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Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5160

The Alaska Volcano Observatory is a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. The Alaska Volcano Observatory is funded by the U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program and the State of Alaska

2012 Volcanic Activity in Alaska: Summary of Events and Response of the Alaska Volcano Observatory

By Julie A. Herrick, Christina A. Neal, Cheryl E. Cameron, James P. Dixon, and Robert G. McGimsey

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (30.9 MB)Abstract

The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) responded to eruptions, possible eruptions, volcanic unrest, or suspected unrest at 11 volcanic centers in Alaska during 2012. Of the two verified eruptions, one (Cleveland) was clearly magmatic and the other (Kanaga) was most likely a single phreatic explosion. Two other volcanoes had notable seismic swarms that probably were caused by magmatic intrusions (Iliamna and Little Sitkin). For each period of clear volcanic unrest, AVO staff increased monitoring vigilance as needed, reviewed eruptive histories of the volcanoes in question to help evaluate likely outcomes, and shared observations and interpretations with the public. 2012 also was the 100th anniversary of Alaska’s Katmai-Novarupta eruption of 1912, the largest eruption on Earth in the 20th century and one of the most important volcanic eruptions in modern times. AVO marked this occasion with several public events.

First posted August 29, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, Volcano Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
4230 University Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508

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Suggested citation:

Herrick, J.A., Neal, C.A., Cameron, C.E., Dixon, J.P., and McGimsey, R.G., 2014, 2012 Volcanic activity in Alaska–Summary of events and response of the Alaska Volcano Observatory: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5160, 82 p.,

ISSN 2328-0328 (online)




Volcanic Activity in Alaska, Northeast to Southwest along Aleutian Arc



References Cited

Glossary of Selected Terms and Acronyms

Appendix 1. Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes Used by United States
Volcano Observatories

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