Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the Week 24 March 2021 – 30 March 2021

Cleveland – Chuginadak Island (USA) : AVO reported that a magnitude 4.3 earthquake at Cleveland was recorded during the morning of 26 March. Smaller earthquakes continued to be detected that day at a decreasing rate. There have been no signs of activity observed in infrasound or satellite data, nor evidence of volcanic gas emissions and elevated surface temperatures due to clouds. The Aviation colour Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Etna – Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported continuing episodes of lava fountaining at Etna’s Southeast Crater (SEC) during the week of 22-28 March, though weather conditions often prevented visual observations. Weak Strombolian activity at SEC began at 2005 on 23 March and turned into lava fountaining at 0330 on 24 March. A lava flow from the SEC was observed at 0335 which split in two, one branch traveling toward the Valle del Bove and the other to the SE; the lava was followed by a pyroclastic flow at 0336 that traveled toward the Valle del Bove. The lava fountain produced an ash cloud that rose to 6-7 km (20,000-23,000 ft) a.s.l. and extended SSE, resulting in ashfall on the S slope and in Catania (29 km SSE). Lava fountaining gradually decreased at 0700, and by 0945 it had stopped. The lava flows continued to advance. Activity in Northeast (NEC), Bocca Nuova (BN), and Voragine (VOR) was characterized by variable intra-crater Strombolian activity, accompanied by sporadic and weak ash emissions that quickly dispersed. On 24 March explosions at SEC continued after the lava fountaining had stopped, producing an ash plume that rose 4.5 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE. At night, ashfall was reported in Milia and Trecastagni (16 km SE). Explosions stopped by 1347 that day. By 25 March the two active lava flows had ceased and began to cool. Weak Strombolian activity at SEC on 30 March resumed around 2030; intra-crater explosions continued in the NEC, BN, and VOR, the latter of which produced discontinuous ash emissions that rapidly dispersed in the summit area.

Krysuvik-Trolladyngja – Iceland : IMO reported that the small eruption in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula continued during 24-30 March. Video and visitor photographs showed that continuous spattering and lava fountaining resulted in the formation of a second large cone adjacent to the main cone. Lava flows from both cones moved W and S within Geldingadalur valley. On 25 and 29 March the extrusion rate from the cone was an estimated 5.8 and 5.3 cubic meters per second, respectively, based on the latest Pléiades image acquisition (LMI). A gas plume on 25 and 29 March rose to 1 km (3,300 ft) a.s.l; no ash or tephra was produced. Minor seismicity continued around the Fagradalsfjall area. Video data showed that on the morning of 28 March the N part of the largest cone along the fissure collapsed. Sulfur dioxide flux was 18-19 kg/s and drifted predominantly S. The IMO periodically issued warnings about weather conditions that would cause high concentrations of volcanic gases to settle near the eruption site, causing hazardous conditions for visitors. The Aviation colour Code remained Orange due to the lack of ash and tephra emissions.

Pacaya – Guatemala : INSIVUMEH reported moderate to s trong explosions at Pacaya’s Mackenney Crater during 24-30 March, accompanied by abundant ash plumes that rose to 2.9-4.5 km (9,500-13,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions as far as 15-20 km. Resulting ashfall was reported in El Pepinal (7 km N), San Francisco de Sales (5 km N), El Cedro (9 km NNW), Calderas (3 km N), Mesías Altas, Mesías Baja (5 km NE), El Rodeo (4 km WSW), El Patrocinio (5 km W), and San Vicente Pacaya (5 km NW). The lava flow that began on 18 March was 2.5 km long, continuing down the SW flank; the height of the flow was 2.5 m with a width of 400 m, but the advancing front was 250 wide and set fire to nearby vegetation. Incandescent material ejected 150-300 m above the rim fell around the crater on 25 and 27 March. On 30 March ash plumes drifted 7 km S, causing ashfall in El Chupadero (2-2.5 km S) and Los Pocitos (5.5 km S).

Pelee – Martinique (France) : L’Observatoire Volcanologique et Sismologique de Martinique (OVSM) reported that seismicity at Pelée increased during 19-26 March. The seismic network recorded at least 55 high-frequency volcano-tectonic earthquakes with magnitudes less than or equal to 1, located at depths between 1.7 km below sea level and 1 km above sea level. The Alert Level remained at Yellow (the second lowest level on a four-colour scale).

Piton de la Fournaise – Reunion Island (France) : OVPF reported that seismicity remained elevated at Piton de la Fournaise during 22-26 March. On 24 March there were 81 earthquakes recorded under the summit, accompanied by deformation and 31 collapses along the edges of the Dolomieu Crater. Inflation centered 1.5 and 2 km below the crater continued through the week. On 26 March up to 95 summit volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded; the daily number of earthquakes then decreased, with 55 on 27 March and 8 on 28 March.

Semisopochnoi – Aleutian Islands (USA) : AVO reported that satellite data showed minor ash deposits on Semisopochnoi’s flanks. Three explosions on 25 March (at 0142, 0330, and 0645) were recorded by regional infrasound sensors. Two more explosions were detected at 2130 on 26 March and at 0030 on 27 March; high weather cloud cover at 9.1 km (30,000 ft) a.s.l. prevented satellite confirmation; no ash was visible above the cloud deck during 25-27 March. The Aviation colour Code and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Orange and Watch, respectively.

Taal – Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that seismicity increased at Taal during 24-27 March. There were around 19-302 volcanic earthquakes recorded daily, except on 28 March, and about 4-243 periods of volcanic tremor with variable durations (1-24 minutes). Four hybrid earthquakes were recorded on 24 March. Low-frequency earthquakes were detected 25, 77, 118, 7, and 16 times on 25, 26, 27, 28, and 30 March, respectively. Diffuse steam plumes from fumarolic vents in the Main Crater rose as high as 40 m. Daily measurements of sulfur dioxide emissions were 837-1,109 tonnes/day. The Alert Level for Taal remained at 2 (on a scale of 0-5). PHIVOLCS strongly recommended no entry onto the island, and access to the Main Crater and Daang Kastila fissure (along the walking trail) was strictly prohibited.

Veniaminof – United States : AVO reported that eruptive activity at Veniaminof continued during 24-25 and 27-30 March. Highly elevated surface temperatures were visible in satellite images along with ash deposits that were primarily confined to the summit and upper flanks on 23 March. Low-level tremor was recorded in local seismic data. During 24 March explosions were recorded in local seismic data and in infrasound data sensors; frequent explosive booming (several per minute) was reported by residents in Perryville (35 km SE) and Chignik Lagoon (55 km NE). Cloud cover prevented visual confirmation during this period of increased seismicity. Fresh ash deposits extending 10 km SE in the summit caldera were observed in satellite data on 25 March. Satellite data also showed highly elevated surface temperatures at the summit and flank vent during clear weather days on 25, 28, and 29 March. Discrete, short-lived ash emissions were detected during the afternoon and evening of 27 March in images from the FAA webcam in Perryville. The intermittent events lasted several minutes and produced small ash clouds that rose less than 300 m (1,000 ft) above the vent and drifted SE, which may have resulted in trace ashfall in Perryville, though there was no confirmed evidence. The Volcano Alert Level remained at Watch and the Aviation colour Code remained at Orange.

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