Lava continues to flow from Mount Veniaminof

Sep 27, 2018

Mount Veniaminof, located on the Alaska Peninsula north of Perryville, has been emitting lava and sporadic plumes of ash since early September. 

Mount Veniaminof erupting, as seen from Perryville.
Credit Sephora L. Trefon

This most recent bout of unrest began September 4, when people in the village of Perryville spotted ash coming from the volcano. It last erupted in 2013. 

“So far, it’s been producing a lava flow on the South flank of that intracaldera cone. It’s about 800 to 850 meters in length, and there have been some minor ash emissions as well,” said Chris Waythomas, a geologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Veniaminof erupting on September 11. Credit: Joe Timmreck via Allison Eckert, Ace Air

According to Waythomas, however, it is highly unlikely that ash will reach the village – or the Chignik communities – at the volcano's current level of activity.

“So far, the ash fall has been very limited and largely confined to the summit caldera. So roughly five miles at most from the vent,” he explained.

Lava extruding from the mountain is visible from the air and Perryville. If the volcano begins to exhibit heightened signs of unrest, like bigger earthquakes or plumes, that could mean ashfall in Perryville. But it probably won’t be dangerous.

“This would likely be equivalent to a thin coating of dust on your windshield, and probably not going to be in amounts that are a hazard in any way,” Waythomas said. 

Three other volcanos on the Alaska Peninsula are showing signs of unrest: Cleveland Volcano, the Great Sitkin Volcano and one of the cones on Mount Cerberus at Semisopochnoi volcano in the western Aleutians. As for Veniaminof, Waythomas said that the current activity could continue for weeks.

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