GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for July 28-August 3, 2010

A new Weekly Volcanic Activity Report from the Smithsonian and USGS Global Volcanism Program!

Highlights from this week's report include:

  • Things are getting a little noisy in Colombia. I mentioned a few weeks ago about a possible explosion at Nevado del Ruiz. Now we have reports of increased seismicity under nearby Cerro MachÃn and ash plumes from Nevado del Huila. After a few centuries of relative quiet, it looks like the volcanoes of the Colombian Andes are looking more lively.
  • Also in South America, a gas plume was spotted at Chile's Planchon-Peteroa. This is the second time this year that increased gas emissions have been noted at the volcano that hasn't erupted since 1998.
  • Shiveluch on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia continues to rumble - ash plumes were produced from pyroclastic flows and steam-and-gas plumes reaching 4 km / ~13,100 feet were spotted as well.

More like this

More activity in Wyoming just south of Yellowstone this morning, bringing the current EQ list to:
4.22010/08/05 14:59:28 43.646-110.416 5.0 34 km ( 21 mi) ENE of Teton Village, WY
4.82010/08/05 00:04:17 43.585-110.440 5.0 29 km ( 18 mi) ENE of Jackson, WY
3.02010/08/05 00:04:03 43.585-110.438 5.0 29 km ( 18 mi) ENE of Jackson, WY

though I can plainly see many aftershocks on this webicorder:
(for yesterday)

and this one for today:

But there are still no updates to the earthquake map aside from the three larger earthquakes. What's up, USGS?

You can add another 3.2 at Wyoming @ 17:45 UTC. I can expect we'll see another swarm this winter.

The rumblings in Columbia, I'm wondering, if they're the effects of all the recent quakes in Chile.

Just came across the photo collection of Owen K. N. (as it seems he's a geologist) on Flickr, which has some outrageously spectacular aerial views of Bezymianny and Kliuchevskoi (or Klyuchevskoy) taken late July:
What strikes me most is the large cone that has grown within, and is now practically completely filling, the summit crater of Kliuchevskoi as seen in particular here:
The outline of the old crater rim is still marked by small knobs on both sides of the new cone.
Owen had the privilege to witness, from a safe distance, pyroclastic flows descending the southern or southwestern flank of Kliuchevskoi:
There are also spectacular views of a lava flow extruded from Bezymianny after its latest explosive eruption in May this year, like this:

Boris, just saw you on tv! Th Etna flank collapse program. Nice to put a face to a name!

Amazing pics, Boris, thanks a lot!

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 06 Aug 2010 #permalink

What Renato said - wish I'd been there; not only the volcanism, but also the fauna seems to be fascinating.

When I saw the equipment pics, I thought, "That must be KVERT stuff." ;)

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 06 Aug 2010 #permalink

Thanks Boris. I never thought a volcano could rebuild itself so quickly. What would be the mechanism? Super thick rhyolite? (ie so thick that it can't move?

Yesterday, I wondered if the August 4-5 strong solar storm might have any effect on magma flow on earth and therefore on earthquake activity. Or perhaps there may be more simple interactions between strong electro-magnetic (E-M) disturbances and the Earth's crust - which might result in tectonic movements and earthquakes.

I found that there were five magnitude 6.0 or greater (M6+) earthquakes during the solar storm's strong E-M disturbances of Earth's atmosphere and space environment. During the eight days from July 30 to August 6, there were only two other magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquakes, so there was a clear anomalously sharp increase in occurrence during the strong solar storm.

Note: Sometimes multiple numbers of M6+ earthquakes will be recorded within minutes or hours because they are at the same approximate location and part of the same tectonic event. But the five M6+ earthquakes recorded during the solar storm were not at the same location, but rather widely dispersed in locations around the pacific ocean.

This is only one correlation of a solar storm's E-M disturbances to the Earth's seismic activity, so no firm conclusions can be drawn. But the fact of the anomalously sharp jump in M6+ earthquake occurrences during the 33 hours of the solar storm's E-M disturbances upon Earth is very intriguing and should prompt for further study.

Here is the data:

E-M Anomaly In Earth's Space Environment:
Proton flux unusually high: Aug 3, 18:00 UTC to Aug 4, 06:00 UTC = 12 hours duration
E-M disturbance very high: Aug 3: 18:00 UTC to Aug 5, 03:00 UTC = 33 hours duration

Source: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpmenu/plots/satenv.html

Quakes >= Mag 6.0
Eight Days: Jul 30, 2010 to Aug 6, 2010
* 2010/08/05 03:00:00 SPACE E-M ANOMOLY ENDS

6.0 2010/08/04 23:48:03 45.964 153.216 33.6 EAST OF THE KURIL ISLANDS
7.0 2010/08/04 22:01:44 -5.768 150.776 44.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
6.4 2010/08/04 12:58:25 51.426 -178.607 27.0 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA
6.4 2010/08/04 07:15:33 -5.521 146.793 213.6 EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
6.0 2010/08/04 04:46:22 -26.953 -177.148 23.7 SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS

* 2010/08/03 18:00:00 SPACE E-M ANOMOLY BEGINS

6.3 2010/08/03 12:08:27 1.243 126.277 42.8 MOLUCCA SEA
6.3 2010/07/30 03:56:13 52.461 159.902 18.6 OFF THE EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA

Source: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

William Boston

By William Boston (not verified) on 06 Aug 2010 #permalink

@ Chris - I would doubt there is any connection between volcanic activity in Colombia and the seismicity earlier this year in Chile.

If Cerro Machin does erupt it could produce some very impressive and dangerous pyroclastic flows. The quote below is from

"Voluminous pyroclastic flows traveled up to 40 km from the volcano during eruptions in the mid-to-late Holocene perhaps associated with formation of the caldera."

We are in the Holocene now correct? So the pyroclastic flows may not have happened in the extreme distant past. Maybe they haven't been able to study this volcano as well as they have studied many volcanoes in the US and that is why the dating of the pyroclastic flows isn't as precise as some of us would like.

Now what are the odds that this increased seismic activity under Cerro Machin does not indicate that there will be an eruption there in the next few decades? This is where the experience of volcanologists is helpful in reading the physical signals given off by a long dormant volcano.

By Thomas Donlon (not verified) on 06 Aug 2010 #permalink

so informative, thanks to tell us.

By geatteGrano (not verified) on 25 Sep 2010 #permalink