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Science & Environment

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

Chris Waythomas, AVO-USGS


New photos show the dramatic effect of volcanic explosions on Bogoslof Island. The Eastern Aleutian island is home to a volcano that has been erupting since mid-December. Now, the tiny island is even smaller and it’s shaped like a hook.

Chris Waythomas, of the U.S. Geological Survey, says the photos also show ash on the island.

“There’s ash draping over everything,” said Waythomas. “There’s a layer of fine muddy-looking ash covering what was a partially vegetated island.”

Dave Schneider, AVO/USGS


Two hours after lowering the aviation code for an Eastern Aleutian volcano, it’s back at the highest alert level.

The reasoning? According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, there was a significant explosion at Bogoslof volcano Thursday afternoon.


Courtesy Lynda Lybeck-Robinson

Unrest continues at Bogoslof volcano, but scientists say they’ve fine-tuned monitoring the activity from afar. The Eastern Aleutian volcano had a short lived, but powerful eruption Tuesday night.

David Schneider is a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.  He says this eruption isn’t much different from the others dating back to mid-December.

“It just indicates that the volcano continues to be in a heightened state of unrest," Schneider said. "It’s pretty unpredictable at this point.”

The five-minute explosion threw ash more than 30,000 ft into the air.

T. Keith, U.S. Geological Survey

Scientists believe Bogoslof volcano erupted for the first time this year, following a series of explosions that date back to mid-December. 

Monitors on nearby islands detected seismic activity Monday emanating from the Eastern Aleutian volcano.

But scientists believe the explosion was minor. The period of increased seismicity lasted about 10 minutes.

Courtesy Chris Waythomas, AVO/USGS


Bogoslof Island is an important breeding ground for marine mammals and seabirds making it the perfect place to monitor how life responds to volcanic destruction.

The island is tiny. But it’s hard to say how tiny because the shape and size of the island are changing almost constantly since the eruptions started December 16. While recent eruptions have added new land, Chris Waythomas of the U.S. Geological Survey says on the whole, the roughly mile-long island has shrunk.