Wordwide volcano and earthquake news – Archive December 13, 2013 until January 30, 2014

Last update: February 11, 2014 at 6:04 pm by By

This is an archived part of our Daily Volcano Activity report.
Click here to read the latest part of our report


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This report was compiled out of many information sources by Armand Vervaeck, Jens Skapski and Rodger Wilson


Shishaldin Volcano Activity report – Alaska (January 30)
The Alaska Volcano Observatory is raising the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW and the Alert Level to ADVISORY at Shishaldin Volcano based on satellite observations over the past day of increased surface temperatures in the summit crater, as well as increased emissions of steam observed yesterday in satellite and web camera images. These observations represent a departure from normal background activity at Shishaldin, but do not necessarily indicate that an eruption will occur. Similar levels of unrest were last noted during 2009, and did not result in an eruption.
Shishaldin is monitored by a local seismic network, satellite data, web camera, telemetered geodetic network, and distant infrasound networks. Seismic monitoring of Shishaldin is significantly impaired due to equipment failures of seismic stations close to the volcano. We hope to be able to detect significant explosive activity (should it occur) using remaining functioning seismic stations in the region, satellite, and distant infrasound networks.
AVO will continue to watch Shishaldin carefully for additional signs of increased unrest.
Recent Observations:
[Volcanic cloud height] None observed.
[Other volcanic cloud information] None observed.
Shishaldin volcano, located near the center of Unimak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands, is a spectacular symmetric cone with a base diameter of approximately 10 miles (16 km). A small summit crater typically emits a noticeable steam plume with occasional small amounts of ash. Shishaldin is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc, erupting atleast 28 times since 1775. Most of Shishaldin’s eruptions have consisted of small ash and steam plumes, although the most recent eruption in April-May 1999 produced an ash column that reached a height of 45,000 ft above sea level.
Click this link for the webcam image on the location of the below image.

Image courtesy AVO Alaska - GPS station near Shishaldin volcano

Image courtesy AVO Alaska – earlier webcam image on a clear day near Shishaldin volcano

Tungurahua voilcano Ecuador (January 30)

ovt-tungurahua


 

Japanese volcanoes (January 29)
The new Nishinoshima landmass is now about 3ha, 1.5times the area of the old island. It is 600m in North-South direction and 750m in East-West direction. There is a possibility, that the Japanese EEZ (Exclusive Economical Zone) has grown a little by this .
Meanwhile, Sakurajima sends steam into the air and Aso is still hot. (via Annette Schörner)

Link to the latest Japan video footage from Nishinoshima

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.56.23


 

Most spectacular video footage of Sinabung volcano (Indonesia) so far
James Reynolds, known for his incredible footage video’s of many disasters and nature events, did it again. A remarkable frightening video of the extremely hot pyroclastic flows on the slopes of the Sinabung volcano.
Terrifying Pyroclastic Flows Volcano Eruption in 4K Ultra HD. For licensing please email James (at) EarthUncut (dot) TV Shot at Sinabung volcano, Indonesia on 21st January 2014. No unauthorised ripping or commercial use. 火砕流
Footage copyright Earth Uncut Productions Ltd.


 

San Miguel volcano, El Salvador (January 22)
Seems that after the new year, some of the world’s volcanoes are perking-up! SNET reports a continued increase in seismicity at San Miguel volcano (El Salvador) over the past few days. Six forceful pulses of gas were emitted from the volcano yesterday between 9 am and 2 pm local time.
The volcano erupted juvenile volcanic products earlier this month.

Aso volcano, Japan (January 22)
Rodger Wilson : A significant long-period (volcanic fluids) earthquake swarm is underway at Aso volcano (Japan) at this time. Similar activity preceded eruptive activity at the volcano earlier this month.
Seismograms are from the Kyoto University Aso seismic network.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 14.42.26


 

Nishinoshima new volcano Island eruption in Japan is still ongoing (January 18)
Annette Schoerner : On January 15th the Japanese coast guard published foto material taken on January 12th about noon. It shows the new island is still growing. It is now at least the same size of the old island (2.2ha) and both taken together amount to the size of Vatican State, as it was compared by tv-asahi.
Click here to watch the video showing the different stages of the still ongoing eruption

Nicaragua and Peru volcanoes (January 18)
Rodger Wilson writes :
El Misti volcano (Peru) Following a swarm of purely VT earthquakes in August, a new swarm occurred at the volcano beginning approximately two days ago and included volcanic low-frequency events as well as tremor! Looks like I may be visiting Arequipa in the near future!

An earlier image of El Misti, Arequipa, Peru - Image courtesy the great Wikipedia

An earlier image of El Misti, Arequipa, Peru – Image courtesy the great Wikipedia

INETER released several notices during yesterday’s activity at San Cristobal volcano (Nicaragua). They interpreted the activity to be the result of rockfall debris blocking vents located within the summit crater. The vents pressurized further and ultimately produced 12 exhalation events (which can be seen on the provide seismogram from station CRIN). After “clearing its throat” the volcano has returned to a lower level of activity.

CRIN_SHZ_NU_--.2014011712 (1)

San Cristobal Volcano, Nicaragua (January 17)
A “swarm” of volcanic earthquakes has developed into some fairly strong volcanic (eruption?) tremor at San Cristobal volcano (Nicaragua) (station CRIN) this morning.

CRIN_SHZ_NU_--.2014011700 CRIN_SHZ_NU_--.2014011712


Volcano activity for the week of January 8 – January 14, 2014 (January 17)
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.

New Activity/Unrest

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA)
Asosan | Kyushu (Japan)
On 27 December 2013 JMA raised the Alert Level for Aso to 2 (on a scale of 1-5) because volcanic tremor amplitude had been increasing since 20 December. However, on 2 January 2014 the amplitude rapidly decreased. Sulfur dioxide emissions were 1,200 tons per day during 2-9 January and 1,500 tons on 10 January. Volcanic tremor amplitude increased between 0800 and 1900 on 12 January. At 1215 on 13 January a very small eruption from Naka-dake Crater generated a grayish white plume that rose 600 m and drifted S, producing ashfall downwind.

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA)
AVO reported that no further activity at Cleveland had been detected after three brief explosions on 28 and 30 December, and 2 January; satellite images suggested no new lava effusion. On 10 January AVO lowered the Volcanic Alert Level to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow.

Pacaya | Guatemala
INSIVUMEH reported that during 9-10 January explosions at Pacaya ejected lapilli up to 70 m above the crater. White and blue fumarolic plumes drifted SE, and the seismographs recorded constant tremor. On 11 January Strombolian activity was observed, and new craters on the E, S, and W flanks produced lava flows as long as 1.5 km. Activity from the main crater increased; explosions ejected tephra 75 m high and gas plumes rose 200-600 m. CONRED reported evacuations from Villa Canales (14 km NW), El Chupadero (2-2.5 km S), and San Vicente Pacaya (5 km NW). INSIVUMEH noted that RSAM values decreased throughout the day. Activity further decreased on 12 January. Explosions ejected tephra 100 m above the crater and gas plumes rose 200-300 m. Lava effusion, Strombolian activity, and seismicity declined. During 12-13 January lava effusion remained low and lava flows reached 2.8-3 km long. Bluish-white gas plumes rose 300 m. During 13-14 January Strombolian activity ejected lapilli as high as 70 m, and blue and white plumes drifted S.

San Miguel | El Salvador
SNET reported that during 8-10 January activity at San Miguel was low. The number of seismic events fluctuated but remained at low levels, sometimes lower than values recorded before the eruption on 29 December 2013. Gas emissions were also low and characterized by light gray plumes that rose 100-150 m above the crater and drifted S. RSAM values and sulfur dioxide emissions increased for a period of time during 11-12 January, but decreased again to low levels.

Sinabung | Indonesia
PVMBG described activity at Sinabung during 3-10 January based on observations from a post in the Ndokum Siroga village, 8.5 km away. Each day ash plumes rose as high as 5 km, pyroclastic flows traveled 0.5-4.5 km E, SE, and S, and incandescent material was observed as far as 2 km SE and E. Roaring was periodically heard and burned trees on the S flank were noted on 4 January. Seismicity remained high, with constant tremor, hybrid earthquakes indicating a growing lava dome, and volcanic earthquakes. The number of low-frequency earthquakes dropped dramatically, however. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4). Visitors and tourists were prohibited from approaching the crater within a radius of 7 km on the SE flank and 5 km elsewhere. Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) reported that the number of hybrid earthquakes decreased on 11 January and volcanic earthquakes increased. Ash plumes rose 1-5 km and drifted W, and pyroclastic flows traveled 1-4.5 km SE and 1 km E. Several villages in the Namanteran district reported ashfall. The 11 January report noted that the number of displaced people reached 25,516 (7,898 families) in 38 evacuation centers.

Ongoing Activity

Chirinkotan | Kuril Islands (Russia)
SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was observed in satellite images on 9 and 12 January. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 7-13 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia)
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 13-14 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted about 110 km NE.

Etna | Sicily (Italy)
INGV reported that during 4-9 January 2014 pulsating and almost continuous ash emissions rose from Etna’s Northeast Crater (NEC). Volcanic tremor amplitude remained at low levels.

Fuego | Guatemala
In a special report, INSIVUMEH reported that on 7 January seismicity at Fuego increased. Explosions generated shock waves that vibrated structures more than 15 km away, and rumbling noises were audible 30 km away. Ash plumes rose 4.2 km above the crater and drifted 10 km SW. Lava flowed 500 m down the SW flank and produced avalanches that reached vegetated areas. During 9-10 January Vulcanian explosions generated shock waves detected within 10 km, ejected pulses of incandescent material 100 m high, and produced ash plumes that rose 300 m and drifted 10 km NE. Avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), and Taniluya (SW) drainages, and lava flows continued to descend the flanks. During 10-11 January explosions produced shock waves, and ash plumes that rose 650 m and drifted S, SW, and W. Crater incandescence was observed at night. During 12-13 January explosions caused shock waves that vibrated structures in Panimaché I and II (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), Santa Sofía (12 km SW), Ceilán, La Rochela, and San Andrés Osuna. Ash plumes rose 350-650 m and drifted 10 km SW and W. Incandescent material was ejected 200 m above the crater and avalanches descended the Taniluya, Ceniza, Trinidad, Las Lajas (SE), and Honda (E) drainages. A 200-m-long lava flow traveled down the Trinidad drainage. Seismicity remained high on 13 January. Ashfall was reported in Panimaché, Morelia, and Sangre de Cristo (8 km WSW). A 500-m-long lava flow remained active in the Ceniza drainage. On 14 January explosions generated shock waves audible 8 km away, ejected incandescent material 150 m high, and produced ash plumes that rose 300-800 m and drifted 8 km W and SW. Avalanches again descended multiple flanks. Ash fell in Santa Sofía, Panimaché, Morelia, and Sangre de Cristo.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that Vulcanian and Strombolian activity at Karymsky continued during 3-10 January. Satellite images detected a bright thermal anomaly on the volcano daily, and an ash plume that drifted 10 km SSE on 8 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA)
During 8-14 January 2014 HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele’s hair onto nearby areas. At Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, glow emanated from spatter cones on the N and S portions of the crater floor. Fed by the NE spatter cone, the Kahauale’a 2 lava flow had reached 7.5 km long by 9 January (based on a satellite image), and was active with scattered break-out flows that burned the forest N of Pu’u ‘O’o.

Sakurajima | Kyushu (Japan)
JMA reported that during 6-10 January two explosions from Sakurajima’s Showa Crater ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that an explosion on 9 January generated a plume that rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. A pilot observed an ash plume drifting SE on 14 January.

Shiveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that during 3-10 January a newer lava dome continued to extrude onto the NW part of Shiveluch’s older lava dome. Lava-dome extrusion was accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. Moderate ash explosions generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4-5 km (13,100-16,400) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite images, and ash plumes drifted 360 km SW and 278 km WNW on 7 and 9 January, respectively. On 12 January strong explosions generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 7-8 km (23,000-26,200 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ESE. The next day a video camera recorded an ash plume from an explosion that again rose to altitudes of 7-8 km (23,000-26,200 ft) a.s.l. The ash plume drifted 50 km WSW. According to a news report minor amounts of ash fell in Klyuchi Village, 50 km SW. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions from Suwanosejima during 8-9 January sometimes generated plumes that rose to an altitude 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE and SE.


 

Volcano eruption lightning generated in a lab ! (January 10)
An LMU team has, for the first time, created volcanic lightning in the lab and captured it on film. The new findings may permit rapid characterization of ash clouds released by volcanic eruptions and improve forecasting of their behavior.
When the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in April 2010, launching a towering column of ash into the skies, the cloud was observed to be laced with lightning flashes. LMU volcanologists led by Professor Donald Dingwell, Director of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at LMU, have now generated such volcanic lightning in the laboratory, as they report in a recent issue of the journal Geology. “Our experiments demonstrate that there is a relationship between the concentration of fine particles in the ash plume and the number of flashes produced,” says departmental researcher Dr. Corrado Cimarelli.
Read the full article here

Image courtesy and copyright Oliver Spalt

Real volcano lightning (the articles images are copyrighted :(( ) – Image courtesy and copyright Oliver Spalt


 

Volcano activity for the week of January 1 – January 7, 2014 (January 9, 2013)
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.

New Activity/Unrest

Cleveland | Chuginadak Island (USA)
AVO reported that at 1229 on 28 December 2013 an explosion at Cleveland was detected on distant seismic and infrasound instruments. Although satellite images did not detect ash it was possible the explosion generated minor ash emissions. Elevated surface temperatures following the explosion were detected. Another similar explosion was detected at 1906 on 30 December, and a third brief explosion was detected at 1900 on 1 January 2014. Following the second and third explosions, satellite images detected distinct ash plumes, detached from the summit, drifting 75-100 km N at unknown altitudes. On 2 January AVO raised the Volcanic Alert Level to Watch and the Aviation Color Code to Orange. No further activity was detected during 3-7 January.

Pagan | Mariana Islands (USA)
Low-level unrest continued at Pagan during 27 December 2013-2 January 2014; seismicity remained above background levels. A robust steam-and-gas plume was occasionally visible in web camera images during the reporting period. A small explosion was detected at about 0145 on 28 December. It may have produced a diffuse ash emission, but the webcam was not in operation at the time to verify. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Raung | Eastern Java (Indonesia)
PVMBG reported that on 1 January seismicity at Raung increased, on 3 January diffuse white gas plumes rose 100 m and drifted W, and on 4 January diffuse brownish plumes also rose 100 m and drifted W. On 5 January the Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

San Miguel | El Salvador
SNET reported that sulfur dioxide gas flux in tonnes per day from San Miguel was high: 2,200 on 31 December 2013, 1,740 on 1 January 2014, and 700 on 2 January. The report noted that the measurement on 2 January was likely low due to changes in wind patterns that day. During 1-2 January RSAM values ranged from 17 to 28 units. On 5 January gas plumes rose as high as 150 m above the crater. The next day light-gray gas plumes rose 200 m and drifted SW. RSAM values during 5-6 January were between 15 and 33 units.

Sinabung | Indonesia
Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) reported that during 30-31 December 2013 Sinabung continued to be very active. Ash plumes rose as high as 7 km above the lava dome, pyroclastic flows traveled as far as 3.5 km SE, and incandescent avalanches traveled 1.5 km SE. On 3 January the lava dome continued to grow and collapse. Pyroclastic flows occurred 172 times and traveled 2-4 km SE, and ash plumes rose 2-6 km. Two villages located 6.5 km SE, Jerawa and Desa Pintu Besi, were evacuated. On 4 January pyroclastic flows were larger and more frequent. They continued to travel up to 5 km SE as well as 3.5 km SSE. Ash plumes rose 2-4 km. On 5 January the number of hybrid earthquakes increased, indicating a growing lava dome, and pyroclastic flows traveled 1.5-4.5 km SE. During 4-5 January pyroclastic flows were recorded 426 times. On 7 January ash plumes rose 1-6 km and drifted SW, and pyroclastic flows continued to travel 1.5-4.5 km SE. The number of refugees reached 22,145.

Ongoing Activity

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia)
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 4-5 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 35-55 km SE.

Etna | Sicily (Italy)
INGV reported that during 31 December 2013-1 January 2014 lava flows from a vent located on the NE flank of the cone of Etna’s New Southeast Crater (NSEC) continued to travel towards the N part of the Valle de Bove; the lava flows had been active since activity resumed on 29 December. On 3 January staff doing field work noted that the effusive activity had stopped.

Fuego | Guatemala
Based on analyses of satellite images, the Washington VAAC reported that on 30 December 2013 an ash plume from Fuego drifted almost 30 km NW. INSIVUMEH reported that during 2-3 and 5-7 January 2014 explosions generated shock waves, ejected incandescent material as high as 250 m, and produced ash plumes that rose 300-700 m and drifted 7-12 km W and SW. Ashfall was reported in Panimache (8 km SW), Morelia (9 km SW), and Sofía I and II (12 km SW). Avalanches descended the Ceniza (SSW), Trinidad (S), Taniluya (SW), Las Lajas (SE), and Honda drainages.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that Vulcanian and Strombolian activity at Karymsky continued during 27 December 2013-2 January 2014. Satellite images detected a bright thermal anomaly on the volcano daily, and an ash plume that rose as high as 2 km and drifted 120 km SE on 1 January. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA)
During 31 December 2013-7 January 2014 HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele’s hair onto nearby areas. At Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, glow emanated from spatter cones on the N and S portions of the crater floor. The 6.3-km-long Kahauale’a 2 lava flow, fed by the NE spatter cone, remained active with scattered break-out flows that burned the forest N of Pu’u ‘O’o. During 1-2 January the SE spatter cone erupted a total of five short lava flows, and on the morning of 6 January it ejected a small amount of lava.

Kliuchevskoi | Central Kamchatka (Russia)
On 2 January KVERT reported that the explosive eruption at Kliuchevskoi had finished on 20 December 2013; the last strong explosion was detected on 17 December 2013. Video images showed gas-and-steam plumes continuing to rise from the volcano. Satellite images detected thermal anomalies over the summit and the lava flow on the SW flank; both areas were cooling. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Rabaul | New Britian (Papua New Guinea)
RVO reported that Rabaul caldera’s Tavurvur cone was quiet during 16-31 December. White and occasionally blue vapor plumes rose from the crater. An explosion at 0732 on 22 December generated an ash-poor plume. Weak fluctuating glow was visible at night on 31 December.

Reventador | Ecuador
Based on a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC reported that on 31 December an ash plume from Reventador rose to an altitude of km (16,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash was not identified in satellite images due to weather clouds in the area but an occasional thermal anomaly was detected.

Sakurajima | Kyushu (Japan)
JMA reported that during 30 December 2013-6 January 2014 no explosions occurred from Sakura-jima’s Showa Crater; weak incandescence from the crater was visible at night during 30-31 December. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that an explosion on 7 January generated a plume that rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E.

Shiveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that during 27 December 2013-2 January 2014 a newer lava dome extruded onto the NW part of Shiveluch’s older lava dome. Lava-dome extrusion was accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. Moderate ash explosions generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4-5 km (13,100-16,400) a.s.l. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite images. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported explosions from Suwanose-jima during 1-3 and 6 January. Explosions during 1-2 January generated plumes that rose to altitudes 0.9-1.8 km (3,000-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. JMA noted that the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Ulawun | New Britian (Papua New Guinea)
RVO reported that activity at Ulawun was low during 16-31 December; diffuse ash plumes rose from the crater during 51-21 December, and white vapor emissions were visible during 22-31 December.


 

Alert level increase for Gunung Raung (Java, Indonesia) (January 6)
The Indonesian institute of volcanology has increasead the alert level of the 3,342 met high Raung volcano to “waspada” (2 on 4), this after an increase in activity since last week. Black clouds were also seen at the volcano.
The civil defense will prepare an evacuation plan for those living near the volcano if the situation would deteriorate. There are at least four districts and dozens of villages in the regency that would be affected in case Raung’s activity would increase. At least 5 villages are located within the (normally used) 5 km radius of the crater in case of another status climb.

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July 1913 eruption – Image courtesy Tropenmuseum Holland

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Image courtesy Okkisafire


 

Mount Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia) erupts again (January 5)
Authorities extended a danger zone around a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia on Sunday after it spewed blistering gas farther than expected, sending panicked residents streaming down the sides of the mountain.
Mount Sinabung’s booming explosion just after midnight triggered a panicked evacuation. Men with ash-covered faces streamed down the scorched slopes on motorcycles, followed by truckloads of women and children, many crying. Officials barked out orders on bullhorns as rocks and debris rained from the sky.
More than 50 eruptions on Saturday sent lava and searing gas tumbling out of the volcano in North Sumatra province down the southeastern slopes up to five kilometers (three miles) away, said Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. The volcano was still spitting clouds of gas and lava as high as 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) in several eruptions Sunday, but no casualties were reported.
Read the full article here


 

Earthquake lights linked to rift environments (January 5)
Rare earthquake lights are more likely to occur on or near rift environments, where subvertical faults allow stress-induced electrical currents to flow rapidly to the surface, according to a new study published in the Jan./Feb. issue of Seismological Research Letters.
From the early days of seismology, the luminous phenomena associated with some earthquakes have intrigued scholars. Earthquake lights (EQL) appear before or during earthquakes, but rarely after.
EQL take a variety of forms, including spheres of light floating through the air. Seconds before the 2009 L’Aquila, Italy earthquake struck, pedestrians saw 10-centimeter high flames of light flickering above the stone-paved Francesco Crispi Avenue in the town’s historical city center. On Nov. 12, 1988, a bright purple-pink globe of light moved through the sky along the St. Lawrence River near the city of Quebec, 11 days before a powerful quake. And in 1906, about 100 km northwest of San Francisco, a couple saw streams of light running along the ground two nights preceding that region’s great earthquake.
Continental rift environments now appear to be the common factor associated with EQL. In a detailed study of 65 documented EQL cases since 1600 A.D., 85 percent appeared spatially on or near rifts, and 97 percent appeared adjacent to subvertical faults (a rift, a graben, strike-slip or transform fault). Intraplate faults are associated with just 5 percent of Earth’s seismic activity, but 97 percent of documented cases of earthquake lights.
Read the full article here


 

Chapparastique (San Miguel volcano), El Salvador (January 2)
Rodger Wilson : Results of laboratory analyses of eruptive products from the 29 December eruption of Chaparastique, El Salvador indicate an important magmatic component to the eruption (as was also indicated by high levels of SO2 gas output which accompanied and now follows the outburst). Researchers found the Chaparastique ash contained 80% shards of fresh glass and 20% mix of old hydrothermal debris. Even more interesting, the glassy juvenile component was almost crystal-free, indicating the magma last resided at a significant depth (the base of the crust?) just before its eruption! This makes the detection of any potential precursory activity of paramount importance as the time between detection and eruption will likely again be very short! The swarm of low-frequency earthquakes which began yesterday at the volcano continues with an increasing tempo today.

LCY_SHZ_SN_--.2014010200


 

Chapparastique (San Miguel volcano), El Salvador (January 1)
Rodger Wilson : Happy 2014!!!
A low-frequency (volcanic, fluid movement) earthquake swarm is underway at San Miguel volcano, El Salvador (station LCY) at this moment. A weaker swarm occurred there earlier this morning. The volcano continues to emit between 1,000 and 2,000 tons of SO2 a day (magmatic involvement), but intra-crater temperatures remain below the boiling point, indicating that any active magma still resides deep within the volcanic plumbing system.


Repetitive explosions at Sinabung Volcano (Sumatra, Indonesia) – (December 31 – 10:00 UTC)
Sinabung volcano has been spewing lava and clouds of gas high into the sky let out a new, powerful burst Tuesday, prompting warnings for airplanes and triggering panic among villagers. Nine pyroclastic eruptions Tuesday sent lava and searing gas tumbling out of Mount Sinabung. The volcano started spitting clouds of gas and lava as high as 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) in the air late Monday, but luckily no casualties.
You can follow the activity of Mount Sinabung on the VSI website webcam.

The regency administration in Sumatra reported that in the past two months 11 evacuees have died while hundreds more have fallen ill following the eruption of Mt. Sinabung. Most of the dead evacuees suffered various complications such as breathing difficulties, depression, asthma and hypertension. The first recorded death was on Nov. 23 while the last death was on Dec. 28.

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Webcam image captured an hour ago

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Image courtesy and copyright us.nasional.news.viva.co.id

Cleveland volcano , Alaska (December 31)
Brief explosion from Cleveland Volcano detected at 4:06 UTC Dec. 31 (19:06 AKST, Dec. 30). No satellite images available after the time of the explosion, so uncertain if minor ash cloud generated, but unlikely. This explosion was similar to the explosion detected at 21:29 UTC December 28 (12:29 AKST).
Similar such explosions may continue without warning, and may produce minor ash clouds that are not expected to extend much beyond the volcano, but could produce local fallout on the flanks of the volcano. AVO has received no reports of activity from local observers.

Cleveland viewed from an Alaska Airlines 737 en route to Adak, Alaska - Image courtesy of AVO/USGS.

Cleveland viewed from an Alaska Airlines 737 en route to Adak, Alaska – Image courtesy of AVO/USGS.


 

Eruption Chapparastique (San Miguel volcano), El Salvador (December 30)
Rodger Wilson reports :
SNET’s webicorders were not operational prior to yesterday’s eruption. Apparently (from press reports), anomalous seismicity appeared at the volcano on 13 December. Seismicity at the volcano has returned to a very low level since the eruption. Given its’ rapid onset, size and the amount of SO2 liberated during the event, this event likely had a magmatic (rapid uprise of magmatic gas?) component. We will have to wait for results from laboratory analyses of the eruptive products for confirmation though.

Image courtesy and copyright La Prensa Graphica

Image courtesy and copyright La Prensa Graphica

VSM_SHZ_SN_--.2013122900


 

Etna, Sicily, currently erupting (Sunday December 29, 23:08 UTC)

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 23.50.24 Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 23.56.10


Eruption San Miguel volcano, El Salvador (December 29)
The San Miguel volcano in El Salvador erupted earlier today. The ash column reached a height of more than 5000 meter.
A lot of ash has fallen in the streets close to the volcano. Alert level 2 (on 4).
Evacuations are being executed in a radius of 3 km around the volcano. The volcano is also known as the Chaparrastique volcano. He is 2129 meter high and is located at 11 km from the town of San Miguel.

Impressive eruption cloud - Twitter image from Danny Granados

Impressive eruption cloud – Twitter image from Danny Granados


 

Sinabung, Indonesia Update (December 27, 2013)

Rodger Wilson reports :
Just wanted to give the ER readers a “heads-up” on the growth of a lava dome at Sinabung volcano, Indonesia. VSI has built an excellent web file dedicated to activity (seismic, deformation, etc.) now occurring at the volcano. It is a worrisome situation there as the new dome grows in a “notch” (crater) behind an old, and judging from photographs, altered lava dome. Also from the photographs, (strong) venting continues at the periphery of the new dome, indicating continuing strong pressurization from below the structure (not to mention continued high rates of seismicity!). I interpret the potential for the eventual collapse of the older, altered dome, as the new lava dome continues to grow and pressurize, which may in-turn (likely) trigger a lateral blast. A situation similar to what I have described occurred at Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat in December 1997.
Sinabung volcano is at the highest alert level since November 24.
Sinabung webcam here (for those among you who get a broken image, be patient, he works now and then :) )

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Volcano activity for the week of December18 – December 24 2013 (December 27, 2013)
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.

New Activity/Unrest

Kliuchevskoi | Central Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported weak seismic activity at Kliuchevskoi during 13-20 December, and video images showed moderate gas-and-steam activity. Satellite images detected daily weak thermal anomalies over the summit and the SW flank. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Palena Volcanic Group | Chile
Based on a pilot observation and analyses of satellite images, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that activity at the Palena Volcanic Group began around 1530 on 22 December. Satellite images showed an ash plume drifting SE which dissipated quickly, and diffuse ash, gas, and steam near the source.

Ongoing Activity

Bagana | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea)
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 22 December an ash plume from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 75 km NE.

Chirinkotan | Kuril Islands (Russia)
SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was observed in satellite images on 9, 12, and 15 December. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 10-16 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia)
Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 18 December a possible ash plume from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted over 35 km E. On 24 December an ash plume rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55 km N.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that Vulcanian and Strombolian activity at Karymsky continued during 13-20 December. Satellite images detected a bright thermal anomaly on the volcano daily, and gas-and-steam plumes that drifted 30 km SW on 18 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA)
During 18-23 December HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele’s hair onto nearby areas. At Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, glow emanated from spatter cones on the N and S portions of the crater floor. The 7.3-km-long Kahauale’a 2 lava flow, fed by the NE spatter cone, was active with scattered break-out flows and burned the forest N of Pu’u ‘O’o; the flow however was most active about 6 km NE of Pu’u ‘O’o based on satellite images from 20 December.

Manam | (Papua New Guinea)
RVO reported that activity at both Manam’s Southern Crater and Main Crater was low during 1-15 December; white vapor emissions rose from both craters. Light gray ash clouds rose from Southern Crater during 6, 10, and 13-14 December, and incandescence from the crater was observed during 6-10 and 12-13 December. Incandescence from Main Crater was visible during 11-13 and 15 December, and gray ash plumes rose from the crater during 13-14 December. No plumes from either crater rose more than 100 m during the reporting period.

Rabaul | New Britian (Papua New Guinea)
RVO reported that Rabaul caldera’s Tavurvur cone was quiet during 1-15 December. White and occasionally blue vapor plumes rose from the crater, An explosion at 1850 on 15 December generated an ash-poor plume.

Sakurajima | Kyushu (Japan)
JMA reported that on 19 December an explosion from Sakura-jima’s Showa Crater ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that during 18-19 and 21-23 December explosions generated plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-3 km (6,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, SE, and S.

Shiveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia)
Based on visual observations and analyses of satellite data, KVERT reported that during 13-20 December a new lava dome extruded onto the NW part of Shiveluch’s older lava dome. Moderate explosions generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4-5 km (13,100-16,400) a.s.l. Lava-dome extrusion was accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite images. Several strong explosions on 17 December generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 5.5-6 km (18,000-19,700 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Sinabung | (Indonesia)
Based on webcam images, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 22 December an ash plume from Sinabung rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55 km W. During 23-24 December ash plumes recorded by the webcam rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.

Ulawun | New Britian (Papua New Guinea)
RVO reported that activity at Ulawun was low during 1-15 December; pale gray ash plumes rose from the crater. People between Sena Estate and Noau on the N flank reported ashfall in early December.


 

Niijima and Nishino-shima connect after weeks of eruptions (December 26, 2013)
What one (maybe one time in the future) could expect at El Hierro, happened the preceding weeks and days in Japan when a Surtseyan submarine eruption surfaced and continued to erupt until Niijima and Nishino-shima made a connection on Christmas day. The eruption lasted for many weeks.


 

Volcano activity for the week of 11 December-17 December 2013 (December 19, 2013)
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.

New Unrest
Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that the explosive eruption at Kliuchevskoi continued during 6-13 December. Seismicity increased on 6 December but then declined on 10 December; during this period video images showed ash plumes rising to altitudes of 5-6 km (16,400-19,700 ft) a.s.l. Satellite images detected a weak thermal anomaly daily, and ash plumes that drifted 1,200 km E during 6-8 December, NW during 9-10 December, and E and SE during 10-11 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Chile
A scientist from NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) reported that an ash cloud drifting NNE from the Cordón Caulle rift zone, part of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex, was visible in satellite images starting at 0800 on 14 December. The scientist noted that, although it appeared to be a fresh emission, the cloud was likely re-suspended ash from strong southerly winds. In addition, no other evidence of renewed activity was detected.

Reported with continuing activity
Chirinkotan, Kuril Islands (Russia)
SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was observed in satellite images on 9, 12, and 15 December. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 10-16 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Chirpoi, Kuril Islands (Russia)
SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Snow, a volcano of Chirpoi, was detected in satellite images during 12-13 and 15 December. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 10-16 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Etna, Sicily (Italy)
INGV reported on the 20th paroxysm in 2013 from Etna’s New Southeast Crater (NSEC) began with a strong explosion at 0925 on 14 December from a vent near the NE rim which generated an ash plume that rose 2 km. Intermittent ash emission gradually turned into Strombolian activity. After 1413 the activity intensified; small ash puffs were produced and Strombolian explosions ejected incandescent pyroclastics onto the flanks of the cone. Over the next few hours activity continued to intensify and a diffuse ash plume drifted ESE. At 2323 lava overflowed the SE crater rim and flowed towards the Valle del Bove. During the night explosive activity continued to intensify, and by 0330 on 15 December Strombolian activity was intense and virtually continuous. After 0500 explosive activity started to diminish, and at 0550 the volcanic tremor amplitude and the intensity and frequency of Strombolian explosions showed a sharp drop. Explosive activity continued to produce copious amounts of ash until about 0830. According to a news article, the ash emissions caused the cancellation of more than 20 flights in and out of the Catania airport.
At 0610 and 0633 two vents opened within the deep trench cutting the SE flank of the NSEC cone (where lava was still flowing from the crater since the previous evening), the first just a few tens of meters below the crater rim, the second about 100 m further downslope. Both vents initially produced lava fountains for a few minutes, with jets a few tens of meters high, and then produced lava flows that descended through the trench.
Between 0945 on 15 December and the morning of 16 December ash emission varied in frequency and intensity, related to variations in the intensity of the Strombolian activity at NSEC. During the afternoon and evening of 15 December explosive activity lasted a few to a few tens of minutes and Strombolian activity became significantly more intense or passed into pulsating, low lava fountains. The more intense periods produced greater amounts of ash leading to ashfall in populated areas on the E and SE flank, from the Milo-Zafferana area toward the Ionian coast. At night during 15-16 December lava flows continued to flow towards the Valle del Bove. A shift in wind direction caused ashfall in areas SE, S, and SW.
On 15 December small and periodic ash emissions also occurred from Northeast Crater. Small thermal anomalies detected with a thermal camera were detected during 15-16 December.
Strombolian activity at the NSEC continued through 16 December at a slowly decreasing rate and with numerous minor intensifications that generated diluted ash plumes. Lava effusion also gradually diminished, but at about 1430 on 16 December, a short fissure opened on the lower NE flank of the NSEC cone, producing a small lava flow which advanced a few hundred meters. Explosive activity finally ceased around midnight on 17 December. Very slow lava effusion continued, at a gradually decreasing rate, from the fissure on the NE flank of the NSEC cone, through the night of 17-18 December.

Fuego, Guatemala
In a special report INSIVUMEH noted that activity at Fuego had increased on 15 December. Lava flows were 500 m long in the Ceniza drainage (SSW), and their emission rate rate had increased. Blocks from lava-flow fronts reached vegetated areas. Six to eight explosions per hour produced ash plumes that rose 550 m and drifted 8 km. The explosions generated shock waves and rattled buildings in nearby villages. The next day lava flows were 600 m long in the Ceniza drainage. Explosions generated ash plumes that rose 450 m and drifted W and SW.

Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that moderate seismic activity at Karymsky was detected during 6-13 December, and Vulcanian and Strombolian activity continued. Satellite images detected a bright thermal anomaly on the volcano daily, and ash plumes that drifted 150 km E and SE during 6-7 and 10 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA)
During 11-17 December HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele’s hair onto nearby areas. At Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, glow emanated from spatter cones on the N and S portions of the crater floor. The 7.3-km-long Kahauale’a 2 lava flow, fed by the NE spatter cone, was active with scattered break-out flows and burned the forest N of Pu’u ‘O’o. The flow was most active about 5 km NE of Pu’u ‘O’o, based on satellite images from 10 December.

Sakurajima, Kyushu (Japan)
The Tokyo VAAC reported that during 11-17 December explosions at Sakura-jima generated plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-3.4 km (4,000-11,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E, SE, and S. JMA reported that six explosions from Showa Crater ejected tephra as far as 1,800 m during 13-16 December. A six-minute-long explosion was detected on 14 December. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
Based on visual observations and analyses of satellite data, KVERT reported that during 6-13 December a new lava dome extruded onto the NW part of Shiveluch’s older lava dome. Moderate ash explosions generated ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4-5 km (13,100-16,400) a.s.l. Lava-dome extrusion was accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite images. On 17 December satellite images showed an ash plume drifting 50 km NW at altitudes of 4.5-5 km (14,800-16,400 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Sinabung, Indonesia
PVMBG reported that observers in Ndokum Siroga, about 8.5 km away, noted gray plumes rising 1 km above Sinabung on 6 December. Grayish-white plumes rose as high as 400 m on 7 December, and dense white plumes also rose as high as 400 m the next day. Dense grayish-to-white plumes rose 70-200 m on 9 December. White plumes rose 100-150 m above the crater during 10-13 December. Tremor during 6-13 December was recorded continuously, with varying amplitude. The number of low-frequency earthquakes significantly increased on 7 December, and the number of hybrid earthquakes increased the next day. RSAM values had steadily increased since 28 November. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4).


Seattle, Washington area : Over 10,000 Buildings At Risk From Earthquake Triggered Landslides (December 19, 2013)
According to a new study from the University of Washington, more than 10,000 buildings are at high risks from earthquake triggered landslides.
Seattle is a coastal city with a lot of hills. Researchers estimate that a powerful earthquake can trigger over 30,000 landslides. Not a good combination for buildings on those slopes.
“Our results indicate that landsliding triggered by a large Seattle fault earthquake will be extensive and potentially devastating,” the researchers said in their study.
Read the full article here


Deepest Earthquakes May Be Best at Dissipating Energy (December 19, 2013)
An investigation of the most powerful earthquake ever recorded deep within the Earth suggests deep quakes may be better at dissipating pent-up energy than similar quakes near the surface, researchers say in a new study.
Scientists investigated a magnitude-8.3 earthquake that struck beneath the Sea of Okhotsk, between Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and Japan, on May 24. The Sea of Okhotsk rests above a subduction zone, a place where one of the Earth’s tectonic plates slides beneath another. Here, the Pacific Plate dives or subducts beneath the North American Plate.
The earthquake ruptured about 380 miles (610 kilometers) below the seafloor, far below the Earth’s crust. The quake previously listed as the most powerful deep quake, a magnitude-8.2 temblor, took place in 1994 about 390 miles (631 km) deep.
Read the full article here


 

New ETNA paroxysm is now going on (Saturday evening UTC)
You can follow the current paroxysm (short powerful eruption) via one of the webcams or by clicking on one of the pictures below. The webcams can also be found at our webcam page.
Update Sunday 14:58 UTC : At this time the eruption is still active

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OLDER ARCHIVED PARTS OF THIS REPORT :
2013 : July 8 – July 31
2013 : June 24 – July 7
2013 : June 8 – June 23
2013 : May 26 – June 7
2013 : June 8 – August 20
2013 : August 21 – October 27
2013 : October 28 – December 12

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