ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, May 22, 2009, 1:40 PM AKDT (Friday, May 22, 2009, 21:40 UTC)
60°29'7" N 152°44'38" W,
Summit Elevation 10197 ft (3108 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
The 2009 eruption of Redoubt continues. The lava dome in the summit crater continues to grow as new magma reaches the surface. Seismicity remains elevated at levels comparable to last week. These data show that small rock avalanches and discrete earthquakes related to dome growth occurred throughout the week. Web camera images this week revealed that the dome regularly emitted a low-level plume of steam and gas. Rock avalanches also were observed in web camera images. These avalanches generate small diffuse ash plumes that linger in the vicinity of the summit crater, but otherwise are not detected in radar or satellite data. Thermal anomalies observed in satellite images throughout the week reflect the hot growing lava dome.
On Tuesday and Friday of this week AVO personnel conducted additional field studies of lahars deposited in March and early April in the Drift River Valley. Weather precluded a flight to measure gas emissions.
Growing lava domes associated with steep terrain may become gravitationally unstable and can collapse with little or no precursory seismicity. If the lava dome in the summit crater does collapse, or is removed by a sudden explosive event, significant ash emissions, possibly to more than 30,000 feet above sea level, and trace to minor ash fall on communities in south-central Alaska are likely. Pyroclastic flows associated with dome collapse or removal also may develop, and if they sweep across snow and ice on and around Drift glacier, they could initiate lahars and floods in the Drift River valley.
AVO is monitoring Redoubt volcano closely and the observatory is staffed 24/7. AVO will provide frequent updates of the volcano's status and the earliest possible warning of significant explosive activity and other hazardous phenomena.
Heavily ice-mantled Redoubt volcano is located on the western side of Cook Inlet, 170 km (106 mi) southwest of Anchorage and 82 km (51 mi) west of Kenai, within Lake Clark National Park. Redoubt is a stratovolcano which rises to 10,197 feet above sea level. Recent eruptions occurred in 1902, 1966-68, and 1989-90. The 1989-90 eruption produced mudflows, or lahars, that traveled down the Drift River and partially flooded the Drift River Oil Terminal facility. The ash plumes produced by the 1989-90 eruption affected international air traffic and resulted in minor or trace amounts of ash in the city of Anchorage and other nearby communities.
56°11'52" N 159°23'35" W,
Summit Elevation 8225 ft (2507 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Seismicity at Veniaminof has been above background levels throughout the week. The AVO seismic network has recorded nearly continuous low amplitude volcanic tremor. No evidence of unusual activity or increased emissions have been observed in satellite data this week, and AVO has received no reports of activity from from pilots or observers in the area.
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 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, and early November 2006. 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.
OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES
Seismic activity is monitored in real time at 31 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, Korovin, Mageik, Makushin, Martin, Novarupta, Okmok, Pavlof, Shishaldin, Snowy, Spurr, Tanaga, Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Westdahl, and Wrangell 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 volcano.
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
Tom Murray, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 786-7497
Steve McNutt, Coordinating Scientist, UAF
email@example.com (907) 474-7131
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.