SI/USGS Weekly Volcano Activity Report for 4/15-21/2009

Has a week gone by already? It is time for another USGS/Smithsonian GVP Weekly Volcano Activity Report.

Highlights (beyond Fernandina, Pagan and Redoubt) include:

  • A new underwater eruption at NW-Rota 1 in the Mariana Islands.
  • Increasing seismicity and incandescence from the rhyolite domes forming at Chaiten, Chile.
  • A spike in sulfur dioxide emissions from Kilauea, Hawai'i to 700 tonnes/day (up from a 2003-07 average of 150 tonnes/day).
  • 4.5-7.5 km / 15-26,000 foot ash columns produced at Shiveluch in Kamchatka from new lava dome.
  • Continued dome growth and ~6 km / 26,000 foot ash columns from Nevado del Huila, Colombia.

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I think would be more correct to say that the NW-Rota eruption is continuing, rather than a new eruption.


Hello Dr. Klemetti, from a long-time reader of your blog.

I agree with Ed's point above, which raises a point about the way the SI/USGS report is put together. You might get the impression it's about what volcanic activity has occurred in a given week, but in fact it's really about what reports about volcanic activity have reached the compilers during a given week. To be fair, this is made clear in their 'criteria and disclaimers'. If there's no report then even constantly active volcanoes don't appear, giving the impression that there's been a break in their activity, while a scientific expedition recording undersea volcanic activity goes down under 'new activity' when it's surely nothing of the kind. I'm also not quite clear about the distinction between 'new activity' and 'continuing activity': why is Fernandina in the former this week, for example? This isn't a criticism, I'm in awe at the work that goes into putting this report together and, like everyone who has a serious interest in volcanism, I'm in the debt of those who compile it every week. I'm just wondering aloud, I suppose, about some things that puzzle me.

But I'm an amateur. What do you think, as a volcanological professional?

By the way, I'm gravely disappointed. On Monday you gave us 'Monday Mulligans', on Tuesday 'Tuesday Tidbits'. I was looking forward to what you were going to come up with on Wednesday.

By Michael Finn (not verified) on 22 Apr 2009 #permalink