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AVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Okmok (CAVW #1101-29-)

Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Previous Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL

Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Previous Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Issued: Monday, March 2, 2009, 8:52 PM AKST (20090303/0552Z)
Source: Alaska Volcano Observatory
Notice Number: 2009/A5
Location: N 53 deg 23 min W 168 deg 9 min
Elevation: 3520 ft (1073 m)
Area: Aleutians Alaska

Volcanic Activity Summary: AVO is increasing the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW and the Volcanic Alert Level to ADVISORY for Okmok volcano. Over the past 24 hours there have been short bursts of volcanic tremor at Okmok volcano. These bursts are occurring at a rate of one per hour on average. This is the first sign significant seismic activity at the volcano since the cessation of eruption in August 2008 and represents an increase above typical background activity.

This increase in seismic activity does not necessarily indicate that an eruption will occur, or that an eruption is likely. Clouds currently obscure satellite views of the volcano. However there is no evidence that an eruption has occurred. The AVO Operations Room is currently being staffed 24/7 due to unrest at Redoubt Volcano.

Recent Observations:
[Volcanic cloud height] None observed.
[Other volcanic cloud information] None observed.

Hazard Analysis:
[General hazards] Unstable, muddy surfaces and slopes of new volcanic debris within the caldera are prone to liquefaction and collapse. In addition, new lakes, ponds, and deep craters with steep, collapsing banks present hazards to anyone visiting the caldera. The interior of the new tephra cone was hot when imaged with an infrared camera in mid-September. Volcanic gas was not measured; however, noxious gases could be present around this new tephra cone. All drainages leading downslope from the rim of the caldera should be considered hazardous as ash and other loose debris may be remobilized suddenly by heavy rains. The Crater Creek drainage on the north-northeast flank of Okmok should be avoided as it may experience sudden flooding events if water impounded within the caldera breaches new tephra dams.

Remarks: Okmok volcano was in vigorous eruption from July 12 through mid-August, 2008. Energetic, intermittent ash emission from several vents within the caldera blanketed much of the northeast portion of Umnak Island with ash and dusted Unalaska/Dutch Harbor with fine ash on several occasions. Rain-induced remobilization of debris from high on the volcano's flanks produced lahars down many drainages, forming new deltas at the coastline. A new, 200-300 m-high (660-980 ft) tephra cone developed inside the caldera at the primary eruption site. Since late August 2008, seismicity at Okmok has generally declined. The last confirmed ash emission at Okmok occurred on August 19, 2008.

Okmok volcano is a 6-mile-wide caldera that occupies most of the eastern end of Umnak Island, located 75 miles southwest of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in the eastern Aleutian Islands. Okmok has had several eruptions in historic time typically consisting of ash emissions occasionally to over 30,000 feet ASL but generally much lower; lava flows crossed the caldera floor in 1945 and 1958. Prior to 2008, the volcano last erupted in February 1997 producing lava flows and intermittent ash emissions over the course of several months.

The nearest settlement is Nikolski, population about 35, roughly 45 miles west of the volcano. A ranch caretaker family lives at Fort Glenn on the flank of the volcano about 6 miles east of the caldera rim.

Contacts: Tom Murray, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
tlmurray@usgs.gov (907) 786-7497

Steve McNutt, Coordinating Scientist, UAF
steve@giseis.alaska.edu (907) 474-7131

Next Notice: A new VAN will be issued if conditions change significantly or alert levels are modified. While a VAN is in effect, regularly scheduled updates are posted at http://www.avo.alaska.edu

The Alaska Volcano Observatory is a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.


(1) VOLCANO OBSERVATORY NOTICE FOR AVIATION (VONA)
(2) Issued:(20090303/0552Z)
(3) Volcano:Okmok (CAVW# 1101-29-)
(4) Current Color Code:YELLOW
(5) Previous Color Code:green
(6) Source:Alaska Volcano Observatory
(7) Notice Number:2009/A5
(8) Volcano Location:N 53 deg 23 min W 168 deg 9 min
(9) Area:Aleutians Alaska
(10) Summit Elevation:3520 ft (1073 m)
(11) Volcanic Activity Summary:AVO is increasing the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW and the Volcanic Alert Level to ADVISORY for Okmok volcano. Over the past 24 hours there have been short bursts of volcanic tremor at Okmok volcano. These bursts are occurring at a rate of one per hour on average. This is the first sign significant seismic activity at the volcano since the cessation of eruption in August 2008 and represents an increase above typical background activity.

This increase in seismic activity does not necessarily indicate that an eruption will occur, or that an eruption is likely. Clouds currently obscure satellite views of the volcano. However there is no evidence that an eruption has occurred. The AVO Operations Room is currently being staffed 24/7 due to unrest at Redoubt Volcano.
(12) Volcanic cloud height:None observed.
(13) Other volcanic cloud information:None observed.
(14) Remarks:Okmok volcano was in vigorous eruption from July 12 through mid-August, 2008. Energetic, intermittent ash emission from several vents within the caldera blanketed much of the northeast portion of Umnak Island with ash and dusted Unalaska/Dutch Harbor with fine ash on several occasions. Rain-induced remobilization of debris from high on the volcano's flanks produced lahars down many drainages, forming new deltas at the coastline. A new, 200-300 m-high (660-980 ft) tephra cone developed inside the caldera at the primary eruption site. Since late August 2008, seismicity at Okmok has generally declined. The last confirmed ash emission at Okmok occurred on August 19, 2008.

Okmok volcano is a 6-mile-wide caldera that occupies most of the eastern end of Umnak Island, located 75 miles southwest of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in the eastern Aleutian Islands. Okmok has had several eruptions in historic time typically consisting of ash emissions occasionally to over 30,000 feet ASL but generally much lower; lava flows crossed the caldera floor in 1945 and 1958. Prior to 2008, the volcano last erupted in February 1997 producing lava flows and intermittent ash emissions over the course of several months.

The nearest settlement is Nikolski, population about 35, roughly 45 miles west of the volcano. A ranch caretaker family lives at Fort Glenn on the flank of the volcano about 6 miles east of the caldera rim.
(15) Contacts:Tom Murray, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
tlmurray@usgs.gov (907) 786-7497

Steve McNutt, Coordinating Scientist, UAF
steve@giseis.alaska.edu (907) 474-7131
(16) Next Notice:A new VONA will be issued if conditions change significantly or alert levels are modified. While a VONA is in effect, regularly scheduled updates are posted at http://www.avo.alaska.edu
VOLCANO ALERT LEVELS
NORMAL
Volcano is in typical background, noneruptive state or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has ceased and volcano has returned to noneruptive background state.
ADVISORY
Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be closely monitored for possible renewed increase.
WATCH
Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, OR eruption is underway but poses limited hazards.
WARNING
Hazardous eruption is imminent, underway, or suspected.
AVIATION COLOR CODES
GREEN
Volcano is in typical background, noneruptive state or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has ceased and volcano has returned to noneruptive background state.
YELLOW
Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be closely monitored for possible renewed increase.
ORANGE
Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, OR eruption is underway with no or minor volcanic-ash emissions [ash-plume height specified, if possible].
RED
Eruption is imminent with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere likely OR eruption is underway or suspected with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere [ash-plume height specified, if possible].
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Page modified: May 16, 2014 09:40
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