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ARCHIVED REPORT
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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY


Information Release


Thursday, August 30, 2007 11:30 PM AKDT (730 UTC)




PAVLOF VOLCANO (CAVW#1102-03-)

55°24'57" N161°53'24" W, Summit Elevation 8261 ft (2518 m)

Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Current Volcano Alert Level: Watch



At approximately 9:30 pm AKDT (0530 UTC August 31) National Weather Service observers in Cold Bay reported a substantial plume and associated lightning emanating from Pavlof Volcano up to 20,000 ft (6,000 m) above sea level. The plume was also visible in images from the Pavlof web camera located in Cold Bay. Although no ash is visible in satellite data, the occurrence of lightning increases the likelihood of ash in the plume. Airborne ash dispersion models indicate the possibility of light ash fall in the region of Sand Point.



If activity continues to increase in intensity, larger ash clouds that could affect higher-flying aircraft may be produced. The most immediate ground hazard in the vicinity of the volcano includes light ash fall on nearby communities. Previous historical eruptions from Pavlof caused only a few millimeters (about 1/10th of an inch) of ash to fall on King Cove, Nelson Lagoon, Cold Bay, and Sand Point. Mudflows in drainages from the flanks of the volcano, and lava flows and avalanching of hot debris on the upper reaches of the volcano are also of concern in the uninhabited areas around the volcano. Satellite and seismic data and eyewitness observations suggest most of the surface lava activity is occurring on the southeast sector of the steep-sided volcano; this suggests that the Pacific Ocean side of the volcano is at most risk from avalanching hot debris.



At this time, we expect this eruption to follow the pattern of previous eruptions. The last eruption of Pavlof began in September 1996 and consisted of a several-month-long series of ash explosions, lava-fountaining, and lava-flow production. Ash clouds reached as high as 30,000 ft ASL on one occasion. However, most ash clouds were below 20,000 ft ASL. Prior to 1996, Pavlof erupted in 1986 sending ash as high as 49,000 ft ASL on at least one occasion. A hazard assessment for Pavlof and the Emmons Lake volcanic center is available on the web at http://www.avo.alaska.edu/pdfs/SIR2006-5248.pdf



Pavlof volcano is located on the southwestern end of the Alaska Peninsula. Pavlof is a stratovolcano which rises to an elevation of 8262 feet. With almost 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc. Eruptive activity is generally characterized by sporadic strombolian fountaining continuing for a several-month period. The community of Cold Bay is located 60 km (37 miles) to the southwest of Pavlof.



VOLCANO ALERT LEVELS:

NORMAL Typical background activity of a volcano in a non-eruptive state

ADVISORY Elevated unrest above known background activity

WATCH Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential for eruptive activity

WARNING Highly hazardous eruption underway or imminent



ABBREVIATED AVIATION COLOR CODE KEY:

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



Please see http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/2006/vhpalertlevel.pdf for a complete description of alert levels and color codes.



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



Steve McNutt, Coordinating Scientist, UAF

steve@giseis.alaska.edu (907) 474-7131



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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Page modified: May 27, 2014 10:23
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