Alaska Volcano Observatory is Having Busiest Volcano Year to Date
Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory are paying extra close attention lately due to high seismic activity at five volcanoes running all along the Aleutian Chain. Many of the volcanoes have recently sprung back to life, and others have just continued their normal eruptions. John Power is the Scientist-in-charge at AVO. He says a few recent explosions and heightened unrest have led to the busiest time since the inception of the state’s observatory.
It is the busiest time that we have had in terms of Alaska Volcanoes. As long has AVO has been around in 27 years. We do have five that are at alert levels or color codes.
Power says the most active volcano recently has been Pavlof, which has erupted continuously since the May 31st. He says it has had some explosive activity and lava flows along the Northwest side. It currently has a "watch" Alert Level and an "orange" Aviation Color Code.
The Shishaldin Vocano is the other volcano with a “watch” Alert Level, and “orange” Aviation Color Code. Power says the volcano has experienced continuing low level eruptive activity, and its conditions form its recognizable outward appearance.
Shishaldin is one of the ones that you would say looks like a volcano. There's a big summit crater, and we're having magma, low level magma, extrusions have been observed down inside the summit crater. It's been a very effusive eruption, we would call it. It hasn't put out big ash cloud or had explosions. It's just been lava oozing out in the inside of this crater if you will.
Power says the Cleveland Volcano has clearly been the most active volcano over the last ten years. On June 5th, AVO picked up two explosions from seismic monitoring stations and infrasonic data. Power says the observatory primarily monitors the volcano via satellite data because of its remote location, but from what they can tell conditions have stayed the same.
The Semisopochnoi Volcano is the most remote of the 5 active volcanos. It’s more than 1,000 miles west of the Pavlof Volcano near the island of Amchitka. Powers says the volcano has not had any eruptions or warm ground, but AVO raised its Aviation Color Code to “yellow” due to a sequence of elevated earthquake activity. The Veniaminof Volcano is also showing volcanic activity. It’s located in the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge. Power says it had a sizeable eruption last summer and seismic activity has continued throughout the year causing AVO to continue monitoring conditions at the volcano.
Every time we look at it and we think it's time to cancel these advisories it does a little bit more, and we're continuing to watch it just as closely as we can.
You can follow the activity at all of Alaska’s active volcanos on the website of the Alaska Volcano Observatory.