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Report on Cleveland (United States) — June 1987


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 6 (June 1987)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Cleveland (United States) Lava flow and ash emission from summit crater

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1987. Report on Cleveland (United States) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 12:6. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198706-311240


United States

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 19 June pilot T. Madsen (Aleutian Airways) observed minor bluish-brown ash rising to 2,000-2,500 m altitude and drifting SE for as much as 50 km. Later that day (about 1300) Madsen observed continued fine ash emissions. Fresh ash was seen on all flanks of the volcano but was concentrated on the ESE flank. Two or three large hot rocks fell from the summit onto the ESE flank during his observations.

Pilot Harold Wilson (Peninsula Airways) observed Mt. Cleveland several times between 22 and 29 June. At 1600 on 22 June a steam plume was rising ~300 m above the summit and fresh black ash covered most of the volcano; snow had fallen in the region in the last week. At noon the next day incandescent lava was visible in the cracks of a 30-m-diameter dome-like feature within the summit crater. A narrow lava flow extended down the ESE slope and ponded at the base of the volcano. Blocks were thrown to 30 m above the vent and steam rose ~450 m above the summit. Numerous photos were taken. The "dome" incandescence and steam emission remained visible through 26 June. On 27 June the volcano was obscured by steam and clouds. Wilson noted that the activity was the most intense he had ever seen at Mt. Cleveland since he began flying in the region in 1980.

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: J. Reeder, ADGGS.