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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, June 18, 2021, 1:02 PM AKDT (Friday, June 18, 2021, 21:02 UTC)


SEMISOPOCHNOI VOLCANO (VNUM #311060)
51°55'44" N 179°35'52" E, Summit Elevation 2625 ft (800 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Activity at the north crater of Mount Cerberus on Semisopochnoi Island has continued to decline over the past week. Seismicity has remained at low levels and no eruptive activity was detected. Weakly elevated surface temperatures and sulfur dioxide emissions were observed in satellite data this week. As a result of the decline in unrest, AVO lowered the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW and the Volcano Alert Level to ADVISORY on June 16. Overall, activity at the volcano remains slightly above background levels and the volcano is now in a quiet period characterized by passive degassing.

Small eruptions producing minor ash deposits within the vicinity of the active north crater of Mount Cerberus and ash clouds under 10,000 ft above sea level are typical of recent activity at Semisopochnoi. New explosions could occur at any time with no warning.

Semisopochnoi is monitored by a local seismic and infrasound network, and remotely by satellite and lightning detection sensors. Infrasound arrays in the region may detect explosive emissions from Semisopochnoi if atmospheric conditions permit.


Remote Semisopochnoi volcano occupies the largest, young volcanic island in the western Aleutians. The volcano is dominated by an 5-mile (8-km) diameter caldera that contains a small lake and a number of post-caldera cones and craters. The age of the caldera is not known with certainty but is likely early Holocene. Prior to 2018, the previous known eruption of Semisopochnoi occurred in 1987, probably from Sugarloaf Peak on the south coast of the island, but details are lacking. Another prominent, young post-caldera landform is Mount Cerberus, a three-peaked cone cluster in the southwest part of the caldera. The island is uninhabited and part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. It is located 40 miles (65 km) northeast of Amchitka Island and 130 miles (200 km) west of Adak.

CLEVELAND VOLCANO (VNUM #311240)
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

No significant activity was detected in seismic or infrasound data over the past week. Elevated surface temperatures and occasional vapor plumes were detected at the volcano throughout the past week. These observations likely do not indicate a change in the level of unrest as the volcano is persistently active but difficult to observe due to cloud cover. The level of seismic activity does not suggest a change in the status of the volcano.

Episodes of lava effusion and explosions can occur without advance warning. Explosions from Cleveland are normally short duration and only present a hazard to aviation in the immediate vicinity of the volcano. Larger explosions that present a more widespread hazard to aviation are possible, but occur less frequently.

Cleveland volcano is monitored by only two seismic stations, which restricts AVO's ability to precisely locate earthquakes and detect precursory unrest that may lead to an explosive eruption. Rapid detection of an ash-producing eruption may be possible using a combination of seismic, infrasound, lightning, and satellite data.


Cleveland volcano forms the western portion of Chuginadak Island, a remote and uninhabited island in the east central Aleutians. The volcano is located about 45 miles (75 km) west of the community of Nikolski, and 940 miles (1500 km) southwest of Anchorage. The most recent significant period of eruption began in February, 2001 and produced 3 explosive events that generated ash clouds as high as 39,000 ft (11.8 km) above sea level. The 2001 eruption also produced a lava flow and hot avalanche that reached the sea. Since then, Cleveland has been intermittently active producing small lava flows, often followed by explosions that generate small ash clouds generally below 20,000 ft (6 km) above sea level. These explosions also launch debris onto the slopes of the cone producing hot pyroclastic avalanches and lahars that sometimes reach the coastline.

GARELOI VOLCANO (VNUM #311070)
51°47'21" N 178°47'46" W, Summit Elevation 5161 ft (1573 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Above background levels of unrest continue at Gareloi volcano. However, the level of seismic activity appears to be declining somewhat. Slightly elevated surface temperatures were observed at the volcano summit several times this week. There have been no other notable changes at the volcano as determined from satellite data and nothing has been detected by local infrasound sensors.

Gareloi volcano persistently emits magmatic gases from a fumarole field on the south crater and commonly exhibits low-level seismic activity. These observations suggest the presence of shallow magma and potential interaction with a hydrothermal system. The current increase in seismicity likely reflects a change to the magmatic-hydrothermal system, but it is not clear that the likelihood of a volcanic eruption has increased. AVO will continue to monitor activity to determine if the recent changes are related to influx of new magma or other changes to the magma system.

Gareloi is monitored by a local seismic and infrasound network, satellite data, and regional infrasound and lightning-detection networks.


Mount Gareloi, which makes up all of Gareloi Island, is a stratovolcano located in the Delarof Islands group of the Aleutian Islands, about 2,000 km (1,242 mi) west-southwest of Anchorage and about 150 km (93 mi) west of Adak, the westernmost community in Alaska. This small volcano is 10 × 8 km (6.2 × 5.0 mi) in diameter at its base with two summits, separated by a narrow saddle. The northern, slightly higher peak contains crater about 300 m (1,000 ft) across. The southern summit has a crater open to the south and a persistent degassing vent (fumarole) on its western rim. Gareloi has been one of the most active in the Aleutians since the 1740s, with 16 reports of eruptive activity at Gareloi since 1760. In 1929, its largest historical eruption produced sixteen small south- to southeast-trending craters that extend from the southern summit to the coast, as well as lava flows and pyroclastic deposits on the southeastern flank of the volcano. Eruptions of Gareloi commonly produce ash clouds and lava flows, and the primary hazard is airborne clouds of ash that could affect aircraft. Since seismic instruments were installed in 2003, they have detected small but consistent seismic signals from beneath Mount Gareloi’s edifice.

GREAT SITKIN VOLCANO (VNUM #311120)
52°4'35" N 176°6'39" W, Summit Elevation 5709 ft (1740 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Unrest at Great Sitkin volcano has been at a low level throughout the past week. No additional ash emissions have been detected since a short-duration explosive event occurred on May 25 AKDT (May 26 UTC). Seismicity remains at low levels and satellite observations show no additional activity, although slightly elevated surface temperatures have been detected most of this week. The elevated temperatures are likely the result of still-hot pyroclastic material around the vent.

The prognosis for renewed eruptive activity is uncertain, although the ongoing quiescence is suggestive of a gradual return to normal background conditions. It remains possible for the level of unrest at the volcano to change quickly, and if so, additional explosive events could occur in the coming days, weeks, or months. AVO is monitoring the volcano closely and will report on significant changes and observations in monitoring data should they occur.

Great Sitkin is monitored with a local real-time seismic and infrasound network, which will typically allow AVO to detect changes in unrest that may lead to an explosive eruption. Rapid detection of an ash-producing eruption would be accomplished using a combination of seismic, infrasound, lightning, and satellite data.


Great Sitkin Volcano is a basaltic andesite volcano that occupies most of the northern half of Great Sitkin Island, a member of the Andreanof Islands group in the central Aleutian Islands. It is located 43 km (26 miles) east of the community of Adak. The volcano is a composite structure consisting of an older dissected volcano and a younger parasitic cone with a 3-km-diameter summit crater. A steep-sided lava dome, emplaced during the most recent significant eruption in 1974, occupies the center of the crater. That eruption produced at least one ash cloud that likely exceeded an altitude of 25,000 ft above sea level. A poorly documented eruption occurred in 1945, also producing a lava dome that was partially destroyed in the 1974 eruption. Within the past 280 years a large explosive eruption produced pyroclastic flows that partially filled the Glacier Creek valley on the southwest flank.

OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES

Information on all Alaska volcanoes is available at : http://www.avo.alaska.edu.

For definitions of Aviation Color Codes and Volcano Alert Levels, see: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/color_codes.php

SUBSCRIBE TO VOLCANO ALERT MESSAGES by email: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/

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CONTACT INFORMATION:

Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS mcoombs@usgs.gov (907) 786-7497

David Fee, Coordinating Scientist, UAF dfee1@alaska.edu (907) 322-4085

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 eru