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Alaska's Mount Pavlof Volcano Expected to Erupt for the Third Time by the End of the Year

Jul 04, 2016 03:14 AM EDT
Mount Pavlof
Mount Pavlof in Alaska is still showing signs of seismic activity and steam emissions indicating a possible eruption by the end of the year.
(Photo : By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ( (image description page)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Increasing seismic activity and steam emissions from the Mount Pavlof in Alaska suggests that the volcano may erupt once again for the third time this year by the end of 2016, according to the calculations of Alaska Volcano Observatory or AVO.

Pavlof Volcano is a snow- and ice-covered stratovolcano located on the southwestern end of the Alaska Peninsula about 953 km (592 mi) southwest of Anchorage. The volcano is about 7 km (4.4 mi) in diameter and has active vents on the north and east sides close to the summit.

"Pavlof is one of those volcanoes that can erupt without very much in the way of precursory activities," said geophysicist David Schneider in a report from Christian Science Monitor. 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."

The continued activities in the Mount Pavlof lead the AVO to raise the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and the Alert Level to Advisory. The volcano first erupted this year in March, followed by another one in mid-May.

During the March eruption of Mount Pavlof, ashes were sent out about 37,000 feet above sea level and were carried by wind more than 400 miles east into Alaska. On the other hand, the May eruption has recorded a significant amount of ash-fall in the ground for the first time in 20 years.

According to the report from AVO, Mount Pavlof has over 40 historic eruptions. Ash plumes from the volcano during an eruption can reach as high as 49,000 feet above sea level posing high risk to passenger jets.

Jet engines have enough heat to melt volcanic ash that enters into hard glass. This can cause clogging, which can potentially destroy the machinery of the aircraft.

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