The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: September 28 – October 4, 2022

the weekly volcanic activity report

New activity/unrest was reported for 5 volcanoes from September 28 to October 4, 2022. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 20 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Alaid, Kuril Islands (Russia) | Home Reef, Tonga Ridge | Nishinoshima, Izu Islands | Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France) | Trident, Alaska.

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Karthala, Grand Comore Island | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Lewotolok, Lembata Island | Marapi, Central Sumatra | Merapi, Central Java | Nevados de Chillan, Central Chile | Pavlof, Alaska Peninsula, Alaska | Sabancaya, Peru | Semeru, Eastern Java | Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Taal, Luzon (Philippines) | Ta’u, American Samoa (SW Pacific) | Villarrica, Central Chile | Whakaari/White Island, North Island (New Zealand).

New activity/unrest

Alaid, Kuril Islands (Russia)

50.861°N, 155.565°E | Summit elev. 2285 m

KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Alaid was identified in satellite images during 22-30 September. Ash plumes were visible drifting 140 km NE and SE during 26-27 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: The highest and northernmost volcano of the Kuril Islands, 2285-m-high Alaid is a symmetrical stratovolcano when viewed from the north, but has a 1.5-km-wide summit crater that is breached widely to the south. Alaid is the northernmost of a chain of volcanoes constructed west of the main Kuril archipelago. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the lower flanks of this basaltic to basaltic-andesite volcano, particularly on the NW and SE sides, including an offshore cone formed during the 1933-34 eruption. Strong explosive eruptions have occurred from the summit crater beginning in the 18th century. Reports of eruptions in 1770, 1789, 1821, 1829, 1843, 1848, and 1858 were considered incorrect by Gorshkov (1970). Explosive eruptions in 1790 and 1981 were among the largest in the Kuril Islands during historical time.

Home Reef, Tonga Ridge

18.992°S, 174.775°W | Summit elev. -10 m

The Tonga Geological Services reported that the new island at Home Reef that emerged from the ocean on 10 September continued to grow through 4 October. Daily counts of eruptive events producing gas-and-steam plumes were variable, though during the middle of the week they had decreased to less than 10 events per day. By 1040 on 28 September the dimensions of the new island were estimated to be 268 m N-S and 283 m E-W, and the highest point on the island was about 15 m a.s.l. The island was surrounded by plumes of discolored water within about 200 m from the shore. The plumes were elongated to the S, and were denser with suspended material within 1 km and more diffuse at distances greater or equal to 2 km. Mariners were advised to stay 4 km away from the volcano.

Geological summary: Home Reef, a submarine volcano midway between Metis Shoal and Late Island in the central Tonga islands, was first reported active in the mid-19th century, when an ephemeral island formed. An eruption in 1984 produced a 12-km-high eruption plume, copious amounts of floating pumice, and an ephemeral island 500 x 1500 m wide, with cliffs 30-50 m high that enclosed a water-filled crater. Another island-forming eruption in 2006 produced widespread dacitic pumice rafts that reached as far as Australia.

Nishinoshima, Izu Islands

27.247°N, 140.874°E | Summit elev. 25 m

According to JMA and the Tokyo VAAC an eruption at Nishinoshima produced ash plumes that rose to 1.8-2.6 km (6,000-8,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and W during 1-4 October.

Geological summary: The small island of Nishinoshima was enlarged when several new islands coalesced during an eruption in 1973-74. Another eruption that began offshore in 2013 completely covered the previous exposed surface and enlarged the island again. Water discoloration has been observed on several occasions since. The island is the summit of a massive submarine volcano that has prominent satellitic peaks to the S, W, and NE. The summit of the southern cone rises to within 214 m of the sea surface 9 km SSE.

Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island (France)

21.244°S, 55.708°E | Summit elev. 2632 m

OVPF reported that the eruption at Piton de la Fournaise that began on 19 September was ongoing at a cone adjacent to the SW flank of Piton Kala Pélé during 28 September-4 October. The cone ejected lava to low heights above the rim. Lava flowed from the base of the cone in two main branches, to the SE and E, mainly through lava tubes, as far as 3 km. By 28 September the cone had grown to just over 8 m tall and around 27 m wide at its base. Average daily lava flow discharge rate estimates had a mean value of 8 meters per second at the beginning of the eruption but then stabilized at 2-4 meters per second; the flow rate increased during 28-29 September to more than 6 meters per second. Lava discharge rates were likely underestimated due to measurements hindered by weather conditions or flows obscured by tubes. Tremor levels and gas emissions also began increasing on 29 September and remained at high levels during the rest of the week. The vent at the top of the cone widened and a new, smaller cone formed on the S flank and produced lava flows. The volume of erupted lava was 2.6-5.4 million cubic meters by 30 September; peak discharge rates reached 20 meters per second at times.

Sulfur dioxide emission estimates derived from satellite data had increased from about 610 tons per day on 28 September to 1,525 tons per day on 1 October. A well-defined gas plume, denser than those seen during previous days, was identified in a 30 September satellite image drifting 300 km NW at an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. A more significant sulfur dioxide plume was identified in satellite data the next day, drifting as far as 400 km. Gas plumes drifted SW during 2-3 October. Sulfur dioxide emissions continued to increase and were about 2,500 tons per day on 3 October. The cone had grown to around 12 m tall and 43 m wide at the base.

During 3-4 October the ejection of lava above the cone became less intense, and the new smaller cone was only weakly active. The southernmost lava flow had reached 1,800 m elevation in an area 1.5 km NW of Nez coupé du Tremblet. During 4-5 October tremor levels fluctuated. Lava effusion increased, averaging 10 meters per second with peaks at 25 meters per second. Lava was ejected above the main vent, which was 23 m wide; the smaller vent was not active. The eruption stopped or paused at 0748 on 5 October based on visual observations and a sudden halt in tremor signals.

Geological summary: Piton de la Fournaise is a massive basaltic shield volcano on the French island of Réunion in the western Indian Ocean. Much of its more than 530,000-year history overlapped with eruptions of the deeply dissected Piton des Neiges shield volcano to the NW. Three scarps formed at about 250,000, 65,000, and less than 5,000 years ago by progressive eastward slumping, leaving caldera-sized embayments open to the E and SE. Numerous pyroclastic cones are present on the floor of the scarps and their outer flanks. Most recorded eruptions have originated from the summit and flanks of Dolomieu, a 400-m-high lava shield that has grown within the youngest scarp, which is about 9 km wide and about 13 km from the western wall to the ocean on the E side. More than 150 eruptions, most of which have produced fluid basaltic lava flows, have occurred since the 17th century. Only six eruptions, in 1708, 1774, 1776, 1800, 1977, and 1986, have originated from fissures outside the scarps.

Trident, Alaska

58.236°N, 155.1°W | Summit elev. 1864 m

AVO raised the Aviation Color Code for Trident to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory (the second lowest level on a four-level scale) on 29 September due to an ongoing seismic swarm. The swarm began on 24 August and within about four days the seismic network began detecting episodes of weak seismic tremor and low frequency earthquakes. The events were initially located at depths around 25 km, but then they progressively shallowed to around 5 km by 28 August. Earthquakes were located 3-6 km deep since then, though some deeper events were recorded. AVO attributed the swarm to moving magma or magmatic fluids and noted that seismic swarms had previously been recorded with no subsequent eruptions.

Geological summary: The Trident stratovolcano cluster was named for the three prominent peaks that were the most visible features at the summit prior to 1953. The andesitic-dacitic group consists of four overlapping stratovolcanoes and numerous flank lava domes, including Falling Mountain and Mt. Cerberus on the far west flank. The summit complex is located 3-5 km SE of Novarupta volcano, and merges along a ridge to the NE with Katmai. The three oldest Trident volcanoes are glaciated and Pleistocene in age, while the youngest, Southwest Trident, was formed during historical time. Eruptions migrated through time from the NE to the SW. In 1953 a new lava dome began growing on the SW flank of Trident I volcano. A series of thick andesitic lava flows were erupted between 1953 and 1968, forming a cone with 400-800 m of local relief. Periodic explosions took place until 1974, and the current summit contains a 350-m-wide crater. Some of the distal lava flows from West Trident stratovolcano collapsed into the Novarupta vent during its 1912 eruption.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)

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

JMA reported that 11 eruptive events and five explosions at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) were recorded during 26 September-3 October. Volcanic plumes rose as high as 2.8 km above the crater rim and large blocks were ejected as far as 1.7 km from the vent. Incandescence at the crater was visible nightly. 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.

Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia)

50.686°N, 156.014°E | Summit elev. 1103 m

KVERT reported that moderate activity at Ebeko was ongoing. According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island, about 7 km E) explosions generated ash plumes that rose to 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E during 22-24 and 27-28 September. On 22 and 28 September the ash plumes that drifted E and N produced ashfall in Severo-Kurilsk. A thermal anomaly over the volcano was identified in satellite images on 23 and 28 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: 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.

Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)

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

AVO reported that continuing slow lava effusion at Great Sitkin was confirmed by a 27 September satellite image and likely continued during 28 September-4 October. Elevated surface temperatures were identified during 28-29 September; weather clouds often prevented webcam and satellite views during the rest of the week. Seismicity remained at low levels. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch (the second highest level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

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.

Karthala, Grand Comore Island

11.75°S, 43.38°E | Summit elev. 2361 m

According to the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile (DGSC) – Comores on 4 October, the Observatoire Volcanologique du Karthala (OVK) reported that activity at Karthala had significantly declined during the previous few days. OVK recommended that the Alert Level remain at Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-level scale).

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.

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 27 September-4 October, entering the lava lake. The active part of the lake stayed at a relatively steady level through the week, varying only slightly. Sulfur dioxide emissions were approximately 970 and 1,800 tonnes per day on 28 and 30 September, respectively. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch (the second highest level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: Kilauea overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano in the island of Hawaii. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation since 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity at Halemaumau crater in the summit caldera until 1924. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1,500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and Southwest rift zones, which extend to the ocean in both directions. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the surface is younger than 600 years. The long-term eruption from the East rift zone between 1983 and 2018 produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroyed hundreds of houses, and added new coastline.

Lewotolok, Lembata Island

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

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 27 September-4 October. White emissions rose as high as 350 m above the summit and drifted E, SE, W, and NW on most days. White-and-gray plumes rose as high 500 m and drifted NW, W, and E during 29-30 September and 1-2 October. 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.

Marapi, Central Sumatra

0.38°S, 100.474°E | Summit elev. 2885 m

PVMBG reported that seismicity at Marapi increased on 29 September, with 146 deep volcanic earthquakes recorded by the seismic network. Surficial activity showed no changes. The Alert Level remained at 1 (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.

Merapi, Central Java

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

BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi continued during 23-29 September and seismicity remained at high levels. As many as seven lava avalanches from the SW lava dome traveled down the Bebeng drainage on the SW flank, reaching a maximum distance of 1.8 km. No morphological changes to the central lava domes were evident in photographs, while the SW dome grew about 1 m taller. 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.

Nevados de Chillan, Central Chile

36.868°S, 71.378°W | Summit elev. 3180 m

SERNAGEOMIN reported that two long-period earthquake signals were recorded at Nevados de Chillán at 0813 on 3 October and 1630 on 4 October, and both were followed by a dense ash emission. The ash plume from the first event rose 760 m above the summit and drifted SSW, while the ash plume from the second event rose as high as 1.9 km and also drifted SSW. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the second lowest level on a four-color scale. ONEMI maintained an Alert Level Yellow (the middle level on a three-color scale) for the communities of Pinto and Coihueco, and reminded residents not to approach the crater within 2 km.

Geological summary: The compound volcano of Nevados de Chillán is one of the most active of the Central Andes. Three late-Pleistocene to Holocene stratovolcanoes were constructed along a NNW-SSE line within three nested Pleistocene calderas, which produced ignimbrite sheets extending more than 100 km into the Central Depression of Chile. The dominantly andesitic Cerro Blanco (Volcán Nevado) stratovolcano is located at the NW end of the massif. Volcán Viejo (Volcán Chillán), which was the main active vent during the 17th-19th centuries, occupies the SE end. The Volcán Nuevo lava-dome complex formed during 1906-1945 on the NW flank of Viejo. The Volcán Arrau dome complex was then constructed on the SE side of Volcán Nuevo between 1973 and 1986, and eventually exceeded its height. Smaller domes or cones are present in the 5-km valley between the two major edifices.

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 27 September-4 October. Seismic tremor continued, and a few small earthquakes were recorded during 28-29 September. Weather clouds often prevented views of the volcano, though elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images on a few of the days. Diffuse steam plumes were visible in webcam views during 30 September-2 October. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch (the second highest level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

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.

Sabancaya, Peru

15.787°S, 71.857°W | Summit elev. 5960 m

Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported moderate levels of activity at Sabancaya during 5-11 September with a daily average of 46 explosions. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 3 km above the summit and drifted NE, E, and SE. As many as nine thermal anomalies originating from the lava dome in the summit crater were identified in satellite data. Minor inflation continued to be detected near Hualca Hualca (4 km N). The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) and the public were warned to stay outside of a 12-km radius.

Geological summary: Sabancaya, located in the saddle NE of Ampato and SE of Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. The name Sabancaya (meaning “tongue of fire” in the Quechua language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of Plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of historical eruptions date back to 1750.

Semeru, Eastern Java

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

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Semeru continued during 27 September-4 October. Eruptive events at 0459 and 0726 on 2 October produced ash plumes that rose 500-700 m above the summit and drifted S 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.

Semisopochnoi, Aleutian Islands (USA)

51.93°N, 179.58°E | Summit elev. 1221 m

On 29 September AVO lowered the Aviation Color Code for Semisopochnoi to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory (the second lowest level on a four-level scale) noting that no ash emissions or explosive activity had been detected since 14 September. Seismicity had decreased, though remained at elevated levels. Steam emissions from the active vent in the N crater of Mount Cerberus persisted. Seismic tremor and a small explosion were detected in seismic and infrasound data during 3-4 October.

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 the ongoing eruption at Sheveluch was characterized by explosions, hot avalanches, and lava-dome extrusion during 15-22 September. A daily thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images. Plumes of re-suspended ash drifted 113 km E on 23 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: 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.

Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy)

38.789°N, 15.213°E | Summit elev. 924 m

INGV reported that during 26 September-2 October activity at Stromboli was characterized by ongoing explosions from three vents in Area N (North Crater area) and at least two vents in Area C-S (South-Central Crater area). Low-intensity explosions from the N1 vent (Area N) ejected course material (bombs and lapilli) 80-150 m high at a rate of 3-5 explosions per hour. Spattering was visible at the N2 vent (Area N). Explosions from at least two vents in Area C-S, which were not visible due to the camera views, ejected ash and course material less than 150 m above the vent at a rate of 1-5 events per hour.

At 1524 on 29 September an explosion at N2 generated an ash plume that rose 300 m above the summit and ejected abundant amounts of lava fragments, lapilli, and bombs along the Sciara del Fuoco. Four subsequent, low-intensity explosions ejected tephra 100 m high. Spattering activity at the vent intensified afterwards and through the next day. Beginning at 1115 on 3 October a lava flow emerged from Area N and traveled down the Sciara del Fuoco, reaching the ocean.

Geological summary: Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at Stromboli have long attracted visitors to the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean” in the NE Aeolian Islands. This volcano 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 scarp that formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures which extends 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 the eruption at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater continued during 30 September-3 October. A total of 38 explosions produced eruption plumes that rose as high as 1.6 km above the crater rim and occasionally ejected large bombs from the vent. Crater incandescence was visible nightly and ash sometimes fell in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW). 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.

Taal, Luzon (Philippines)

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

In a special advisory, PHIVOLCS reported that sulfur dioxide emissions at Taal were as high as 10,718 tonnes per day on 29 September, creating a significant amount of vog over the caldera. Voggy conditions were reported by residents of Laurel, Agoncillo, and Santa Teresita, Batangas. The report noted that sulfur dioxide emissions had been increasing since 15 July and averaged 6,612 tonnes per day in September. In early August degassing at the volcano increased characterized by the upwelling of hot fluids in the lake and steam-rich plumes rising as high as 2.5 km above the lake’s surface. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5), and PHIVOLCS warned the public that the entire Taal Volcano Island was a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ).

Geological summary: Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines and has produced some of its most powerful historical eruptions. Though not topographically prominent, its prehistorical eruptions have greatly changed the landscape of SW Luzon. The 15 x 20 km Talisay (Taal) caldera is largely filled by Lake Taal, whose 267 km2 surface lies only 3 m above sea level. The maximum depth of the lake is 160 m, and several eruptive centers lie submerged beneath the lake. The 5-km-wide Volcano Island in north-central Lake Taal is the location of all observed eruptions. The island is composed of coalescing small stratovolcanoes, tuff rings, and scoria cones. Powerful pyroclastic flows and surges have caused many fatalities.

Ta’u, American Samoa (SW Pacific)

14.23°S, 169.454°W | Summit elev. 931 m

HVO lowered the Volcano Alert Level for Ta’u to Normal (the lowest level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code to Green (the lowest level on a four-color scale) on 3 October, noting that seismic activity had dramatically decreased and maintained low levels over the past few weeks. Analysis of data from one seismometer that had recorded earthquakes during 2005-2009 suggested that a rate of five detected earthquakes per day was characteristic of long-term background seismicity; the current earthquakes rates were at background levels.

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.

Villarrica, Central Chile

39.42°S, 71.93°W | Summit elev. 2847 m

On 3 October SERNAGEOMIN reported that recent passive emissions from Villarrica contained tephra that was deposited on the upper SW flank. Evidence suggested that there were recent fluctuations in the intensity of activity at the lava lake in the main crater. The Alert Level remained at Green, the lowest level on a four-color scale.

Geological summary: Glacier-clad Villarrica, one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, rises above the lake and town of the same name. It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain. A 6-km-wide caldera formed during the late Pleistocene. A 2-km-wide caldera that formed about 3500 years ago is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesitic cone at the NW margin of the Pleistocene caldera. More than 30 scoria cones and fissure vents dot the flanks. Plinian eruptions and pyroclastic flows that have extended up to 20 km from the volcano were produced during the Holocene. Lava flows up to 18 km long have issued from summit and flank vents. Historical eruptions, documented since 1558, have consisted largely of mild-to-moderate explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. Glaciers cover 40 km2 of the volcano, and lahars have damaged towns on its flanks.

Whakaari/White Island, North Island (New Zealand)

37.52°S, 177.18°E | Summit elev. 294 m

GeoNet reported that the minor ash and sulfur dioxide emissions from the active vent area in Whakaari/White Island’s crater only occurred on 18 September based on subsequent webcam and satellite images. The most likely cause for the emission was a gas release from small amount of magma moving into the shallow part of the volcano, though there was no evidence of increasing activity at the volcano. On 30 September the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-color scale) and the Volcanic Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5).

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.

Reference:

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report – September 28 – October 4, 2022 Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

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