Meanwhile, at Kilauea . . .

Update, November 24, 2018, 7:26 a.m., Pacific: Per the volcanologists, who kindly replied by email, this cloud coming out of the caldera, captured on the cam shot (below), was:

Volcanic gases — visibility of plume is more pronounced in early mornings and evenings when warm gases condense as they are released into cooler air temperatures. See this week’s Volcano Watch article for more info:

We, outside Hawaii, forget that the air cools down more there, this time of year, just like where we are.

Check out the article: it turns out that local people are still dealing with a sulfur smell, only this time it’s the “rotten-egg” smell. Pelee, that’s not polite!

New featured image: Rainbow in Kilauea Iki crater this summer, by Heath Cajandig, CC BY 2.0

Update, 8:34 p.m., Pacific: Well, this is weird. Per the 6:59 p.m. note below, all is clear per VAAC; no updates on the HVO web page (linked in original post) or the Hawaii CD tweets; nothing on KHNL.

And yet I saw this on the summit cam; fortunately I saved it, because the next cam update was a black screen (night time, nothing unusual–all the other cams were already black).


It’s difficult for experts and impossible for a layperson to tell what’s going on in such scenes from just one static image, especially with such lighting. That could conceivably be weather (note the cloudy sky), but it seems to be coming up out of the summit caldera.

Well, we can but wait and see . . . and send an email to the “ask HVO” hotline. Will pass along any replies.

Update, 6:59 p.m., Pacific: About four hours ago, the VAAC issued an all-clear. No other changes; Kilauea remains at Yellow aviation code. We’ll see what HVO says in its next weekly update.

Yes, Kilauea is monitored very closely, and not just because of its Lower East Rift Zone eruption earlier this year. It’s the #1 most hazardous volcano in the US.

Original post:

Washington VAAC reports possible volcanic ash emission, perhaps mostly steam, extending 5 nautical miles from summit. HVO hasn’t updated or issued a VAN (Volcanic Activity Notice) yet. I looked at the webcams, and saw nothing that looked like remobilized volcanic ash from this year’s earlier eruptions. Nothing about it yet on the Hawaii CD Twitter feed or KHNL, either.

Here’s the current webcam view at Pu’u O’o:

That may just be typical for this empty crater in the middle of the Lower East Rift Zone just now.

All of those links are given so you can follow this, too. It doesn’t seem like a sudden return of eruptive activity at Kilauea, but you never know. Will add any significant changes today below, if any occur.

Featured image: geralt at Pixabay.


Popocatepetl Crater Overflight This Morning

This is also in the Popocatepetl updates (see link at top of page), but it’s awesome enough to share in a separate post, too.

The volcanologists say the dome is 250 meters (roughly 820 feet) by 30 meters (98 feet) and has a volume of 1.5 million cubic meters/530 million cubic feet. Extrusion rate is 31 cubic meters/1,100 cubic feet per second. (Again, this type of volcano has “sticky” gray lava, not “runny” red lava like Kilauea.)

Per CENAPRED’s post this morning (via Google Translate and my own translation, with added link)

In the last 25 years of activity of the Popocatépetl volcano, 80 domes have formed; the recording of their growth and subsequent destruction has been possible thanks to the overflights made with the support of the Ministry of the Navy and the Federal Police.

In addition to the overflights, it should be noted that the monitoring of the Popocatépetl volcano includes seismic, geochemical, geodetic monitoring, remote sensor image analysis, etc.

The National Center for Disaster Prevention issues a bulletin [here it is in English] every 24 hours on the activity of the Popocatépetl volcano 365 days a year. Any change in the activity of the volcano is communicated in a timely manner by the official accounts of Civil Protection @PcSegob.

Of note, here is a time-lapse video of four webcams showing Popo this moring; of course the scale is too big to see the helicopter.

Per G. K. Chesterton, 114 years ago: Fight the thing that you fear.

Meanwhile, in Alaska . . .

Update, November 22, 2018, 12:51 p.m., Pacific: Happy Thanksgiving! Also, AVO has decreased the alert level back to Orange, as Veniaminof’s ash emissions have decreased in intensity, though they continue (along with the flowing red lava.

Original post:

This was a Sunday Morning Volcano back in October, with a beautiful video of a molten flow down the volcano’s steep flank. Some volcanoes are capable of both Hawaiian-style “red lava” and explosive “gray lava” activity.

Veniaminof is way out in the Aleutian chain, though close to some small communities. The major problem with this and any Alaskan volcano’s typical eruptive activity–not talking extreme stuff like Novarupta/Katmai last century–is that aviation great-circle routes pass overhead and carry lots of traffic.

Here is the VAAC list of advisories Continue reading

Popocatepetl is Putting on a Show

If we once realize all this earth as it is, we should find ourselves in a land of miracles: we shall discover a new planet at the moment that we discover our own.
— G. K. Chesterton, in “In Defence of Planets”

Starting on the afternoon of the 20th, this volcano–around which some 25 million people live, most of them in Mexico City and Puebla State–began showing strong tremor. Then activity picked up, but not to catastrophic levels, fortunately.

Popo has been erupting now for 24 years and I’ve been live-blogging it here since a little earlier this year. (You can also click on the “Popocatepetl” tab at the top of this page.)

Tonight, because of the bright moonlight, I suppose, they switched the webcam to natural color and I grabbed the screenshot above.

Science and art are just two sides of the same planet.

These videos are challenging to embed, but here it is; let’s give it a try.

Update, November 21, 2018, 1:05 p.m., Pacific: To complete the customary planetary daily circle, just wanted to include this time-lapse video shared by CENAPRED in this morning’s update (you can find these here, in English).

Goood morning, Popocatepetl!:

Featured image: Webcams de Mexico

Mount St. Helens Isn’t Erupting

That’s resuspended ash from earlier eruptions.

Yes, volcanoes can still be hazardous decades after they erupt. Several weeks ago, the Alaska Volcano Observatory noted resuspended ash from an eruption up there 106 years ago!

DTG: 20181014/1620Z


PSN: N4611 W12210


SUMMIT ELEV: 8363 FT (2549 M)

ADVISORY NR: 2018/004



OBS VA DTG: 14/1612Z

OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL090 N4614 W12215 – N4614 W12208
– N4609 W12208 – N4610 W12216 – N4614 W12215 MOV
W 20-25KT

FCST VA CLD +6HR: 14/2200Z SFC/FL090 N4615 W12216
– N4613 W12208 – N4609 W12208 – N4610 W12216 –
N4615 W12216





Update, October 15, 2018: No need for another VAAC advisory, apparently (perhaps because it doesn’t get up to flight level), but resuspended ash is apparent again today in the VolcanoCam:

Note the light ash cloud streaming off to the right.

That can’t be fun for the volcano’s human neighbors!

Update, October 21, 2018: Here’s the official word, passed along this past Friday:

U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, October 19, 2018, 7:50 AM PDT (Friday, October 19, 2018, 14:50 UTC)

Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Activity Update: All volcanoes in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington are at normal background levels of activity. These include Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams in Washington State; and Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters, Newberry, and Crater Lake in Oregon.

Recent Observations: Activity at Cascade Range volcanoes remained at background levels throughout the week. Earlier in the week, strong winds stirred up dust and ash from deposits on the north side of Mount St. Helens, prompting notices of volcanic ash plumes. There was no eruption. As winds die down and rain moves in next week, the lingering dusty haze will dissipate. As we move into winter, snow and moisture will hold these fine particles in place.

The U.S. Geological Survey and Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) continue to monitor these volcanoes closely and will issue additional updates and changes in alert level as warranted.

For images, graphics, and general information on Cascade Range volcanoes:
For seismic information on Oregon and Washington volcanoes:
For information on USGS volcano alert levels and notifications:

Featured image: Current US Forest Service Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam image.

Kilauea: HVO Decreased Alert Level Today

USGS/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory caption for this image (full size image here), with emphasis added:

This wide-angle photo shows the fissure 8 cone (center of image) and the long line of steaming areas extending uprift (west), towards the upper right corner of the image. No significant change was observed at fissure 8 during today’s overflight. Thermal images (see inset lower left) show no signs of lava within the cone – the small collapse pit in the center of the crater floor is cold.


Per HVO today:

HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Kilauea (VNUM #332010)

Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Previous Volcano Alert Level: WATCH

Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Previous Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Issued: Friday, October 5, 2018, 8:47 AM HST
Source: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Notice Number:
Location: N 19 deg 25 min W 155 deg 17 min
Elevation: 4091 ft (1247 m)
Area: Hawaii

Volcanic Activity Summary: It has been 30 days since lava has been active at the surface of Kīlauea Volcano. HVO monitoring shows low rates of seismicity, steady, relatively low rates of deformation across the volcano, and only minor gas emission at the summit and East Rift Zone (ERZ). These observations indicate that resumption of eruption or summit collapse is unlikely in the near-term.

Accordingly, HVO is lowering the Volcano Alert Level for ground based hazards from WATCH to ADVISORY. This means Continue reading

Update on Popocatépetl

Volcanologists at the University of Mexico released a bulletin (Spanish) this morning; here is the Google Translate version. Click the link in the top menu for more information about Popocatépetl as well as updates.

Bulletin UNAM-DGCS-620
University City
11:00 hs. September 29, 2018

Ramón Espinasa Pereña

Ana Lillian Martín del Pozo


• Exhalations and vulcano-tectonic earthquakes have been increasing, because a significant amount of magma is rising, said Ramón Espinasa, from the Cenapred
• The Geophysics Institute placed well seismographs to monitor the activity and predict a major eruption
• Don Goyo has not gone to sleep since December 1994 and the tremor of September 19 of last year, whose epicenter was in a relatively nearby area, affected him, said Ana Lillian Martín del Pozzo, of IGf

The Popocatépetl volcano presents a lot of activity, and is increasing; An example of this is the increase in volcano-tectonic exhalations and earthquakes, the latter of an order of magnitude greater than that seen in the last 24 years.

This data indicates that a significant amount of magma is rising and “within months, a year or the day after tomorrow”, could present an even more important activity than it had, said Ramón Espinasa Pereña, deputy director of Volcanic Risks at the UNAM. the Research Directorate of the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred).

Continue reading

Meanwhile, in Puebla . . .

See update at bottom of post, or click the Popocatepetl link at the top of this page.

This is a 2011 view of nearby Popocatepetl volcano from downtown Puebla.

Today, people in this Mexican city are watching Popocatepetl with concern (you can follow updates on its activity through the link in the top menu–it has been a bit more restless lately).

Reportedly (Spanish), Puebla State’s Civil Protection director has made a public statement. Per Google Translate of this linked news story:

Although in the last hours and days the Popocatépetl volcano has presented constant explosive activity, with incandescent fragments expelled by the crater, the Civil Protection director of the state of Puebla, Rubén Darío Herrera Cabrera, assures that it is a normal cyclic activity and that there is nothing to worry about.

The incandescent fragments, explained the head of Civil Protection, are pieces of the dome . . .

Even though spectacular fumaroles have been seen in recent days, the largest of which is 2,400 meters above the crater, there is nothing to worry about; “Another point that is constantly monitored is the seismicity and that is totally low, we have very few reports of seismicity, which gives us peace of mind,” said Herrera Cabrera, adding that the volcanic warning light continues in Yellow Phase 2.

This is an image from last night’s explosion as seen from one of CENAPRED’s webcams:


This is a night-time image, but the camera is a very good one and the Moon is quite bright. That’s chunks of incandescent material blown out of the crater, not flowing lava. Popo’s lava is very sticky and forms a dome in its crater that eventually pressurizes and blows up–apparently this is the demise of Dome #78. (CENAPRED)

Again, just click on the link at the top of the page for links to more information about Popocatepetl and updates from me.

Update, September 25, 2018: Popo got into a dramatic mood yesterday; updates are at the Popocatepetl link at the top of this page. Meanwhile, here is an eruption the volcanologists monitoring this volcano captured–it’s just one of several yesterday:

Featured image: Luisalvaz, via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0

Meanwhile, at Yellowstone . . .

September 25, 2018: Cool! (in a manner of speaking)

Original post:

Here is the whole article (click this link to get images):

Recent Changes to Thermal Features Closes Part of Upper Geyser Basin
September 19, 2018

In the past week, there have been changes afoot to the thermal features on Geyser Hill in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. Ear Spring, a normally docile hot pool, had a water eruption that reached 20 to 30 feet high on Saturday, September 15, 2018. The eruption ejected not only rocks, but also Continue reading