Volcano activity of January 29, 2013 - Video eruption Plosky Tolbashik (Kamchatka, Russia)

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 29, 2013 volcano activity

KVERT reports that volcanic tremor accompanying the ongoing baslatic eruption at Plosky Tolbachik (Kamchatka Peninsula) has declined somewhat overnight.  No significant changes in activity were noted at other erupting Kamchatkan volcanoes Kliuchevskoi, Bezymianny, Kizimen, Karymsky and Sheveluch.

Small earthquakes (maximum magnitude M1.6) continue to affect Mammoth Mountain volcano (CA) (station MMS).


Yesterday's earthquake swarm at Colima volcano (Mexico) culminated in explosive activity overnight (and continuing). A relatively large explosion occurred just before 4 am local time today (large "green" event) and another smaller eruption occurred shortly after 6 am today ("red" event).  Recent high levels of seismicity, prodigious SO2 emission as detected in recent days by OMI satellite sensors, and a  now a "hotspot" detected by MODIS thermal imagery all point to renewed (or forthcoming) lava extrusion within the summit crater of Popocatepetl volcano.  Exhalations have decreased overnight and now occur at an average rate of once every three hours.  The Popocatepetl seismogram shows exhalation events, low-frequency volcanic tremor and small earthquakes today.



Sesimicity has remained relatively low at all three Guatemalan volcanoes Pacaya, Fuego and Santa Maria.  Today's Santa Maria volcanocam view shows degassing continuing at the Santiaguito Dome Complex.


Both local and regional earthquakes dot seismograms from San Miguel volcano (El Salvador) (station VSM) again today.  Continuous low-level volcanic tremor is also visible on the records.

Small volcanic earthquakes and periods of volcanic tremor remain frequent at Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ).  A relatively large (M3+?) local earthquake struck Machin volcano (station CIMA) early today.  Small earthquakes continue at the volcano.

Numerous small volcanic earthquakes and low-level volcanic tremor continue at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) (station RETU).  Spectrograms recorded at the volcano show an increase of volcanic "noise" (volcanic tremor at around 2 Hz) within the volcano since yesterday.  Reventador volcano (station CONE) continues to exhibit a high level of co-eruptive seismicity.  Station VC1, part of the Cotopaxi volcano monitoring network, has recently shown what amounts to a swarm of low-frequency earthquakes and volcanic tremor.  Given that the activity does not appear to be correlative (although station CO1V does show some local seismic activity) on other Cotopaxi seismometers (station CO1V), and EPN has not commented on the activity (which at Cotopaxi would be a cause for great concern!), I am of the opinion that an electronic connection has been cross-wired somewhere and what VC1 is actually showing is seismic activity at Reventador volcano, as this is the sole Ecuadoran volcano currently displaying this level of volcanic activity.

SERNAGEOMIN has not issued an update on recent activity at Copahue volcano (Chile-Argentina border) for several days.  Today's Copahue volcanocam view shows the volcano issuing an eruptive plume in long "huffs" or "chugs".


Volcanic tremor has become intermittent at White Island volcano (New Zealand).  This can be interpretted to reflect a "drying-out" of the volcano's hydrothermal system.  To help verify this interpretation, scientists will look for an increase in SO2 emission at the volcano.  Small local earthquakes are visible on seismograms at compatriot volcanoes Tongariro and Ruapehu.

@JohnSeach reports that in Papua New Guinea. 4 volcanoes are erupting, Bagana, Rabaul, Karkar, Manam. 2 more eruptions last month, Langila, Ulawun.

Recent satellite imagery shows continued impressive SO2 emission from Popocatepetl volcano, signifying active magma at shallow depth beneath the cone.


  1. has there been an icrease in volcano activity this year...thanks

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      No, nothing special - more information on the web means more knowledge but there is no pattern whatsoever that it increased

    • Gordon Hervey says:

      Check Volcanic Ash SIGMETS at your nation's Aviation Warnings Meteorlogical site. In Australia, the number of Global Warnings has steadily increased, it is now triple what it was 3 weeks ago.

      Please note, these sites are for use of the Aviation industry, but a 'once only' visit should not tax their servers too badly.

      Manam volcano has the record so far this year, on the 12th of January it threw ash 14 Kilometres up into the atmosphere. There have been plenty of 2 to 6km events as well.

  2. Colin Logan says:

    Hello Rodger and Armand,

    Interesting stuff continues at White Island

    New Bulletin here:


    Best Regards


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