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Heard Island volcano (Australia): new eruption and lava flow

Thu, 9 Feb 2017, 17:27
17:27 PM | BY: T
Hot spots on Heard Island summarized over the past 7 days (MODIS / Univ. Hawai'i)
Hot spots on Heard Island summarized over the past 7 days (MODIS / Univ. Hawai'i)
Heat signal from Heard Island volcano (MIROVA)
Heat signal from Heard Island volcano (MIROVA)
The presence of a lava flow on the upper northwest slope is clear on this image of 04 February. Image: data: LANDSAT 8-NASA / USGS; Composition and annotations: Culture Volcano
The presence of a lava flow on the upper northwest slope is clear on this image of 04 February. Image: data: LANDSAT 8-NASA / USGS; Composition and annotations: Culture Volcano
A new strombolian-type, explosive-effusive eruption has been detected at the summit of the remote but frequently active volcano in the southern Indian Ocean.
In late January 2017, weak strombolian-type explosions from the summit crater began to show up as thermal signal and caused light ash falls that darkened the snow-covered slopes, something that could be detected some satellite images.
Since early February, activity has increased and also become effusive: a new lava flow was erupted onto the the upper northwestern slope of Mawson Peak, seen on the attached satellite image from 4 Feb.
It is not entirely clear when this latest eruptive phase started: satellite data show no hot spots in early-mid January, suggesting that the current activity began in late January and should be counted as new eruption.
However, it is also well possible (if not likely) that the absence of hot spot detected in most of December and January was because activity was only weak and in combination with frequent thick cloud cover prevented sufficiently strong signals reaching the satellite sensors. In the latter case, the current activity is actually a continuation of the eruptive phase that occurred in Oct-Nov last year (2016).

Previous news

Tue, 18 Oct 2016, 13:37

Heard Island volcano (Australia): new eruption in progress - since June 2016

MODIS thermal signal from Heard Island volcano (MIROVA)
A new eruption has been occurring at the remote volcano. It probably started in mid June and seems to be still going on. ... Read all
Mon, 1 Feb 2016, 17:41

Heard Island (Australia): eruptive activity observed

Lava flow at Heard Island volcano (image: CSIRO / youtube)
An eruption was observed by crew on board the CSIRO research vessel Investigator in late January. A lava flow was seen descending the NW flank of Mawson Peak: ... Read all
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Heard volcano
Stratovolcano 2745 m / 9,006 ft
Australia, Southern Indian Ocean, -53.11°S / 73.51°E
Current status: restless (2 out of 5) Heard volcano eruptions:
2019, 2018 (?), 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012-13, 2006-08, 2003-04, 2000-01, 1993, 1992 (May), 1992 (Jan) (?), 1985-87, 1954, 1953, 1950-52, 1910, 1881 (?)
Typical eruption style
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