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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, July 7, 2017, 1:46 PM AKDT (Friday, July 7, 2017, 21:46 UTC)
53°55'38" N 168°2'4" W,
Summit Elevation 492 ft (150 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Several eruptive episodes occurred over the past week, twice prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to RED and the Volcano Alert Level to WARNING. On the afternoon of Sunday, July 2, a 16-minute-long eruption began at 12:48 AKDT (20:48 UTC) that produced a volcanic cloud reaching an altitude of 36,000 ft above sea level (asl) that was carried to the southeast. The Aviation Color Code/Volcano Alert Level was reduced to ORANGE/WATCH the following day. Then on Tuesday afternoon, July 4, Bogoslof erupted twice. The first, a 13-minute-long eruption, began at 16:51 AKDT (00:51 UTC, July 5) and sent an ash cloud to 28,000 ft asl that was carried to the southeast, prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code/Volcano Alert Level to RED/WARNING. The second eruption began at 19:07 AKDT (03:07 UTC, July 5), lasted 11 minutes, and put ash up to 32,000 ft asl and carried again to the southeast. Following a decline in seismicity and no further emissions, status of the volcano was reduced to ORANGE/WATCH. None of these eruptions caused ashfall in local communities. The eruptions were detected in seismic, infrasound, and satellite data.
Volcanic explosions producing high-altitude (>15,000 ft) volcanic clouds with little or no warning remain possible. Some previous explosions have been preceded by an increase in earthquake activity that allowed for short-term forecasts of imminent significant explosive activity. Although we are able to detect energetic explosive activity in real-time, there is typically a lag of tens of minutes until we can characterize the magnitude of the event and the altitude of the volcanic cloud.
It is possible for low-level unrest, including explosive activity, to occur that we are unable to detect with existing data sources. Such low-level periods of unrest and possible explosions could pose a hazard in the immediate vicinity of the volcano. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect over the volcano at the present time. Please see http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html for the status of the TFR.
AVO has no ground-based volcano monitoring equipment on Bogoslof volcano. We continue to monitor satellite images, information from the Worldwide Lightning Location Network pertaining to volcanic-cloud lightning, and data from seismic and infrasound instruments on nearby islands for indications of volcanic activity.
Bogoslof Island is the largest of a cluster of small, low-lying islands making up the emergent summit of a large submarine stratovolcano. The highest point above sea level prior to this eruption was about 100 m (300 ft); however, the volcano is frequently altered by both eruptions and wave erosion and has undergone dramatic changes in historical time. The two main islands currently above sea level are Fire Island and Bogoslof Island, both located about 98 km (61 mi) northwest of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, 123 km (76 mi) northeast of Nikolski, and 149 km (93 mi) northeast of Akutan. The volcano is situated slightly north (behind) the main Aleutian volcanic front. Bogoslof volcano is within the USFWS Aleutian Maritime Wildlife Refuge and is habitat for marine mammals and seabirds.
At least 8 historical eruptions have been documented at Bogoslof. The most recent prior to 2016 occurred from July 6-24, 1992, and produced episodic steam and ash emissions including an ash cloud up to 26,000 ft (8 km) asl on July 20, followed the next day by extrusion of a new 150 m (500 ft) by 275 m (900 ft) lava dome on the north end of the island. Previous eruptions of the volcano have lasted weeks to months, and have on occasion produced ash fall on Unalaska. Eruptions of the volcano are often characterized by multiple explosive, ash-producing events such as we have seen in 2016-17, as well as the growth of lava domes.
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W,
Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
A moderate explosive eruption occurred at Cleveland Volcano early on the morning of July 4 at 03:19 AKDT (11:19 UTC) prompting AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to ORANGE and Volcano Alert Level to WATCH. This eruption followed satellite observations on Thursday, June 29 of weakly elevated surface temperatures and steaming from the summit visible in web camera views. Elevated surface temperatures at the summit were visible today in satellite images.
Cleveland volcano is monitored with a limited real-time seismic network, which inhibits AVO's ability to 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 75 km (45 mi) west of the community of Nikolski, and 1500 km (940 mi) 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 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 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.
55°25'2" N 161°53'37" W,
Summit Elevation 8261 ft (2518 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images on July 4 through 7 at Pavlof. Minor vapor plumes have been observed extending from the summit on several days this week when web camera views were clear. Seismicity remains low.
Vapor emissions, with or without minor amounts of volcanic ash, are common and may occur from the summit vent at any time. Periods of more vigorous ash emission and lava fountaining also are possible and could occur with only subtle changes in the level of seismic activity. Pavlof is one of the most frequently active volcanoes in Alaska, and pauses in eruptive activity followed by renewed unrest and ash emission are common.
Pavlof Volcano is a snow- and ice-covered stratovolcano located on the southwestern end of the Alaska Peninsula about 953 km (592 mi) southwest of Anchorage. The volcano is about 7 km (4.4 mi) in diameter and has active vents on the north and east sides close to the summit. With over 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc. Eruptive activity is generally characterized by sporadic Strombolian lava fountaining continuing for a several-month period. Ash plumes as high as 49,000 ft ASL have been generated by past eruptions of Pavlof, and during the March 2016 eruption, ash plumes as high as 40,000 feet above sea level were generated and the ash was tracked in satellite data as distant as eastern Canada. The nearest community, Cold Bay, is located 60 km (37 miles) to the southwest of Pavlof.
OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES
Information on all Alaska volcanoes is available at : http://www.avo.alaska.edu.
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Chris Waythomas, Acting Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 786-7497
Pavel Izbekov, Acting Coordinating Scientist, UAF
GIpavel@gi.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.