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Volcano thread (1 Viewer)

bjdeming

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After learning that Mount Aso in Japan went off yesterday in spectacular fashion, I thought it might be nice to have a dedicated thread for fire mountains.

Taal had that dramatic eruption in 2020, while Cumbre Vieja has that destruction/debunked "megatsunami" thing going on.

But there are lots of other active volcanoes in the world. And perhaps the most dangerous volcano of all doesn't have the prefix "super" attached to it. It's actually the one that you, and maybe also scientists, don't know is there.

For instance,

  • The unassuming mountain Chaiten wasn't considered an imminent threat until it went Plinian (in the middle of the night) after giving the neighbors just five day's notice that it was an active volcano.
  • Pinatubo was quiet, keeping to itself, and only a lucky combination of coincidences -- described in the book Volcano Cowboys and that Nova documentary about killer volcanoes -- alerted everyone to the impending eruption and kept the casualty count as low as it was in 1991.

This isn't an issue in Alabama and the rest of the South, thankfully, but people do go on vacation and volcanoes create gorgeous scenery that draws tourists.

You can always check with a reliable source like this before making reservations, as well as see what local observatories might have on their websites, but the best protection of all is just knowing that there are volcanoes almost everywhere.

Awareness of that simple fact will help you avoid paralyzing shock if one unexpectedly goes off nearby. And maybe some posts about non-headline-news eruptions in posts here might also give you some tips on what to expect and how to react. Plus volcanoes are really :cool:

Got more vacation pix? Links to live cams? Etc.?

This might also be a good thread to use for debunking "false-news"-style videos, clickbait, and so forth. Not the Daily Express, though; I suspect many of its readers are hip enough to only start worrying when the tabloid stops telling them that Yellowstone is about to blow. (Reality check on that.)

However, volcano anxiety is almost as bad as storm anxiety, so here's also a little therapy to use when needed. ;)

 

bjdeming

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Just for starters, here's the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's webcam page.

And here's Italy's Stromboli -- the namesake for the type of eruption happening on Cumbre Vieja right now -- just doing what it's been doing for at least a thousand years -- and the reaction of someone seeing that for the first time.

 

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Here's a Japan Meteorological Agency news page (Japanese). They mention Mount Aso, which has been active for a while, but it's not updated with the recent news yet. My experience with JMA websites is that it takes a long time for news to get posted. This page is more helpful. They do have webcams of all active volcanoes, but I have a terrible time getting to that page and translating it.

One thing you'll find in trying to follow volcanoes online is that, quite understandably, the most detailed information is given in the local language. For instance, en.vedur.is is very interesting (another weather/volcano agency website, in Iceland), but vedur.is (Icelandic) tends to have the latest news.
 
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Just keeping an eye on everybody's favorite Scary Volcano; also, this is excellent outreach.

 

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An eruption that happened 109 years ago forced the NWS to issue a SIGMET this week:

ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY INFORMATION STATEMENT
U.S. Geological Survey
Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 10:07 AM AKST (Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 19:07 UTC)KATMAI VOLCANO
(VNUM #312170)
58°16'44" N 154°57'12" W, Summit Elevation 6716 ft (2047 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Strong northwesterly winds in the vicinity of Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes have picked up loose volcanic ash erupted during the 1912 Novarupta-Katmai eruption and carried it to the southeast toward Kodiak Island this morning starting about 9:15 AKST (1815 UTC). The National Weather Service has issued a SIGMET for this low-level event and suggests that the maximum cloud height is 7,000 ft above sea level.

This phenomenon is not the result of recent volcanic activity and occurs during times of high winds and dry snow-free conditions in the Katmai area and other young volcanic areas of Alaska. No eruption is in progress. All of the volcanoes of the Katmai area (Snowy, Griggs, Katmai, Novarupta, Trident, Mageik, Martin) remain at color code GREEN.

Resuspended volcanic ash should be considered hazardous and could be damaging to aircraft and health. For more information on volcanic ash and human health, visit the following website: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/ash/. Official warnings about these ash resuspension events are issued by the National Weather Service: https://www.weather.gov/afc/. Forecasts of airborne ash hazard to aircraft: https://www.weather.gov/aawu/. Volcanic Ash Advisories: https://www.weather.gov/vaac/. Forecasts of ash fall: http://www.weather.gov/afc. Air quality hazards and guidance from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Air Quality: http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Advisories/Index

Granted, the Novarupta/Katmai eruption was a biggy:

 

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Heads up -- there might be an explosive eruption in Iceland soon. Grimsvotn ("Gray Water" in Icelandic) is heating up. What tends to happen here is that ice in the caldera melts and runs out in a glacial outburst flood (jokulhaup), and the volcano goes BOOM! after all the water weight on the caldera lid is removed.

Not sure of the source, but this might be from the last time it happened, in 2011. 2011 (the last time it exploded after a flood was apparently 2004: sorry!). Cool lightning, but some it might have been photoshopped???


It doesn't always happen, but often enough for the experts to watch closely. At last report, nothing is happening but the flood is expected tonight or tomorrow, and then...?

I'm blogging it, BTW. Lots of links and videos there.

Since it's night up there now and Grimsvotn is out in the boonies away from artificial light sources, not sure if this webcam is operational, but here it is.

This is one of the good social media accounts in English to follow:

 
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bjdeming

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Grimsvotn update: This is one of those nightmare forecast scenarios where the volcanologists make their forecast and the volcano does not cooperate.

Today experts risked their lives to go up to the river that flows out of the glacier covering Grimsvotn to take measurements. Their report from the IMO website via browser translator and Google Translate:

Updated at 29.11 at 4:45 p.m.



The ice cap has now dropped by nearly 5 m. Water surveyors from the Bureau of Meteorology were working on the banks of the river today with measuring instruments...Seismicity is measured on seismometers, indicating that water is starting to flow under the ice. However, electrical conductivity has grown very slowly in the river and no gas is measured.

Measurements by the University of Iceland's Institute of Earth Sciences indicate that about 0.1 km of water has already left the lake, which is about 10% of the water that was in Grimsvotn before the ice cap began to subside. However, it is not a given that the water will run.

Doesn't sound like a scary trek until you see the sort of thing that might have happened, only on a glacier, level with the river bed, in Icelandic winter conditions:


They basically walked up to a ticking bomb to see where it was in the countdown.
 

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Grimsvotn: Today around noon, they announced that the glacial flood water has started to come out, with max flow expected this weekend or early next week.

That's just Iceland news, but if Grimsvotn explodes, North Atlantic air traffic, such as it is in these times, will be affected. Time will tell.

Edit: The flood is over. Grimsvotn had some unusual seismicity soon afterward, so IMO raised the aviation code to Orange, but only for a day as that seismicity didn't continue. The code is back to Yellow and it's still a waiting game.
 
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bjdeming

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Semeru in indonesia had a major eruption. A fellow online volcanophile lives nearby; hope he and his people are okay.


I have blogged about this volcano, a while back.
 

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Technically, it was a partial dome collapse at Semeru, per authorities, caused by heavy rain. And that combination of rain and ash is affecting communities and rescue operations, though to a much lesser degree, just as Pinatubo's one-two punch of VEI 6 eruption/typhoon did in 1991. :(

Death toll now 14 (and likely to rise significantly as rescuers work their way in despite continued rain and risk of another collapse), injured close to a hundred, thousands evacuated.

Hard to believe that Semeru has one of the most advanced lahar control systems in the world. Those barriers have probably saved many lives already and will continue to do so over coming weeks and months.



Edit: Just saw this:

 
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bjdeming

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Volcanologists watch the weather, too -- this today, concerning Indonesia's Mount Merapi (via Twitter translation):

Rain at the peak #Merapi on December 9, 2021 was recorded starting at 13.12 WIB with a total rainfall of 29 mm. It's still raining at the moment. Communities who are active in the river channel that originates at #Merapi to be aware of the danger of lahars.


This is the sort of thing they're warning people about (and something to keep in mind if you vacation near a volcano -- they don't have to erupt to be dangerous):


Merapi is another natural lahar lab for scientists.

Those rains will also be mobilizing mud and ash at Semeru over on Java. Sigh.
 
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Meanwhile, at Hawaii's newest (and still submarine) volcano:

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.9 earthquake located on Kamaʻehuakanaloa (Lō‘ihi) volcano, south of the Island of Hawai‘i on Friday, December 24, at 01:32 a.m. HST. The earthquake was centered about 42 km (26 miles) southeast of Nā‘ālehu, at a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles).
A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/. More details are available at the National Earthquake Information Center website at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv72844817/.
Light shaking, with maximum Intensity of IV, has been reported across parts of the Island of Hawai‘i. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS "Did you feel it?" service (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/dyfi/) received over 15 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake.
According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge, Ken Hon, the earthquake was preceded by over 50 small earthquakes on the south rift zone of Kamaʻehuakanaloa over the past two weeks. It is unknown as to whether it was caused by any volcanic or intrusive activity on Kamaʻehuakanaloa, but the earthquake had no apparent effect on Kīlauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes. Aftershocks are possible and could be felt. HVO continues to monitor Mauna Loa and other Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes.

Lots more at the page.

For background:

 

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A night-time red-lava eruption is always pretty, when people aren't endangered (some do share this Galapagos island with the volcano, but they're not nearby).


Ecuador's IGEPN report (Spanish)
GVP page on Wolf Volcano
 

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This one is about 100 miles SE of me; on totally clear days (rare because inversions are frequent over the valley), I can see all Three Sisters from a hill near the grocery store. Will try to get a picture, though all I have at the moment is a phone.

For reference, there are local communities near these volcanoes, and the cities of Bend and Eugene are to the east and west, respectively.

It's not much of a bulge, actually, but the volcanologists are all over this -- as Erik Klemetti writes, the Cascades are unusually quiet, and this general region of the vólcanic chain is a likely site of future activity.

From what I've read on the CVO website, though, it seems that the most likely future scenario, generally speaking, is a small red-lava (effusive) eruption somewhere in the Belknap field just north of the Sisters and directly opposite us.

Given the overall situation, though, AFAIK from research for some blog posts, explosivity in the Three Sisters area is not completely out of the question (there's very complex geology here, not just the Cascadia subduction zone), and Dr. Klemetti mentions it, too.

However, nothing appears imminent and this could well go on for years, as the last ground deformation episode at South Sister did.

-----

CASCADES VOLCANO OBSERVATORY INFORMATION STATEMENT
U.S. Geological Survey
Monday, January 31, 2022, 12:45 PM PST (Monday, January 31, 2022, 20:45 UTC)
THREE SISTERS VOLCANO
(VNUM #322070)
44°6'11" N 121°46'5" W, Summit Elevation 10358 ft (3157 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

USGS scientists have detected an increase in the rate of uplift of the ground surface in the Three Sisters volcanic region of the central Oregon Cascade Range. The volcanoes’ status remains normal/green, and there is no sign of an imminent eruption. Episodes of increased uplift have been observed in this area before and are attributed to small pulses of magma moving deep into the volcanic region.

Satellite radar images detected an increased rate of uplift of a 12-mile (20-km) diameter area centered about 3 miles (5 km) west of South Sister volcano. The data indicate uplift of up to 0.9 inches (2.2 cm) between June 2020 and August 2021. GPS data from a nearby continuously recording station show that the deformation has continued to the present. Additionally, seismologists observed brief bursts of small earthquakes in October 2021, December 2021, and January 2022. Most of these shallow earthquakes are too small to locate; those located are inside the uplifted area.

The present uplift area is in the same general location where uplift was first seen in the mid-1990s and has continued at a generally slowing rate through 2020. This increased inflation appears to be a continuation of an extended period of uplift that is attributed to small pulses of magma accumulating at roughly 4 miles (7 kilometers) below the ground surface. From 1995 to 2020, the area rose approximately 12 inches (30 centimeters) at its center. Although the current uplift rate is slower than the maximum rate of about 2 inches per year (5 cm per year) measured in 1999-2000, it is distinctly faster than the rate observed for several years before 2020.

The specific cause of the uplift is uncertain. Because the Three Sisters region is a volcanic area (the most recent eruption was about 2,000 years ago near South Sister), the uplift may reflect a small amount of magma emplaced at around 4 miles (7 km) deep. The idea of repeated intrusions at Three Sisters is supported by a USGS study in 1990 that found evidence that heat and gases from magma had influenced water temperature and chemistry of springs located in the uplifted area. This research was published before satellite volcano monitoring began and well before the current uplift episode. In that context, we view periods of increased uplift like the current one as a continuation of episodic, deep magmatic intrusions that have likely been occurring for centuries or millennia in the Three Sisters area.

While any magmatic intrusion could eventually lead to a volcanic eruption, an eruption would likely be preceded by detectable and more vigorous earthquakes, ground movement (deformation), and geochemical changes. In general, as magma moves upward during an intrusion, it causes continued or accelerated uplift, fractures rock to generate swarms of earthquakes, and releases significant amounts of volcanic gases, such as carbon dioxide. We do not detect any of these signs currently.

Scientists at Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) will closely monitor data in the coming months and issue further updates as warranted.

GEOLOGIC CONTEXT:
The Three Sisters volcanic cluster contains three stratovolcanoes constructed between 120,000 and 50,000 years ago (North Sister) and 50,000 and 15,000 years ago (Middle and South Sister). The only eruptions younger than 15,000 years occurred at/near South Sister - the Rock Mesa rhyolite (about 2,200 years ago) southwest of the summit and the Devils Chain rhyolites (about 2,000 years ago) on the volcano’s eastern flank. Both episodes included lava flows and dome-building eruptions accompanied by minor to moderate explosions. These explosions created short-traveled pyroclastic flows, pumice, and ashfall up to 18.6 miles (30 km) away to the east and south.

For more information:
Hildreth, W., Fierstein, J. & Calvert, A. T. (2012). Geologic Map of Three Sisters Volcanic Cluster, Cascade Range, Oregon. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map, 3186, pamphlet 107 p., 2 sheets. https://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3186/

Lisowski, M., McCaffrey, R., Wicks, C.W., and Dzurisin, D., 2021, Geodetic constraints on a 25-year magmatic inflation episode near Three Sisters, Central Oregon. Journal of Geophysical Research—Solid Earth, 126, e2021JB022360. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JB022360

Website Resources
CVO Three Sisters Webpage: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/three-sisters

CVO Three Sisters Uplift Webpage: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/three-sisters/modern-deformation-and-uplift-sisters-region

PNSN Three Sisters webpage: https://pnsn.org/volcanoes/three-sisters

Satellite volcano monitoring information: https://www.usgs.gov/programs/VHP/i...echnique-captures-overall-deformation-picture

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Jon Major, Scientist-in-Charge, Cascades Volcano Observatory, [email protected]

General inquiries: [email protected]
Media: Ryan McClymont, PIO, USGS Office of Communications and Publishing [email protected]

You have received this email because you have subscribed to the USGS VNS.
To change your parameters, or unsubscribe from the service, go to https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/


Sent to: [email protected] - UNSUBSCRIBE NOW

id: 21393689
 

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A volcano near Captain Semmes's hideout during the war is threatening to erupt. Several thousand people live there, and per the GVP history, São Jorge tends to go off in a small to moderate way (except for 1580's VEI 3 eruption) about once a century. Recent eruptions were from offshore vents, last in 1964, but there was a land eruption in the 19th century (long before The Alabama was a gleam in a shipbuilder's eye).
 
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They're honoring the 42nd anniversary of Mount St. Helens' VEI 5 eruption with an open Q&A. Have any questions you've always wanted to ask a volcanologist? Here's your chance, if you're on Reddit:

 

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This eruption in Kamchatka (turn up the sound) --


-- reportedly forced AA passengers to take a 12-hour flight from Dallas to Los Angeles! (They had expected to reach Tokyo.)
 

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Kilauea's summit lava lake has been acting shifty recently, rising a lot as shown in this two-week-old video:


and then starting to drop dramatically on June 18th, per HVO updates.

Larger such lake level drops at the P'u O'o and summit lava lakes happened shortly before the East Rift eruption.

Here's video of the 2018 summit lake collapse:


Thus far, the East Rift Zone shows no changes, per the latest USGS update, but you can follow this here and watch webcams, too -- just in case these changes signify something big. (It could well be just plumbing adjustments in a recently collapsed caldera -- the new lava lake has only been around a few months.)

Below is a video with more info from experts on the 2018 eruption. (It was so weird then to watch the tribulations of the Puna District on the news and then see all the scientific types I follow online glued on the sloooow but major caldera collapse happening at the summit -- this collapse was overlooked in the headline news.)


Something to keep an eye on, especially in light of 1916 events there. Especially since they close the article this way:

With an ongoing summit eruption and lava lake, do we expect Kīlauea to experience a similar crater collapse anytime soon? The simple answer is no. Unlike during the 1916 collapse, the current lava lake is fed by a vent at its side rather than its base. Lacking an effective “drain,” summit depressurization cannot evacuate lava from the crater so easily. The result of the current summit eruption has been to partially fill Halemaʻumaʻu crater, creating crust that is continuously uplifting and expanding to build a new crater floor.

Two days later, the current lava lake started to drain (apparently). I thing Earth enjoys trolling geologists -- volcanologists in particular. :)

Update: Per the HVO, this is a "quietly remarkable" phenomenon.

This type of endogenous growth, or “bodily uplift,” was also observed in the 1800s and early 1900s. But it hasn’t been observed so much in the past hundred years on Kīlauea. And it certainly hasn’t been observed this clearly before, given our modern tools such as laser rangefinders and webcams.
 
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