Volcano activity of April 18, 2013 - Etna eruption + normal daily report

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. -

April 18, 2013 volcano activity

Normal daily report

Seismicity remains high at Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ) after a magnitude M4.0 earthquake struck the volcano last night.  Pulses of higher amplitude volcanic tremor have become apparent at Ruiz during the past 24 hours.  INGEOMINAS reports that the volcano continues to deform, as evidenced by last nights large volcano-tectonic event.

The tempo of volcanic earthquakes at both Telica (Nicaragua) (station TELN) and neighboring San Cristobal (station CRIN) continues at a rapid pace.  Event magnitudes have increased this morning at Telica volcano.

Another pulse of small earthquakes (maximum magnitude M1.0) is currently taking place at Newberry volcano (Cascade Range) (OR) (station CPCO).  The most recent locatable earthquake occurred outside Newberry caldera along the upper Northwest Rift zone.



Still no update (in English anyway!) from KVERT pertaining to eruptive/seismic behavior of the five active Kamchatkan volcanoes: Tolbachik, Sheveluch, Kizimen, Bezymianny, and Karymsky.
Recent MODIS satellite thermal imagery suggests that a collapse/explosive event may have occurred overnight at Sheveluch, as a two-pixel "hotspot" is centered on the volcano today.  A multi-pixel thermal anomaly is associated with the recently emplaced (since November 2012) Tolbachik lava field.



Aleutian wind has subsided enough overnight to reveal small local earthquakes continue at Korovin volcano (station KOWE).  Small shallow earthquakes also continue at Iliamna volcano (Alaska Range) (station INE).

At least three small earthquakes are identifiable on seismograms at Mount Rainier volcano (Cascade Range) (station RCS) this morning.  Small earthquakes have become more frequent in recent days at Mount Saint Helens volcano (station VALT).  The events don't seem correlative with meteorological conditions (which can affect glacial activity). A flurry of small earthquakes also occurred in the Tehama caldera south of Lassen Peak volcano (CA) overnight.


Earthquakes continue along the southern boundary of the Long Valley caldera (CA) (station MCS) today.  The "rapid-fire" series of events on the seismic record are due to blasting (timed charges) at nearby mines.


Explosions, hybrid earthquakes, rockfalls, and small pyroclastic flows continue to be frequent at Colima volcano (Mexico).  An episode of stronger volcanic tremor occurred overnight at Popocatepetl volcano.  There has been no report from CENAPRED mentioning any eruptive activity associated with the occurrence of the tremor.


Volcanic tremor (and strombolian activity?) strengthened for a time at Pacaya volcano (Guatemala) (station PCG) last night.  Activity at the volcano has since returned to frequent degassing earthquakes.  Inhabitants near Fuego volcano (station FG3) again reported loud jet-like or "huffing" noises coming from the volcano overnight (in-conjunction with strombolian activity there).  Hybrid earthquakes intermix with rockfall and degassing events at Santa Maria volcano (station STG3) this morning.


Volcanic tremor remains unstable at Masaya volcano (Nicaragua) (station MASN), though no explosion-type signals are apparent on records during the past 24 hours.

Small local earthquakes are apparent on seismograms at Machin (Colombia) (station CIMA), Sotara (station SOSO), and Galeras (with gas emission signals too!) (station CUVZ) volcanoes.

The swarm of volcano-tectonic events appears over at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) (station RETU).  The swarm of small events had continued for several days at the volcano.  A burst of (volcanic?) earthquakes occurred early this morning at Cotopaxi volcano (station CO1V).  Co-eruptive seismicity remains strong at Reventador volcano (station CONE).

Volcanic tremor ebbs and flows at White Island volcano (New Zealand) again today.

Recent OMI satellite data depicts SO2-enriched plumes at or near:  Tolbachik, Popocatepetl, Turrialba (or Poas) (Costa Rica), Nevado Del Ruiz, Mount Etna (Italy), Nyiragongo (DRC), Tambora (from Paluweh?) and Krakatau (Java), and Ambrym (Vanuatu) volcanoes.  MODIS satellite thermal imagery depicts "hotspots" at: Tolbachik, Sheveluch, Mount Etna and Stromboli (Italy), Yasur (Vanuatu) and Paluweh (eastern Java) volcanoes.

Images are now part of a second part to make this document a little lighter. Click on this image to be deviated to this page.

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 19.54.55


Etna eruption coverage

Update 14:45 UTC
On this INGV infrared picture the lava streams descending the crater can be clearly seen (2 white patches)

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 16.45.00

Update 14:40 UTC
An eruption during the daylight hours is often hard to see, especially when clouds are obscuring views. The image below shows however he smoke of the new lava streams descending from the crater.

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 16.37.27


Update 13:20 UTC
ETNA is now erupting ! Unfortunately rather cloudy.

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 15.20.13

Update 09:12 UTC
It may happen now any moment as a burst of heat escapes from the crater (see infrared image below - white = hottest)

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 11.11.26

We have the impression that Etna will soon go in eruption again. Grey smoke is leaving the crater, volcanic earthquakes are rising in number.
Click on the images below to go to the appropriate webcam pages.

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 10.23.14Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 10.23.51

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 10.51.34


  1. Gilda Fulco says:

    I visited Mount Etna in 1981, and went right up to as far as we were allowed to go, in my space boots and heavy rubber coat. It was exhilarating for me, and I want to do it again one of these days, with my Son, who was not yet born then. I also remember that we were called back to quickly board the buses back downhill, as it was spitting fire all over the place. the lava rocks were smoking under my feet, and it was hard to breathe. Later on I heard that a couple of Japanese tourists were killed by the sulfur, trying to take pictures beyond the ropes, laying over the crater's edge. Sad but true that the signs were saying to stay out in four languages for all to understand. You can't fix "stupid"! Anyway, always been fascinated with volcanoes. Maybe it has to do that my father's family is from not too far away, a town called "Calascibetta". I heard stories from my Mother that they could see the mountain erupting on a very clear day from afar. Not sure if that is true. Love this site! Thanks for sharing , and stay safe! Gilda from Tacoma, WA

  2. Richard Rodger Wilson says:

    Mr. Johnson,

    If I feel a particular volcano is showing potential pre-eruptive behavior, it comes first, regardless of its location (which I always annotate!). Otherwise,...I move systematically around the Pacific rim from Kamchatka, through the Americas, and then over to New Zealand daily. You won't "read about one volcano three different times",...I promise!

    Thanks for your readership!


  3. R Johnson says:

    I am a jr. high teacher in the US. I have my students take turns reporting on earth science topics from around the world each Friday. Your site has the potential to be an excellent resource for them, but it will be difficult for them to follow, as it jumps around quite a bit... would you consider posting info by region or country? I.e, list all of the activity for each region together in the same paragraph. E.g., all South American activity together, all Cascade acivity together, etc. My jhs students are not very good with geography, so clustering the data will help them learn where things are, and will also help them understand if they are reading about one volcano three times, or about three different volcanoes in the same country (as an example.)

    Thank you for your consideration!
    R.A. Johnson, IL USA

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