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| Llaima, Central Chile
Ongoing Activity: | Ambrym, Vanuatu (SW Pacific) | Chaitén, Southern Chile | Colima, México | Dukono, Halmahera | Fuego, Guatemala | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Rabaul, New Britain | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | San Cristóbal, Nicaragua | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Soufrière Hills, Montserrat | Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)
The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.
Note: Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.
LLAIMA Central Chile 38.692°S, 71.729°W; summit elev. 3125 m
Cameras operated by OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN showed steam-and-gas plumes rising from Llaima's main crater and E flank during 14 November-1 December. Although seismicity generally decreased, a new type of long-period, low-frequency earthquake was detected. An overflight on 4 December revealed fumarolic activity and some sulfur dioxide emissions coming mainly from fissures on the N crater wall and outer E and W flanks. The Alert Level was raised to Yellow, Level 3. Activity last noted in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report from 9-16 June was described as occasional steam emissions with minor amounts of ash rising from the E flank.
Geologic Summary. Llaima, one of Chile's largest and most active volcanoes, contains two main historically active craters, one at the summit and the other to the SE. The massive 3,125-m-high, glacier-covered stratovolcano has a volume of 400 cu km. A Holocene edifice built primarily of accumulated lava flows was constructed over an 8-km-wide caldera that formed about 13,200 years ago, following eruption of the 24 cu km Curacautín Ignimbrite. More than 40 scoria cones dot the volcano's flanks. Following the end of an explosive stage about 7,200 years ago, construction of the present edifice began, characterized by Strombolian, Hawaiian, and infrequent subplinian eruptions. Frequent moderate explosive eruptions with occasional lava flows have been recorded since the 17th century.
Llaima Information from the Global Volcanism Program
AMBRYM Vanuatu (SW Pacific) 16.25°S, 168.12°E; summit elev. 1334 m
On 3 December, a diffuse plume from Ambrym, likely largely composed of sulfur dioxide, was visible on satellite imagery acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and posted on NASA's Earth Observatory website.
Geologic Summary. Ambrym, a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera, is one of the most active volcanoes of the New Hebrides arc. A thick, almost exclusively pyroclastic sequence, initially dacitic, then basaltic, overlies lava flows of a pre-caldera shield volcano. The caldera was formed during a major Plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1900 years ago. Post-caldera eruptions, primarily from Marum and Benbow cones, have partially filled the caldera floor and produced lava flows that ponded on the caldera floor or overflowed through gaps in the caldera rim. Post-caldera eruptions have also formed a series of scoria cones and maars along a fissure system oriented ENE-WSW. Eruptions have apparently occurred almost yearly during historical time from cones within the caldera or from flank vents. However, from 1850 to 1950, reporting was mostly limited to extra-caldera eruptions that would have affected local populations.
Source: NASA Earth Observatory
Ambrym Information from the Global Volcanism Program
CHAITEN Southern Chile 42.833°S, 72.646°W; summit elev. 1122 m
Geologic Summary. Chaitén is a small, glacier-free caldera with a Holocene lava dome located 10 km NE of the town of Chaitén on the Gulf of Corcovado. A pyroclastic-surge and pumice layer that was considered to originate from the eruption that formed the elliptical 2.5 x 4 km wide summit caldera was dated at about 9400 years ago. A rhyolitic, 962-m-high obsidian lava dome occupies much of the caldera floor. Obsidian cobbles from this dome found in the Blanco River are the source of prehistorical artifacts from archaeological sites along the Pacific coast as far as 400 km away from the volcano to the north and south. The caldera is breached on the SW side by a river that drains to the bay of Chaitén, and the high point on its southern rim reaches 1122 m. Two small lakes occupy the caldera floor on the west and north sides of the lava dome. The first historical eruption of Chaitén volcano in 2008 produced major rhyolitic explosive activity and growth of a lava dome that filled much of the caldera.
Chaitén Information from the Global Volcanism Program
COLIMA México 19.514°N, 103.62°W; summit elev. 3850 m
The government of the state of Colima reported that on 1 December a white plume from the Colima volcano rose 100 m above the crater and drifted E. On 2 December, incandescent tephra was ejected 50 m above the crater towards the SE. Later that day, a white plume rose 50 m and drifted SW.
Geologic Summary. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the 4,320 m high point of the complex) on the N and the historically active Volcán de Colima on the S. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the S, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, and have produced a thick apron of debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions (most recently in 1913) have destroyed the summit and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth.
Source: Gobierno del Estado de Colima
Colima Information from the Global Volcanism Program
DUKONO Halmahera 1.68°N, 127.88°E; summit elev. 1335 m
Geologic Summary. Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the N-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. Dukono is a complex volcano presenting a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of Dukono's summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.
Dukono Information from the Global Volcanism Program
FUEGO Guatemala 14.473°N, 90.880°W; summit elev. 3763 m
On 4 December, INSIVUMEH reported that multiple explosions produced ash plumes that rose to altitudes of 4.2-4.7 km (13,800-15,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 15-18 km W. Ashfall was reported in communities downwind. Rumbling noises and incandescent block avalanches were also noted.
Geologic Summary. Volcán Fuego, one of Central America's most active volcanoes, is one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala's former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between 3,763-m-high Fuego and its twin volcano to the N, Acatenango. Construction of Meseta volcano continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene, after which growth of the modern Fuego volcano continued the southward migration of volcanism that began at Acatenango. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded at Fuego since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524, and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows. The last major explosive eruption from Fuego took place in 1974, producing spectacular pyroclastic flows visible from Antigua.
Fuego Information from the Global Volcanism Program
KARYMSKY Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) 54.05°N, 159.45°E; summit elev. 1536 m
KVERT reported that seismic activity at Karymsky was above background levels during 27-30 November and 1 December; data were not available during 2-4 December due to technical problems. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a daily thermal anomaly and ash plumes that drifted 165 km E during 29-30 November and 1-2 December. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Geologic Summary. Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed about 7,600-7,700 radiocarbon years ago. Construction of the Karymsky stratovolcano began about 2,000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2,300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been Vulcanian or Vulcanian-Strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions has originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, which is located immediately S of Karymsky volcano and erupted simultaneously with Karymsky in 1996.
Karymsky Information from the Global Volcanism Program
KILAUEA Hawaii (USA) 19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
During 2-8 December, HVO reported that lava flowed SE from beneath Kilauea's Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex through a lava tube system, reaching the ocean at multiple locations between Waikupanaha and an area 700 m farther to the W. Thermal anomalies detected by satellite and visual observations revealed active lava flows on the coastal plain. Incandescence was occasionally seen from Pu'u 'O'o crater; on 2 December, incandescence originated from vents on the E wall. The vent in Halema'uma'u crater continued to produce a white or off-white plume that drifted E, W, and SW, and dropped small amounts of ash downwind. Incandescence originated from multiple spattering holes in the deep floor of the vent cavity.
Geologic Summary. Kilauea, one of five coalescing volcanoes that comprise the island of Hawaii, is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Eruptions at Kilauea originate primarily from the summit caldera or along one of the lengthy E and SW rift zones that extend from the caldera to the sea. About 90% of the surface of Kilauea is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 sq km, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.
Kilauea Information from the Global Volcanism Program
KLIUCHEVSKOI Central Kamchatka (Russia) 56.057°N, 160.638°E; summit elev. 4835 m
KVERT reported that during 27 November-4 December seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi was above background levels and lava continued to flow down the ESE flank. Strombolian activity ejected tephra 300 m above the crater. Satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly at the volcano. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.
Geologic Summary. Kliuchevskoi is Kamchatka's highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 7,000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4,835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. More than 100 flank eruptions, mostly on the NE and SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3,600 m elevation, have occurred during the past 3,000 years. The morphology of its 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included major explosive and effusive events from flank craters.
Kliuchevskoi Information from the Global Volcanism Program
RABAUL New Britain 4.271°S, 152.203°E; summit elev. 688 m
RVO reported that during 27 November-3 December dense white plumes and gray ash plumes rose from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone. Strong explosions produced ash plumes that rose 1.5 km above the summit and showered the flanks with lava fragments that were incandescent at night. Shock waves rattled windows in the Kokopo area, about 20 km SE. Incandescence from the summit crater was occasionally noted. During 2-4 December, ash fell in Rabaul town (3-5 km NW) and other villages downwind. Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 5 and 7-8 December ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 45-55 km E.
Geologic Summary. The low-lying Rabaul caldera on the tip of the Gazelle Peninsula at the NE end of New Britain forms a broad sheltered harbor. The outer flanks of the 688-m-high asymmetrical pyroclastic shield volcano are formed by thick pyroclastic-flow deposits. The 8 x 14 km caldera is widely breached on the E, where its floor is flooded by Blanche Bay. Two major Holocene caldera-forming eruptions at Rabaul took place as recently as 3,500 and 1,400 years ago. Three small stratovolcanoes lie outside the northern and NE caldera rims. Post-caldera eruptions built basaltic-to-dacitic pyroclastic cones on the caldera floor near the NE and western caldera walls. Several of these, including Vulcan cone, which was formed during a large eruption in 1878, have produced major explosive activity during historical time. A powerful explosive eruption in 1994 occurred simultaneously from Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes and forced the temporary abandonment of Rabaul city.
Sources: Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)
Rabaul Information from the Global Volcanism Program
SAKURA-JIMA Kyushu 31.585°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions from Sakura-jima during 2-8 December produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.5-2.7 km (5,000-9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. On 4 and 8 December, pilots 30-65 km S of Kagoshima airport reported ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 1.8 km (6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW and NE.
Geologic Summary. Sakura-jima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow was associated with the formation of the 17 x 23-km-wide Aira caldera about 22,000 years ago. The construction of Sakura-jima began about 13,000 years ago and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kita-dake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minami-dake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.
Sakura-jima Information from the Global Volcanism Program
SAN CRISTOBAL Nicaragua 12.702°N, 87.004°W; summit elev. 1745 m
Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that on 6 December a gas-and-steam plume from San Cristóbal, possibly containing ash, drifted SW. The VAAC also noted smoke from local fires.
Geologic Summary. The San Cristóbal volcanic complex, consisting of five principal volcanic edifices, forms the NW end of the Marrabios Range. The symmetrical 1,745-m-high youngest cone, San Cristóbal itself (also known as El Viejo), is Nicaragua's highest volcano and is capped by a 500 x 600 m wide crater. El Chonco, with several flank lava domes, is located 4 km to the west of San Cristóbal; it and the eroded Moyotepe volcano, 4 km to the NE of San Cristóbal, are of Pleistocene age. Volcán Casita contains an elongated summit crater and lies immediately E of San Cristóbal; Casita was the site of a catastrophic landslide and lahar in 1998. The Plio-Pleistocene La Pelona caldera is located at the eastern end of the San Cristóbal complex. Historical eruptions from San Cristóbal, consisting of small-to-moderate explosive activity, have been reported since the 16th century. Some other 16th-century eruptions attributed to Casita volcano are uncertain and may pertain to other Marrabios Range volcanoes.
San Cristóbal Information from the Global Volcanism Program
SHIVELUCH Central Kamchatka (Russia) 56.653°N, 161.360°E; summit elev. 3283 m
KVERT reported that during 27 November-4 December seismic activity from Shiveluch was above background levels, possibly indicating that ash plumes rose to an altitude of 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. Fumarolic activity was seen with a video camera. Analyses of satellite imagery revealed a large daily thermal anomaly from the lava dome and gas-and-steam plumes, possibly with ash, drifting 70 km E on 27, 28, and 30 November. The Level of Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Based on information from KEMSD, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 4 December an eruption produced a plume that rose to an altitude of 5.8 km (19,000 ft) a.s.l.
Geologic Summary. The high, isolated massif of Shiveluch volcano (also spelled Sheveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group and forms one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanoes. The currently active Molodoy Shiveluch lava-dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within a large breached caldera formed by collapse of the massive late-Pleistocene Strary Shiveluch volcano. At least 60 large eruptions of Shiveluch have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Frequent collapses of lava-dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced large debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera. Intermittent explosive eruptions began in the 1990s from a new lava dome that began growing in 1980. The largest historical eruptions from Shiveluch occurred in 1854 and 1964.
Shiveluch Information from the Global Volcanism Program
SOUFRIERE HILLS Montserrat 16.72°N, 62.18°W; summit elev. 915 m
MVO reported that during 27 November-4 December activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome continued at a high level. Pyroclastic flow activity was concentrated to the NE and W. The largest pyroclastic flows traveled NE down Tuitt's Ghaut on 27 November and 2 December, reaching within 200 m of the sea. Associated ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.6-6.1 km (15,000-20,000 ft) a.s.l. Pyroclastic flows also traveled W down Gages Valley, S down the White River valley and Gingoes Ghaut, and into the upper reaches of Tyers Ghaut (NW). One descended the Tar River valley to the E. Rockfalls cascaded directly from the summit of the lava dome into Tyers Ghaut. Ash venting from the S part of the lava dome was noted several times. Ashfall containing accretionary lapilli, reported from Salem, Old Towne, and parts of Olveston on the evening of 27 November, was associated with a pyroclastic flow down Tuitt's and White Bottom Ghaut. The Hazard Level remained at 3.
Geologic Summary. The complex dominantly andesitic Soufrière Hills volcano occupies the southern half of the island of Montserrat. The summit area consists primarily of a series of lava domes emplaced along an ESE-trending zone. English's Crater, a 1-km-wide crater breached widely to the E, was formed during an eruption about 4,000 years ago in which the summit collapsed, producing a large submarine debris avalanche. Block-and-ash flow and surge deposits associated with dome growth predominate in flank deposits at Soufrière Hills. Non-eruptive seismic swarms occurred at 30-year intervals in the 20th century, but with the exception of a 17th-century eruption that produced the Castle Peak lava dome, no historical eruptions were recorded on Montserrat until 1995. Long-term small-to-moderate ash eruptions beginning in that year were later accompanied by lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows that forced evacuation of the southern half of the island and ultimately destroyed the capital city of Plymouth, causing major social and economic disruption.
Soufrière Hills Information from the Global Volcanism Program
SUWANOSE-JIMA Ryukyu Islands (Japan) 29.635°N, 129.716°E; summit elev. 799 m
Geologic Summary. The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanose-jima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. Only about 50 persons live on the sparsely populated island. The summit of the volcano is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanose-jima, one of Japan's most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent Strombolian activity from On-take, the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted nearly a half century. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, after which the island was uninhabited for about 70 years. The SW crater produced lava flows that reached the western coast in 1813, and lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884.
Suwanose-jima Information from the Global Volcanism Program
Additional Reports of Volcanic Activity by Country
The following websites have frequently updated activity reports on volcanoes in addition to those that meet the criteria for inclusion in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report. The websites are organized by country and are maintained by various agencies.