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Mon, 27 Feb 2017
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Increased activity at Guatemala's Fuego volcano; ash ejected up to 19,000 feet

Eruption at Fuego volcano, Guatemala on February 1, 2017.
The activity at Guatemalan Fuego volcano continues with constant moderate explosions ejecting columns of ash and smoke up to 5 km (16 404 feet) above sea level and traveling more than 25 km to the NE, N, NE and E. Ashfall is reported in areas near Alotenango and San Vicente Pacaya.

Explosive ejection of incandescent fragments of new viscous lava is reaching up to 300 m (984 feet) and falling up to 500 m (1 640 feet) from the crater. The eruptive behavior is producing constant moderate to strong rumble.

This activity is feeding two lava flows, one towards the Barranca Santa Teresa nad the second towards Las Lajas, INSIVUMEH reported in a special bulletin released February 25, 2017.

There is a possibility that pyroclastic flows are generated, so it is not advised to stay in or near the main canyons, the agency warned.

At 09:45 UTC today, the Washington VAAC reported satellite imagery showed one volcanic ash cloud up to 5.8 km (19 000 feet) a.s.l., extending 130 km (80 miles) NE of the summit, and another 1.5 km (5 000 feet) extending 139 km (86 miles) to the SSW.


Abnormal seismic swarm detected under Lanin volcano on the border of Chile and Argentina

© Hugo Moreno (University of Chile)
Lanin volcano
An energetic seismic swarm has been detected under Lanin volcano on the border of Chile and Argentina, prompting the Chilean National Geological and Mining Service (Sernageomin) to raise the volcanic alert level to Yellow. The last known eruption of this volcano took place in the year 560 (± 150 years).

According to Sernageomin's special report issued February 15, a swarm of earthquakes, associated with the movement of fluids inside the volcano, started at 18:24 UTC and lasted 59 minutes and 45 seconds. The strongest earthquake had a magnitude 1.8.

No changes have so far been observed at the surface.

Sernageomin said the seismicity continued after they issued the report and estimated that there could be a destabilization of the volcanic system.

Given the relevance of this unusual activity, the agency has raised the alert level to Yellow.

This has activated the Civil Protection System and the notification to the Argentine Mining Geological Service to take measures to safeguard the population on both sides of the border.

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Alaska's Bogoslof volcano erupts agin, sending ash cloud 25,000 feet

An Alaska volcano that's been active since mid-December has erupted again.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupted just before 10 a.m. and sent an ash cloud to 25,000 feet.

Ash can harm and stop jet engines. Ash from southwest Alaska volcanos is a threat airliners operating between North America and Asia when a cloud rises above 20,000 feet.

After the eruption, the Aviation Color Code was raised from orange to red, the highest level.

The observatory says south winds are pushing the ash cloud north over the Bering Sea and no ash is expected to fall on communities.

The observatory says pulses of seismic activity continue and additional eruptions could occur.

The observatory said Bogoslof could have periodic eruptions for months.

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India's only active volcano erupts again in Andaman Sea

The Barren Island volcano was lying dormant for over 150 years before becoming active in 1991.
India's only active volcano in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is erupting once again. The Barren Island volcano, located about 140km northeast of Port Blair, started erupting in 1991 after a dormant phase of over 150 years and has shown intermittent activity since then.

A team of scientists led by National Institute Of Oceanography's Dr Abhay Mudholkar said that the volcano is active and spewing smoke and lava once again.

Researchers from the NIO have sampled the sediments and water in the vicinity of the volcano and recovered coal-like black pyroclastic material representing proximal volcanic ejecta. Clouds were seen at the crater mouth where the smoke was bellowing out in an otherwise clear sky. These samples will help in deciphering the nature of the present and past volcanic activity in the region.

"We are seeing the composition of the lava and powdering the black sand to figure out what the components are," Mudholkar told TOI.


U.S. senators propose legislation to improve volcano monitoring, early warnings

© NPS photo/Janice Wei
U.S. senators in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii have proposed legislation intended to improve volcano monitoring efforts and early warning capabilities.

The measure would put the Alaska, Cascades and Hawaiian volcano observatories into a connected system and create a 24-hour Volcano Watch Office to provide ongoing situational awareness of active volcanoes in the U.S. and its territories.

A Senate energy committee release says the Alaska Volcano Observatory has long been underfunded and is among the busiest observatories in the world. The Cascades observatory, in Washington, monitors volcanoes in that state, Oregon and Idaho, and two of the more active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, are monitored by the Hawaiian observatory.

The bill is from Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Maria Cantwell of Washington and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, all energy committee members.


Cascade Range volcanoes: When, where's the next eruption?

A look at C.O., NW volcanic, earthquake activity

The Cascade Range may seem quiet, but some of those mountains have a secret: they're still alive. Central Oregon is not only a volcanic region, but also holds the potential for earthquakes.

South Sister is one of many volcanoes in the Cascade Range that's still considered to be alive with activity.

"Many volcanoes in the Cascades are considered active volcanoes, even though they aren't erupting right now," said OSU-Cascades geology instructor Daniele McKay. "They've erupted recently in the geologic past, and since South Sister only erupted 2,000 years ago, which sounds like a long time to us, that's really just yesterday, geologically."

At 50,000 years old, South Sister has been erupting on and off since its formation. It's not an "if" the volcano will erupt again, but "when". The giant stirred in 2001 when an area three miles west of the summit began to rise at a slight rate only detectable by special satellite instruments. This ground uplift is what scientists call "The Bulge".

"For 'the bulge,' it wasn't an awakening -- but it was a tangible example that these volcanoes are in fact active," said Seth Moran, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. "These volcanoes have erupted every so often, and they are going to erupt again. But it's one thing to have this eruption record that paints a picture every 1,000 years, and it's another thing to have an actual event where there is magma moving up."

Comment: See also:

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Indonesia's Sinabung volcano spews clouds of smoke, ash in latest of violent eruptions

Children play at school as Indonesia's Mount Sinabung spews clouds of smoke and ash on February 10, 2017.
A rumbling volcano on Indonesia's Sumatra island spewed clouds of smoke and ash high into the air Friday, the latest in a series of violent eruptions.

Huge columns of smoke hung over Mount Sinabung and the surrounding area, including an elementary school where children played in the shadow of the towering volcanic cloud.

Activity levels have increased in the past week, with Sinabung shooting hot ash clouds into the sky dozens of times, according to the local volcano monitoring agency. Despite the eruptions, local villagers continue their precarious existence.

The children were playing at a school in Neman Teran district, although officials say it is safe as the site is outside a four-kilometre (2.5-mile) danger zone around the crater where no one is supposed to set foot.

"It's safe for the school to be used," insisted local disaster agency chief Nata Nail.

Farmers continue tending to their crops and people in local towns put on masks to go shopping as ash rains down from the sky.

Comment: Sinabung volcano erupts seven times in less than 24 hours, Indonesia

Bizarro Earth

Four of Iceland's volcanoes are priming to erupt - Katla, Hekla, Bárðarbunga, and Grímsvötn

© mbl.is/Ómar Óskarsson
Hekla, Grímsvötn, Bárðarbunga and Katla are all preparing for eruption.
As we all know, Iceland is a profoundly volcanic place with a variety of eruption styles - from spewing out a little or a lot of lava, to exploding so violently that Europe gets blanketed in ash.

Well, as reported by the Iceland Monitor, the nation's soothsaying geophysicist Páll Einarsson claims that four of the country's angry mountains are exhibiting pre-eruptive conditions. Apart from that, however, little information has been given.

The volcanoes in question are Katla, Hekla, Bárðarbunga, and Grímsvötn. With no data or references given in the post, we decided to do a little digging ourselves.

So what of Katla? Well, it's a rather sizable volcano that has indeed been showing signs of restlessness recently, with tremors hitting around the 4.6M mark. These quakes are possibly indications of magma ascending upwards through the crust and causing it to violently fracture, but as of yet, there's no definitive proof of this.

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Mexico's Colima volcano spews ash 4 km high in latest eruption

© webcamsdemexico / Instagram
Mexico's notorious Colima volcano has erupted again, sending a spectacular plume of ash and smoke four kilometers into the air above its crater.

Awesome timelapse footage and images of the erupting volcano, considered one of the most active and potentially dangerous in Central America, have been shared online.

The 12,500-feet volcano in Tuxpan, western Mexico, has increased in eruptive activity since last October, but has been in near constant activity since 1994. The volcano, part of the Colima Volcanic Complex, is situated just 30 kilometers from a residential area that is home to some 300,000 people.

Authorities said there was no need for evacuation despite the powerful eruption, but access has been restricted at Colima Volcano National Park. Colima's activity is now gradually decreasing after Friday's strong explosion, according to the latest status update from Volcano Discovery.

Comment: Sinabung volcano erupts seven times in less than 24 hours, Indonesia


Sinabung volcano erupts seven times in less than 24 hours, Indonesia

Indonesian volcano Mount Sinabung
Indonesia's Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province erupted seven times on Sunday, local media reported.

"The eruptions occurred from midnight until 4:50 pm (1700 GMT Saturday until 0950 GMT Sunday)," volcanology agency official Arif Cahyo was quoted by Viva.co.id news portal as saying.

The ash spewed from the volcano was carried by winds to Berastagi, a tourist town in the Karo highlands south-east of the volcano, Cahyo added.

Local officials in Berastagi told locals and tourists to wear masks and eye protectors to avoid being exposed directly to the volcanic ash.