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Over the past few weeks, pilots and ground observers have reported low-level eruptive activity at Kanaga Volcano. On December 29, 1993, a pilot reported that Kanaga was steaming more than usual and observers in Adak, 33 km to the east, also saw the steaming. Several days later, U.S. Fish and Wildlife personnel climbing Mount Moffett near Adak smelled sulfur. On January 7, Navy personnel in Adak reported that steam emissions had increased, steam was issuing from numerous locations near the summit, and all snow was gone from the summit area. The next day, steam was pouring out of the summit crater and the rim was dark, possibly blackened by ash. The smell of sulfur was reported in Adak. Poor weather obscured the volcano for several days until January 13, when observers in Adak reported that the south flank of Kanaga was covered with ash and that steam was still rising from the summit crater. They also reported that "dark smoke" was venting from a fissure and nearby vent on the southeast flank. These low-level emissions were not rising above the summit of the volcano.
Kanaga Volcano is a 1307-meter-high stratovolcano on the north end of Kanaga Island, 965 km west-southwest of the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. The nearest settlement is Adak, on Adak Island, where a U.S. Naval Station is located. The summit has a circular crater approximately 200 m in diameter and 60 m deep. Although there is evidence of major explosive eruptions at Kanaga, during the last 200 years only about a dozen episodes of low-level activity have been reported. Much of the activity has been fumarolic. The most significant historic eruption occurred in 1906 when a series of lava flows were produced on the northeast and southwest flanks.
COOK INLET VOLCANOES
Seismic activity beneath Mt. Spurr remains low. The current
Level of Concern Color Code is GREEN.
Steam and ash explosions could still occur at Crater Peak
with little if any advance warning. Such explosions are
unlikely to pose a hazard to high-flying aircraft or to
communities downwind. AVO continues to recommend that
climbers, hikers, and other interested parties stay out of
the crater until further notice.
Seismicity at Augustine, Redoubt and Iliamna volcanoes
remains at normal levels.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory continues to monitor Spurr,
Augustine, Redoubt and Iliamna closely. We maintain a
computerized alarm system that is capable of notifying AVO
seismologists during nonbusiness hours should unusual
seismic activity occur.