Hotspot volcanoes

3 erupting Alaskan volcanoes spewing lava or ash clouds

In this webcam image provided by the Alaska Volcanoes Observatory, the Pavlof volcano is in an erupting state with episodic low-level ash emissions on Thursday, August 5, 2021. Three remote volcanoes in Alaska are each in state of eruption, one producing lava and the other two blowing steam and ash. So far, no small community near any of the three has been affected, said Chris Waythomas, a geologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, on Thursday. Credit: Alaska Volcano Observatory via AP

Three remote Alaskan volcanoes are in various erupting states, one producing lava and the other two blowing steam and ash.

So far, none of the small communities near the volcanoes have been affected, said Chris Waythomas, a geologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, on Thursday.

Thursday’s webcams clearly showed episodic low-level ash emissions from the Pavlof volcano, prompting the observatory to increase the volcano’s threat level from yellow, or showing signs of unrest, to orange, indicating that a eruption is in progress with emissions of minor volcanic ash.

Clouds of ash rose just above the top of the volcano, 8,261 feet (2,518 meters), drifting about 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) south before dissipating, Waythomas said .

Pavlov is a “very devious volcano,” Waythomas said. “It can start without too much warning.”

He described the peak as an open system volcano, meaning that its “magmatic plumbing system is open and magmas can rise to the surface very quickly and it can begin to erupt almost without warning.”

Pavlov is a snow and ice covered stratovolcano at the southwestern end of the Alaska Peninsula, nearly 965.6 kilometers southwest of Anchorage.

The closest community is Cold Bay, about 56.33 kilometers southwest of Pavlov, which is considered one of Alaska’s most active volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands arc of active and dormant volcanoes.

Pavlov last erupted in 2016, dropping ashes on another community, Nelson Lagoon.

The observatory received reports from the Adak community on Thursday regarding a lava fountain atop the Great Sitkin volcano. The reports were then confirmed by webcam.

“The fact that they walk outside and see it’s really awesome,” Waythomas said.

He said if activity increases, Adak could get ashes from Great Sitkin, located on an island about 43.45 kilometers away.

“This lava fountain is a bit unusual for Great Sitkin, but it’s been pretty passive at this point,” he said.

Great Sitkin, a stratovolcano with a caldera and a dome, is located approximately 1,150 miles (1,851 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

The Semisopochnoi volcano, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) on an uninhabited island at the western end of the Aleutian Islands, erupted intermittently and produced an ash cloud that rose to about 10,000 feet on Wednesday ( 3,048 meters) in the air, Waythomas mentioned.


Alaska volcano calmed down after eruption in late March


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