August 23, 2013 – GUATEMALA – A major eruption occurred yesterday evening. Starting at 17:45 (local time), the top part of the Caliente lava dome collapsed and produced a series of relatively large pyroclastic flows and explosions. Ash plumes rose more than 2 km to elevations of 4 km altitude. The cause of the eruption was likely the accumulation of pressurized magma and gas under the dome composed of viscous (solid) lava. The pyroclastic flows affected mainly the south, southeast and NNE sides. Bombs from explosive activity were ejected to distances of 500 m. –Volcano Discovery
Kamchatka:Activity has remained elevated. A series of ash emissions caused by moderately strong vulcanian-type explosions occurred over the past days. This morning, an ash plume rose to 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude and drifted east. Meanwhile, Shiveluch: The volcano continues to extrude a new lobe of viscous lava (visible as the dark patch in the webcam image) at the lava dome, as well as produce occasional (usually small) ash explosions –Volcano Discovery
August 22, 2013 – JAKARTA, Indonesia—Indonesian authorities have been warning local villagers in East Nusa Tenggara Province about increasing volcanic activities in the area in recent days. “The people around the areas should continue to practice caution” despite there not having been fresh volcanic activity on Wednesday, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. The agency reported on Tuesday two volcanoes in the East Nusa Tenggara Province have shown “increasing activities.” The volcanoes are subsea Mount Hobalt and and Mount Ili Werung. It noted Mount Hobalt erupted Tuesday morning, spewing cloud as high as 6,560 feet above the sea level for around two minutes. “Visually, the water near the volcano turned yellow and bubbly,” the agency said. Meanwhile, Mount Ili Werung, located on the southern part of Lembata Island, started rumbling just before dusk Tuesday for about an hour and a half. But the agency said, at least so far, it isn’t necessary for the villagers to evacuate their villages. Six people were killed in the small Palue Island in the province when Mount Rokatenda erupted on Aug. 10, spewing hot ash and smoke up to 6,560 feet into the air. Nearly 3,000 people were evacuated from the area in the island since it first rumbled in October 2012. East Nusa Tenggara is about 1,297 miles east of Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta. Just west to the province is West Nusa Tenggara Province, famous for the Mount Tambora, whose eruption in April 1815 is cited as the largest volcanic eruption in the world in recorded history. The precise death toll from the eruption remains unclear, but it is believed to be at least 71,000. The eruption caused a “volcanic winter,” a reduction in temperature cause by volcanic ash and droplets of sulfuric acid. It made 1816 known as the year without summer due to the effects of the weather in North America and Europe. –WSJ
August 22, 2013 – INDONESIA- Mount Hobalt, an underwater volcano off the coast of Lembata island, East Nusa Tenggara, briefly erupted on Tuesday but did not cause any damage, officials and residents said. “Based on information received from the head of the Center for Vulcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation [PVMBG], the mountain erupted Tuesday morning,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said. Sutopo called on villagers living around the volcano to remain alert, but added that there was no need for residents to be evacuated from the area. “The PVMBG is closely monitoring the volcano,” Sutopo said. Petrus Bote, who heads the district’s disaster mitigation office, said that district authorities were preparing for the possibility of a larger eruption by bolstering stocks of emergency relief supplies and increasing manpower around the area. “Many people, including fishermen, saw the peak of [Mount Hobalt] surface for a few minutes,” Peter said on Tuesday. He said that a similar phenomenon took place when the volcano last erupted in May 1999. Tini Thadeus, the head of the NTT Disaster Mitigation Agency, said that the volcano briefly belched a column of smoke and ash that reached between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea level at around 7:13 a.m. on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Victor Mado Watun, the island’s deputy district chief, said that another volcano, Mount Ile Wereng, which straddles the inland subdistricts of Atadei and Wulandoni, also experienced a brief eruption. Victor said that a three-kilometer radius danger zone around the two mountains has been declared. “The district’s disaster mitigation office has sent two teams to the Atadei and Wulandoni. They are monitoring the activity of two volcanoes there and are registering the number of villagers living near them,” Victor said. Hobalt is one of the five active submarine volcanoes in Indonesia, a country that sits on three geological fault lines dotted with volcanoes. Jakarta Times
August 21, 2013 – COSTA RICA- The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) recorded two phreatic eruptions at the Poas Volcano yesterday morning. The first eruption occurred at 9:55 a.m. and reached a height of between 2 to 3 meters. The second eruption occurred at 11:16 a.m., reaching an estimated height of 10 to 15 meters. The Director of OVSICORI, Victor Gonzalez, said the eruptions were not unusual for Poas, though did say that the low level of the volcano’s lagoon, despite significant rainfall, was striking. The National Emergency Commission (CNE) maintains a green alert in Turrialba, Poas and Rincon de la Vieja due to phreatic eruptions and seismic activity in recent months. Poas last erupted in 2011. –Inside Costa Rica
August 20, 2013– ATLANTIC- Previously, oceanographers thought the Atlantic Ocean seafloor didn’t spit out as much iron as other regions. However, a recently discovered plume of iron billowing from the depth of the Atlantic Ocean suggests the seafloor may be pumping iron like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. The oceanic iron cloud spreads for more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) across the Atlantic from west of Angola, Africa, to northeast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The iron-rich waters flow 1,500 to 3,500 meters (4,921 – 11,482 feet) beneath the surface of the ocean. The complete extent and shape of the iron plume remains to be discovered. “We had never seen anything like it,” said Mak Saito, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute scientist and lead author of the study, in a press release. “We were sort of shocked—there’s this huge bull’s-eye right in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. We didn’t quite know what to do with it, because it went contrary to a lot of our expectations.”
Cracks in the Earth crust, or hydrothermal vents, on the ocean floor released the iron. However, the type of vent came as a surprise to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and University of Liverpool oceanographers who discovered it. A long ridge splits the Atlantic Ocean as geological forces gradually force the ocean wider. The slow-spreading Atlantic ridge was thought to produce less iron and other chemicals than vents in regions with speedier splits, like the ridge in the eastern Pacific. “This study and other studies like it are going to force the scientific community to reevaluate how much iron is really being contributed by hydrothermal vents and to increase those estimates, and that has implications for not only iron geochemistry but a number of other disciplines as well,” said Saito. The Atlantic Ocean iron plume may provide a smorgasbord for oceanic phytoplankton, the tiny, plant-like organisms that form the base of many marine food webs. Those phytoplankton provide food for fish and whales. The plankton also suck in large amounts of carbon dioxide. When the plankton die they can carry that carbon with them to bottom of the ocean. –Discovery News
August 20, 2013 – NEW ZEALAND – A volcano off New Zealand sent a plume of steam two kilometers (1.24 miles) into the air Tuesday, although volcanologists described the eruption as small and said it was over in minutes. The GeoNet monitoring service said White Island, an uninhabited landmark off the North Island’s Bay of Plenty, erupted at 10:23am (2223 Monday GMT). “The eruption appears to have continued for about 10 minutes and mainly produced steam,” it said, issuing an aviation warning for the area around the island but reporting no damage. The volcanic activity is not believed to be related to a 6.5-magnitude earthquake which rocked Wellington Friday on the other side of the North Island. New Zealand has a number of active volcanoes. Mount Tongariro, in the middle of the North Island, rumbled to life on two occasions last year after lying dormant for more than a century, spewing out clouds of ash that disrupted air traffic. An eruption at Mount Ruapehu in 1953 caused New Zealand’s worst rail disaster when it trigged a massive mudslide that washed away a bridge, causing a passenger train to plunge into the Whangaehu River with the loss of 151 lives. –Inquirer
August 19, 2013 – JAPAN – A volcano has erupted in south-west Japan and coated a nearby city with a layer of ash. People in Kagoshima wore raincoats and used umbrellas to shield themselves from the ash after the Sakurajima volcano erupted yesterday afternoon. Local media said drivers had to turn on their headlights and reported the ash resembled driving through snow at night. Kyodo News said the plume was 5,000 meters high and lava flowed about a kilometer from the fissure. It also said that railway operators stopped service in the city while ash was removed from the tracks. It reported that no one has been hurt. Japan has frequent seismic activity. Kyodo cited the Japan Meteorological Agency as saying there are no signs of a larger eruption at Sakurajima but similar activity may continue. By morning, the air was clearer as masked residents sprinkled water and swept up the ash. The city was mobilizing garbage trucks and water sprinklers to clean up. But business largely returned to normal in the city of 600,000 people living only 10 kilometers (six miles) from the volcano whose eruptions are part of their daily life. “The smoke was a bit dramatic, but we are kind of used to it,” said a city official. The eruption was the 500th this year of Sakurajima, a statement from the city said. JMA said there are no signs of a larger eruption but similar activity may continue. It maintains an earlier warning that people should not venture near the volcano itself. –Breaking News
August 17, 2013– ALASKA – Seismic unrest is being reported at another Alaskan volcano. Tanaga is a 5,924-foot (1,806 m) stratovolcano located in the remote Aleutian Range of the U.S. state of Alaska. There have been three known eruptions since 1763. The most recent was in 1914 and produced lava flows. According to the Earthquake Report, a swarm of seven earthquakes have struck near the volcano in the last 24 hours- the strongest of which was a 4.7magnitude. This may suggest magma intrusion under the volcano.
Number 69:Iceland- A small phreatic eruption seems to have taken place yesterday at the ice-covered Kverkfjoell central volcano. The steam-driven (no fresh magma involved) explosion followed a small glacial flood on 15 August the Kverkjökull glacier released into the Volga river and was probably a result of the pressure release during the flood. –Volcano Discovery
Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): A new eruption began at 06:30 UTC on 15 August, KVERT reports. Accompanied by strong tremor, strombolian activity has been taking place in the summit crater. Incandescence at the summit of the volcano’s summit were observed at night and a gas-steam plume containing small amounts of ash rose up to 18,000 ft (5.5 km) a.s.l. and drifted to the north-east of the volcano on August 16. Satellite data showed a big and bright thermal anomaly over the volcano on August 15-17. –Volcano Discovery
August 15, 2013 – ALASKA- Mount Veniaminof , an 8,225-foot peak 25 miles southwest of Chignik Lake and 485 miles from Anchorage which first rumbled to life in early June of this year, is again showing signs of elevated activity, spitting at least one cloud of ash and steam into the air earlier this week and featuring higher levels of seismic activity and surface temperature. One plume on Monday rose to a height of about 12,000 feet, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Meantime, NASA recently flew over the volcano and snapped a spectacular satellite picture showing the way that fresh ash is painting the peak, topping off the snow falling at the higher elevations of the mountain. –Alaska Dispatch
Merapi Volcano:The volcano continues to produce small explosions every now and then. Local press reported two small eruptions this morning. The first one occurred at 7:49 am (local time WIB), producing an ash plume of 300 meters height, and the second at 8:32 am with an ash plume rising 600 meters. The alert status had previously been raised from Normal to Alert (level 1 to 2) on 3 August and an exclusion zone of 3 km radius around the crater is in place. –Volcano Discovery
August 15, 2013 – INDONESIA-Hundreds of evacuees of the eruption of the Rokatenda volcano on Palue Island, East Nusa Tenggara, are suffering from illnesses at three rescue centers, sparking claims the government has not provided enough assistance. “It seems like the central government is not paying enough attention. Is it because it has received low media coverage and so the government has not been that serious in helping?” said Saleh Husin, a legislator from the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura). Saleh, who comes from East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), said the central government should play a key role in the management of evacuees. Tini Thadeus, head of the local disaster mitigation agency, said up to 560 people have fallen ill with acute respiratory tract infections as of Wednesday. Tini noted that local medical teams on the field have been supported by medical teams from the Army and several nongovernmental organizations offering free medication at three evacuation points. The Sikka district had received plenty of aid, he said, but evacuees in Ropa in the district of Ende and Mbay in the Nagekeo district still require treatment. The local government has placed hundreds of evacuees at the former office building of the Sikka district head, where Tini said they could be better monitored by the aid teams as it was a more compact location. Tini said the medical teams were able to treat the sick evacuees without many problems. “The quick response [resulted in] almost every health-related issue being handled well,” he said. On Tuesday, NTT Governor Frans Lebu Raya visited the evacuees in their temporary tents and delivered up to five tons of rice along with Rp 50 million ($4,850) in cash as part of the province’s disaster response. During his visit, the governor met with victims and encouraged them to permanently leave their homes in Palue Island for safety reasons.
The volcano has had a history of activity, with the most recent eruption before Saturday’s being in February. Frans, who was accompanied by several officials from the local government, said his administration would provide victims with homes as well as farming or fishing facilities for them to be able to continue their livelihood activities. But in response to the proposal, refugees said the permanent move would be difficult because it would mean leaving behind their homes, livestock and farming areas, which were developed by their forefathers long ago. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has not visited NTT since the disaster. After a previous volcanic eruption in Yogyakarta, he spent a night with victims. Yudhoyono on Monday took to Twitter to express his sentiments on the disaster. “My condolences on the Rokatenda volcanic eruption disaster. BNPB [the National Disaster Mitigation Agency] has conducted evacuation efforts and continues to monitor the situation’s developments,” he said. Villagers in Palue have been reluctant to follow the government’s calls for evacuation despite strong eruptions since Saturday. The eruption has caused five fatalities so far. On Wednesday, the Rokatenda volcano continued to send clouds of hot ash over Palue Island. According to head of the volcanology agency office in Ende, two volcanic quakes occurred on Wednesday. The eruptions have been caused by a series of earth tremors, which are common across the country given Indonesia’s place along the seismic Ring of Fire. –Jakarta Globe
August 12, 2013 – HAWAII – The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a 4.8magnitude earthquake beneath the Big Island early Sunday morning. It was recorded at 5:54 a.m. about 5 miles south of the summit of Kilauea Volcano and at a depth of about 20 miles. Several aftershocks followed, the largest of which was a 3.4 magnitude earthquake at 6:06 a.m. According to Wes Thelen, HVO’s Seismic Network Manager, “these earthquakes were most likely structural adjustment of the Earth’s crust due to the weight of the island on the underlying mantle.” Many Big Island residents reported feeling the shaking and the HVO says people as far away as Oahu and Maui reported feeling the earthquake. Almost 400 reports received within the first hour of the earthquake. No injuries were reported. –Khon2
August 10, 2013 – INDONESIA – A volcano eruption in central Indonesia has spewed hot ash and rocks high into the air and left six people dead. Mount Rokatenda, on the tiny island of Palue, sent fast-moving red-hot ash onto a nearby beach, leaving three adults and two children dead, said vulcanology centre head Surono. Rokatenda (Paluweh) has been on high alert since October, with authorities banning people from any activities within three kilometres from the crater on the island of around 7,000 inhabitants. Surono, speaking from Bandung city on Java island, said his staff at the scene had reported the five people had been killed within the exclusion zone. It was not clear what the victims had been doing in the restricted area when it erupted, he said. “We have found the bodies of the adults, but we are still looking for the children, and it is difficult because the area is still very hot,” Surono, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said. The volcano began erupting at 04:27am (local time) on Friday and it continued for nearly four hours, Surono said. He said volcanic ash travelled as far as 2,000 meters from the crater. The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes and straddles major tectonic fault lines known as the “Ring of Fire” between the Pacific and Indian oceans. The country’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions in 2010. –ABC News
August 5, 2013– SIBERIA- Having an official task to draw up a geological map of the region, a young geologist ended up running into something so unique, outstanding and mysterious that it would still puzzle scientists more than six decades later – the Patomskiy Crater. A host of theories have been put forward in the intervening years: that the crater was created by an ancient civilization, or by prisoners at a top secret Stalin labor camp, or by volcanic activity, or by a meteorite, or by an underground hydrogen explosion, or by a UFO. And even more tantalizing: by two UFOs. Stories have been handed down by native people – who knew about the ‘cursed crater’ long before Kolpakov revealed it to the outside world. Among these accounts, were warnings that this ‘Devil’s Place’ was dangerous to humans. Questions remain unanswered about a phenomenon that has been called ‘The Most Mysterious Place in Russia.’ For example, why don’t trees grow on the side of the cone-like structure? Radiation levels are low now, but there is evidence they were once very high: why? In August 1949, when Kolpakov reached the very north of Irkutsk region, local Yakut people told him a story about an ‘evil’ place, hidden in the woods. They called it the Fire Eagle Nest, and according to them even the deer didn’t dare to go close to it. Locals told a lot of legends about it, warning people would suddenly start feeling unwell or even disappear, some to be found dead later, some never to be found. As recently as 2005, indeed, the head of a mission to the crater died suddenly within several kilometers of it. Legends didn’t scare Kolpakov back in 1949 but what he witnessed in a distance when he climbed up the hill was shocking.
What pushed up this massive mountain of rocks from the earth? ‘When I first saw the crater I thought that I’d gone crazy because of the heat,’ he noted. ‘And indeed a perfectly shaped mount of a size of a 25-storey building with a chopped off top sitting in the middle of the woods was quite an unexpected discovery. Since the discovery of this mysterious place, later named Patomskiy crater, scientists came up with widely differing theories of its origin: among them, an unknown underground explosion to the fall from space of a mysterious super dense substance unknown to man. Or even the UFO. But not a single one of these theories could fully explain the anomalies of the crater and the processes that still go on inside it. Later, other scientists, namely the geologist Alexander Portnov, came to the same conclusion, arguing that it could easily be former by a piece of space rock that sliced off the famous Tunguska meteoroid that exploded over Krasnoyarsk region, to the west of Patomskiy Crater, in 1908. Another early explanation was that the crater had volcanic origin. The shape superficially suggested this. Amateurs looking at it might see this as a probable theory. They may yet be right. “My NTV quote was a while ago, and since that time we’ve made a number of experiments and analyses that showed that most likely it is a volcano. Yes, the only one like this on this territory,” he said. “It is not a typical lava volcano, but just at some point gas exploded there.” Of course, there are many strange things still about the crater. There is no unified, definite consensus yet about it. Together with geomorphologists we have decided that it is the most likely version.
The strange thing that doesn’t fit the theory, however, is that if it was a gas explosion, it would not have raised the temperature. And there for a while the process of surface heating was certainly going on, there was an increased temperature level. ‘So the hypothesis is quite approximate still, but I do think that geomorphologists opinion is the most correct of all, that it is a gas volcano. “It also shows the typical ways of rising for the gas volcano – when gas keeps gathering inside the chamber, then there is an explosion that rises the ground, and gas starts gathering again. Then another explosion, and again the ground rises.” Alexander Pospeev, a doctor of geological and mineralogical sciences, insists the explanation is more prosaic, and less extra-terrestrial. “Even now, the origin of the crater is not discovered, but we can say for sure that it has the earthly origin,” he stated. “It could be caused by the underground release of some fluids such as hydrogen. Maybe some other fluid, that’s what we do not know exactly. But studies have now shown that there is no object like the fragments of an asteroid or some metal object under the crater, as has been suggested.” –Siberian Times