Volcano activity of July 11, 2012 – Spain, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, Kamchatka, Iceland, DR Congo, Philippines and Ethiopia (video)
This (almost) daily post intends to follow up the activity changes of volcanoes all over the world.
This post is written by geologist Richard Wilson who specializes in Volcano seismicity and Armand Vervaeck. Please feel free to tell us about new or changed activity if we haven’t written about it.-
July 11, 2012 volcano activity
After a brief increase between 17 UTC and 20 UTC yesterday, seismicity at El Hierro (Spain) has returned to low levels.
Following several days of enhanced tremor, Fuego volcano (Guatemala) erupted late yesterday. Judging from seismic data (duration and amplitude), the outburst was similar to those which have occurred at the volcano for the past several months. The volcano has since quieted,…somewhat. (station FG3)
I will include seismic data from nearby Santa Maria volcano (Guatemala) as activity warrants. (station STG3) Santa Maria experienced a catastrophic eruption in 1902 and since then has nearly continuously erupted lava domes from the flank vent formed in 1902. “Background” seismicity at Santa Maria usually consists of volcanic earthquakes, sometimes occurring in swarms, along with tremor-like signals produced by block and ash flows which descend the dome cluster on a daily basis.
Volcano-tectonic seismicity and bursts of tremor continue at Popocatepetl volcano (Mexico). The cone continues to emit an impressive plume of SO2 as well.
Small earthquakes and tremor have increased in frequency and amplitude the past few days at Galeras volcano (Colombia). (station ANGV) Galeras is a volcano that bears constant watching as even slight changes in rates and types of seismicity can be the only precursory sign of an explosive eruption there.
A small. but enhanced SO2 plume is visible over the central Kamchatka Peninsula today. The plume likely drifted from an expulsion at either Karymsky or Shiveluch volcanoes which frequently erupt. There have been no VONA/VAN notices issued from KVERT since 25 June. The plume may be similar to larger ones produced last week in the Congo by convective activity rather than true eruptive activity. Thunderstorms can entrain, concentrate and lift SO2 to levels where it is more easily “seen” by satellite sensors.
Nyiragongo volcano (DR Congo) shows again a strong SO2 emission plume (see NOAA satellite image)
Mayon Volcano’s (Philippines) alert status remains at Alert Level 1. Although this means that no eruption is imminent, it is strongly advised that the public refrain from entering the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) due to the threat of sudden steam-driven eruptions and rockfalls from the upper and middle slopes of the volcano. Phivolcs seismic network recorded one (1) rock fall event on July 9. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate on 05 July 2012 was measured at an average of 92 tonnes per day.
- No, this time not an eruption but a great image from the Northern lights combined with a 1991 eruption of the Icelandic Hekla volcano. Click here to see this astonishing picture.
The comment of this spectacular video (Photovolcanica) of the Erta Ale lava lake (Ethiopia) is : Due to its high density, a person would generally be expected to remain on the surface. Indeed it is possible to briefly walk on certain types of lava if professional heat-protective clothing is worn (do not try yourself). However, the video shows that falling from a height, a person would be able to penetrate the crust of the lake and submerge in it. The test was performed with a box of camp waste (largely food rests) in a bin bag. Estimated weight 30kg, Size 60x60x60cm. Fall height, about 80m. The lake reacts with violent lava fountaining activity, presumably in part due to steam produced from the organic matter.
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