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ARCHIVED REPORT
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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

INFORMATION RELEASE

Monday, January 10, 2005 2:30 PM AST (23:30 UTC)



MOUNT VENIAMINOF VOLCANO (CAVW #1102-07)

5610'N 15923'W, Summit Cone Elevation 7,073 ft (2,156 m)

Current Level of Concern Color Code: ORANGE

Previous Level of Concern Color Code: YELLOW



Ash emissions from the intracaldera cone of Mount Veniaminof, some reaching

nearly 13,000 ft (3692 m) above sea level, have occurred more or less

continuously over the last 48 hours. Seismicity remains at elevated levels

and satellite images show a persistent thermal anomaly in the vicinity of

the cone. Given these observations, the Alaska Volcano Observatory cannot

rule out the possibility of a larger eruption occurring at any time, though

past activity at Veniaminof suggests that ash clouds exceeding 25,000 feet

(7620 m) above sea level are unlikely. Thus the color code for Mount

Veniaminof has been upgraded to ORANGE.





Ash emissions began on January 3, 2005 with discrete, relatively minor

outbursts, rising a few hundred feet above the cone. This activity has

evolved into nearly continuous emission, with ash clouds almost 13,000 ft

above sea level and ash fall reaching outside the caldera boundary.



Very weak volcanic tremor was observed starting on January 1, 2005. Since

then, the magnitude of the volcanic tremor has increased significantly and

there have been frequent (> 1 per minute) small volcanic earthquakes. As

of this writing, seismic activity is nearly continuous; the frequency of

seismic events exceeds that recorded during steam emissions and ash

emissions from April to October, 2004, however the overall amplitude

remains about the same. We expect that steam and ash emissions may continue

and could pose a hazard to people and low- to medium-flying aircraft in the

vicinity of the active cone.



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 km3) and most active volcanic

centers in the Aleutian Arc and has erupted at least 12 times in the past

200 years. The most recent significant eruption of the volcano occurred in

1993-95 and was a moderate Strombolian eruption from the main intracaldera

cone in the northwest sector of the caldera above Cone Glacier. The

eruption was characterized by intermittent low-level emissions of steam and

ash, and a small lava flow was extruded into the summit caldera ice field

producing an ice pit. Minor explosions producing small ash occurred in

2002, 2004, and in recent weeks. Previous historical eruptions have

produced ash plumes that reached 6,000 m (20,000 ft) above sea level and

ash fallout that blanketed areas within about 40 km (25 mi) of the volcano.



ABBREVIATED COLOR CODE KEY (contact AVO for complete description):

GREEN volcano is dormant; normal seismicity and fumarolic activity

occurring

YELLOW volcano is restless; eruption may occur

ORANGE volcano is in eruption or eruption may occur at any time

RED significant eruption is occurring or explosive eruption

expected at any time



VOLCANO INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET: http://www.avo.alaska.edu

RECORDING ON THE STATUS OF ALASKA'S VOLCANOES (907) 786-7478



CONTACT INFORMATION:



Tom Murray, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS

tlmurray@usgs.gov (907) 786-7497



John Eichelberger, Coordinating Scientist, UAF-GI

eich@gi.alaska.edu (907) 474-5530



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: May 27, 2014 10:23
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