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ARCHIVED REPORT
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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

INFORMATION RELEASE

Monday, February 23, 2004 01:00 PM AST (22:00 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: GREEN



Last week, AVO received several reports of small ash clouds rising

several hundred feet above the intracaldera cinder and spatter cone of

Mount Veniaminof volcano on the Alaska Peninsula. Residents of Perryville

reported a "black puff" of ash on February 16 followed by strong steaming,

and a pilot reported a small black ash cloud on February 19. Later

analysis of a satellite image from 23:10 UTC (2:10 pm AST) on February 19

showed a small, dark trail on the snow leading away from the intracaldera

cone. This was likely a very localized ash deposit. No significant

seismic activity or thermal anomalies in satellite data were recorded

during the week.

Due to the lack of significant seismic activity beneath the volcano,

AVO concludes that these small ash clouds are the result of minor

explosions caused by the heating of ground water below the intracaldera

cone. Such activity is not unexpected at Veniaminof and may continue to

occur intermittently. By itself, this activity does not indicate more

vigorous eruptive activity is imminent or even likely. Therefore the color

code for Veniaminof remains at GREEN.



AVO will continue to monitor activity at Mount Veniaminof using data

from the seismic network and satellites in addition to visual reports.



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 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 clouds very

similar to those reported last week occurred in 2002. 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.



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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