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Report on Cleveland (United States) — July 2018

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 43, no. 7 (July 2018)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke. Research and preparation by Robert Andrews.

Cleveland (United States) Ongoing episodes of lava effusion in the crater and explosions through July 2018

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Cleveland (United States) (Venzke, E., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 43:7. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN201807-311240.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Cleveland, at the western end of the isolated Chuginadak Island in the Aleutian Islands, is characterized by frequent small explosions that are monitored using local seismic and infrasound sensors, and by elevated surface temperatures that are monitored by satellite-based infrared sensors. The current eruptive period began in April 2016 and has continued through at least July 2018. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) is responsible for monitoring, and issues regular reports describing activity.

Small explosions in mid-December 2017 were followed by elevated surface temperatures later in the month and a lava flow in the summit crater that began effusing on 5 January 2018 (table 9). Thermal anomalies and other signs of unrest continued through 24 February, when a small explosion was detected. Another explosion was reported on 2 March with a plume rising to 4.6 km altitude and drifting ENE. Satellite data continued to identify elevated temperatures in early March. Small explosions were identified using seismic and infrasound data on 14 March and 4 April. The ash cloud on 4 April rose to 4.6 km altitude and drifted SW; hot material was ejected onto the W flank.

Thermal anomalies were ongoing in June. A small circular lava flow (~80 m in diameter) in the summit crater was reported on 25 June; a thermal anomaly noted during 29 June-2 July extending SW downslope within the crater was consistent with a lava flow, according to AVO. Weakly elevated surface temperatures were reported on many days during 7-23 July, along with some small steam plumes (figure 25). A small deposit of blocks, within the summit crater and just below the E crater rim, seen using satellite imagery during 18-23 July suggested to AVO that there had been a very small explosion not recorded using seismic or pressure sensor monitors.

Table 9. Observations of dome growth and other crater activity at Cleveland, December 2017-July 2018. Note that the absence of observable activity from satellites is often due to cloud cover. Data courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO).

Date Observation
13 Dec 2017 Small explosion (0420); plume rising to 6.1 km and drifting E
17 Dec 2017 Small explosion (1817)
27 Dec-01 Jan 2018 Elevated surface temperatures
19 Jan 2018 New lava flow within summit crater since 5 January
19-22 Jan 2018 Elevated surface temperatures
24-30 Jan 2018 Unrest; possible cold vapor plume drifted S on 24 Jan; some slightly elevated surface temperatures during 26-30 Jan
31 Jan-06 Feb 2018 Unrest, moderately elevated surface temperatures
07-13 Feb 2018 Low-level unrest
14-20 Feb 2018 Low-level unrest; thermal anomalies during 15-17 Feb
24 Feb 2018 Small explosion (2154); several hours later satellite showed moderately elevated surface temperatures extending ~2 km from summit
28 Feb-03 Mar 2018 Elevated surface temperatures
02 Mar 2018 Small explosion (0557); plume rose to 4.6 km, drifted ENE
07 Mar 2018 Elevated surface temperatures on satellite images
08 Mar 2018 Seismicity slightly increased
14 Mar 2018 Small explosion in seismic and infrasound (2219), no visible ash plume
04 Apr 2018 Small explosion in seismic and infrasound (0355), hot material ejected on W flank and small ash cloud to 4.6 km drift SW
04 Apr 2018 Small, short-duration seismic event (~0600) coupled with small ash emission
13 Apr 2018 Small explosion (0759) in seismic and infrasound
04 May 2018 Small explosion (2149) in seismic and infrasound; small ash cloud to 6.7 km, drift SE
6-12 Jun 2018 Elevated surface temperatures
11-12 Jun 2018 Steam emissions
13-19 Jun 2018 Elevated surface temperatures
25 Jun 2018 Small, circular lava flow (~80 m in diameter) in summit crater
29 Jun-02 Jul 2018 Elevated surface temperatures; thermal anomaly extended SW
07, 09-10 Jul 2018 Weakly elevated surface temperatures; small steam cloud on 7 July
11 Jul 2018 Weakly elevated surface temperatures
18-23 Jul 2018 Weakly elevated surface temperatures; small deposit of blocks within the summit crater and just below the E crater rim
Figure (see Caption) Figure 25. Worldwide-3 satellite image of the summit crater of Cleveland volcano on 10 July 2018. The 80-m-diameter circular lava flow extruded in late June 2018 can be seen as well as minor steam emissions. Courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey (Image 117311, color adjusted).

Geologic Background. 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 a) U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4667 USA (URL: https://avo.alaska.edu/), b) Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, PO Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA, and c) Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, 794 University Ave., Suite 200, Fairbanks, AK 99709, USA (URL: http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/); Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), Alaska Aviation Weather Unit, NWS NOAA US Dept of Commerce, 6930 Sand Lake Road, Anchorage, AK 99502-1845 USA (URL: http://vaac.arh.noaa.gov/).