Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the week of 9 May – 15 May 2018

Aira | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that during 7-11 May there were 12 events, three of which were explosions, at Minamidake crater (at Aira caldera’s Sakurajima volcano). Tephra was ejected as far as 700 m from the crater, and ash plumes rose as high as 2.8 km (9,200 ft) above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Bagana | Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 11 May at 0900 an ash plume from Bagana rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SW. The plume dispersed within six hours.

Dukono | Halmahera (Indonesia) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 9-15 May ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.5-2 km (4,500-6,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E and S.

Ebeko | Paramushir Island (Russia) : Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions at Ebeko on 4 May and during 6-10 May that sent ash plumes as high as 2.4 km (7,875 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Fuego | Guatemala : Small ash explosions at Fuego on 11 and 12 May rose to 5 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l., or approximately 1 km (3,280 ft) above the summit. The ash dispersed quickly to the southwest and was visible on webcams.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : Based on satellite data, KVERT reported that during 11-14 May explosions at Karymsky generated ash plumes that rose as high as 3.5 km (11,500 ft) and drifted 145 km SW. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-colour scale).

Kirishimayama | Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that at Shinmoedake (Shinmoe peak), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, an eruption occurred between 1444 and 1610 on 14 May. The plume rose to 4.5 km (15,000 ft) above the crater and drifted SE. A pyroclastic flow travelled 2 km down the flank. Volcanic earthquake rates under the crater increased after the eruption. Shallow, low-frequency earthquakes and tremor were also reported. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Langila | New Britain (Papua New Guinea) : Based on analyses of satellite imagery and model data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 13 May at 0709 an ash plume from Langila rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. An image acquired around six hours later indicated that the ash from the event had dissipated.

Popocatepetl | Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 9-15 May there were 51-137 steam and gas emissions from Popocatépetl as well as ongoing incandescence from the summit. Additionally, three explosions were recorded: at 1834 on 11 May, at 0912 on 11 May, and at 1452 on 14 May. These explosions dispersed ash to the S and SW. Volcano-tectonic earthquakes with magnitudes up to M 2.8 also occurred throughout the time period.

Reventador | Ecuador : During 9-15 May, IG reported ongoing high levels of eruptive activity at Reventador. Steam, gas, and ash emissions continued, with plumes moving to the N and W. On 12 and 13 May, a small lava flow was observed on the E flank 700 m below the summit.

Sabancaya | Peru : Intermittent ash and gas emissions at Sabancaya during 9-15 May were reported by the Buenos Aires VAAC, with plume altitudes reaching 7-9 km (2,300-3,000 ft) a.s.l.

Sheveluch | Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a weak thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 10-14 May. The Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

Stromboli | Aeolian Islands (Italy) : INGV reported typical activity at Stromboli from 7 to 13 May, with 2-4 hourly low-intensity explosions to heights of less than 80 m (300 ft) above the crater, in the North crater area. Fine ash as well as lapilli and bombs were ejected. The South Central crater area vents produced between 5-12 hourly, low-intensity explosions, also to heights of less than 80 m above the crater. Continuous degassing was also observed from these vents. On 13 May there was an increased frequency of explosions, with 16 events/hour. No significant variations were reported in seismological, deformation, or geochemical parameters.

Suwanosejima | Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : The Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions occurred at Suwanosejima on 15 May, based on information from JMA.

Turrialba | Costa Rica : OVSICORI reported that there were strong emissions of SO2 from Turrialba, accompanied by vigorous fumarolic activity and jetting noises. An ash plume was reported on 10 May, with ashfall in La Pastora de Santa Cruz de Turrialba and Pacayas. A weak water vapor and gas plume was detected at 0920 on 13 May, rising 300-500 m (1000-1600 ft) above the summit. Seismicity was low, with low-amplitude long-period earthquakes and some low-amplitude tremor. Continuous low-amplitude tremor was report on 13 May.

Kilauea Spews Boulders in 5-Mile-High Eruption

An explosion at Kilauea volcano’s summit spawned chunky boulders and a tremendous volcanic cloud that reached as high as commercial airplanes fly — about 30,000 feet (5.6 miles, or 9.1 kilometers) above sea level — early yesterday morning (May 17) local time.

The explosion began as the volcano spewed out boulders hundreds of feet into the air at 4:15 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The earth-shattering event happened at the Overlook Vent, which holds a lava lake known as Halema’uma’u. On May 10, geologists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) said that as Halema’uma’u drained further, there was a risk it could intersect with the water table underground, and heat that groundwater. If the crater’s conduit became plugged by infalling boulders, the trapped steam could erupt dramatically, spewing boulders.

The new explosion sent Kilauea into code red, the highest-level warning for the volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

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