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Is Bogoslof Volcano Done Erupting?

Apr 6, 2017

A satellite image shows the last major eruption of Bogoslof Volcano on March 8, 2017.
Credit Dave Schneider/USGS/AVO

Bogoslof Volcano is back at a low-level “advisory” for the first time since it began erupting more than three months ago.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) downgraded Bogoslof’s alert level Wednesday, bringing it just one notch above “normal.”

AVO Geophysicist Dave Schneider said it has been weeks since the Aleutian volcano showed any sign of life.

“With volcanoes, you’re never quite sure whether or not the eruption is over for good," said Schneider. "We can’t differentiate between stages of quiet: Quiet for the next day is the same as quiet for the next year. But enough time has passed that we feel it’s prudent to bring the alert level down.”

After being quiet for a quarter of a century, Bogoslof has exploded 37 times since mid-December.

Schneider said the eruption has been fascinating for his team at the AVO. They’ve collected ash samples from two major blasts that will help model the behavior of this unusual submarine volcano.

“We’re all kind of jazzed about this," he said. "Bogoslof’s very stimulating. It’s new and different, and this is a really talented group of scientists. For a volcano that has no monitoring network on it, I think we’ve really learned an awful lot about it.”

AVO scientists are planning to present their research later this year.

In the meantime, Schneider said they’re eager to see the volcano firsthand. The eruption has reshaped Bogoslof Island dramatically , but they’ll have to wait a while before it’s safe for a visit.

“It’s a pretty hazardous place, so we’re very wary about going out there for the foreseeable future," said Schneider. "Maybe sometime this summer.”

The AVO has lowered the alert level for Cleveland Volcano as well.

Cleveland has cooled down after exploding last month, so scientists have issued a low-level “advisory” for the volcano.