Volcano Update from Archive

Friday, February 15, 2013 10:54 AM ChST (Friday, February 15, 2013 00:54 UTC)

Report prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey.

18°7'48" N 145°48' E, Summit Elevation 1870 ft (570 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW

A distinct plume of gas and water vapor trailing in some cases more than 240 km (150 mi) downwind from Pagan was visible in satellite images every day during the past week. This is typical of recent months of observation of Pagan.

A USGS team visited Pagan on February 9 to assess possible sites for future monitoring instrumentation. They observed the continuous, vigorous plume and noted sulfur smell when downwind of the summit.

Because of this ongoing emission of volcanic gas from Pagan, it remains possible that residents of the CNMI may notice sulfurous odors under certain wind conditions. Additional information about volcanic gas and vog can be found online at this address: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/hazards/FAQ_SO2-Vog-Ash/main.html

Pagan Volcano is not monitored with ground-based geophysical instrumentation and the only sources of information are satellite observations and occasional reports from observers who pass by or visit the island. We will continue to evaluate satellite imagery, on-island, and mariner reports when they become available, but because the volcano is not monitored with ground-based instruments, we cannot provide advanced warning of activity.

Access to the island may be restricted by the CNMI government. Contact the EMO for the latest information.

USGS scientists also visited Sarigan and Anatahan islands last week to repair instrumentation and assess possible sites for future monitoring equipment. They noted nothing unusual at either volcano.

USGS Northern Marianas Duty Scientist (808) 967-8815

CNMI Emergency Management Office (670) 322-8001