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Volcanic activity world-wide 3 October 2012: Michael, Etna, Stromboli, El Hierro, Bromo, Popocatépetl, San Cristobal, San Miguel, Fuego, Santiaguito, Pacaya, Nevado del Ruiz, Galeras, Sotará, Machin, Nevado del Huila, Cumbal, Bagana, Suwanosejima

Wednesday Oct 03, 2012 10:48 AM | BY: T

A thermal hotspot was detected at Michael volcano in the South Sandwich Islands yesterday on MODIS satellite imagery, suggesting that new activity is taking place, possibly a small lava lake forming as during periods of activity in recent years.

What looked like the start of new earthquake swarm at El Hierro volcano has already ended. No significant new earthquakes were recorded during the past 24 hours and right now, the volcanic system seems quiet. For how long is the interesting question no one can answer.

An SO2 plume from Etna volcano was visible yesterday on NOAA's satellite data and red glow was observed last night above the Bocca Nuova, suggesting that strombolian activity there has resumed. Between July and mid-August, weak to vigorous activity (photos) there built a new small cinder cone.
On a side note, the prefecture of Catania has extended the forbid to access to the summit area to the end of Oct. As Claude Grandpey puts it on his post, Etna is becoming a "forbidden volcano" (in allegory to Tazieff's great great book "Nyiragongo - the forbidden volcano", which was (and is currently) often inaccessible because of the civil war plaguing this region).

Activity at nearby Stromboli volcano remains at similar low to intermediate levels as during the past weeks. Explosions are relatively frequent, but mostly small.

An new explosion was reported this morning (around 07 am GMT time) from Suwanosejima volcano in the remote Ryuku Islands chain, Japan. The reported ash plume reached 10,000 (about 3 km) altitude.

A sharp increase in volcanic tremor recorded this morning at Bromo volcano prompted the Indonesian Volcanological Survey to raise the alert level for the volcano from 1 (normal) to 2 (unrest) on a scale of 1-4.


- regular performers section -

Popocatépetl's activity has picked up, with more than double as many weak steam explosions recorded between 1-2 Sep. A mag 1.5 shallow volcanic quake and tremor pulses were recorded as well during the most recent observation interval reported by CENPRED.

Fuego volcano continues with moderate explosions about every 2 hours that produce ash clouds up to 1,100 m. Lots of incandescent material is seen at night.

Santiaguito has constant block avalanches from weak to moderately active lava flows, the most active being the flow on the northeast side of the lava dome. A steam plume rises 400 m above the crater.

The steam plume rising from Pacaya volcano increased dramatically to 500-600 m height. The likely cause are heavy recent rainfalls.

Nicaragua's San Cristobal volcano produces small earthquakes and other seismic signals, but there are no reports of new activity.

Seismic activity at El Salvador's San Miguel volcano remains impressively high. Strong tremor pulses appear at the seismic recording of San Miguel volcano suggesting magma might be moving under the volcano. However, SNET has not published any report and nothing unusual apparently is happening at the surface.

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador remains calm. The volcano is almost constantly covered in clouds, but there are no reports of explosions or ash fall. Only few quakes and some long-period events are recorded, and no significant SO2 emissions were visible on recent satellite data.

Not much has changed at the 6 volcanoes at unrest in Colombia:

Nevado del Ruiz volcano: The volcano continues to produce strong steaming with plumes reaching 1800 m height, and has occasional small explosions. Seismic activity has been at generally low to intermediate levels and is concentrated around the Arenas crater.

Some weak seismic activity continued at Cerro Machin and was mainly located south of the main dome at depths ranging between 3 and 5 km. No other usual signs are present.

Earthquake swarms continue at Cumbal volcano. There were 2 episodes of low energy on 26 and 27 Sep with 95 and 87 events, much less than during the previous swarms. Surface activity is limited to steaming from the El Verde fumarole field.

On September 28, swarms of earthquakes occurred at Galeras volcano. The swarms were of low energy at shallow depths (less than 8 km) at distances up to 13 km and magnitudes of up to 1.4. Webcameras showed steaming and sometimes weak ash venting (such as on 27-28 Sep). INGEOMINAS staff noticed sulfur odor during fieldwork at the top of Galeras, but measured SO2 values were low.

Nevado del Huila continues to show weak seismic activity and is degassing with strong steaming.

Some few small earthquakes at shallow depth continue to be recorded from under Sotará volcano, but less than during the previous week (23 total vs 36). No other usual signs of activity.

Satellite observations:

Activity continues at Bagana volcano on Bougainville Island (PNG). The volcano had an explosion, producing an ash plume rising to 14,000 ft (4.3 km) and extending 35 nautical miles (ca. 65 km) NW which was observed at 21:32 GMT time 2 Oct.

Sakurajima volcano has produced two more moderately strong explosions during the past 24 hours, with ash rising up to about 3 km during each.
Previous news
Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012
October starts as a volcanically calm month. A few updates for today summarized (as usual, the links point to more detailed reports): ... [more]
Monday, Oct 01, 2012
MODIS satellite data showed hotspots at Heard Island volcano on 21 and 24 September 2012. This suggests that there was or perhaps still is some new activity at the volcano, although no further hotspots appeared on satellite data since 24 Sep. ... [more]
Sunday, Sep 30, 2012
Volcanically spoken, this has been a very calm Sunday so far with little changes to report. ... [more]
Saturday, Sep 29, 2012
Fuego volcano has further increased its activity. In its latest report, INSIVUMEH counted 18 eruptions during 27-28 Sep, out of which 10 were moderately sized and produced ash plume up to 1 km height, and fountains of incandescent material of up to 200 m height, which generated avalanches on the upper crater flanks. ... [more]
Friday, Sep 28, 2012
Not much new volcano activity has occurred. Most volcanoes we regularly monitor have not shown significant changes. ... [more]

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