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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, September 7, 2018, 12:11 PM AKDT (Friday, September 7, 2018, 20:11 UTC)


VENIAMINOF VOLCANO (VNUM #312070)
56°11'52" N 159°23'35" W, Summit Elevation 8225 ft (2507 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Modest eruptive activity continues at Veniaminof. Seismicity at the volcano picked up starting on Sunday, September 2, and AVO raised the Aviation Color Code and Alert Level to Yellow/Advisory the next day. On Tuesday, September 4, seismic activity increased and low-level pulsatory ash plumes from Veniaminof's summit were reported by residents of Perryville and observed in images from the FAA Perryville web camera. Thus AVO raised the Aviation Color Code and Alert Level to Orange/Watch on Tuesday. Pilot reports confirmed low altitude ash clouds (less than 10,00 ft asl) and ash fall on the summit ice field, and thermal features consistent with a hot vent as well as deposited ash on the ice field were observed in satellite data.

Unrest continues this morning with seismicity remaining elevated. Incandescence was observed at the summit in the Perryville web camera early this morning and a very hot thermal feature was observed in satellite data. The hot feature observed at the summit suggests that lava fountaining may be occurring at summit of Veniaminof.


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 cubic km; 77 cubic mi) 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, 2005, and 2013. These were Strombolian eruptions that produced lava fountains and minor emissions of ash and gas from the main intracaldera cone. During the 1993-95 activity, a small lava flow was extruded, and in 2013, five small lava flows effused from the intracaldera cone over about five months. Minor ash-producing explosions occurred nearly annually between 2002 and 2010. Previous historical eruptions have produced ash plumes that reached 20,000 ft above sea level (1939 and 1956) and ash fallout that blanketed areas within about 40 km (25 mi) of the volcano (1939).

CLEVELAND VOLCANO (VNUM #311240)
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Weakly elevated surface temperatures in the summit crater of Cleveland volcano continue to be observed in satellite data during periods of clear weather, but are interpreted to be due to hot outgassing. This is typical of Cleveland volcano and indicates that low-level unrest continues. Satellite observations of the summit area show no significant change to a pancake-like lava flow that was emplaced in late June. No significant activity was detected in seismic and infrasound (pressure) sensor data throughout the week.

Future explosive activity is likely and is expected to occur without warning. Previous explosions have produced hazardous conditions primarily near the volcano, but occasionally they have been large enough to produce a drifting ash cloud.

Cleveland volcano is monitored by only two seismic stations, which restricts 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.

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

Low-level unrest continues at Great Sitkin Volcano. Seismicity beneath the summit was low over the past week. Satellite observations have been mostly obscured by clouds over the past week.

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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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.