Eruption update: detailed report by IGPEN
Update Sun 28 Jun 11:44
The eruption in the Galapagos islands continues strongly from the effusive vent inside the caldera, near its southern rim.
Map of lava flows during the current eruption (IGPEN)
Lava flows on the eastern flank as observed on 12 June during a field survey (IGPEN)
A detailed report by the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute confirms that the current intra-caldera activity must have started between including 13-16 June, likely from a new fissure vent near or on the southern caldera rim. Lava flows from this vent have been covering the 1982 lavas in the the S and SE part of the caldera floor.
Lava flow in the early stage 28 May seen by Earth Observing-1 satellite (IGPEN / NASA)
The lava flows from the first phase of the eruption, emitted by an eruptive fissure that ran parallel and just outside the SE and E caldera rim, seem to have stopped being alimented at around the same time the new actity began inside the caldera.
The new vent inside the caldera on 16 June (l) and the new lava flow field on 18 June (IGPEN)
Heat emission from Wolf volcano (MIROVA)
Eruption continues strongly, probably from new vents inside caldera
Update Mon 22 Jun 16:47
The eruption that started 4 weeks ago continues strongly, but from the location of the origin of the thermal signal it seems that since around 13 June, the eruption has been occurring from vents inside the vast summit caldera rather than from the fissure vents that opened on the upper ESE flank on 25 May.
Thermal signal from Wolf volcano (MIROVA)
This could be because the dike (the fissure inside the edifice serving as pathway for the magma) that fed the original eruption has simply propagated into the caldera floor, or because an entirely new dike, hence a simultaneous second eruption has occurred.
As judging from the thermal signal, the eruption continues with increased strength since mid June.
Eruption of Wolf volcano seen from a distance (image: @GavinThurston/twitter)
Eruption probably still continues
Update Tue 02 Jun 16:30While no direct confirmation has been available from ground observations since 30 May, it seems plausible to assume, from satellite observations, that the eruption still continues and that the lava flow on the southeast flank of Wolf is still active and its front reaches near or into the sea.
The latest satellite-based imagery still show high SO2 emissions and a strong thermal anomaly in the area.
Source: L'éruption du volcan Wolf semble se poursuivre (Culture Volcan)
Lava flow enters the sea
Update Fri 29 May 06:32
During the evening of 27 May (local time), the lava flow entered the sea on the southeast shore of the northern part of Isabela island.
Lava flows reaching the sea from Wolf volcano, Isabela Island (Galapagos) (photo: Jinsop Barzola / Galapagos National Park)
Update Wed 27 May 00:45
As of yesterday evening, the eruption has decreased a lot in intensity. Lava fountaining at the 1 km fissure vent had essentially stopped. The lava flows, still far from the sea, were only weakly alimentated and advancing slowly.
Image of the eruption 26 May evening (image: Xavier Garcia / Parque Nacional Galapagos / facebook)
Eruption continues strongly, pink iguanas safe
Update Tue 26 May 06:41
The eruption continues with strong lava fountains from the eruptive fissure and large lava flows advancing southeast, but its strength has decreased.
Lava fountains and lava flows from Wolf volcano yesterday evening (Galapagos National Park)
An aerial survey by the National Park staff confirmed that none of the main habitats of the local endemic fauna is threatened and that the effect on the local fauna and flora should be minimal. In particular, the Island of Isabela is home to the Galápagos pink land iguana (iguana rosada), native only to the northern part of Isabela Island (around Wolf volcano).
Above are some images showing the eruption, probably from 25 May early morning, provided by the Galapagos National Park.
Infos / sources:
- Parque Galapagos / twitter
- Gobierno Galápagos / twitter
- Parque Galapagos / facebook
Eruption update / summary
Update Tue 26 May 00:50
Seismic recording of seismic station on Fernandina Island (Pta Espinoza), the nearest to the Wolf volcano. Note the explosion signal at 06:58 and the other earlier of lesser magnitude (IGPEN)
Ecuador's Geophysical Institute (IGPEN) confirms the fissure eruption on Wolf volcano's upper south-southeast flank and provides further details:
Maps of the ash clouds recorded by VAAC Washington (IGPEN)
From 23:50 am local time on the morning of 25 May, the seismic stations installed in Galapagos began recording earthquakes near Wolf volcano (the closest station being 20 km SW of the volcano).
The eruption started with an explosion, corresponding to the strongest seismic signal at 00:58.
From 02:57 (local time on Galapagos), the VAAC alerts suggested the presence of an eruption cloud which rose to 35,000 feet and heads south-west; at 04:34 a cloud was reported moving east-northeast at an altitude of 50,000 feet and another moving southward at a height of 45,000 feet.
From 04:28 (Galapagos time), the Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) Hawaii reported that its infrared satellite sensors showed the presence of intense hot spots located in the south-east flank of the volcano Wolf, confirming the occurrence of volcanic activity.
Staff of the Galapagos Park confirmed large lava flows descending from the fissure towards the SE. There is no threat to humans (the area being uninhabited), but the eruption is likely to impact on the peculiar ecosystem of the island, both on land and under water, once the lava flows reach the sea.
Ash fall might impact the population of Pto. Villamil town.
New eruption of Wolf volcano on Isabela Island, Galapagos confirmed
Update Mon 25 May 14:36
As day breaks on the archipelago, the first images start to emerge and media pick up on the spectacular eruption.
Image of Wolf volcano's eruption on 25 May 2015 (Ecuador TV / twitter)
From images it seems that a moderately large fissure eruption with lava fountaining and effusion of lava flows is occurring. The tall lava fountains produce an large steam and ash plume that rises several kilometers - to up to 45,000 ft (14 km) altitude, if the estimations by VAAC Washington are correct. First daylight images, however, suggest that the height of the steam-ash plume is actually lower.
The last eruption of Wolf volcano, a 1710 m tall shield volcano, was in 1982. That eruption, too, started with an explosive onset accompanied and followed by effusion of large lava flows from a 1 km long fissure.
Update Mon 25 May 14:47
Image of the eruption in the early morning (Photo Martin Díaz Zúñiga https://twitter.com/lmdiazz)
VAAC reports suggest large new eruption
from our initial news report:
Ash plumes from Wolf volcano (VAAC Washington)
Starting this morning at 08:04 UTC, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) has issued several alerts of ash plumes reaching up to 35-50,000 ft from the volcano, based on GOES-EAST satellite imagery.
The latest report from 10:38 UTC (about an hour ago), i.e. mentions a high-altitude ash plume moving ENE at 50,000 ft at 30 knots, while a lower portion of the plume is moving south at 45,000 ft altitude. If the observed plume is in fact from an eruption, it should by now be extending more than 150 km distance and soon picked up by other satellite data.
Strangely, no other news about a new, and obviously very large eruption have become available so far.