Volcano activity of September 27, 2012 - weekly overview + videos of Ambrym island volcano, Vanuatu

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. -

We apologize for not being able to continue this report on a daily basis. Our ultimate goal is a daily article as there is enough material to write about. Infrequent reports maybe going on for some time.

Volcanic Activity from September 19 until September 25 

FUEGO Guatemala
INSIVUMEH reported that during 19-21 September explosions from Fuego ejected incandescent material 100 m above the crater and produced ash plumes that rose 500-1,000 m. Incandescent avalanches traveled 600 m down the flanks. Ashfall was reported at the observatory, and in Morelia (8 km SW) and Santa Sofia (12 km SE). During 22-25 September explosions generated ash plumes that rose 300-800 m above the crater and drifted 6-10 km NE, N, and NW. Incandescent material was ejected 75-150 m above the crater, and avalanches descended the Ceniza and Taniluyá drainages (SSW).

Fuego volcano early morning today - image courtesy Insivumeh

LITTLE SITKIN Aleutian Islands, Alaska
AVO reported that during 19-24 September seismic activity at Little Sitkin remained elevated and satellite views were mostly obscured by clouds. On 21 September AVO noted that the frequency of earthquakes had declined during the previous week. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

LOKON-EMPUNG Sulawesi, Indonesia
According to the Darwin VAAC, ground-based observers reported that on 21 September an ash plume from Lokon-Empung rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Ash was not identified in satellite imagery.

SOPUTAN Sulawesi, Indonesia
Based on information from the US Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), the Support to Aviation Control Service (SACS), and CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume from Soputan rose to an altitude of 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. on 19 September. Later that day an ash plume rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l.

TANGKUBANPARAHU Western Java, Indonesia
CVGHM reported that during 23 August-21 September shallow volcanic earthquakes continued to be recorded at Tangkubanparahu but were less frequent. Other types of seismic signals also decreased. Based on seismicity, visual observations, deformation data, gas measurements, and soil and crater lake water temperatures, the Alert Level was lowered to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 21 September.

Activity observed by satellites
VAAC reports that air traffic has still to be cautious for eruptive activity at Batu Tara, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
An ash cloud at Bagana volcano, Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea was reported at a height of 8000 ft (2400 m).
Sakurajima volcano generated an explosion at 11:25 UTC today

SO2 satellite pictures are showing activity at Ambrym, Vanuatu (yes, the one from the videos below), Mount Pagan (Mariana Islands), Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) and Nyiragongo (DR Congo)

Interesting articles
The impact of cultural and religious influences during natural disasters (volcano eruptions)
Religion during natural disasters. This most extensive paper ever published about religion related to the devastating Krakatau and Pinatubo volcano eruptions. The eruptions of Krakatau in 1883 and Pinatubo in 1991 are compared and contrasted to show how cultural and religious responses have changed over time. A scientific paper from David Harris, Earth Sciences Department, University College London, London. Read more ...

We cannot afford ourselves to not show the great Geoff Mackley Marum Ambrym Vanuatu video which he captured during an expedition recently. Millions of people have seen the video in YouTube, in a magazine of their local newspaper or even on television.
This was however not the first time that Geoff Mackley made a Ambrym expedition.
Video footage shot in 2010 by James Reynolds shows almost the same images but with less viral distribution.
As so many channels in the world gave their own wording, the Vanuatu volcano became finally an Australian volcano for many areas in the world.


  1. SEMEESE Roland says

    Hello Armand,
    Vanavond rode gloed te zien ETNA, zeer waarschijnlijk vanuit de Bocca Nuovo. Ook reeds gisteren opgemerkt na zonsondergang.
    website: http://www.radiostudio7.it