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GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for December 29, 2010-January 4, 2011

Yes, it is time for the first Smithsonian/USGS Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report of the new year. Well, not entirely of the new year, but we can count it anyway. As usual, it is packed with good stuff … and I’ve even added something many of you will find quite interesting in my write up on Kilauea below. Be sure to check it out!

Some highlights from this week’s report:

Manam, Papau New Guinea: In our first report in a while from the remote PNG volcano, Manam has been producing some vigorous incandescent explosions with ash plumes, albeit small ones in the hundreds-of-meters range. 

Fuego, Guatemala: The activity at Fuego continues, with explosions that have produced small ash plumes that dusted towns as far as 12 km from the vent with ash. The explosions at the crater were “almost constant” from December 29-30 and minor avalanches occurred on the volcano’s slopes as well.

Kilauea, Hawai`i: Lava flows are the order of the day at the Pacific volcano (shocking, eh?) The Kilauea’s lava lake in the Halema`uma`u Crater continues to sit ~120 m below the rim of the crater but the glow from the lava could be seen from the Jaggar Museum at night. A number of new breakouts occurred in the East Rift Zone as well. However, for you Hawaiian volcanoes enthusiasts, the USGS just released (for free as a PDF) a new report called “Eruptions of Hawaiian Volcanoes – Past, Present and Future”. That seems like a great late Christmas present from the USGS, doesn’t it? {Hat tip to Cian Dawson for pointing out the new report to me.}

Machín, Colombia: A number of Eruptions readers mentioned that more rumblings have been noticed at Machín, a small dome complex (see top left – click on it to see a larger version of the image) in central Colombia. Over 360 earthquakes were recorded at Machín over the last week starting on December 31, most below M2.1 and between 2.5-4.5 km depth. Due to this activity, the alert status was moved to Yellow. The last eruption at Machin was ~1180 AD.


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