Volcano Restless? Where to Find Info Online

By Erik Klemetti | September 13, 2017 10:39 am
The 2015 eruption of Calbuco in Chile. Image by Carolina Barría Kemp, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The 2015 eruption of Calbuco in Chile. Image by Carolina Barría Kemp, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Back on the old blog, I used to do frequent updates on volcanic eruptions around the world. Now that I’m covering a wider field of geology, those are a little more uncommon. There is a lot of information about volcanic activity going on across globe at any one time. Usually about 8-12 volcanoes are erupting at the same time, so never believe the hype if you see media articles about how 2-3 volcanoes erupted so that means the Earth is going crazy!

Here are some places I go to check on volcanic activity:

  • Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program: This is the ultimate source of verified volcano news. The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report has snapshots of much of the eruptive activity that occurs across the planet and is vetted, so you can trust the information is real. Updated on Thursdays (usually), this is the place to start.
  • VAAC: The Volcano Ash Advisory Centers have more technical information about eruptions as they happen. The world is divided up into different VAACs, so you can select the region where the volcanoes you’re interested in lie to see if they have issued any advisories for air traffic due to volcanic activity.

A whole bunch of volcano monitoring agencies have pages with status updates and information for their country’s volcanoes. Here is a selection of some of the best and most frequently updated:

  • USGS Volcano Hazards Program: If you are keen on American volcanoes, check out the USGS Volcano Hazards Program page, which features a great map of the current status of the volcanoes in the United States. It is a simple status system: green is “everything is normal”, yellow is “unrest”, orange is “high unrest and eruption” and red is “active, hazardous eruption”.
  • GeoNET: For volcanoes in New Zealand, GeoNet has information on what volcanoes are restless (right now, only White Island and Ruapehu are at elevated alert, both Level 1). You can also find information on earthquakes here as well.
  • SERNAGEOMIN: All of Chile’s volcanoes, with links to webcams. Chile current has two volcanoes on yellow alert: Planchón-Peteroa and Nevados de Chillán.
  • Osservatorio Etneo: If you’re interested in what’s up at Europe’s most active volcano, check out the INGV’s Etna Observatory page. They have lots of earthquake information and webcams as well for the volcanoes including Etna and Stromboli.
  • KVERT: Kamchatka is the most volcanically active area on Earth, so the KVERT site is always being updated with new information and pictures for these Russian volcanoes. The webcam links are great so you can see the nearly weekly (or daily) eruptions from places like Shiveluch and Kliuchevskoi.
  • JMA: Japan has more volcanoes than almost any nation on Earth, and here you can see the current status for each of the volcanoes.
  • SGC: The Colombian Geological Survey has a great page with current volcano information and geographic data that you can overlay to understand potential volcanic hazards related to the country’s volcanoes.

There are a few sources of information from volcano enthusiasts as well. However: always be catious about such sites because they are not official sources and may or may not have vetted information:

If you’re really curious about watching volcanoes erupting, check out my page of all the volcano webcams on Earth (although it needs a little updating).

By no means, is this a complete list, but it is a great state. If you have any places you’d suggest, feel free to add to the list in the comments!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Rocky Planet, Science, Science Blogs
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  • Not_that_anyone_cares, but…

    Could we say that with the Internet there has been an eruption of places to find information about volcanoes?

  • Ed Venzke

    The Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is actually posted to the website early on Wednesday evening (US Eastern time). Tons of other great information on the GVP site if you take the time to click around and explore.

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Rocky Planet

Rocky Planet covers all the geologic events that made and will continue to shape our planet. From volcanoes to earthquakes to gold to oceans to other solar systems, I discuss what is intriguing and illuminating about the rocks beneath our feet and above our heads. Ever wonder what volcanoes are erupting? How tsunamis form and where? What rocks can tell us about ancient environments? How the Earth might change in the future? You'll find these answers and more on Rocky Planet.
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