Printer friendly versionALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
Friday, May 13, 2005 10:35 AM AKDT (18:35 UTC)
MOUNT SPURR VOLCANO
61°18' N 152°15' W, Summit Elevation 11,070 ft (3,374 m)
Current Level of Concern Color Code: YELLOW
Elevated levels of seismicity continue to be recorded at Mount Spurr. Other than the steam plume described below, no unusual activity was observed in clear to partly cloudy satellite and web camera images this past week. Conditions at Crater Peak and Mount Spurr do not indicate that an eruption is imminent.
The AVO webcam images showed small steam plumes during the early part of this week. A pilot report received Monday (5/9) described a small steam plume reaching 200-300 ft (60-100m) above the Mount Spurr summit crater. AVO and Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) staff made two overflights of the volcano this week to collect routine gas data and make observations. The crater lake level continues to drop, exposing more areas of steaming rock in the crater walls. Continued heat flx is indicated by vigorously upwelling water in the melt pit lake, rapid melting of ice and snow that has fallen into the lake, and minor steaming from rock surfaces and smaller melt pits in the vicinity of the summit crater.
Both Spurr and Crater Peak are emitting volcanic gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which may be hazardous to recreational visitors. Skiers, snowboarders, mountaineers, and pilots (especially those landing near the summit area) will find information regarding proximal hazards online at: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Spurr.php
Mount Spurr volcano is an ice- and snow-covered stratovolcano located on the west side of Cook Inlet. The only known historical eruptions occurred in 1953 and 1992 from the Crater Peak flank vent located 3.5 km (2 mi) south of the summit of Mount Spurr. These eruptions were brief, explosive, and produced columns of ash that rose up to 20 km (65,000 ft) above sea level and deposited several mm of ash in south-central Alaska, including approximately 6 mm of ash on Anchorage in 1953. The last known eruption from the summit of Mount Spurr was more than 5,000 years ago. Primary hazards during future eruptions include far-traveled ash clouds, ash fall, pyroclastic flows, and lahars or mudflows that could inundate drainages all sides of the volcano, but primarily on the south and east flanks.
OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES
Seismic activity is monitored in real time at 28 volcanoes in Alaska. Satellite images of all Alaskan volcanoes are analyzed daily for evidence of ash plumes and elevated surface temperatures. Some volcanoes may currently display anomalous behavior but are not considered to be at a dangerous level of unrest. Wrangell, Redoubt, Iliamna, Augustine, Snowy, Griggs, Katmai, Novarupta, Trident, Mageik, Martin, Peulik, Aniakchak, Veniaminof, Pavlof, Dutton, Isanotski, Shishaldin, Fisher, Westdahl, Akutan, Makushin, Okmok, Great Sitkin, Kanaga, Tanaga, and Gareloi volcanoes are in color code GREEN. All are at or near normal levels of background seismicity. AVO did not detect ash plumes or significant elevated surface temperatures in the vicinity of any 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
Tom Murray, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS, email@example.com (907) 786-7497
John Eichelberger, Coordinating Scientist, UAF-GI, firstname.lastname@example.org (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.