Welcome to another Friday update.
I thought I would start with a brief look at the reports that get filed around the world and how to interpret them and translate them into something that can be easily read and understood.
These reports can look quite daunting when you first look at them, but these are designed for the aviation industry to use in route planning so most of the data is aimed at planners and pilots.
Starting at the top:
FVXX21 KNES 262244 CCA VA ADVISORY -CORRECTION DTG: 20160226/2244Z VAAC: WASHINGTON VOLCANO: TUNGURAHUA 352080 PSN: S0128 W07826 AREA: ECUADOR SUMMIT ELEV: 16480 FT (5023 M) ADVISORY NR: 2016/003
This is pretty self explanitory, This gives the information on the advisory itself and some data on the volcano in question.
INFO SOURCE: GOES-EAST. GUAYAQUIL MWO. GFS WINDS. HYSPLIT. VOLCANO WEB CAMERA. GEOPHYSICAL INST.
This next section gives the information on the actual eruption and the source(s) of the information.
In this case, we have multiple sources for the data coming in.
- GOES-EAST – a weather satellite that covers North and Central America.
- Guayaquil MWO – is the Meteorological Watch Office observer from the nearby city of Guayaquil.
- GFS Winds – is the Global Forecast System that is used to predict the direction of any ash.
- HYSPLIT – another forecasting tool for ash dispersion.
- Volcano Webcam – self explanitory
- Geophysical Inst – again self explanitory, this is the local scientific body reponsible for the monitoring of the volcano, in this case its IGEPN – Instituto Geofísico Escuela Polytecnica Nacional
We then have a summary of the actual eruption.
ERUPTION DETAILS: ORIGINAL EXPLOSIVE ERUPTION TO FL440. EMISSIONS TO FL240 CONTINUE
This tells us that the initial explosion reached FL440 or Flight Level 440 which is around 44000 feet or 13.5 km (Flight Levels do not correlate 100% in conversion to the actual height and you can read more about this here). Following the inital plume, we have “Emissions to FL240” which again means we have a plume reaching somewhere around 24000 feet.
OBS VA DTG: 26/2145Z OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL240 S0023 W07919 - S0058 W07850 - S0135 W07909 - S0124 W08013 - S0023 W07919 MOV NW 15-20KT SFC/FL240 S0108 W07845 - S0109 W07831 - S0120 W07828 - S0129 W07823 - S0125 W07852 - S0108 W07845 MOV 0KT SFC/FL440 N0010 W07841 - S0107 W07828 - S0108 W07830 - S0110 W07846 - S0042 W07900 - N0002 W07904 - N0010 W07841 MOV N 15-20KT FCST VA CLD +6HR: 27/0400Z SFC/FL240 S0031 W07935 - S0128 W07824 - S0131 W07826 - S0120 W08017 - S0031 W07935 SFC/FL440 N0117 W07926 - N0059 W07859 - S0002 W07935 - N0012 W08013 - N0049 W07959 - N0117 W07926 FCST VA CLD +12HR: 27/1000Z SFC/FL240 S0026 W07933 - S0125 W07824 - S0131 W07826 - S0119 W08018 - S0026 W07933 SFC/FL440 N0234 W08107 - N0229 W08007 - N0041 W08029 - N0045 W08114 - N0234 W08107 FCST VA CLD +18HR: 27/1600Z SFC/FL240 S0022 W07934 - S0126 W07826 - S0132 W07825 - S0119 W08021 - S0022 W07934
Next we have the data for planners giving the location and height of any observed VA (Volcanic Ash) and its forecasted movement over the next day or so.
RMK: GEOPYISICAL INSTITUTE REPORT AND 18Z GFS WINDS IMPLY ORIGINAL EXPLOSION AT 26/1702Z WENT TO FL440 AND EXTEND UP TO 70 NMI TO THE NNW OF THE SUMMIT. VA EMISSIONS REPORTED AT FL240 ARE CONTINUING TO OCCUR. CORRECTED FOR OBS ASH. ...SCHWARTZ
The final piece that interests us is this. which gives a more in depth summary of the activity by one of the scientists who has looked at the data.
All this is translated into the graphic below for pilots.
I hope that you found this information is helpful and more can read in the reports from the various VAAC reporting bodies (linked throughout the post).
Colima continues its recent trend of activity sending ash into the air to 18000 feet on the 6th and sending a “puff” to 14000 on the 7th. This activity appears to have stopped for the moment following the events on the 7th of March.
Fuego appears to have had a relatively quiet week, with only a single event listed by the VAAC. A “special report” from Insivumeh indicated that an eruptive event had taken place on the 10th sending ash to 18000 feet, according to the VAA summary the report stated that “Fuego is entering a new phase of activity”
Momotombo is another volcano with a quiet week, the only activity reported by the VAAC was a possible Ash event to 7000 feet on the 5th and a hotspot visible in imagery.
Volcano Discovery do report on the 8th that the volcano continues to have small to moderate “vulcanian type explosion” almost daily.
Reventador has a couple of events this week with the local MWO reporting emissions to 16000 feet and a warning for aviation via an ASHTAM (special report of ash) reporting ash to 22000 on the 7th and a confirmed eruption on the 10th sending a plume to 20000.
Colombia’s Ruiz volcano has had a number of eruptions around the 20000 feet mark with a “puff” reportedly going to 22000 feet on the 4th. Further reports of activity were made on the 9th and 10 with the local MWO reporting multiple times on activity, however there is no data attached regarding height of any ash.
Guatemala’s Santiaguito had two events reported on the 8th and 9th, when ash was reported up to 14000 feet.
Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano has continued where it left last week with vigorous activity throughout the week. Most days saw a continuous plume reaching between 23000 and 30000 feet, with a larger explosion sending the ash up to 36000 feet on the 8th.
Heading to Asia, the Dukono volcano in Indonesia continues its pattern of activity with a continuous plume at around 8000 feet every day, and up to 10000 feet on Thursday.
Plumes were reported on the 4th, 5th and 10th of March from Bagana in Papua New Guinea. These plumes appear to have been short lived and reached around 7000 feet.
A new entry into our reports this week with Manam, also in Papua New Guinea sending ash to 10000 over the 4th and 5th of March.
Sinabung appears to have a had a quiet week, at least when compared to it’s normal levels of activity. According to the Darwin reports, plumes were produced only on the 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th, these were all in the 12-16000 range.
I don’t want to go off on a tangent, but I feel this is the perfect point to bring this up. The Darwin VAAC reports are a mess. Every other VAAC has the activity reports labelled and filed by date, however the Darwin VAAC has a wall of text, with no labels or information other than the date.
You may assume, as I did, that the IDD codes, might correspond to the volcano each report is referencing, however whilst I was rummaging the archives for this weeks activity I discovered activity at Sinabung that was under the IDD code I had assumed was Bagana!
So a plea to the Darwin VAAC, please sort out your filing system to make it easier for others to use!
Alaid had an eruption on the 4th/5th, that sent plumes up to 13000, and then everything appears to have gone quiet.
Another new entry into our report is the Kuril Island volcano of Chirpoi. The Himawari-8 satellite suggests that there was an eruption from the volcano to 20000 feet on the 6th of March, before everything returned to quiescence.
Another volcano that appears to be an ever-present in our round-up is Sheveluch. Over the 6th /7th of the month, plumes were reported from 14-16000 feet.
Sakurijima appears to be returning to a quieter state with just one eruption reported on the 8th sending ash up to 10000 feet.
The volcano was rocked by a number of explosions reported throughout the week. Strombolian eruptions were reported on the 4th, 6th, 7th and 10th, with a “continuous plume” reported on the 8th.
We end our report with the only activity reported from the Buenos Aires VAAC. Copahue had reports of ash and steam on the 5th and 6th, but no further information regarding height, however on the 7th we had a repeat report of ash and steam and this also suggested that the plume reached 12000 feet.
Thanks for reading!