Monday, March 7, 2016

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – March 3-7, 2016! [PHOTOS + VIDEOS]

Strombolian eruption at Tungurahua on March 2, 2016. (Photo: E. Gaunt - OVTIGEPN)

March 7, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe.


Tungurahua (Ecuador): The volcano is in a phase of mild to moderate strombolian activity. Incandescent bombs are ejected to the upper slopes of the volcano, generating avalanches. Ash plumes rise up to a few km above the crater and drift mostly in westerly directions.

Apparently, the large vent-clearing explosion on 27 Feb has opened the conduit to allow a sustained slow rise of magma and more gradual release of gas pressure in small discrete explosions (= strombolian activity).

In its latest report, IGEPN published a series of remarkable photos taken during cloud-free periods at night.



Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): An explosion occurred at the volcano this morning, producing an ash plume that rose 3000 m above the summit. The eruption was accompanied by Ash falls occurred later in several nearby towns to the NW including Chinchiná, Villamaría, Manizales and Palestine.


Nevado del Ruiz' eruption column. (Photo: Luis Guillermo Velásquez / La Patria)

The regional La Nubia airport was closed today after noon.


Shiveluch (Kamchatka): The lava dome continues to be very active, generating frequent rockfalls and small glowing avalanches on the SW side as well as, more rarely, on the SE side as can be seen on today's time-lapse video.


WATCH: Time-lapse of Shiveluch.



A larger event might have taken place after dark, as Tokyo VAAC reported an ash plume to 18,000 ft (5.4 km) altitude this morning 08:20 UTC (17:20 local time in Kamchatka).



Copahue (Chile): The activity at the volcano, near-constant degassing with sometimes ash emissions, has decreased over the past weeks. Ash venting has become less frequent and intense, and the glow from E Agrio crater that had been visible at the crater disappeared.


Weak steam/ash plume from Copahue.

According to the Chilean scientists from SERNAGEOMIN who monitor the volcano, the current activity of the volcano is being caused by the interaction of a small volume of new magma under its highly active shallow hydrothermal system - none or little of this magma reaches the surface itself, but the heat transfer into the circulating fluids causes fragmentation by small explosions and the emission of gasses and particles (ash). This activity reflects in a continuous tremor signal of moderate intensity.

Scientists concluded that the new magma volume has been too small to greatly affect the internal balance in the hydrothermal system. Other geophysical parameters such as rate of degassing and deformation are mostly within normal levels of the volcano. It is therefore expected that the current activity continues in the coming weeks to months at fluctuating rates. This includes possible short-lived phases of more pronounced sporadic phreatic to strombolian explosions.




Chripoi (Kurile Islands, Russia): A new eruption might have taken place at the volcano this afternoon. Based on satellite imagery, Tokyo VAAC reported an ash plume to estimated 20,000 ft (6 km) altitude that drifted east.

Whether or not an eruption took place still needs to be confirmed.



Alaid (Northern Kuriles): A new eruption is occurring at the volcano, satellite images show. A pronounced steam plume with possible ash content can be seen drifting west from the volcano, at estimated 13,000 ft (4 km) altitude. In addition, NASA's MODIS and VIIRS sensors have been detecting an intense heat source from the volcano's summit lately.


Steam plume from Alaid volcano. NASA Suomi NPP satellite image


Bromo (East Java, Indonesia): The latest eruptive cycle of the volcano might have ended. No more eruptions (explosions, ash emissions) have been observed during the past 2 weeks and seismic activity has returned to normal levels as well, our friend Oystein Andersen from Jakarta reported.

Tokyo VAAC raised the aviation color code to orange.


Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): The (probably) strombolian-type activity that had started a few days ago continues at the Otake crater and is visible as bright glow from neighboring islands.



Glow from Suwanose-jima's active crater.

Manam (Papua New Guinea): New activity has been reported from the volcano this morning. A pilot reported an ash plume at approx. 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude extending 50 km to the SE. A plume, along with a thermal signal, can also be seen on the latest satellite image.


Ash plume from Manam volcano


You can find photos and more detailed reports of the latest eruption at his website.


Telica (Nicaragua):
The volcano has remained mostly calm during the past 24 hours. Sporadic weak ash emissions occurred at night, but glow could no longer be seen from the crater.


Ash emission from Telica.

Masaya (Nicaragua): The activity of the lava lake in the Santiago crater has been increasing in the past week. In a recent bulletin, INETER mentions that the previously two ponds in two adjacent vents have now joined, probably as a result of erosion by the violently degassing and convective lava.

The following video taken on the 1st of March gives a good impression:


WATCH: Activity at the Masaya lake.



Nevados de Chillán (Central Chile): A small eruption occurred at the volcano again yesterday, the first activity since the mild explosive activity on 7 February. Starting around noon, the volcano began to emit a steam plume of variable intensity, sometimes mixed with ash. The activity took place at one of the new craters that had formed in early February.


Eruption of Nevados de Chillan volcano


According to SERNAGEOMIN, seismicity and other monitored parameters had shown little fluctuations during most of February, but then started to increase at the end of the month, possibly related to a slowly ascending body of magma. Yesterday's new activity is likely the result of this and could be a precursor of more activity in the near to medium future.


Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): Based on Himawari-8 satellite data, Darwin VAAC reported an ash emission from the volcano at 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude last evening, creating a plume that drifted 100 km to the NE. Aviation color code is at Orange.


Kilauea (Hawai'i): The activity of the volcano remains essentially unchanged. Rising magma levels under the east rift zone briefly caused an overflow of lava that erupted from a spatter cone within the southern part of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater.



Thermal image of the lava overflow inside Kilauea's Pu'u 'O'o crater

This activity started around 8:15 a.m. local time yesterday (2 Mar), covered part of the crater floor and ceased at about 15:00 local time. No lava flowed beyond the crater. According to HVO, "this type of activity is not unusual for Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and does not reflect a significant change in the ongoing eruption".
At the summit caldera, rising magma levels temporarily brought the surface of the lava lake inside Halema'uma'u back in sight from the Jaggar Museum overlook in the early morning hours before receding.

Scattered surface flows remain active on the 'June 27th' flow field, all within about 6.0 km (4 mi) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and do not currently threaten any nearby communities. Seismicity and deformation are within normal levels throughout the volcano.


Popocatépetl (Central Mexico):
No significant changes in activity have occurred over the past weeks. Bright glow at the summit crater indicates that the lava dome in its inner crater continues to grow slowly.

Intermittent weak to moderate explosions (on average 2-3 per day) sometimes produce ash plumes that rise up to 1-2 km and rarely eject incandescent material outside the crater.


WATCH: Glow from Popocatepetl volcano.




Fuego (Guatemala): The volcano's activity started to drop again to normal levels (intermittent small explosions) yesterday evening - the most recent paroxysm has now ended.


View of Fuego volcano.



Barren Island (Indian Ocean):
Weak eruptive activity continues at the summit vent of the remote and rarely directly observed volcano, satellite data indicates.

A thermal hot spot has been present regularly during recent weeks, and on cloud-free days, a steam-gas plume can often be seen drifting from the island that sometimes contains some ash.


Steam (and ash?) plume from Barren Island on March 1(red spot is a thermal anomaly detected by the VIIRS radiometer onboard NASA's Suomi NPP)

What exactly the activity is like is difficult to say, but most likely is mild strombolian activity and/or the occasional presence of a (very small) lava lake in the summit crater.

- Volcano Discovery .







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