Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – New Activity for the week of 17 January – 23 January 2018
Kadovar | Papua New Guinea : RVO reported that the eruption at Kadovar continued during 18-19 and 21-22 January. Main Crater produced ash plumes that rose as high as 800 m above the summit and drifted tens of kilometers E, SE, S, and SW. Vulcanian activity was continuous, though no discrete explosions were detected. Steam plumes from the SE Coastal Vent rose 800 m above the island, and a lava dome which strongly and continuously glowed at night slowly extruded from the vent. Strong sulfur dioxide emissions were detected.
Kusatsu-Shiranesan | Honshu (Japan) : JMA reported that at 0959 on 23 January an eruption began at Kusatsu-Shiranesan coincident with the onset of volcanic tremor; there were no indications of an impending eruption. The Alert Level was raised to 3 (on a scale of 1-5). Skiers at the popular ski resort Kusatsu Kokusai took video showing a plume of tephra and ejected bombs rising from a vent on the Motoshiranesan edifice, about 2 km SSE of Yagama Crater on Shiranesan (where all previous historical activity has been). The eruption also caused what appeared to be an avalanche. Photos and video posted in news articles showed tephra drifting E and blanketing the nearby hillside; JMA noted ashfall in Nakanojo-machi, in the Gunma Prefecture. Tephra hit a gondola, shattering glass and injuring four skiers. Material crashed through the roof of a lodge, where about 100 people had already been evacuated. Ground Self-Defense Force troops were engaging in ski training at the time of the event; one member died and seven others were injured. Emergency responders gathered at the Sanroku Station to assist. On 24 January JMA noted that volcanic earthquakes were numerous but decreasing in number, and two 2-3-minute-long periods of volcanic tremor were detected at 1015 and 1049.
Mayon | Luzon (Philippines) : PHIVOLCS reported that during 16-17 January Mayon’s seismic network recorded 143 lava collapse events associated with rockfalls along the front and margins of advancing lava and pyroclastic flows in the Miisi (S), Matanag (SE), and Buyuan (SE) drainages. These events generated ash plumes that drifted SW. During 17-20 January effusion of lava at the summit and collapse events continued. Two pyroclastic flows traveled around 3 km down the Miisi drainage. Rockfall events were generated by the collapsing lava front and margins of the advancing 3-km-long lava flow in the Miisi drainage, and from the summit into the Matanag, Buyuan, and Bonga (SE) drainages. Ash plumes continued to drift SW. Sulfur dioxide gas emissions were 1,478 tonnes/day on 18 January and 1,131 tonnes/day on 19 January. During 20-21 January there were 14 rockfall events and 10 pyroclastic flows recorded by the seismic network.
During 21-22 January there were 64 rockfall events and one pyroclastic flow recorded. Strombolian activity generated lava fountains 500 and 200 m high at 1045 on 21 January and at 0225 on 22 January, respectively. Ash plumes rose 1.3 km high and drifted SW, causing ashfall in Oas and Guinobatan (12 km SW). Lava flowed more voluminously, adding to the advancing Miisi lava flow (over 3 km long) and feeding two new lava flows on the Bonga and upper Buyuan drainages.
At 1243 on 22 January an eight-minute-long phreatomagmatic event generated a dense, 5-km-high ash plume that drifted W. Ashfall was reported in the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig (11 km SSW), Oas, Polangui (20 km WNW), and Iriga City (34 km NW). The event also generated pyroclastic flows that traveled as far as 4 km down multiple drainages including Miisi, Bonga, Buyuan, Basud, San Andres, Buang, Anoling. PHIVOLCS raised the Alert Level to 4 (on a 0-5 scale) and extend the Danger Zone to an 8-km radius. A minor event at 1725 produced a 500-m-high ash plume. Between 2137 on 22 January and 0525 on 23 January there were five episodes of intense and sporadic lava fountaining, each lasting 3-30 minutes. The lava fountains rose 500-700 m high, and generated ash plumes that rose 2.5-3 km above the crater. The events fed lava flows on the Miisi and Bonga drainages, sprayed near-vent lava spatter, and fed incandescent rockfalls around the summit area. The Buyuan lava flow was 200 m long. According to news articles posted on 23 January about 40,000 people have been evacuated, and airports in the cities of Legazpi City (13 km SSE) and Naga (66 km NW), and on the nearby island of Masbate (100 km S) were closed.
Nevados de Chillan | Chile : Servicio Nacional de Geología and Minería (SERNAGEOMIN) Observatorio Volcanológico de Los Andes del Sur (OVDAS) reported continuing explosive activity during 1-15 January associated with a low rate of lava-dome growth in the active crater. Gas plumes from the explosions rose less than 1 km above the crater rim, and sporadic incandescence associated with some explosions was recorded at night. The lava-dome growth rate was low at 1,360 m3/day, determined by photos taken during overflights on 9 and 12 January. The total volume of the lava dome was an estimated 37,000 m3. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, the middle level on a three-colour scale, and the public was reminded not to approach the craters within a 4-km radius.
San Miguel | El Salvador : SNET reported that during 14-17 January there were four gas-and-ash emissions from San Miguel that rose no higher than 300 m above the crater rim. The report noted that prior to each emission seismicity decreased and then suddenly increased.