Volcano activity of January 19, 2013

This (almost) daily post intends to follow up the activity changes of volcanoes all over the world.
This post is written by geologist Rodger 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. -

January 19, 2013 volcano activity

KVERT reports that volcanic tremor accompanying the ongoing eruption at Plosky Tolbachik has doubled in amplitude over the past day.  The tremor amplitude is again strong enough to obscure seismic data recorded at nearby Bezymianny and Klyuchevskoi volcanoes. Moderate seismicity accompanies extrusion of lava at another Kamchatkan cone, Kizimen volcano.  I have included various satellite data which shows the current eruptive output at both volcanoes.


Low level seismicity continues today at Alaskan volcanoes Tanaga (station TASE), Akutan (station AKV) and Mount Spurr (station CKT).

A low-level earthquake swarm continues beneath Mammoth Mountain volcano (CA) (station MMS), with a M1.3 event recorded earlier today.  Dilatometer data from instruments located within Long Valley Caldera show an inflection in trend at the swarm onset on or around 15 January 2013.


I was wrong, Colima volcano (Mexico) has not returned to quiet.  A series of small explosions (green signals) followed a very subtle increase in volcanic seismicity in the past day at the volcano.  Exhalations of gas and ash have increased slightly during the past 24 hours at Popocatepetl volcano.


A mixture of wind noise, and small local and larger regional earthquakes dot seismograms at Guatemalan volcanoes Fuego (station FG3), Santa Maria (station STG6) and Pacaya (station PCG) today.  Santa Maria seismograms show the most volcanic activity with occasional increases in tremor tucked within the "noisy" record.  Recent MODIS thermal imagery shows the active lava flows descending the flanks of Fuego and the Santiaguito Dome Complex (Santa Maria).


A few larger magnitude volcanic earthquakes punctuate an otherwise slowly decreasing trend in seismicity at San Cristobal volcano (Nicaragua) (station CRIN) today.  Volcanic tremor amplitude continues to be unstable at Masaya volcano (station MASN), and frequent, low-amplitude volcanic earthquakes continue to plague Concepcion volcano (station CONN).


An episode of larger magnitude volcano-tectonic earthquakes also affected Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ) late yesterday.  Numerous low-amplitude volcanic earthquakes and occasional periods of volcanic tremor continue at the volcano.  Numerous small seismic events continue at nearby Machin volcano (station CIMA) as well.  The tremor-like signal late in the record at Machin is due to cultural noise, not the volcano.

Strong degassing continues at Reventador volcano (Ecuador) (station CONE), accompanied by abundant low-frequency seismicity, including volcanic tremor.

Over 1100 small volcanic earthquakes, along with low-level volcanic tremor have occurred during the past 24 hours at Copahue volcano (Chile-Argentina border).  Weather obscures any surface activity accompanying the seismicity.


Volcanic tremor continues to saturate seismic records from White Island volcano (New Zealand), with no visible changes in surface activity.  Seismic activity is low at Ruapehu and Tongariro volcanoes.

Recent satellite imagery shows the low-altitude, SO2-enriched plume eminating from Plosky Tolbachik being entrained by a passing weather system.  Modest plumes also hover near Popocatepetl and Nyiragongo (DRC) volcanoes.  Ambrym volcano (Vanuatu) has exhaled a strong SO2 plume for several days now.


  1. You seem to imply that vulcanism relates to a weak magnetic field. Weak fields are associated with reversals. Yet the greatest known implacement of magma in the form of Large igneous provinces occured during the long Cretaceous normal, the longest known period without a reversal and a period one would think had a strong magnetic field.

    • Hi Gordon,

      I have never discussed a relationship between vulcanism and magnetic field strength here. Are you sure you were reading this blog? Anyhow, thank you for your readership!


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