GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for June 16-22, 2010

The latest news from the world of volcanoes, brought to us by the Global Volcanism Program, USGS and the Smithsonian Institution. They are also brought to us by Sally Kuhn Sennert - and if you have a question for her about her job at the GVP preparing the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report and all things volcanic (and hopefully it won't end like another recent volcanically-mitigated interview).

Some highlights (not including Gorely and Sakurajima):

  • Ioto (aka Iwojima) in the Volcano Islands of Japan produced an ash plume of unknown height. The volcano has frequent phreatic eruptions and abundant fumarolic activity.
  • Colombia's Nevado del Huila has been experiencing increased seismicity and sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano and there may have been some ash explosions. The INGEOMINAS elevated the alert status to Orange.
  • Batu Tara in Indonesia produced a 3 km / 10,000 foot ash plume - the volcano erupts highly undersaturated lavas such as basanites and tephrites thanks to its position north of the main volcanic arc.
  • Kilauea continues to impress, with activity at the summit lava lake producing tephra and fresh spatter downwind from the vent.
  • Soufriere Hills on Montserrat produced a number of pyroclastic flows produced from the collapse of the summit domes. There was also a lahar generated during the week's activity.

More like this

Sally Sennert from the Smithsonian Institution sent me an email to say that this week's USGS/Smithsonian Institute Weekly Volcanic Report will be delayed due to the inclement weather in the Washington DC area. She can't connect with the server, so the report can't be updated on the Smithsonian…
So, I'm a little late with this thanks to a little hiatus, but I thought I would post the latest GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report. Thanks again to the Smithsonian, USGS and especially Sally Kuhn Sennert! Some highlights include: There were more ash explosions spotted at Ebeko in Kamchatka,…
The latest of volcano news from around the world, brought to you by the USGS and Smithsonian Institute Global Volcanism Program (and especially Sally Kuhn Sennert!) Highlights this week include: Karangetang in Indonesia produced a couple 3 km/10,000 foot steam-and-ash plumes according to reports…
We've already talked about how many active volcanoes reside in Indonesia, but this week's USGS/SI update just drives that point home. Listed in the update are no less than 5 volcanoes were activity is being seen or is on the increase (Karangetang, Slamet, Dukono, Batu Tara and Makian). This doesn't…

Big E hasn't finished just yet maybe, the GPS is showing marked upward movement in the last couple of days and to the north.

hi all just looking at the oil leak/spill photo on weatheronline.com will this leak affect the gulf stream in the near future if they dont cap it in time

Well, "can" and "will" are two very different critters.

Can it affect the Gulf Stream? That really depends on what you define as "affect." Yes the oil can get into it, and in all likelihood, it eventually will. The question then is how much and what nature the oil will be in when it gets there. (either globules, slicks, particles, or wads of crude)

Can it affect the flow of the Gulf Stream? Probably... but how? Changing the evaporative rate of the gulf so that the heating/cooling ratios are different? Okay... how much change do you need to see an effect? How much does the oil move those ratios around? Does it change the reflectivity of the water? I don't have an answer for that.

I also don't have an answer for how the characteristics of "spume" will change. Yes, "spume" is is a real word. It's the stuff that is torn off of the tops of waves in a storm. The spray/foam and what ever else can be grabbed by the wind. It hangs out in the air just above the sea surface and then falls back into the water. Hurricane researchers argue all the time about how much heat energy is extracted from the spume and given up to the storm. One thing that figures in this idea is that of surface tension. At this point, surfactants come into the discussion. surfactants are substances that change the surface tension of the water. Surfactants are also used in detergent for your dishes to break up the grease and oil so that the water can take it off. Another place you will see them are as an ingredient in dispersants used in oil spills where they do the same job.

How will that affect the spume? Will it make any tropical storms stronger? Weaker? Ya got me. It will definitely have an affect by changing the heat flow into and out of the storms, but good luck figuring out what it will be.

The Nevado de Huila webcam sure is not up to date: it's showing midnight view of last night, and it should be on EDT, about 11:20 AM.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

A slight precision about soufriere hills activity. There is no new magma at the dome. The different little collapses of the summit dome were caused by heavy rainfall which provoked the fall of already instable spikes on the summit dome. Many hot point were observed but they were the result of the exposure of still hot magma after the different collapses.

By Jean-François… (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

@[5] ...and the reason is: the cam is down. The last view looks a bit like it's being nuked...

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Kultsi (#5)

It seemed to 'time trip' backwards. I "could have sworn" (...famous last words...) it was up to date when I posted the link a few hours ago. Shrug

@Raving [8]

I agree with you! I opened the link and it was showing a good pic of the volcano; now, nothing useful. Well, Murphy was an optimist, as s*t happens even when not thought to be possible.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

@3 and 4:

The Gulf of Mexico primary adverse water quality impacts from the oil spill are intensification of anoxic areas ('Dead-Zones') and physical impedance of oxygen and light penetration at the surface from the oil layer. Surfactants applied at high concentration can form their own ordered-strructure phase (called 'micellar') and float, like bubbles after entraining and dissolving oil. Thus we have very large massed patches of solubilized hydrocarbons forming reflective 'sheens' and floating oil, as seen in this image from the UMBC US Air Quality Blog:


In early June, the effect of dissolved hydrocarbon biodegradation by bacteria and algae on dissolved oxygen in the water column, at depth and along monitored transects offshore, was reported on the Dauphin Island Marine Lab news blog: very low to zero. That situation has worsened over time and is complicated by changes in surface tension by undissolved and dissolved oil-surfactant phases.

The report cited by Birger above begs the geoengineering question, of trickle injection of water-clay emulsions to slowly 'lubricate' certain fault sections in densely populated urban areas of Southern California that tend to 'jump' because they don't have this clay nanolayer in place.

An interesting article: 'Nanocoatings of clay and creep of the San Andreas fault at Parkfield, California.' (2010)
A.M. Schleicher, B.A. van der Pluijm, and L.N. Warr.


Melimoyu to all!

Melimoyo has had increased quake activity since mid march of this year.
Sernageomin has released a special report on Melimoyu volcano due to the last set of quakes that started on the 17th of june with numerous afterquakes. This set of quakes are judged to be volcanic in nature and may be asociated with magma opening a route to refill the chamber. Melimoyu is located in Southern Chile.



OVDAS/Sernageomin continues to have the volcano at a raised level of observation.

And with that I leave you all to celebrate Midsummer festival in any way you wish. Since I am a Swede I will drink excessivly, chant strange viking songs about small frogs, dance around a cross with hanging balls, and of course celebrate fertility in a clearly heathen way that would make any ancient barbarian proud.

@Passerby [13]

Oh that just begs for a lawyer (intentionally lower case) to get involved. Supposed that is tried and the stress is relived through creep and a quake happens further up the fault.

Who's liable?

You got the concept wrong. Stress is reduced incrementally along the treated fault line and not passed up the chain because stress-strain energy isn't stored locally to the point of failure, at least not at the surface.

My understanding is that stress is moved downward, deeper into the earth as a result of clay mineral action on faulting surfaces within subduction zones. The farther that energy is located downward (at depth), the less catastrophic the wave energy action at the surface.

Deep earthquakes release more total energy, but releasing it at depth affords a large buffer in overlying strata to reduce transmission to the surface, especially if the surface fractures are made more elastic by the clay particle nanolayer than the deeper and more brittle rock strata in the crust.

Could be a dumb idea, may be impossible to move clay into these layers. It's just an idea, one that I'm reasonably confident has at least crossed the minds of the authors, and maybe reviewers, too.


Okay. I accept that I have the concept wrong.

But I have taken it upon myself to derive some life lesson from every ship that I had been on when on active duty.

Ship one... I learned crisis management. "Grace under pressure" (usually denoted as grace under fire, but no one ever shot at us, so I got that going for me.)

Ship two... It can always get worse, or go bad.

Ship three... Contingency planning. In other words, what are you gonna do when it invariably does get worse?

Ship four... Good luck with the plan. The Universe is quicker on its feet than any plan.

So... despite me having the concept wrong... okay, but I've seen how that works out. :D.

POPO seems to have a nice glow in the pre-dawn darkness.

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Carl #14. Am intrigued by the dancing around a cross with Hanging Balls...this is just before celibrating fertility :) Sounds like a great party!

By Marginata (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

Someone is posing in front of Thórolsfell cam!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

Are they interfering with tremor plots?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Kultsi 24 hahhaha :) OT: In Greenland for Danish 'Sankt Hans' in the '50's the airfield guys and the mine guys would meet for a 'football' (soccer ) match - and a big outdoor feast - and burn the 'witch' in a big bonfire for good luck. One year we had to cross the river on a D-9 bulldozer to get to the party because the it had jumped its channel and was trying to wash out the airstrip. Big excitement for us kids.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

Hello Jón FrÃmann,

Jón I just saw that your Hekla Semicorder was "stuck" at 09:56 but your probably aware of this,

Kind regards, Adrian.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

Apologies,slight "brain fade" there.I meant to say Helicorder of course.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

IMO seems to have lost their english translation webpage.

Popo is indeed showing vigorous steaming this morning. Worth keeping an eye on it, as it looks like fumerolic activity has erupted on the side of the volcano from a vent.

I wonder what the seismometers are showing.

@ Kultsi 24 - OT but thank you so much for that clip, it made my day! It looks like a Mad Hatters Tea Party being held on Fancy Dress Friday at T in the Park (big music festival in Scotland early July, cant wait!). Great stuff!

By Marginata (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

I didn't mean the IMOs tremor plots, I meant the ones from CENAPRED for Popo. After carefully comparing time series photos for the past 10 days, it appears to be in the early stages of an eruption.

In fact, it's rapidly escalating.


In my recent wanderings regarding Taal I found the following document. Wouldn't such methods be good for monitoring subglacial systems such as Katla and Eyjafjallajökull?


Second Workshop organized by:
The Electromagnetic Studies of Earthquakes and Volcanoes Working Group1
The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Philippines2


The glow from Popo was very strong before day break. Lava must have been at the surface. Probably melting the glacier. Nice steam plume

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

Definite small amounts ash in the earlier pics of Popo around 7:30AM today.

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

Electromagnetic, geochemical and thermal investigations of Taal volcano, abstract. Jacques Zlotnicki, Feb 2010
(workshop online proceedings, per #37 above, with references)


Steam plume continuing to increase in elevation and volume.

They've also changed the refresh rate for the cams on El Popo - seems to be every 30 seconds, instead of the one minute they state in the caption.

Very active, I'd say, just short of an eruption.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink



#38: Sorry to be the bearer of sad tidings, but the is no glacier on Popo. Done bit the dust due to recent eruptions. Good read:

Impact of the eruptive activity on glacier evolution at Popocatépetl Volcano (México) during 1994â2004. (2008) Julio-Miranda et al. J. Volcan. Geothermal Res. 170:86â98.

Excerpt from the abstract: The glacier evolution and subsequent extinction were induced by the eruptive behavior over the years. While not the only process at work, eruptive activity played the primary role in accelerating
retreat and as a consequence in glacier extinction.


Nice find, Raving.

@Passerby (#44) Your link has been 4Ofnord

Remove the period at the end of the pdf hyperlink.

It's the authors manuscript copy. There is a previously published related publication, 'Glacier monitoring at Popocatépetl volcano, Mexico: glacier shrinkage
and possible causes.' (2003) Huggel and Delgado.


I have an NASA EO satellite image from February 2009 showing the glacier remnant.


Umm,Eyja is giving Popo a run for her money at present.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 25 Jun 2010 #permalink

I was just thinking when a storm reaches the oil spill. just think how much oil the storm would pick up and hit landfall. Then rain on to the roads, then the roads become slippery?