Eruptions

Finally, in a very slow week for volcano news, we find a report from the Alaska Volcano Observatory about concerns of another eruption in the state. Currently, both Okmok and Cleveland are erupting, and now AVO has issued a warning about Kasatochi Volcano on the island of the same name (~100 kilometers east of Adak, roughly near 175W on the map above). The volcano is the island – more or less – and any people on the small island are being evacuated due to increased seismic activity underneath the volcano/island.

Not much is known about the eruptive activity at Kasatochi. The volcano does have a large crater lake at the top that sits less than 100 m above sea level, but the only known (confirmed) eruption was in 1760, with unconfirmed eruptions as recently as 1899. The article about the current alert does mention persistent fumarolic activity (“steaming”), which indicates that there is still hot material near the surface at Kasatochi. In terms of potential activity, most likely it would behave like most of the other Aleutian volcanoes, producing an ash column and possibly lava flows that would likely only affect the island itself and possible air routes over the Aleutians.

Comments

  1. #1 Ron Schott
    August 7, 2008

    It’s blowing – see the AVO website. I sure hope they get the US Fish and Wildlife Service field crew out safely.

  2. #2 Hawkeye
    August 7, 2008

    Wow, three Aleutian volcanoes erupting at once. I believe they said two was unusual, so it must be quite rare to get three.

    The lastest satellite loop shows the ash plume well, but it doesn’t look like anything huge.

  3. #3 Observer
    August 7, 2008

    It appears that they almost got 4 volcanoes going here. Take a look at http://www.avo.alaska.edu/map/ and using the mouse, zero in on both the Kanaga Pass and Great Sitkin. You will see a very tell-tale pattern of quakes. We obviously know that Kasatochi erupted, does the similar trail near Kanaga Pass indicate a failed eruption? The quake activity is strongly suggestive of this.

  4. #4 Erik Klemetti
    August 8, 2008

    Yup, it is erupting … here is the announcement from AVO:

    Volcanic Activity Summary: Satellite data show an ash plume to an
    altitude of at least 35,000 ft. in the vicinity of Kasatochi Volcano
    22:30 UTC (14:30 ADT). The plume is drifting to the south-southwest.
    Based on this information, we are elevating the color code to
    RED/WARNING. This follows the recent increase in volcanic and
    earthquake activity.

  5. #5 Hawkeye
    August 8, 2008

    Here’s a news report that gives some additional information about the biologists who were working on Kasatochi island. They barely got out in time.

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/486964.html

  6. #6 Hawkeye
    August 8, 2008

    From the AVO: “An eyewitness account from a marine vessel (in the vicinity of Kasatochi and heading in the direction of Adak) reported ash fall (particles up to pebble size), spectacular lightning and thunder, and total darkness tonight between the hours of 21:00 and 23:15 AKDT.”

    The satellite loop is very interesting. There is an upper low sitting over the volcano, and the constant, voluminous ash plume is spiraling around in a circle

    http://www.arh.noaa.gov/satloop.php?sat=goes&sector=4gvf

  7. #7 Darrel Wiszynski
    December 13, 2010

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