Mexico's Colima volcano: strong explosion with pyroclastic flows

Strong explosions continue to occur. An eruption at 08:20 local time this morning produced several pyroclastic flows that traveled down the western flank of the volcano.

Arrow Up

Increased seismic activity reported at Aleutian Islands' Semisopochnoi volcano

© Roger Clifford
Semisopochnoi Island, in November 2012.
Citing increased seismic intensity, the U.S. Geological Survey is upgrading the volcano alert level status for Semisopochnoi, an Aleutian Island volcano, to "advisory," the agency said in a notice issued Wednesday morning.

Seismic activity at the Semisopochnoi volcano began in January, but "has increased in intensity over the past few days," USGS wrote in the notice. "In addition, we have detected brief periods of seismic tremor, which can indicate movement of magma or magmatic gases."

Semisopochnoi is remote even by Alaska standards. It lies on an island of the same name some 127 miles from Adak and 1,283 miles from Anchorage.


Orange alert issued by Chilean government as Villarrica volcano leaks steady plumes of ash, smoke

  • The volcano erupted earlier this month, triggering evacuations of thousands of people, including tourists
  • Residents in Pucon, a resort town near the volcano, were fearful that clouds of smoke could signal another eruption was on its way
  • The March eruption was Villarrica's first major eruption since 1984

A steady stream of smoke and ash being released from the Villarrica volcano.
A steady stream of smoke and ash leaking from the Villarrica volcano has residents of a nearby town wondering if - or when - disaster might strike.

Chilean officials raised threat levels to orange on Wednesday due to increasing signs of activity in the 2840-meter tall volcano, leaving area residents fearful of an eruption.

'No one can sleep peacefully because the other day the eruption surprised us at 3 in the morning,' said Francisco Valenzuela, a tour guide in the nearby resort town of Pucon.

'The tourists are also a little uncertain,' Valenzuela said. 'Could something happen today? Could something happen tomorrow?'

The BBC reports that local authorities canceled classes for the more than 5,500 students in the area.

Many of the residents in towns and communities surrounding the volcano had to be evacuated earlier in the month, when lava and smoke erupted from the peak in the early hours of the morning.

'It was spewing lava and ash hundreds of meters into the air,' 29-year-old Australian tourist Travis Armstrong said. 'Lightning was striking down at the volcano from the ash cloud that formed from the eruption.'


Mexico's Colima volcano explosions strengthening

© Hernando Rivera
Eruption at Colima volcano this morning.
The volcano continues to produce sometimes strong vulcanian-type explosions that seem to have picked up in strength over the past days.

An eruption at 03:08 am local time produced fountaining of lava several hundred meters high and appears to have caused a small pyroclastic flow.

Comment: See also:

Mexico's Colima volcano - violent eruption captured on film

Blue Planet

Sixth explosion at Turrialba Volcano, Costa Rica

OVSICORI’s webcam recorded the sixth explosion of Turrialba Volcano on Friday, March 13.
Two new explosion of gas and ash Friday mid-morning broke a brief period of low activity at Turrialba Volcano, located in the province of Cartago, 67 kilometers from the capital San José.

The new explosions follow one that occurred at 4:30 a.m. Friday and four on Thursday.

The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI)'s web cameras recorded the explosions Friday. The agency reported that columns of material reached some 1,500 meters high (4,921 feet), similar to those recorded on Thursday.

Spewings of ash and gases lasted for periods of some 30 minutes, OVSICORI reported.

Comment: It's an unprecedented high activity for this particular volcano. For more info, see: Volcanic ash closes Costa Rica's Juan Santamaría International Airport

Blue Planet

Volcanic ash closes Costa Rica's Juan Santamaría International Airport

© The Tico Times
Turrialba Volcano registered three explosions on Thursday, March 12, 2015, spreading ash over the capital San José and causing the Juan Santamaría International Airport to close around 4:00 p.m.
UPDATED at 7:00 p.m. with airport re-opening time.

Juan Santamaría International Airport will remain closed until at least 8:00 a.m. Friday, March 13, according to airport administration. Airport spokeswoman Silvia Chávez said that the Friday re-opening was conditional on overnight activity at Turrialba Volcano.

UPDATED at 5 p.m. with information on affected flights.

Falling ash from Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano closed the country's Juan Santamaría International Airport on Thursday afternoon at approximately 4:00 p.m., according to airport management.


Second of Guatemala's three volcanoes now active

The active Fuego volcano in Guatemala. Now a second volcano, Santiaguito, has rumbled into life.

Two of Guatemala's three active volcanoes have now rumbled to life
, officials said Wednesday, one day after the Santiaguito volcano began belching smoke and showering nearby towns with ash.

Guatemala's Fuego volcano, in the southwest, over the past several weeks has spewed adjacent towns with soot, forcing the temporary closure last month of a neighboring airport.

Now the Santiaguito volcano in the west has awakened as well, emitting columns of ash 400 meters (1,300 feet) tall above its crater.

Santiaguito, whose peak soars to 2,500 meters above sea level, is located in western Quetzaltenango province.

The sleeping giant began to stir on Tuesday, but officials said that thus far, they have not had to evacuate populated areas nearby.

The 3,700-meter tall Fuego — whose name means fire in English — last month spewed out large columns of ash, prompting an orange alert and forcing nearby residents to wear protective masks.

Bizarro Earth

Thousands forced to evacuate as Volcani Villarrica in southern Chile erupts

© Lautaro Salinas/AP Images
Volcano Villarrica in southern Chile erupted in the early hours of Tuesday, sending a plume of ash and lava high into the sky, and forcing the evacuation of nearby communities.

The volcano, located near the popular tourist resort of Pucon around 750 km (460 miles) south of the capital Santiago, is one of South America's most active. It last erupted in 2000.

A column of ash and rock particles shot up to 3 km (nearly 2 miles) into the sky overnight. Although the initial violent eruption was short-lived, intermittent clouds of steam and gas continue to issue from the volcano.

A major lava flow is not expected, said Luis Lara, head of national geological service Sernageomin on Tuesday morning, but that could change.

"After an eruptive pulse, which was pretty intense but very short at 3 am, the volcanic system remains unstable and it is possible that something similar could occur again in the next few hours," he said.

Some 3,385 people had been evacuated as a preventative measure, said Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo. There were no reports of any injuries.

Bizarro Earth

Mexico's Colima volcano - violent eruption captured on film

Mexico's Colima volcano is playing to the camera. Known locally as the Volcán Fuego or Volcano of Fire, Colima's recent activity is being captured on video and time-lapse photography as well as during monitoring flights around the area.

The latest blast, featured in this BBC clip, shows a huge ash column climbing over a mile into the sky. Blankets of ash covered villages as much as 15 miles away, but there was no structural damage.


Inconvenient study: Submarine volcano pulses may alter climate - models may be wrong

New data show strikingly regular patterns, from weeks to eons

© Sciencemag.org
This topographic map of Earth’s ocean floor in the Atlantic ocean reveals thousands of sub-oceanic volcanoes along the mid-Atlantic ridge.
From The Earth Institute at Columbia University:

Vast ranges of volcanoes hidden under the oceans are presumed by scientists to be the gentle giants of the planet, oozing lava at slow, steady rates along mid-ocean ridges. But a new study shows that they flare up on strikingly regular cycles, ranging from two weeks to 100,000 years - and, that they erupt almost exclusively during the first six months of each year. The pulses - apparently tied to short- and long-term changes in earth's orbit, and to sea levels - may help trigger natural climate swings. Scientists have already speculated that volcanic cycles on land emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide might influence climate; but up to now there was no evidence from submarine volcanoes. The findings suggest that models of earth's natural climate dynamics, and by extension human-influenced climate change, may have to be adjusted. The study appears this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Comment: The whole climate change (global warming) theory is based on man-made CO2 as a cause.

"People have ignored seafloor volcanoes on the idea that their influence is small - but that's because they are assumed to be in a steady state, which they're not," said the study's author, marine geophysicist Maya Tolstoy of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "They respond to both very large forces, and to very small ones, and that tells us that we need to look at them much more closely." A related study by a separate team this week in the journal Science bolsters Tolstoy's case by showing similar long-term patterns of submarine volcanism in an Antarctic region Tolstoy did not study.

Volcanically active mid-ocean ridges crisscross earth's seafloors like stitching on a baseball, stretching some 37,000 miles. They are the growing edges of giant tectonic plates; as lavas push out, they form new areas of seafloor, which comprise some 80 percent of the planet's crust. Conventional wisdom holds that they erupt at a fairly constant rate - but Tolstoy finds that the ridges are actually now in a languid phase. Even at that, they produce maybe eight times more lava annually than land volcanoes. Due to the chemistry of their magmas, the carbon dioxide they are thought to emit is currently about the same as, or perhaps a little less than, from land volcanoes - about 88 million metric tons a year. But were the undersea chains to stir even a little bit more, their CO2 output would shoot up, says Tolstoy.

Comment: A recent study has shown that volcanoes may have contributed to cooler temperatures.

See also: Climate Change Swindlers and the Political Agenda