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Report on Cleveland (United States) — September 2005


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 30, no. 9 (September 2005)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Cleveland (United States) Minor eruptions during June-October 2005 after 4 years of quiet

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Cleveland (United States) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 30:9. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200509-311240


United States

52.825°N, 169.944°W; summit elev. 1730 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Mount Cleveland produced significant ash plumes during March 2001 (BGVN 26:04). Volcanic unrest continued through 4 May 2001, and signals consistent with volcanic seismicity were detected by an Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) seismic network 230 km E. By the end of May, neither eruptive activity nor thermal anomalies were observed. Until July 2005, no alert level was assigned, and AVO monitoring produced no reports on Cleveland.

Cleveland lacks a real-time seismic network. Accordingly, even during times of perceived quiet there is an absence of definitive information that activity level is at background. AVO's policy for volcanoes without seismic networks is to not get assigned a color code of Green.

Satellite imagery of Cleveland taken during 24 June to 1 July 2005 showed increased heat flow from the volcano and a possible debris flow. AVO stated that although observations were inhibited by cloudy weather, they indicated the possibility of increased volcanic activity. AVO did not assign a Concern Color Code to Cleveland due to the lack of seismic monitoring and limited satellite observations.

Satellite images during 1-8 July showed increased heat flow, thin ash deposits, and possible debris flows extending ~ 1 km down the flanks from the summit crater. AVO assigned a Concern Color Code of Yellow on 7 July. On 18 July satellite imagery showed steam emanating from Cleveland's summit and evidence of minor ash emissions. Meteorological clouds obscured Cleveland during the third week of July. During 22-29 July satellite images showed minor steaming from the summit, possible fresh localized ash deposits, and a weak thermal anomaly.

On 4 August satellite images showed a thermal anomaly. On 27 August AVO reduced the Concern Color Code at Cleveland from Yellow to "Not Assigned" because there had been no evidence of activity since a thermal feature was observed on satellite imagery from 11 August. A thermal feature was detected on several satellite images obtained on 31 August, and one on 19 September, but there was no evidence of eruptive activity.

On 7 October, AVO raised the Concern Color Code to Orange after detecting a small drifting volcanic ash cloud. The cloud was seen in satellite data at a spot ~ 150 km ESE of Dutch Harbor at 1700 UTC. Based on data from a regional seismometer at Nikolski, AVO concluded that the ash came from a small Cleveland eruption at approximately 0145. AVO, in consultation with the National Weather Service, estimated the top of the ash cloud to be no more than 4,600 m altitude. The ash cloud dissipated and was not detected via satellite after 1800 UTC. Three days passed during which there were no new observations of eruptive activity at Cleveland from satellite data, pilots, or ground-based observers. Accordingly, on 10 October the Concern Color Code was reduced to Yellow.

Geological Summary. The beautifully symmetrical Mount Cleveland stratovolcano is situated at the western end of the uninhabited Chuginadak Island. It lies SE across Carlisle Pass strait from Carlisle volcano and NE across Chuginadak Pass strait from Herbert volcano. Joined to the rest of Chuginadak Island by a low isthmus, Cleveland is the highest of the Islands of the Four Mountains group and is one of the most active of the Aleutian Islands. The native name, Chuginadak, refers to the Aleut goddess of fire, who was thought to reside on the volcano. Numerous large lava flows descend the steep-sided flanks. It is possible that some 18th-to-19th century eruptions attributed to Carlisle should be ascribed to Cleveland (Miller et al., 1998). In 1944 it produced the only known fatality from an Aleutian eruption. Recent eruptions have been characterized by short-lived explosive ash emissions, at times accompanied by lava fountaining and lava flows down the flanks.

Information Contacts: Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667, USA (URL: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/), Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA; Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Washington, DC, USA (URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/vaac/).