The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: April 17 – 23, 2024


New activity/unrest was reported for 5 volcanoes from April 17 – 23, 2024. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 18 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Bagana, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) | Poas, Costa Rica | Ruang, Sangihe Islands | Semeru, Eastern Java | Taal, Luzon (Philippines).

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Dukono, Halmahera | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Fernandina, Isla Fernandina (Galapagos) | Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA) | Ibu, Halmahera | Kavachi, Solomon Islands | Krakatau, Sunda Strait | Lateiki, Tonga Ridge | Lewotobi, Flores Island | Lewotolok, Lembata Island | Marapi, Central Sumatra | Merapi, Central Java | Popocatepetl, Mexico | Reykjanes, Reykjanes Peninsula | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan).

New activity/unrest

Bagana, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)

6.137°S, 155.196°E | Summit elev. 1855 m

The Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume from Bagana was identified in satellite images rising to 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting SW at 0820 on 22 April. The plume had dissipated by 1420.

Geological summary: Bagana volcano, in a remote portion of central Bougainville Island, is frequently active. This massive symmetrical cone was largely constructed by an accumulation of viscous andesitic lava flows. The entire edifice could have been constructed in about 300 years at its present rate of lava production. Eruptive activity is characterized by non-explosive effusion of viscous lava that maintains a small lava dome in the summit crater, although occasional explosive activity produces pyroclastic flows. Lava flows with tongue-shaped lobes up to 50 m thick and prominent levees descend the flanks on all sides.

Poas, Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W | Summit elev. 2697 m

OVSICORI-UNA reported continuing gas-and-steam emissions rose from vents Boca A and Boca B on the crater floor of Poás. Ash ceased to be detected in the emissions at some point during 16-17 April but was again present during 22-23 April.

Geological summary: The broad vegetated edifice of Poás, one of the most active volcanoes of Costa Rica, contains three craters along a N-S line. The frequently visited multi-hued summit crater lakes of the basaltic-to-dacitic volcano are easily accessible by vehicle from the nearby capital city of San José. A N-S-trending fissure cutting the complex stratovolcano extends to the lower N flank, where it has produced the Congo stratovolcano and several lake-filled maars. The southernmost of the two summit crater lakes, Botos, last erupted about 7,500 years ago. The more prominent geothermally heated northern lake, Laguna Caliente, is one of the world’s most acidic natural lakes, with a pH of near zero. It has been the site of frequent phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions since an eruption was reported in 1828. Eruptions often include geyser-like ejections of crater-lake water.

Ruang, Sangihe Islands

2.3°N, 125.37°E | Summit elev. 725 m

PVMBG raised the Alert Level for Ruang to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) at 1300 on 16 April due to intensifying seismicity. A minor eruption began at around 1337 on 16 April and produced dense white emissions; at 1600 the Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-4). Explosive activity began at 2145 and ash plumes rose 2 km above the summit. Activity continued to escalate. An explosive pulse was recorded at 0108 on 17 April. According to the Darwin VAAC ash plumes had risen to 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W by 0230, and at 0300 they reached 12.2 km (40,000 ft) a.s.l. and detached from the summit. Ash plumes at a lower altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted WSW. BNPB reported that 828 people from Pumpente and Laingpatehi villages evacuated to neighboring Tagulandang Island to the NE and the communication network in Laingpatehi village was non-operational. Photos showed incandescent material being ejected above the summit, incandescent material on the flanks, pyroclastic density currents descending the flanks, and dense ash plumes with lightning rising into dark, nighttime skies. Another explosive pulse was recorded at 0505 according to PVMBG, and the VAAC noted that by 0600 ash plumes had risen to 13.7 km (45,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W and NW. The plume was detached from the summit by 0713. Additional smaller eruptive events produced ash plumes that rose to 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.

PVMBG recorded bigger eruptive pulses at 1800 and 2015 on 17 April. Roaring and booming noises were sometimes heard, with gray-to-black ash plumes at 2015 and a felt earthquake. According to the VAAC ash plumes rose to 15.2 km (50,000 ft) a.s.l. by 2000 and at least to 19.2 km (63,000 ft) a.s.l. by 2020; the plumes drifted NW. PVMBG raised the Alert Level to 4, the highest level, at 2100 on 17 April noting that seismicity continued to increase, ash plumes were getting taller, and incandescent rocks were ejected as far as 5 km with some reaching Tagulandang Island. The public was warned to stay 6 km away from Ruang’s main crater. Several residents in Tagulandang were hit with tephra and some received medical treatment according to BNPB. Ashfall was recorded in as many as 10 villages in two sub-districts on Tagulandang and in several sub-districts of North Minahasa Regency (75 km SSW) including West Likupang, Wori, East Likupang, and South Likupang. Communication networks in Lumbo Village on Tagulandang were not properly functioning. An estimated 6,045 people living in the W part Tagulandang evacuated. According to a news article, there was damage to more than 3,000 homes, two churches, and an elementary school.

Multiple ash layers were identified in a satellite image 2310 on 17 April according to the VAAC; ash at 16.8 km (55,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted NW and E and ash at 14.3 km (47,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted WSW. At 0310 on 18 April ash plumes rose to 12.2 km and drifted WNW and W and detached from the volcano by 0600; earlier high-level plumes continued to expand as they drifted NW. According to a news report the Sam Ratulangi International Airport, 98 km SW in Manado, North Sulawesi, closed on 18 April due to the presence of ash.

The VAAC continued to track the plumes; lower-altitude plumes at 7.6 km (25,000 ft) a.s.l. drifted SE. The higher plumes, between 10.7-15.2 km (35,000-50,000 ft) a.s.l., continued to drift NW and WNW and had dissipated by 1710 on 19 April, though sulfur dioxide continued to be tracked W. Weather clouds began to obscure the plumes. On 19 April PVMBG reported that ash plumes rose 400-750 m above the summit and drifted S. During 20-21 April the VAAC issued notifications of ash plumes rising 1.5-2.1 km (5,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifting S and SW based on satellite images and information from PVMBG. The closure of the Sam Ratulangi International Airport affected 150 flights and about 19,085 passengers as of 20 April based on a news report; the airport resumed operations at noon on 22 April. PVMBG reported that during 21-23 April dense white steam-and-gas plumes rose as high as 200 m and drifted SW, W, and NW. The Alert Level was lowered to 3 at 0900 on 22 April because activity had decreased. Residents were warned to stay 4 km away from the crater.

Geological summary: Ruang volcano is the southernmost volcano in the Sangihe Island arc, north of Sulawesi Island; it is not the better known Raung volcano on Java. The 4 x 5 km island volcano is across a narrow strait SW of the larger Tagulandang Island. The summit contains a crater partially filled by a lava dome initially emplaced in 1904. Explosive eruptions recorded since 1808 have often been accompanied by lava dome formation and pyroclastic flows that have damaged inhabited areas.

Semeru, Eastern Java

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

PVMBG reported that eruptive activity continued at Semeru during 17-23 April. White-and-gray or occasionally white-to-brown ash plumes rose 300-1,500 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions on most days. Eruptive events were recorded during 17, 19-20, and 22-23 April; no emissions were visible, possibly due to weather conditions. BNPB reported that intense rain on 18 April caused lahars in the Regoyo River basin and in the Mujur and Glidik watersheds in the Lumajang Regency during 18-19 April. Three deaths were reported: one person was buried by landslides in the Pronojiwo District and two were swept away by lahars in the Candipuro District. Lahars damaged nine bridges and destroyed an additional eight bridges, flooded the Candipuro National Road, and damaged three houses. As many as 32 families self-evacuated. 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.

Taal, Luzon (Philippines)

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

PHIVOLCS reported that sulfur dioxide emissions at Taal had decreased the last week and averaged 2,104 tonnes per day (t/d) on 18 April; despite the decrease averages in 2024 remained high at 9,698 t/d. Short-lived phreatic events were recorded during 0850-0852, 0909-0912, 1102-1107, and 1710-1714 on 20 April based on seismic data and webcam images. White steam plumes rose 300-600 m above Main Crater and drifted WSW, SW, and NW. During 21-23 April emissions rose 600-900 m and drifted NW and SW and observers noted pronounced upwelling of gases and hot fluids in the lake. 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) and to take extra precautions around Main Crater, when boating on Taal Lake, and along the Daang Kastila fissure.

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.

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 15-22 April with nighttime crater incandescence. Very small eruptive events were occasionally recorded. 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 17-23 April. Gray-and-white ash plumes rose 100-1,200 m above the summit and drifted E, N, and W almost daily; emissions were not observed on 22 April. 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 11-18 April. According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island, about 7 km E), explosions during 12-17 April generated ash plumes that rose as high as 4 km (13,100 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, SE, and E. A thermal anomaly was identified in satellite images on 13 and 16-17 April; on other days either no activity was observed or weather conditions prevented views. 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.

Fernandina, Isla Fernandina (Galapagos)

0.37°S, 91.55°W | Summit elev. 1476 m

Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG-EPN) reported that the eruption at Fernandina continued during 16-23 April. Daily thermal anomalies were identified in satellite images. Sulfur dioxide emissions, measured using satellite data, fluctuated between about 207 and 1,418 tons per day. Gas-and-steam emissions rose from the area where lava entered the ocean; a 16 April photo showed three bright areas where lava entered the water and gas-and-steam plumes rising from the entries. During 21-22 April satellite images showed another lobe of lava low on the flank, descending towards the shoreline.

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.

Great Sitkin, Andreanof Islands (USA)

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

AVO reported that slow lava effusion continued in Great Sitkin’s summit crater during 17-23 April. Slightly elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite images during 17-18 April. Seismicity was low with a few small daily earthquakes recorded by the seismic network. Weather clouds partly or mostly 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.

Ibu, Halmahera

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

PVMBG reported that Ibu continued to erupt during 17-23 April. White-and-gray ash plumes rose 200-2,500 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions on 17 and 21 April. White steam-and-gas plumes rose 200-600 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions on the other days. 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.

Kavachi, Solomon Islands

8.991°S, 157.979°E | Summit elev. -20 m

Satellite data showed an area of yellow-green discolored water that was about 4.2 km in diameter in the vicinity of the submarine Kavachi volcano on 19 April. A more diffuse plume of discolored water extended another ~11 km NE before dissipating.

Geological summary: Named for a sea-god of the Gatokae and Vangunu peoples, Kavachi is located in the Solomon Islands south of Vangunu Island. Sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi (“Kavachi’s Oven”), this shallow submarine basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has produced ephemeral islands up to 1 km long many times since its first recorded eruption during 1939. Residents of the nearby islands of Vanguna and Nggatokae (Gatokae) reported “fire on the water” prior to 1939, a possible reference to earlier eruptions. The roughly conical edifice rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the north and greater depths to the SE. Frequent shallow submarine and occasional subaerial eruptions produce phreatomagmatic explosions that eject steam, ash, and incandescent bombs. On a number of occasions lava flows were observed on the ephemeral islands.

Krakatau, Sunda Strait

6.1009°S, 105.4233°E | Summit elev. 285 m

On 19 April PVMBG lowered the Alert Level for Krakatau to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) based on visual observations and instrumental data. The public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the crater.

Geological summary: The renowned Krakatau (frequently mis-named as Krakatoa) volcano lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of an older edifice, perhaps in 416 or 535 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of that volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently the Rakata, Danan, and Perbuwatan cones were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan, and left only a remnant of Rakata. This eruption caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former Danan and Perbuwatan cones. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927.

Lateiki, Tonga Ridge

19.18°S, 174.87°W | Summit elev. 43 m

Satellite data showed an area of yellowish-green discolored water that was about 5 km long in the N-S direction and about 3 km in the E-W direction, in the vicinity of the submarine Lateiki volcano on 21 April. A more diffuse plume of discolored water extended another ~12 km WNW before dissipating.

Geological summary: Lateiki, previously known as Metis Shoal, is a submarine volcano midway between the islands of Kao and Late that has produced a series of ephemeral islands since the first confirmed activity in the mid-19th century. An island, perhaps not in eruption, was reported in 1781 and subsequently eroded away. During periods of inactivity following 20th-century eruptions, waves have been observed to break on rocky reefs or sandy banks with depths of 10 m or less. Dacitic tuff cones formed during the eruptions in 1967 and 1979 were soon eroded beneath the ocean surface. An eruption in 1995 produced an island with a diameter of 280 m and a height of 43 m following growth of a lava dome above the surface.

Lewotobi, Flores Island

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

PVMBG reported that during 17-18 and 20-22 April white steam-and-gas plumes rose as high as 100 m above the summit of Lewotobi’s Laki-laki volcano and drifted N, NE, and E. On 23 April a white-and-gray ash plume rose 100-200 m and drifted SW and W. The Alert Level remained at 2 (the second lowest level on a scale of 1-4) 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.

Lewotolok, Lembata Island

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

PVMBG reported that the eruption at Lewotolok continued during 17-23 April. White-and-gray ash plumes rose 100-600 m above the summit and drifted SE, W, and NW almost every day; white emissions rose 300-500 m above the summit and drifted W and NW during 19-20 April. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4) and the residents of Lamawolo, Lamatokan, and Jontona were warned to stay 2 km away from the vent and 3 km away from the vent on the S and SE flanks.

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 eruptive activity at Marapi (on Sumatra) was ongoing during 17-22 April. White-and-gray ash plumes rose 250-300 m above the summit and drifted SE and W on 21 April. White steam-and-gas plumes rose 250-300 m above the summit and drifted in multiple directions on 17, 19, and 22 April. 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.

Merapi, Central Java

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

BPPTKG reported that the eruption at Merapi (on Java) continued during 12-18 April. Seismicity remained at high levels. The SW lava dome produced 111 lava avalanches that traveled as far as 1.7 km down the SW flank. One pyroclastic flow traveled 1 km SW down the upper part of the Bebeng drainage. Morphological changes to the SW lava dome were due to continuing effusion and collapses of material. 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.

Popocatepetl, Mexico

19.023°N, 98.622°W | Summit elev. 5393 m

CENAPRED reported that eruptive activity continued at Popocatépetl during 16-23 April. The seismic network recorded long-period events totaling 43-171 per day that were sometimes accompanies by steam-and-gas emissions. The seismic network also recorded 5-14 minutes of tremor each day during 16-19 April and a few volcano-tectonic earthquakes. According to the Washington VAAC ash plumes visible in webcam and sometimes also satellite images rose to 5.5-6.7 km (18,000-22,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, E, and SE. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two (the middle level on a three-color scale) and the public was warned to stay 12 km away from the crater.

Geological summary: Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km SE of Mexico City to form North America’s 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m wide crater. The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano. At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone. Three major Plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred since the mid-Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since Pre-Columbian time.

Reykjanes, Reykjanes Peninsula

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

IMO reported that the cone just E of Sundhnúk and along the fissure within the Reykanes volcanic system continued to erupt lava during 15-23 April. Gas emissions continued to drift downwind and residents were advised to monitor air quality. Lava flowed a short distance from the crater mostly S and the flows thickened near the crater. Lava tubes in an area about 1 km SE transported lava to an active flow field N of Hagafell; webcam images showed inflation of the part of the flow field located along the barriers E of Grindavík during 18-23 April. Inflation from magma accumulation beneath Svartsengi was first detected at the beginning of April and continued at a steady rate based on modeling of GPS and satellite data.

The average effusion rate was 3-4 cubic meters per second during 1-15 April. Results from a 15 April overflight where scientists acquired images for mapping showed that the lava-flow field was an estimated 6.15 square kilometers with an approximate volume of 33.2 (± 0.8) million cubic meters.

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.

Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)

56.653°N, 161.36°E | Summit elev. 3283 m

KVERT reported that eruptive activity at Sheveluch continued during 11-18 April with a daily thermal anomaly identified in satellite images. 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.

Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy)

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

INGV reported that eruptive activity continued at Stromboli during 15-21 April. Webcam images showed Strombolian activity at two vents in Area N (one at N1 and one at N2), within the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco, and from three vents at S2 in Area C-S (South-Central Crater) in the crater terrace. Weather conditions and technical difficulties sometimes prevented observations. At Area N, low- to medium-intensity explosive activity was observed from sectors N1 and N2 with the eruption of coarse material (bombs and lapilli) less than 80 m and 150 m above the vents, respectively. The average frequency of explosions from this area was 4-9 events per hour. At Area C-S, explosive activity at two vents in sector S2 ejected both coarse and fine material less than 150 m above the vent. The average explosion rate was 2-10 events per hour.

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 eruptive activity at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater continued during 15-22 April. Crater incandescence was observed in webcam images nightly. No explosions were detected but ashfall was reported in Toshima village (3.5 km SSW); dates were not specified. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a 5-level scale) and the public was warned to stay at least 1.5 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.


1 Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey – Weekly Volcanic Activity Report – April 17 -23, 2024 – Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.


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