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Monday Musings: Russian activity, tremors at Ngauruhoe and Mayon climbers beware

Some evidence of activity at Russia’s Gorely, officials shoo climbers off Mayon, the continued saga of the oil tanks near Redoubt and tremors under Ngauruhoe? (UPDATED: actually no, it was wind!)

News for Monday!

Ngauruhoe in New Zealand, showing the dark lava flows of basaltic andesite on the slopes of the young volcanic cone. Image by Erik Klemetti, taken January 2009.

  • A couple pieces of news from two Russian volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula: (1) last week’s report of activity at Gorely appears to be semi-substantiated with new photos on the KVERT website (Russian). The images from June 6 and 12 (2010) shows steam plumes coming from the volcano – one as tall as 500 meters. Now, this doesn’t imply that an eruption occurred, but it might suggest activity on on the upswing. KVERT continues to list the Alert Status at Gorely as “Green”. (2) An eruption over the weekend at Shiveluch produced an explosive plume that reached 4.5 km / 15,000 feet. Over the last few days, the volcano has experienced over 150 earthquakes, but the activity is no threat to nearby villages or aviation over the peninsula. The status at Shiveluch remains at “Orange”.
  • On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, there are some interesting tremors (Updated 6/21/2010: Nope, likely these “tremors” are just wind in the area of the webicorder – see the comments below) going on near Ngauruhoe in New Zealand. This fairly active volcano is part of the Taupo Volcano Zone and is located next door to Ruapehu near the famous Tongariro Crossing. Now, there is no indication on the New Zealand GeoNet website and the status is still “green”, but it could be something to watch. Ngauruhoe last erupted in 1977 and had frequent eruptions in the middle of the 20th century. Ngauruhoe is really the youngest cone of Tongariro volcano – a cone that started forming only 2,500 years ago. The volcano tends to have strombolian explosions with basaltic andesite lava flows (see image above) … and be sure to check out the Ngauruhoe webcam.
  • Over in the Philippines, government officials now have the deal with tourists visiting Mayon instead of Taal after they were warned to stay away from the latter volcano. However, dangers still exist at Mayon, where there are frequent rockfalls and small explosions – yet tour guides still bring people into the 6-km exclusion zone. Although the Alert Status at Mayon is at Level 1, the crater still glows red at night, reminding us that magma is still near the surface.
  • Finally, last year there was a lot of talk about the oil storage tanks near Redoubt in Alaska. This week, the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council heard a report on the storage tanks and whether the CIRCA did an appropriate job in planning for a volcanic eruption from the Alaskan volcano in regards to the potential spill from the tanks. More or less, it appears that the Council may have been complacent in the oversight of the facility – a common problem when it comes to planning for disasters.
  • {Hat tip to Eruptions readers M. Randolph Kruger and Bruce Stout for information used in this post.}


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