ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, December 16, 2011, 10:27 AM AKST (Friday, December 16, 2011, 19:27 UTC)
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W,
Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Clouds have obscured satellite views of Cleveland volcano throughout the past week, and AVO has not received additional reports of activity. Thus, it is not known if subsidence of the summit lava dome continues.
The new lava dome began growing at Cleveland in late July 2011 and eventually reached about 10 m (33 feet) below the crater rim. Last observed dome growth occurred in early October, and recent views of the summit show gradual subsidence and disintegration of the summit dome. Throughout this period of unrest and eruption, AVO has not observed deposits or features indicative of explosions or ash emission. Cleveland's activity from late July to present can be characterized as an effusive lava eruption. The volume of the lava dome prior to deflation was about one million cubic meters (1.3 million cubic yards).
Whether the eruption is over or has merely paused is not certain. Effusion could resume at any time and send lava over the crater rim and down the steep flanks of the volcano. Such lava flows might collapse and produce avalanches of hot debris that reach the sea and may be accompanied by small ash clouds.
Sudden explosions and ash emission could also occur, and ash clouds exceeding 20,000 feet above sea level may develop. Such explosions and their associated ash clouds may go undetected in satellite imagery for hours. However, in cooperation with the University of Washington, AVO has implemented a lightning alarm system that may detect significant ash-producing events within minutes of onset. If a large explosive event occurs, seismic signals may be recorded on AVO seismic networks at nearby volcanoes. There is no real-time seismic monitoring network on Mt. Cleveland.
Additional information on Cleveland Volcano and the current activity may be found at this link:
Please see http://www.avo.alaska.edu/color_codes.php for complete definitions of Aviation color codes and Volcano alert levels.
Cleveland volcano forms the western half of Chuginadak Island, a remote and uninhabited island in the east central Aleutians. It is located 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 it produced 3 explosive events that produced ash clouds as high as 12 km (39,000 ft) above sea level. The 2001 eruption also produced a rubbly lava flow and hot avalanche that reached the sea. The most recent minor ash emissions were observed in January and June 2009.
John Power, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 786-7497
Steve McNutt, Coordinating Scientist, UAF
email@example.com (907) 474-7131
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.