The Alaska Volcano Observatory reported the highly active Pavlof Volcano might be waking up. The team in the observatory said seismic activity is coming from the mesa, and satellite imagery showed what scientists think are hot-gas emissions.

To confirm this, a field group was dispatched, and once there, they reported smoke and gas emissions coming from the summit. However, on Saturday, July 3, the monitoring team said that even though the seismic activity is slightly elevated, it is lower than recorded the previous day on Friday.

Pavlof Volcano in Alaska is showing signs it could erupt sooner than expected. Preventive measures have already began to take action. Image Credit: Fox News
Pavlof Volcano in Alaska is showing signs it could erupt sooner than expected. Preventive measures have already begun to take action. Image Credit: Fox News

The Pavlof Volcano is in one of the most active volcanic belts in the United States. That is why the United States Geological Survey, the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the State of Alaska joined forces to create the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) in 1988.

Since then, the center has monitored the volcanic activity in the area, and Pavlof is one of the most active in the region. From 1980 to 2014, the volcano erupted almost every year, and it was active twice in 2014. Then, it entered in an unprecedented sleep with no signs of life in 2015 only to wake up this year in March.

“An AVO field crew working near the volcano yesterday reported observing minor gas emissions from the summit vent,” reads the Alaska Volcano Observatory,s web page.

The team at AVO was surprised last week when elevated seismic activity came from the peak. It has discharged twice in the same year in the past, but not in such a short span. However, there was a slight change in the readings which indicate that the signs of activity are diminishing. Nonetheless, AVO still considers the peak was sitting in the Alaska Peninsula could explode, so the center has “Advisory” Volcano Level Alert (VLA) on it, and a “Yellow” Aviation Color Code (ACC).

The Pavlof Volcano is not the only one making noise

Another member of the Aleutian Islands, the Cleveland Mount, has shown signs of activity in recent weeks. Scientists think this mount has erupted 22 times in the last 230 years which makes it one of the most active in the region.

Even though the peak made the seismic sensors go wild for a couple of days in recent weeks, AVO reports that by Saturday, there is nothing worth saying; not seismic readings, worrying satellite images nor infrasound signs.  However, the VLA remains Advisory, and the ACC is still yellow.

According to AVO, there are several volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands, but these two are the only ones that are presenting volcanic activity. That is why they have their eyes on Pavlof, especially after the eruption in March.

After being dormant for almost two years, Pavlof discharged massive amounts of volcanic material reporting one of the biggest eruptions in the volcano’s recorded history. The VLA was raised to “warning” and the ACC was set to red because the ash clouds stood 37,000 feet tall and spread for 400 miles. Pavlof went back to sleep on March 31, 2016, but it seems it was only a nap.

Source: Alaska Volcano Observatory