Volcano activity of December 3, 2012

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. -

December 3, 2012 volcano activity

KVERT reports strong seismicity (likely volcanic tremor) associated with strombolian eruption of basaltic andesite on the north flank of Plosky Tolbachik this morning.  Recent satellite imagery is showing a low-level (below 20,000 ft asl) SO2 plume associated with the eruption.  Eruption-generated SO2 is being entrained and lifted to higher levels (admixed with industrially-produced SO2 drifting off the Eurasian continent) by successive Pacific weather systems, then wafted eastward over the Gulf of Alaska and points beyond.
An energetic earthquake swarm centered beneath rhyolite domes in the Coso Volcanic Field (CA) continues with over 20 earthquakes ranging between M1 and M3 so far today.  Many smaller events (hundreds) are recorded as well.  The swarm initiated on 27 November and has included earthquakes as large as M3.7.
Activity remains subdued at Popocatepetl volcano (Mexico) this morning, although the Popo seismogram shows that volcanic tremor has risen slightly overnight.
The seismogram from Pacaya volcano (Guatemala) (station PCG) is dotted with numerous low-frequency (volcanic) earthquakes and low-level tremor today.
A short-lived burst of higher magnitude volcanic earthquakes struck San Cristobal volcano (Nicaragua) (station CRIN) overnight with no apparent untoward effect.  Volcanic tremor rumbles-on beneath nearby Masaya volcano (station MASN), and Concepcion volcano (station CONN) murmurs with frequent, low amplitude volcanic earthquakes.
Occasional gas and ash explosions, along with continuous lava flow are accompanied by strong volcanic earthquakes and tremor at Reventador volcano (Ecuador) (station CONE).
Local seismicity is almost non-existent at Tongariro volcano (New Zealand), while Ruapehu and White Island volcanoes tremble with each of their particular brand of volcanic tremor.
Recent satellite imagery shows a prominent SO2 plume drifting from Popocatepetl volcano.


  1. Tolbachik LIVE - webcam (fullscreen/auto-refresh): http://www.qicknews.de/Webcams/Tolbachik.php (is currently again, unfortunately but dark ^ ^)