Volcano activity May 4, 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. -

May 4, 2013 volcano activity

KVERT reported no significant changes in eruptive/seismic beahvior at the five active Kamchatkan volcanoes: Tolbachik (basaltic fissure eruption - declining volcanic tremor), Sheveluch and Kizimen (lava flow/dome extrusion with occasional collapses/explosions - moderate seismicity), Bezymianny (lava flow/dome extrusion - weak seismicity), and Karymsky (occasional strombolian/vulcanian explosiosn - not seismically monitored due to equipment outtage).  Gorely volcano continues to exhibit a moderate level of seismicity in-conjunction with strong hydrothermal activity within and around the crater lake there.  Recent MODIS satellite imagery depicted multi-pixel thermal anomalies at both Tolbachik and Sheveluch volcanoes.


Numerous tiny seismic events (and small regional earthquakes) are taking place at/or near  Korovin volcano (Aleutian arc) (station KOWE).

Two earthquakes occurred at Newberry volcano (Cascade Range) (station CPCO) yesterday morning.  Since the events were only twelve seconds apart, their signatures resembled a regional earthquake (to me the first event appeared to be a P-wave and the second, larger, event resembled a typical S-wave arrival!), so I passed-over mentioning them in yesterday's report.  The two events are interesting though, not only becasue of their close occurrence in time, but also because of the first being deeper than the second and also that the second earthquake (a magnitude M1.7) was the largest event recorded so far by the barely year old Newberry seismic network.  Earthquakes were also recorded beneath the young Southern Oregon volcanoes west of Klamath Falls early today as well. The Oregon Cascades have been (unusually) seismically active the past month and perhaps it's no coincidence that a slow-slip event just ended (in April) along the subducted slab interface to the west (What I'm really saying is, I don't believe it's a coincidence!).



Still no seismic data from UCol pertaining to Colima volcano (Mexico).  The Colima volcanocam has painted a tranquil scene at the volcano for most of the day.  Activity is low at Popocatepetl volcano, with relatively small exhalations occurring an average of slightly more than once an hour today.


The Guatemalan volcanoes: Pacaya (station PCG), Fuego (station FG3), and Santa Maria (station STG3) show a fair amount of internal activity, but externally have displayed some self-control with limited gas and ash outbursts (at Fuego and Santiaguito) and minor strombolian explosions at Pacaya.



Volcanic earthquakes remain frequent at San Miguel (El Salvador) (station VSM).

Volcano-tectonic seismicity continues to be elevated at Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ).  Gas and ash emission events are frequent today at Galeras volcano (station CUVZ).  Tiny seismic events are visible on seismograms at Machin volcano again today (station CIMA).

Eruptive activity strengthened overnight at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) (station RETU), but has since waned.  Co-eruptive seismicity is also high at Reventador volcano (station CONE).  Small seismic events remain numerous at Cotopaxi volcano (CO1V).  Recent MODIS satellite thermal imagery captured "hotspots" at Reventador and Sangay volcanoes, making a volcanic tri-fecta for Ecuador today!


Numerous tiny earthquakes punctuate continuous volcanic tremor at White Island volcano (New Zealand).

Recent OMI satellite imagery captured SO2-enriched plumes drifting from:  Tolbachik, Popocatepetl, Turrialba (Costa Rica), Tungurahua, Nyiragongo (notable!), and Ambrym (Vanuatu) volcanoes today.


  1. there seems to be so much going on with the planet i've recently been closely watching your pages. Can you tell me though, is all this earthquake and volcanic activity normal? I'm sure the canary island pair is a new one but not sure what the real threat is because i'm a total novice! I realise if it can take out the east coast of america with a 500ft wall of water then like a pebble in a pond it'd do the same to us - the wave cannot go one way! Does is look like there's more than one volcano getting ready to blow - along the same fault line as the iceland one last year - or am I imagining it? Realise nobody wants a major panic, but common sense would appear to be - 'aim for high ground' as it seems to me the canarys are getting stronger quakes and other activity seems to be giving us warning that nobody seems to be taking the slightest notic of!
    As I ask. Is all this quite normal? So much and varied activity - or does this seem particularly 'coincidental' and quite likely a good time to get an ark built? (joke!) High ground? Takes some organising so need some warning and the 4 hours we'd get if the canaries blew just wouldn't do it! To me - with sink holes and cloud patterns & who knows what else, why is nobody getting the jitters. As volcano watchers - what can you tell me? Your considered opinion as opposed to nuttters who'll put anything on the net? Please?
    Many thanks Lucie

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Dear Lucie, This is indeed normal. A lot of what people are seeing as exaggerated activity comes from more information being available today. This is going n since millions of years. Armand