Volcano activity of April 26, 2013 - Update : Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia

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 26, 2013 volcano activity

Update Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia :

INGEOMINAS scientists took advantage of a break in the weather to conduct an observation flight over Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) today.  Ruiz appears to be degassing vigorously in concert with recent strong seismicity affecting the volcano.  Although volcano-tectonic earthquakes have eased at the volcano, continuous volcanic tremor seems to be re-establishing itself now (station OLLZ).




Another (or a rejuvenation of the previous activity) earthquake swarm has just begun at Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ).  The renewed seismicity immediately followed an episode of stronger volcanic tremor within/beneath the volcano.

KVERT reported no changes in eruptive/seismic behavior overnight at the five active Kamchatkan volcanoes:  Tolbachik, Sheveluch, Kizimen, Bezymianny and Karymsky.  Moderate seismicity continues to affect Gorely volcano which displays a high level of hydrothermal activity.



Another pulse of seismicity is occurring at this time at Newberry volcano (Cascade Range) (OR) (station CPCO).  The periodicity of the small earthquake episodes suggests they are related to geothermal exploration occurring on the west flank of the volcano, but the events are only well recorded at the Central Pumice Cone (CPCO) seismometer some 5 - 10 km east of where the exploration is taking place.  USGS reported on natural seismicity occurring near/beneath the Central Pumice Cone last week.  Since that time only a few earthquakes have been located there by PNSN which suggests either: most of the events are too small to be successfully located, or they are in fact related to the geothermal exploration to the west.  So which is it?,...anyone have more information?

Colima volcano (Mexico) seismic data still not being updated at UCol.  Popocatepetl volcano exhibits sub-continuous, low-level exhalation activity today, punctuated by more energetic bursts which launch blocks and ash onto the volcano's outer slopes an avergae of every 1.5 hours.  The Popo seismogram shows sub-continuous low-level volcanic tremor and a few small exhalation signals today.


All three Guatemalan volcanoes are showing a little more life today.  Strombolian explosions are heard up to 3 km distant from Pacaya volcano (station PCG), a new lava flow is descending from the summit of Fuego volcano (station FG3), generating small hot avalanches.  Fuego is also producing "locomotive-like" sounds and depositing fine ash up to 8 km from the volcano.  At Santiaguito Dome Complex (Santa Maria volcano) (station STG3), three explosions were heard this morning.



Seismicity remains high at both San Cristobal (Nicaragua) (station CRIN) and Telica volcano (station TELN) today.  At San Cristobal, continuous volcanic tremor has held at an elevated level for the past week, while at Telica, numerous volcanic earthquakes have increased in magnitude during the past day.  INETER reports no changes in other parameters which might indicate a coming eruption at either volcano.  Volcanic tremor at Masaya volcano (station MASN) has still not settled either.

Volcanic earthquakes have decreased at San Miguel volcano (El Salvador) (station VSM) overnight, but volcanic tremor remains elevated there.  Telemetry interference also complicates the seismic record at the volcano.

Small earthquakes are numerous at both Sotara (Colombia) (station SOSO) and Galeras (station CUVZ) volcanoes again today.  Another round of gas (and ash) emissions looks to have just begun at Galeras, judging by today's seismogram recorded there.

Small (volcanic?) earthquakes continue at Cotopaxi volcano (Ecuador) (station CO1V).  Solar panel/battery problems allow for viewing only daytime records at Reventador volcano (station CONE) at this time.  Activity at the volcano appears low today.

Volcanic tremor amplitude continues to slowly ease at White Island volcano (New Zealand).

OMI satellite data were not updated at the time of this writing.  MODIS satellite thermal sensors detected "hotspots" at Kamchatkan volcanoes Tolbachik and Sheveluch again today.


  1. Richard Rodger Wilson says:

    Hi Trenton,

    Thank you for your quick response! I thought you guys and gals had finished with the injection tests,...but the periodicity of the activity made me wonder. It's neat to "see" Newberry behaving like a real live volcano!

    Thanks for your readership!


  2. Greetings,

    Below is a re-post and edit from yesterday:

    AltaRock Energy, is running the Newberry Volcano Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) project on the west side of the volcano. Our stimulation activity, pumping cold water into a 10,000 ft deep well to create permeability and eventually extract geothermal heat for electricity production, occurred between October 16 and December 8, 2012 and created 228 locatable microearthquakes centered around the well 2 km west of the caldera rim. While the induced microseismicity did continue after injection, it ceased after about 2 months.

    We are quite certain that the activity occurring this week in the Newberry Caldera is natural because 1) it is 6 km from our stimulation well, and 2) we have not injected water in 3 months. Prior to 2012, this level of natural microseismicity would not have been detected because there was only one seismometer on Newberry. Now, through efforts by AltaRock and the USGS, Newberry is one of the best monitored volcanoes in the Cascades.

    Trenton Cladouhos
    SVP of R&D
    AltaRock Energy

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