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The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) is a joint program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAFGI), and the State of Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS).
RESTLESS VOLCANOES
Makushin
Color Code YELLOW / Alert Level ADVISORYvolcano image
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Great Sitkin
Color Code YELLOW / Alert Level ADVISORYvolcano image
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Cleveland
Color Code YELLOW / Alert Level ADVISORYvolcano image
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Semisopochnoi
Color Code YELLOW / Alert Level ADVISORYvolcano image
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Veniaminof
Color Code YELLOW / Alert Level ADVISORYvolcano image
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NEWS
The Alaska Volcano Observatory’s summer 2020 field work plans
Posted: June 25, 2020
Starting the summer of 2019, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) began a three-year initiative to upgrade our volcano-monitoring network, by converting remaining analog seismic stations and telemetry to digital technology. Because of the remote locations of many of the stations, AVO, through our cooperative agreement with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS), contracted a 108-ft-long research vessels R/V Steadfast, which has a helipad, and plentiful storage, lab, and berthing space for AVO crews to perform the necessary work. A contracted helicopter works from this moving platform to transport crews and equipment from the vessel to each site that is to be upgraded.

In 2019, upgrades were completed successfully at 45 stations and focused on networks around Adak (Gareloi, Tanaga, Kanaga, and Great Sitkin) and on Atka Island. In 2020, we planned for another ambitious season, including upgrades to our most remote networks in the western Aleutians, as well as a major upgrade to our satellite receive facility on Amchikta Island. In addition to upgrades, routine maintenance of equipment must proceed so that the entire monitoring network remains operational. 2020 field work was planned to start in late April at data-receive facilities, with vessel-based work slated to start in late May.

In light of COVID-19, we had to make changes to the scheduled work, due to timing, logistical constraints, and our desire to protect crews and the remote communities in the Aleutian island chain. We have postponed the far western Aleutians work, hoping to accomplish it in 2021. Our new vessel-based field schedule has work starting in mid-July and will focus on maintenance and upgrades in Cook Inlet, on the Alaska Peninsula, Unimak Island, and as far west as Dutch Harbor and possibly Umnak Island (home to frequently active Okmok volcano). The schedule has been reconfigured to minimize community interactions, and we developed a risk mitigation plan for the work following guidance from USGS, State of Alaska, and other organizations performing similar work (e.g., the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, or UNOLS, consortium). This change to our schedule drops the total number of vessel days from 88 to 54, and the planned number of analog-to-digital upgrades from 24 to 13. We also have helicopter-based geologic field investigations that are tentatively scheduled to proceed in August or September in the Cook Inlet and Wrangell areas.


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LAST ACTIVITY REPORT
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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Sunday, July 12, 2020, 11:26 AM AKDT (Sunday, July 12, 2020, 19:26 UTC)


MAKUSHIN VOLCANO (VNUM #311310)
53°53'24" N 166°55'30" W, Summit Elevation 5906 ft (1800 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Small earthquakes continue at Makushin as part of an earthquake sequence that started on June 15. No eruptive activity was observed in cloudy satellite views or in webcam images.

The earthquake sequence may be associated with volcanic unrest, but there have been no signs of deformation or surface activity noted in other monitoring data. It is likely that we would see additional signs of unrest prior to an eruption, should it occur. The volcano is monitored with a network of seismic and GPS instruments, a web camera, satellite data, and regional infrasound and lightning detection instruments.

If an eruption were to occur, the main hazard would likely be from airborne ash and ash fall. Wind trajectory plots and hypothetical ash fall model information is available at https://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Makushin.php These models are updated twice per day in a hypothetical mode and will be updated immediately if there is an eruption. Seismic data, web camera images, and information products are also available at this site.


CLEVELAND VOLCANO (VNUM #311240)
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

No activity was seen in satellite images or detected on regional geophysical networks over the past day. The local geophysical stations and web camera at Cleveland are currently unavailable due to an ongoing network outage.

Episodes of lava effusion and explosions can occur without advance warning. Explosions from Cleveland are normally short duration and only present a hazard to aviation in the immediate vicinity of the volcano. Larger explosions that present a more widespread hazard to aviation are possible, but are less likely and occur less frequently.

When the network is operational, Cleveland volcano is monitored by only two seismic stations, which restricts AVO's ability to detect precursory unrest that may lead to an explosive eruption. Rapid detection of an ash-producing eruption may be possible using a combination of seismic, infrasound, lightning, and satellite data.


GREAT SITKIN VOLCANO (VNUM #311120)
52°4'35" N 176°6'39" W, Summit Elevation 5709 ft (1740 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Unrest continues at Great Sitkin. A few small local earthquakes have occurred over the past day. No explosive activity was detected by regional infrasound sensors, and no activity was observed in cloudy satellite and web camera views.

Great Sitkin volcano is monitored by local seismic and infrasound sensors, satellite data, web cameras, and remote infrasound and lightning networks.


SEMISOPOCHNOI VOLCANO (VNUM #311060)
51°55'44" N 179°35'52" E, Summit Elevation 2625 ft (800 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Low-level unrest continues at Semisopochnoi. Seismicity remains above background with occasional small earthquakes occurring over the past day. No eruptive activity was observed in satellite imagery or detected by regional infrasound sensors.

Semisopochnoi is monitored by local seismic sensors, satellite data, and regional infrasound and lightning detection instruments. An infrasound array on Adak Island may detect explosive emissions from Semisopochnoi with a slight delay (approximately 13 minutes) if atmospheric conditions permit.


VENIAMINOF VOLCANO (VNUM #312070)
56°11'52" N 159°23'35" W, Summit Elevation 8225 ft (2507 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Low-level seismic unrest continues at Veniaminof with periods of weak seismic tremor. No volcanic activity was seen in satellite views over the past day.

Veniaminof volcano is monitored with a local real-time seismic network, which will typically allows AVO to detect changes in unrest that may lead to a more significant explosive eruption. AVO combines seismic, infrasound, lightning, and satellite data for rapid detection of such events.


OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES

Information on all Alaska volcanoes is available at : http://www.avo.alaska.edu.

For definitions of Aviation Color Codes and Volcano Alert Levels, see: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/color_codes.php

SUBSCRIBE TO VOLCANO ALERT MESSAGES by email: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/

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CONTACT INFORMATION:

Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
mcoombs@usgs.gov (907) 786-7497

David Fee, Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
dfee1@alaska.gov (907) 322-4085

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.
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