Volcanic updates: Eruptions of Kilauea (Hawaii), Ambae (Vanuatu), multiple Indonesian volcanoes, Villarica (Chile), and Wai-O-Tapu (New Zealand)


The volcanic update for July 20-22, 2018. Have a nice sunday everyone… And take care! Be ready! Get prepared!

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Villarica volcano is filling up and getting ready for the next big eruption Picture taken on July 21st by Javier Sepúlveda / via La Voz de Pucon

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Fissure 8 continues to erupt lava into the channel leading northeastward from the vent. Overnight UAV flights were grounded due to weather. The most vigorous ocean entry is located a few hundred meters northeast of the southern flow margin with a few tiny pahoehoe toes were entering the ocean from the Kapoho Bay lobe to the north. The southern margin of the flow remains about 500 m (0.3 mi) from the boat ramp at Isaac Hale Park.

No other fissures are active this morning. But a new report from USGS says the volcano could erupt for two years:

Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountain at Fissure 8 continue to fall downwind of the fissure, dusting the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the vent. High winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

The most recent map of lava flows can be found here.

HVO field crews are on site tracking activity as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Observations are also collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130; no changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted for several days.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high. VOG information can be found here.

The ocean entry is a hazardous area

The interaction of lava with the ocean creates “laze”, a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that drifts downwind and can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. Close to the ocean entry, flying debris from explosive interaction between lava and water is a primary hazard. Additionally, submarine magma-water interaction can result in explosive activity beyond the visible lava delta, creating a hazard that extends offshore. The lava delta is unstable because it is built up to 800 m (0.5 mi) from the former coastline on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea.

Magma continues to be supplied to the Lower East Rift Zone. Seismicity remains relatively low although higher amplitude tremor is occasionally being recorded on seismic stations close to the ocean entry.

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Kilauea East rift zone – map of the flow of the fissure 8 and entries at sea – Map from HVO-USGS

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible at any time. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should remain informed and heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

The last collapse event occurred at 4:36 p.m. HST Thursday (July 19). Seismicity at the summit decreased immediately following the event and is now back to 20-35 earthquakes per hour. The next collapse event is expected this morning. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halemaʻumaʻu continues in response to the ongoing subsidence at the summit.

Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit are very low. This gas and minor amounts of ash resuspended by wind are being transported downwind. Small bursts of ash and gas may coincide with the summit collapse events. The summit region is occasionally impacted by sulfur dioxide from the lower East Rift Zone eruption.

Source: HVO-USGS

The alert level for Ambae volcano (Vanuatu) has been raised to 3

Ambae volcano is in the minor eruption state. The Volcanic Alert Level is raised to Level 3 .

The volcanic eruption at Ambae confined inside the Lake Voui is consistent with the Volcanic Alert Level 3. Scientific analyses confirm that the current activity is similar to the volcanic activity of March 2018 with more and sustained emissions of volcanic ashes. The possibility of imminent increasing activity is low. The Danger Zone for life safety is now limited at 3 km radius from the active vent and areas located in the Yellow Zone.

Observations flights on 13th and 20th July 2018 confirm the activity at the volcano is only occurring in one of the summit crater lakes (Lake Voui) and is not changing.

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Ambae volcano Alert raised to 3 by Vanuatu authorities. Map of the safety zones.

The local population from Ambae and from neighbouring island can hear rumbling, volcanic explosions from volcano, smelt volcanic gases, see volcanic ash and gas plume and glows over the mountain at night.

Significant impact of ashes and gases emission to villages at Ambae started in March 2018, when the Volcanic Alert level was raised to Level 3. With the drop of the volcanic activity in May, the Alert Level was lowered to Level 2 in June. Observations of the current activity are consistent with the Alert Level 3 activity. Level 3 indicates ‘Minor eruption; Danger is now at 3 km around the volcanic vents and areas inside the Yellow Zone’ The possibility that the Ambae volcano activity escalate to the level of moderate eruption is moderate to low.

Source: VGO

Volcanic updates for some of the active Indonesian volcanoes

An eruption marked the Agung volcano on July 21, 2018 at 11:49. It was accompanied by a plume of ash and gas rising up to 1,500 meters above the summit, and drifting towards the west.

Anak Krakatau, in alert level 2 and VONA orange, has entered a new high and intense explosive activity since June 18, 2018.

At Merapi volcano, white fumaroles, measuring about ten meters, have been reported in the crater.

The Kerinci volcano, considered the highest point of Sumatra, is envelopped by a thick and white plume of gas and vapor, rising 400-500 meters above the summit. Its last eruption occurred beginning of June 2018.

Sources: Magma Indonesia

Villarica volcanic activity increases in Chile

volcanic updates, volcanic news, volcano news, volcano july 2018, ambae volcanic unrest july 2018
Villarica volcano is filling up and getting ready for the next big eruption Picture taken on July 21st by Javier Sepúlveda / via La Voz de Pucon

According to the latest news, the magma is rising again in the main crater. It is again possible to observe the source of incandescence and lava splashing from the edges of the crater.

This may be the first signs of a major eruption… Like that in 2015, you remeber:

Source: Povi,  Fundación Volcanes de Chile

Rare mud eruption south of Wai-O-Tapu / Roturoa, New Zealand

A rare occasional mud eruption with a duration of about 40 seconds was observed south of Wai-O-Tapu / Roturoa, New Zealand.

The volcanic geothermal site is considered to be New Zealand’s “Mini-Yellowstone” and is home to hot springs, and bubbling mud pools.

Source: Brad Scott / GNS via NZ Herald

New volcanoes are erupting daily. The next one could just around your corner. So just be ready and take care!

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