Volcano activity of August 14, 2012 - Tofua, Yasur, Popocatepetl, Tungurahua, Sakurajima, Galeras, Sotara and Nevado del Ruiz

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 14, 2012 volcano activity

Finally!,...some substantial volcanic activity to report!

The eruptive activity we reported on yesterday at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) has "ramped-up" into a moderate (so far!) sized eruption. The activity is large enough to be visible on satellite imagery. (station RETU)

Volcanic tremor continues to increase (especially since 5 UTC) to the north at Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia). (station OLLE)

Volcanic earthquakes, although weak, remain visible on seismograms from Sotara volcano (Colombia). (station SOSO)

Relatively small exhalations of gases and ash average once an hour again at Popocatepetl volcano (Mexico). The volcano had fallen into a relative lull during the past week, averaging only one exhalation every three to five hours during that time. (The large, low frequency signal on the Popo seismogram is the deep M7.7 Sea of Okhotsk earthquake, volcanic tremor is also visible on the record).

In New Zealand, White Island volcano continues to chatter with continuous volcanic tremor, while newly active Tongariro volcano quietly snoozes.

A faint SO2 cloud is present to the west of Vanuatu's Yasur volcano which is regularly spewing steam and ash in the air. (See SO2 image and webcam image)

Activity observed by satellites
VAAC Tokyo reports the latest Sakurajima volcano explosion at 05:22 UTC today
VAAC Washington reports Tungurahua activity based on volcanic ash emissions and seismic activity (like we have described above)


Tofua volcano, Tonga - Image courtesy nautilussubmarine.com

Interesting articles
A wild boar triggers a volcanic aviation alert at Tonga 🙂
A wild boar chase by kava growers living on Tonga's volcanic island of Tofua yesterday may have led to the cancellation of an international flight to Tonga today, after smoke was spotted near the island and mistaken for a volcanic eruption.  Paloni Ta'ufo'ou, one of the ten people living on Tofua, told Matangi Tonga this evening by cell phone, that they set fire to scrub on the island yesterday August 13, to flush out boars. The community on the northern tip of the active volcano were not aware of any new seismic activity. "We saw a whale watching boat off the island so perhaps they thought the smoke was an eruption," said Paloni. Meanwhile, based on a unidentified pilot report and satellite image of an apparent "ash cloud" near Tofua Island, official advisories were issued by the Meteorological Service in Wellington, New Zealand, stating that Tofua had "erupted 20120813/0342Z" An ash cloud was tracked in the area between Tonga and Fiji.
The advisory was picked up by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand who notified airline operators in the region.
Read more of this great story ...
Below a copy of the latest volcanic ash advisory based on a local observer notification. The text shows clearly "erupted". We, at earthquake-report.com think that it is better to alert 1 eruption too much and one that will be unalerted.  People at the VAAC Wellington should not be blamed for this mistake as we admit that their task is not easy at all, even more difficult for volcanoes on remote islands.

Image courtesy VAAC Wellington


  1. Thank´s for this information. I´ve been reading about this volcano, and It´s one of the most incredible around the world. I wanna go as soon as posible.

    by: Yoram Yasur