KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

Science & Environment

Science and environmental reporting on news and community topics. Science coverage is occasionally provided by community members.

Janet Schaefer/ADGGS/AVO

Bogoslof Volcano stayed busy over the long weekend, erupting at least five times since Friday.

Janet Schaefer was lucky enough to see an explosion Sunday while she took a helicopter to the northwestern edge of Unalaska Island.

Schaefer works for the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), and she was there collecting ash samples from an eruption that dusted the island late last month.

Courtesy Jerry Morris

 

The news may sound familiar: There’s a volcano erupting in the Aleutian chain that’s a refuge for marine mammals and sea birds. But it isn’t Bogoslof, it’s Kasatochi — a volcano near Adak that erupted for the first time in modern memory in 2008. That eruption has given scientists the opportunity to study how life returns after cataclysmic destruction.

Kasatochi Island was an inactive volcano. It wasn’t supposed to erupt.

AVO / U.S. Geological Survey

Scientists have returned Takawangha Volcano’s alert level to “normal,” saying nearby seismic activity has steadily dissipated over the last two weeks.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) detected an "energetic" swarm of earthquakes near the volcano late last month.

Sixty miles west of Adak, Takawangha has no known eruptions in the historical record. But the activity prompted the AVO to raise its alert level to “advisory,” indicating elevated unrest.

T. Keith, U.S. Geological Survey

Bogoslof Volcano has exploded more than two dozen times since December, but not all eruptions are created equal.

On Friday, for instance, the Aleutian volcano spit ash about 20,000 feet into the air during a brief half-hour blast that dusted Bogoslof Island and not much else. It was a far cry from last Monday’s eruption.

That event lasted eight hours, spewing ash 35,000 feet high and coating Unalaska -- more than 50 miles away -- with a fine layer. 

Photo by Eric Keto/Alaska’s Energy Desk

 

Across Alaska there are monitoring instruments on 31 of the most active volcanoes, but there’s nothing on the one that’s erupting now.

Pages