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Small Yet Powerful Eruption At Aleutian Volcano

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.

Without on the ground sensors, Schneider says detecting activity at Bogoslof is more complicated.

“Of course since the island is so small we don’t have any instruments on the island," he said. "Even if we did,  they would have been probably destroyed by the seismic activity. So we're relying on distant seismometers to suss out some of the activity.”

At this point the activity at the volcano has died down, but Schneider says that doesn’t mean it’s over.

“When things are quiet there’s no way to measure quiet for the next five minutes versus the next five years," Schneider said. "Quiet is quiet. So calling an eruption sequence over is a very difficult task.”

Past eruptions of Bogoslof have lasted months.

Zoë Sobel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2019. She returned to KUCB after a year living in Nepal and Malaysia as a Luce Scholar. She then returned to KUCB as a ProPublica reporter August of 2020 through August of 2021.
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