The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: February 28 – March 5, 2024

the weekly volcanic activity report

New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes from February 28 – March 5, 2024. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 18 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Fernandina, Isla Fernandina (Galapagos) | Lewotolok, Lembata Island | Reykjanes, Reykjanes Peninsula.

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Dukono, Halmahera | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | El Misti, Peru | Gareloi, Aleutian Islands (USA) | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Huaynaputina, Peru | Ibu, Halmahera | Lewotobi, Flores Island | Marapi, Central Sumatra | Mayon, Luzon (Philippines) | Merapi, Central Java | Semeru, Eastern Java | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Taal, Luzon (Philippines) | Ubinas, Peru | Villarrica, Central Chile.

New activity/unrest

Fernandina, Isla Fernandina (Galapagos)

0.37°S, 91.55°W | Summit elev. 1476 m

IG-EPN reported that an eruption at Fernandina began around 2350 on 2 March from a circumferential fissure on the upper SE flank. The fissure possibly propagated 3-5 km and produced a gas emission with low ash content that rose 2-3 km above the summit and drifted W, NNW, and SSE. The emission was detected in satellite data and the fissure was confirmed by pictures shared on social media and reports from Parque Nacional Galápagos. The emissions were intense until about 0400 on 3 March before decreasing. More than 1,000 thermal anomalies were identified in satellite images during 0044-0135 corresponding to multiple lava flows descending the SE flank. Sulfur dioxide emissions were about 46,460 tons per day (t/d) at 1327 on 3 March, based on satellite data. During 3-4 March gas plumes with low to no ash content continued to be identified in satellite images, drifting WSW. Hundreds of thermal anomalies were detected in satellite data with some of the intensities of the anomalies being characterized as high, very high, and extreme. Sulfur dioxide emissions had decreased to about 24,000 t/d at 1327 on 4 March, based on satellite data. Observations by park rangers during 4-5 March indicated that activity had decreased and the lava flows had only advanced slightly. Satellite data indicated that sulfur dioxide emissions continued to decline and were about 2,228 t/d at 1247 on 5 March. Gas plumes rose 370-970 m above the summit and drifted WSW. Hundreds of thermal anomalies continued to be detected during 5-6 March with a few being characterized as high to very high. The lava flows had traveled as far as 7.9 km based on satellite data and maps.

Geological summary: Fernandina, the most active of Galápagos volcanoes and the one closest to the Galápagos mantle plume, is a basaltic shield volcano with a deep 5 x 6.5 km summit caldera. The volcano displays the classic “overturned soup bowl” profile of Galápagos shield volcanoes. Its caldera is elongated in a NW-SE direction and formed during several episodes of collapse. Circumferential fissures surround the caldera and were instrumental in growth of the volcano. Reporting has been poor in this uninhabited western end of the archipelago, and even a 1981 eruption was not witnessed at the time. In 1968 the caldera floor dropped 350 m following a major explosive eruption. Subsequent eruptions, mostly from vents located on or near the caldera boundary faults, have produced lava flows inside the caldera as well as those in 1995 that reached the coast from a SW-flank vent. Collapse of a nearly 1 km3 section of the east caldera wall during an eruption in 1988 produced a debris-avalanche deposit that covered much of the caldera floor and absorbed the caldera lake.

Lewotolok, Lembata Island

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

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 28 February-5 March. Daily white-and-gray ash plumes rose as high as 900 m above the summit and drifted NW, E, and SE. The lava flow on the SE flank was 2 km long and the flow on the S flank was 600 m long; the distal end of the longer flow did not advance, though lava effusion continued, and new flows possibly overlapped the older flows. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the public was warned to stay 2 km away from the vent and 3 km away from the vent on the S and SE flank. According to a news article residents were asked to bring their livestock into the villages.

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.

Reykjanes, Reykjanes Peninsula

63.817°N, 22.717°W | Summit elev. 140 m

IMO reported that magma continued to accumulate beneath Svartsengi after the 8-9 February eruption and by 1230 on 29 February had reached an estimated 8.5-9 million cubic meters. The accumulated volume of magma before previous recent eruptions near the Sundhnúkar crater row was 8-13 million cubic meters. The rate of inflation had been relatively constant; the inflation had decreased just before the start of previous eruptions.

An intense seismic swarm began at 1555 on 2 March near the southern end of the fissure that formed on 18 December 2023. The seismic data suggested that magma was migrating S and not propagating to the surface. IMO raised the Aviation Color Code to Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) at 1651. According to a news article the Blue Lagoon tourist area and Grindavík were evacuated, though not many people were in Grindavík at the time. Deformation changes were noted by 1730, followed by a decline in seismicity around 1800 and the end of the swarm by 2000; the intrusion had stopped beneath Hagafell cone. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow at 0812 on 3 March. The volume of lava that propagated out of Svartsengi was small compared to previous episode that culminated in eruptions. The Blue Lagoon reopened to visitors on 4 March.

Geological summary: The Reykjanes volcanic system at the SW tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level, comprises a broad area of postglacial basaltic crater rows and small shield volcanoes. The submarine Reykjaneshryggur volcanic system is contiguous with and is considered part of the Reykjanes volcanic system, which is the westernmost of a series of four closely-spaced en-echelon fissure systems that extend diagonally across the Reykjanes Peninsula. Most of the subaerial part of the system (also known as the Reykjanes/Svartsengi volcanic system) is covered by Holocene lavas. Subaerial eruptions have occurred in historical time during the 13th century at several locations on the NE-SW-trending fissure system, and numerous submarine eruptions dating back to the 12th century have been observed during historical time, some of which have formed ephemeral islands. Basaltic rocks of probable Holocene age have been recovered during dredging operations, and tephra deposits from earlier Holocene eruptions are preserved on the nearby Reykjanes Peninsula.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)

31.5772°N, 130.6589°E | Summit elev. 1117 m

JMA reported ongoing eruptive activity at Minamidake Crater (Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 27 February-4 March with nighttime crater incandescence. Eruptive events at 0202 on 27 February and at 1429 on 2 March generated ash plumes that rose 1 km above the crater rim and drifted E and rose 1.3 km above the crater rim and drifted SE, respectively. An explosion at 2149 on 2 March produced an ash plume that rose 1 km and drifted S and ejected large blocks 300-500 m from the vent. An explosion at 2026 on 3 March produced an ash plume that rose 1.2 km and drifted SE and ejected large blocks 600-900 m from the vent. Sulfur dioxide emissions were extremely high, averaging 3,700 tons per day on 1 March. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale), and the public was warned to stay 2 km away from both craters.

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 caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim and built an island that was joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent eruptions since the 8th century have deposited ash on the city of Kagoshima, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest recorded eruption took place during 1471-76.

Dukono, Halmahera

1.6992°N, 127.8783°E | Summit elev. 1273 m

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Dukono was ongoing during 28 February-5 March. Gray-and-white ash plumes generally rose 100-600 m above the summit and drifted S and W. On 1 March gray-and-white ash plumes rose 1.5-1.6 km above the summit and drifted N. Emissions were not observed on 29 February and on 4 March. The Alert Level remained at Level 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to remain outside of the 3-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, have occurred since 1933. During a major eruption in 1550 CE, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the N-flank Gunung Mamuya cone. 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 explosive activity was ongoing at Ebeko during 22-29 February. According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island, about 7 km E), explosions during 26-27 February generated ash plumes that rose as high as 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. Ashfall was reported in Severo-Kurilsk on 26 February. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the third level on a four-color scale). Dates are UTC; 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.

El Misti, Peru

16.294°S, 71.409°W | Summit elev. 5822 m

Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported that a lahar descended the SE flank of El Misti at 1438 on 5 March. The public was warned to stay away from drainages and roads on that flank.

Geological summary: El Misti is a symmetrical andesitic stratovolcano with nested summit craters that towers above the city of Arequipa, Peru. The modern symmetrical cone, constructed within a small 1.5 x 2 km wide summit caldera that formed between about 13,700 and 11,300 years ago, caps older Pleistocene volcanoes that underwent caldera collapse about 50,000 years ago. A large scoria cone has grown with the 830-m-wide outer summit crater. At least 20 tephra-fall deposits and numerous pyroclastic-flow deposits have been documented during the past 50,000 years, including a pyroclastic flow that traveled 12 km to the south about 2000 years ago. The most recent activity has been dominantly pyroclastic, and strong winds have formed a parabolic dune field of volcanic ash extending up to 20 km downwind. An eruption in the 15th century affected nearby Inca inhabitants. Some reports of historical eruptions may represent increased fumarolic activity.

Gareloi, Aleutian Islands (USA)

51.79°N, 178.794°W | Summit elev. 1573 m

AVO reported that volcanic activity at Gareloi had decreased during the previous few weeks and that, although small earthquakes continue to be recorded, the current activity was at background levels. At 1150 on 5 March the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Normal (the lowest level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green (the lowest color on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: The 8 x 10 km Gareloi Island, the northernmost volcano of the Delarof Group at the western end of the Andreanof Islands, consists of a stratovolcano with two summits and a prominent SE-trending fissure. The fissure was formed during an eruption in 1929 and extends from the southern summit to the sea. Steep sea cliffs that are cut into rocks of an older, eroded center are found on the SW coast, and submarine deposits of three debris avalanches produced by edifice collapse are found offshore. Young lava flows cover the older volcano from the summit to the coast along three broad axes trending NW, ENE, and S. The 1929 eruption originated from 13 craters along a 4-km-long fissure. Phreatic explosions were followed by the ejection of glassy pumice, lapilli, scoria, and older blocks, as well as by the emission of four short, steep lava flows, one of which reached the SE coast.

Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)

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

AVO reported that slow lava effusion likely continued in Great Sitkin’s summit crater during 28 February-5 March. A few small daily volcanic earthquakes were recorded by the seismic network on most days. Weather clouds partly obscured satellite and webcam views during most of the week. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch (the third level on a four-level scale) and the Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the third color on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: The Great Sitkin volcano forms much of the northern side of Great Sitkin Island. A younger 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 older edifice and produced a submarine debris avalanche. Deposits from this and an even 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. Eruptions have been recorded since the late-19th century.

Huaynaputin, Peru

16.6144°S, 70.8542°W | Summit elev. 4679 m

IGP reported that at 1622 on 29 February and at 1436 on 3 March lahars descended the El Volcán drainage, on the S flank of Huaynaputina, and traveled towards the Tambo River. The public was warned to stay away from the drainage and to be cautious when traveling along the Quinistaquillas-Sijuaya highway.

Geological summary: Huaynaputina (whose name means “new volcano”) was the source of the largest historical eruption of South America in 1600 CE. It has no prominent topographic expression and lies within a 2.5-km-wide collapse depression and further excavated by glaciers within a Tertiary to Pleistocene edifice. Three overlapping ash cones with craters up to 100 m deep were constructed during the 1600 CE eruption on the floor of the older crater, whose outer flanks are heavily mantled by ash deposits from the 1600 eruption. This powerful fissure-fed eruption may have produced nearly 30 km3 of dacitic tephra, including pyroclastic flows and surges that traveled 13 km to the E and SE. Lahars reached the Pacific Ocean, 120 km away. The eruption caused substantial damage to the major cities of Arequipa and Moquengua.

Ibu, Halmahera

1.488°N, 127.63°E | Summit elev. 1325 m

PVMBG reported that Ibu continued to erupt during 28 February-5 March. White-and-gray ash plumes rose 200-1,500 m above the summit and drifted NW, W, and SW. Ashfall was reported in residential areas to the W on 2 March. The Alert Level remained at 2 (the second highest level on a four-level scale), with the public advised to stay outside of the 2 km hazard zone and 3.5 km away from the N area of the active crater.

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.

Lewotobi, Flores Island

8.542°S, 122.775°E | Summit elev. 1703 m

PVMBG reported that white plumes rose as high as 300 m above the summit of Lewotobi’s Laki-laki volcano during 28 February-5 March. According to a news article, seismicity and visual observations showed that activity decreased during 22-29 February. Drone footage indicated that the lava flow was cooling, and effusion had stopped, though the flow may continue to slowly advance due to gravity, the slope of the ground, and the high temperature. PVMBG lowered the Alert Level to 2 (the second lowest level on a scale of 1-4) at 1900 on 1 March and the public was warned to stay outside of the exclusion zone, defined as a 2-km radius around Laki-laki crater, 3 km to the NNE, and 5 km on the NE flanks.

Geological summary: The Lewotobi edifice in eastern Flores Island is composed of the two adjacent Lewotobi Laki-laki and Lewotobi Perempuan stratovolcanoes (the “husband and wife”). Their summits are less than 2 km apart along a NW-SE line. The conical Laki-laki to the NW has been frequently active during the 19th and 20th centuries, while the taller and broader Perempuan has had observed eruptions in 1921 and 1935. Small lava domes have grown during the 20th century in both of the summit craters, which are open to the north. A prominent cone, Iliwokar, occurs on the E flank of Perampuan.

Marapi, Central Sumatra

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

PVMBG reported that eruptive activity at Marapi (on Sumatra) was ongoing during 28 February-5 March. White-and-gray gas-and-ash plumes rose 200-500 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions on most days; emissions were not observed on 28 February and 5 March. Crater incandescence was visible to residents from multiple directions during the evening of 29 February. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay 4.5 km away from the active crater.

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.

Mayon, Luzon (Philippines)

13.257°N, 123.685°E | Summit elev. 2462 m

At 1730 on 5 March PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level for Mayon to 1 (on a 0-5 scale), noting that activity levels had steadily declined over the past two months. The number of volcanic earthquakes declined to an average of 2-3 events per day during the first week of January. Rockfalls from the summit dome occurred at a rate of 0-1 events per day, indicating that lava dome growth had slowed. Sulfur dioxide flux averaged 1,148 tonnes per day (t/d) in 2024, with a high value of 2,394 t/d on 22 January to a low of 420 t/d on 5 March; overall sulfur dioxide emissions remained above the background level of 500 t/d and were consistent with a non-eruptive, degassing dome. Electronic Distance Measuring (EDM), continuous GPS, and electronic tilt monitoring data showed that the volcano remained inflated overall, though deflation was detected at the mid-north flanks and inflation was detected at the upper flanks and generally on the S flank. Incandescence at the summit was weak and only visible with the aid of a telescope. No movement of the lava flows in the Mi-Isi (S), Bonga (SE), and Basud (E) drainages was observed. Residents were reminded to stay away from the 6-km-radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) and pilots were advised to avoid flying close to the summit.

Geological summary: Symmetrical Mayon, which rises above the Albay Gulf NW of Legazpi City, is the most active volcano of the Philippines. The steep upper slopes are capped by a small summit crater. Recorded eruptions since 1616 CE range from Strombolian to basaltic Plinian, with cyclical activity beginning with basaltic eruptions, followed by longer term andesitic lava flows. Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks. Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the approximately 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often damaged populated lowland areas. A violent eruption in 1814 killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.

Merapi, Central Java

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

BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi (on Java) continued during 23-29 February. Seismicity remained at high levels and was slightly higher than the previous week. The SW lava dome produced 139 lava avalanches that descended the S and SW flanks as far as 1.6 km. Morphological changes to the SW lava dome identified in webcam images were due to continuing effusion and collapses of material. A series of pyroclastic flows traveled 1.2-2.4 km down the SW flank during 1603-1837 on 4 March. 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.

Semeru, Eastern Java

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

PVMBG reported that eruptive activity continued at Semeru during 28 February-5 March. Daily gray-and-white ash plumes, that were often dense, rose 400-1,000 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions. The Alert Level remained at 3 (the third highest level on a scale of 1-4). The public was warned to stay at least 5 km away from the summit in all directions, 13 km from the summit to the SE, 500 m from the banks of the Kobokan drainage as far as 17 km from the summit, and to avoid other drainages 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 eruptive activity at Sheveluch continued during 22-29 February with a daily thermal anomaly identified in satellite images. On 26 February plumes of resuspended ash drifted 120 km SE. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the third 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 26 February-4 March. Crater incandescence was observed in webcam images nightly and large blocks were sometimes ejected up to 600 m from the vent. Explosions recorded at 0431, 1402, 1910, and 1918 on 26 February, and at 0135, 0249, and 0617 on 27 February produced ash plumes that rose 500-800 m above the crater rim and drifted S. An eruptive event at 0104 on 28 February produced an ash plume that rose 1.4 km above the crater rim and drifted S. Explosions at 1537 on 28 February and 0013 on 2 March generated ash plumes that rose 500-600 m and drifted W and SE, respectively. An explosion was recorded at 0255 on 1 March but emission details were unknown. Ash plumes from eruptive events at 1530 on 3 March and 0905 on 4 March produced ash plumes that rose 800-1,300 m above the crater rim; the 3 March plume rose into weather clouds. Ashfall was reported in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW), though dates were not specified. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale) and the public was warned to stay at least 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 active summit craters. The summit is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the E 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 covered 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 an open collapse scarp extending 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)

14.0106°N, 120.9975°E | Summit elev. 311 m

In a special report issued for Taal, PHIVOLCS noted that sulfur dioxide emissions were 14,558 tonnes per day (t/d) on 29 February, the second highest value recorded during 2024. Sulfur dioxide emissions have been continuously released since 2021 and averaged 9,450 t/d during February 2024. Seismicity has remained at baseline levels with only three volcanic earthquakes recorded in February. The Alert Level remained at 1 (on a scale of 0-5), and PHIVOLCS reminded 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 powerful eruptions. 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, with several submerged eruptive centers. 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.

Ubinas, Peru

16.345°S, 70.8972°W | Summit elev. 5608 m

Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported that lahars on the SE flank of Ubinas descended through the Volcánmayo drainage towards the Ubinas River at 1654 on 29 February and at 1541 on 4 March. The public was warned to stay away from the drainage and to avoid driving on the Querapi-Ubinas-Huarina highway.

Geological summary: The truncated appearance of Ubinas, Perú’s most active volcano, is a result of a 1.4-km-wide crater at the summit. It is the northernmost of three young volcanoes located along a regional structural lineament about 50 km behind the main volcanic front. The growth and destruction of Ubinas I was followed by construction of Ubinas II beginning in the mid-Pleistocene. The upper slopes of the andesitic-to-rhyolitic Ubinas II stratovolcano are composed primarily of andesitic and trachyandesitic lava flows and steepen to nearly 45°. The steep-walled, 150-m-deep summit crater contains an ash cone with a 500-m-wide funnel-shaped vent that is 200 m deep. Debris-avalanche deposits from the collapse of the SE flank about 3,700 years ago extend 10 km from the volcano. Widespread Plinian pumice-fall deposits include one from about 1,000 years ago. Holocene lava flows are visible on the flanks, but activity documented since the 16th century has consisted of intermittent minor-to-moderate explosive eruptions.

Villarrica, Central Chile

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

SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption at Villarrica continued during 29 February-5 March. At 1759 on 3 March a gas-and-ash plume rose 400 m above the crater rim and drifted NE. The Volcanic Alert Level remained at Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-level scale) and the public was warned to stay 1 km away from the active crater.

Geological summary: The glacier-covered Villarrica stratovolcano, in the northern Lakes District of central Chile, is ~15 km south of the city of Pucon. A 2-km-wide caldera that formed about 3,500 years ago is located at the base of the presently active, dominantly basaltic to basaltic-andesite cone at the NW margin of a 6-km-wide Pleistocene caldera. More than 30 scoria cones and fissure vents are present on 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. Eruptions documented since 1558 CE 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.


1 Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey – Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 February-5 March 2024 – Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.


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