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ARCHIVED REPORT
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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

INFORMATION RELEASE

Monday, December 12, 2005 3:005 PM AKST (0005 UTC)




AUGUSTINE VOLCANO (CAVW#1103-01-)

59.3633°N 153.4333°W, Summit Elevation 4134 ft (1260 m)

Current Level of Concern Color Code: YELLOW



A steam plume extending at least 75 km (45 mi) SE from Augustine Volcano is clearly visible by satellite and has also been reported by local pilots. Images in the web camera also show a plume. The plume appears to be primarily steam.



During the past several days, AVO has detected changes in the style of earthquake activity and received other information about gas emissions and steaming at Augustine Volcano. Two seismic events on Friday evening (12/9/05), and Sunday evening (12/11/05) may have perturbed the hydrothermal system, initiating steam explosions. These events are consistent with reports of steaming at the summit observed on Saturday (12/10/05), and distinct sulfur smell ("like from a sewer") in the air on Sunday evening (12/11/05) at Nanwalek and Port Graham, approximately 80 km (50 mi) east of the volcano. Collectively, these events are signs of continued and elevated level of volcanic unrest, but do not indicate that an eruption is imminent in the next few days to weeks. The level-of-concern color code remains at Yellow and AVO will continue to monitor activity closely.



Depending on the direction of the wind and the amount of gas emitted at the volcano, sulfur odors may persist. Periods of foul smelling air may accompany the present level of unrest at Augustine, but these periods should be relatively brief and are not expected to be a significant health concern. Humans can detect at very low concentrations the volcanic gases sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. At higher concentrations (or if a person has respiratory problems) the gases can irritate the eyes and respiratory system. People with respiratory problems should take reasonable precautions as they would for dealing with other types of slightly unhealthy air. See http://www.ivhhn.org/ "guidelines and databases" for more information.



A report describing the hazards associated with eruptions and other types of volcanic activity at Augustine Volcano can be obtained at http://www.avo.alaska.edu/pdfs/augustine_ofr.pdf



Augustine Volcano is a 1260 m high (4134 ft) conical-shaped stratovolcano located on Augustine Island in southern Cook Inlet, about 290 km (180 mi) southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Augustine is the most historically active volcano in the Cook Inlet region. Historical eruptions occurred in 1812, 1883, 1908, 1935, 1963-64, 1976, and 1986. These eruptions were primarily explosive events that produced volcanic ash clouds and pyroclastic flows. During the 1883 eruption, a volcanic rock avalanche occurred on the north flank of the volcano; it flowed into Cook Inlet and initiated a tsunami observed at Nanwalek, about 90 km to the east.





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



Chris Nye, Acting Coordinating Scientist, UAF-GI

cnye@giseis.alaska.edu (907) 590-3111



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].

PDF version of these definitions
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URL: avo.alaska.edu/activity/avoreport_archives.php
Page modified: May 27, 2014 10:23
Contact Information: AVO Web Team

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