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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
Friday, September 4, 2015 1:32 PM AKDT (Friday, September 4, 2015 21:32 UTC)


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

Elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images on one day over the past week. Web camera views were cloudy. A small swarm of earthquakes occurred at Cleveland on August 29, but has subsided considerably in the past few days. Owing to the small number of telemetered seismometers on Cleveland, the locations and magnitudes of the earthquakes could not be determined precisely. However, the largest earthquake in the swarm was estimated to have an approximate magnitude of 1.5. Such earthquake swarms are common in volcanic areas and may represent a shallow magma intrusion beneath the volcano.

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.

SHISHALDIN VOLCANO (VNUM #311360)
54°45'19" N 163°58'16" W, Summit Elevation 9373 ft (2857 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Low-level eruptive activity within the summit crater of Shishaldin likely continued over the past week. The level of seismicity remained above background. Elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images of Shishaldin on five days during the past week. Nothing significant was observed all week in cloudy web camera views.

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.

KATMAI VOLCANO (VNUM #312170)
58°16'44" N 154°57'12" W, Summit Elevation 6716 ft (2047 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Beginning last Thursday (08/27/15) and continuing through Monday (08/31/15), strong winds in the Katmai area picked up loose 1912 volcanic ash and carried it east. AVO detected a possible cloud of resuspended ash blowing from the vicinity of Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes across and beyond Kodiak Island.

This phenomenon is not the result of volcanic activity and occurs seasonally in the spring and fall during times of high winds and dry snow-free conditions in the Katmai area and other young volcanic areas of Alaska. No eruption is in progress. All of the volcanoes of the Katmai area (Snowy, Griggs, Katmai, Novarupta, Trident, Mageik, Martin) remain at color code GREEN.

Resuspended volcanic ash should be considered hazardous and could be damaging to aircraft and health. For more information on volcanic ash and human health, visit the following website: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/ash/. Official warnings about these ash resuspension events are issued by the National Weather Service: http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/ . Forecasts of airborne ash hazard to aircraft: http://aawu.arh.noaa.gov . Volcanic Ash Advisories: http://vaac.arh.noaa.gov/ . Forecasts of ash fall: http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/ . Air quality hazards and guidance from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Air Quality: http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Advisories/Index

OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES

Other Alaska volcanoes show no signs of significant unrest: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/

AVO scientists conduct daily checks of earthquake activity at all seismically-monitored volcanoes, examine web camera and satellite images for evidence of airborne ash and elevated surface temperatures, and consult other monitoring data as needed.

For definitions of Aviation Color Codes and Volcano Alert Levels, see: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/color_codes.php

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALASKA VOLCANOES: http://www.avo.alaska.edu

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

FOLLOW AVO ON FACEBOOK: https://facebook.com/alaska.avo

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CONTACT INFORMATION:
John Power, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
jpower@usgs.gov (907) 786-7497

Jeff Freymueller, Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
jeff.freymueller@gi.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.
VOLCANO ALERT LEVELS
NORMAL
Volcano is in typical background, noneruptive state or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has ceased and volcano has returned to noneruptive background state.
ADVISORY
Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be closely monitored for possible renewed increase.
WATCH
Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, OR eruption is underway but poses limited hazards.
WARNING
Hazardous eruption is imminent, underway, or suspected.
AVIATION COLOR CODES
GREEN
Volcano is in typical background, noneruptive state or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has ceased and volcano has returned to noneruptive background state.
YELLOW
Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be closely monitored for possible renewed increase.
ORANGE
Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, OR eruption is underway with no or minor volcanic-ash emissions [ash-plume height specified, if possible].
RED
Eruption is imminent with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere likely OR eruption is underway or suspected with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere [ash-plume height specified, if possible].
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Page modified: June 17, 2015 15:03
Contact Information: AVO Web Team

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