Volcano activity of January 30, 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 30, 2013 volcano activity

KVERT reports no significant changes in eruptive behavior at any of the erupting Kamchatkan volcanoes today.  Volcanic tremor amplitude remains high at Plosky Tolbachik, while volcano-seismicity ranges from moderate (at Kizimen and Sheveluch) to low at Bezymianny, Kliuchevskoi, and Karymsky.  Recent MODIS satellite thermal imagery shows "hotspots" produced by lava flows at Tolbachik and Kizimen.


Both local and regional earthquakes continue near Tanaga volcano (Aleutian arc) (station TASE) today.

Small, local earthquakes remain numerous beneath Mammoth Mountain volcano (CA) (station MMS).


Small explosions, rockfalls and occasional volcanic earthquakes continue to affect Colima volcano (Mexico).  Exhalations average once per hour again today at Popocatepetl volcano.  A "hotspot" remains visible on MODIS satellite thermal imagery and volcanic tremor and small earthquakes continue affect Popo.



Seismic data from the Guatemalan volcanoes have not updated fro several days.  A blurry volcanocam photo of Santiaguito Dome Complex (Santa Maria volcano) shows continued degassing, and recnet MODIS thermal imagery reveals a two-pixel "hotspot" produced by an active lava flow at Fuego volcano.

Volcanic tremor at Masaya volcano (Nicaragua) (station MASN) has become pulsatory during the past day.  Volcanic earthquakes are visible on recent seismograms recorded at the volcano.

Low-magnitude volcanic earthquakes have also punctuated continuous volcanic tremor at San Miguel volcano (El Salvador) (station VSM) during the past week.

Small volcanic earthquakes and periods of volcanic tremor continue to affect Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ).  Local earthquakes, some eminating from the deep (12-15 km depth) "southeast nest", have continued at Machin volcano (station CIMA) overnight.  A few small earthquakes and one tremor pulse have occurred at Galeras volcano (station ANGV) during the same period.

Numerous, small  volcanic earthquakes and continuous low-level tremor plague Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) (station RETU) again today.  Amplitude of the earthquakes, and their number, appear to be slowly increasing.  Co-eruptive seismicity remains high at Reventdaor volcano (station CONE).  Small local earthquakes are apparent on seismograms from Cotopaxi volcano (station CO1V).

SERNAGEOMIN reports markedly decreased seismicity within Copahue volcano (Chile-Argentina border) today.


GNS is conducting a gas flight today to assertain any changes in SO2 output from White Island volcano (New Zealand).  Strong, continuous volcanic tremor resumed at the volcano earlier today, as did hybrid earthquakes which are indicative of magma movement.  The volcano is not steaming as vigorously as it had been earlier in the week.  Seismicity is low at two compatriot restive volcanoes Tongariro and Ruapehu.

OMI SO2 satellite data did not update today.


  1. Hi Justin,

    To my knowledge, no shallow LP earthquakes have occurred at Mammoth Mountain, just deep ones. I know of one shallow LP earthquake that was positively identified (by USGS) several years ago within Long Valley caldera. I say "positively identified" because it was well recorded by many stations and therefore allowed seismologists to really scrutinize the mechanism involved in generating the earthquake (i.e., fluid movement or faulting). Such earthquakes were suspected in some of the big earthquake swarms that occurred at Long Valley back in the 1980's and 90's but the understandably "noisy" seismograms from those periods as well as less than optimum seismometer coverage didn't afford the best "looks" at that data. In addition, while it is widely publicized that LP earthquakes indicate fluid movement within volcanoes, there has always been disagreement within the volcano-seismic community about whether most LP earthquakes are truly caused by fluid movement, or simply by earthquakes having such shallow foci that only a portion of the radiated seismic energy is recorded by instrumentation (thus resulting in "lower than normal" frequency content). Recent studies suggest the latter is more the case than not. Never-the-less, detailed investigations of some LP earthquakes (such as the one at Long Valley I mentioned), indeed show fluid movement as the source of at least a few such earthquakes.

    I hope this helps. Thank you for your readership!


  2. Justin Kloeckner says:

    Richard and Armand! Great reports - Have you ever been to Mammoth Lakes? It's a beautiful place. The area is so lush and verdant, mainly due to the topography (the San Joaquin River drainage tends to funnel moisture from Pacific storms very well).

    I have a question - does this noticeably shallower, more recent swarm under the south east spine of Mammoth Mtn contain any long-period quakes?

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