from vents at the summit and at the E coast.
Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
54.049°N, 159.443°E | Summit elev. 1513 m
KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images during 25 August-1 September. 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 30 August-6 September, entering the lava lake and flowing onto the crater floor. Part of the lake’s surface was continuously active. The lake level mostly remained within the bounding levees, though breakouts were visible along the W and NW margins. 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.
Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.056°N, 160.642°E | Summit elev. 4754 m
Strong winds re-suspended ash from the E flank of Klyuchevskoy and created plumes that were visible in satellite and webcam images drifting 180 km E on 5 September, local time. The plumes rose to altitudes of 3-4 km (9,800-13,100 ft) a.s.l. KVERT raised the Aviation Color Code to Orange but lowered it back to Green the next day.
Geological summary: Klyuchevskoy (also spelled Kliuchevskoi) is Kamchatka’s highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 6000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. It rises above a saddle NE of sharp-peaked Kamen volcano and lies SE of the broad Ushkovsky massif. More than 100 flank eruptions have occurred during the past roughly 3000 years, with most lateral craters and cones occurring along radial fissures between the unconfined NE-to-SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3600 m elevation. The morphology of the 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included numerous major explosive and effusive eruptions from flank craters.
Kuchinoerabujima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
30.443°N, 130.217°E | Summit elev. 657 m
The number of volcanic earthquakes with hypocenters near Kuchinoerabujima’s crater increased during 30-31 July prompting JMA to raise the Alert Level to 2 (on a scale of 1-5). The number of earthquakes then decreased to low levels by 1 August and remained low. Sulfur dioxide emissions were also at low levels and on some days were below the detection limit. On 1 September the Alert Level was lowered to 1.
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 30 August-6 September. Daily white emissions rose as high as 500 m above the summit and drifted NW, W, and SW. During 1-2 September white, gray, and black plumes rose as high as 1.5 km above 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 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 that the eruption at Merapi continued during 26 August-1 September and seismicity remained at elevated levels. As many as 13 lava avalanches from the SW lava dome traveled down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank, reaching a maximum distance of 2 km. The SW lava dome had continued to grow, and had an estimated volume of 1.62 million cubic meters based on 29 August aerial photographs. 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 a minor eruption at a vent on Pavlof’s upper E flank was ongoing during 30 August-6 September. A small vent re-opened ESE of the main vent. Seismic tremor persisted. Weather clouds mostly prevented views of the volcano during the first part of the week, though incandescence from the vent was visible in webcam images at night on 1 September; elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 2-6 September. A diffuse gas plume visible in webcam images on 4 September possibly contained trace amounts of ash. Gas plumes visible the next day contained minor amounts of ash. 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.
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 30 August-6 September. Lava-dome effusion at Caliente cone fed lava flows that descended the San Isidro and El Tambor drainages on the W and SW flanks; the flows were as long as 4.2 km by 30 August. Block avalanches from the dome, and from both the ends and sides of the flows, descended the SW and W flanks. The avalanches sometimes generated ash plumes that rose as high as 500 m above the complex. Incandescence from the dome and the lava flows was sometimes visible at night or during early mornings. Explosions during 31 August-1 September occasionally ejected incandescent material onto the flanks in all directions.
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 30 August-6 September. Eruptive events at 0756 on 2 September, 0518 and 0956 on 5 September, and 0521 on 6 September produced ash plumes that rose 500-700 m above the summit and drifted mainly 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 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.
Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.653°N, 161.36°E | Summit elev. 3283 m
KVERT reported that the ongoing eruption at Sheveluch was characterized by explosions, hot avalanches, and lava-dome extrusion during 25 August-1 September. A daily thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images. Plumes of re-suspended ash drifted 150 km E on 25 August. Hot avalanches generated an ash plume on 1 September that drifted 70 km E. 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 1,300 km3 andesitic volcano is one of Kamchatka’s largest and most active volcanic structures, with at least 60 large eruptions during the Holocene. 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 occur on its outer flanks. The Molodoy Shiveluch lava dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within the large open caldera; Holocene lava dome extrusion also took place on the flanks of Stary Shiveluch. Widespread tephra layers from these eruptions have provided valuable time markers for dating volcanic events in Kamchatka. Frequent collapses of dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera.
Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
29.638°N, 129.714°E | Summit elev. 796 m
JMA reported that the eruption at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater continued during 31 August-5 September. There were four explosions that likely produced eruption plumes, though weather clouds prevented visual confirmation. Large blocks were ejected 700 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 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. One of Japan’s most frequently active volcanoes, it was in a state of intermittent Strombolian activity from Otake, the NE summit crater, between 1949 and 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest recorded 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 open 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 7 September GeoNet reported that access to continuous data streams from the last operating earthquake and pressure sensor on Whakaari/White Island had recently been lost, hindering scientists’ ability to distinguish between various levels of unrest. The Volcanic Alert Level was raised to 2 and the Aviation Color Code was changed to Yellow not because of actual increased activity but to reflect uncertainty in the interpretation of events on the island. Observations and gas-monitoring flights will be conducted more frequently until the island can visited to service the equipment and power supplies. Images from island webcams continued to be intermittently available. The report noted that low levels of activity on the island were observed during the last overflight on 31 August. Tall steam-and-gas plumes are sometimes observed from the mainland coast.
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.
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report – August 31 – September 6, 2022 -Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Your support makes a difference
Dear valued reader,
We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.
The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.
If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.
Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Commenting rules and guidelines
We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:
We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.