volcano

Dave Schneider/USGS/AVO

Bogoslof Volcano exploded Tuesday night in its most powerful eruption since activity began three months ago.

Given the intensity of the three-hour blast, scientists expected Unalaskans to wake up and find the island dusted with ash.

Kristi Wallace of the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) said she was puzzled when that didn’t happen.

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.

 

Senator Lisa Murkowski wants to bolster the nation’s volcano monitoring system. The bill Murkowski is sponsoring, introduced Monday, would modernize existing monitoring networks and create a 24-7 volcano watch office to keep an eye on active volcanoes across the country. Plus, it would create a connected system — the National Volcano Early Warning System — where information from the nation’s five volcano observatories would live.

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. 

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