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Friday Eruption Update: Kirishima, Bromo, Galeras, Kizimen, Colima and more!

This has been one busy week, both volcanically and personally, so I’m going to try not to write another three posts today. So, instead, let’s try to summarize all the action from the week and get in a few words about some events that were missed in the Yellowstone and Kirishima noise.

Kirishima: And as soon as I say that, I start with Kirishima… and why not? Eruptions reader and volcano-chaser James Reynolds is on the ground in Japan and has sent some great images of the volcano in action (see below) where you can see the dark grey ash plume and some small ash flows coming out of the crater. We also have some video from the eruption as well, an eruption that seems to be calming down some since the crescendo on Wednesday and Thursday. Flights, trains, school and business have all been cancelled or closed in the area of Miyazaki due to the ash and tephra fall from the volcano, although there is still no threat to populated areas beyond the nuisance of ash. You can definitely find some great images of the eruption taken from people/media near Kirishima, some that show some lightning climbing up the ash plume. The NASA Earth Observatory posted an image of the eruption captured yesterday from Terra’s MODIS camera where you can see the plume drifting off to the southeast over the island. We’ll all be keeping a close watch on Kirishima (seventh from the bottom on right hand menu) and its Shimnoe-dake cone over the weekend to see how this eruption progresses.

Kirishima erupting on January 28, 2011. Image courtesy of James Reynolds, click here to see the original.

Bromo: Over in Indonesia, the new ash explosions from Tengger Caldera’s Bromo vent continue to cause flight cancellations for air traffic heading to Bali. All of this activity is still not considered a major eruption of the volcano, but the increased activity combined with the weather patterns over the region make for a VAAC advisory for flights coming in especially from Australia.

Galeras: The Colombian volcano has been moved to orange alert status  due to a sharp increase in seismicity under active Galeras. The earthquakes were described by INGEOMINAS scientists as “screw-shaped,” or tornillos, which are indicative of magma moving up the system, thus their announcement that an eruption is likely in days to weeks. This means that evacuations of ~8,000 people living near the volcano have begun. Galeras was one of four Colombian volcanoes on yellow alert status before this uptick in seismicity.

Volcanoes from space!: Somehow in the hectic nature of the week I didn’t get a chance to point out three new images over at theNASA Earth Observatory. First, there was a gorgeous image of Colima in Mexico, with beautifully lava flows draping its flanks and a weak plume from the summit crater. Second, the plume from Kizimen in Kamchatka was also captured with the ash on the white snow to the southeast of the volcano. Finally, there was a shot of a snow-covered Russian caldera system on Onekotan Island in the Kurils off western Russia. Nemo Peak, Tao-Rusyr and Krenitzyn Peak volcanoes all stand out on this image of the remote island.

And everything else…: There have been a number of little blurbs out there too about explosions at Kilauea, small earthquakes at Mount St. Helens and relative quiet at Arenal (spanish, pdf). And remember, you can watch a lot of this activity live on one of the many volcano webcams around the planet. All in all, quite a week. If you want to try to keep up with all this activity, be sure to check out this week’s Smithsonian/USGS GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report. I don’t event Sally’s job next week to wrap up all the activity from this week.

{A special thanks, as usual, to all the Eruptions readers who provided me with many of the links in this post.}

Top left: Another shot of Kirishima erupting on January 28, 2011. Image courtesy of James Reynolds.


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