Volcano activity of August 7, 8 and 9, 2012 - Ambrym, Kilauea, Mount Pagan, Nevado del Ruiz, Popocatepetl, Batu Tara, Sakurajima, Mt Tongariro and White Island

This (almost) daily post intends to follow up the activity changes of volcanoes all over the world.
This post is written by geologist Richard Wilson who specializes in Volcano seismicity and Armand Vervaeck. Please feel free to tell us about new or changed activity if we haven't written about it. -

August 5, 2012 volcano activity

In the absence of Rodger Wilson and having a lot of work to follow the Los Angeles earthquakes and the New Zealand volcanoes, we had to wind down a little bit on our daily activity reports. If you are a volcano follower and do want to join us in scanning the world's volcanoes, do not hesitate and write us a short email at volcano.report (at) outlook.com.

We have been following the activity of the erupted New Zealand volcanoes Mt. Tongariro and White Island every couple of hours. For our in-depth reporting on the eruption and activity, click here to read it.  Activity at both volcanoes has subsided a lot but can restart at any time.

Steam plume at Mt Tongariro - image courtesy and copyright Geonet and GNS Science

 INGEOMINAS reported that during 31 July-6 August the magnitude and occurrence of earthquakes detected at Galeras volcano (Colombia) had increased since the previous week. Gas plumes sometimes containing tephra rose from the crater. Observatory staff working near the crater reported a strong sulfur odor on 1 and 6 August. On 3 August a steam plume rose 1.1 km above the crater. On 4 August ash emissions were observed in the morning, and at 1519 a seven-minute-long episode of tremor was accompanied by a gas-and-ash plume that rose 1.4 km above the crater and drifted N. Ashfall was reported in Genoy, 6 km NE. An ash plume rose from the crater on 7 August. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity"). (source Smithsonian Institute)

Activity observed by satellites
VAAC continues to report the activity of Batu Taru, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. Volcanic ash may be expected at a level of 6000 fr (1.8 km).

VAAC Tokyo reports reports the latest Sakurajima explosion sending volcanic ash to a level 9000 ft (2.7 km).

NOAA satellite imagery showed SO2 plumes at varying volcanoes the last 3 days. Among the ones showing stronger activity were Ambrym, Mount Pagan, Popocatepetl and Nevado del Ruiz

The video below dates from this morning when New Zealand volcanologists were able to make the first  observation flight towards the recently erupted White Island volcano (North Island, New Zealand)


  1. SEMEESE Roland says

    Hello Armand,
    Een gigantische hoeveelheid puimsteen 400 km ten westen van Raoul Island (Nieuw-Zeeland). Moet van een onderzeese uitbarsting komen. Eerst werd gedacht van de vulkaan MONOWAI, maar zou niet kloppen gezien de plaats waar de puimsteen is aangetroffen.
    Nieuw-Zeelandse vulkanen in "goede doen".

    • Armand Vervaeck says

      Bedankt Roland -ik had het artkel al klaar staan om in het dagelijks overzicht te publiceren (werd mij vanmorgen door een Nieuw Zeelandse dame opgegeven).