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Bogoslof volcano shows signs of unrest, but scientists say eruption is not imminent

Bogoslof in 2019, it was emitting a plume of vapor
Chris Waythomas
Alaska Volcano Observatory
Bogoslof in 2019, a vapor plume was present as the volcano degasses.

Over 100 earthquakes were recorded at the Bogoslof volcano earlier this week, which is located 61 miles northwest of Unalaska.

Jessica Larsen, a scientist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, said an eruption is not imminent but the volcano is active and will be monitored closely.

“We just have some interesting seismic activity, so we’re going to keep our eye on it,” Larsen said. “We’re going to keep analyzing that data and look for increases in seismicity, or any other type of observation we can make with satellites to see if there’s any other unrest going on.”

Bogoslof in 2017, the year the volcano last erupted and ashfall reshaped the island.
Dan Leary
Alaska Volcano Observatory
Bogoslof in 2017, the year the volcano last erupted and ashfall reshaped the island.

One challenge with monitoring Bogoslof is that the volcano is mostly underwater, making it difficult to look for signs like gas emissions.

The volcano last erupted in 2017, sending ash all the way to Unalaska. Larsen said residents in surrounding communities like Unalaska, Nikolski, and Akutan should be prepared for possible ash if the volcano were to erupt.

Ashfall can be reported and volcanic activity can be tracked on the Alaska Volcano Observatory’s website.

The Bogoslof island, made from the volcano, is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. It supports an important rookery and haul out for endangered Steller sea lions and northern fur seals, as well as nesting grounds for over 50,000 murres, kittiwakes, and other sea birds, according to the National Park Service.

Sofia was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She’s reported around the U.S. for local public radio stations, NPR and National Native News. Sofia has a Master of Arts in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism from the University of Montana, a graduate certificate in Documentary Studies from the Salt Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder. In between her studies, Sofia was a ski bum in Telluride, Colorado for a few years.
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