Printer friendly versionAVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice
Volcano: Great Sitkin
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Previous Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
Previous Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 1:36 PM AKST
Alaska Volcano Observatory
N 52 deg 4 min W 176 deg 6 min
5709 ft (1740 m)
Volcanic Activity Summary: Earthquake activity at Great Sitkin Volcano has declined over the past two months to near background levels. No significant activity has been observed in satellite data during this time period and no steam plumes have been reported. AVO is thus lowering the Aviation Color Code and Alert Level to GREEN/NORMAL.
The number of earthquakes located at Great Sitkin increased as early as late July 2016, and the elevated seismicity continued throughout most of 2017. The unrest was likely the result of a magma intrusion beneath the volcano. The decline over the past two months in the number of earthquakes suggests the intrusion has stalled and the volcano is returning to a period of background seismicity. Future intrusions at Great Sitkin should also lead to an increase in earthquakes prior to any eruptive activity.
Great Sitkin Volcano is monitored by a five-station seismic network on Great Sitkin Island and with additional seismic stations on the nearby islands of Igitkin, Adak, Kagalaska, and Kanaga. A six-element infrasound array to detect explosions (atmospheric pressure waves) was installed on Adak Island in June, 2017. AVO also uses satellite imagery to monitor Great Sitkin Volcano.
[Volcanic cloud height] not applicable
[Other volcanic cloud information] Unknown
Great Sitkin Volcano is a basaltic andesite volcano that occupies most of the northern half of Great Sitkin Island, a member of the Andreanof Islands group in the central Aleutian Islands. It is located 43 km (26 miles) east of the community of Adak. The volcano is a composite structure consisting of an older dissected volcano and a younger parasitic cone with a 3-km-diameter summit crater. A steep-sided lava dome, emplaced during an eruption in 1974, occupies the center of the crater. Great Sitkin erupted at least three times in the 20th century, most recently in 1974. That eruption produced at least one ash cloud that likely exceeded an altitude of 25,000 ft above sea level. A poorly documented eruption occurred in 1945, also producing a lava dome that was partially destroyed in the 1974 eruption. Within the past 280 years a large explosive eruption produced pyroclastic flows that partially filled the Glacier Creek valley on the southwest flank.
Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
email@example.com (907) 786-7497
Jeff Freymueller, Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
firstname.lastname@example.org (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.