Massive Alaska volcano eruption imminent

Massive Alaska volcano eruption imminent

Alaska's Pavlof volcano is about to blow its top.

A volcano in Alaska is expected to explode very soon, as the Alaska Volcano Observatory has raised the alert level for the Pavlof Volcano.

The volcano is located on the southwestern end of the Alaska Peninsula and is the most active volcano in Alaska with dozens of recorded eruptions, according to a statement from the observatory.

The volcano erupted back in May as well as in March, meaning that another eruption would be the third this year.

“Unrest has returned to Pavlof Volcano this week,” the observatory said in the statement. “In the past 24 hours, seismicity increased and minor steam emissions were observed in the web camera. AVO issued a VAN/VONA this morning raising the Color Code to YELLOW and the Alert Level to ADVISORY.”

Pavlof is a volatile volcano that can erupt with almost no warning. The May reuption resulted in significant ash-fall on the ground for the first time in two decades. It blanketed a nearby village with ash and resulted in flights being cancelled because it is in a location where a lot of flights cross over Alaska. Pavlof is 625 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The March eruption sent an ash cloud nearly 37,000 feet into the area, and was spread hundreds of miles.

“Pavlof Volcano began erupting abruptly on the afternoon of Sunday, March 27, 2016, sending an ash cloud to 20,000 ft ASL as reported by a pilot,” the observatory wrote on its website. “As of 4:18 pm AKDT (00:18 UTC), ash was reportedly moving northward from the volcano. Seismicity began to increase from background levels at about 3:53 pm (23:53 UTC) with quick onset of continuous tremor. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to RED and the Volcano Alert Level to WARNING. Ash emission continued until midday on March 28, with maximum heights of about 35,000 feet. The ash cloud from Pavlof extended more than 400 miles to the northeast of Pavlof, over interior Alaska. Lava fountaining and lightning were observed from Cold Bay. Minor ashfall occurred at Nelson Lagoon on the evening of March 27 and morning of March 28. Trace ashfall was reported at Dillingham, Port Heiden, and Togiak on March 28.

“On Friday, May 13, 2016, seismic activity at Pavlof Volcano increased to levels typically associated with low-leve eruptive activity. AVO raised the Aviation Color Code / Level of Concern from GREEN/NORMAL to ORANGE/WATCH,” it continued. “During the day of May 14, seismicity remained elevated but clear webcam and satellite images showed no sign of eruption. Minor ash emissions at Pavlof were noted by local observers and in web camera views from about 19:27-21:07 AKDT (3:27-5:07 UTC). The diffuse ash plume reached heights of 15,000 – 18,000 feet asl, did not travel far, and remained in the vicinity of the volcano. Minor ash emission resumed at about 8:50 AKDT (16:50 UTC) on May 15, and elevated surface temperatures were also seen in satellite data. These thermal signals at Pavlof are typically associated with lava effusion and it is possible that low-level fountaining may have been temporarily occurring on the morning of May 15, 2016. Seismicity at Pavlof remained elevated – additional periods of small explosions and minor ash emission were observed on May 17, beginning around 4:45 AKDT (12:45 UTC). Ash emissions during this time were also reported by people in Cold Bay and Sand Point.”



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