Convergence of Signs

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: September 5 – 11, 2018

Bog note: And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11). Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. This verse from Luke is one of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

 The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: September 5 – 11, 2018

Posted by TW on September 13, 2018.

New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes between September 5 and 11, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 11 volcanoes.

New activity/unrest: Etna, Sicily (Italy) | Krakatau, Indonesia | Veniaminof, United States.

Ongoing activity: Aira, Kyushu (Japan) | Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia) | Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia) | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Sabancaya, Peru | Sangay, Ecuador | Semeru, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Sheveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy) | Turrialba, Costa Rica.

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 23:00 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth’s volcanoes erupting during the week. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

New activity/unrest

Etna, Sicily (Italy)

37.748°N, 14.999°E, Elevation 3295 m

INGV reported that during 3-9 September activity at Etna was characterized by gas emissions at the summit craters, with periodic Strombolian activity from vents in Bocca Nuova, Northeast Crater (NEC), and New Southeast Crater (NSEC). A few Strombolian explosions at NSEC were recorded on 5 September; an explosion at 0536 generated an ash plume that produced local ashfall around the vent and in the Valle del Bove, and quickly dispersed. A similar but less intense event occurred earlier that day, at 0316. Similar Strombolian events continued during 6-9 September, at intervals of a few hours. Strombolian activity at the N vent (BN-1) in Bocca Nuova occurred at 3-5-minute intervals, ejecting incandescent material that fell within the crater confines. Gas emissions were sometimes punctuated with ash emissions. Intense degassing was characteristic of the second vent (BN-2). Strombolian activity occurred at NEC, and a few times explosions were accompanied by ash emissions.

Geological summary: Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily’s second largest city, has one of the world’s longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank. This volcano is located within the Mount Etna, a UNESCO World Heritage property.

Krakatau, Indonesia

6.102°S, 105.423°E, Elevation 813 m

Based on satellite data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 8 September ash plumes from Anak Krakatau rose to altitudes of 4.9-5.5 km (16,000-18,000 ft) a.s.l.and drifted W and NW. During 9-10 September ash plumes rose to 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4); residents and visitors were warned not to approach the volcano within 2 km of the crater.

Geological summary: The renowned volcano Krakatau (frequently misstated as Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 CE, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan volcanoes, and left only a remnant of Rakata volcano. This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927. This volcano is located within the Ujung Kulon National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage property.

Veniaminof, United States

56.17°N, 159.38°W, Elevation 2507 m

On 4 September low-level ash emissions (less than 3 km or 10,000 ft a.s.l.) from Veniaminof were evident in webcam images and confirmed by observers in Perryville (35 km S), prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Orange and the Volcano Alert Level to Watch. Seismicity was elevated. During 4-6 September pulsating, low-altitude ash plumes were visible from a Perryville webcam and reported by a pilot, and a small thermal anomaly was visible in satellite data. On 7 September the thermal signal increased, suggesting lava fountaining at the summit. Webcam images the next day showed minor ash or steam near the summit cone. Ash deposits on the snowfield formed a “V” shape from the summit, extending to the SSW and SE. On 9 September a lava flow, about 800 m long, was identified on the S flank in satellite data. Witnesses aboard a ferry passing Veniaminof early the next morning noted lava fountaining and an active lava flow. Lava flows continued on 11 September, though were confined to the summit caldera.

Geological summary: Massive Veniaminof volcano, one of the highest and largest volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula, is truncated by a steep-walled, 8 x 11 km, glacier-filled caldera that formed around 3700 years ago. The caldera rim is up to 520 m high on the north, is deeply notched on the west by Cone Glacier, and is covered by an ice sheet on the south. Post-caldera vents are located along a NW-SE zone bisecting the caldera that extends 55 km from near the Bering Sea coast, across the caldera, and down the Pacific flank. Historical eruptions probably all originated from the westernmost and most prominent of two intra-caldera cones, which rises about 300 m above the surrounding icefield. The other cone is larger, and has a summit crater or caldera that may reach 2.5 km in diameter, but is more subdued and barely rises above the glacier surface.

Ongoing activity

Aira, Kyushu (Japan)

31.593°N, 130.657°E, Elevation 1117 m

JMA reported that there were two events and four explosions at Minamidake crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) during 3-10 September, with ashplumes rising as high as 1.7 km above the crater rim. Crater incandescence was occasionally visible at night. An explosion at 0304 on 9 September ejected material as far as 700 m. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a 5-level scale).

Geological summary: The Aira caldera in the northern half of Kagoshima Bay contains the post-caldera Sakurajima volcano, one of Japan’s most active. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakurajima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kitadake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minamidake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu’s largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.

Dukono, Halmahera (Indonesia)

1.693°N, 127.894°E, Elevation 1229 m

Based on satellite data, wind model data, and notices from PVMBG, the Darwin VAAC reported that during 5-10 September ash plumes from Dukono rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.1 km (6,000-7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SSE, SE, and E.

Geological summary: Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the north-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. This complex volcano presents a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of the summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

Ebeko, Paramushir Island (Russia)

50.686°N, 156.014°E, Elevation 1103 m

Volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, observed explosions during 31 August-7 September that sent ash plumes to 4.5 km (14,800 ft) a.s.l. Ash plumes were identified in satellite images drifting about 75 km N and S on 31 August and 4 September, and a thermal anomaly over the volcano was visible during 4-5 September. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geological summary: The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. Blocky lava flows extend west from Ebeko and SE from the neighboring Nezametnyi cone. The eastern part of the southern crater contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters.

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