Archived Volcano News - John Seach
March 2002


News reports posted in Eastern Australian Time (UT + 10 hr)
Reports written by John Seach

Taiwan Earthquake (Magnitude 7.1)
Sunday 31 March 2002
A major earthquake occurred NEAR THE NORTHEAST COAST OF TAIWAN, about 65 miles (100 km) southeast of Taipei at 11:52 PM MST, Mar 30, 2002 (Mar 31 at 2:52 PM local time in Taiwan). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. There have been some reports of damage and casualties in northeastern Taiwan.
This thrust earthquake occurred off the north-east shore of the island of Taiwan in a tectonicly complex region known as the Taiwan Collision Zone. This region is highly seismic. There are an average of five earthquakes per year with magnitude 5 or greater occurring within a 1 by 1 degree zone surrounding the epicenter. The high seismicity results from the convergence of the Philippine Sea plate and the Eurasian plate. The Philippine plate is moving NW at a rate of about 7 cm per year relative to the Eurasian plate. The complex region near the epicenter contains several substantial tectonic features including, the Ryukyu trench, Manila trench, and the Okinawa trough. 
Given the earthquake's fault mechanism and depth, it likely resulted from slip on the boundary between the subducting Philippine plate and the overlying Eurasian plate (see the cross-section link to the left). The surface expression of this contact is the east-west trending Ryukyu trench which is about 200 kilometers southeast of the epicenter. 
The tectonic environment of this earthquake differs from that of the more destructive magnitude 7.7 earthquake that occurred on September 20, 1999; the latter earthquake occurred in the crust of the Eurasian plate within the island of Taiwan.
Volcanoes of Taiwan...

Tungurahua Volcano (Ecuador)
1.467 S, 78.442 W, summit elevation 5023 m, stratovolcano
Monday 25th March 2002
Eruptions of Tungurahua volcano have been continuing since Wednesday 20th March.
More on Tungurahua Volcano...

Colima Volcano (western Mexico)
19.514 N,103.62 W, summit elevation 3850 m, Stratovolcano
Monday 25th March 2002
Eruption of ash and steam from Colima volcano at 1640 hr on Monday 25th March 2002 (local time). Ash reached a height of 14,000 to 20,000 ft and moved towards East.
More on Colima Volcano...

Kilauea Volcano (Hawaii)
19.425 N, 155.292 W, summit elevation 1222 m, Shield volcano
Monday 25th March 2002
Visitors saw numerous breakouts on the lava fan below the base of Pulama pali yesterday, fed through the tube system that descends the pali. The breakouts are a few hundred meters to 1 km north-norhtwest of the 1999 shatter ring.
More on Kilauea Volcano...

Merapi Volcano (Java, Indonesia)
7.54 S, 110.44 E, summit elevation. 2911 m, Stratovolcano
Sunday 23rd March 2002
Glowing lava avalanche is continuing during week 11-17 March and observer reported that the avalanche was occurred 69 times, dominantly toward to the upstream of Senowo, Sat and Lamat rivers, and partly to Bebeng river. The maximum distance was approximated about 2.5 km. Merapi seismicity was still high and seismograph again recorded low frequency earthquake within this week. There was no pyroclastic flow which was occurred during the reporting time.
More on Merapi Volcano...

Semeru Volcano (Java, Indonesia)
8.10 S, 112.92 E, summit elevation 3676 m, Stratovolcano
Sunday 23rd March 2002
Semeru activity during the week 11-17 March is still high. Seismograph has recorded tectonic, volcanic, explosion and avalanche earthquakes and there was a decreasing at tectonic and deep volcanic earthquakes compare to the previous week. Complete seismicity are listed below: 1 event of deep volcanic (VA), 2 events shallow volcanic (VB), 444 events of explosion, 21 events of avalanche, 3 events of tremor, and 3 events far tectonic earthquakes.
Semeru volcano is in level 2.
More on Semeru Volcano...

Talang Volcano (Sumatra, Indonesia)
0.97 S, 100.67 E, summit elevation 2896 m, stratovolcano
Sunday 23rd March 2002
During week 11-17 March, Talang activity was dominated with small explosion earthquakes, and the number of shallow volcanic earthquake increase than previous week. Based on visual observation, observer reported that white thin plume emission is ongoing with the heighness of about 100 m above the summit. Temperature of hot spring was about 43-64°C. List of seismicity are: 1 event deep volcanic (VA), 17 events of shallow volcanic (VB), 61 events of small explosion and 14 events of tectonic earthquake.
Talang volcano is in level 2.
More on Talang Volcano...

Mt Etna Volcano (Sicily, Italy)
37.73 N, 15.00 E, summit elevation  3350 m, Shield volcano
Friday 22nd March 2002
Emissions of lithic, pink-colored ash continue at the Bocca Nuova. These are accompanied by voluminous degassing from the Northeast Crater and minor fumarolic activity from the Voragine and the Southeast Crater. There is no evidence that fresh magma has risen to near the surface, since no incandescence can be seen at night. Yet it seems that something is moving up there.
All recent ejecta are fine lithic ash, which has left a thick, soft deposit in the summit area. Similar emissions occurred for months at the Bocca Nuova during the spring and summer of 1999, prior to the vigorous eruptions at the Voragine and the Bocca Nuova in September-November of that year.
More on Mt Etna volcano...

Kilauea Volcano (Hawaii)
19.425 N, 155.292 W, summit elevation 1222 m, Shield volcano
Monday 19th March 2002
Hikers yesterday found that the tube-fed flow on the coastal flat is inflating, lava welling from fractures in the crust of the flow as it is lifted up. The front of the flow is stagnant or barely moving and remains 200 m or more from the shatter ring. At Pu`u `O`o, the incandescent top of the spatter cone at the East Pond Vent is visible off and on this morning as fume drifts by.
More on Kilauea Volcano...

Semeru Volcano (Java, Indonesia)
8.10 S, 112.92 E, summit elevation 3676 m, Stratovolcano
Friday 15th March 2002
An increase in volcanic and seismic activity at Semeru during 3-10 March
led VSI to raise the Alert Level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4). On 8
March observers saw an emission rise ~400 m above the volcano, and  two
pyroclastic flows travel S as far as 2.5 km down the Kembar River. During
the report period there was an increase in tectonic and volcanic
earthquakes in comparison to the previous week.
More on Semeru volcano...

Parker Volcano (Philippines)
6.12 N, 124.89 E, summit elevation 1824 m, stratovolcano
Friday 15th March 2002
PHIVOLCS staff dispelled concerns that Parker might erupt after a M 7.5
earthquake occurred near the volcano on 6 March at 0516. According to news articles, tremor caused a portion of the volcano’s crater wall to breach and fall into Lake Maughan on top of the volcano. Articles also stated that tons of water that were released from the lake washed away houses and about 33 families were
evacuated from river banks below Lake Maughan due to fears that more of the
lake would overflow. Government agencies plan to conduct an aerial
inspection to assess the lake’s water level.
More on Parker volcano...

Mt Ruapehu Volcano (North Island, New Zealand)
39.28 S, 175.57 E, summit elevation 2779 m, stratovolcano
Friday 15th March 2002
At Ruapehu intermitent periods of volcanic tremor and several small volcanic earthquakes have  been recored. There has been no sign of surface activity.
More on Mt Ruapehu volcano...

Mt Etna Volcano (Sicily, Italy)
37.73 N, 15.00 E, summit elevation  3350 m, Shield volcano
Wednesday 13 March 2002
Near continuous, pulsating emissions of reddish-brown lithic ash have started around 9 March at the NW vent of the Bocca Nuova, generating a plume that trails for dozens of kilometers downwind. The source vent is the same one that was the site of deep-seated explosions during the past six months. The emissions might be caused by collapse within the conduit, which has occurred repeatedly after the end of the July-August 2001 eruption, and does not necessarily indicate an intensification of the activity or uprise of fresh magma. On the other hand, it is 8 months now that the volcano has been quiet, and renewed magmatic activity at the summit should be expected in the not too distant future.
More on Mt Etna volcano...

Mt Ruapehu Volcano (North Island, New Zealand)
39.28 S, 175.57 E, summit elevation 2779 m, stratovolcano
Sunday 10th March 2002
Signs of volcanic unrest continue at Ruapehu.
Institute of Geological and nuclear science in New Zealand report that periods of moderately elevated volcanic tremor and several small-moderate volcanic earthquakes were recorded. There has been no sign of surface activity.
More on Ruapehu volcano...

Mt Etna Remains Quiet
Mt Etna Volcano (Sicily, Italy)
37.73 N, 15.00 E, summit elevation  3350 m, Shield volcano
Sunday 10th March 2002
No eruptive activity is occurring presently at Etna, although deep-seated explosions are probably continuing within the conduit of one of the eruptive vents of the Bocca Nuova. Numerous small earthquakes, some of which were felt by the local population, have been recorded recently on the S flank (in the area of the largest of the July-August 2001 lava flows), which were interpreted as the result of the cooling of the lava flow. Thus the longest quiet interval at Etna since 1995 is continuing, and nothing indicates in this moment when this will end.
More on Mt Etna...

Sheveluch Volcano (Kamchatka, Russia)
56.653 N, 161.360 E, summit elevation 3283 m, stratovolcano
Friday 8th March 2002
In its latest bout of activity, a volcano in the Russian northeast spewed ash Monday, which later precipitated in a nearby town for two hours, seismologists said.
Sheveluch volcano on the Kamchatka peninsula threw gas and ashes as high as four kilometers, Kamchatka's seismic station reported. The ashes reached the town of Klyuchi, 46 kilometers away from the volcano, and fell down, mixing with snow.
The eruption also caused massive avalanches around the volcano.
The volcano has been active since March 2001, but experts said it poses no threat to the local population because it is remote. The closest settlement is the town of Klyuchi. (Vostok Media)
More on Sheveluch Volcano...

Tsunami after Philippines Earthquake
Major Earthquake in Philippines (Magnitude 7.5)
Wednesday 6th March 2002
A major earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter Scale (recorded by the United States Geological Survey) occurred at sea approximately 75 miles (120 km) west of General Santos, Mindanao, Philippines or about 620 miles (1005 km) south-southeast of the capital Manila at 05:16 AM local time. 
The quake is expected to have also produced a tsunami (tidal wave).
General Santos City:The city is experiencing a city-wide black out and water interruption due to fallen and broken electrical posts and water pipes. An estimated 30 buildings have been damaged by the quake while 10 people were reportedly injured. A tsunami has been reported in Kiamba, Saranggani Province where an undetermined number of houses were destroyed. While the situation in other coastal areas is still being clarified, Kapatan Glan, also in Saranggani province, is cut off due to landslides. The areas of Mount Parker and Mount Matutum are also being closely monitored for any impact. South Cotabato: The impact of the quake on the neighboring province of South Cotabato also caused a province-wide power blackout. However, there have been no reports of casualties or damage. 
Davao City/Davao del Sur/Davao Norte/ Oroquieta/Butuan City/Zamboanga City/ Cotabato Cites:The quake was felt by the population, though at the time of reporting no casualties or damage have been reported.
Volcanoes of Philippines...

Philippines Earthquake (Magnitude 7.5)
Wednesday 6th March 2002
A major earthquake occurred about 75 miles (120 km) west of General Santos, Mindanao, Philippines or about 620 miles (1005 km) south-southeast of Manila, Philippines at 2:16 PM MST, Mar 5, 2002 (Mar 06 at 5:16 AM local time in Philippine Islands). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. No reports of damage or casualties have been received at this time; however, this earthquake may have caused damage due to its location and size.
This thrust earthquake occurred landward of the Cotabato Trench, which is part of a distributed zone of deformation between the Sunda Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate. These plates are converging at a rate of about 6 cm per year. The mechanism is consistent with an interface event occurring on the boundary between the subducting plate and the overlying lithosphere.
Volcanoes of Philippines...

Karangetang Volcano (Siau Island, Indonesia)
2.47 N, 125.29 E, summit elevation 1784 m, stratovolcano
Wednesday 6th March 2002
Qantas flight from Hong Kong to Sydney reports eruption of Karangetang volcano.
More on Karangetang Volcano...

Afghanistan Earthquake (Magnitude 7.3)
Tuesday 5th March 2002
A major earthquake occurred IN THE HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN about 45 miles (75 km) south-southwest of Feyzabad or 150 miles (240 km) north-northeast of Kabul at 5:08 AM MST, Mar 3, 2002 (4:38 PM local time in Afghanistan). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. This is a large, intermediate-depth earthquake. Typically earthquakes of this type do not cause extreme damage, unless they trigger landslides, but are often felt over a very wide area. In fact, this earthquake was felt in 7 countries -- Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. This subduction zone earthquake occurred near the boundary of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. The two plates are converging towards each other at a rate of about 4.4 cm per year. The earthquake occurred in a subducted part of the Eurasian plate, at a depth of about 200 km. The faulting that produced the earthquake reflects internal deformation of the subducted Eurasian plate rather than slip on the boundary between the Eurasian and Indian plates. This earthquake occurred in the highly-seismic Hindu Kush region. On average, there are four magnitude 5 or greater earthquakes per year whose epicenters are within 60 km of this event. Earthquake depths in this region range from the surface to depths of 330 km. Although small near-surface earthquakes have been generated by human activity such as mining and reservoir loading, the depth and magnitude of this event preclude any connection with human activity including the recent bombing.
Volcanoes of Afghanistan...