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ARCHIVED REPORT
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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

WEEKLY UPDATE

Friday, October 28, 2005 11:35 AM AKDT (1935 UTC)




SPURR VOLCANO (CAVW#1103-04-)

61.2994°N 152.2511°W, Summit Elevation 11070 ft (3374 m)

Current Level of Concern Color Code: YELLOW



The level of seismic activity at Mount Spurr volcano remains above background, and is similar to that seen last week. Steaming at the summit was observed in web camera views. Such activity is likely related to weather conditions that enhance the steam plume and not to any significant change at the volcano. There are no indications that an eruption is imminent.



Mount Spurr volcano is an ice- and snow-covered stratovolcano located on the west side of Cook Inlet approximately 120 km (75 mi) west of Anchorage. 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.



CLEVELAND VOLCANO (CAVW#1101-24-)

52.8232°N 169.9431°W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)

Current Level of Concern Color Code: YELLOW



Satellite images were mostly cloudy this week. However on October 25, satellite data showed a steam plume extending 125 km (78 mi) southeast from the volcano's summit. Eruptive activity has not been observed at Cleveland volcano since a brief ash burst that rose no higher than 4,600 m (15,000 ft) ASL on October 7. AVO considers the volcano restless however. Explosive, ash-producing events could occur at any time and without warning (owing to the lack of local seismic monitoring). AVO will continue to monitor the volcano using satellite images.



Cleveland volcano forms the western half of Chuginadak Island, a remote and uninhabited island in the east central Aleutians. It is located about about 75 km (45 mi.) west of the community of Nikolski, and 1500 km (940 mi.) southwest of Anchorage. The volcano's most recent significant eruption began in February, 2001 and had 3 explosive events that produced ash clouds as high as 12 km (39,000 ft) above sea level. This eruption also produced a rubbly lava flow and hot avalanche that reached the sea. The most recent minor ash emissions were observed in July 2005.



TANAGA VOLCANO (CAVW#1101-08-)

51.885°N 178.1458°W, Summit Elevation 5925 ft (1806 m)

Current Level of Concern Color Code: YELLOW



Elevated seismic activity below young volcanic vents on Tanaga Island continues. Since October 24, AVO has observed weak, nearly continuous volcanic tremor in the vicinity of Takawangha volcano, of the Tanaga volcano cluster. This is the first time that tremor of this sort has been observed in the volcanic cluster since the seismic network was installed in 2003. The daily number of small earthquakes has continued to diminish from its peak in early October, but is still above background. AVO will continue to monitor the activity at Tanaga closely.



Tanaga Island lies in the Andreanof Islands approximately 100 km (62 miles) west of the community of Adak and 2025 km (1260 miles) SW of Anchorage. The northern half of the island is home to the Tanaga volcanic complex, comprising three main volcanic edifices. Tanaga volcano is the tallest of these (1,806 m or 5,925 ft) and lies in the center of the complex. The last reported eruption of Tanaga occurred in 1914 and earlier eruptions were reported in 1763-1770, 1791, and 1829. Reports of these eruptions are vague, but deposits on the flanks of the volcano show that typical eruptions produce blocky lava flows and occasional ash clouds. Eruptions have occurred both from the summit vent and a 1,584 m (5,197 ft)-high satellite vent on the volcano's northeast flank. Immediately west of Tanaga volcano lies Sajaka, a 1,354 m (4,443 ft)-high compound edifice with an older cone to the east that collapsed into the sea within the last few thousand years, and a new cone that has grown in the breach. The new cone is 1,312 m (4,305 ft) high and consists of steeply dipping, interbedded cinders and thin, spatter-fed lava flows. To the east of Tanaga lies Takawangha, which is separated from the other active volcanic vents by a ridge of older rock. Takawangha's 1,449 m (4,754 ft)-high summit is mostly ice-covered, except for four young craters that have erupted ash and lava flows in the last few thousand years. Parts of Takawangha's edifice are hydrothermally altered and may be unstable, and could produce localized debris avalanches. No historical eruptions are known from Sajaka or Takawangha; however, field work shows that recent eruptions have occurred and it is possible that historic eruptions attributed only to Tanaga may instead have come from these other vents.



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, 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



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].

PDF version of these definitions
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Page modified: May 27, 2014 10:23
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