Three active volcanoes in Alaska are drawing the attention of officials.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory this week upgraded the threat level for the Pavlof Volcano from yellow to orange, meaning “an eruption is underway that poses limited hazards,” The Hill reported.
The volcano, located at the far end of the Alaska Peninsula, almost 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, is emitting low levels of ash.
Pavlof is a “very sneaky volcano,” according to Chris Waythomas, a geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory. “It can get going without much warning,” he said on Thursday, according to ABC.
— Rita Bauer (@wischweg) August 5, 2021
“A brief period of minor ash emission occurred at Pavlof volcano yesterday but otherwise the volcano has been mostly quiet,” according to a Friday report from the U.S. Geological Survey.
“The volcano is in a minor period of unrest and it remains possible for conditions to change rapidly and for more significant eruptive activity to occur with little to no warning,” the USGS reported.
The other two active volcanoes are the Great Sitkin Volcano and the uninhabited island of Semisopochnoi, both located in the Aleutian Islands.
Waythomas said that so far no communities have been affected by the volcanic activity.
Cold Bay, about 35 miles southwest of Pavlof, is the closest town to the volcano, which last erupted in 2016.
Great Sitkin has been very active lately, according to Waythomas.
An amazing shot of the growing lava dome at Great Sitkin Volcano, taken by Dave Ward Aug. 4, 2021.
The dome has been growing since mid-July, and the last explosive event was May 25, 2021. AVO uses satellite to measure the rate of growth. It is now over 100m in diameter. pic.twitter.com/jDjDLW54dV
— Alaska AVO (@alaska_avo) August 6, 2021
“Effusion of lava at the active vent on Great Sitkin volcano has characterized activity over the past week,” the USGS reported.
“This lava fountain is kind of unusual for Great Sitkin, but it’s been fairly passive at this point,” Waythomas said.
Semisopochnoi, downgraded from Aviation color code ORANGE to YELLOW yesterday, spotted steaming last night from remote webcam CEPE (https://t.co/be4pH6FYss). Field work restored access to Semi’s cams and seismic stations, helpful for one of AK’s most remote volcanoes. pic.twitter.com/fhLGd7BLCv
— Alaska AVO (@alaska_avo) July 22, 2021
Semisopochnoi, which is about 150 miles west of Great Sitkin, sent a cloud of ash 10,000 feet into the sky this week, Waythomas said.
“Ash clouds under 10,000 ft above sea level are typical of recent activity at Semisopochnoi. New explosions could occur at any time with no warning,” the USGS reported.