Worldwide Volcano News and Updates
The eruption at Nyamuragira volcano continues. Protected by military from the OCHA and MONUC missions, scientist from OVG could overfly and visit the eruption area on 29 Nov. Their report (kindly provided by Kasereka Mahinda, director of OVG, and other staff at OVG), is summarized:
The location of the eruptive fissure is between the vents of Nyamuragira's eruptions in 1986 (Kitazungurwa: KT) and 2001 (Amani: AM).
During the first day of the eruption, lava flows have already travelled 10 km (!) towards the west. If the eruption continues, the flow is likely to cut the major E-W artery road from Sake to Goma lifeline. Because of the important production of toxic ash from the lava fountains, GVO warns the population of the possibility of acid rain, ash-contaminated water and crops. During its eruption in 2000, 17 people were reported killed because of drinking from ash-continaminated water sources, as well as a large number of failed pregnancies. In addition, large damage was afflicted to crops and lifestock.
Ubinas volcano continues to erupt ash producing plumes rising to 4-6 km.Read all
IG reported that during 21-28 November, emissions from Tungurahua produced ash and steam plumes that reached altitudes of 6-9 km (19,700-29,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted predominantly NW and W. Ashfall about 1 mm thick was reported from areas 8 km WSW on 21 November and from areas 8 km W on 25 November.
During 26-27 November, Strombolian activity propelled incandescent material up to 600 m above the summit. Blocks rolled 2 km down the flanks. Lightning was visible in an ash plume that reached 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and ashfall was reported from areas 8 km WSW. On 27 November, an ash plume rose to 9 km (29,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W.
During 17-24 November, lava-dome growth at Soufrière Hills continued and was concentrated on the NE part of the edifice. Ash venting originated from the westernmost of two cracks in the curved back of the shear E-facing lobe on the summit. Rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows traveled down the SW and NE flanks. Pyroclastic flows reached both the upper region of Tuitts Ghaut (N) and the sea via the Tar River Valley (E) on 23 November. An explosion produced an ash plume that rose to altitudes of 1.5-1.7 km (4,900-5,600 ft) a.s.l.Read all
Based on a pilot report, the Darwin VAAC reported an ash plume riging to 7.6 km (25,000 ft) on 22 November, drifting to the S. Various other reports and news sources indicate that the crater's typical strombolian is relatively powerful these days and that blocks and bombs are frequently ejected outside the crater.
Eruptions continue at Langila volcano from its Crater 2 with continuous emissions of gray ash plumes rising to altitudes of ca. 2-3.5 km and drifting predominantly to the W and NW.
According to the Darwin VAAC, an eruption at Karangetang on 24 November produced a small ash plume observed on satellite imagery that reached an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l.
A new episode of strong ash production, probably accompanied with strombolian activity from the SE crater took place in the morning of 29 November. Today (30 Nov.), no ash is visible. The lava flow in Valle del Bove from the 2800 m vent continues to flow. During the night, a number of breakouts and open channels are clearly visible.Read all
One of the world's largest volcanoes, mighty Nyamuragira (also spelled Nyamulagira) in eastern Congo, is in eruption again. The eruption began around 10 pm local time on Monday, 27 Nov. 2006 as press reports.Observation of the eruption is difficult because of the unrest in the region. The area around Nyamuragira is difficult to access and home to a number of armed rebel troops notoriously opposing the government army.
The volcano, notorious for its fluid lava, last erupted in 2002 and 2004, sending lava flows into mostly uninhabited forest and farm land.
Etna's SE crater continued to spew ash plumes travelling SE and forcing the closure of Catania's airport for the 4th consecutive day. Reopening is scheduled for Tuesday 28 Nov.
After the strong eruption on 24 Nov, that forced the temporary shutdown of Catania's airport because of ash, Etna calmed down again on 25 Nov. Following its apparent two-days rhythm, another (but weaker) episode of strong stombolian activity took place at the SE crater on the afternoon of 26 Nov.
A new powerful eruptive episode took place this morning at Etna volcano, where the SE crater started lava fountaining and ash emissions accompanied by new lava flows from the fracture on the upper southern slope of SE crater as well as from the 3050 m vent on the flank of Bocca Nuova.
The ash plume reached a height of 5 km and travelled to the SE.
In the late morning of 21 Nov, strong explosive activity resumed at SE crater, culminating in the so far strongest episode. Bad visibility inhibited direct observations of the lava fountains, but a significant ash plume was generated that caused ash fall in a broad sector east of the volcano. As INGV reports, more than 50 grams of ash per square meter were deposited in the town of Giarre.
A detailed report about the fall out is found at INVG Catania's website (www.ct.ingv.it).
Fuego volcano's activity remains at moderate levels. Lava flows travel down the SW flank, reaching 150 m from the dome. Sporadic explosions eject bombs to 100 m above the crater.
IG reported that lahars from Tungurahua traveled NW down the gorges of Vazcún and Mandur on 14 and 15 November, respectively. During 16-19 November, emissions produced gas plumes with minor ash content that reached altitudes of 5.2-5.5 km (17,100-18,000 ft) a.s.l. On 17 November, an ash plume reached an altitude greater than 10 km (32,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW and NE.Read all
Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome has been very active during the past days and weeks. The strongest eruption in this period produced ash plumes that reached an altitude of ca. 5.3 km (17,400 km) a.s.l. on 15 November. Ashfall was reported from areas to the N. Lava flowed down the SW, S, and SE flanks of the Caliente dome.Read all
The lava dome at Mount St. Helens continues to grow, and producing a prominent spine that rises by about 2-3 meters per day. Small tremors are frequently registered at the volcano, believed to be caused by the movements of the spine being pushed up by pressurized magma in the conduit.Read all
Another strong eruptive phase ("paroxysm") occurred at SE crater today (19 Nov 2006), characterized by a strong increase of lava output and corresponding activation of different vents, probably belonging to one and the same feeding system:
During the morning, the crater was seen and hear emitting dense ash from a vent in the collapse pit on the E side accompanied by loud detinations. Scientist from INGV on location observed mild, near-continuous strombolian activity ejecting bombs outside of the crater. Since the morning, a lava flow emerged from the vent inside the collapse pit and is overflowing the area SE of the crater still covered by the debris flow of the partial collapse from 16 Nov.
Also during the morning, the 3050 vent W of SE crater became active again and was feeding new flows.
At around noon, the 2800 m vent in Valle del Bove started spattering again.
As INGV Catania reports, the 2800 m effusive vent is again in a phase of intense spattering and numerous breakouts from the lava tunnel feed several flow branches visible on webcams.
Ubinas volcano continues to have episodes of continuous ash eruptions, probably phreatomagmatic in origin, with plumes rising to 5-7 km.Read all
Tungurahua continues to be one of the most active volcanoes at the moment.
IG reported that during 7-12 November, emissions from Tungurahua produced ash plumes that reached altitudes of 6-9 km (19,700-29,500 ft) a.s.l. and drifted predominantly NE, NW, and W. On 7 November, a voluminous lahar traveled down gorges to the W and reached as far as the Chambo River, about 7 km from the summit. On 8 November, blocks expelled from the summit rolled down the flanks and ash fall was reported from areas including Casúa (7 km NW) and Baños (8 km NE). On 10, 11, and 13 November, ash fall was reported from areas including Penipe (8 km SW). During 12-13 November, lahars traveled down W and NW drainages and the Vazcún River swelled with muddy water.
The lava dome at Soufrière Hills continues to grow (mainly in the E part) and produce rockfalls and smal pyroclastic flows that travel down the SW and NE flanks.
Our colleagues at INGV have published a comprehensive update about Etna's recent activity covering the period July-4 Nov, as well as a new report with a good map of the recently active lava flows at Etna.
After its explosive phases on 9 Nov and 10-11 Nov, Etna had been relatively quiet over the past days. This changed again dramatically today (16 Nov):Read all
While the 2800 and 3050 m vents continued to be active and aliment their lava flows, a new, weak phase of strombolian activity and ash emission was observed at the SE crater from late evening of 10 Nov lasting until around noon of 11 Nov.
On 12 Nov, the flows from the 3050 m vents had probably died out (we are not sure, but have no reports of activity from these flows any more as of today), probably during the night 11-12 Nov, while the 2800 m vent continues to emit its lava (flowing inside the tube most of the time).
A new explosive phase started at SE crater on the late evening of 10 Nov. and lasted until around noon of 11 Nov. New lava flows are issuing from the 3050 m vent at the SW fracture of SE crater (but located on the lower flank of the summit craters, Bocca Nuova and Voragine). The new flows are well alimentated and similar to previous episodes.
In Valle del Bove, the lava flow from the 2800 m vent continues to flow.
Anatahan volcano is continuing to emit gas and steam, but no significant ash emissions have been observed during the past few months.
Low-level earthquake activity continues at Fourpeaked volcano. Web camera views this past week show a typical steam plume rising several hundred meters above the summit.Read all
Ubinas volcano continues to be very active. Based on pilot reports and satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported continuous emissions from Ubinas on 3, 5, and 7 November. Ash plumes rose to 6.1-7.9 km (20,000-26,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW, N, and S, respectively.Read all
Over the past weeks, weak to moderate activity continued at Tungurahua volcano. A number of smaller explosions produced plumes consisting of steam, gas, and moderate ash that reached altitudes of 1-3 km (3,300-9,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions.
On 2 November incandescent blocks were expelled from the summit and rolled about 700 m down the W and E flanks. Nighttime incandescence was observed during 2-4 November.
On 6 November, ash plumes rose to 6 km (19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. Ashfall was reported from several towns downwind of the plumes on 5 and 6 November, including Bilbao (8 km W), Cotaló (13 km NW), and Manzano (8 km SW).
During 27 October-3 November, lava-dome growth at Soufrière Hills continued and was concentrated on the E and NE part of the edifice. Rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows originating from the active lobe traveled down the NE flank. Aerial observation confirmed the existence of a large, shear, E-facing lobe on the NE side of the dome. Ash-and-steam venting continued.Read all
Based on reports from the Mexico City MWO and satellite imagery, the Washington VAAC reported that an eruption plume from Colima on 6 November reached an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE.
On 2 November, PHIVOLCS lowered the Alert Level for Canlaon from 1 to 0. Since 26 July, 2006, no more ash explosions occurred and steam emissions and seismicity were low.
As INGV reports, the lava flows from yesterday that emerged from the new vents SW of SE crater (in the saddle and at and above the 3050 m fracture) have stopped. The longest flow, from the lowest vent at 3050 m has travelled about 3 km and stopped at an elevation of ca. 2200 m near the prominent cones from the 1607 lateral eruption.
Out team partner Phil on Hawaii sends a report from a recent visit to the lava flow area:Read all
Another day full of surprising and exciting activity at Etna is ending: in the morning, the hornito at the 2800 m vent in Valle del Bove started to collapse and spattering, feeding two small, viscous lava overflows.Read all
Etna continues to surprise...: the new lava flow from the 3050 m vent that started on 5 Nov. had stopped yesterday (6 Nov). We visited the vent of the 2800 m lava flow and confirmed it is still well alimented as can be seen through an impressive skylight.Read all
On a visit to Stromboli on 5 Nov by the VolcanoDiscovery team, Stromboli volcano was observed to be in relatively low activity (the lowest observed during the past 15 months), although there are still 7 active vents. The hornito in the NW crater continues to emit powerful, noisy jets of gas and few incandescent fragments. The central vents have typical strombolian bursts every 10-20 minutes, usually less than 150 m high, except for the vent in the NE corner of the central crater which was observed to produce tall candles, up to 3-400m high, about 1 time per hour. The NE crater vent (towards Stromboli village) has moderate eruptions about every 20-30 minutes, to about 100-150 m height, showering the E flank of the crater with incandescent bombs and emitting dark ash plumes of small size.
On 5 Nov. 2006, the lava flows from the 3050 m vent stopped, while the one from the 2800 m vent inside Valle del Bove continues to flow inside its lava tube. After an increase in tremor, another episode of lava foutaining and strombolian activity took place at the SE crater on the late evening of the same day. After this episode, another flow started to emerge from the 3050 m vent, travelling just east of the other recent flow that is now cooling.
A new (likely ephemeral) island has risen to the surface in the Tonga islands (ufficially 169 islands), that now count 170 islands.
The new island is located between the islands of Kao in the Ha'apai Group and Late in the Vava'u Group, and was formed by recent activity of underwater Home Reef volcano, that has built ephemeral islands in the past as well. The present eruption started on August 12-13 eruption. Large pumice rafts drifting to the Fiji Islands were observed, some several miles across.
The new island was 800 m long and 400m wide as on October 4, 2006. Hot lakes are visible on the ASTER thermal bands, maximum temperature measured: 64.7C.
Both lava flows at Etna are still active, with little changes observed during the past days. The flow rates seem to be more or less constant, at an estimated 5-10 m3/s. The flow from the vent at 3050 m elevation forms a broad channel with fast moving lava on the slope of Bocca Nuova. The other flow inside Valle del Bove has crusted over in its upper parts, but several large skylights are still visible in the upper areas of the flow.Read all
Part of the VolcanoDiscovery team (Karen, Marco and Tom) are now visiting Etna. On 1st of Nov., two vigorous lava flows were active,- the one that had started on 13 Oct on the ESE side of SE crater from the vent at 2800 m elevation and flowing into Valle del Bove, as well as the new flow from the vent at 3050 m elevation on the S slope of the central crater.
The flow into Valle del Bove has formed a lava tube with frequent outbreaks and skylights and has reached the floor of Valle del Bove near the Monti Centinari. It appears to be well alimented.
The new flow frmo the vent on the S side of the central crater, perhaps fed by the same dyke as the other flow (thus, a radial dyke cutting though SE crater) was also well alimented during 31 Oct and 1 Nov, forming a very impressive broad flow with wide channels that descends the SW slope of Etna and has reached about 2200 m elevation near the tree line.
No explosive activity has been observed on SE crater itself. Its last episode of strombolian activity was reported on 30 Oct.