Sinabung: Seismicity high

At the Sinabung on Sumatra the situation comes to a head: here the seismicity increased enormously in the last days and not only debris avalanches were registered, but above all earthquakes with low frequencies. They indicate massive magma rise. Yesterday, a good 560 of these quakes were recorded. In the first 6 hours of today, there were already 239 quakes. In addition, 112 signals testified to debris avalanches. The dome is growing and the situation is becoming more and more critical!

Pacaya: Another ash cloud

Guatemalan volcano Pacaya erupted another ash cloud today. It rose to an altitude of 3000 m and drifted in a westerly direction. Yesterday INSIVUMEH reported strombolian eruptions from McKenney crater. Incandescent tephra was spewed a good 175 m above crater level. The lava flow on the southern flank reached a length of a proud 1725 m. MIROVA indicates high thermal radiation. INSIVUMEH warns not to enter the south side of the volcano. The photo was published on February 21.

Etna paroxysm no. 7 starts

Update 10:15 am: The paroxysm has already ended and only steam is emitted. The most beautiful view was probably from the north. From the south it was very hazy. The paroxysm built up very quickly and practically without warning and lasted only about 1 hour. It was the shortest paroxysm of the series so far. Since it was practically windless, the ash cloud dominated this time. Red-hot tephra was hidden by it, and less red-hot material was erupted than usual. This is also evidenced by the relatively small lava flow that entered Valle del Bove. Towards the south, no lava at all was on its way this time.

The tremor amplitude reached a high value and was even minimally higher than during the last eruption. In summary, gas pressure was high, but less magma was erupted than in the other paroxysms. The material was more fragmented. Exact data about the height of the eruption cloud are unfortunately missing so far. The VAAC Toulouse issued 2 reports, but apparently detected the eruption only during its initial phase. Likewise values about the thermal radiation are missing. But the pictures say more than a thousand words anyway.

Update 9:30 a.m.: The paroxysm is heading towards its peak, producing a breathtaking eruption cloud. The LiveCam with the best view is linked here. Below you can see the livestream from Localteam. Unfortunately it is very hazy in the south of the volcano, so the view is a bit cloudy.

Original news: 9:15 a.m.: This morning Etna is on the move with its 7th consecutive paroxysm. Without any omens, the tremor started to increase sharply and with absolutely no wind, a lava fountain is currently (9:15 am) building up along with an ash cloud. The paroxysm came much later than the statistics would have suggested. This shows once more that nature remains unpredictable in the end.

Volcano update 23.02.21: Etna paroxysm

EtnaThe 5th Etna paroxysm in direct succession was also the one that produced the strongest tremor signal. The height of the lava fountain was comparable to that of the last eruption, reaching heights of between 800 – 1000 m. Thus, this paroxysm was also among the strongest representatives of its kind. The VAAC detected volcanic ash at an altitude of 10,000 m. The tephra rained down on the volcanic flanks in the communities and meanwhile covered whole streets. Lava flows flowed in different directions. The largest flowed into the Valle del Bove. Towards the south a moderate flow was on its way and even in the northern direction some lava flowed. It is striking from the course of the tremor that there was a further peak after the actual paroxysm. The associated infrasound signals manifested themselves around 4:00 UCT. Less pronounced tremor peaks can also be detected during the last two paroxysms. Currently, the volcano has not yet calmed down completely and is emitting small ash eruptions. Intense afterglow can be seen on the thermal cams.

Etna: New paroxysm at the start

Update 9:50 a.m.: The paroxysm is now probably almost unstoppable. On the LiveCam you can already see a small lava fountain rising at the New Southeast Crater. The eruption is developing very fast and is already heading towards the peak phase. And this again in the most beautiful volcano watching weather!

Original message 9:15 a.m.: Currently, it looks as if another paroxysm is at the start at Etna in Sicily. Around 9:15 CET, not only the tremor increased significantly, but continuous strombolian eruptions started and the lava output increased significantly. Of course, the eruption can still stall, but so far it looks like a paroxysm is approaching fairly quickly.

Etna: New paroxysm on 17 February


Last night, Etna in Sicily produced another paroxysm. Virtually without warning, the tremor shot up at 21.15 UCT (22.15 CET) and already an hour later the eruption was heading towards its peak. A lava fountain was again produced from New Southeast Crater and multiple lava flows were underway. This time, the lava flowed not only into Valle del Bove, but also in a southerly direction. VAAC detected volcanic ash at an altitude of 10,000 m. The tremor amplitude was a bit larger than during the February 16 paroxysm. MIROVA registered an extremely high thermal radiation with a power of 17,000 MW! Indeed a very extreme value and I don’t remember to have seen something like that at Etna in recent times. Even now it is quite hot in the area of New Southeast Crater, which can be seen nicely on ThermalCam. In the latest Sentinel satellite photo from February 16, hot vents can be seen in all 4 summit craters.

This eruption confirms once again that it is virtually impossible to predict these paroxysms by statistics. Yesterday I postulated an eruption interval of almost 4 weeks, this time the next eruption came after 28 hours. It would not be atypical if we would see more outbreaks in the short term, but of course the break interval may lengthen again, or shorten even further.

In Our FB group, numerous media were shared again

Etna: Paroxysm of 16.02.21

After Tuesday’s paroxysm, Etna is in a hangover mood today. The tremor has fallen to a multi-week low, moving at the base of the yellow range. The tremor curve gives a good indication of how short-lived the peak phase of the paroxysm was. This one was a moderate representative of its kind: the lava fountain reached a maximum height of just over 500 m and the main phase lasted less than an hour. What made the eruption special were the good visibility conditions and that it occurred at dusk. Accordingly, many media were shared in the social networks, some of which I would like to present to you here. From a posting by volcanologist Boris Behncke, it can also be seen that not only photos and videos were shared on social media, but also a lot of fake news that worried residents of the region. As spectacular as the paroxysm looked, it was not an unusual event that heralds a major disaster like a strong earthquake, or a flank eruption. A flank eruption will of course occur again sooner or later on Etna, and the Damocles sword of a strong earthquake always hovers over Sicily, but there is no direct link between yesterday’s eruption and possible tectonic earthquakes in Sicily.

Semeru: Lahar swept away car

A lahar formed at the Javanese volcano Semeru the day before yesterday. The mud flow swept away a car and sank it in a riverbed near the village of Supiturang. The parked car was on a small path at the edge of the river and was loaded with diesel for mining machinery. The driver was in the sand mine on the slope of the volcano and remained uninjured. However, the fuel is believed to have been released and is polluting the environment. Sand mines are found at many volcanoes in Indonesia. Here volcanic sand is extracted, but also gravel for road construction.

Lahars are formed when water (usually as a result of heavy rainfall) mobilizes volcanic deposits on the slope.

Semeru has been particularly active again since early February. The VSI registers about 80 seismic eruption signals daily, but also volcanic tremor.

Merapi: Second lava dome grows

VSI volcanologists report that during recent fieldwork at the summit of Merapis, they discovered a second lava dome in the crater of Merapis. It is growing in the central area of the crater and is only slightly offset to the south. Due to cloud cover, the researchers were unable to determine the volume of the new dome. It is still supposed to be quite small. But in the future pyroclastic flows could flow in a direction that has been spared from them until now. Until now, it was mainly places in the southwest of the volcano that were threatened. Hanik, the head of the local disaster protection, explained that now not only Kali Boyong, Krasak, Putih, Bedog and Bebeng are threatened, but also the region around Kali Gendol.

At last, new data on the dome so far have also been published: its volume is 117,000 cubic meters, with a daily growth rate of 13,000 cubic meters. Pyroclastic flows and debris avalanches have recently been greater than the growth rate, so the dome has lost more volume than it has gained. In fact, the data are similar to those last communicated 2 years ago.

Etna: Bocca Nuova fills up

A new video documenting the activity of Bocca Nuova has been shared in our Facebook group. It was taken from the crater rim and shows that strombolian activity from this crater is more intense than one might expect from below. A cone is forming above the western vent and hornitos are growing above two other vents further east. Tephra fills a good part of the crater, overlying lava flows from last winter. MIROVA records high thermal radiation with a power of 214 MW. The high thermal radiation is caused either by a lot of incandescent tephra, or by a small lava flow. In addition, a magnitude 2.5 earthquake occurred today, with the hypocenter located at a depth of 3.9 km. The epicenter was located 1.4 km northwest of Monte Centenari. This cinder cone is located in the Valle del Bove. Since yesterday, the INGV registered 10 earth tremors. Unusually many quakes had magnitudes from 2.0.