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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, July 19, 2019, 1:59 PM AKDT (Friday, July 19, 2019, 21:59 UTC)
54°45'19" N 163°58'16" W,
Summit Elevation 9373 ft (2857 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Weak tremor continues to be recorded on the Shishaldin network and maintained relatively steady levels throughout the week. Elevated surface temperatures in the summit region were observed twice this week. Cloudy conditions typically obscured webcam views of the volcano, but when conditions were clear a small steam plume was visible at the summit.
Shishaldin is monitored by local seismic and infrasound sensors, satellite data, a web camera, a telemetered geodetic network, and distant infrasound and lightning networks.
Shishaldin volcano, located near the center of Unimak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands, is a spectacular symmetric cone with a base diameter of approximately 16 km (10 mi). A 200-m-wide (660 ft) funnel-shaped summit crater typically emits a steam plume and occasional small amounts of ash. Shishaldin is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc, with at least 54 episodes of unrest including over 24 confirmed eruptions since 1775. Most eruptions are relatively small, although the April-May 1999 event generated an ash column that reached 45,000 ft above sea level.
51°55'44" N 179°35'52" E,
Summit Elevation 2625 ft (800 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
A short-lived, low-level eruption occurred on Thursday following several days of increased seismic activity. The Aviation Color Code/Alert Level was raised to ORANGE/WATCH prompted by strong seismic tremor, detection of airwaves from Semisopochnoi on a regional infrasound array, and a low-level plume visible in occasional cloud-free satellite images. The plume extended up to 80 km (50 miles) from the Cerberus vent; however, no ash signals have been detected. The meteorological cloud deck has been around 10,000' asl (3000 m) over Semisopochnoi, and no volcanic plumes have been observed above the weather clouds. No lightning from the eruption has been detected.
Seismic activity decreased sharply Thursday night and ground-coupled airwaves stopped being detected on adjacent islands, suggesting that the eruption has paused or ended. Small, low-frequency seismic events continue, and it is possible that ash-producing activity could resume with little warning.
Semisopochnoi is monitored with an on-island seismic network and remotely by satellite and lightning sensors. Furthermore, an infrasound array on Adak Island may detect explosive emissions from Semisopochnoi with a 13 minute delay if atmospheric conditions permit.
Remote Semisopochnoi volcano occupies the largest, young volcanic island in the western Aleutians. The volcano is dominated by an 8-km (5-mile) 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. The last 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 65 km (40 mi) northeast of Amchitka Island and 200 km (130 mi) west of Adak.
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W,
Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images five days this week. No eruptive activity was detected in regional seismic or infrasound data. There has been no evidence of dome growth or changes within the summit crater since early March 2019.
Additional episodes of lava effusion and explosions are likely and will occur without advance warning. The most recent explosion of Cleveland occurred on January 9, 2019. These explosions 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 less likely and/or frequent.
Local seismic and infrasound data at Cleveland have been offline since January 26, which restricts AVO's ability to rapidly detect an explosive eruption. AVO continues monitoring for signs of eruptive activity with satellite, lightning, and regional seismic and infrasound 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.
GREAT SITKIN VOLCANO
52°4'35" N 176°6'39" W,
Summit Elevation 5709 ft (1740 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
AVO decreased the Aviation Color Code to GREEN and Alert Level to NORMAL on Monday because there is currently no evidence of eruptive activity or unrest in geophysical data or in satellite observations. Seismic activity at Great Sitkin Volcano has decreased to background levels over the past few weeks.
Great Sitkin Volcano is monitored with a local real-time seismic 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 decapitated volcano and a younger parasitic cone with a 2-3 km diameter summit crater. A steep-sided lava dome, emplaced during an eruption in 1974, occupies the center of the crater. Great Sitkin erupted at least three times in the 20th century, most recently in 1974. That eruption produced a lava dome and 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
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Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
email@example.com (907) 786-7497
Jessica Larsen, Acting Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
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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.