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GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for March 9-15, 2011

It has been a busy couple weeks geologically – and somehow I missed last week’s Global Volcanism Program report, so I thought I’d put a brief update with this week’s.

Before we get there, a couple brief updates:

1. Commenting seems to be working again, so that’s good news.

2. As a recommendation to all, whenever disasters occur there is always the temptation to think the worst will follow – and most of the time, it doesn’t. If you are not in the thick of it, there can be the fascination with what might happen if the worst-case scenario does unfold, however such fascinations border on the macabre. I’m not saying we shouldn’t discuss these scenarios, just that it is sometimes good to step back, take a deep breath and to look on the bright side. In Japan, it is remarkable how many people have been rescued and how the death toll will likely not be on the same scale of Haiti or Indonesia. Any volcanic activity after the quake has been from volcanoes already erupting before the earthquake – and the aftershocks are something to be expected from a large earthquake such as the Mw9.0 Sendai earthquake. Sometimes it does seem like nature will add insult to injury, but be careful to not get to wrapped up in expecting (or subconsciously wanting) the worst.

Anyway, off my soapbox. On to this week’s Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report. Some highlights (beyond Karangetang, Kilauea and Kirishima) include:

Santa Maria: The Santiaguito dome on Santa Maria in Guatemala continues to be noisy. After several small pyroclastic flows last week, the volcano’s collapsing summit dome produced more pyroclastic flows and small ash plumes (~1 km / 3,200 foot).

Kamchatka: The volcanoes of the far eastern Russian peninsula have been busy as usual. Karymsky, Shiveluch and Kizimen all produced significant (>4 km / 13,000 foot) ash plumes. Combined with thermal anomalies seen at the volcanoes, it looks like dome extrusion is in full effect in Kamchatka.

Top left: An undated image of the Santianguito Dome Complex on Santa Maria in Guatemala.


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