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Report on Cleveland (United States) — November 2008


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 33, no. 11 (November 2008)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Cleveland (United States) Explosive ash emission on 2 January 2008

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2008. Report on Cleveland (United States) (Wunderman, R., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 33:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN200811-311240


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Satellite images acquired during the night of 23 December 2008 showed a persistent thermal anomaly near the summit of Cleveland, a stratovolcano forming the western half of the remote and uninhabited Chuginadak Island in the E-central Aleutian Islands. Cloud cover prevented satellite observations during 25-27 December, but a small thermal anomaly was observed on 28 December 2008. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) raised the aviation color code to Yellow and the alert level to Advisory on 24 December 2008.

AVO reported that on the morning of 2 January 2009, a short-lived but explosive ash emission occurred. The resulting plume reached to an altitude of ~ 6 km. The plume was first observed in a satellite image obtained at 1645 UTC and was visible in subsequent images for several hours. The plume drifted ~ 240 km ESE, but then dispersed rapidly and could no longer be detected. Satellite views of the volcano were obscured by clouds most of the week; however, a minor thermal anomaly was observed in satellite views of the summit on the morning of 4 January. During this event no active lava flows were observed, as compared with events of July-August 2008 (BGVN 33:07).

Cleveland lacks seismic instrumentation; satellite data and pilot reports are the primary information sources. Thermal anomalies were absent after the cluster of events during 22-29 July 2008 (BGVN 33:07).

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/), the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA.