Saturday, August 23, 2008

Indonesian volcano erupts 120 times in one day

Mt Anak Krakatau in the Sunda strait had 120 eruptions and quakes throughout Monday, prompting the Volcanological and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centger to declare the volcano and its surroundings in level-2 alert status.

"Even now the volcano is still spewing red-hot lava and thick smoke," monitoring personnel in Pasuruan village, Cinangka subdistrict, Serang regency, said. However, the frequency of the eruptions and quakes had been declining compared to those in the last two days.

For the time being, unless the volcano`s activities picked up, the area are safe for tourists, but only in a radius of one kilometer form the center of the eruptions.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mt. Mayon shows signs of activity

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in Bicol allayed fears of a major explosion after Mayon Volcano in Albay province spewed ash Sunday morning, following two years of inactivity.

Over the past 24 hours, volcanologists detected an explosion-type earthquake with no visual observation of ash-ejection, six low-frequency earthquakes and 12 harmonic tremors, the latest Phivolcs bulletin on Monday said.

Alex Baloloy, senior science research analyst at the Phivolcs Mayon observatory in Daraga, Albay, said the volcano had been showing "abnormal" or "increased" activity indicating the ascent of "magma" inside the volcano.

Phivolcs said steam and ash explosions may occur in the following days.

Baloloy added that precise leveling surveys conducted on Mt. Mayon's slopes showed swelling of up to 12 millimeters on its edifice.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda ordered Monday all human activity, such as mountain climbing and farming, stopped within the six-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone.

Salceda said that as of 2006, when Mt. Mayon last erupted, there were 1,400 farmers within the permanent danger zone.

The governor alerted municipal disaster coordinating councils to take precautionary measures to avoid any casualties should the volcano act up.

The dried-up lava front in gullies at the foot of the volcano became tourist attractions early this year. But disaster officials warned the public to keep out.

Baloloy said people should avoid gullies and lahar paths while the volcano shows abnormal behavior.

The ash column of Sunday’s explosion, which lasted for about one minute, reached an estimate of 200 meters above the summit crater before drifting east-northeast of the volcano.

Alert level No. 1 remains hoisted over the 2,462-meter-high Mt. Mayon, which is vying for a spot in the New Seven Wonders of Nature online search.

Alaska: Not all volcanoes display some activity!

A moderate earthquake occurred Saturday near the Kasatochi Volcano in the Aleutian Islands.
The earthquake, which was picked up by instruments monitoring the Kasatochi Volcano, had a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 and was centered 84 miles southwest of Adak.

The volcano began erupting last Thursday. After the last several days where the volcano was producing large ash clouds, it quieted on Saturday to the point where devices on nearby Great Sitkin Island about 25 miles away could not detect any activity, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

However, the observatory kept the alert color code level at red Saturday until it can be determined that eruptions had declined.

A large drifting cloud from previous ash emissions continued to be observed by satellite.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service on Saturday issued an ashfall advisory for the eastern Aleutian Islands, including the cities of Unalaska and Nikolski.

The ash advisory was to remain in effect until midnight Sunday.

It was issued as a result of continued eruptions from the Okmok Volcano, which began erupting July 12 and is located about 65 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor. Seismic activity at Okmok increased Saturday morning, lasting about an hour before settling back down.

Ash was moving in a southeastward direction from the volcano.

Light ashfall was expected on Unalaska Island, west of Dutch Harbor.

The Cleveland Volcano, which began erupting July 21, was quiet on Sunday with no observable ash cloud.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Alaskan volcano erupts!

Kasatochi Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands erupted explosively Aug. 7, sending an ash plume more than 35,000 feet into the air and forcing two biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to evacuate the island.

"Kasatochi went from a quiet volcano to an explosive eruption within 24 hours and with very little warning," said USGS volcano scientist Marianne Guffanti. "We are thankful our colleagues were able to get out before the eruption began. They were rescued just in time by a local fishing boat."
Related Podcasts

Kasatochi is the third volcano to erupt in the Aleutian Islands in three weeks. Okmok Volcano erupted unexpectedly and explosively on July 12, followed by Cleveland Volcano, 100 miles away, on July 21. Both volcanoes sent ash plumes skyrocketing and caused commercial airline flights to be diverted or cancelled.

Scientists relied on seismic instruments on other volcano networks in the area to detect activity at Kasatochi volcano.

"Fortunately, the existing seismic networks on nearby volcanoes picked up the activity at Kasatochi volcano," said Tom Murray, scientist-in-charge of the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO). "They were installed with funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to reduce the hazard to aviation from volcanic ash. These networks were crucial in recognizing that this volcano had entered the first stage of a major eruption."

"Our hope is to have monitoring equipment on all volcanoes that pose the greatest threats to public safety," said Guffanti. "Satellite imagery is useful to see the big picture of what is happening and what is going into the atmosphere. But direct instrumentation, such as placing seismic monitors around a volcano, will help give an early warning and give people more time to plan for hazardous events."

Scientists are working around the clock to monitor the volcanoes and keep the public and emergency responders informed.

Listen to a podcast interview with Guffanti at You can learn about the USGS Volcano Hazards Program at

The AVO is a partnership of the USGS, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. Information about all of the current volcanic eruptions in Alaska including activity statements, images, background materials and related hazards can be found at the AVO home page:

USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit

Subscribe to USGS News Releases via our
electronic mailing list or RSS feed.

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Active volcanoes are monitored by WiMAX sensors!

A WiMAX-based connection to the internet will enable real-time monitoring of potentially dangerous active volcanoes. For effective monitoring of volcanic activity, scientists want to know what is happening in real time, not the pattern of events last week. For many remote volcanoes, that has just not been possible. Now, a new system, intended to monitor activity around Mount Vesuvius in Italy and at volcanoes in Iceland, offers a major step forward in real-time communications.

In Iceland, scientists have been driving to their remote volcanic monitoring stations about once a week in order to download the data from the station hard disk and then returning to their laboratories to analyse it. The new monitoring system can deliver around 75 megabits of data remotely per second over a WiMAX wireless connection.

The WiMAX system offers a robust, high-quality connection. Transmitting rich data like this, it is very important not to lose any of it, suggests Enrico Argori, a leading researcher on the WEIRD project that developed the monitoring system. “WiMAX is the cheapest channel… to do this, and it is the channel that can deliver the best quality of service.”

The monitoring system does not swamp the airwaves with useless data. Only when significant activity occurs will the monitoring system communicate data. And critical transmissions can be protected from interference. Bandwidth can be reserved using a protocol called DIAMETER, that identifies data traffic and prioritises information from the volcanic monitoring centre to ensure communications are not blocked by lower-priority data traffic, such as messaging.

Though far from a new technology, the WEIRD research team has managed to extend WiMAX’s resilience and flexibility.

WEIRD agents on the job

The monitoring system includes a series of features that are important for the future integration of WiMAX with other wireless and telecommunications systems we use. The WEIRD team seamlessly integrated WiMAX with a range of other network technologies to enable high-quality, end-to-end communication, regardless of the route it takes.

WEIRD developed software that exploits the advantages of ‘next-generation networks’. NGNs layer information, decoupling the applications from the underlying transport stratum. Whatever the underlying network, the volcano monitoring signals will be relayed in full from end to end.

Not all applications are designed to run on next-generation networks. For these, the research team built a series of adaptors – known as WEIRD agents or WEIRD application programming interfaces – that allowed non-NGN applications to take advantage of the boosted quality of service and seamless mobility features of the wireless volcano-monitoring system.

WiMAX is being viewed more and more as a complementary, rather than competing, technology to existing wireless communication access channels, such as wifi and mobile telephony services. So, the successful seamless integration of WiMAX via ‘media-independent handover’ is an important step forward.

Pan, zoom… trouble

An important feature of WEIRD’s monitoring system is not that it is technically possible but that it can be practically applied by non-communications specialists.

Software was developed that hides the complexity of the configuration of end-to-end communication channels, whatever the different equipment or different versions of WiMAX used. It means that a member of the monitoring team can quickly and easily establish an end-to-end communication path without specialist training, allowing them to concentrate on what is vitally important at the time – their monitoring job.

Bi-directionality was also tested in this setting, meaning that the volcano monitors can pan or zoom onto a potential trouble spot with the remote cameras, as well as receive signals from them.
“The main part of our work is to make it easy for end-users [to benefit] from new technologies like WiMAX,” explains another member of the WEIRD research team, Giuseppe Martufi.
WEIRD received funding from the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for research.

This article was originally published by
ICT Results.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Soufrière Hills spits up ashes!

Since July 27, Soufrière Hills volcano has been spitting out ashes but no pyroclastic flows has been happening yet. This volcano is located in the Caribbeans, on the Montesserat island.

Indonesian volcano breaks record amount of eruptions

Mount Anak Krakatau which lies off the western tip of Java Island saw 522 eruptions on Tuesday, spewing clouds of gravel and toxic gas.

"That`s why officers are banning visitors from climbing the volcano because it is still spewing clouds of gravel," chief of the Anak Krakatau monitoring post Anton Tripambudi said on Tuesday.He said the officers only advised visitors to stay at a distance of one kilometer from the volcano to avoid hot clouds of gravel which reaches up to 1,500 degrees Celsius.

The Bandung-based Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) lowered the volcano`s status to the second alert level on July 3.But he said the volcano showed signs of increased activity over the past few days as the newly formed crater in the volcano`s southern hill was getting larger.

"On Tuesday, the number of eruptions together with volcanic earthquakes were on the increase compared to 435 two days ago," Anton said.

Alaskan volcanic eruption slows down but still on red alert!

Okmok Volcano settled down a bit Sunday, one day after triggering a red alert by spewing water, debris and gas 25,000 feet into the air.

A red alert remained in place Sunday for the Aleutian Island volcano, but seismic activity had slowed considerably.

Instead of duplicating Saturday's nearly continuous volcanic tremor, Okmok was erupting about every 10 to 15 minutes, according to an Alaska Volcano Observatory Center report.

Sunday's ash plume rose 12,000 feet.

Clouds prevented scientists from getting many images of the volcano on Sunday, said Melissa Pfeffer, a geochemist at the observatory.

The volcano, which is about 850 miles away from Anchorage and about 60 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, began erupting July 12.

When it became more active Saturday, the observatory issued a red alert to warn pilots in the area to be wary of ash.

Dutch Harbor has received a light sprinkling of dust in recent days, but the plume is traveling southeast and is dropping most of its ash in the North Pacific, Pfeffer said.

As a result, the eruption isn't affecting air travel too much in the area, the Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday.

Jennifer Aldeman, an observatory geologist, said Saturday the increased activity could be a signal that even more powerful bursts are coming.

The 3,500-foot volcano last erupted in 1997. An 1817 eruption destroyed an Aleut village, according to the observatory.

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