Taal in Eruption

Volcanic Wedding by Warren S Garcia.

This will probably become one of the most famous wedding pictures in history. I fear that this accidental picture will create a fashion and that people will try to recreate it at ever more dangerous volcanoes.

In this case it was accidental, this wedding was most likely planned for weeks, if not months, prior to the onset of eruption.

Since I know Taal quite well, and know how dangerous it can be, I would probably just have screamed “I do!”, picked up my new wife and galumphed as fast as I could towards higher ground.

Now let us take a look at this eruption in regards of what we can expect in the near future.

 

The history is the future of Taal

“Borrowed” from Sydney Morning Herald. Photographed by Ezra Acayan, Getty Images.

First of all, I would like to point for an in-depth analysis of the past of Taal to Henrik’s (Rest in Peace) eminent article in the New Decade Volcano Program series. All you need to know about the historic eruptions is there:

http://www.volcanocafe.org/the-tiger-in-the-smoke-taal-the-new-decade-volcano-program-8/

I will just rehash three things that is pertinent for the future of Taal. The first part is that Taal enjoys producing series of eruptions of variably sized eruptions. In these series there seems to be no pattern to the sizes of the intra-series eruptions.

In the historic annals we have 5 series of eruptions ranging from VEI-2 up to the 1754 VEI-5. This means that it is likely that what we are seeing is the onset of a new series of eruptions from Volcano Island in Lake Bombon inside the Taal Caldera.

The second thing is that this is a volcano amply able to produce large caldera extending eruptions. The last one of these occurred 5380 BP. I should perhaps explain the BP moniker. As we learned how to date carbon isotopes, we needed a reference date that was prior to the world becoming polluted by atmospheric nuclear explosions, and that at the same time did not signify anything.

So, that is how 1950 was decided to forever be locked down as present. The drawback to this is that we thusly need to perform a bit of mathematics to understand what BP is. In 2020 that formula looks like this 5380+70=5450 years ago, or in more common vernacular 3450BC.

This eruption was a medium sized caldera extending eruption, and there is no evidence at all that the caldera-forming period of Taal has ended, quite the opposite, since the central magma reservoir seems to be remaining, and there is no ring-fault volcanoes that is so typical of caldera-volcanoes in their post (or intermediate) periods.

The third thing to remember is that Taal is amply able to throw out a wide variety of deadly eruptive styles. The list is quite frightening.

Columnar collapse pyroclastic base surges, pyroclastic flows, lahars, volcanic tsunamis, seismic seiches, phreatic eruptions (almost impossible to predict), phreatomagmatic explosive eruptions, Plinian eruptions, Peléan eruptions, and so on.

Obviously, this makes for a very deadly volcano, so far it has killed 1300 people in a single eruption (as far as historic sources know). But it is amply able to outpace that during an unexpected larger eruption since population density has increased in the area.

 

The current eruption

GMA News Online

First of all, I would like to properly state that DOST-PHIVOLCS did stellar work on this eruption, they noticed that something was coming months in advance and raised the alert-level as appropriate leading up to the eruption.

This makes me think about the White Island eruption, the authorities there also saw the signals of unrest, but they did not take it as serious as they should. The similarities are high, but the resulting decisions was quite different. As I said, biggie up for DOST-PHIVOLCS for taking a water-logged volcano seriously in regards of the possibility for a phreatic or phreatomagmatic eruption down the line.

Judging from the pictures and initial reports of ash-fall this seems to be a small to mid-sized VEI-3. No columnar collapse base surge occurred, and no tsunamis or seiches took place. As such this was about as well-behaved as Taal can be. At least so far.

Initial reports from DOST-PHIVOLCS names this as a phreatic detonation. This means that no fresh lava was involved, and that instead water came into contact with hot material and this in turn caused a steam driven detonation hurling old cold fractured rock upwards.

I am not entirely sure that this will hold up, since there were clear signals for quite some time prior to the onset of eruption, I would say it is far more likely that this was a phreatomagmatic eruption. Phreatomagmatic eruptions are what happens when water comes into direct contact with hot magma causing fresh magma to fragmentize in a steam driven fresh material eruption.

I hope that everyone heeded the eruption warnings and calls for evacuation, and that nobody was on Volcano Island as it erupted. If anyone was there, they are quite sous vide cooked by now.

The eruption will most likely abate or stop in the next few hours, most often Taal has short eruptions.

 

The future

Much safer spot to look. Uphill and at a good distance.

It is quite likely that Taal will go into a brief period of dormancy lasting from a few months to a few years before the next eruption in the new sequence occur. The next eruption could be anything from a VEI-2 all the way up to a VEI-5.

A caldera extending VEI-6 is not likely from Volcano Island for two reasons. The first is that the volcano conduit has no problem opening to release excess pressure, and the second thing is that the deep reservoir associated with caldera-extending eruptions is situated at 18km depth under the northern caldera rim. There are no signs at all of an eruption of this size and type being around the corner. Anyone believing that something like that is likely to happen without very noticeable precursor signs is an idiot, and there are no such signs visible.

Now cue tourists going to Volcano Island in droves to take their wedding pictures so that they can get mortally mortadella steam-baked posteriors for posterity.

CARL REHNBERG

254 thoughts on “Taal in Eruption

  1. Taal is one of those volcanoes, like Rabaul, that give me the heebie jeebies and , having heard from my daughter that there had been an eruption in the Philippines, I figured it would be Taal and hoped for the best. I came to VC to find out and thanks Carl for posting this, it has set me mind at ease somewhat. I hope everyone was safe at the wedding and elsewhere and Taal will do its thing and go quiet(er) for some time to allow everyone to take stock as to whether a new eruption phase is taking place.

    • I’m not sure it will only last for a few hours….. It may do this on and off, for months…. boom, a few days of quiet, then another blast…..

      It’s well beyond time to evacuate everybody on the lake shores…..

      • Volcanoes tend to do as volcanoes has done before. And also in this case, this is a steam driven detonation regardless if it is a phreatic or phreatomagmatic detonation, and as the water is released as steam, the eruption will stop from lack of power.
        So, any pro-tracted activity is improbable.
        That being said, the time before the next eruption may be fairly short.

        • Phivolcs just stated that the observed eqs suggest continuing intrusion of magma into the edifice, which may lead to further eruptions.

    • The regions Talisay, Balete, and San Nicolas, on the shores of Lake Taal, are reportedly being evacuated.

  2. Largest quake so far I think just occurred

    Magnitude M 4.1
    Region MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
    Date time 2020-01-12 15:56:26.0 UTC
    Location 13.96 N ; 120.99 E
    Depth 8 km
    Distances 71 km S of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,445,000 / local time: 23:56:26.0 2020-01-12
    34 km SW of Calamba, Philippines / pop: 317,000 / local time: 23:56:26.0 2020-01-12
    6 km E of Subic, Philippines / pop: 8,900 / local time: 23:56:26.0 2020-01-12

    • Some past eruptions of Taal have included dike intrusions with flank eruptions on Volcano Island or underwater in the Caldera Lake. If seismicity keeps going intense it might be that this happening and further outbreaks remain possible.

    • And now upgraded to 4.6 centred on the Volcano Island but with a depth now of 80km?

      Magnitude mb 4.6
      Region LUZON, PHILIPPINES
      Date time 2020-01-12 15:56:34.7 UTC
      Location 14.01 N ; 121.00 E
      Depth 80 km
      Distances 66 km S of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,445,000 / local time: 23:56:34.7 2020-01-12
      29 km SW of Calamba, Philippines / pop: 317,000 / local time: 23:56:34.7 2020-01-12
      8 km SE of Bugaan, Philippines / pop: 4,000 / local time: 23:56:34.7 2020-01-12

      Prior to that

      Magnitude M 3.8
      Region MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
      Date time 2020-01-12 15:51:43.0 UTC
      Location 13.96 N ; 120.95 E
      Depth 7 km
      Distances 71 km S of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,445,000 / local time: 23:51:43.0 2020-01-12
      36 km SW of Calamba, Philippines / pop: 317,000 / local time: 23:51:43.0 2020-01-12
      2 km NE of Subic, Philippines / pop: 8,900 / local time: 23:51:43.0 2020-01-12

      Then following

      Magnitude M 3.6
      Region LUZON, PHILIPPINES
      Date time 2020-01-12 16:15:29.0 UTC
      Location 14.01 N ; 121.01 E
      Depth 21 km
      Distances 66 km S of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,445,000 / local time: 00:15:29.0 2020-01-13
      28 km SW of Calamba, Philippines / pop: 317,000 / local time: 00:15:29.0 2020-01-13
      8 km SW of Boot, Philippines / pop: 4,900 / local time: 00:15:29.0 2020-01-13

      • Looking at the individual network contributions that 80km depth seems to be a mix based on detection further away. The initial contribution from Philippine Inst. of Volcanology and Seismology said 4.1 at 8km

    • And now a 4.0 and a 4.1 less than 15 minutes apart.

      Magnitude M 4.1
      Region MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
      Date time 2020-01-12 19:11:48.0 UTC
      Location 13.98 N ; 120.88 E
      Depth 10 km
      Distances 70 km S of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,445,000 / local time: 03:11:48.0 2020-01-13
      35 km N of Tingloy, Philippines / pop: 2,700 / local time: 03:11:48.0 2020-01-13
      2 km SW of Payapa, Philippines / pop: 4,400 / local time: 03:11:48.0 2020-01-13

      Magnitude M 4.0
      Region MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
      Date time 2020-01-12 19:24:25.0 UTC
      Location 13.93 N ; 120.92 E
      Depth 1 km
      Distances 75 km S of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,445,000 / local time: 03:24:25.0 2020-01-13
      41 km SW of Calamba, Philippines / pop: 317,000 / local time: 03:24:25.0 2020-01-13
      1 km SE of Dayapan, Philippines / pop: 2,400 / local time: 03:24:25.0 2020-01-13

  3. The Sydney Morning Herald photo is also in The Guardian. Its credits are Ezra Acayan / Getty Images.

  4. Thanks Carl – very useful to know what’s going on.

    I see an Independent Newspaper article on the eruption (full of cliches like ‘spewing’ etc!) has a comment by Durutti linking to this site and article.

  5. Thank you Carl! Volcanocafe is amazing.

    This is pherato – subplinian/ plinian eruption.
    Whats the composition of this magma that is erupting?
    Is it an andesite, or dacite?

    • If it is phreatic it would be cold rock that has previously erupted.
      In this case that would be ranging from basalt to dacite via andesite.
      If it is phreatomagmatic it would hydrothermally altered versions of those.

        • It is due to released sulphates from the eruption, and those can be released both from phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions, but more of it in the second option.

    • Jesper, it is very likely a basalt. The historic eruptions have involved basaltic magma. Some of the older caldera forming eruptions were more silicic………andesite I think.

  6. And Taal turned out to definitely be erupting fresh material.
    It has now, a bit surprisingly, gone from phreatomagmatic to strombolian eruption. Thusly indicating that it is most likely basalt coming up.

    I love it when I am right. It also amply explains the sulphur smell since basalt tends to be more sulphuric.

    This obviously means that the eruption can become a bit more long lasting since there is a supply of magma moving up to the surface, but I do not think that there will be a large secondary eruptive phase, unless of course a lot of lava comes up in turn destabilizing the magma reservoir at depth causing water to enter it.

    • This is an enormous basalt fountain of rather viscous basalt … ( Laki sized in height ) ?

    • If my google skillz are functioning properly, then those images are taken from somewhere in Berinayan on the northwestern shore of the lake, at roughly 8km away from the eruption.
      The edge of the erupting crater is about 130m above the lake water level, and just by eyeballing it I’d say the fountain is around 500m high.

      I may obviously be totally wrong, but that’s what it looks like to my eyes.

  7. If this is pheratoplinian pretty much all of it…
    Then its a Very soggy wet volcano indeed
    Looks alot like a Grimsvötn eruption

    • Ops wrong the lava fountain is Amazing!!!
      Laki sized lava fountain!

      Carl is There any webcams I can see this?

          • It was hit by a rather large wall of hot mud by the looks of it. Cooked sous vide.

          • Cooked sous vide, then roasted to a crisp and / blown to smithereens. At least that’s what those more recent pictures from the island suggest…

          • The webcam burned to a cinder rubble by 1000 C materials
            It was Probaly ejected and ended in the lake.

            Or its inside the Island and covered by 1000 C tephras from the fountain.

            Burned beyond repair indeed..
            5 th degree burns to a little camera computer box 😉

  8. The ash cloud seems to have dispersed. The eruption is not producing high altitude clouds at the moment

  9. From Phivolcs “DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates the total evacuation of the Volcano Island and high-risk areas within the 14-kilometer radius from the Taal Main Crater.”

    That’s a lot of people in that area,

    • Do note that it says high risk areas.
      That means coastal areas that are below the 10 meter mark, and areas previously known to have been hit by pyroclastic base surges.
      So, about 30-50 thousand people.

      • Strange for Pu’u’o’o to be inflating but not the summit, usually they inflate or deflate at the same time.

    • Seems there’s a winter storm warning, Didn’t see it before I posted. Should have looked harder 🙂

      …WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM HST THIS
      EVENING…

      * WHAT…Heavy snow and patchy ice. Additional snow accumulations
      of up to 4 inches, mainly above 12000 feet.

      * WHERE…Big Island Summits.

      * WHEN…Until 6 PM HST Sunday.

      * IMPACTS…Snow, patchy black ice, and thick fog will make for
      very dangerous driving conditions, with visibility near zero
      at times. The road to the summit of Mauna Kea is closed, and
      the campground at Mauna Loa is closed.

  10. Do any of you think the series of large earthquakes in the Philippines a couple of months ago had a role in creating this situation? There were several earthquakes in the magnitude 6-7 range recently.

    • To know that we would need to know the epicenter location, which I do not, and if those are under, or close to, the magma conduits. Then yes. Otherwise no.
      Edit: That would also include if the earthquakes happened on a rift leading into the volcano as happened prior to the Santa Maria eruption.

      • This indeed is a Subduction Zone Alkali Basalt

        The Taal basalt is far cooler
        than my ”boring” oceanic Thoeltic Basalt

        What an impressive lava fountain Carl!
        How High is this fountain? Looks like kilometers high of glowing tephra.
        Taal doing a firework fountain.

        How long Will this Awsome eruption last?

    • The Dec. 12 mag 6.8 was on Mindanao..which is the large southern island. That’s not where Taal is.

  11. Another 4.1

    Magnitude M 4.1
    Region MINDORO, PHILIPPINES
    Date time 2020-01-12 22:35:17.0 UTC
    Location 13.98 N ; 120.90 E
    Depth 8 km
    Distances 70 km S of Manila, Philippines / pop: 10,445,000 / local time: 06:35:17.0 2020-01-13
    38 km SW of Calamba, Philippines / pop: 317,000 / local time: 06:35:17.0 2020-01-13
    2 km SE of Payapa, Philippines / pop: 4,400 / local time: 06:35:17.0 2020-01-13

  12. https://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/index.php/taal-volcano-bulletin-menu/9625-taal-volcano-bulletin-13-january-2020-8-00-a-m

    TAAL VOLCANO BULLETIN 13 January 2020 8:00 A.M.

    Taal Volcano entered a period of intense unrest beginning with phreatic or steam-driven activity in several points inside the Main Crater at 1:00 PM of 12 January 2020 that progressed into magmatic eruption at 02:49 AM to 04:28 AM of 13 January 2020. This magmatic eruption is characterized by weak lava fountaining accompanied by thunder and flashes of lightning. At 2:00 PM yesterday, booming sounds were heard at Talisay, Batangas.

    The Philippine Seismic Network has recorded a total of seventy-five (75) volcanic earthquakes in Taal region as of 5:00 AM, January 13, 2020. Thirty-two (32) of these earthquakes were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity II – V in Tagaytay City, Cabuyao, Laguna, Talisay, Alitagtag, Lemery and Bauan, Batangas. Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.

    Alert Level 4 still remains in effect over Taal Volcano. This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days. DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater. Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Civil aviation authorities must advise aircraft to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft. DOST-PHIVOLCS is continually monitoring the eruption and will update all stakeholders of further developments.

  13. Time-lapse of the Taal ash-cloud showed up on UK TV. Even our cats were fascinated by eruption column’s not-quite, but sorta ‘breathing’ pulsations.

    Um, is the crater lake deep enough for a significant tsunamigenic flank-collapse ??

    • Not really, the tsunamis are normally caused by earthquake seiches during eruption, or larger sub-surface detonations. That being said, even a minor slide would be a bit unpleasant.

  14. I hope all are safely evacuated around Taal. I loved the old webcam from the yacht Club. A beautiful beach with palm tree and Yacht at anchor. Carl is right. It is a very low crater giving indication that a huge explosive eruption is likely if the eruption continues. Think of the frypan of hot oil and the addition of wet food!. This Taal eruption demonstrates how effective volcano monitoring can be giving time to evacuate people from the danger Zone.

  15. Taal erupting basalt, has Taal a magma chamber with layers of both highly evolved magma (andesite, dacite) and primitive magma (basalt)? If that’s true, we can expect bimodal eruptions there.

    • It has erupted both variants, but most of the magma is basalt since it is a frequently erupting, most of the andesite has been flushed out.

    • Hopefully it is just some server update/downtime.
      I have not heard that they are about to be closed down by the current administration.

  16. https://webcams.volcanodiscovery.com/nyiragongo

    While Taal erupts, Nyiragongo is also Getting more hazardus. The lava lake is growing higher and higher as it overflows Into the crater floor and adds layers higher.
    The lava lake is now as high as it was just before 2002 as high as 1995 s lava lake.

    The Thermal signature over Nyiragongo is very strong now ( lots of hot surface/ so lava lake coud be overflowing again )

    The dangers with a lava lake magma column 3 kilometers above sealevel is not to be underestimated.
    Higher magma column puts pressure and stress on Nyiragongos edifice… increasing the risk for a catastrophic flank eruption and draining of the lava lake.

      • Some Taal updates
        Yesterdays ash from Taal caused huge mayhem
        Blanketing the downwind arera.

        Ash is as Everyone knows.. pulversized magma by explosive gas force. Tiny glass particles it is..
        Very very unhealthy and abrasive for the loungs.
        Glass shards it is!

  17. Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS-DOST)
    2 hrs ·

    READ: Eruption Update for Taal Volcano #TaalVolcano #TaalEruption2020

    After a brief waning of activity following lava fountaining at 2:49-4:28 AM today, Taal’s
    eruption resumed immediately with weak sporadic lava fountaining and hydrovolcanic activity at the Main Crater that generated steam-laden plumes approximately 2km tall. New lateral vents were observed to have opened up on the northern flank where short 500m lava fountains emanate.

    Since the last update, heavy ashfall from the ongoing eruptions of Taal has reportedly fallen southwest of the volcano island in Cuenca, Lemery, and Taal, Batangas.

    Fine ashfall can cause irritation and breathing problems especially among the elderly and children. Long-term exposure may be harmful to respiratory health. In addition, areas of ashfall have also experienced sulfurous smell which can also cause irritation. Affected populations are advised to avoid inhalation of ash and use N95-grade facemasks or wet cloth or towel when going outdoors. Motorists are advised to drive with extreme caution as ash can cause poor visibility and, when wet, can make roads slippery.

    The Philippine Seismic Network has recorded a total of one hundred forty-four (144) volcanic earthquakes in the Taal region since 1:00 PM, January 12, 2020. Forty-four (44) of these earthquakes were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I – V in Tagaytay City; Alitagtag, Lemery, Santo Tomas, and Talisay, Batangas. Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magma intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.

    DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates that total evacuation of the Volcano Island and high-risk areas within the 14-kilometer radius from the Taal Main Crater must be enforced. Population in areas in the southwest are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Civil aviation authorities must advise aircraft to avoid airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft. DOST-PHIVOLCS is continually monitoring the eruption and will update all stakeholders of further developments.

  18. Here is this morning’s satellite image. Red is infrared and shows heat. The red spot is the current site of activity

    And here is the approximate location on a map.

    • That looks worrisome, Albert, that’s 500 meter away from ‘Vulcan Point Island, and it has quite a volume of water on top of it.

      Are there any risks that the surrounding island will be breached? There’s only around 1,5 km of land between the small lake and the large lake…

      • PHIVOLC mentions activity at the northern end which is different from the hot spot. That could indeed be a dike. If you look at the island, it is pockmarked with old craters. They are everywhere. So it seems that eruptions move around. So far it is not out of range of previous events. Tall has a tendency for months of activity, and this is unlikely to be the end of it.

        • Taal has 47 visible craters, “It has a main crater lake which is blue-green in color and is 1.9 kilometers in diameter. The volcano has 47 craters in total, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. The rest of the volcano is below sea level.”
          Found this on a nice Fast facts article on CNN Philippines.

  19. Okay, so new lateral vents are opening or have opened, yet the level of activity has gone way down…conduit blocked? Eq activity is up. Does anyone have deformation data? Sorry if these are stupid questions, but the situation seems strange to me.

    • Continuing earthquakes show that a dike is still propagating, probably northward as that is where PHIVOLCS reports new vents opening. If a new vent opens under Taal lake, or next to it, it would lead to more explosive eruptions and probably with base surges like 1965.

      Possible situations at the Main Crater to explain why the activity has gone down? maybe the magma column has lowered as too much gas has been vented out, or the dike is taking up a lot of magma. I don’t think it is blocked (I don’t see why would it be).

      Hope that clarifies a bit.

  20. The quake pattern seems interesting to me, from SW side of the caldera lake to Balayan bay some as shallow as 5 or 6 km

  21. Impressive lightning from Taal. Volcanic lightning is so fascinating. Volcanic lightning is unique to Earth in the Solar System.

    • Do we know that for sure? Venus has volcanic eruptions and it has lightning. We have never seem the two together, but who knows!

  22. The Taal eruption have died down significantly now

    It was a gas rich batch of magma that rapidly decompressed as it reached the surface
    More activity in the comming days Cannot be ruled out

    • Doesn’t seem to be any significant reduction in the quakes. Been averaging about 10 detected quakes per hour with about 3 of them >= M3.0

      Latest

      Date and Time: 13 Jan 2020 – 10:55 PM (14:55 UTC)
      Magnitude = 3.8
      Depth = 005 kilometers
      Location = 13.94N, 121.00E – 005 km N 72° E of San Nicolas (Batangas)

      • Unfortunately they do not seem to be very well located so for now the only thing that can be said is that magma is on the move.

  23. Maybe a silly question. Is the tsunami hazard limited to the lake, or could the sea also be affected if it decided to go really large?

    • In principal, to the lake:
      “A volcanic tsunami may occur in caldera lakes, like Taal Lake, when water is displaced by deformation of the lake floor due to rising magma, the agency said on its website.

      It may also be caused by pyroclastic materials flowing down from the volcano into the lake, or landslides caused by volcanic activity.”
      Source: Interview with Renato Solidium on ABS-CBN News.

  24. Last hour 2AM – 3AM local

    13 quakes last hour, 5 >= M3.0

    One of these is a bit far away though but I’ve included it for completeness.

    Largest in period

    Date and Time: 14 Jan 2020 – 02:05 AM (18:05 GMT/UTC)
    Magnitude = 3.9
    Depth = 006 kilometers
    Location = 14.12N, 121.09E – 007 km N 70° E of Talisay (Batangas)

      • And then a half hour gap after this one

        Date and Time: 14 Jan 2020 – 02:58 AM
        Magnitude = 3.6
        Depth = 001 kilometers
        Location = 13.90N, 120.91E – 003 km N 26° W of Taal (Batangas)

        That’s the solid red dot on the map above at the southern end of the line of red dots. Depth estimated as 1km with an actual ground elevation at these coordinates of 8 metres above sea level. Hmm…

  25. Its not clear,, I can only imagine its the small lake as otherwise the volume would be unimaginable.

  26. So we went from an explosive phreatic or phreatomagmatic phase to effusive lava fountain and now one of the lakes are loosing their water. Taal has been restless for some years so I am wondering if this is the result of past unrest. because Taal went from 0 to 60 really quick.

  27. A note to commenters: you may at times find that your comment does not appear straight away. This means the system has held it back for approval. It tends to happen to first-time commenters, and to some others on occasion. A bit of patience may be needed, and the delay can be minutes to hours! And don’t worry, it tends to happen only once.

  28. Does the fact that there was little seismic run up to eruption on a relative basis and that we are seeing volcanic quakes from basically 40KM and up, mean the system is basically “open”? If so, what does that tell us about the potential or possibility of this being a longer duration event?

    • Erupting from different vents and different eruption types, is this typical of caldera type activity, the tendency for complex events?

  29. Maybe just a temporary lull but we’ve now gone an hour without a quake being recorded by PHIVOLCS and over two hours since last M >3

    Good daylight live streams at Volcano YT

  30. Source: PHIVOLCS
    TAAL VOLCANO BULLETIN 14 January 2020 8:00 A.M.

    For the past 24 hours, Taal Volcano’s activity has been characterized by continuous eruption of the Main Crater due to magmatic and hydrovolcanic activity. This ongoing eruption generated 500-meter tall lava fountains topped by dark gray steam-laden plumes reaching approximately 2 kilometers tall that dispersed ash to the southwest and west of the Main Crater. Flashes of volcanic lightning were observed at the base of the degassing plumes this morning. New vents opened up on the northern flank where short 500-meter lava fountains, and within the main crater where steam plumes, have emanated.

    Since the last update, heavy ashfall from the ongoing continuous activity of Taal Volcano has reportedly fallen on the municipalities of Lemery, Talisay, Taal, and Cuenca, Batangas.

    The Philippine Seismic Network has recorded a total of two hundred twelve (212) volcanic earthquakes in Taal region as of 2:00 AM, January 14, 2020. Eighty-one (81) of these earthquakes were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity I – V in Tagaytay City, Cavite. Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.

    Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission was measured at an average of 5299 tonnes/day on 13 January 2020.

    Alert Level 4 still remains in effect over Taal Volcano. This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days. DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater. Areas in the general north of Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Civil aviation authorities must advise aircraft to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft. DOST-PHIVOLCS is continually monitoring the eruption and will update all stakeholders of further developments.

  31. Earlier comment about lake dropping 5m , could that be due to crater floor subsidence or due to magma interaction with the lake water?

  32. Another update

    ERUPTION UPDATE FOR TAAL VOLCANO ALERT LEVEL 4 (HAZARDOUS ERUPTION IMMINENT) 14 JANUARY 2020 01:00 PM

    Taal Volcano’s eruption has been characterized by continuous magmatic and hydrovolcanic activity. Lava fountains generated 800-meter tall dark gray steam-laden plumes that drifted to the general southwest.

    New fissures or cracks were observed in Sinisian, Mahabang Dahilig, Dayapan, Palanas, Sangalang, Poblacion, Lemery; Pansipit, Agoncillo; Poblacion 1, Poblacion 2, Poblacion 3, Poblacion 5, Talisay and Poblacion, San Nicolas. A fissure was also documented across the road connecting Agoncillo to Laurel, Batangas.

    The Philippine Seismic Network recorded a total of forty-nine (49) volcanic earthquakes in the Taal region from 2:00 AM to 10:00 AM today. Seven (7) of these earthquakes were felt with intensities ranging from Intensity II to IV in Tagaytay City. The intense seismic activity coupled with fissuring on the caldera region likely signifies continuous magma intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity.

    Alert Level 4 still remains in effect over Taal Volcano. This means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days. DOST-PHIVOLCS strongly reiterates total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14-kilometer radius from Taal Main Crater. Areas around Taal Volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. Civil aviation authorities must advise the aviation industry to avoid the airspace around Taal Volcano as airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft. DOST-PHIVOLCS is continually monitoring the eruption and will update all stakeholders of further developments.

    DOST-PHIVOLCS

    • The intense earthquake activity and the fissures indicate a major dike intrusion going on, which explains why the lake level has fallen 5 m, some areas of the caldera floor may have subsided while others been uplifted.

    • The reported cracks are all in the southwestern edge of the caldera (the area south west of the lake).

      It covers the area of most intense earthquakes I think.

      • So more or less in the same direction as the 1965 intrusion but this time it has gone outside the caldera. It is very weird because the ground around Taal is almost as high as Taal itself, another volcano would just find a place with a low elevation to erupt but Taal can’t do that.

        The reason why activity has gone down is that Taal is probably busy expanding the dike, but situation is not over. If the dike ends up releasing enough pressure it might be over without any more eruptions but it might not and vents can open or reactivate in the Volcano Island area. In my opinion PHIVOLCS is wise to keep Taal in Alert 4 level.

        • Another possibility is that the summit of Taal (Main Crater) collapses due to the volume removed by the dike, not knowing much about the plumbing of Taal I don’t know if this is a realistic possibility.

    • that video is amazing in terms of seeing the very start of the eruption, they were so lucky the guides decided to turn back fast

      • I hope they tipped their guide well.

        After watching this I found this video from 2016. It appears that there might have been steam emissions from this area that drew the tourists. What is amazing is that the guides noticed what may have been a small change in these, or earthquakes, or the animals not wanting to go down, or location of the emissions and got out of there “the smoke is not right”.

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