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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, February 12, 2021, 12:53 PM AKST (Friday, February 12, 2021, 21:53 UTC)
51°55'44" N 179°35'52" E,
Summit Elevation 2625 ft (800 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Eruptive activity was observed from Semisopochnoi this week, with local small ash deposits from North Cerberus Crater seen in satellite data. High-resolution satellite images on February 6 showed a small ash deposit extending <3 km (1.9 miles) to the north of the crater and on February 7, a second deposit extending at least 3 km (1.9 miles) to the northeast was observed. Steam emissions obscured views into the crater. Any ash clouds associated with these deposits have not been observed and are likely low-level (<10,000 ft) and short-duration. Cloudy conditions obscured views of the volcano for the rest of the week. No activity was observed in regional infrasound data. After initial detection of the first deposit, the Alaska Volcano Observatory increased the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW and the Volcano Alert Level to ADVISORY on February 6. Because of evidence for recurring low-level ash emissions the next day, the Alaska Volcano Observatory increased the Aviation Color Code to ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level to WATCH on February 8.
Small eruptions producing minor ash deposits within the vicinity of the volcano are typical of activity during unrest at Semisopochnoi since September 2018. Local seismic stations have been offline since November 11, 2020. New explosions could occur at any time with no warning.
Semisopochnoi is normally monitored by satellite data, and regional infrasound and lightning detection instruments. An infrasound array on Adak Island may detect explosive emissions from Semisopochnoi with a slight delay (approximately 13 minutes) 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.
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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Matt Haney, Acting Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
email@example.com (907) 786-7497
David Fee, Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
firstname.lastname@example.org (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.