Volcano Patrol Sept. 19th

The most recent news out of Indonesia I’ve been able to find is that Semeru volcano (really a quite beautiful volcano) is erupting 3-4 times a day, and there is a growing lava dome in the crater. Activity at Semeru is said to be accelerating. This could get interesting, I just wish news of Indonesian volcanoes were more timely and accessible.

Semeru volcano. Ain't it just gorgeous?

The last I heard of Tambora is that villagers had left areas thought to be dangerous there using the recently established evacuation routes and were afraid to go back home. It might be that activity has become elevated there, but news is hard to come by.

Gede Suantika of the government Center for Volcanology said that activity started picking up in April when volcanic quakes increased to over 200 a month from about 5 per month, and Tambora began sending ash plumes 4,600 feet into the air, something it’s not been seen to do before this. Yeah, that would have gotten my attention too.

Apparently hundreds of people had evacuated the slopes of Tambora going to live with relatives elsewhere on Sumbawa Island. Having been raised on tales of what Tambora did in 1815 they were reluctant to go back home, but are starting to trickle back into their communities there at the urging of the local chief who wants them to harvest their crops and get their kids back into school. Can’t say as I blame them. It’s doubtful that anything like the 1815 eruption is due again but I wouldn’t risk it either, it doesn’t take a VEI 7 eruption to ruin your whole day.

I’ve been trying to find out what might be going on at Merapi, but the webicorders there are still displaying the data from August 8th, so nothing current to report, and that’s all I can find out about Indonesian volcanoes so far today.

Steaming crater at Cleveland volcano

Cleveland volcano is still commanding attention, and a new picture of the lava dome has been taken. It fills the crater now, and you can see that here. The thermal anomaly persists at Cleveland and an explosive eruption might occur at any time with no warning. AVO has no instruments on the volcano and can’t tell what it’s going to do until it does it. Quakes have continued to occur there in the Fox Islands, in the same area of the subduction zone all the others hit during The last six weeks. I’m not at all sure what the connection with Cleveland might be, if any, but it is interesting. Two more quakes hit there today, a 5.8 and a 5.4.

Yellowstone YPK station 9-19-11

Yellowstone continues to be interesting for me, this event  turned up on the YPK station inside the park. It’s not all quiet at that station on the east end of the caldera, and after what I saw there on the 12th just after midnight I’m keeping a close eye on the east end of the park as well as the seismographs at Red Lodge to the east of the park. The YMR station continues to display it’s daily cycle of seismicity, and at the MCID station at the western end of the caldera I see this very interesting sine wave form on the seismograph.

I’ve seen that before, most recently after the Vancouver quake on the St. Helens seismographs. It also appears on the YLA station and the YSB station to a lesser degree. I haven’t seen this very often, and I’m very much wanting to know what it means. It seems like a long wave and slow harmonic to me, and might be a slow movement of magma. At any rate it’s very interesting.

South America seems quiet still, and I don’t mind saying I feel a little let down by the volcanoes there. For a while there it really looked like something was going to happen.

If anything interesting does happen today I’ll update here.


As I said I’d be I’m watching Yellowstone, and the following appears at the Red Lodge site RLMT SPZ US:

Increasing tremor at RLMT SPZ US, Red Lodge MT, east of Yellowstone Caldera

You may remember that Red Lodge is where we saw the rather interesting event of the 12th just after midnight recorded strongest there about 70 miles east of Yellowstone, after which we continue to see other interesting seismicity, between Yellowstone’s eastern fracture zone and Red Lodge. That interesting event looked like this:

Long period event, increasing magmatic pressure

There was a second event following that recorded at Red Lodge:

Two days later this was followed by:

…. and the next day by:

Red Lodge RLMT LPZ US 09-15-11

…followed on the 16th at Yellowstone’s YPK station by…

…and on the 17th by this:

RLMT LPZ US 09-17-11 accelerating tremor

I thought I’d recap with a chronology because this is all so very interesting to me, and it might be interesting to others as well.



About Martina Vaslovik

Volcano nerd and seismogeek
This entry was posted in earthquake, super volcano, Tambora, Uncategorized, Volcanology, Yellowstone and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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