ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, June 16, 2017, 2:06 PM AKDT (Friday, June 16, 2017, 22:06 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
The eruption of Bogoslof volcano continues. Bogoslof has had 6 explosive eruptions over the past week, beginning Saturday June 10 with a 2-hour event (11:18-13:28 UTC) that emitted an ash-rich cloud to 34,000 ft asl and was detected in seismic, infrasound, lightning, and satellite data. This explosive event destroyed the 160-m diameter lava dome that was first observed June 5. On Monday evening, June 12, a series of 4 small explosions lasting 10-30 minutes each emitted volcanic clouds that rose to a maximum height of 25,000 ft asl, and dissipated within about 30 minutes. Tuesday morning, June 13, a six-minute-long explosion occurred although no ash cloud was observed in satellite imagery likely because it was below our detection limits. June 12 and 13 events were detected in seismic and infrasound data but no lightning was detected.
Weakly elevated surface temperatures were detected in satellite imagery on Wednesday June 10 and today, and may suggest that a new lava dome is extruding beneath the surface of the water. Satellite imagery shows persistent degassing from the island in between explosions. In addition, residents of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor reported smelling sulfur on June 12, and winds were consistent with a source at Bogoslof.
Eruptive activity over the past two weeks suggests that the volcano is in a period of lava effusion punctuated by explosive eruptions. This style of activity could continue for weeks or more. Additional explosions producing high-altitude (>15,000 ft) volcanic clouds with little precursory activity could occur with little or no warning. Some previous explosions have been preceded by an increase in earthquake activity that allowed for short-term forecasts of imminent significant explosive activity. Although we are able to detect energetic explosive activity in real-time, there is typically a lag of tens of minutes until we can characterize the magnitude of the event and the altitude of the volcanic cloud.
It is possible for low-level unrest, including explosive activity, to occur that we are unable to detect with existing data sources. Such low-level periods of unrest and possible explosions could pose a hazard in the immediate vicinity of the volcano. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect over the volcano at the present time. Please see http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html for the status of the TFR.
AVO has no ground-based volcano monitoring equipment on Bogoslof volcano. We continue to monitor satellite images, information from the Worldwide Lightning Location Network pertaining to volcanic-cloud lightning, and data from seismic and infrasound instruments on nearby islands for indications of volcanic activity.
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 2016-17, 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: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
No explosive activity from Cleveland Volcano was observed this week. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images on Tuesday June 13. Clouds have obscured views of the volcano by satellite and web camera most of the week. In rare clear views there is no evidence of new dome growth. No activity has been observed in seismic or infrasound data.
Cleveland volcano is monitored with a limited real-time seismic network, which inhibits 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.
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
Sesimicity has declined since the small uptick last Wednesday June 7. No unusual activity has been observed in seismic or infrasound data this week. Minor steaming from the summit has been observed on several days this week. Weakly elevated surface temperatures as well as a 35 mile-long stream plume were observed in satellite data on Thursday June 15. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were observed again today but only minor steaming from the summit vent are occurring.
Precursory activity leading up to previous explosive eruptions at Pavlof have been subtle and while some episodes of increased seismic activity have preceded eruptive episodes other increases have died back down without explosive activity.
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
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Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 786-7497
Jeff Freymueller, Coordinating Scientist, UAF
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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.