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VOLCANO ACTIVITY NOTIFICATIONS

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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
Friday, July 11, 2014 11:59 AM AKDT (Friday, July 11, 2014 19:59 UTC)


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 at Shishaldin continues. Elevated temperatures at the summit of Shishaldin Volcano were recorded in satellite images over the past week. Clear webcam and satellite images showed low-level steam emissions on July 6 and 8, respectively. On July 9 small explosions, probably within the summit cone, were detected on seismic and infrasound networks. Similar to previous weeks, these data are consistent with an ongoing eruption contained within the summit crater.

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 small summit crater typically emits a noticeable steam plume with 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 of Shishaldin's eruptions have produced small ash and steam plumes, although a recent eruption in April-May 1999 generated an ash column that reached a height of 45,000 ft above sea level.

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

The Semispochnoi earthquake swarm that began on June 9 continues although the swarm has gradually diminished in intensity. Satellite images of the volcano have been mostly cloudy for the past week and AVO has received no reports from pilots or mariners of any unusual activity at Semisopochnoi.

An earthquake swarm is a series of relatively small earthquakes that occur near each other and closely spaced in time. An earthquake swarm beneath a volcano may mean that magma is moving towards the surface, but an earthquake swarm does not always lead to an eruption.

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.

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

Weakly elevated temperatures in the vicinity of the newly erupted lava flows on the northwest flank were recorded in occasional clear satellite images this week. Satellite data from July 5 and 9 suggest that very minor amounts of ash may be present in the steam and gas plume emitting from the Pavlof vent or from rock falls on the north side of the volcano. Any ash produced from this activity is not expected to travel far downwind. Seismicity was relatively quiet this week, compared to recent weeks, but small, discrete seismic events resumed on July 10.

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 2013 eruption, ash plumes as high as 27,000 feet above sea level extending as much as 500 km (310 mi) beyond the volcano were generated. The nearest community, Cold Bay, is located 60 km (37 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

Volcanic unrest continues at Cleveland. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite data on July 7, and a vigorous steam and gas plume was observed on July 8 and 9. No volcanic activity was observed in mostly cloudy satellite images on Friday and no explosions were detected.

Cleveland volcano forms the western half 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 within its summit crater. These extrusive episodes are typically followed by explosions that destroy the lava flow, generate small ash clouds generally below 20,000 ft ASL, and launch debris onto the upper slopes of the volcanic cone.

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

FOLLOW AVO ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/alaska.avo

CONTACT INFORMATION:
John Power, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
chris@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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URL: avo.alaska.edu/activity/avoreport.php
Page modified: May 16, 2014 09:40
Contact Information: AVO Web Team

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