Volcano activity of February 4, 2013 - Eruption of Rokatenda (Paluweh) volcano, Flores, Indonesia

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. -

February 4, 2013 volcano activity

Most interesting, a significant, clearly eruption-derived plume(s) drifts from Paluweh volcano (also called Rokatenda volcano), Flores, Indonesia. The volcano erupted on Saturday. (SO2 plume see below)
"There are three districts that experience a considerable impact.  The current eruption is bigger than the eruption of October 2012. It made people panic and walk away for safer place.
A layer of ash can be found on the streets but there are no injuries or fatalities reported. The volcano erupted with a fierce explosion with incandescence out of the crater and lava streaming into the sea. The only protection people are being asked to wear are ash masks.
the alert status of Paluweh volcano has been raised from III  to IV
The largest eruption of Paluweh Volcano  occurred from August 4 to September 25, 1928, most of which occurred in the tsunami following the quake.  The last eruption occurred on March 23, 1985. Ash was ejected 2 km in the sky and heavier material thrown 300 me above the crater.

Rokatenda or Paluwh volcano  Indonesia

KVERT reports no significant changes in eruptive behavior at erupting Kamchatka volcanoes: Tolbachik, Kliuchevskoi, Bezymianny, Sheveluch, Kizimen, and Karymsky today.

Small earthquakes continue at Iliamna (Alaska Range) (station INE) and Tanaga (Aleutian arc) (station TASE) volcanoes.


Ditto for Mammoth Mountain volcano (CA) (station MMS) and beneath the Sierra Nevada Mountains southeast of the volcano.

Volcanic earthquakes (possibly accompanying small explosions) and small rockfalls affect Colima volcano (Mexico) today.  Exhalations of gas and some ash continue at Popocatepetl volcano an average of once per hour.  Seismicity at the Popo has noteably decreased.


Still no updated seismic (or visual) data available for the Guatemalan volcanoes.  Recent MODIS satellite thermal imagery shows "hotspots" at both Santa Maria and Fuego volcanoes today.


Volcanic tremor has diminished somewhat at Masaya volcano (Nicaragua) (station MASN), but remains unsteady.  Episodes of low-level tremor are apparent on seismograms from Concepcion volcano (station CONN) this morning.

Volcanic tremor has increased at San Miguel volcano (El Salvador) (station VSM) in the past day and includes occasional volcanic earthquakes as well.

Episodes of small earthquakes continue to affect Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ), a swarm of what appear to be (deep?) low-frequency earthquakes occurred overnight at Machin volcano (station CIMA), and tiny local events are apparent on seismic records from Galeras volcano (station ANGV) again today.

Small volcanic earthquakes appear to be on the ebb at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) (station RETU), while co-eruptive seismicity remains high at Reventador volcano (station CONE).

SERNAGEOMIN reports several swarms of mixed volcano-tectonic and volcanic earthquakes have occurred at Copahue volcano (Chile-Argentina border) in the past day, with no apparent changes in surface activity.


Hybrid (volcanic) earthquakes have ended at White Island volcano (New Zealand) and continuous volcanic tremor has decreased in amplitude dramatically overnight.

Recent satellite imagery shows SO2-enriched plumes drifting from Tolbachik, Popocatepetl, Nyiragongo (DRC), and Ambrym (Vanuatu) volcanoes.


  1. I've been monitoring the number and magnitude of the quakes around Santa Cruz Islands and it seems both the number p/day and the velocity have been increasing steadily. Is this an indicator of some type of eventual zenith effect, i.e. sizable volcanic eruption in the area?

  2. Rebecca Mittner says:

    Are the quakes near Santa Cruz Islands related to magma movent or strictly plate movement?
    Thank you,


    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Strictly plate movement Rebecca. 93 mm a year is immense and the guarantee for a lot of earthquakes. You can see the trench (the location were the Australian plate moves below the Pacific plate) very well on our maps. These trenches are many km deep and can be found only in the pacific. The subduction is also the source of the volcanoes, but the earthquakes like this are not volcano related.

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