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Explosions on Telica and Canlaon

Posted by Ren on November 25, 2015 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Ok, I'm back to writing now but this will only be a short post due to the lack of information and the fact that it's late.

In Nicaragua, Telica erupted on the 22nd November 2015 and again today between 5:22 to 8:30 in the morning (local time) producing six small explosions.

A morning eruption of Telica on the 25th November 2015. SOURCE: INETER.

In the Philippines, an unexpected eruption occurred on Canlaon on the 23rd November 2015. Possibly a steam driven explosion.

Canlaon eruption 24th November 2015. SOURCE: Jigz Santiago.

Suspending writing for a while

Posted by Ren on October 15, 2015 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

As I have too many things on my mind and not been getting enough sleep (and working doesn't help either) I've suspended my blog writing activity for the moment. When writing a blog post with lots of info it usually takes me around 2-3 hours to finish, so I just need time to sort things out and I'll be back as soon as possible. The Facebook page will remain active however.

Activity on Telica

Posted by Ren on September 28, 2015 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Since Wednesday 23rd September 2015, explosions have been occurring on Nicaragua's Telica Volcano. During the 23rd September, explosions with a moderate intensity occurred with the initial column of ash rising 400m above the crater. Then two small explosions occurred at 16:45 and 16:48 local time. Parts of the inner crater walls had collapsed and new fumaroles were observed. The next day, five more explosions occurred. Then on the 26th September, five new explosions with a moderate intensity had occurred. Ash plumes rose 500m above the crater and rocks were thrown 500m from the crater.

Telica eruption caught on webcam on 26th September 2015. SOURCE: INETER.

Volcanic activity 31/8/15: Cotopaxi, Lokon-Empung, Michael, Piton de la Fournaise

Posted by Ren on August 31, 2015 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I don't have time to write details so I will make this quick, but here is a quick lowdown on recent significant activity.

The ash emissions continue on Cotopaxi so the activity remains unchanged.

Eruption of Cotopaxi at 6:15 local time on 30th August 2015. SOURCE: Lucas M. Bustamante.

On 29th August an eruption accompanied by a strong rumbling sound occurred at 23:48 local time on Lokon-Empung.

Night eruption of Lokon. SOURCE: PVMBG.

A satellite image of Mount Michael in the South Sandwich Islands from the 26th August revealed an ash stained east flank of the volcano. A thermal hotspot was detected on the same volcano since then as seen on the MODVOLC website.

East flank of Michael Volcano appears to be stained in ash. SOURCE: NASA.

An eruption consisting of lava fountains and lava flows had began on Piton de la Fournaise on 24th August and is still continuing.

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Drone footage of the Piton de la Fournaise eruption on 29th August 2015. SOURCE: Dronecoptors.

Volume of Cotopaxi ash emissions increases

Posted by Ren on August 23, 2015 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The eruption of Volcan Cotopaxi continues with an increase in ash emission since Friday 21st August 2015. Webcam images from yesterday show that the volume of ash being emitted had increased. According to El Comercio, ash and gas reached the height of 1500m above the crater. Ash was reported to have fell in the areas of Toacaso, San Juan de Pastocalle, and Mulalo in the Cotopaxi province, and also in El Chaupi, Aloasi, Machachi, south of Aloag, Pintag, Uyumbicho, and Tambillo in the Pichincha province. Crops and livestock have also been affected.

The local population is currently not under threat from volcanic activity unless if the glacier ice melts on Cotopaxi which would therefore cause lahars. Whether a potential lahar would threaten settlements and urban areas would depend on the volcanic activity and the volume of ice melted. The western and southern drainages of Rio Cutuchi, Rio Saquimala, and Rio Barrancas, and the northern drainage of Rio Pita are prone to potential lahars and to a lesser extent, the eastern drainages of Rio Tambo and Rio Tamboyacu which flow into the Amazon basin.

In my opinion these are the possible scenarios:

1. The volcano will eventually stop erupting soon.

2. Ash emissions will continue for weeks, maybe months, maybe even a year.

3. The activity will eventually elevate causing pyroclastic flows and lahars.

Webcam image of the Cotopaxi eruption from 22nd August 2015. SOURCE: IGEPN.

Map of the Volcan Cotopaxi area with lahar paths marked in grey. SOURCE: geomorphologie.revues.org

Webcam image from today. SOURCE: IGEPN.

The latest on Cotopaxi

Posted by Ren on August 18, 2015 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

As the weather looked better in Ecuador today local people were able to get clear views of the Cotopaxi Volcano enabling them to observe the activity and take pictures. A team conducted an overflight of Cotopaxi, and the weather looked good on webcam today. 

Based on the photos and webcam images I've seen, the ash emissions continue and the west flank has been coated in ash although there's no signs that the glacier has melted except for the crater area. No lahars have been reported.

IGEPN reported an ash emission which rose 700m above the crater yesterday at 18:24 local time. Yellow alert remains in place. On Sunday, Ecuador's president Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency.

ALL PHOTOS: Ministerio Coordinador Seguridad Ecuador.

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Ash emissions on 18th August 2015. SOURCE: Abel Cordova.

First eruption of Cotopaxi since 1940

Posted by Ren on August 15, 2015 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday, Cotopaxi Volcano in Ecuador erupted for the first time since 1940 following a swarm of earthquakes the day before. The first explosions occurred at 4:02 and then at 4:07 local time which were heard by climbers at the volcano. These explosions produced large plumes of ash which caused ashfall in the areas of Machachi, Amaguaña, Boliche, Tambillo, and the south of Quito. Another explosion occurred at 10:25 local time lasting approximately 30 minutes producing an ash plume that rose to the height of between 6 and 8 km above the crater. Ash fell in areas to the southwest and northwest of Cotopaxi Volcano. Two more explosions occurred at 13:45 and then at 14:29 local time. According to reports the alert status was raised to yellow.

Reports of flights being diverted suggest that Quito international airport had been temporarily closed due to the eruption.

The type of eruption which occurred on Cotopaxi was phreatic in style. This often occurs when groundwater seeps underground and comes into contact with magma causing a steam driven explosion and also commonly occurs during initial stages of a reactivation of a volcano. Preliminary studies of the Cotopaxi ashfall suggest that it was not juvenile material but rather related to the pressurisation of a shallow hydrothermal system which increased in temperature.

Because Cotopaxi is a glacier covered volcano, it is prone to producing lahars should persistent eruptive activity melts the ice. Lahars are like mudflows which are a mixture of water and volcanic debris and can cause devastation to anything which lies in it's path. During a violent eruption in 1877, pyroclastic flows descended all sides of the volcano and caused lahars to travel over 100km before reaching the Pacific Ocean and the western Amazon Basin.

In my opinion, at this stage there will either be no further explosions for now or there will be further eruptive activity in the coming days or weeks. Should there be imminent further eruptive activity then it is my opinion that there will be at least one large explosion large enough to produce pyroclastic flows which could cause the partial melting of glacier ice which would therefore cause lahars. I also wouldn't rule out the possibilty of the activity changing it's style to strombolian explosions.

You can download the official Cotopaxi hazard maps (in Spanish) here: http://www.igepn.edu.ec/cotopaxi/mapa-de-peligros-cotopaxi/file

One of the eruptions as of yesterday. SOURCE: Jonathan Javier Jacome Calero.

Ashfall on a car and a highway. SOURCE: El Comercio.

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Cotopaxi eruption footage. SOURCE: Marco Chuquilla.

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Cotopaxi eruption footage from a rural area. SOURCE: snacimba (Youtube).

Cotopaxi awakens

Posted by Ren on August 14, 2015 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Cotopaxi Volcano in Ecuador has erupted for the first time since 1940 producing two explosions (likely phreatic eruptions) which spread ash in surrounding areas. During the middle of the day local time, another but a larger explosion had occurred sending a plume of ash into the sky. This followed an increase in sulphur dioxide emissions since May which had then became more intense last month. A lagoon inside the crater was discovered on 20th July.

I will keep you up to date with new information as they come along.


A swarm of earthquakes were detected yesterday which lasted from 17:21 till 18:06 local time. This was followed by two explosions which occurred at 4:02 and then at 4:07 local time, and were heard by climbers.


Alert level has been raised to yellow.


The eruption plume rose to the height of 5km. Also, it appears that Quito international airport has temporarily closed due to the eruption.

Seismogram which recorded the explosions (Times UTC). SOURCE: IGEPN.

Eruption plume seen from Machachi. SOURCE: Sebastian Guerrero.

I'm back

Posted by Ren on August 11, 2015 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I've returned from my break in writing and after thinking about it I've decided to change the way I write my blog. From now on I will write a little bit more volcano related topics and write less of unimportant volcanic activity reports. Beforehand, I was trying to keep up with the activity reports but found it hard due to my workload, feeling too tired to write, and having a lack of information about an eruption, etc. This made me realise that half of the eruptions which occurred weren't important and I'm posting short updates on my Facebook page anyway. So I will just write about significant eruptions as I'm more likely to have more information that way as well as volcanic topics. Even if I get busy, my aim is to post at least two blog posts a month.

Brief update 17th June

Posted by Ren on June 17, 2015 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

As I'm taking a break from writing I'm not writing much detail today but just wanted to give a quick update on volcanic activity recently.

Asides from minor activity on various volcanoes, eruptions have occurred on San Cristobal, Bulusan, Barren Island, and Sinabung. There was also a possible eruption of Asama yesterday in Japan. The most significant activity came from Sinabung with it's large pyroclastic eruptions.

I will return to writing next month.