November 30-December 06, 2011

The following reports are provided courtesy of the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.

You can view their full reports with loads of additional background information at


FUEGO Guatemala 14.473°N, 90.880°W; summit elev. 3763 m

INSIVUMEH reported that on 1 December explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 800 m above the crater and drifted to the S. Avalanches descended toward Ash Creek. During 5-6 December ash plumes rose to an altitudes of 400-500 m above the crater and drifted to the W. A 150-m-long lava flow descended toward Ash Creek and avalanches reached vegetated areas.

Based on information from INSIVUMEH, the Washington VAAC reported gas and ash emissions on 2 December and a possible ash plume rose to an altitude of km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. on 6 December.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meteorologia, e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH),, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


GALERAS Colombia 1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m

INGEOMINAS reported that observations of Galeras during an overflight on 29 November revealed thermal analomies in the main crater. During an overflight on 6 December scientists observed that gas emissions rose from the main crater and two craters to the N and SW (Paisita and Chavas, respectively) and had increased in comparison to the previous week. Thermal anomalies were also detected in the main crater. INGEOMINAS raised the Alert Level to III (Yellow; “changes in the behavior of volcanic activity”) on 6 December.

Source: Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS)


GAMALAMA Halmahera 0.80°N, 127.33°E; summit elev. 1715 m

CVGHM raised the Alert Level for Gamalama from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) on 4 December based on seismicity and visual observations during 1-4 December. On 1 and 4 December white plumes rose to an altitude of 0.15 km (492 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Clouds obscured views on the other days.

Based on information from CVGHM, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 5-6 December ash plumes from Gamalama rose to altitudes of 2.4-3.0 km (8,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.

Sources: Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM),, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


PAGAN Mariana Islands 18.13°N, 145.80°E; summit elev. 570 m

A Northern Mariana Islands status report noted that clear to partly-cloudy satellite images showed a persistent gas-and-steam plume drifting from Pagan during 25 November-2 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, Office of the Governor, United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program.


TUNGURAHUA Ecuador 1.467°S, 78.442°W; summit elev. 5023 m

IG reported that seismicity has remained the same from the previous week from Tungurahua, but the number of explosions has increased during 30 November-6 December. Incandescent blocks traveled 1 km down the flanks, and roaring noises and sounds resembling “cannon shots” were reported all week. Ashfall was reported from almost all populations near the volcano during the week. Ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-5.0 km (4,920-16,400 ft) and drifted in multiple directions. On the night of 2 December lahars descended into the drainages and ejected incandescent blocks 500 m above the crater.

Seismicity increased on 3 December. During 3-5 December pyroclastic flows descended on the W flanks. Pyroclastic flows were also reported on the NW flank on 4 December, and large explosions occurred at 0130, 0600, and 1330. Significant ashfall was reported in San Juan, Manzano (8 km SW), and Bilbao (8 km W). On 5 December incandescent blocks were ejected 300 m above the crater and gray ash was deposited mainly to the E. On 6 December incandescence and Strombolian activity was observed.

Source: Instituto Geofísico-Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IG)


DUKONO Halmahera 1.68°N, 127.88°E; summit elev. 1335 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 29 November ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 65 km NW.

Source: Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)


HIERRO Canary Islands (Spain) 27.73°N, 18.03°W; summit elev. 1500 m

Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) reported that during 30 November-6 December the submarine eruption continued S of El Hierro Island, with lava balloons sporadically observed floating on the sea. During this period, the mean tremor amplitude was similar to the previous week. Twenty-eight seismic events were located, most of them offshore to the N of the island at depths of 15-24 km and with a maximum magnitude of 2.8. Only one of these events was felt by residents at a maximum intensity value of II using EMS-98 (European Macroseismic Scale). GPS data analyses showed stability in the horizontal components; the vertical component at stations located on the S and NE parts of the island showed subsidence.

Source: Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN)


KARYMSKY Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) 54.05°N, 159.45°E; summit elev. 1536 m

KVERT reported that seismic activity continued at a moderate level at Karymsky during 25 November-2 December and indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.8 km (12,500 ft) a.s.l. during the week. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the volcano during 28-30 November and 1 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


KILAUEA Hawaii (USA) 19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

During 30 November-6 December, HVO reported that the lava lake circulated and periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater, remaining below the inner ledge (75 m below the crater floor). Almost daily measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ashand fresh spatter nearby. Incandescence was visible from the E and W edges of the Pu’u ‘O’o crater floor, and from the 21 September fissure on the SE flank of Pu’u ‘O’o cone.

On 2 December incandescence was seen from a new area low on the N flank of Pu’u’O’o. Pahoehoe flows, fed through lava tubes from the fissure, continued to be active about 6.8 km SE of Pu’u ‘O’o based on intermittent views from satellite, ground observers and an overflight on 3 December. During 4-5 December the vent on the E edge of the crater produced lava flows that partially filled the depression left by the flank fissure eruption in September and a perched lava lake was built on 6 December.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)


KIZIMEN Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) 55.130°N, 160.32°E; summit elev. 2376 m

KVERT reported a decrease in seismic activity at Kizimen during 25 November-2 December and a thermal anomaly that was detected daily in satellite images. A large lava flow on the NE and E flanks continued to effuse. The video camera was down due to technical reasons during the week. Pilot reports indicated gas-and-steam activity during 27-28 November and plumes rose to an altitude of 5 km (16,400 ft) a.s.l. The Aviation Color Coderemained at Orange.

Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


POPOCATEPETL México 19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5426 m

CENAPRED reported that during 30 November-6 December steam-and-gas emissions rose from Popocatépetl and crater incandescence was observed during most nights and early mornings. Steam-and-gas emissions occasionally contained small amounts of ash on 30 November and 5 December.

Based on information from the Mexico City MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that an ash plume rose to an altitude of 6.7 km (22,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE on 5 December. That same day satellite imagery showed the ash plume had dissipated.

Sources: Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres (CENAPRED),, Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


PUYEHUE-CORDON CAULLE Central Chile 40.590°S, 72.117°W; summit elev. 2236 m

Based on seismicity during 30 November-6 December, OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN reported that the eruption from the Cordón Caulle rift zone, part of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex, continued at a low level. During 1-3 and 5 December plumes observed with the web camera rose 1.5-3 km above the crater. On 1 December satellite imagery showed an ash plume drifting 90 km SSE with sparse ashfall to the W and NW and dissipated 100 km to the SE. During the night the crater was incandescent. Satellite imagery showed an ash plume drifting E and SE and reaching the Atlantic Ocean on 2 December. Cloud cover prevented satellite data during 3-4 December. On 5 December satellite imagery showed a plume drifting 100 km NW. The Alert Level remained at Red.

Source: Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN)


SAKURA-JIMA Kyushu 31.585°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m

Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that during 30 November and 2-6 December explosions from Sakura-jima produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.2-3.0 km (4,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NE, E, SE, W, NW. Satellite imagery and a pilot report on 30 November showed an ash plume at an altitude 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l and drifted 37 km SE. On 5 December a pilot report and satellite imagery showed an ash plume at an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l and drifted 74 km S.

Source: Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC)


SHIVELUCH Central Kamchatka (Russia) 56.653°N, 161.360°E; summit elev. 3283 m

KVERT reported that moderate seismic activity was detected at Shiveluch during 25 November-2 December, and satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly over the lava dome. Ground-based observers noted that a viscous lava flow continued to effuse in the crater formed during a 2010 eruption. A gas-and-steam plume detected in satellite imagery drifted 22 km NW on 26 November. Moderate fumarolic activity at the lava dome was observed during 28-29 November; clouds prevented observations on the other days of the week. The Aviation Color Coderemained at Orange.

Source: Source: Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT)


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