34 earthquakes rattle Mauna Loa, world’s largest active volcano, Hawaii and scientists say eruption is possible
The Big Island of Hawaii, home to the world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, was rocked by 34 earthquakes on Sunday. While most of the earthquakes were low in magnitude, and none were strong enough to cause a tsunami, scientists warned citizens that an eruption from Mauna Loa could be possible in the near future.
“While an eruption of Mauna Loa is not imminent, now is the time to revisit personal eruption plans,” said a recent press release from scientists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. “Similar to preparing for hurricane season, having an eruption plan in advance helps during an emergency.”
The largest active volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa reaches a height of 13,681 feet above sea level, and 3 miles below the Central Pacific to the ocean floor. “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain.” The volcano covers half of the island.
The Big Island of Hawaii is also home to three other active volcanoes: Kilauea, Mauna Kea and Hualalai. Kilauea has been erupting since December.
Concern from scientists stems from the rate at which deformation, or changes to the volcano’s surface, are affecting Mauna Loa, as well as its seismicity, or the frequency of earthquakes. The Big Island has had more than 744 earthquakes in the last of a magnitude 1.5 or greater in the last 30 days.
U.S. Geological Survey scientists recommended residents have response plans and a “go-bag” ready in the case of an evacuation order.
“Nowadays, people pack ‘go’ bags containing essential items in case you have to leave your house under an evacuation order,” the USGS said. “You may want to include important documents, like your birth certificate, deeds, legal papers, and medications.”
According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843. Its last eruption lasted from March 25 to April 15, 1984.
Courtesy of thehill.com
Iceland volcano Fagradalsfjall between capital & main airport ERUPTS, triggering halt to air traffic
A volcano has erupted in southwest Iceland following heavy seismic activity and a series of small earthquakes in the area. All inbound and outgoing flights have been halted amid the eruption.
The Fagradalsfjall volcano, located around 20 miles (32km) south of the country’s capital of Reykjavik, erupted late on Friday night, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office (ICO), which noted that all flights to and from the neighboring Keflavik International Airport had been paused.
A video captured from the Coast Guard helicopter and shared by the ICO showed a stream of glowing lava snaking down the mountain, with the office adding that the lava flow is only some 1.6 miles (2.6km) away from the town of Suðurstrandarvegur.
Photos of the eruption have circulated on social media, turning the night sky red.
Authorities from Keflavik were sent to assess the situation, the ICO said, while local media reported that a Coast Guard helicopter had also been dispatched to the area, bringing along two scientists to help determine next steps.
A local government spokesperson also announced that all main roads around the volcano had been closed “so that people do not get too close.”
Located on a peninsula in southwest Iceland, the volcano sits in a seismic hotspot which has seen some 40,000 small quakes since late February, putting the region on high alert for a volcanic episode. However, as noted by a local seismologist, activity in the area “died down almost completely” in the lead-up to Friday’s eruption.
Courtesy of rt.com
Seismic monitoring has been increased at La Soufrière Volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Windward Islands, Caribbean
Photo Courtesy Of UWI volcanologists
The scientific team at The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) has increased its capacity to bolster seismic monitoring of La Soufriere Volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) through a recent donation of seismic stations and telemetry equipment from the USGS-USAID Volcano Disaster Assistance Programme (VDAP).
The donated equipment will be used to build four seismic stations and radios to enhance communications on the island.
Three of the stations are solar powered installations with posthole seismometers, which are sensors designed for subsurface installation to optimise seismic performance while minimising the cost and logistics of site setup. The fourth station is a spider seismometer—a device designed for rapid deployment in high risk locations where human exposure to hazards should be minimised e.g. volcanic craters. USGS-USAID VDAP committed the donation after receiving a request from UWI-SRC following the effusive eruption, which was first detected on December 29, 2020.
“This equipment is needed as it allows us to densify the seismic network by placing them in locations where there are significant gaps and the spider seismometer will fortify the near crater monitoring,” said UWI-SRC Instrumentation Engineer, Lloyd Lynch. In the event of escalated volcanic activity at La Soufriere, enhanced monitoring should allow our scientists to alert authorities with sufficient time to activate appropriate emergency responses such as evacuations.
Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves expressed his thanks to the UGSG VDAP and The UWI-SRC stating, “The partnership between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Seismic Research Centre (SRC) is vital in the monitoring of the La Soufriere volcano; the SRC is a tribute to our Caribbean civilisation. The contribution of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and its Volcano Disaster Assistance Programme (VDAP) to the work of the SRC in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is generous and deeply appreciated by our government and people. Multilateral support across countries in every area of human endeavour is the way forward for humanity’s further upliftment. Thanks again to USGS, VDAP, and SRC! We love you!”
The UWI-SRC in partnership with the SVG National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) continues to enhance the monitoring of the La Soufrière volcano and actively seeks partnerships to bolster not only the various networks but to engage in data collection and sharing to better understand the current activity and plan for any scenario.
Courtesy of searchlight.vc
Seismic activity and changes in Taal Volcano’s main crater lake have been observed on Monday despite the volcano under alert level 1 (abnormal), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.
In an advisory, the Phivolcs said 50 weak tremor episodes were recorded from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., occurring at shallow depths. Seismic activity describes earthquake occurrences in the volcano.
This signals increased hydrothermal activity beneath Taal Volcano island.
“Tremors are typically not recorded,” Phivolcs director Renato Solidum told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday night.
The Phivolcs recorded 68 shallow tremor episodes in the volcano island since Feb. 13.
Solidum said the main crater lake is becoming more acidic and hotter.
Local government units are advised to prepare in case of the volcano’s renewed unrest and to assess previously evacuated barangays around Taal Lake for damages.
The public is urged to observe precautions due to possible ashfall, ground displacement across fissures, and minor earthquakes in the event of a phreatic eruption.
According to the advisory, geochemical data on the main crater lake indicate continuous acidification of lakewater from a pH 2.79 to pH 1.59 between January 2020 and February 2021, an unseasonal temperature high of 77 degrees Celsius and CO2/H2S gas flux ratios consistent with shallow magma degassing.
Phivolcs said there are increased possibilities of sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, lethal accumulations, or expulsions of volcanic gas and minor ashfall from the main crater that can occur and threaten areas within the Taal Volcano island.
Entry into the island, Taal’s Permanent Danger Zone, especially the vicinities of the main crater and the Daang Kastila fissure, must remain strictly prohibited, Phivolcs added.
Pilots are advised to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircraft.
Courtesy of pna.gov.ph
Lava fountains from the bottom of the deep pit crater in Kilauea’s Halema’uma crater, from the west rim of the collapse crater (image: HVO)
A new eruption started at Kilauea volcano in the evening of 20 Dec in Hawaii (local time). The volcano observatory reported:
“Shortly after approximately 9:30 p.m. HST, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected glow within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. An eruption has commenced within Kīlauea’s summit caldera. The situation is rapidly evolving and HVO will issue another statement when more information is available.”
During the past weeks, earthquakes had been more frequent under the caldera and the upper rift zone. They likely reflected magma intrusions at shallow level.
Shortly after the new eruption, observed less than two hours ago, a magnitude 4.3 quake struck the southern flank of the volcano, about 10 miles west of Kalapana. This quake might be related as a response to the new eruption, probably causing a small southwards movement of the southern flank of Kilauea, acting as adjustment for the additional space needed of the magma intrusion in the summit area.
Courtesy of volcanodiscovery.com
New eruption of Piton de la Fournaise volcano this morning (image: OVPF/IPGP)
A new eruption started at the volcano this morning. At around 2.28 am local time, the seismic network of the observatory detected a seismic crisis, typical sign of magma pushing its way towards the surface. Other instruments detected rapid local ground deformation, another tell-tale sign of an impending eruption.
At around 4.40 am, volcanic tremor was recorded by the instruments, reflecting now a continuous flow of magma towards the surface. The first lava probably came out shortly after, at around 4.50-4.55 am. 3 fissures opened at altitude between 2190 and 2300 m on the southwestern flank of the summit cone and started to erupt small lava fountains, about 15 m tall, from a chain of vents.
The eruption has been producing multiple lava flows that started to descend slowly on the flanks. By the time of first visual observations made by scientists on an aerial survey a few hours later, the most advanced lava flow front had descended to 2120 m altitude. Given this rather low rate of advance and low height of lava fountains, the discharge rate of this eruption seems rather low compared to most previous eruptions of Piton de la Fournaise.
Today’s eruption marks the third of the volcano in 2020, after eruptions in February and April this year. It followed a period of frequent seismic unrest, last detected during the morning of 4 Dec. These preceding periods likely reflect intrusions and the recharging of shallow magma reservoirs, events that often build up to eruptions like the current one. Piton de la Fournaise is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and typically erupts several times each year.
Courtesy of volcanodiscovery.com
Incandescent avalanches from Sinabung volcano on 28 October (image: Firdaus Surbakti/twitter)
The activity of the volcano has remained essentially unchanged and characterized by pyroclastic flows over the past days.
Courtesy of volcanodiscovery.com
Taal volcano update: Eruption alert as 116 earthquakes hit Philippines volcano overnight #earthquake TaalVolcano #philippines
The Philippines volcano is showing signs of volcanic activity (Image: GETTY/UNOCHA)
The volcano alert level for Taal is 3, meaning geologists are braced for an eruption in a matter of weeks. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Alert level 3 represents a high level of volcanic unrest.
The alert is marked by sustained seismic activity, plumes of smoke belching from Taal as well as toxic gas emissions and the movement of magma underground.
On Friday, PHIVOLCS warned of 116 tremors were detected around Taal volcano in the 24 hours since midnight GMT (8am local time).
The Taal Volcano Network recorded, in addition, two low-frequency earthquakes, which could be a sign of molten rock entering the volcano.
PHIVOLCS warned: “These earthquakes signify magmatic activity beneath the Taal edifice that could lead to eruptive activity at the Main Crater.”
The agency warned the residents of Luzon Island to stay clear of the volcano in a 4.3-mile-wide radius.
Access to the danger zone is restricted in parts of Agoncillo, Laurel and Batangas.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, about 486,000 people have been affected by the erupting volcano since January 12.
On Friday, the fiery mountain sitting in the middle of Taal Lake was coughing up plumes of dirty steam and smoke.
The volcanic plumes were seen reaching heights between 1,640ft and 2,296ft, drifting in a southwest direction.
At the same time, PHIVOLCS said emissions of toxic sulphur dioxide (SO2) have dropped below instrumental detection.
Although eruptive activity has ceased since two blasts tore through Taal on January 12 and January 13 respectively, the volcano is still at risk of erupting.
Since January 12, Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) has recorded a total of 763 volcanic earthquakes around Taal.
The seismic activity was marked by fissures splitting the ground open on the southern parts of Luzon Island.
At least 177 of the quakes peaked at magnitudes between 1.2 and magnitude 4.2.
Between January 29 and January 31, the PSN recorded seven quakes between magnitude 1.7 and magnitude 2.5.
PHIVOLCS warned on Friday of more earthquakes, steam-driven eruptions, ashfall and lethal gases venting from the volcano.
The agency said: “DOST-PHIVOLCS recommends that entry into the Taal Volcano Island as well as into areas over Taal Lake and communities west of the island within a 7km radius from the Main Crater must be strictly prohibited.
“Local government units are advised to assess areas outside the 7km radius for damages and road accessibilities and to strengthen preparedness, contingency and communication measures in case of renewed unrest.
“People are also advised to observe precautions due to ground displacement across fissures, frequent ashfall and minor earthquakes.”
Riverside communities are at risk of lahars – fast-moving streams of mud, debris and volcanic ash mixed with water, particularly after heavy rainfall.
PHIVOLCS said: “Civil aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from sudden explosions and wind-remobilized ash may pose hazards to aircrafts.
“DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Taal Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately communicated to all stakeholders.”
Courtesy of express.co.uk
Yellow Alert issued due to unusual rapid inflation beneath Mt. Thorbjorn on Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland #YellowAlert #MountThorbjorn #reykjanes #iceland
The map shows recent earthquake activity in the area. Mt. Thorbjorn is situated just above the black triangle which indicates one of IMO’s seismographs.
Inflation has been detected in the last few days. An earthquake swarm has been ongoing during the same period. A state of uncertainty has been declared. The aviation color code has been raised to yellow for Reykjanes.
An inflation has been detected since January 21st and is centred just west of Mt. Thorbjorn on Reykjanes peninsula. The inflation is unusually rapid, around 3-4 mm per day and has accumulated to 2 cm to date. It has been detected both on continuous GPS stations and in InSAR images. The inflation is most likely a sign of magma accumulation at a depth of just a few km. If magma accumulation is causing the inflation, the accumulation is very small, with the first volume estimate is around 1 million cubic meters (0,001 km3). This is the conclusion of a meeting held with the Scientific council of the Civil Protection at the IMO this morning.
Accurate measurements of crustal deformation on Reykjanes peninsula span approx. three decades. During this period no comparable signal has been measured. This is unusual for this period. An earthquake swarm has been ongoing, since January 21st, alongside the deformation signal just east of the inflation centre (northeast of Grindavík). The largest earthquakes occurred on January 22nd and were of M3,7 and 3,6. They were felt widely on the Reykjanes peninsula and all the way to Borgarnes region. The earthquake swarm is currently in decline. Swarms like this are common and not unusual by itself in the area. The fact that an inflation is occurring alongside the earthquake swarm is a cause for concern and closer monitoring.
The inflation is centred within an active volcanic zone
The inflation is occurring on plate boundaries and within the volcanic system of Svartsengi which is either considered a separate system or part of the Reykjanes volcanic system. The last known eruption was during Reykjanes fires, which occurred between 1210-1240 AD. Within that period a several eruptions occurred within that system, thereof there were three eruptions in Svartsengi system. The eruptions were effusive (non-explosive) fissure eruptions erupting on 1-10 km long fissures. No explosive eruptions are known from this system. The largest eruption in the swarm, from 13th century, formed Arnarseturshraun lava (estimated 0,3 km3 and 20 km2). Historically, the duration of these eruptions spans from a few days up to several weeks. Seismic activity is very common in this area and is linked to the plate boundaries, geothermal activity and possible magma intrusions. The largest earthquakes measured in this area are about M5.5.
Courtesy of en.vedur.is
Sernageomin has raised the alert level to Orange for the first time since 2015 due to escalating seismic tremor and a more turbulent lava lake (present in some form since late 2014). Although fairly unlikely, it is possible that a repeat of the March 2015 paroxysmal event could soon occur if there is a similar trend in activity. An exclusion zone of 2km is in force.
Courtesy of volcanodiscovery.com