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AVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Pavlof (VNUM #312030)

Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Previous Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY

Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
Previous Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

Issued: Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 11:31 AM AKDT
Source: Alaska Volcano Observatory
Notice Number:
Location: N 55 deg 25 min W 161 deg 53 min
Elevation: 8261 ft (2518 m)
Area: Alaska Peninsula

Volcanic Activity Summary: Since mid June, 2017, unrest at Pavlof Volcano has gradually declined to levels now considered as normal background, non-eruptive behavior. The March 2016 eruption changed the configuration of the summit crater, such that it is slightly wider and has a more vertical orientation than before the 2016 eruption. Since then, the volcano has remained relatively quiet, although there was a brief period of elevated seismicity in early June, 2017 that resulted in AVO raising the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Alert Level to Advisory where it has remained until today.

Many satellite views of the summit are now able to detect elevated surface temperatures within the crater and upper part of the volcanic conduit most likely associated with the emission of hot gases. This is now considered the normal thermal state of the volcano. Occasional emission of vapor plumes from the summit crater, sometimes visible from Cold Bay and Sand Point, is now relatively common. These emissions are also considered normal background behavior for Pavlof Volcano. On the basis of these observations, and the lack of any noteworthy seismic activity for the past several months, we are lowering the Aviation Color Code to Green and the Alert Level to Normal.


Recent Observations:
[Volcanic cloud height] Unknown
[Other volcanic cloud information] Unknown

Remarks: Pavlof Volcano is a snow- and ice-covered stratovolcano located on the southwestern end of the Alaska Peninsula about 953 km (592 mi) southwest of Anchorage. The volcano is about 7 km (4.4 mi) in diameter and has active vents on the north and east sides close to the summit. With over 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc. Eruptive activity is generally characterized by sporadic Strombolian lava fountaining continuing for a several-month period. Ash plumes as high as 49,000 ft ASL have been generated by past eruptions of Pavlof, and during the March 2016 eruption, ash plumes as high as 40,000 feet above sea level were generated and the ash was tracked in satellite data as distant as eastern Canada. The nearest community, Cold Bay, is located 60 km (37 miles) to the southwest of Pavlof.

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

Jeff Freymueller, Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
jfreymueller@alaska.edu (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.

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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Page modified: February 17, 2017 10:11
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