ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, January 19, 2018, 2:47 PM AKST (Friday, January 19, 2018, 23:47 UTC)
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W,
Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Recent satellite data indicate a new lava flow within the summit crater that has been emplaced since the last observations of elevated surface temperatures at Cleveland on January 5. No other activity was seen this week in satellite views, including several during clear conditions. Nothing significant was observed in seismic or infrasound data as well. The last small explosion at Cleveland occurred on December 17, which may have cleared the vent making way for the recently observed lava flow to effuse into the summit crater.
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.
54°45'19" N 163°58'16" W,
Summit Elevation 9373 ft (2857 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Elevated seismicity and infrasound resulting from robust shallow degassing in the conduit at Shishaldin persisted over the past week. A steam plume from the summit was noted in satellite data on Wednesday. No other volcanic activity was observed in satellite images, even with some clear viewing conditions during the week. Web camera views have been obscured by snow since January 8.
Shishaldin is monitored by local seismic and infrasound sensors, satellite data, a web camera, a telemetered geodetic network, and distant infrasound networks.
Shishaldin volcano, located near the center of Unimak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands, is a spectacular symmetric cone with a base diameter of approximately 16 km (10 mi). A 200-m-wide (660 ft) funnel-shaped summit crater typically emits a steam plume and occasional small amounts of ash. Shishaldin is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc, with at least 54 episodes of unrest including over 24 confirmed eruptions since 1775. Most eruptions are relatively small, although the April-May 1999 event generated an ash column that reached 45,000 ft above sea level.
GREAT SITKIN VOLCANO
52°4'35" N 176°6'39" W,
Summit Elevation 5709 ft (1740 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
The Color Code/Alert Level for Great Sitkin was lowered to GREEN/NORMAL yesterday based on decreasing earthquake activity over the past 2 months. In addition, no significant activity had been observed in satellite data and no steam plumes had been reported over the same 2 month time period.
The decline over the past 2 months in the number of earthquakes suggests an intrusion of magma beneath Great Sitkin, which caused elevated seismicity during late 2016 and most of 2017, has possibly stalled and the volcano is returning to a period of background seismicity. Future intrusions at Great Sitkin, or a remobilization of the most recent intrusion, should lead to an increase in earthquakes prior to any eruptive activity. A significant number of small earthquakes began occurring again late on January 18, and AVO continues to monitor this activity closely.
Great Sitkin volcano is monitored with a local real-time seismic network, which will typically allow AVO to detect changes in unrest that may lead to an explosive eruption. Rapid detection of an ash-producing eruption would be accomplished using a combination of seismic, infrasound, lightning, and satellite data.
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 decapitated volcano and a younger parasitic cone with a 2-3 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 a lava dome and 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.
OTHER ALASKA VOLCANOES
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Michelle Coombs, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
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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.