The towering Pavlof volcano in Alaska may be about to blow its top.
Scientists in Alaska have been monitoring Pavlof Volcano for some time, and have recently reported a period of increased seismic activity that has many wondering if it’s about to blow its lid. According to a report from CS Monitor, the volcano recently erupted in May and could be building up to another event.
When the volcano last erupted, it sent a cloud of ash more than 40,000 feet above sea level. The previous eruption is good reason for seismologists to continue watching the volcano; volcanic eruptions can occur with little to no warning, and Pavlof’s heightened level of activity provides a unique opportunity for research.
According to geophysicist David Schneider, “Pavlof is one of those volcanoes that can erupt without very much in the way of precursory activities. It’s very easy for the magma to arise in the volcano and make it out. So even subtle signs of unrest we think it is prudent to increase our alert level.”
Officials have raised the alert level for the volcano in anticipation of another possible event, but are not sure when to expect it due to the nature of the volcano.
The recent May eruption left ash scattered around local communities, with the tiny village of Nelson Lagoon receiving a significant coating. A number of flights in the area were also cancelled due to the poor visibility produced by the massive ash cloud billowing into the sky. The cloud was blown more than 400 miles east of Pavlof’s location.
If the volcano blows its lid again, Alaskans expect to see more ash clouds and flight cancellations. Covered in snow and ice, it’s not the traditional image of a volcano, but the molten rock within could create an interesting situation for the few people living in its vicinity.
A press release from the Alaskan Volcano Observatory describing the details of the recent report can be found here.