Volcanic Eruptions

  • High Activity at Stromboli volcano, lava reaches the coastline, Italy

    Activity at Stromboli volcano increased from medium to high levels on March 28 into 29, 2020, followed by lava overflow first observed around 23:40 UTC on March 30, 2020.

    Lava reached the coastline at around 01:40 UTC on March 31, INGV Osservatorio Etneo reported today, adding that this phenomenology is accompanied by seismic signals that can be associated with landsliding and rolling of incandescent rocks along the Sciara del Fuoco.   

    Images below were recorded by the visual surveillance camera at 400 m (1 312 feet) elevation on the north side of the Sciara del Fuoco and by the thermal surveillance camera at Punta dei Corvi on the south side of the Sciara del Fuoco.

    Images courtesy INGV-OE

    The activity increased from medium to high levels on March 28 into 29, one day after the volcano produced a large, almost-perfect smoke ring.

    "The volcanic activity was characterized by scoria-rich explosions mainly located at NE crater, reaching very high infrasonic pressure (3.6 bar) and accompanied by overflows from the NE crater rim during the last night (between 17:00 and 23:00 UTC)," Labaratorio Geofisica Sperimentale (LGS) reported on March 29, referring to activity at the volcano in 24-hours to 08:34 UTC on March 29.

    The infrasonic pressure associated with degassing was stable at low values (20 mbar). The number of VLP events was high with 15 events per day.

    The seismic tremor oscillated on medium values and showed a slight increment just before the overflow episode at 16:44 UTC on March 28.

    The thermal activity was high with an increased value of exit velocity of pyroclasts (42 m/s). The rockfalls activity during the period showed an increment from medium to high values, with 17 events per day.

    The activity in 24 hours to 08:38 UTC on March 30 was also characterized by scoria-rich explosions mainly located at NE crater, reaching very high infrasonic pressure (3.5 bar).

    The infrasonic pressure associated with degassing was stable on low values (20 mbar) and the number of VLP events was high with 16 events per day. The seismic tremor was stable on medium values and the thermal activity was high.

    The rockfall activity in the period showed a decrease from medium to low values but the overall volcanic activity level remained high.

    Note: LGS' activity overview for the past 24 hours was not available at the time of the press.

  • East Java's Mount Semeru Erupts Following 300 Second Tectonic Earthquake

    Mount Semeru in Lumajang, East Java, has reportedly shown elevated volcanic activity that was marked with a 300-second tectonic earthquake and a 2,000-meter-high column of ash blowing south.

    The increasing activity was recorded on Friday morning at around 6 a.m., the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) confirmed, citing that the mountain had persistently erupted and expelled lava from its crater since the beginning of April.

    "For now, the volcano will potentially expel lava and hot ash in the direction of the Besuk Bang, Besuk Kobokan and Besuk Kembar deltas," the PVMBG staff member in charge of monitoring Mount Semeru, Kristyanto, said as reported by kompas.com.

    Authorities, however, still maintained caution in the alert status for the volcano, which is the second-highest level, despite the increasing activity.

    A top official at the Lumajang Disaster Mitigation Agency, Wawan Hadi, separately called on local residents not to panic yet remain alert.

  • Explosion at Russian Klyuchevskoy volcano creates lava flow

    An explosive eruption of the Strombolian and sometimes Vulcanian types continues at Russian Klyuchevskoy volcano. The Aviation Color Code remains Orange.

    On April 18, a lava flow began to move on the southeastern flank of the volcano.

    By 22:10 UTC, a gas-steam plume containing some amount of ash was extending about 100 km (62 miles) to the NE of the volcano. It was rising up to 5.5 km (23 000 feet) above sea level.

    According to satellite data received early April 20, a gas-steam plume containing some amount of ash was extending about 265 km (164 miles) SE of the volcano.

    Ash explosions up to 5 - 7 km (16 400 - 23 000 feet) a.s.l. could occur at any time, KVERT warned, adding that ongoing activity could affect low-flying aircraft.

  • Explosive eruption at Etna volcano; Italy

    Volcanic tremor amplitude at Etna volcano, Italy showed a rapid increase to high values early Sunday morning, April 19, 2020. This activity was followed by lava fountaining and strong ash emissions, INGV Osservatorio Etneo reports. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red at 07:24 UTC and lowered back to Orange at 12:26 UTC.

    The seismic activity, located in the area of the Southeast Crater, started at 05:40 UTC and reached the highest levels at 07:00 UTC.

    Today's eruptive activity started around 06:30 UTC. Ash emissions were rather mild during the early stages, followed by a gradual increase in intensity from around 08:46 UTC.

    The volcanic plume rose to about 5 km (3.1 miles) above sea level and drifted to the east. 

    The ash relapsed on the eastern side of the volcano, mostly in Valle del Bove, but fine ash has also been reported in the town of Zafferana.

    Lava fountaining gradually reduced until it ceased around 09:55 UTC, the observatory reported at 10:41 UTC.

  • Explosive eruptions at Sakurajima volcano, Japan

    Strong eruptions continue at Minamidake crater of Sakurajima volcano in Japan since April 27, 2020. A Level 3 near-crater warning is in effect in the area since 2016.

    A strong explosion at 13:46 UTC (22:52 LT) on April 27 generated an ash plume that rose over 3 km (9 843 feet) above the crater rim and ejected blocks some 600 to 900 m (1 969 to 2 953 feet) from the top of the volcano. 

    Incandescence has been visible at night since then.

    Yet another eruption was reported at 12:11 UTC (21:11 LT) on May 11. Ash was ejected around 2 450 m (8 000 feet) a.s.l., drifting northeast.

    The volcano emits about 2 300 tonnes of sulfur dioxide per day, JMA said.

    A Level-3 near-crater warning is in effect since February 5, 2016. Residents and tourists are urged to refrain from entering the danger zone.

    Geological summary

    The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan's most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km (10.5 x 14.3 miles) caldera about 22 000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones.

    The construction of Sakurajima began about 13 000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4 850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake.

    Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu's largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km (5 miles) from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76. (GVP)

  • Fierce Eruption at Anak Krakatau, Indonesia

    Notice the infrared signature. Image credit: USGS/Landsat-8, Pierre Markuse, Acquired on April 13, 2020.

    Another strong eruption occurred at Indonesia's Anak Krakatau volcano on April 13, 2020, three days after a powerful magmatic eruption when the volcano spewed volcanic ash up to 14.3 km (47 000 feet) above sea level. As of Wednesday, April 14, the Aviation Color Code remains Orange.

    The volcano, located in Sunda Strait, West Sumatra, is emitting gas and steam, possibly small explosions too as it remains active. It also shows an almost constant glow at night.

    On Tuesday, April 13, a strong explosion occurred at around 13:54 UTC (20:54 LT). The eruption was recorded on a seismogram with a maximum amplitude of 40 mm and duration 54 seconds.

    This was likely a Vulcanian-type event-- a type of volcanic eruption characterized by a dense cloud of ash-packed gas blowing up from the crater and rising high above the peak, Dr. Tom Pfeiffer of Volcano Discovery noted.

    Incandescent lava bombs landed on Anak Krakatau's outer slope.

    On April 10, the volcano began erupting at 14:58 UTC (21:58 LT), with thick white-gray volcanic ash about 200 m (650 feet) high from the bottom of the crater. It was recorded on a seismogram with a maximum amplitude of 40 mm, lasting for 72 seconds.

    Anak Krakatau or Child of Krakatau emerged in 1927 from the caldera that formed after massive VEI 6 Krakatau eruption of 1883 -- one of the biggest in recorded history. The eruption started on May 20 and lasted at least to October 21, causing more than 36 000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java.

    The activity intensified as the volcano entered its paroxysmal phase around late August, and then by August 26, a black cloud of ash was seen as high as 27 km (88 000 feet). Four big explosions followed on August 27.

    According to the GVP, pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km (25 miles) across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. The caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan and left only a remnant of Rakata.

    A year following the eruption, the average summer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere dropped by 0.4 °C (0.72 °F). 

    The eruption injected an unusually large amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas high into the stratosphere, which was subsequently transported by high-level winds all over the planet.

    This led to a global increase in sulfuric acid (H2SO4) concentration in high-level cirrus clouds. The resulting increase in cloud reflectivity (or albedo) reflected more incoming light from the Sun than usual and cooled the entire planet until the sulfur fell to the ground as acid precipitation.

    Skies were darkened across the world for years after the explosion, producing spectacular sunsets for months. The Moon reportedly appeared green and blue at times.

    After a quiescence of less than a half-century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Frequent eruptions were reported at the volcano since 1927 (VEI 1 to 3).

  • Global Increase in Strong Volcanic Eruptions

    There has been a significant increase in violent volcanic eruptions in the past week.

    The Japanese weather satellite HIMAWARI-8 recorded two high-level eruptions on May 16, both occurring in Indonesia.

    The first took place at Ibu – a relatively new volcano with only 3 notable eruptions; in 1911, 1998, and 2008 – and was confirmed by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Darwin which warned of an ash plume rising to an estimated 45,000 ft (13.7 km).

    The second high-level eruption took place just a few hours later at Semeru – a very active volcano with an eruptive history peppered with VEI 2s and 3s; the first coming in 1818, the most recent in 2014.

    As with Ibu’s, Semeru’s eruption was picked up by both HIMAWARI-8 and the VAAC Darwin, with the latter confirming the generation of “a dark ash plume which reached an altitude of 46,000 ft (14 km).”

    In addition, and as recently reported by VolcanoDiscovery.com, active lava flows remain active on the Semeru’s southeast flank, currently about 4,921 ft (1.5 km) long (as of the morning of May 18).

    These high-level eruptions are noteworthy because particulates ejected to altitudes above 32,800 ft (10 km) – and into the stratosphere – often linger, where they have a direct cooling effect on the planet.

    In addition to Indonesia popping off, Icelandic volcanoes are also awakening, and it is this highly-volcanic region of the the world that is thought will be home to the next “big one” — the one that will return us almost instantly into a big freeze.

    Katla is the latest volcano here to show signs of stirring, and has experienced sizable out-gassing over the past few days. Furthermore, seismic activity under the large ice-covered volcano has also increased, and this activity is likely caused by injections of new magma entering the chamber.

    Icelandic authorities are aware of the dangers the next eruption of Katla represents, and a delegation of the volcanologists routinely meet with the Icelandic Parliament to discuss how to respond in the case of an eruption, an eventuality that is merely a matter of when, not if.

  • High Impact Eruption at Semeru Volcano, Indonesia

    A high-impact eruption took place at Semeru volcano, Indonesia at around 12:25 UTC on May 16, 2020. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Red. The eruption comes just three hours after a short-lived, high-level eruption at Ibu volcano, Halmahera. The Aviation Color Code for Ibu was also raised to Red.

    The eruption ejected ash up to 14 km (46 000 feet) above sea level, drifting east.

    "The eruption seems to be ongoing," the Darwin VAAC reported at 12:45 UTC. "Model winds suggest volcanic ash below 6 km (20 000 feet) a.s.l. may move SW at 9 km/h (6 mph). However, low-levels are obscured by the meteorological cloud."

    Height and forecast were based on Himawari-8 imagery acquired at 12:20 UTC and model guidance.

    The center reported continuous eruption to 14 km (46 000 feet) a.s.l. at 13:40 UTC. "Forecast polygons assume persistent ongoing eruption."

    Geological summary

    Semeru, the highest volcano on Java, and one of its most active, lies at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the Tengger caldera. The steep-sided volcano, also referred to as Mahameru (Great Mountain), rises above coastal plains to the south.

    Gunung Semeru was constructed south of the overlapping Ajek-ajek and Jambangan calderas.

    A line of lake-filled maars was constructed along a N-S trend cutting through the summit, and cinder cones and lava domes occupy the eastern and NE flanks. Summit topography is complicated by the shifting of craters from NW to SE.

    Frequent 19th and 20th century eruptions were dominated by small-to-moderate explosions from the summit crater, with occasional lava flows and larger explosive eruptions accompanied by pyroclastic flows that have reached the lower flanks of the volcano.

    This volcano is located within the Bromo Tengger Semeru-Arjuno, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve property.

  • Large Explosion at Ebeko volcano covers Severo-Kurilsk in ash, Russia

    A relatively large explosion occurred at the Ebeko volcano in Paramushir Island, Russia, at 21:21 UTC on April 28, 2020 (06:21 LT on April 29). The Aviation Color Code remains Orange.

    According to the Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), ash plume reached up to 3 658 m (12 000 feet) above sea level and drifted to the southeast. 

    Videos of the aftermath showed the nearby town of Severo-Kurilsk coated with a layer of ash. 

    According to Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), a moderate explosive activity at the volcano continues and explosions of up to 6 000 m (19 700 feet) may occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect low-flying aircraft and the airport of Severo-Kurilsk.

    Geological summary

    The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along an SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones.

    Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring.

    The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m (65 feet) deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake.

    Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.

  • Strong explosive eruption at Sheveluch volcano, ash to 10 km (33 000 feet), Russia

    A strong explosive eruption took place at Sheveluch volcano, Kamchatka, Russia at 19:10 UTC on April 8, 2020.

    According to the Tokyo VAAC, volcanic ash column rose up to 10 km (33 000 feet) above sea level by 21:20 UTC, drifting SSE.

    Satellite data by KVERT showed an ash cloud was about 230 km (143 miles) SE of the volcano at 03:50 UTC.

    "Explosive-extrusive eruption of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 10 - 15 km (32 800 - 49 200 feet) a.s.l. could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft," KVERT said in its latest VONA, released 04:12 UTC.

  • Strong hydrothermal explosion at Rincon de la Vieja volcano, Costa Rica

    A strong hydrothermal explosion took place at Costa Rica's Rincon de la Vieja volcano at 16:16 UTC (10:16 LT) on April 19, 2020. 

    According to OVSICORI-UNA, a steam and ash plume rose approximately 1 500 m (4 900 feet) above the crater. This is 3 416 m (11 200 feet) above sea level.

    The eruption lasted approximately 1 minute.

    Periodic hydrothermal explosions at the volcano were reported from April 8 to 14. A possible small eruption occurred on April 8 and was followed by a decrease in the amplitude of tremor signals.

    A small-scale hydrothermal explosion was recorded by the infrasound and seismic networks lasting 20 seconds on April 11. Water and sediment was ejected onto the upper flanks of the volcano. The event was recorded by the webcam located in Sensoria, 4 km (2.5 miles) N of the crater.

    In the morning local residents noted that the water in the Pénjamo River was milky white.

    A small hydrothermal explosion on April 13 produced a plume of steam and gas that rose 500 m (1 640 feet).

  • Violent Eruption Of Mount Merapi Sends Ash Plume 16,000 Feet into the Sky, Indonesia

    Indonesia’s most active volcano Mount Merapi erupted Friday, shooting a column of ash some 5,000 meters (16,000 feet) into the air in its second major eruption this month.

    Ash and sand covered areas several kilometers (miles) away from the peak of the rumbling crater near Indonesia’s cultural capital Yogyakarta.

    This is the second powerful eruption of Merapi volcano in March 2020

    We urge people to stay calm and not panic,” national disaster mitigation agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said.

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Past Eruptions of Merapi Volcano

Merapi erupted earlier this month, shooting a massive ash cloud some 6,000 metres in the air.

That eruption coated Yogyakarta and neighbouring city Solo with grey dust and forced an airport closure.

Mount Merapi’s last major eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of 280,000 residents.

That was Merapi’s most powerful eruption since 1930, which killed around 1,300 people, while another explosion in 1994 took about 60 lives.

Meanwhile at Ibu volcano, Indonesia

Look at the amazing strombolian eruptions with intermittent ash erupions generating abundant volcanic lightning at Gunung Ibu volcano, Halmahera, Indonesia between March 8-10, 2020…

With real sound and in real time:


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  • Volcanic Ring of Fire Heating Up

    The Popocatepetl and Merapi volcanoes erupted again on March 28, 2020.

    A day after a violent explosion, the Mount Merapi – erupted again on March 28, 2020 at 7:45 p.m. local time.

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     The grey ash column rose up to 3000 m above the summit (± 5968 m above sea ​​level) and dispersed westward.

    The maximum amplitude of the eruption was 75 mm and it lasted 243 seconds.

    Merapi is the most active volcano in Indonesia.

    Popocatepetl eruption in Mexico

    The Popo erupted again on March 28, 2020. The night eruption was recorded on video

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    The eruption occurred 21:44 CST.

    get prepraed for an upstick in volcanic eruptions due to solar minimum

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