The Friday Update #1 (5/2/16)


Colima in a her glory! Photo by Hernando Rivera Take a look at Hernando Rivera (@hernongo):

Colima in a her glory!
Photo by Hernando Rivera
Take a look at Hernando Rivera (@hernongo):

Welcome to a new Friday feature on Volcanocafe.

Starting today and coming every Friday, we will be publishing a report on the previous weeks volcanic eruptions from around the world and also any noteworthy stories that also pop up on Twitter or in the news.  I will also be posting a globe with the volcano in question marked so that people who are not familiar with them can get an idea of their location.

As this is the first edition of the report, and we are already into February, I thought a recap on January’s activity, based mainly on what was reported by the various VAACs (Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre) around the world, which some extra information thrown in if I could find it.

London VAAC have no reports of activity from 01/01/2016 to 31/01/16

Toulouse VAAC have no reports of activity from 01/01/2016 to 31/01/16

Anchorage VAAC have no reports of activity from 01/01/2016 to 31/01/16, however they do point to some activity from Zhupanovsky, which is covered by the Tokyo VAAC

Washington VAAC has a number of activity reports:

  • Santa Maria, Guatemala has had a number of reported activities over the period, mostly low level and minor ash emissions.
  • San Miguel, El Salvador had a couple of days activity in the middle of the month with a “moderate ash eruption… reaching 1500 meters” (according to Volcano Discovery)
  • Reventador, Ecuador had a few events of low level ash emissions with reporting “At night, small emissions up to 150 m above the summit of the volcano were observed, such as a glow on the western flank to about 1200m below the summit.” on the 29th of January.
  • Popocatapetl, Mexico had a busy month with reports throughout the month.  Explosions and plumes were reported during the month and Volcano Discovery reports that a “growing lava dome has filled inner crater” and this is responsible for the glow visible on the night time webcam shots.
  • Momotombo, Nicaragua has had a couple of very impressive eruptions this month.  On the 3rd we had a very impressive night time explosion which covered the volcano with glowing material.  This was followed on the 12th with another large blast which sent a plume up to 3km and sent a pyroclastic flow down the side of the volcano
  • Fuego, Guatemala is another volcano that had impressive eruptions.  At the start of the month, Fuego had a beautiful eruption with lava fountains and flows lighting up the night sky and a plume that reached 24,000 feet (7km). An eruption on the 21st that caused La Aurora airport to close with a plume that reached a similar level as earlier in the month.
  • Colima, Mexico was a very busy volcano throughout January with multiple events throughout the month.  However, the story of the month from this volcano appears to be the sighting of a “UFO” that used the eruption to either “refuel” or “transported someone or something to or from the underground base below the volcano” according to the Daily Mail.  

Head in Hands

Montreal VAAC have no reports of activity from 01/01/2016 to 31/01/16

Wellington VAAC have no reports of activity from 01/01/2016 to 31/01/16

Tokyo VAAC has a number of reports:

  • Karymsky Volcano in Russia provided a number of explosions throughout January providing plumes up to 22,000 feet (7km).
  • Sheveluch is another Kamcatcha volcano that provided a number of large plumes, with KVERT reporting a plume to 22,000 feet (7km) on January 9th and warning that “Ash explosions up to 32,800 ft (10 km) a.s.l. could occur at any time”
  • Zhupanovsky also provided a number of explosive events, throwing a plume up to 26,000 feet (8km) on the 19th, 21st and 24th of January.
  • Japan’s own volcanoes appear to have been quiet throughout January with only Suwanosejima providing any activity that the Tokyo VAAC reported, and even this was only to 5000 feet (1.5km)
  • Japan’s coastguard announced that the Nishino-shima eruption is officially over, following fly-overs in December and January, which showed no on-going activity.

Buenos Aires VAAC

  • Capohue was active throughout the month with almost continuous steam emissions and some low level ash eruptions.
  • Nevados del Chillian had a short burst of activity on the 8th and 9th of January (according to the Smithsonian Institute, but not listed on the VAAC reports), with at least 1 phreatic event causing an ash emission.  And a further “puff of steam and gases to FL120 (12,000 feet or 3.6km) on the 16th/17th of January (according the the VAAC report)
  • Sabancaya had various unconfirmed reports from pilots of volcanic ash, these appear to have been largely discounted.
  • Ubinas had an explosion on the 15th January which sent a plume up to 10,000 feet (3km)

Darwin VAAC archive is a bit of a mess, there are no labels or information regarding the volcanoes that it covers, just a bank of text files with dates, so apologies if I miss anything.

  • Sinabung continued to do what it has done for the last few years with numerous pyroclastic flows and ash clouds produced.
  • Dukono was also a very active volcano throughout January sending numerous ash clouds up to 10,000 feet (3km)
  • Tengger Caldera managed to produce a number of ash events up to 14,000 feet (4km) and during to 20-26th “Seismicity fluctuated; the number of explosion signals increased and some shallow and deep volcanic earthquakes were recorded” (according to the Smithsonian GVP page)
  • Barren Island managed to produce a couple of low ash events, with plumes sent up to 5,000 feet (1.5km) at the beginning of January
  • Soputan managed to produce a lava flow which was seen on the east flank on the 4th of January (Smithsonian) and a pyroclastic flow on the 6th of January.  Ash plumes were also sent up to 6.5km high and ashfall was reported in villages up to 14km away.

So that was quick run down of the eruptive activity around the world for January.  I apologies that it was a bit dry, but it was a lot of info to dig through and I hope that once I get into the swing of the weekly reviews, that things will become less dense and I can perhaps do a bit more information regarding the activity.

So I guess this is a good place to start with February and my first Weekly Report (even though it’s slightly less than a week.)

February 1st 2016

  • Australia’s Big Ben volcano on Heard Island managed to be filmed during an eruption by scientists.  Normally any activity from this remote location is only noticed on satellite imagery.  A video of this eruption can be found on the BBC.

big ben volcano

  • KVERT reports that Karymsky send a plume of ash up to almost 10,000 feet (3km) and in typical fashion The Express reported on “Fears of the Big One


February 2nd 2016

  • Turriabla, Costa Rica recorded a “passive eruption of gas and ash”  according to El Economista, which reached 1,600 feet (500m)


February 3rd 2016

  • Popacatapetl, Mexico according to CENAPRED, El Popo had “17 low-intensity exhalations and 9 explosions”, CENAPRED also are warning people to stay away from the volcano due to the danger of “ballistic fragments”.



  • Colima


Colima continued her on-going activity with several explosions.


  • Nevados de Chillan

nevados de chillan

  • Sinabung


February 4th 2016

  • Colima


  • Shiveluch


Our friends at VolcanoHotspot tweeted this stunning picture

  • Nevados de Chillan

#VolcánNevadosDeChillán. Yellow alert continues. Seismicity focused as seen in the graph. 4-2-2016

February 5th 2016

Sakurijima burst into life this morning with an explosion which a vulcanologist that viewed the footage described as “average”

Thanks to wasgeht for posting a youtube video of the explosion:


This eruption broke pretty late on for this post, so more next week!!


114 thoughts on “The Friday Update #1 (5/2/16)

  1. I’m becoming addicted to the Colima webcam. You don’t have to wasit too long for an explosion. Much smaller than when she was clearing out the last dome, still impressive. And a special thank you to the Daily Excess for the video and pix of Karymsky and Sheveluch. They may not be talking entirely out of their backside there: not Karymsky specifically, but take a look at its surroundings. Five overlapping calderas and two active stratocones in a relatively small area

  2. This article is missing the thumbnail of the Colima image on the main index, though the Colima image loads normally on this page. Looking at the source for the main index, it looks like your CMS is failing to generate a div with the class “entry-thumbnail” for some reason. This div appears for all of the other article precis on the front page. I don’t know enough about the under-the-hood workings of your CMS to know why this bit of broken behavior might be happening, though.

    Yours isn’t the only website to be malfunctioning today, by the way. The Sourceforge-hosted forum for a software product I use seems to have suddenly become allergic to my ISP, because I get nothing but RSTs from their border router as of today. It was behaving normally yesterday. I can only assume another user of my ISP did something bad and someone brought the banhammer down a bit too vigorously, causing collateral damage. I guess I’ll have to resort to a proxy or Tor or something to catch up there, which is annoying.

  3. Great idea! Maybe dry, but it’s a first. It leaves plenty of room for expansion. Go for it.

    released from the dungeon

  4. Very nice post, Hobbes! This will be something to look forward to next week.

    Strong earthquake in Taiwan, bad enough to do some real damage.

  5. Great post! Excellent idea with Friday updates. Kind of makes me wonder. So much action going on world wide and yet I find myself staring at a map of Iceland with a few scattered dots and the occasional green star. Must be some sort of mental condition…

  6. And a little joke that I pulled on my wife… (presented here for your amusement)

    My wife told me to get my phone, since one of the daughters had sent an picture via SMS of the cute little puppy that her sister had gotten. I grabbed my phone, pulled up a picture of a camel and showed it to her. For a brief moment, you could see the wheels going around in her head as she desperately tried to wrap her mind around what she was looking at. It took a moment, but she figured it out. 😀

    BTW, in the back channel, I think Carl has invented a new volcano type. The “Stupor Volcano”. Because that’s what your mind does when you realize just how big it was.

    • hm. I can see a need for a whole new series of volcano types

      -A VC favourite is the REV, or red eye volcano (‘I was up all night waiting for it to blow..’)

      -A political favourite is the LOV, or lost volcano (‘where has that mountain gone..’) (followed by: ‘I swept it under the carpet – I am sure nothing will happen’)

      -The Frankenstein, also known as the GOV, or ghost volcano (‘where did all that ash come from and why is it snowing in June’)

      -the NOVA, or NOn-VolcAno, causing sleepless nights to the IMO, the JMO, the HVO, and all other volcano monitoring agencies (‘Yes, I know that I told you it was going to VEI7 last week and you evacuated the country but something funny happened..’)

      -the SuperNOVA, also known as Yellowstone

    • I am going to quote myself from the beforementioned backchannel (Where the editors talk shop before we write articles).

      “I have come to the entirely scientific conclusion that it was bad mojo to be around and hereby state “Holy crap” as scientific comment.”

      And yes, there will be an article about it.

  7. This is a great idea – how good to have a wrap up with links to explore! Thank you VERY much!

  8. Interesting at White Island NZ,gas levels are really similar to early 2013 ,when activity was quite obvious with more tremor than now and hydrothermal eruptions in the crater lake,compared to current level of observed activity.2013 January February 2016 In the activity of a volcano 2 or 3 years is nothing really just a hiccup,while we get impatient to see action in days or weeks.

  9. For some reason, I always believed Anchorage was in charge of the KVERT volcanic ash reports

    • Would never happen that Putin would let the US be in charge of anything Russian…

      • A slight similarity may exist between the Crimea and Alaska. There might be different opinions on whether Anchorage is US..

        • {programing note: I think this is Dweezil Zappa’s tribute band to his dad. (using some of the same band members) I switched to this version since it contained the Father O’blivion riff.} As for Alaska, we bought that pig in a poke, and accidentally got a good deal.

          By the way, if you want to get the grocery store checkout clerk to glare at you, ask her how she likes her cat, with or without gravy…

          • Very cool GL. I saw Dweezil Zappa at a concert in Leeds, England about two years ago, it was awesome. If anyone here hasn’t seen Frank Zappa in concert it would be well worthwhile seeing Dweezil, the musical ability is outstanding and if you close your eyes, it’s almost as if Frank himself was up there playing…
            I had the honour of seeing Frank Zappa in concert in Birmingham, England in 1988.

        • And for you fans of 19th Century violin virtuoso, here is a modern day version (Steve Vai) performing Paganini’s 5th Caprice. It seems pretty obvious that Paganini intended for his Caprice’s to stomp his competition into the dirt. The violin version of an old west gunslinger.

          • Yngwie once told me that the reason that the 80s hairy guitarists liked to go for the classics was that pretty much the only thing that was a challenge for them was the baroque masters.
            For those who where not around then, the guitarists of that age tried to one up each other in speed, elegance and sheer virtuosity.
            In the end they achieved one of the golden moments in music.
            Here is one of the best guitar interpretations of baroque music. Remember the part of “one upping” that was the driving force between them. This might be the most one uppity in history.

          • I have to agree. The part that I find funny is that the musical [redacted] waving contest of the 19th century continues unabated in the modern age.

    • Science and informative articles that people can learn from is never off-topic in here.

      In a way it is very on-topic since it delves into problems with digitalization of analogue signals. And that is something that affects seismometers. Ie, do we really know that the signal we are seeing represents the waveform of the earthquake?

    • Good video. Actually, you do get a staircase signal out of conventional digital to analog converters, but that signal is then passed through a lowpass filter to suppress the harmonics above the Nyquist frequency. This filtering removes the staircase, but leaves a spectrum that with a slope. Frequencies close to Nyquist are attenuated by some 3dB. This slope can be compensated for in the digital domain, before converting to analog. The end result is what you see in the video.

    • Here is a chart from New Zealand ,that shows the amount of earthquakes per week,month and over the previous year ,for the area that covers what is known as the Taupo volcanic zone and includes multiple calderas,stratovolcanoes and faultlines.In one year there have been 202 earthquakes in the 3 to 4mag range.A similar chart show the quakes for the Taupo Calder and near surrounds,not only in the Caldera itself,shallower than 40km.There have only been 15 in a year.How many quakes greater then mag 3 have there been in the Bardabunga Calder over the last year,or even in the last month as a comparison?

          • Since christmas. I did not include the quakes from the eruption, but these ended about a year ago.

          • Did the M3s start at christmas, or where there M3s prior before that Albert?

          • And to put that into perspective, that is energy equivalent of 134 Big Macs per day. It would make a human erupt, but for a big volcano it is nothing.

          • Carl, I kept track only since christmas and you may be able to locate more M3+ which occured before. But activity was much lower: it picked up in December. All main ones are shallow (above the main magma layers) and they occur just around the clusters that occured during the eruption. So not the caldera but the ring itself is moving. What triggered it – pick your choice. Perhaps water percolating down through the fractures? A kind of fracking-induced quakes?

          • Any magma emplacement near the ring fault could possibly be evolved,hence my idea of shallow dome formation.Maybe the Holuhraun event was an offshoot of a dike intersecting with a shallow rhyolitic magma emplacement in the caldera,hence the abrupt turn before exiting to the surface many kilometers distant?

          • @Albert:
            My pick would be iceloading. Winter does those things 🙂

            Nothing on the GPS, no intrusion. Kind of a rule you know. I know you are hoping for a return, but you need GPS confirmation on an intrusion, and there is none. Also, the earthquake signals are not magmatic, but that would be a bit of over-information. Wait for GPS-confirmation…

          • Fair enough Carl ,just putting the dome/intrusion thing out there as a possibilty,even if it was the case ,with that glacier gettng results on anything short of a massive local deformation maybe difficult?Ice causing the quakes,well the ice is a constant so there should be data from other years showing similar quake activity,so if there is than maybe that is the case?

          • Bárdarbunga has always had the capacity to belt out large earthquakes and large earthquakes swarms without suffering from an intrusion.
            The weirdest ones where the M5 double couple earthquakes with a zero net displacement.

            With iceload I mean the effect that increased ice load would have on the fringes of the caldera plug that is underlain by a magma chamber that is not fully pressurized.

          • No Geyser, you are getting it backwards.
            Since there was no eruption at Bárdarbunga itself there would be no reason for increased geothermal activity there.
            Instead what is happening is the opposite. First you have increased glaciation since it is winter. Secondly you would have ice flowing into the caldera to fill in that all those meters of lowered ice layer that the eruption caused. The load increases, not decreases.
            It seems like you are taking all the processes and run them in reverse of what happened during the eruption, and in regards of what is happening now. 🙂

          • The seismic activity during the collapse of the caldera could account for the increase in geothermal activity. It was not new, the caldrons existed before the eruption

        • Well as Carl says below it’s not a direct comparison,but the Taupo Volcanic Zone is in a more active subduction zone and the Taupo Caldera has had 16 >3mag earthquakes at less than 40km and all those are in an area that is more than the Caldera itself and most of the Bardarbunga quakes are less than 5km deep.I think it illustrates an ongoing activity level that is still rather unusual ,even if it appears to be quiet compared to 2014.

        • Also once you are talking about the shallow crust,the subduction vs rift/hotspot,apples to oranges argument no longer has the same relevance.Once magma is near the surface in significant quantity ,the original source,is of less importance and activity is activity.

          • You forget that for an intrusion to have occured you would get uplift on a GPS, there has though been no uplift registered.

          • Tarawa 1886,a rhyolite dome edifice in the okataina Calder had a large 1km3 basalt eruption,more in common with Iceland (although different in duration and violence)and not the more evolved magma’s usually erupted in the TVZ.I am sure if GNS had the seismic activity that Bardabunga had and still has in a localized area in Lake Taupo there would be some vigorous study going on.

          • Carl if there was a shallow intrusion,only GPS located close to the intrusion would record the deformation?The current GPS would on record broader field deformation and a GPS on top of a deep icecap,well that is not going to show much of anything wot while except ice movement?

          • All basalts are not equal.
            Just because two magmas have comparatively the same silicate percentage it does not mean at all that they will behave the same.
            The Icelandic plume originated basalt is comparatively low in volatiles and seem to degass at a slower pace compared to the high volatile count tarawera basalt.
            This is due to Icelandic basalts being mantle derived and low in water content whereas the Taupo field subduction basalt is high in water content due to being originated of remelted oceanic crust that has dragged along a lot of water.
            And water means big boom in this case.

          • A shallow intrusion is something that would be picked up by the GPS-stations adjacent to the caldera floor. Remember that they are placed on the caldera rim.
            And, an intrusion occuring with M3+ earthquakes at 0,1km depth would not remain an intrusion, it would have gone “boom” as the first earthquake happened. This is just resettling earthquakes.
            It will take years for the volcano to pick up enough pressure to break containment.
            The only exception would be if a finger of hot basalt moved up and hit a pocket of old rhyolite or something. But that is not what is going on now.
            This is resettling after a small scale rifting fissure eruption.

          • I do not see an eruption happening in the next 12 months. But if it would be coming sooner we will see it on the GPS-stations before.
            A better bet if you want to sit and wait for the next big juicy Icelandic eruption is most likely Grimsvötn, but that is probably at least half a year away as a minimum. Not much moving in Iceland right now.

          • Water expands 1:1700 times.
            That is why it changes basalt between explosive and non-explosive states.
            The mantle derived basalt at Holuhraun was low in water content and high in SO2.
            The only magma in Iceland with a fairly high water content is the Hekla andesite, but that is ultra-weird in so many ways that we do not need to get in on at this junction.

      • Even though I agree that the earthquake was insignificant since it was due to blocking of the caldera floor your comparison has nothing with anything to do.
        Taupo is sitting ontop of a major subducting fault and is causing subduction volcanism, Bárdarbunga is sitting on top of a spreading tectonic ridge and a hotspot. You are basically comparing and apple with a firetruck, and as such it says nothing.

        • Also, some volcanoes erupt and resume activity with relatively little seismicity. I would say that many Icelandic volcanoes are very quiet in terms of their seismicity before they form eruptions – Grimsvotn and Hekla both are notoriously quiet.

          Other volcanoes around the world can have extensive swarms of vigorous earthquakes (many with magnitudes greater than 3) for years on end without anything happening. Cerro Negro / Chiles in Colombia is a great example of a volcano that has been doing this.

          • And in Iceland the Godábunga complex had tens of thousands of earthquakes over two decades, and still nothing happened.
            One always go wrong if you think that two volcanoes will behave the same when they erupt.

            Grimsvötn as CBUS points out will be having one or two earthquakes per week, then a small puny swarm, then nothing for a few weeks, then a smatter of earthquakes for an hour or so and then it just start hurling all over the place. When it is done having effused 1km3 of lava and produced a large VEI-4 it will just go deadly quiet for a period. Then it all starts from the beginning.
            Just to put Grimsvötn into perspective, it hurled out as much lava as the entire Holuhraun did, but it did it in under a week and the eruption hurled more ash in the first 8 hours than the entire Eyjafjallajökull eruption did in 3 months.
            And it is capable of topping that by a factor of 100. And still not much in the earthquake department.

          • That is probably because the more evolved magmas,especially rhyolite are far less eruptible than basalt.When was the last explosive rhyolite eruption and how many basalt eruption have there been in the same time period.Rhyolite is more gas and temperature sensitive?

          • The most common erupted material is as far as I know andesites. Thereafter you have dacites and basalts and last rhyolites globally.

            In the last 1 000 years in Iceland it has been Öraefajökull, Askja and Eyjafjallajökull that had rhyolithic eruptions and Hekla having bimodal calc-alkali andesite/calc-alkali basalts, the rest have been MORB-derived basalts or plume derived basalts.

            Rhyolites tend to form dome extrusions, and sometimes explosive eruptions. In Iceland you tend to get explosive eruptions only due to higher temperature lowering the viscosity of the rhyolite.

  10. I’m sorry, but every time I see “Nevados de Chillan” I read the last word as chitlin. And don’t even like chitlins.

    • I read Nevados de Chillin’…
      The volcano that constantly has the munchies and watches Scooby-Doo reruns on the TV.

      • I always read chitin and assume it is an insect powered volcano 🙂

      • Chitlins are a pretty disgusting food for people that didn’t grow up with it. Anything that stinks up a house that bad can’t be good for you…

        • I truly hate Chitlins. I will not touch them. I know too much about what they are and how they are made. My Grandma McCoy made them from
          an old family recipe. Agree about the stinking up the house part too..

  11. Looks like the host server has had some maintenance issues today.

    We can only apologise as this was outwith our control.

  12. Comment redacted together with answers.
    May I suggest that all the parties ponder 2 things.

    1. We have one rule in here. That is be nice. Remember it.
    2. Try to stay within the realm of what is scientifically possible. Especially if you are starting to notice that you are causing a flame war by adhering to something that has no base in physical evidence whatsoever.


    • What I find really intriguing is that it is north of Herdubreid.
      Basically we are talking about a fairly sizeable intrusion that has been on the move for years. I never expected it to move north of Herdubreid since it has been moving towards Herdubreid all this time.
      Next stop would be Fremrinamur volcano.

      • Lest it’s something coming south to meet up with from the other end… Krafla is off in that direction. Did she ever finish with her rifting episode?

  13. Hello!
    Word from the Admins!

    May I remind that we have pretty much only one rule in here.
    That is:
    1. Be nice.

    In that follows to be nice as you answer, and to be nice enough to not start a flame war when you are wrong and people have answered you correctly several times already. Try at least to keep close to what is physically possible. And if someone does not do that, try to answer nicely.

    If not, there will be actions. Be certain of that.


    • Makes me think of a bumper sticker that I would like to get.

      “This isn’t Talladega, and you are not Dale Earnhardt.”

  14. Question – Why have dead zone eruptions become so much larger in recent historical times?

    From my knowledge, the 3 most recent fissure eruptions (Laki, Eldgja, and Veidivotn all are among the largest lava eruptions in Iceland in the last 12,000 years, with only the Thorsa lava being larger. Is this just due to being poorly studied? Or has the magnitude increased recently?

    • You are the world champion of coming up with good questions that I am on the way to write an article on.
      It is in the queue to be posted.

      I would though point out that Skjadlbreidur, Theistarhraun, Myvtnahraun, Theistareykjarbunga and that big hubbub from Askja was on the same scale or bigger than Thjorsahraun. But on the other hand those where 10 000+ years ago. But the new eruption cycle will be articled in a while 🙂

  15. Not related to anything, but very sweet.
    Found this in the morning and sent it to my wife.
    I find that I am the old volcano singing to himself, slowly drowning into the water as I was going extinct and then this wonderful Guatemalan Fuega sang to me… We have now been known each other for years, and been married for more than a year.
    It is the ultimate volcanoholic love song 🙂

    • For whatever it’s worth – here is the obvious sign that this isn’t really related to a major intrusion, at least not in the manner that the previous bardarbunga eruption had.

      Simply put, the earthquake volume and tremor aren’t there. Yes, we get periodic large quakes – likely related to contraction and settling of the caldera roof, but if there were an intrusion, you would get a more constant supply of VT quakes as we saw during the Holuhraun event. Another soft-proof against anything related to a magma lava dome, or vertical push through the caldera lid is that it would be EXTREMELY noisy, possibly more noisy than the original Holuhraun event as there may be more resistance for magma to push through the top then there would out the side (hence why it did not go through the lid anyway).

      Now, that doesn’t preclude magma slowly percolating into the Bardarbunga system, but if you were to get enough that it would force the chamber to expand or readjust, you would likely get a steady stream of quakes that would correlate to the steady expansion and input of magma into the system.

    • This is by the same Þorbjorg Ágústsdóttir that brought us the first pictures up close from Holuhraun.

      • Of these two, Ontake strikes me as being a bit more interesting. It’s had quite a few phreatic eruptions, but hasn’t seemed to have any new magmatic eruptions in recent times. Wonder if the somewhat recent phreatic eruptions are a precursor to a magmatic eruption of sorts.

    • Still being enthusiastic of my trip to Japan last year, I immediately recognized the crater in the first video, having walked there.

      Now, though I don’t think this adds anything revealing, here the info from the tourist hiking map, regarding that crater in the first video to give it a bit of background:

      “The youngest volcano in the Kirishima volcanic chain. Mt. Iou is believed to have formed in 1768 during the Edo period.
      Until recent time thick white clouds of vapor rose up from Mt. Iou, and the ground, which registered high temperature, could be felt to pulse like a heartbeat.
      Since around 1897 until 1962, the sulfur (iou in Japanese) that gives the volcano its name was collected for matches. Masonry from the “sulfur fields” of that era still remains inside the crater and in the surrounding area.
      The shallow crater near the mountain’s top has a diameter of 100 meters, and numerous ejected volcanic fragments known as bread-crust bombs can be found in sizes up to ten or so meters in diameter.

      This desolate, craggy area also hosts little vegetation due to volcanic emissions, but plant life is slowly returning to he area in this important, transitional stage.
      Be sure to experience the feel of life and vitality of the great earth at Mt. Iou.”

      When I was in the area at the end of July last year, I encountered two days of very heavy fog, most of the time my view was limited to 10-20 meters at most. This crater looked so unassuming that I was in doubt for a while if this was indeed Mt.Iou, but the boulders spread around had impressive sizes however, quite a lot bigger than what I would expect from how the crater looks now (Somehow I assume big boulders means badass craters).

      There is a highway running more or less next to it with a craterlake directly on the other side of the highway.
      Though my view those days was extremely limited, it was clear that this is an excellent hiking area as well, evev on those foggy days. The surrounding forest makes for pleasant walks.

      Climbing the adjacent Karakuni Mountain (the highest in the Kirishima range) you could have a panoramic view with Shinmoedake on one side and Sakurajima on the other.
      So I guess I have to get back because this was my view close to that top:

      You can see evidence everywhere of the big Shinmoedake eruption of a few years ago. All very impressive. (And for rock collectors, plenty abound).

      • And what I actually wanted to write, there were absolutely no steam vents or fumaroles. So I am a bit surprised to see that in the first video

  16. The gremlins was at it again.
    We are looking into a permanent solution for the outages we have been suffering from the last 4 days.

    • I’ve been watching this cam. Initially I thought it was just lighting changes as clouds rolled overhead and the sun lit parts of the volcano, but now I’m not so sure. It almost looks like rockfalls and dust avalanches have been occurring over the volcano. I can’t really tell which it is or if it’s both. Interesting nonetheless.

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