ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, September 29, 2017, 12:21 PM AKDT (Friday, September 29, 2017, 20:21 UTC)
53°55'38" N 168°2'4" W,
Summit Elevation 492 ft (150 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Low-level unrest likely continues at Bogoslof. No significant activity was detected in seismic or infrasound data obtained from our networks on neighboring islands over the past week. Satellite observations show no significant changes or signs of eruptive activity over the past week; however, elevated surface temperatures were observed on three separate days, indicating ongoing unrest. The last explosive eruption from Bogoslof occurred on August 30th. Based on the absence of significant detected activity over the past four weeks, AVO lowered the Aviation Color Code to YELLOW and the Volcano Alert Level to ADVISORY on Wednesday.
Historical records indicate that Bogoslof can remain restless and erupt intermittently for periods of a few weeks to three or more years. Many eruptions have culminated with the subaerial emplacement of a lava dome. During some eruptive periods, including the current activity, multiple lava domes were emplaced, but were subsequently destroyed by explosive activity.
Volcanic explosions producing high-altitude (>15,000 ft asl) volcanic clouds remain possible 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 can be a lag of tens of minutes until we can characterize the magnitude of the event and the altitude of the volcanic cloud.
With existing data sources, AVO may not detect low-level unrest, including minor explosive activity. Such low-level periods of unrest and possible explosions could pose hazards near the volcano. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in effect over the volcano. 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 volcanic activity with satellite images, seismic and infrasound instruments on nearby islands, and lightning data from the Worldwide Lightning Location Network.
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 prior to the current unrest, most recently in July 1992. Previous eruptions of the volcano have lasted weeks to months, and have on occasion produced ash fall on Unalaska. These eruptions are often characterized by multiple explosive, ash-producing events as well as the growth of lava domes, such as we have seen in the ongoing 2016-2017 eruption.
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W,
Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Unrest continues at Cleveland Volcano. A small, short-duration explosion was detected on local seismic and infrasound sensors at 01:47 on 26 September UTC (17:47 AKDT on 25 September) that produced a small volcanic cloud visible in satellite data with a height estimated at below 15,000 feet asl. Two weaker explosions were subsequently detected in infrasound and seismic data on 28 September (13:19 and 13:58 UTC / 05:16 and 05:58 AKDT), although no visible ash clouds were associated with these events. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite data, and a weak plume emanating from the summit crater could be seen when the summit was cloud-free.
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.
OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES
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Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
firstname.lastname@example.org (907) 786-7497
Jeff Freymueller, Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
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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.