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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
Friday, June 14, 2013 1:30 PM AKDT (Friday, June 14, 2013 21:30 UTC)


VENIAMINOF VOLCANO (CAVW #1102-07-)
56°11'52" N 159°23'35" W, Summit Elevation 8225 ft (2507 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Mount Veniaminof volcano began erupting on Thursday morning, June 13 following several days of increasing seismicity. On Saturday, June 8, AVO elevated the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory in response to increasing levels of seismic tremor recorded beneath the volcano. Nothing unusual was observed in satellite imagery. An FAA web camera in Perryville recorded minor steam with possible ash emissions rising from the intracaldera cinder cone on Monday, June 10. Seismic tremor continued to gradually but steadily increase over the next several days. On the morning of Thursday, June 13, intense elevated surface temperatures were recorded in satellite images at the intracaldera cinder cone indicating that an eruption was likely underway. AVO raised the Color Code/Alert Level to ORANGE/WATCH. Late that evening, at 11:23 pm AKDT (07:23 UTC on June 14), a pilot observed an ash plume up to about 12,000 ft above sea level and a lava flow issuing from the intracaldera cinder cone. Residents in Perryville and Port Moller also reported observing the ash emissions at about 11:30 pm AKDT (07:30 UTC on June 14). Observers located west of the volcano reported that no ash was issuing from the intracaldera cinder cone this morning; however ash emission could resume abruptly at any time. Refer to the NWS Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (http://aawu.arh.noaa.gov/) for updates on SIGMETs related to ash emissions.

Recent satellite images show intense elevated surface temperatures at the intracaldera cinder cone consistent with the pilot report of the presence of lava. Volcanic tremor continues. The seismic network at Veniaminof is not fully functional compared to that operating during the last eruption (2005), so the accuracy with which we can interpret ongoing seismicity is diminished.

Recent eruptions of Veniaminof volcano have all occurred from vents located on the intracaldera cinder cone and were characterized by brief bursts of ash emission and small explosions. Ash plumes associated with this type of activity are typically diffuse and generally do not reach more than 20,000 feet above sea level. Ash fallout is typically limited to the flanks of the volcano. Minor emissions of steam and ash may persist for for weeks to months.

Mount Veniaminof volcano is an andesitic stratovolcano with an ice-filled 10-km diameter summit caldera located on the Alaska Peninsula, 775 km (480 mi) southwest of Anchorage and 35 km (22 mi) north of Perryville. Veniaminof is one of the largest (~ 300 km3) and most active volcanic centers in the Aleutian Arc and has erupted at least 13 times in the past 200 years. Recent significant eruptions of the volcano occurred in 1993-95 and 2005. Both were moderate Strombolian eruptions producing intermittent low-level jets of incandescent lava fragments, and low-level emissions of steam and ash from the main intracaldera cinder cone. During the 1993-95 activity, a small lava flow was extruded into the summit caldera ice field producing an ice pit. Minor ash-producing explosions occurred in 2002, 2004, early 2005, November 2006, and February 2008. Previous historical eruptions have produced ash plumes that reached 6,000 m (20,000 ft) above sea level and ash fallout that blanketed areas within about 40 km (25 mi) of the volcano.

PAVLOF VOLCANO (CAVW #1102-03-)
55°25'2" N 161°53'37" W, Summit Elevation 8261 ft (2518 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Eruptive activity at Pavlof continued over the past week. Persistent elevated surface temperatures consistent with lava effusion were observed in satellite images, and minor ash plumes below 20,000 were generated through most of the week and mostly drifted to the southeast. There were no reports of ash fall on local communities. On Thursday, pilots reported observing no ash emissions, and no ash was detected in satellite data; however, ash emissions could resume at any time. Web camera views have been cloudy. No plumes have been observed in recent satellite images. Refer to the NWS Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (http://aawu.arh.noaa.gov/) for updates on SIGMETs related to ash emissions. Volcanic tremor and small explosions continue to be detected on the compromised but functional local seismic network.

Technical problems temporarily disabled the real-time seismic data feeds from Pavlof Volcano on Wednesday, June 12, and were resolved within a few hours, restoring the data stream.

Pavlof volcano is located on the southwestern end of the Alaska Peninsula. Pavlof is a stratovolcano which rises to an elevation of 8262 feet. With almost 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanos in the Aleutian arc. Eruptive activity is generally characterized by sporadic strombolian fountaining continuing for a several-month period. The community of Cold Bay is located 60 km (37 miles) to the southwest of Pavlof.

CLEVELAND VOLCANO (CAVW #1101-24-)
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Low-level clouds obscured web camera views of the volcano in the past 24 hours. Possible elevated surface temperatures were observed late on Saturday, June 9, and no elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images throughout the remainder of the week. We have received no other reports of activity at the volcano.

Sudden explosions of blocks and ash are still possible with little or no warning. Ash clouds, if produced, could exceed 20,000 feet above sea level. If a large ash-producing event occurs, nearby seismic, infrasound, or volcanic lightning networks should alert AVO staff quickly. However, for some events, a delay of several hours is possible. Cleveland volcano does not have a local seismic network and is monitored using only distant seismic and infrasound instruments and satellite data.

Cleveland volcano forms the western half of Chuginadak Island, a remote and uninhabited island in the east central Aleutians. It is located about 75 km (45 mi.) west of the community of Nikolski, and 1500 km (940 mi.) southwest of Anchorage. The volcano's most recent significant eruption began in February, 2001 and it produced 3 explosive events that produced ash clouds as high as 12 km (39,000 ft) above sea level. The 2001 eruption also produced a rubbly lava flow and hot avalanche that reached the sea. The most recent minor ash emissions were observed in November 2012.

OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES

Seismic activity is monitored in real time at 29 volcanoes in Alaska. Satellite images of all Alaskan volcanoes are analyzed daily for evidence of ash plumes and elevated surface temperatures. Some volcanoes may currently display anomalous behavior but are not considered to be at a dangerous level of unrest. Akutan, Aniakchak, Augustine, Dutton, Fisher, Fourpeaked, Gareloi, Great Sitkin, Griggs, Iliamna, Isanotski, Kanaga, Katmai, Mageik, Makushin, Martin, Novarupta, Okmok, Redoubt, Shishaldin, Snowy, Spurr, Tanaga, Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, and Westdahl volcanoes are in color code GREEN and volcano alert level Normal. All are at or near normal levels of background seismicity. AVO did not detect ash plumes or significant elevated surface temperatures in the vicinity of any of these volcanoes.

Please see http://www.avo.alaska.edu/color_codes.php for complete definitions of Aviation color codes and Volcano alert levels.

VOLCANO INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET: http://www.avo.alaska.edu
RECORDING ON THE STATUS OF ALASKA'S VOLCANOES (907) 786-7478

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Stephanie Prejean, Acting Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
sprejean@usgs.gov (907) 786-7497

Jessica Larsen, Acting Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
jflarsen@alaska.edu (907) 474-7992

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.
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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URL: www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/avoreport.php
Page modified: May 16, 2014 09:40
Contact Information: AVO Web Team

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