Great Land of Alaska

2004-2006 Spurr Unrest

In July of 2004, seismic activity under Mt. Spurr increased to the point that the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the U.S. Geological Survey raised Spurr's Concern Level to YELLOW. Spurr remained at this level for a little over a year and a half, with its status finally being lowered back to GREEN in January of 2006. Although an eruption was always possible, there never was any good indications that one was imminent.

August 2, 2004

Melthole at summit Overhead view of melt hole

About two months after Spurr's concern level was raised to YELLOW, a melt hole appeared on the mountain's summit indicating growing heat under the mountain. The possible cause is the upward movement of magma.

(Picture credit: Chris Waythomas)

August 4, 2004

Larger melt hole

Two days later and the hole is a little bigger. Heat has caused ice along the sides of the hole to break loose.

(Picture credit: Eberhart-Phillips, Donna; AVO / U.S. Geological Survey)

September 7, 2004

Close view of hole Side view of melt hole

A nice close-up overhead shot of the lake. Gasses seeping out of the rocks make lakes like this very acidic.

(Picture credit: Sigrun Hreinsdottir)

January 11, 2005

Fresh snow around melt hole

A coat of fresh snow surrounds the hole. The heat being generated by the mountain and the high acidic levels of the water is enough to keep even the cold temperatures of January from freezing the lake.

(Picture credit: Coombs, M. L.; AVO / U.S. Geological Survey)

August 1, 2005

Enlarged melt hole

The constant heat from the past year has greatly increased the size of the hole in the ice.

(Picture credit: Neal, C. A.; AVO / U.S. Geological Survey)

November 26, 2005

Small whisp of steam from summit

An occasional whisp of steam, such as the small one barely visible here, is occasionally seen coming from the peak of the mountain.

(Picture credit: Moroney, Diane)

January 17, 2006

Close-up of lake

A good close-up of the ice-free lake.

(Picture credit: Doukas, Michael; AVO / U.S. Geological Survey


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