Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity:
Etna (Sicily, Italy): No significant changes have occurred. Ash emissions, sometimes relatively strong, continued from the NE crater and the tremor shows a very slow gradual rising trend.
El Hierro (Canary Islands, Spain): The new earthquake swarm that started under the island yesterday continues with now more than 100 quakes above magnitude 2 and several in the magnitude 3 range that were weakly felt on the island in some areas. The earthquakes are located at about 15 km depth under the southeastern central part of the island. Slight inflation is visible as well, suggesting that a new episode of magma inflation beneath the crust of the island has started. Whether or not this could lead to a new eruption is impossible to predict, but the most recent such episodes in the past 2 years occurred with no eruption following.
Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): The new volcanic island continues to grow thanks to active lava flows and has now reached more than 50 meters and surpassed its mother island in height. Its continuing growth also makes it be at only about 50 meters shallow water distance from the Nishin-Jima island and it seems it might merge with it, rather than remaining an own new island, if activity continues.
Chaitén (Southern Chile and Argentina): The lava dome of the volcano has become more active recently. Incandescent spots are visible at night and a thermal anomaly is visible on satellite data. This suggests that new magma might be rising into the volcano. No explosive activity has (at least so far) occurred.
Palena (Southern Chile and Argentina): A pilot reported a volcanic ash cloud from the Palena volcano last evening. A picture from Andres Gillmore on twitter shows what in fact looks similar to an eruption plume, and that would mean that after Chaiten in 2008, a second volcano with no known historic eruptions has become active. But at this point, it seems more likely that the ash cloud is from a large wildfire instead, in other words, there is no new volcanic eruption. SERNAGEOMIN has not reported on the event which supports this interpretation.
Barren Island (Indian Ocean): A significant thermal anomaly remains present at the volcano which is likely in some sort of eruptive activity (lava flows?). However, no plumes could be detected on satellite imagery. An aerial survey by the Indian Navy could give more clues what is going on.
Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): Hot spots at Mawson Peak volcano remain visible on satellite imagery, but there are no indications of lava flows. What type of activity IS currently present on the volcano’s summit is unknown.
New volcanic Japanese island isn’t disappearing — it’s growing. Niijima, as it’s called, is now 19.8 acres or five times its initial size. The island sprouted out of the Pacific thanks to an undersea volcanic eruption some 600 miles south of Tokyo last month and might just be here to stay.