Volcanic Activity Weekly Update

By: Smithsonian & USGS
By: Smithsonian & USGS

New Activity/Unrest: | Karangetang [Api Siau], Siau I | Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Merapi, Central Java (Indonesia) | Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island | Planchón-Peteroa, Central Chile-Argentina border | Sinabung, Sumatra (Indonesia)
Ongoing Activity: | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island | Dukono, Halmahera | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Reventador, Ecuador | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Soufrière Hills, Montserrat | Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

Web page is updated on Wednesdays. Please see
for news of the latest significant activity.

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 1-7 September lava seen from the observation post (5 km SSW) traveled 75 m down Karangetang's flanks. Avalanches traveled as far as 1.5 km down the Batang (S), Batu Awang (E), and Nanitu drainages. Incandescent material was ejected 350 m above the crater. During 8-21 September lava traveled 500 m down the flanks. Avalanches originating from the end of the lava flow traveled as far as 2 km down the Batang, Kahetang (E), and Nanitu drainages. During 18-20 September material was ejected 300-500 m above the crater. Ashfall was reported in areas to the NW. On 21 and 22 September incandescent material traveled down multiple drainages. Strombolian activity was observed on 22 September; material ejected 50 m high fell back down around the crater. That same day the Alert level was raised 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)

Karangetang [Api Siau] Information from the Global Volcanism Program

KLIUCHEVSKOI Central Kamchatka (Russia) 56.057°N, 160.638°E; summit elev. 4835 m

KVERT reported that during 17-24 September seismic activity from Kliuchevskoi was above background levels and lava from the summit crater flowed down the SW flank. Satellite imagery analyses showed a large and intense daily thermal anomaly over the volcano. Strombolian activity was observed during 17 and 20-21 September, and ash plumes were seen rising to altitudes of 6.5-7 km (21,300-23,000 ft) a.s.l. on 20 and 21 September. Satellite imagery showed ash plumes drifting about 60 km W on 19 September and about 240 km E on 20 and 21 September. The Aviation Color Code level remained at Orange.

Geologic Summary. Kliuchevskoi is Kamchatka's highest and most active volcano. Since its origin about 7,000 years ago, the beautifully symmetrical, 4,835-m-high basaltic stratovolcano has produced frequent moderate-volume explosive and effusive eruptions without major periods of inactivity. More than 100 flank eruptions, mostly on the NE and SE flanks of the conical volcano between 500 m and 3,600 m elevation, have occurred during the past 3,000 years. The morphology of its 700-m-wide summit crater has been frequently modified by historical eruptions, which have been recorded since the late-17th century. Historical eruptions have originated primarily from the summit crater, but have also included major explosive and effusive events from flank craters.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)

Kliuchevskoi Information from the Global Volcanism Program

MERAPI Central Java (Indonesia) 7.542°S, 110.442°E; summit elev. 2968 m

CVGHM reported that a pattern of increasing seismicity from Merapi began in to emerge in early September. Observers at Babadan (7 km W) and Kaliurang (8 km S) heard an avalanche on 12 September. On 13 September white plumes rose 800 m above the crater. Inflation, detected since March, increased from background levels of 0.1 to 0.3 mm per day to a rate of 11 mm per day on 16 September. On 19 September earthquakes continued to be numerous, and the next day CVGHM raised the Alert Level to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Geologic Summary. Merapi, one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes, lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas and dominates the landscape immediately N of the major city of Yogyakarta. The steep-sided modern Merapi edifice, its upper part unvegetated due to frequent eruptive activity, was constructed to the SW of an arcuate scarp cutting the eroded older Batulawang volcano. Pyroclastic flows and lahars accompanying growth and collapse of the steep-sided active summit lava dome have devastated cultivated and inhabited lands on the volcano's western-to-southern flanks and caused many fatalities during historical time. The volcano is the object of extensive monitoring efforts by the Merapi Volcano Observatory (MVO).

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

Merapi Information from the Global Volcanism Program

PITON DE LA FOURNAISE Reunion Island 21.231°S, 55.713°E; summit elev. 2632 m

Starting on 14 August and continuing through 10 September, OVPDLF recorded a slow but steady increase in the number and magnitude of earthquakes from Piton de la Fournaise. Inflation of the summit area began in late August. A report on 13 September noted localized deformation W of Dolomieu crater and a small number of landslides in the crater. On 20 September a significant increase in earthquakes was recorded, although the average magnitude was low. The earthquakes were located at the base of Piton de la Fournaise, W and S of Dolomieu crater. A seismic crisis on 24 September was characterized by several tens of earthquakes located beneath Dolomieu crater, and occurred in conjunction with 3 cm of inflation. The Alert level was raised to 1 ("Probable or Imminent Eruption").

Geologic Summary. Massive Piton de la Fournaise shield volcano on the island of Réunion is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Most historical eruptions have originated from the summit and flanks of a 400-m-high lava shield, Dolomieu, that has grown within the youngest of three large calderas. This depression is 8 km wide and is breached to below sea level on the eastern side. More than 150 eruptions, most of which have produced fluid basaltic lava flows within the caldera, have been documented since the 17th century. The volcano is monitored by the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory, one of several operated by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris.

Source: Observatoire Volcanologique du Piton de la Fournaise (OVPDLF)

Piton de la Fournaise Information from the Global Volcanism Program

PLANCHON-PETEROA Central Chile-Argentina border 35.240°S, 70.570°W; summit elev. 4107 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Buenos Aires VAAC reported that on 26 September an ash plume from Planchón-Peteroa rose to an altitude of 4.3 km (14,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSE.

Geologic Summary. Planchón-Peteroa is an elongated complex volcano along the Chile-Argentina border with several overlapping calderas. Activity began in the Pleistocene with construction of the basaltic-andesite to dacitic Volcán Azufre, followed by formation of basaltic and basaltic-andesite Volcán Planchón, 6 km to the N. About 11,500 years ago, much of Azufre and part of Planchón collapsed, forming the massive Río Teno debris avalanche, which reached Chile's Central Valley. Subsequently, Volcán Planchón II was formed. The youngest volcano, andesitic and basaltic-andesite Volcá Peteroa, consists of scattered vents between Azufre and Planchón. Peteroa has been active into historical time and contains a small steaming crater lake. Historical eruptions from the Planchón-Peteroa complex have been dominantly explosive, although lava flows were erupted in 1837 and 1937.

Source: Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)

Planchón-Peteroa Information from the Global Volcanism Program

SINABUNG Sumatra (Indonesia) 3.17°N, 98.392°E; summit elev. 2460 m

CVGHM reported that on 22 September a white plume from Sinabung rose as high as 100 m above the crater. On 23 September the Alert Level was lowered to 3 (on a scale of 1-4).

Geologic Summary. Gunung Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano with many lava flows on its flanks. The migration of summit vents along a N-S line gives the summit crater complex an elongated form. The youngest crater of this conical, 2460-m-high andesitic-to-dacitic volcano is at the southern end of the four overlapping summit craters. An unconfirmed eruption was noted in 1881, and solfataric activity was seen at the summit and upper flanks of Sinabung in 1912, although no confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to 2010.


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

Sinabung Information from the Global Volcanism Program

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