Eruption Update for June 4, 2012: Popocatépetl, Nevado del Ruiz, Kilauea and more
There is a big anniversary this week (well, other than our first wedding anniversary) – but I’ll have more on that on Wednesday. Today, I thought I’d update a few bits of volcanic news from the past week or so. If you’re looking for even more details on the week’s volcanic events, check out the latest USGS/Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report (of which a few of the updates get linked to below).
All eyes continue to be on Popocatépetl and the volcano clearly still deserves the attention. Over the weekend, Popo produced at least 91 explosions over a 24 hour period. However, none of the events were larger than what we’ve been seeing over the last week. In fact, UNAM scientist Giovanni Sosa Ceballos says that we shouldn’t be expecting a large Plinian eruption from Popo as its recent volcanic history doesn’t favor such behavior. This doesn’t mean that the volcano isn’t still dangerous and doesn’t entirely rule out a large event. However, looking at the past activity at a volcano is one of the best ways to know what to expect in the present. The Mexican government still has people and resources ready for evacuations if the activity gets worse.
Check out the webcams to watch Popocatépetl’s activity (conditions permitting).
Much like Popocatépetl, Colombia’s Nevado del Ruiz has been rumbling much of the spring. After a brief respite, the activity at the volcano has kicked back up this week, with almost continuous ash emissions over the last few days. However, the activity hasn’t increased since the volcano was placed back on Orange alert status last Tuesday. INGEOMINAS scientists say that these ash emissions could last for days to weeks, continuing to dust the region around Ruiz with coating of volcanic ash. The Colombian and regional governments have prepared shelters for potential evacuees if the volcano’s activity increases or lahars are generated from these rewned explosions.
Be sure to watch the Ruiz webcams to see any changes at the volcano.
The lava flows (see above) and ups/downs of the Halema’uma’u Crater lava lake have continued into the early summer at Kilauea on the Big Island. The level of the summit lava lake has oscillated over the last week, changing as much as 60 meters (relative to the floor of the summit crater) and parts of the crater wall falling into the lava lake. You can also check out a brief piece of the earthquake and volcanic threat to another Hawaiian island, Maui.