Science

Pavlof Volcano's Seismic Activity Increases Within 24 Hours; Eruption Imminent?

By Adie Pieraz , Jul 06, 2016 05:00 AM EDT
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Alaska has experienced two volcanic eruptions this year from just one source. The first of Mount Pavlof's 2016 eruptions happened in March, with another following in May. Recent seismic activity from the volcano, as recorded by the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), has lead many scientists to believe that another eruption will be coming soon.

The Pavlof Volcano can be found some 600 miles southwest of Anchorage. This is a short distance, considering the March eruption resulted in ashes flying around 37,000 feet above sea level.

Just last Friday, the AVO increased alert levels to "advisory" from "normal," reports Alaska Dispatch News. In order to explain what the increase in seismic activity means, Robert McGimsey, a research geologist, spoke for AVO. "What that means is the volcano has moved from its normal non-eruptive activity to a level [of] unrest, where it could erupt."

Mount Pavlof is very sensitive and could react to this activity with a grand eruption. However, McGimsey also says that the activity could cease without anything else happening as well.

The AVO is not taking any chances, even if there is a chance that nothing could happen. However, International Business Times notes that the expected eruption could be as big as the one that occurred in March.

The March eruption produced both lava and ash. The volcanic activity also lasted about 24 hours, with the ash plume continuously coming from Pavlof's opening. With it rising above 37,000 feet above sea level, the ash extended a maximum of 700 kilometers north-east of Alaska.

The eruption in May came and went with hardly any interruption. In fact, the eruption was only noticeable because of the data collected. Since then and until recently, the alert level was at "green," which meant no risk of an eruption.

The scientists from the AVO are being careful with their "advisory" warning as early as now. This is because substantial volcanic activity can occur with very little to no warning whatsoever.

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