Volcanic activity world-wide 3-9 December 2012: Tolbachik, Klyuchevskoi, Kizimen, Sheveluch, Lokon, Paluweh, Manam, Langila, Ulawun, Chirpoi, Ol Doinyo Lengai, Kilauea, Popocatépetl, Fuego, Santiaguito, Sakurajima, Ruapehu

Sun, 9 Dec 2012, 08:04
08:04 AM | BY: T
While we were on expedition in Indonesia, the eruption from Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka dominated the news. It counts certainly as one of the most remarkable eruptions this year. At the moment, the eruption continues at decreased intensity. Seismic activity has dropped during the past days, but the lower of the eruptive vents continues to feed a lava flow that has reached more than 10 km length in the relatively flat area at the eastern foot of the volcano and spreads there.

3 other volcanoes in Kamchatka continue to erupt as well: Kizimen volcano still produces lava flows are active from the summit and on the E flank, and hot avalanches descend from the dome on the S flank.

Klyuchevskoi volcano still has strombolian activity in its summit crater.

Sheveluch volcano keeps building up its lava dome, producing a viscous lava flow and strong steaming. Explosions could occur any time.

In Indonesia, small to medium-sized explosive ash eruptions continue to occur frequently (every 1-3 days) at Lokon volcano in North Sulawesi (Indonesia). Eruption plumes were observed on 3, 6, 7, and 9 Dec and reached altitudes of (estimated) 10-17,000 ft (3-5 km) altitude, both observed from ground and via satellite data.

The activity at the new lava dome of Paluweh volcano off Flores in Indonesia continues. Ash plumes reaching 10-12,000 ft (3-3.6 km) altitude are observed almost daily.

Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea is in a phase of elevated activity. During 2 Dec and during 6-8 Dec, ash plumes rising 10-12,000 ft (3-3.6 km) altitude and drifting 20-40 nautical miles were detected via satellite.

Eruptive activity also continues at Langila volcano on New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea. An ash plume was detected at 7000 ft (2.1 km) altitude extending 60 nm to the NW on 6 Dec. Satellite images showed a sulfur dioxide plume as well.

Also in Papua NG, ash emissions occurred from Ulawun volcano during late November, the Rabaul Volcano Observatory reported to USGS.

A thermal hot spot continues to be visible at the summit of Chirpoi volcano in the Kuriles. A dense steam plume rising from the Snow peak of the volcano is sometimes visible on satellite images when the volcano is not obscured by clouds.

Spattering and flows of black carbonatite lava at Lengai volcano in Tanzania have been recently observed by climbers. The activity takes place inside the deep summit crater which formed during explosive activity in 2008. The crater is gradually being filled by spatter cones ("hornitos") and small lava flows, but it might take many years still until the crater floor might become accessible again, in order to be able to witness this unique activity from close range.

At Kilauea volcano on Hawai'i lava flows continue to spread in the coastal flata and have been producing intermittent (and currently active) ocean entries of lava flows near Kupapa`u. The lava lake remains active at Halema'uma'u Crater with fluctuating levels. At Pu'u 'O'o Crater on the rift zone, the perched lava lake in the NE part of the crater and spatter cones on the SE part and on the NW edge remain active as well. Lava overflowed the lava lake on 24 November and 2 December.

Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico has not changed significantly with fluctuating intensity and frequency of small emissions. The volcano produces a strong steam plume and during 7-8 Dec, CENAPRED recorded an increase to about 3 weak emissions per hour. Ash plumes rose to a maximum of 500 m above the crater and lava glow at night confirms that magma continues to rise slowly within the conduit.

In Guatemala, Fuego volcano has remained at relatively low levels of mostly effusive activity. Few and weak explosions, sometimes noisy degassing, and the continuing effusion of a lava flow, 300 m long this morning, characterize the currently low activity of the volcano.

A bit to the north, Santiaguito lava dome continues to feed several lava flows that descend slowly from the dome and produce incandescent avalanches. Compared to late November, when some larger collapses of flow fronts formed pyroclastic flows, the dome has returned to a more average lower level of activity.

In Japan, Sakurajima volcano in Japan had one of its more active days on 6 Dec with 5 moderate explosions and ash up to 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude, but has returned to an average of 1-2 explosions per day again. Ash plume heights were reported as 4-7,000 ft (1.2-2.1 km) altitude.

Weak seismic unrest continued at Ruapehu volcano in New Zealand, but has been lower compared to earlier in November.

Previous news

Mon, 3 Dec 2012, 10:14
On 1 November, the MODVOLC stated that thermal anomalies detected at Tolbachik volcano, Kamchatka indicated that the lava flows were now 15 km long. The data also indicated that the activity is now concentrated on the southern part of the fissure. ... Read all
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