Worldwide VOLCANO news - January 2012

This is the overview of our "volcano news" articles we have written in January 2012.
Click on this link to read our latest volcano news

January 24, 2012

USA / Death Valley / Historic eruption
In California's Death Valley, death is looking just a bit closer. Geologists have determined that the half-mile-wide Ubehebe Crater, formed by a prehistoric volcanic explosion, was created far more recently than previously thought—and that conditions for a sequel may exist today.
Up to now, geologists were vague on the age of the 600-foot deep crater, which formed when a rising plume of magma hit a pocket of underground water, creating an explosion. $$

January 23, 2012

Webcam image as captured on 10:30 UTC 23/01 - courtesy webcam USGS

USA / Hawaii / Kilauea volcano / Earthquake and Eruption
A magnitude 4.7 earthquake occurred below Hawaii's active Kilauea volcano at 16:36 local time (04:36 PM). The earthquakes were responsible for two small collapses of the West Ka‘ili‘ili lava delta that has been inactive since late December 2011. There were no other effects apparent on Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions or on Mauna Loa. USGS monitoring has not detected any important changes in activity of the volcanoes.
We do not exactly know what the action was before this earthquake, but at the moment one can see constant "eruption" action at the Pu`u Oo crater. Click here for the link to this eruption webcam. The image refreshes approx. every minute.

Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
Even with minimal harmonic tremor the surface Jacuzzi waters are stirring stronger and stronger. Take a look at the webcam and see for yourself. Click here for our in-depth report

Bolivia / Uturuncu
Supervolcanoes are one of nature’s most destructive forces, but given that there are no recorded observations of super-eruptions — the last occurred 74,000 years ago in Indonesia — scientists don’t fully understand how they work. Now a team studying the world’s fastest-inflating volcano, Bolivia’s Uturuncu, is shedding some light on how supervolcanoes become so powerful.
Uturuncu isn’t a supervolcano, but it sits amid one of the largest collections of supervolcano calderas on Earth. This region — along the borders of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, known as the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex — is pockmarked by calderas from at least eight massive super-eruptions, the youngest dating to around 1 million years ago. $$

January 22, 2012

Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
Strong harmonic tremor suddenly decreasef to an almost flat signal during the early morning hours . Click here for our in-depth report

January 19, 2012

Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
After living though many different stages and strength of harmonic tremor during the day, harmonic tremor suddenly stopped. Click here for our in-depth report

January 18, 2012

Area around Dallol volcano, an impressive but dangerous area - image courtesy Dottor Topy by Panoramio

Ethiopia / Tourists killed near Ethiopian Erta Ale volcano
An armed group of guerrillas apparently from Eritrea has attacked a tour group in the Danakil desert on Monday evening and killed 5 people according to news emerging from the German Bild and other sources.
Volcano Discovery, a volcano travel organization, is trying to find out more details about the attack, including the exact location and circumstances.
Bild Zeitung and most other news articles who refer to it, say "near Erta Ale", but this seems unlikely to us. It is probably the area around Dallol volcano, which is only 10 km from Eritrea on open flat surface and has been the site of previous attacks, most notably the 2007 abduction of UK diplomats (which ended with their release unharmed after 2 weeks of negotiations). Even Bild and Spiegel seem not to know where Erta Ale is, as they show pictures from Dallol, and the great salt lake about 100 km to the north labeling it Erta Ale. Volcano Discovery is organizing regular trips to "Erta Ale"
We are checking for more information from our local sources and will revise the upcoming tours. Please revisit the link for more information as it emerges. If you are in the area or have been there recently and have noticed anything suspicious that could help bring light into this sad event, please do share it with us and our readers and guests. $$$$$

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Volcano Discovery wrote : We have now more precise details from what happened at Erta Ale yesterday, and can confirm that the attack was not on Dallol as we suspected, but on the crater rim of Erta Ale volcano.
For years now, this has been a popular camping spot for tourists visiting the spectacular lava lake. According to our correspondants in Addis, who are in satellite phone contact with guides on location in the area, the attack happened on Tuesday around 01:00 Am local time.
5 people at least were shot dead by a group of armed rebels from Eritrea, who suddenly opened fire on the group. The victims include tourists 2 each from Germany and Hungary and 1Austrian. Their bodies have arrived in Semera town, the capital city of the Afar Region, and are now being transported to Addis.
In addition, 2 Germans and 2 Ethiopians were captured and abducted by the Eritrean terrorist.
Other 7 tourists were wounded and also arrived in Semera for further treatment in the Hospital. Among the seven tourists there is one Ethiopian Police man and the rest are from Germany, Italy and Hungary.
A large unit of the Militry of Ethiopia has arrived near Erta Ale and bans all visits to the volcano for an indefinite time we are told.
The government has send helicopters to the area to collect the bodies and to bring the wounded people. Now the area is under control and supervision of the Ethiopian Government "guaranteeing peace and stability" we are told.

January 17, 2012

- Red Sea / Yemen / Surtseyan eruption / Zubair group :
A volcanic eruption in the Red Sea appears to have stopped, leaving behind a newborn island. The new island is part of the Zubair Islands, located about 60 kilometers (40 miles) off the coast of Yemen. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite acquired this natural-color image on January 15, 2011. Click here for our in-depth report.

Images courtesy NASA Earth Observatory

Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
Very strong harmonic tremor since yesterday evening having subsided a little bit and back to a stronger amplitude later today. The pumice / tephra brownish stain was very big today. Click here for our in-depth report

Image courtesy Juan Gutmann - wikipedia

Chile / Argentina / Airport closed again
A few days ago the Argentinians were very happy to welcome the first Aerolinas Argentinas flight in San Carlos de Bariloche. Only a few days later, the airport had to close again due to the continuing (subsided) eruption of the Chilean Cordon Caulle volcano. San Carlos de Baricloche is highly dependent on tourism. With a closed airport and a lot of ash in the air most tourists are deviating their jouney to other places. San Carlos de Bariloche is very unformtunate to be located at the western side of the powerful volcano. Most winds are westerly blowing from the Pacific Ocean over the Andes towards Argentina.

USA / Yellowstone National Park
Over the past three years we've witnessed two large earthquake swarms at Yellowstone (2010 and 2009). Recent history tells us that these earthquake swarms are common, but we would like to know how frequently they have occurred in the more distant past. USGS researcher Bill Evans may have found an answer. $$$$

January 16, 2012

Italy / Sicily / Eolian Islands / Stromboli
The 28 second infrared time lapse video shows the volcano activity on the evening of January 16. The eruptive periods are throwing lava on the slopes. The heat of the ash cloud can well be seen during the second eruption. From my personal experience i remember not only the beautiful fireworks but also the thunder and the incredible radiant heat. Webcam images courtesy INGV Catania.

January 15, 2012

USA / Oregon / Volcano geothermal energy
Geothermal energy developers plan to pump 24 million gallons of water into the side of a dormant volcano in Central Oregon this summer to demonstrate new technology they hope will give a boost to a green energy sector that has yet to live up to its promise. They hope the water comes back to the surface fast enough and hot enough to create cheap, clean electricity that isn't dependent on sunny skies or stiff breezes — without shaking the earth and rattling the nerves of nearby residents. $$$$$

Indonesia / volcanoes under surveillance
In West Sumatra there are two volcanoes that need to be closely watched, namely Mount Marapi and Mount Talang, as they are still under alert status. Additionally, the government and regional disaster management agencies are also giving priority attention to Mount Papandayan in West Java, Mount Karangetan and Lokon in North Sulawesi, Mount Ijen in East Java, Mount Gamalama in North Maluku, Mount Krakatau in Banten and Lampung and Mount Lewoloto in East Nusa Tenggara. $$$$$
(ER: both Marapi and Talang seem to be new and are not yet listed as "Siaga" or level 3 of 4. No volcanoes are currently in the highest alert level)

January 14, 2012

Ecuador / Active volcanoes
Ecuador has currently 3 active volcanoes within his borders. The 3 following volcanoes showed increased activity the last couple of days : Reventador, Tungurahua and Sangay.

Costa Rica / Turrialba activity
Technical and scientific agencies have increased surveillance and security measures in the Turrialba Volcano National Park yesterday, this due to the recent activity of the volcano which started on January 12. Authorities and the different specialized divisions have been meeting on what to do if the situation would deteriorate.
CNE (Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias) has called the YELLOW ALERT status for the following towns and villages in the direct vicinity of the volcano : Turrialba, Alvarado and Jiménez. Additionally CNE called a GREEN ALERT for the cantons of Cartago and Oreamuno. $$$$$ $$$$$
Update : The initial Thursday activity has halted on Friday. The temperature of the fumaroles was again down to 400 °C (median for the last couple of months) versus 550 °C on Thursday during the stronger activity.
Webcam Turrialba

Chile-Argentina / Cordon Caulle / flights
Aerolinas Argentinas made the first commercial flight yesterday to San Carlos de Bariloche. The flights were suspended for more than 7 months due to the massive volcanic eruption of the Chilean Cordon Caulle volcano across the border. The Argentine town of San Carlos de Bariloche was hard hit because of the prevailing western winds.

Congo / Nyamuragira / eruption
Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield volcano that rises about 25 km north of Lake Kivu, NW of Nyiragongo volcano. The video below has been uploaded to YouTube on January 11 by the staff from the Virunga National Park, heaven to the almost extinct mountain gorillas. Enjoy ! (Thanks to ER reader Estaban Paredes)


January 13, 2012

- Kamchatka / Search the volcano !
The video below is a time lapse of a couple of hours activity of a Russian volcano at night today (the night is very long in Kamchatka during the winter). Do you know the name ?

- Science / Hawaii / Kilauea / Radar measures deformation
Anyone can walk alongside the creeping lava on Hawaii's Mount Kilauea. But NASA is taking a different look at the volcano from way overhead. From 41,000 feet (12,500 meters) above Kilauea's smoldering craters, an airborne radar developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will help measure the magma inside of the volcano, which just began its 30th year of continuous eruption from one of its vents. $$$$$

Image credits : NASA/JPL-Caltech

- Spain / Olot / congress / managing volcanic areas
Volcandpark is the first congress to be devoted to the management, the raising of awareness and geotourism in protected volcanic areas. It aims to act as a forum for debate and thought that will provide a link between knowledge of vulcanology and territorial planning and awareness in the people who work in these volcanic landscapes (national and natural parks, natural reserves, etc.). $$$

Update Activity report of Kamchatka volcanoes

Kizimen volcano Kamchatka Russia - image

- Russia / Kamchatka / Kizimen
Moderate seismic activity of the volcano continues. Video data and satellite imagery showed that the lava flow continues to effusing on the eastern volcanic flank. Hot avalanches accompany the lava flow effusion. Strong gas-steam activity of the volcano was noting at video camera all week. A big thermal anomaly was registering over the volcano all week at satellite images; a gas-steam plume stretching 25 mi (40 km) east of the volcano was noted on January 11.Effusive eruption of the volcano continues. Strong ash explosions up to 32,800 ft (10 km) ASL are possible. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

- Russia / Kamchatka / Sheveluch
Seismic activity of the volcano was mainly low all week. According to visual data, a viscous lava flow continues to effuse into the explosive crater of 2010 eruption. Moderate fumarolic activity of the lava dome was observing all week without January 10. Sometimes hot avalanches from the lava flow were noting at video camera at night. A thermal anomaly was noting over the lava dome all week at satellite images.Explosive-extrusive-effusive eruption of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 32,800 ft (10 km) ASL could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

- Russia / Kamchatka / Karymsky
Moderate seismic activity of the volcano continues; according to seismic data, possible ash plumes rose up to 13,800 ft (4.2 km) a.s.l. all week. According to satellite data, a thermal anomaly was registering over the volcano on January 05-11; weak ash plumes extending east and northeast about 25 mi 40 km of the volcano was detected on January 06-07 and 11. Explosive activity of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 19,700 ft (6 km) ASL could occur at any time. Activity of the volcano could affect low-flying aircraft.

January 12, 2012

- Greece / Santorini / Seismic activity
For the past 4 months, the number of earthquakes detected at Santorini has been slightly above background levels. The quakes are concentrated in the volcanically and tectonic active SW-NE zone passing through the caldera and the submarine volcano Kolumbus to the NE.
The intensive seismic activity on Santorini and around Santorini is not yet dangerous for visitors.
As long as one observes the safety measures, no one is in danger:
- keep a safe distance to areas with possible rock fall
- keep a safe distance to old ruins
- do not lay down under natural walls where stones and rocks may fall down - for example at the "red beach" in Acrotiri
- if you visit the volcanic island of Nea Kameni always wear stable hiking boots or stable shoe.
Volcano Discovery is closely watching and analyzing the situation at Santorini. Volcano Discovery organizes a lot of tours to the beautiful volcanic area in Greece. They are reporting an update every couple of days. $$$$$

- Indonesia / Java / Merapi
For many, the foot of one of the most active volcanoes in the world is not considered as a desirable place to live. Yet, residents living near Mount Merapi in Indonesia have chosen to face the risks rather than to move further away from the mountain. Residents near the mountain are prone to evacuations and a loss of their livelihood. A lethal eruption in November, 2010 claimed more than 200 lives and displaced about 278,000 people. But this has not deterred many from returning to their homes and starting economic activities almost immediately after the government declared volcanic activity had declined. $$$$

- Tanzania / Ol Doinyo Lengai / tourism
The most difficult and rewarding challenges are not always the biggest ones. And as Marc Reading discovered, Ol Doinyo Lengai, a relatively petite volcano in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, is one such example. The stark, looming figure of Ol Doinyo Lengai casts an imposing shadow over the lands of the Maasai people in northern Tanzania. Their name for the volcano translates to the ‘Mountain of God’, not a surprising moniker considering both its stature and its habit of repeatedly spewing lava and ash into the heavens. $$

Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano - Image courtesy

January 11, 2012

- Colombia / Galeras
INGEOMINAS reported that low-level activity continued at Galeras during 4-10 January, with steam rising from the main crater and two craters to the N and SW (Paisita and Chavas, respectively). The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

- Chile / Lascar
OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported increased seismicity at Láscar on 5 January and raised the Alert Level from Green to Yellow. On 8 January ONEMI authorities warned residents about the new Alert Level status and restricted residents from going within a 20-km radius of the volcano.
ER Update January 11 : We are currently time lapsing Lascar volcano and have not seen any fumeroles since a couple of days.

- Congo / Nyamuragira
Satellite imagery acquired on 3 January from the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's EO-1 satellite showed an active lava flow to the NE of the central vent over the fissure located 11-12 km ENE of Nyamuragira's main crater. A sulfur dioxide-rich plume was also detected.

- Ecuador / Reventador
IG reported that staff conducting fieldwork at Reventador during 6-7 January observed constant emissions of gas-and-steam rising about 300 m above the crater and drifting WNW. The emissions originated from a growing lava dome that was a few tens of meters above the crater rim and almost filled the base.

- Ecuador / Sangay
Based on information from Guayaquil MWO and a pilot report, a possible ash plume from Sangay was reported on 8 January. Ash was not detected in partly-cloudy satellite imagery.

- Ecuador / Tungurahua
IG reported a decrease in activity from Tungurahua during 4-10 January. On 4 January steam plumes rose as high as 500 m above the crater and drifted W. Additional steam plumes observed on 8 January also drifted W.
Weekly Volcano Activity Report Smithsonian Institute

- Oceans / Caribbean / Volcanic vents / living organisms
A new species of shrimp has been discovered living deeper than any seen before in the world's most extreme deep sea volcanic vents. British scientists made the discovery while on an expedition to explore boiling undersea springs - which may be hotter than 450C - on the Caribbean seafloor. But despite the extreme conditions, the vents are teeming with thousands of a new species of shrimp that has a light-sensing organ on its back. $$$$$

- USA / Hawaii / Kilauea volcano
There's been a change in the lava flow at the big islands active volcano. Lava has stopped flowing into the ocean.

January 10, 2012

- Red Sea / Yemen / Zubair group :
This new satellite image, acquired January 7, 2012, suggests that the eruption has risen nearly completely above water. A plume of steam, other volcanic gases, and ash spews from a distinct cone. The land surrounding the vent has grown, and is now about 530 by 710 meters (1,700 by 2,300 feet) across. Once above water, past eruptions in the Zubair Islands were primarily effusive, with relatively runny lava forming thin lava flows. In contrast to the fragmented rock that forms when lava interacts directly with water, lava that solidifies on land is tough, so this new island is likely to stick around. (text NASA earth observatory).

NASA image using ALI data from the EO-1 Team.

- Research / Volcanoes and extinction scenarios (1)
Volcanic activity in the Siberian Traps has been proposed as one of the mechanisms that may have triggered the mass extinction. Gases released as a result of Siberian magmatism could have caused environmental damage. For example, perhaps sulfur particles in the atmosphere reflected the sun's heat back into space, cooling the planet; or maybe chlorine and other chemically similar nonmetal elements called halogens significantly damaged the ozone layer in the stratosphere. $$$$$

- Research / Volcanoes and extinction scenarios (2)
Scientists have uncovered a lot about the Earth’s greatest extinction event that took place 250 million years ago when rapid climate change wiped out nearly all marine species and a majority of those on land. Now, they have discovered a new culprit likely involved in the annihilation: an influx of mercury into the eco-system. “No one had ever looked to see if mercury was a potential culprit. This was a time of the greatest volcanic activity in Earth’s history and we know today that the largest source of mercury comes from volcanic eruptions,” says Dr. Steve Grasby, co-author of a paper published this month in the journal Geology. “We estimate that the mercury released then could have been up to 30 times greater than today’s volcanic activity, making the event truly catastrophic.” Grasby is a research scientist at Natural Resources Canada and an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary. $$$$$

- Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
Strong harmonic tremor since yesterday, few and small lava balloons and the Ramon Margalef Oceanographic ship navigating on the stain. Click here for our in-depth report



January 9, 2012

- Indonesia / Lewotolo
Lewotolo volcano activity decreased substantially (still at Siaga = alert 3 on 4). 502 people who had auto-evacuated from the slopes of the volcano who erupted last time 60 years ago, have been resend to their homes by the authorities. Location map. See also our January 3 update.

- Indonesia / East Java / Sidoarjo Mud Vulcano
Thousands of victims of the mud volcano find their voices and demand justice. Thousands of victims of the mud volcano find their voices and demand justice. About 14,000 people lost their homes and livelihoods and, just as the muck keeps coming, so does the agony for many of those dispossessed by the disaster. $$$$$

Image courtesy

- Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
Strong harmonic tremor during the night, however not resulting in steaming Lava Balloons. Click here for our in-depth report

January 8, 2012

- Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
Strong steaming activity during the early hours of the morning. Gradual collapse of harmonic tremor in the afternoon almost to zero and slowly increasing signal again during the evening.
The SLS or Lava Balloons and burning gas mystery has been solved today. Click here for our in-depth report

January 7, 2012

- Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
A lot of smoking activity during the early hours of the morning. During the night burning gases were detected by people residing at La Restinga. Click here for our in-depth report

- Chile / Lascar (11:47 UTC)
As mentioned already yesterday Lascar volcano in the Atacama desert in Chile is waking up gradually. Sernageomin has detected a lot of earthquakes. Click here for their detailed report published on January 5 (Spanish). A new one is expected soon.
On the webcam this morning, we see sulfur rich fumeroles at the left side of the volcano. Lascar is known to be spectacular if erupting and sending ashes kilometers high in the sky !

Image captures from the Sernageomin webcam near Lascar Volcano Chile

January 6, 2012

- USA / Hawaii / Kilauea / Coins
An image depicting a Hawaii volcano has been selected to appear on a new line of quarters. The image will include an eruption on the east rift of Kilauea volcano. $$

- Caribbean / Exploration / ROV / vents
The 23 scientists aboard the research vessel Atlantis are embarking on a first-of-its-kind mission; their quarry lies in the perpetual night of the deep ocean, in a mysterious world powered only by the furious heat of the planet's inner workings. $$$$$

- Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
A lot of activity at dawn above the vent. Smoking pumice and lava stones in a relatively wide area. Click here for our in-depth report

- Chile / Lascar volcano
Sernageomin has increased the alert level of the Lascar volcano to Yellow (Amarillo). An increase in seismicity is at the origin of the increase. The alert level also includes San Pedro de Atacama (Antofagasta).
The alert level increase means that the monitoring of the volcano will be stepped up. Emergency services have to organize to cope with an eventual further increase of the alert. Webcam Lascar volcano

Lascar volcano (left) - image courtesy

January 5, 2012

- Spain / Canary Islands / Tenerife / Teide
IGN reported a swarm of 5 earthquakes on both sides of the island of Tenerife
More detailed information as well as epicenter location, click here
Following local AVCAN similar earthquakes have been recorded in between January and April 2004. Additionally AVCAN says that the earthquakes have probably a tectonic origin. After checking we agree that such earthquakes happened but we haven't seen 5 in a row like this morning and at the time El Hierro was not active, which does not mean that there has to be a relation in between both. IGN has a mystery more to solve.

image courtesy IGN

- Italy / Sicily / Etna
Readers are telling us that the webcams have showed some activity in the early morning hours. No report from INGV yet. If you want to follow this volcano's activity, our volcano webcam page (see link on top of this article) has links to the best webcams.
We are happy that we can show you this mornings eruption in HD-video format. Enjoy the beauty of the first eruption of 2012. This morning eruption coincided with the sunrise, which gives the video an even greater beauty. Look also at the evaporating snow at the edges of the lava field.

- Russia / Kamchatka / Kizimen
NASA Earth Observatory has again a great image of the December 30 activity of this volcano who started erupting in November 2010. As it is mostly cloudy in this area, beautiful satellite pictures like this one are rather rare. Click on the image for a link to the NASA page.

Image courtesy NASA Earth Observatory

- Spain / Canary Islands / El Hierro
After an evening with numerous glowing lava pieces surfacing the Las Calmas sea, the volcano's activity subsided and started increasing in strength again after a couple of hours. Click here for our in-depth report.

Weekly volcanic activity report by the Smithsonian Institute

- Chile / Collaqui
Based on a pilot observation, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that the top of an ash plume from Callaqui was at 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 2 January. Ash was not detected in satellite imagery under clear skies.

- USA / Alaska / Cleveland
AVO reported that an ash cloud from Cleveland rose to an altitude of 4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 80 km ESE on 29 December. AVO raised the Volcano Alert Level to Watch and the Aviation Color Code to Orange. During 30 December-3 January there were no new signs of explosive activity; the Volcano Alert Level was lowered to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow on 30 December. No current seismic information was available because Cleveland does not have a real-time seismic network.

- Colombia / Galeras
INGEOMINAS reported that activity continued at Galeras during 28 December- 3 January, with steam rising from the main crater and two craters to the N and SW (Paisita and Chavas, respectively). A web camera showed gas emissions on 28, 30, and 31 December and on 1 January. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity").

- Indonesia / Ternate / Gamalama
According to news articles, at least three people were killed and 1,000-2,600 more from several villages were displaced by lahars from Gamalama during on 27-28 December. The lahars destroyed many homes in the Tubo and Tofure villages and along the Togorara and Marikurubu rivers. The Alert Level remains at 3 (on a scale from 1-4).

- Indonesia / Sulawesi / Lokon Empung
CVGHM reported that white plumes rose 50-250 m above the summit of Lewotolo during the month of December. Seismicity increased on 31 December and intensified on 2 January, the same day incandescence was observed. Based on visual and seismic observations, CVGHM raised the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4) on 2 January, then later that day raised the Alert Level to 3.

- Costa Rica / Poas
OVSICORI-UNA reported that fieldwork at Poás on 16 December showed new geyser activity from a vent on the N flank of the lava dome that formed in 2011. A water-and-mud fountain rose 5-6 m high, flowed into the lake, and built a terrace along the S shore. Gas-and-steam plumes rose from the lava dome.

- Indonesia / Sumatra / Sorikmarapi
CVGHM lowered the Alert Level for Sorikmarapi on 30 December from 2 to 1 (on a scale of 1-4).

- Ecuador / Tungurahua
IG reported moderate seismic activity at Tungurahua during 28 December-3 January. On 31 December small steam emissions were observed, and on 3 January a gas-and-steam plume rose 200 m above the crater. Ash-fall from last week's explosions accumulated to a depth of 2-4 mm in villages to the SW.

January 4, 2012

- Canary Islands / El Hierro (09:34 UTC) : Glowing lava stones in the night of December 4 at Canary Islands El Hierro. A reader saw it initially on the webcam. The phenomenon was later confirmed by a live binocular view from Joke Volta, an El Hierro citizen.

Yemen / Zubair group / Surtseyan eruption : Julio del Castillo Vivero found this Arabic video from what almost certainly will be the Surtseyan eruption of the new island of the Zubair volcano. It was shot out of an helicopter from the navy (thats what the text says). Hard to say who made the video. We have to stress than we are only 99.99% sure that it is the current eruption. Why : the earlier eruption which was spotted by a Dutch navy ship, the HRMS Evertsen in 2007 was only photographed during the night, but was the activity of an already mapped volcano. The current eruption was detected by a satellite and after fisherman reported the activity. The video below has been uploaded to YouTube on January 2 2012. Update 19:31 UTC : we have added a second video. We can be sure now that we talk about the new island being born. The first video (just added) is showing very well the whole group of volcanic islands.

Antarctica / vents : Oceanographers exploring some of the most remote deep-sea hot springs ever found, have discovered what they say is a “riot of life” in a distinct biological zone that no one knew existed. $$$$$

January 3, 2012

Indonesia / Siaga alert volcanoes (3 on 4 or second highest level) : Indonesia has currently 7 volcanoes in Siaga Alert level (3 on scale of 4) : Ile Lewotolo, Ijen, Gamalama, Papandayan, Karangetang, Lokon and Krakatau. Siaga means that people have to stay away from the crater and that authorities have to take precautionary measures to evacuate people if necessary.

- Indonesia / Lewotolo : Lewotolo volcano alert level has been raised on January 2 from 2 to 3 (Siaga). Lewotolo is a stratovolcano located in the north-central part of the island of Lembata, Indonesia. Location map.

Lewotolo volcano - image

- Indonesia / Gamalama : The damage caused by the lahars to the residential areas at the bottom of the volcano (heavy rain mixed with ash generated flash floods) is estimated to be the yearly budged of the Ternate authorities. The central government will intervene to pay for the cost. 840 families are still living in the evacuation camps.

- Canary Islands / El Hierro (09:34 UTC) : Exceptionally beautiful image series of the activity on December 2. This morning a lot of smoking lava stones and pumice at the surface. Minor harmonic tremor. Click here for our in-depth report.

January 2, 2012

- Costa Rica / Poas (18:18 UTC) : Recent fieldwork at Poas volcano showed new geyser activity out of the newly formed vent; at the north base of the dome. From such cavity (15x8m aprox), an active water and mud fountain (5-6m) raises to produce a constant overflow over the lowest edge; into the lake; in the shape of a 7m cascade of mud and debris. Photos and more details in a short spanish report can be found here.

- Canary Islands / El Hierro (17:40 UTC) : - Based on harmonic tremor, the eruption decreases bit by bit to a very low value. Click here to read more details.

- Iceland / Katla : In the series of "let's frighten each other a little bit", this Al Jazeera video on a possible eruption of Katla volcano. Let's call it, that the volcano is turning in his sleep but does not show signs of immediate wake up. The volcanologist said clearly that it can take years (but also a lot less of course) before a new eruption occurs Click here to go to the (very well made video) - (thanks to Arnold)

- Indonesia / Papandayan : The number of volcanic earthquakes (1,274 in December) is further decreasing. Only 4 quakes were detected on January 1. Papandayan volcano is currently in alert level Siaga (3 on 4)

- Germany : We all know about the super-volcano lurking underneath Yellowstone Park in the U.S. that goes off every 600,000 years – but there’s actually one very much closer to home that’s due to blow anytime now. It's lurking just 390 miles away underneath the tranquil Laacher See lake near Bonn, Germany, and is capable of ejecting billions of tons of magma. $ Nederlands artikel over hetzelfde thema in het Parool
ER comment : As the press likes this kind of stories a lot (it was already picked up by other publishers in the world), we would be surprised that it will not show up in the main tabloids and newspapers around the world. People publishing such stories are probably not aware of the fear they are triggering among part of the population.

- Canary Islands / El Hierro : subsiding harmonic tremor during the night. 2 earthquakes during the first 8 hours of the day

January 1, 2012
- Indonesia / Gamalama volcano (11:18 UTC) :
The Lahar risk (mud/ash flows) continues along the slopes of the still erupting volcano. The bad weather conditions are the main responsible for this very dangerous situation. Pooring rain mixed with eruption ashes are converting the normal streams into torrential damaging flows at the lower part in the volcano. The video below (recorded on December 27) shows a Lahar stream when arriving at the lower end of the volcano slope.

- Indonesia / Lokon volcano (11:13 UTC) : The magmatic eruption of this Sulawesi volcano is still continuing and people are being told not to enter a 2.5 km radius along the crater. Mount Lokon alert level is Siaga or 3 (on 4).

- Canary Islands / El Hierro (11:08 UTC) : A lot of activity this morning. A swarm of 7 earthquakes occurred in between midnight and 10:00, by far the biggest number since many weeks. Additionally a big stain and wide stirring area are the signs of the strength of the magma below the island.

- Russia / Kamchatka : The following volcanos are in an Orange (aviation) alert status : Kizimen (ash explosions up to 10 km high are possible), Sheveluch (10 km) and Karymsky (6 km) - links are heading to the webcam (please remind it might be dark over there when you have daylight !)

- Indonesia / Ljen volcano : Local authorities are preparing evacuation camps in 3 counties close to the volcano. The camps and surrounding area will give space to at least 5,586 people and their livestock, in case an evacuation is imminent. Ljen volcano alert level has been raised to 3 (Siaga) on December 18. 16,000 masks have been distributed to the people. River banks will have to be cleared 100 meter at both sides to avoid fatal Lahar accidents.
3D Google earth image of Ljen volcano
Helicopter view of the Ljen volcano area at risk if a strong eruption occurs

- Indonesia / Marapi volcano : Office of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), reported that a thin layer of volcanic ash was ejected up to 500 meter high by Mount Marapi on Saturday afternoon. PVMBG warned that it is prohibited to enter a 3 km radius of the summit.

- Yemen / Zubair group : NASA Modis Terra satellite image shows no longer a medium sized eruption cloud

- Canary Islands / El Hierro : At 09:55 SLS (smoking Lava Stones) have been noticed by our readers. The SLS are probably coming from the main vent.

- Alaska / Cleveland volcano : The volcano did send ash 15,000 feet in the sky during a single explosion event on Thursday. The perfectly conical shaped Cleveland volcano is already sleepless for some months and now and then some explosions occur. As the volcano is located on animal populated only islands, news mostly get to us after study of satellite images or when airplanes flying that sector report ash clouds. In the meantime and due to the single explosive activity, the alert level of the volcano has again been downgraded.