The report of active voclano 23 March-29 March 2011

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

Note: Many news agencies do not archive the articles they post on the Internet, and therefore the links to some sources may not be active. To obtain information about the cited articles that are no longer available on the Internet contact the source.

New Activity/Unrest

KARANGETANG [API SIAU] Siau I 2.78°N, 125.40°E; summit elev. 1784 m

CVGHM reported that during 21-23 March incandescent material from Karangetang was ejected 50-75 m above the crater. Lava flows traveled as far as 2 km and collapses from the lava-flow fronts generated avalanches that moved down the flanks up to 300 m further. On 24 March lava was incandescent in areas 1.5 km away from the crater. Incandescent material from the lava-flow fronts rolled an additional 200-500 m down the flanks. Incandescent material was again ejected 75 m above the crater. Later that day, due to decreased seismicity and a decline in the lava-flow effusion rate, the Alert Level was lowered to 3 (on a scale of 1-4).

Geologic Summary. Karangetang (also known as Api Siau) lies at the northern end of the island of Siau, N of Sulawesi, and contains five summit craters strung along a N-S line. One of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, Karangetang has had more than 40 recorded eruptions since 1675. Twentieth-century eruptions have included frequent explosions, sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows and lahars.


Source: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM)

KILAUEA Hawaii (USA) 19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

HVO reported that at Kilauea's east rift zone small areas of incandescence in Pu'u 'O'o crater were visible through the web camera during 23-24 March. The lava lake in the deep pit within Halema'uma'u crater was crusted over; frequent rockfalls produced a few brown-tinged plumes. On 25 March the lava lake reappeared as lava streamed across and eventually covered the floor of the pit. The next day lava returned to Pu'u 'O'o crater about 20 days after the crater floor collapsed on 5 March. Lava slowly filled the deepest parts of the crater forming a lava lake. The lava lake within Halema'uma'u crater again crusted over. During 27-29 March the lava lake in Pu'u 'O'o crater circulated and was fed from two closely-spaced sources in the W center of the lake.

Geologic Summary. Kilauea, one of five coalescing volcanoes that comprise the island of Hawaii, is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Eruptions at Kilauea originate primarily from the summit caldera or along one of the lengthy E and SW rift zones that extend from the caldera to the sea. About 90% of the surface of Kilauea is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 sq km, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.


Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

RABAUL New Britain 4.271°S, 152.203°E; summit elev. 688 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 29 March an ash plume from Rabaul caldera's Tavurvur cone rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted more than 53 km NW.

Geologic Summary. The low-lying Rabaul caldera on the tip of the Gazelle Peninsula at the NE end of New Britain forms a broad sheltered harbor. The outer flanks of the 688-m-high asymmetrical pyroclastic shield volcano are formed by thick pyroclastic-flow deposits. The 8 x 14 km caldera is widely breached on the E, where its floor is flooded by Blanche Bay. Two major Holocene caldera-forming eruptions at Rabaul took place as recently as 3,500 and 1,400 years ago. Three small stratovolcanoes lie outside the northern and NE caldera rims. Post-caldera eruptions built basaltic-to-dacitic pyroclastic cones on the caldera floor near the NE and western caldera walls. Several of these, including Vulcan cone, which was formed during a large eruption in 1878, have produced major explosive activity during historical time. A powerful explosive eruption in 1994 occurred simultaneously from Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes and forced the temporary abandonment of Rabaul city.


Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

SAN MIGUEL El Salvador 13.434°N, 88.269°W; summit elev. 2130 m

Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET) reported that during a survey of the San Miguel crater on 9 and 16 March observers noted pulses of gas rising 200 m from the crater. On 12 March the number and amplitude of earthquakes increased. RSAM values rose the next day to 121 units per day on average, up from normal values around 50 units per day. RSAM values continued to fluctuate during the next few days and reached as high as 319 units on 19 March, 414 units on 20 March, and 234 on 21 March. On 18 and 20 March, local residents felt vibrations and heard minor rumbling. Observations on 25 March indicated that gas plumes rose 100 m from the crater. On 28 March SNET noted that seismicity had gradually decreased during the previous few days, and was as low as 80 RSAM units on 27 March. Access to areas within a 2-km-radius remained restricted.

Geologic Summary. The symmetrical cone of San Miguel volcano, one of the most active in El Salvador, rises from near sea level to form one of the country's most prominent landmarks. A broad, deep crater that has been frequently modified by historical eruptions (recorded since the early 16th century) caps the truncated summit of the towering volcano, which is also known locally as Chaparrastique. Radial fissures on the flanks of the basaltic volcano have fed a series of fresh lava flows, including several erupted during the 17th-19th centuries that reached beyond the base of the volcano on the N, W, and SE sides. The SE-flank lava flows are the largest and form broad sparsely vegetated lava fields.


Source: Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET)

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