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Monday Musings: Galeras rumbles, a dome on Mayon, Kilauea lava flows and Sakurajima from space

Busy weekend in volcanoes, with Galeras heading towards a potential eruption, a new dome at Mayon, spectacular ocean entries in Hawai’i and images of Sakurajima’s ash plume.

All the news to start the week:

Galeras with a grey ash-and-steam plume behind Pasto, Colombia.

  • Well, after my article on Friday about Colombian volcanoes, Galeras must have decided it was left out. The volcano has been placed back at alert level Orange/II (eruption in days to weeks). An increase in seismicity and sulfur dioxide emissions (in spanish) prompted INGEOMINAS to put Galeras back on higher alert, but now the country has two volcanoes (Galeras and Huila) that could be erupting in the near future.
  • Back in the Philippines, there is new evidence that Mayon has a new dome forming at the summit. At this point, it is unclear to PHIVOLCS whether the dome is exposed at the surface or a cryptodome pushing material up at the crater rim, but a forthcoming aerial survey will hopefully offer new details on the dome. If it is a new dome exposed at the crater rim, this might signal a new threat of dome-collapse block-and-ash flows from Mayon. However, both sulfur dioxide emissions and seismicity is down at the volcano – the former potentially being a bad sign (SO2 emissions went down before the eruption of Pinatubo in 1991) and the later might be just an ephemeral event. The volcano is still at Alert Level 2.
  • And nothing like some nice video of a night-time ocean entry at Kilauea. The article also has a nice map of the October lava flows from the Hawaiian volcano.
  • Finally, I was sent this image of Sakurajima by the kind folks at the NASA Earth Observatory. It shows the wispy steam-and-ash plume drifting off to the west of the Japanese volcano on this Terra/MODIS image. Apparently most of the haze in the image is from China rather than the steaming volcano.

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