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AVO VOLCANO ACTIVITY NOTIFICATION

ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, November 5, 2021, 1:37 PM AKDT (Friday, November 5, 2021, 21:37 UTC)


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

The north crater of Mount Cerberus on Semisopochnoi Island remained active, and minor explosions were observed multiple times a day in geophysical and remote sensing data throughout the week. Low-level ash emissions were seen in web camera views regularly during clear weather. Small drifting ash clouds were observed throughout the week in satellite images. These clouds varied in altitude from ~1.5 to 3.0 km (5,000 to 10,000 ft) above sea level and typically dissipated within 50 km (30 miles) of the volcano. No significant clouds of sulfur dioxide were observed in satellite data over the past week.

Small eruptions producing minor ash deposits within the vicinity of the active north crater of Mount Cerberus and ash clouds under 10,000 feet above sea level have characterized the recent activity and show no signs of abating.

Semisopochnoi is monitored by local seismic and infrasound sensors, satellite data, web cameras, and remote infrasound and lightning networks.


Remote Semisopochnoi volcano occupies the largest, young volcanic island in the western Aleutians. The volcano is dominated by a 5-mile (8-km) diameter caldera that contains a small lake and several 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 historical 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.

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

Lava effusion likely continued this week at Great Sitkin, but poor weather obscured visible satellite views. A satellite image from October 30 showed minor changes compared to images from several days prior. Three lobes of lava have flowed over low points on the crater rim. They extend downslope ~680 m (2200 ft) to the west, ~560 m (1800 ft) to the south, and ~90 m (295 ft) to the north. The lava flows are melting snow and ice, but no significant ponding of water has been observed. This suggests that melt rates are low and there are no indications of any imminent hydrologic hazards.

The lava lobes that have overtopped the summit crater rim are flowing into small valleys developed on the volcanic edifice. The terrain is steep in these areas, and blocks of lava and lava rubble could detach from the terminus of the flow lobes without warning and form small rock avalanches in these valleys. Such avalanches may liberate ash and gas and could travel several hundred meters beyond the lava flows; they would be hazardous to anyone in those areas. Satellite imagery shows such a blocky deposit extending downslope beyond the terminus of the west flow lobe.

The level of seismicity was barely elevated throughout the past week with very few earthquakes observed. No explosive activity or ash emissions have been detected in regional seismic, infrasound, or satellite data.

There is no indication of how long lava effusion will continue during the current eruption, and it is possible that explosive activity could occur with little or no warning.

Great Sitkin is monitored by local seismic and infrasound sensors, satellite data, web cameras, and remote infrasound and lightning networks.


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.

PAVLOF VOLCANO (VNUM #312030)
55°25'2" N 161°53'37" W, Summit Elevation 8261 ft (2518 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Low-level eruptive activity continued throughout the week. Small explosions were detected intermittently in seismic and infrasound data over the past week and seismic tremor continues at fluctuating levels. During periods of clear weather, minor ash emissions were observed in web camera images. These weak emissions only rose a few hundred feet above the vent near the summit and quickly dissipated.

The explosions that have occurred during the current period of activity at Pavlof have been short-lived, with ash deposits confined to the flanks of the volcano. Eruptive activity is focused at a vent on the upper southeast flank of the volcano, near the location of the eruptive vent in 2007. The level of unrest at Pavlof can change quickly and the progression to more significant eruptive activity can occur with little or no warning.

Pavlof is monitored by local seismic and infrasound sensors, satellite data, web cameras, and remote infrasound and lightning networks.


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, King Cove, is located 48 km (30 miles) to the southwest of Pavlof.

OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES

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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.
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