U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, December 13, 2019, 11:33 AM AKST (Friday, December 13, 2019, 20:33 UTC)

54°45'19" N 163°58'16" W, Summit Elevation 9373 ft (2857 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

The eruption of Shishaldin volcano that began in late July continues. Eruption activity at the volcano intensified yesterday with the possible collapse of the summit spatter cone and lava flows on the north and northwest flanks. This event produced a small ash cloud to 25,000 feet above sea level that drifted to the northwest and dissipated within a couple of hours. Highly elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite data from today. Web camera images show a robust steam plume form the summit and incandescence in night-time images. Seismicity at the volcano remains elevated.

Thus far, the 2019 eruption has produced lava flows, pyroclastic flows, and lahars (mudflows) on the flanks of the volcano. For most of the current eruption, ash emissions have been restricted to the immediate vicinity of the volcano and altitudes of less than 12,000 ft. asl. During this heightened level of activity more powerful explosions such as the one that occurred yesterday could occur with little warning and produce higher ash clouds that may pose a hazard to aircraft.

Shishaldin is monitored by local seismic and infrasound sensors, satellite data, web cameras, a telemetered geodetic and tilt network, and distant infrasound and lightning networks.

Shishaldin volcano, located near the center of Unimak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands, is a spectacular symmetric cone with a base diameter of approximately 16 km (10 mi). A 200-m-wide (660 ft) funnel-shaped summit crater typically emits a steam plume and occasional small amounts of ash. Shishaldin is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc, with at least 54 episodes of unrest including over 24 confirmed eruptions since 1775. Most eruptions are relatively small, although the April-May 1999 event generated an ash column that reached 45,000 ft above sea level.

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

Seismic tremor was observed on the local network last week and sporadic explosion signals were observed beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 11 and continuing through today. Cloudy weather conditions obscured the volcano in satellite data throughout most of the week, although a 50-mile (80-km) long steam and gas plume (possibly containing volcanic ash) was observed in satellite data from Wednesday and Thursday.

Semisopochnoi is monitored with an on-island seismic network and remotely by satellite and lightning sensors. Furthermore, an infrasound array on Adak Island may detect explosive emissions from Semisopochnoi with a 13 minute delay if atmospheric conditions permit.

Remote Semisopochnoi volcano occupies the largest, young volcanic island in the western Aleutians. The volcano is dominated by an 8-km (5-mile) 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. The last 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 65 km (40 mi) northeast of Amchitka Island and 200 km (130 mi) west of Adak.

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

Slightly elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite data when weather conditions were clear early in the week but clear satellite images from today show no activity. Minor steaming from the summit was observed in web camera images over the past week. Seismicity remains low and no significant activity was observed in local or regional infrasound data during the week.

Additional episodes of lava effusion and explosions are likely and will occur without advance warning. The most recent explosion of Cleveland occurred on January 9, 2019. These explosions 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 less likely and/or frequent.

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.


Information on all Alaska volcanoes is available at :

For definitions of Aviation Color Codes and Volcano Alert Levels, see:





Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS (907) 786-7497

Janet Schaefer, Acting Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI (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.