Alert Level At Pavlof Volcano Downgraded To 'Normal' Following Weeks Of Unrest

Mar 4, 2020

Pavlof Volcano as seen from Cold Bay.
Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

After two months of activity, Pavlof Volcano has been downgraded to a "normal" alert level.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) issued an "advisory" for the volcano — which is located about 35 miles from Cold Bay — in December. But over the past several weeks, seismic activity steadily decreased.

The last observable sign was what the AVO calls "minor steam emissions," which occurred in late February. Since then, there have been no signs of activity at the volcano. 

With over 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc.

"Eruptive activity is generally characterized by sporadic Strombolian lava fountaining continuing for a several-month period," said the AVO in a statement. "Ash plumes as high as 49,000 feet have been generated by past eruptions of Pavlof." 

The volcano's last major eruption was in 2016, when it sent an ash cloud up to 40,000 feet into the atmosphere, cancelling flights. 

"During the March 2016 eruption, ash plumes as high as 40,000 feet above sea level were generated and the ash was tracked in satellite data as distant as eastern Canada," the AVO said.