Tuesday, March 29, 2016

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – March 26-29, 2016! [PHOTOS]

Spectacular explosion from Sakurajima's Minamidake crater on March 26 (Image: Naoto Yoshidome / Twitter)

March 29, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): Over the past days, vulcanian-type explosions have again picked up in number and size, after only very few events during the first 3 weeks of March. Ash plumes rose to up to 10-12,000 ft (3-3.6 km) altitude.

The remarkable novelty is that most of the recent explosions occurred from the Minamidake crater, the volcano's old summit vent, and not from the Showa crater on its eastern flank, which had been (an almost exclusive) protagonist during the 10 years since 2006 until very recently.

Pavlof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): A new eruption started at the volcano abruptly Sunday (March 27) afternoon at 16:16 local time (00:18 UTC). An explosive eruption with lava fountaining produced an ash plume that quickly rose to approx. 20,000 ft elevation (6 km) and the Aviation Color code was raised to red.

Eruption of Pavlof on March 28, 2016 (Image: Almandmoss, Nahshon / Alaska Coast Guard / AVO)

The activity continued and reached its peak over the next 24 hours, when a sustained, continuous ash plume extended more than 700 km (400 miles) to the northeast over interior Alaska, with a maximum height of 37,000 ft (9 km) altitude.

Lava fountaining from the summit crater was observed throughout the night by mariners, pilots, and by residents in Cold Bay, located 37 miles (60 km) to the SW.

Volcanic mudflows (lahars), generated by rapidly melting ice and snow, are likely descending on the flanks of the volcano and could present a hazard in the local river valleys.

Alaska Volcano Observatory recorded continuous strong tremor accompanying the eruption. As of today (Tuesday morning), the eruption continues at much reduced intensity and the Aviation Color code has been lowered to ORANGE.

Santiaguito (Guatemala): Activity continues at the Caliente lava dome with little changes.

The volcano observatory reported strong degassing, some weak to moderate explosions with ash plumes rising up to approx. 900 m and constant block lava avalanches on the eastern and southeastern flanks of the lava dome.

The latter suggests that effusive activity has been elevated recently compared to during previous months.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Mild activity continues at the intra-crater cone of the Mackenney crater. INSIVUMEH reports a steam and gas plume rising 600 m and glow from lava visible at night.

Hot spot visible on Landsat 7 image from March (Image: Rüdiger Escobar Wolf ‏@rudigerescobar /Twitter)

Fuego (Guatemala): During the past week, activity at the volcano gradually increased into the 5th paroxysm in 2016, generating pulsating lava fountains, lava flows and possibly pyroclastic flows.

After the previous such episode in early March, the volcano had continued to produce its typical, persistent, but intermittent strombolian activity. The latter started to become more and more intense from around March 22, and became near-constant during March 24-25.

Lava fountains from Fuego during the night of 25-26 March 25-26, 2016

At least two lava flows of 1000 and 1700 m length formed on the upper western (Santa Teresa gully) and southeastern slope (Las Lajas ravine). Ash plumes rose to altitudes of approx. 5000 m and drifted up to approx. 160 km to the west over the Pacific Ocean.

After its latest paroxysm a few days ago, activity of the volcano has returned to normal levels with intermittent (one every few hours) weak to moderate-sized strombolian explosions.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): A slight increase in activity occurred last week between 23-26 March, when the volcano again produced some mild to moderate explosions, some of which were strong enough to send bombs to its upper outer slopes.

Moderately strong explosion at Momotombo on March 26.

During the past days, activity has again been calmer, although crater glow continues to tell the presence of fresh lava in the summit crater.

- Volcano Discovery.

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