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Eruption Update: The Kamoamoa Fissure on Kilauea, lake heating at Ruapehu, quiet times in Alaska and more!

The eruptions have been coming nonstop this week. Much of the news has been Hawaii-centric—for good reason—but there has been volcanic activity around the globe as well. 

Hard to believe that it is only Wednesday, but the eruptions have been coming nonstop it seems. This week has been very Hawaii-centric – and for good reason. The now-christened Kamoamoa Fissure eruption has been impressive to say the least and marks a dramatic change in the eruptive activity at Kilauea. There is still plenty of opportunity to check out the activity – or just watch what you can live from your home (see webcam capture above from Eruptions reader Lurking). HVO’s latest update says the effusion rates are still high along parts of the fissure and some of the lava flows are approaching 1 km in length, so at least right now, it seems like the place to be for lava on the Big Island.

However, there is other items of interest I’ve run into this week! 

New Zealand: A few of you noted that GeoNet in New Zealand has updated the status of Ruapehu – the Alert Status remains at 1 (above background), however they do have a report on the crater lake at the volcano. A new heating cycle has begun on the volcano, with water in the lake now at a balmy 40C – and combined with seismicity, gas output, deformation and water chemistry, the signs all point towards a new heating cycle for Ruapehu, the eight since the crater lake returned after the 1995-96 eruptive activity.

Alaska: There has been some chatter about anything going on at Redoubt – the dome has a steam plume over the last few days (see below) and the webicorders have seemed a touch jumpier than normal. I would venture to guess this is all within normal operating parameters for the volcano, and AVO still has the volcano on Green (lowest) Alert Status. In fact, it is awfully quiet across the whole of the Aleutians, with only Cleveland above Green Status – and even there, it sits at Yellow, the second lowest alert. There is a waxing and waning of activity, it seems, at many arcs and right now – unlike 2008-09 when we have eruptions from Redoubt, Cleveland, Okmok, Kasatochi – the Aleutians are having a lie down, it appears.

A webcam capture of Redoubt in Alaska as seen on March 9, 2011.

Philippines:PHIVOLCS released a report of increased seismic and fumarolic activity at Mayon. Recall that Mayon has been fairly quiet since its last burst of activity at the end of 2009 and early 2010. The crater area also has a “fair glow” at night according to the report, showing that hot lava is still near the surface at the volcano.

Indonesia: Over in Indonesia, it looks like the activity at Bromo is up as well. A brief report from the area mentions that the volcano erupted 58 times (not sure if this just means 58 explosions) on March 7 alone. Gede Suantika from PVMBG says the 2-km exclusion zone is still in place, but local residents are saying that “foreign tourists have started to come” to see the activity. (Thanks to Twitter user ikmar for reminding me to check the Bromo news).

Three Miles Below the Surface: If you want some brief entertainment, check out this trailer for “Crack in the World” (link fixed!). I have to admit, we watched the full length film last night and it, well, has some interesting ideas about how the Earth works … to say the least (but at least there are “daring scientists”).


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