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Volcano activity of January 8, 2013

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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. -

January 8, 2013 volcano activity

KVERT reports that volcanic tremor accompanying lava extrusion at Plosky Tolbachik has eased slightly overnight.  Last week we were admiring the transit of the Copahue eruption plume around the globe.  Today I thought I would include the current OMI Northern Hemisphere composite which shows the accumulated SO2 veil produced by the ongoing eruption at Tolbachik.  Some of the SO2 here is industrially-derived so don’t blame all of that pollution on the volcano.

Several M2+ earthquakes have struck the Four-peaked and Mount Douglas volcanoes (Alaska Peninsula) in the past day.  That area has experienced elevated shallow seismicity since late last year.  Four-peaked volcano erupted after a possibly millenia-long slumber in October 2006.

Unrest appears over at two western U.S. calderas.  A swarm of small earthquakes beneath Yellowstone Lake (WY) (station YTP) ended (as soon as it was mentioned, I might add!) yesterday and the swarm of deep earthquakes at Mammoth Mountain volcano (CA) ended with a feeble bang (a M1.0 shallow (5 km depth) event; burgundy dot) yesterday as well.

The unsteadiness of the Popocatepetl volcanic system (Mexico) is much in evidence today.  The volcano is experiencing an average of four exhalations of gas (and small amounts of ash) per hour, whereas yesterday the volcano could barely manage two emissions per hour.  The Popo seismogram shows low level volcanic tremor and perhaps small earthquakes today.  Mexico’s other active (erupting) volcano, Colima (Fuego), has returned to slumber after an unusually energetic expulsion of gas (along with blocks and ash!) on Sunday.

The Guatemalan volcanoes show no untoward behavior today, just some low-level volcanic tremor at Fuego (station FG3), rhythmic, banded volcanic tremor at Santa Maria (station STG6) and the usual (at least of late!) “perking” earthquakes at Pacaya volcano (station PCG).  Today’s volcanocam photos show some incandescence around the lava flow source at Fuego, and rhythmic “chugging” taking place at the Santiaguito Dome Complex (Santa Maria).

Seismic data from San Cristobal volcano (Nicaragua) are not updating, but periods of relatively strong volcanic tremor still affect nearby Masaya volcano (station MASN).  Concepcion volcano (station CONN) continues to quietly murmur with volcanic earthquakes.

Seismicity at San Miguel volcano (El Salvador) (station VSM) now consists of relatively continuous, low-level volcanic tremor.

Seismograms recorded at Galeras volcano (Colombia) (station ANGV) show numerous tiny seisms and perhaps weak volcanic tremor today.

Seismicity at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) (station RETU) has now returned to a background level of continuous, low-level tremor occasionally punctuated by a few low magnitude volcanic earthquakes.  Low magnitude volcanic earthquakes also affect Reventador volcano (station CONE).

Numerous tiny seismic events are apparent on records from Tongariro volcano (New Zealand) today.  Wind (I have verification in the enclosed Ruapehu photo! A wind-generated standing lenticular cloud!) is finally on the wane at Ruapehu volcano, and tremor has diminished at another unsteady volcano, White Island, overnight.


Recent satellite imagery shows an SO2-enriched plume issuing from a solitary volcano, Nevado Del Ruiz (Colombia), today.

Copahue volcano, Chile


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