Eruptions

Mayon eruption update for 12/16/2009


Lava on Mayon, December 2009, with Legazpi City in the foreground.

The mainstream media has picked up on the activity at Mayon – I’ve seen it splashed across CNN, FoxNews, ABC, BBC and others. Most of the coverage has been decent, however, I do worry when I see that people have found Eruptions using search terms like “Mayon supervolcano”. I think that is when we worry that the made-for-TV word like “supervolcano” has gotten a little overused, when people worry every volcanic eruption might be a “supervolcano.”

On to the update!

Explosions have continued unabated at Mayon, with the explosive plume reaching 500 m / 1600 feet – which is small fry in the realms of ash plumes, but indicates that the volcano might still be “clearing its throat” as it were. Renato Solidum of PHIVOLCS gave this warning: “There is the possibility that it can turn into the explosive phase of the eruption”, which I would assume he means a true Plinian phase. The continuing explosions, lava extrusion (see video below) and high levels of seismicity mean that the evacuations for the area will continue. Almost 30,000 people have already been moved.

The BBC posted some video of the eruption and from that, it looks pretty clear to me that the lava flow isn’t as much low viscosity flows as crumbling, glowing dome rock. You can see the tumbling chunks of lava rolling down the mountain – an event like this is like to produce a lot of hot “block-and-ash” flow deposits with plenty of breadcrust bombs.

Comments

  1. #1 David
    December 16, 2009

    Ash explosions shake restive volcano in eastern Philippines

    Manila – Ash explosions shook a restive volcano in the eastern Philippines Wednesday as frightened residents fled their homes, the government said. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in one of the explosions of Mayon volcano in Albay province, 360 kilometres south-east of Manila, the ashes reached as high as 500 metres above the crater.

    The agency said 78 volcanic earthquakes and tremors were recorded overnight and molten lava rolled down continuously from Mayon’s crater.

    It added that the incandescent lava front has reached at least 800 metres down the slope of the volcano.

    “The volcanic earthquakes represent magma ascent towards the crater of the volcano,” the agency said in a statement. “If the trend is one of increasing unrest, hazardous volcanic eruption is possible within weeks.”

    Albay Governor Joey Salceda said more than 22,000 people had been moved to evacuation centres by late Tuesday and thousands more would be evacuated within the next two days.

    “I have ordered food to be prepared for the evacuees,” he said. “They have to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve in evacuation centres.”

    Raffy Alejandro, a regional director of the Office of Civil Defence, said the evacuation’s target was a total of 47,285 people or 9,946 families from six municipalities around the volcano.

    The 2,472-metre volcano has erupted about 50 times since 1616. It last erupted in July 2006, forcing more than 30,000 people to flee their homes.

    Mayon’s most violent eruption was in 1814 when more than 1,200 people were killed and a town was buried in volcanic mud. An eruption in 1993 killed 79 people.

    from here

    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/299546,ash-explosions-shake-restive-volcano-in-eastern-philippines.html

  2. #2 Simon
    December 16, 2009

    I have to admit, those pictures of Mayon with the Lava flowing down and its beautiful shape are superb.

  3. #3 Fitz
    December 16, 2009

    Poor Erik – you worry so much about how much people worry.
    Let the networks have some fun scaring people. Those nice symetric stratocones erupt 99 times nicely, building up the cone steadily, for every 1 time they blow up like Somma or St Helens. Let em hype their “fiery glowing tongue of molten destructive lava”. A few people will surf into your site and maybe find out about the VEI Index and really learn something.
    Now whats this about 20 some odd other active volcanoes in the Phillippines?

  4. #4 Chance Metz
    December 16, 2009

    Looks like another volcno just erupted. Does not have to do with Mayon but I thought I would give everyone a heads up.

    Kamchatkan and Northern Kuriles Volcanic Activity
    KVERT INFORMATION RELEASE 69-09
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 22:30 UTC (Thursday, December 17, 10:30 KST)

    SUMMARY OF AVIATION COLOR CODES:

    KAMCHATKA:

    BEZYMIANNY VOLCANO: 55°58′N, 160°36′E; Elevation 2,895 m
    AVIATION COLOR CODE IS RED
    PREVIOUS AVIATION COLOR CODE WAS YELLOW

    According to seismic data, an explosive eruption of the volcano began at 21: 45 UTC on December 16. Ash explosions > 10.0 km (>32,800 ft)ASL could occur at any time. The activity of the volcano could affect international and low-flying aircraft.

    Seismic activity of the volcano began to increase from December 08, but a size of thermal anomaly – from December 16. At 17:07 UTC on December 16, a size of the thermal anomaly was 6 pixels and the temperature was +19.4 with -23 of background. No visual and video data – the volcano obscured by clouds. But possibly ash fall began occur at Kozyrevsk village from 22:25 UTC on December 16.
    http://www.kscnet.ru/ivs/kvert/current/bzm/index.html

  5. #5 Chance Metz
    December 16, 2009

    A VAA was issued for the eruption. Looks like the ash plume is 32,000 feet asl which is pretty high.

    Received FVFE01 at 23:41 UTC, 16/12/09 from RJTD
    VA ADVISORY

    DTG: 20091216/2341Z
    VAAC: TOKYO
    VOLCANO: BEZYMIANNY 1000-25
    PSN: N5559E16035
    AREA: RUSSIA
    SUMMIT ELEV: 2882M
    ADVISORY NR: 2009/2
    INFO SOURCE: MTSAT-1R KVERT
    AVIATION COLOUR CODE: NIL
    ERUPTION DETAILS: ERUPTION AT 20091216/2145Z FL320 WAS REPORTED.
    OBS VA DTG: 16/2232Z
    OBS VA CLD: UNKNOWN/FL320 N5619E16012-N5633E15943-N5616E15916-N5602E1

    5938 MOV W 60KT
    FCST VA CLD +6HR: 17/0432Z SFC/FL200 N5700E15230-N5700E15630-N5530E15

    630-N5530E15230 FL200/350 N5733E15225-N5730E15500-N5630E15500-N5529E1

    5307-N5530E15100-N5630E15100 FL350/550 NO VA EXP
    FCST VA CLD +12HR: 17/1032Z SFC/FL200 N5600E14700-N5600E15300-N5400E1

    5300-N5400E14700 FL200/350 N5528E14327-N5656E14852-N5700E15000-N5554E

    14957-N5333E14737-N5330E14330 FL350/550 NO VA EXP
    FCST VA CLD +18HR: 17/1632Z SFC/FL200 N5248E14327-N5430E14801-N5430E1

    5100-N5256E15057-N5127E14432-N5130E14330 FL200/350 N5418E13758-N5533E

    14455-N5530E14630-N5424E14625-N5131E14401-N5130E13800 FL350/550 NO
    VA
    EXP
    RMK: NIL
    NXT ADVISORY: 20091217/0600Z=

  6. #6 romel verano
    December 16, 2009

    maganda sana ang paglabas ng lava kaso. Ito ay nakakasira sa kabuhanyan ng taga legaspi.so they should have to evacute so that they can protect their selves in the tragedy.

  7. #7 Guillermo
    December 16, 2009

    And another philliphine volcano, Kanlaon, is restness from a few months ago with increased seismicity.

  8. #8 Guillermo
    December 16, 2009

    I mean “restless”

  9. #9 David
    December 17, 2009

    i dont get it you get all kind of volcanos a round the word that eruption but has soon has you come too the USA your not geting any volcanos eruptioning why is that not saying am wanting one too eruption but it would be cool too see one do

  10. #10 mike don
    December 17, 2009

    David: USA’s got plenty of active volcanoes. What about Kilauea? Or all the Aleutian volcanoes like Cleveland, Shishaldin, Redoubt, Pavlof, etc etc?

    Or do you mean the “lower 48″? Given their eruptive style, not sure that another Cascades eruption would be widely welcomed (volcanophiles apart) And let’s not even whisper about Yellowstone or Long Valley

  11. #11 David
    December 17, 2009

    talking about Yellowstone i found this

    Yellowstone’s Plumbing Reveals Plume of Hot and Molten Rock 410 Miles Deep

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214075225.htm

  12. #12 David
    December 17, 2009

    sorry yes i mean the lower 48

  13. #13 Pete Kennedy Ledon
    December 18, 2009

    I would love to see the fiery cream of mayon with our pint size malificent president in it and all her legions!!!

    the AMPATUANS too.

    < <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Its a wonderfull site the world to speculate!

    I will storm the heavens with my prayers that my brothers and sisters will be safe…

    MERRRRRRRRRRRRRY CHRISTMAS!

  14. #14 Dave Tucker
    December 18, 2009

    David was unhappy that we don’t have active volcanoes in the lower 48 states of the USA. We do. Mount Saint Helens and Mount Baker are both active volcanoes- they just aren’t blowing up like Bezymiyanni, and Mayon may well do. Baker puts out 200 tons of CO2 per day, and the fumaroles are constantly emitting gas and steam. They roar like jet engines, 24/7, and the gas plume is frequently visible from the populated lowlands of the Salish Sea. Check out the MBVRC website: http://www.mbvrc.wwu.edu
    Dave Tucker
    Bellingham, WA
    USA

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    December 20, 2009

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    over the world on a Daily basis; so if you knowe some more sites, please let me know.

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