Volcanic activity worldwide 9 Mar 2016: Makian Volcano, Nyiragongo, Tungurahua, Suwanose-jima, Momotombo

Explosion at Tungurahua yesterday morning (image: EDUfoto / facebook.com/edufoto.org)

Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): (8 Mar) The eruptive activity at the remote Island in southern Japan continues. It even seems to have picked up in intensity, judging from the increasingly frequent volcanic ash reports issued by Tokyo VAAC and the sometimes very strong glow visible from neighboring islands.
The exact type of activity in the Otake crater is unknown, but likely consists of strong, ash-rich strombolian explosions.

Makian (Halmahera): The alert level of Makian Island’s Kie Besi volcano was raised from 1 (normal) to 2 (“waspada” = watch) yesterday, as an increase in seismic activity has been detected recently under the volcano.
The stratovolcano, which forms a small island south of Ternate (and is in the center line of tomorrow’s Solar Eclipse, where one of our groups is currently stationed…), is one of the regions most active (and dangerous) volcanoes with a number of strong explosive eruptions in historic times, last in 1988.
 
Already on 2 June 2009, a similar increase in internal activity had triggered a raise in alert level, but unrest declined soon after again and the volcano was placed back to normal again on 16 July, as no further changes in activity had been detected.
The current, most recent phase of unrest began apparently last year. A series of deep earthquakes could be felt in the region in November. Since January, the observatory noted an increase in the number and size of shallow volcanic earthquakes. Weakly felt quakes occurred on 12 January, as well as on 18 and 24 February. Long-period quakes and volcanic tremor (regular vibrations), both related to internal fluid movements also started to occur since the end of past February.

Momotombo (Nicaragua): (8 Mar) The eruption of the volcano continues with little visible changes: Intermittent vulcanian-type explosions of mostly small, but sometimes moderate size continue to occur at rates of 1-2 per day (on average), the stronger ones showering the upper flanks of the cone with incandescent material and producing ash plumes that rise 1-2 km above the summit.
In addition, weaker activity of semi-persistent style also occurs. Continuous glow is visible from the crater at night. This is probably due to the presence of a small lava lake or (more likely) a small lava dome (more viscous lava), as well as frequent, but small (strombolian-type) explosions (that don’t reach the outer rim) as INETER reported in its recent status update (53 explosions recorded during 3-4 March).
According to Nicaraguan scientists, seismic activity of the volcano has been at low to medium levels.

Tungurahua (Ecuador): The activity of the volcano has strongly increased since last weekend – a new surge of magma has been arriving at the summit vent and is producing a violent eruption from the summit crater. Its climax so far occurred this morning, at 07:51 local time, when a powerful explosion generated an eruption column that rose approx. 6 km above the crater and reached an altitude of estimated 36,000 ft (11 km). Pyroclastic flows (generated by partial column collapse) descended over 2000 m towards the Mandur and Achupashal areas.
Similar explosive activity, with increasing tendency, had already been occurring during the previous days, in particular since Sunday. Very strong explosions also occurred yesterday afternoon at 16:28 local time, two around noon (also yesterday), as well as at 19:35 and 05:35 local time on Sunday (6 March). All of them produced pyroclastic flows into various directions towards the western (Romero and Achupashal) and northern sectors (Mandur).
 
Violent shock waves that rattled windows and doors and ground rumblings accompanied the explosions and most of the time, a steam and ash column was rising 3-4 km from the volcano. At night, explosions could be seen ejecting incandescent material to great height (many 100 meters) and distances over the volcano’s cone, generating spectacular avalanches.

Nyiragongo (DRCongo): (8 Mar) Some very unusual and alarming events have been taking place at the volcano recently: A new eruptive vent opened at the northeastern end of the lowest crater terrace, outside the active lava lake (which had been in place since 2002) and just beneath the near vertical crater walls..
According to a preliminary report of the Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) who visited the volcano during 1-2 March, the new vent is now forming a second lava lake. Images from a visit of GVO staff show a spatter cone erupting fresh lava flows that pooled onto the crater floor.

Currently erupting:

Alaid (Northern Kuriles): thermal hot spot visible on satellite imagery (updated 4 Mar 2016)
Ambrym (Vanuatu): active lava lakes in several craters (updated 18 Feb 2016)
Aso (central Kyushu, Japan): steaming, occasional phreatomagmatic or strombolian explosions (updated 26 Oct 2015)
Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): strombolian explosions, ash plumes up to 500 m, extrusion of a small lava dome with rockfalls (updated 28 Nov 2015)
Colima (Western Mexico): intermittent vulcanian explosions (updated 1 Mar 2016)
Dukono (Halmahera): mild strombolian activity, continuous intense ash emissions (updated 1 Mar 2016)
Erebus (Antarctica): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 8 Dec 2014)
Erta Ale (Danakil depression, Ethiopia): overflowing lava lake (updated 2 Mar 2016)
Fuego (Guatemala): lava flows on S and W flanks, lava fountaining from summit vent (updated 3 Mar 2016)
Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): stromolian and phreatomagmatic explosions (updated 29 Oct 2015)
Karymsky (Kamchatka): occasional small explosions, thermal anomaly (updated 1 Mar 2016)
Kilauea (Hawai’i): new lava flow from vents on NE flank of Pu’u ‘O’o (updated 28 Apr 2015)
Kliuchevskoi (Kamchatka): ash emissions, weak strombolian activity (updated 11 May 2015)
Masaya (Nicaragua): active lava lake in summit crater since mid Dec 2015 (updated 4 Mar 2016)
Momotombo (Nicaragua): intermittent vulcanian explosions (updated 8 Mar 2016)
Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia): intermittent ash emissions, strong degassing (updated 4 Mar 2016)
Nyiragongo (DRCongo): new vent on crater floor (updated 8 Mar 2016)
Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania): effusion of natrocarbonatite lava inside the crater (updated 8 Jul 2013)
Pacaya (Guatemala): intense spattering from intra-crater cone (updated 13 Jan 2016)
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): degassing, sporadic explosions, slowly growing lava dome (updated 3 Mar 2016)
Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): lava fountains, ash emissions from Tavurvur cone (updated 12 Sep 2014)
Reventador (Ecuador): lava flow on SW flank (updated 24 Feb 2016)
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): seismic swarm, eruption warning (updated 1 Mar 2016)
Sangay (Ecuador): likely strombolian eruptions at summit crater (updated 13 Mar 2015)
Santiaguito (Guatemala): intermittent explosions from Caliente dome, strong degassing (updated 5 Feb 2016)
Semeru (East Java, Indonesia): growing lava dome, lava flow, strombolian activity (updated 14 Feb 2016)
Shiveluch (Kamchatka): growing lava dome (updated 6 Mar 2016)
Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): continuing pyroclastic flows (updated 2 Mar 2016)
Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): weak strombolian activity at summit vents (updated 16 Apr 2015)
Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): strombolian explosions in Ontake crater (updated 8 Mar 2016)
Tungurahua (Ecuador): large and frequent explosions, ash columns rising several km (updated 8 Mar 2016)
Ubinas (Peru): sporadic vulcanian explosions (updated 16 Jan 2016)
Villarrica (Central Chile): small lava lake in summit crater (updated 12 May 2015)
Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): ash emissions, weak strombolian explosions (updated 13 Nov 2015)
Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): occasional explosions and ash emissions (updated 14 Feb 2016)

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanic activity worldwide 9 Mar 2016: Makian volcano, Nyiragongo, Tungurahua, Suwanose-jima, Momotombo

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