Very brief update as I spent all day in the Department of Geological Science at Michigan State and gave a talk so, I'm a bit exhausted (but thanks for a nice visit). However, I did see this news on Taal: PHIVOLCS has raised the alert status at the Philippine caldera to Level 2 and warned of the potential of an eruption. The evidence of a potential eruption include:
- Increasing seismicity that appears to also be getting shallower, with 21 earthquakes in the last 24 hours, all within 1-4 km of the surface (and some directly under Volcanic Island in the Taal caldera lake.
- Carbon dioxide emissions have risen to 4,760 tonnes/day in late March, a four-fold increase from a month earlier.
- The volcano has inflated in February.
- Steaming has intensified at vents in the caldera as well.
All of these signs have PHIVOLCS concerned (and rightly so) that magma might be rising towards the surface. The Philippine government has put the Main Crater, Daang Kastila Trail and Mt. Tabaro off limits as a result of this increased alert status.
Taal has been restless for the better part of a year now, but no eruption as occurred there since 1977 - if you're curious about the results of a potential eruption, please check of the PHIVOLC hazard map for Taal. The volcano sounds like it is well worth watching if these indications of an eruption continue.