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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, September 10, 2021, 3:19 PM AKDT (Friday, September 10, 2021, 23:19 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 explosive eruption from the the north crater of Mount Cerberus on Semisopochnoi Island continues. Seismicity and infrasound levels were elevated and variable, with periods of continuous seismic and infrasonic tremor, and occasional short-lived explosions of several minutes duration being observed. These explosive events generated small ash clouds that typically rose from 5,000 to 15,000 ft asl (a bit higher than during the prior week) and dissipated within an hour or two (as observed in satellite). Sulfur dioxide emissions continue to be observed in satellite data (once per day), and at times extended for hundreds of miles from the volcano at altitudes of less than ~10,000 ft.

Frequent periods of lower-altitude ash emissions were observed in web camera images during periods of clear weather, interspersed with periods of robust steaming. These ash clouds were blown horizontally by the wind with little vertical uplift at altitudes below 5,000 ft asl. Ash fall continues on the island, and larger events may produce fallout to the near-shore marine environment. For official forecasts of ash cloud movement or ash fall, please visit the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit or Anchorage Forecast Office, respectively (http://www.weather.gov.gov/aawu and http://www.weather.gov/afc/)

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

The effusion of lava continues at Great Sitkin. A satellite radar image from September 9 shows that the lava is starting to advance through a gap in the southern rim of the summit crater. The lava dome currently has dimensions of about 1100 m (3600 ft) east-west and about 860 m (2820 ft) north-south, and is 25–30 m (82–98 ft) thick. Seismicity remains elevated with small earthquakes consistent with lava effusion continuing. Elevated surface temperatures, and sulfur dioxide and steam emissions were observed in satellite data over the past week. No explosive activity or ash emissions have been detected in seismic, infrasound and 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 Volcano is monitored by local seismic and infrasound sensors, satellite data, web cameras, and remote infrasound and lightning networks.

An Information Statement about the current period of lava eruption was issued earlier today and provides more details about the ongoing eruption. It includes a recap of activity over the past several months, a prognosis regarding future activity, and a discussion of the related hazards. It has been delivered via email to subscribers of the USGS Volcano Notification System and is also available on the AVO web page at https://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/GreatSitkin.php


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 unrest continues, but at reduced levels compared to the prior week. Seismicity remains slightly elevated, with periods of seismic tremor and occasional local earthquakes observed. There were no observations of elevated surface temperatures, volcanic ash, or sulfur dioxide emissions in satellite data. Several small explosions were detected in local seismic and infrasound data on September 6, but no ash emissions were observed in web camera or satellite images for these events, or during periods of clear weather.

The explosions that have occurred during Pavlof Volcano's current period of activity 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 Volcano 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.

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

Low-level unrest continues at Cleveland volcano. Satellite observations were mostly obscured by clouds during the past week but slightly elevated surface temperatures were observed during periods of clear weather. This is typical of Cleveland during periods of low-level unrest. Seismic data from the only station on the island was lost on September 5, but restored today. Small local earthquakes and seismic tremor were observed prior to the data outage. There have been no explosions detected in regional infrasound data.

Episodes of lava effusion and explosions can occur without advance warning. Explosions from Cleveland 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 occur less frequently.

Cleveland volcano is monitored by only one seismic station, which restricts AVO's ability to precisely locate earthquakes and 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, local and regional 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 45 miles (75 km) west of the community of Nikolski, and 940 miles (1500 km) 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 (11.8 km) 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 (6 km) 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.

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

SUBSCRIBE TO VOLCANO ALERT MESSAGES by email: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/

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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.