SI/USGS Weekly Volcano Report for 1/13-19/2010

This week's USGS/Smithsonian GVP Volcano Update!

Highlights include:

  • A volcano I had never heard of in the Kuril islands is showing signs of life: Kharimkotan. Satellite images show a thermal anomaly at the summit of the volcano - its last known eruption was in 1933.
  • Ash, sulfur dioxide and steam continue to erupt from Nyamuragira in the Congo, although lava flows have abated.
  • Crater C at Arenal had sporadic strombolian activity - which is par for the course for the Costa Rican volcano.
  • I must have missed this, but since December 14, the ash erupted at Gaua in Vanuatu has become denser and darker - and is still being emitted.
  • Increased fumarolic activity was spotted at Planchon-Peteroa in Chile, but this apparently common in the height of summer (in the southern hemisphere).

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Kharimkotan (or Harimkotan) is a small but interesting volcano, because during its 1933 eruption there was a large sector collapse producing a debris avalanche that rushed into the sea and generated a tsunami. Luckily this happened in a rather sparsely populated area. There is a short article by Belousova and Belousov(in pdf) available on the Internet:
and a more recent (2007) abstract by Belousov and Belousova is here:
The 1933 collapse was followed by a Plinian eruption and finally a lava dome grew within the collapse amphitheater. There has been no eruption at this volcano since then.

The description (and photo) of Karimkotan reads like a history and/or prediction for Mt. St. Helens

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