ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, January 13, 2017, 1:29 PM AKST (Friday, January 13, 2017, 22:29 UTC)
53°55'38" N 168°2'4" W,
Summit Elevation 492 ft (150 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Volcanic unrest at Bogoslof continues. Since the two eruptive bursts yesterday (Jan. 12) at 20:23 UTC (11:23 AKST) and 21:30 UTC (12:30 AKST) the volcano has been relatively quiet and no additional ash-producing eruptive events have been detected. Volcanic clouds from yesterdays events reached heights of about 18,000 feet above sea level during the first event, and about 14,500 feet above sea level during the second event. Neither of these clouds had associated lightning nor produced detectable air pressure waves.
Yesterday's events were the 16th and 17th eruptive events detected by AVO since December 12, and there have been three explosive events since Sunday, January 8. It is uncertain how long submarine eruptions of Bogoslof will continue. Past eruptions have lasted for many months, so it would not be unreasonable for the volcano to remain active for some time. Continued submarine eruptive activity is expected to be similar to the events observed so far, and volcanic clouds reaching flight levels, local fallout of ash, and further explosions causing changes to Bogoslof Island can be expected while the volcano remains active.
Bogoslof is not monitored by a local geophysical network, which limits our ability to forecast and closely track activity at this volcano. AVO is using seismic and infrasound (airwave sensors) on neighboring Umnak and Unalaska Islands to monitor activity. In addition, we are using satellite imagery and information from the Worldwide Lightning Location Network to identify volcanic lightning; lightning strikes in the erupted plume have been detected during the current eruptive sequence. AVO will continue to provide timely warnings of activity to the best of our ability and will issue Volcanic Activity Notices (VANs) and Volcanic Observatory Notices for Aviation (VONAs) as needed.
For more details about the current eruption, monitoring efforts, and information about the volcano's previous eruptions and possible hazards, please refer to the Information Statement (http://avo.alaska.edu/activity/report.php?need=current&id=350341&type=1&mode=hans ).
Bogoslof Island is the largest of a cluster of small, low-lying islands making up the emergent summit of a large submarine stratovolcano. The highest point above sea level prior to this eruption was about 100 m (300 ft); however, the volcano is frequently altered by both eruptions and wave erosion and has undergone dramatic changes in historical time. The two main islands currently above sea level are Fire Island and Bogoslof Island, both located about 98 km (61 mi) northwest of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, 123 km (76 mi) northeast of Nikolski, and 149 km (93 mi) northeast of Akutan. The volcano is situated slightly north (behind) the main Aleutian volcanic front. Bogoslof volcano is within the USFWS Aleutian Maritime Wildlife Refuge and is habitat for marine mammals and seabirds.
At least 8 historical eruptions have been documented at Bogoslof. The most recent prior to 2016 occurred from July 6-24, 1992, and produced episodic steam and ash emissions including an ash cloud up to 26,000 ft (8 km) asl on July 20, followed the next day by extrusion of a new 150 m (500 ft) by 275 m (900 ft) lava dome on the north end of the island. Previous eruptions of the volcano have lasted weeks to months, and have on occasion produced ash fall on Unalaska. Eruptions of the volcano are often characterized by multiple explosive, ash-producing events such as we have seen in 2016, as well as the growth of lava domes.
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W,
Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Low-level unrest continues at Mt. Cleveland. Cloudy conditions obscured the summit of the volcano for most of the past week. Slightly elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite data on January 8 and 9. The local web camera used for observing Cleveland volcano began operating again this week, but nothing has been observed in occasional clear views of the summit. No activity was detected in seismic or infrasound (pressure sensor) data all week.
Cleveland volcano forms the western portion of Chuginadak Island, a remote and uninhabited island in the east central Aleutians. The volcano is located about 75 km (45 mi) west of the community of Nikolski, and 1500 km (940 mi) southwest of Anchorage. The most recent significant period of eruption began in February, 2001 and produced 3 explosive events that generated ash clouds as high as 39,000 ft above sea level. The 2001 eruption also produced a lava flow and hot avalanche that reached the sea. Since then, Cleveland has been intermittently active producing small lava flows, often followed by explosions that generate small ash clouds generally below 20,000 ft above sea level. These explosions also launch debris onto the slopes of the cone producing hot pyroclastic avalanches and lahars that sometimes reach the coastline.
55°25'2" N 161°53'37" W,
Summit Elevation 8261 ft (2518 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Low-level unrest continues at Pavlof Volcano. Seismic activity remains slightly above background. Slightly elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite data on January 8, but since then nothing noteworthy has been observed under clear viewing conditions. Occasional clear web camera views of the volcano over the past week show intermittent, minor steaming at the summit and a diffuse vapor plume extending downwind from the summit.
Vapor emissions, with or without minor amounts of volcanic ash, are common and may occur from the summit vent at any time. Periods of more vigorous ash emission and lava fountaining also are possible and could occur with only subtle changes in the level of seismic activity. Pavlof is one of the most frequently active volcanoes in Alaska, and pauses in eruptive activity followed by renewed unrest and ash emission are common.
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.
OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES
Other Alaska volcanoes show no signs of significant unrest: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/
AVO scientists conduct daily checks of earthquake activity at all seismically-monitored volcanoes, examine web camera and satellite images for evidence of airborne ash and elevated surface temperatures, and consult other monitoring data as needed.
For definitions of Aviation Color Codes and Volcano Alert Levels, see: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/color_codes.php
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALASKA VOLCANOES: http://www.avo.alaska.edu
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Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 786-7497
Janet Schaefer, Acting Coordinating Scientist, DGGS
email@example.com (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.