AVO: 'Elevated unrest continues at Bogoslof Volcano'

Satellite view of Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian Islands during an eruption.
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BOGOSLOF VOLCANO, Alaska (KTUU) - Bogoslof Volcano remains in a "heightened state of unrest and unpredictable condition," the Alaska Volcano Observatory said in an update shortly after 1:15 AKST Sunday.

While the current Aviation Color Code is at orange and Volcano Alert Level is at 'watch,' planes were warned of the possible issues late last week after the volcano erupted for a second day in a row.

And despite weather creating tougher conditions for detection Saturday, more eruptions are expected and contributing to the current alert level.

"Low-level explosive activity that is below our ability to detect in our data sources may be occurring," the AVO update reads. "These low-level explosions could pose a hazard in the immediate vicinity of the volcano."

With a strong storm system moving through the region, generating high winds, the AVO's ability to observe subtle seismic events is decreased. However, it remains "likely that [they] will be able to detect significant explosions... (though) Satellite observations of the volcano have been mostly obscured by clouds over the past day."

On Friday, AVO put out an alert describing lightning and a large increase in seismic activity from Bogoslof. An explosive eruption reportedly began within the volcano at 8:24 AKST Friday morning, leading to the raising of the Aviation Color Code from orange to red, the highest level, and the Alert Level from 'watch' to 'warning.'

According to AVO, the volcanic cloud from Friday's eruption may have reached heights of 25,000 ft. Volcanic ash above 20,000 feet is considered a threat to airliners flying between Asia and North America.
The AVO said the cloud from Friday's eruption could reach 30,000 feet. Along with AVO, the National Weather Service issues alerts to traffic controllers after significant eruptions.

Bogoslof has erupted more than 25 times since mid-December and could continue periodic eruptions for months, according to the Associated Press. As for other area volcanoes, Takawangha Volcano, Cleveland Volcano and Pavlof Volcano all stand at yellow for the current Aviation Color Code and 'advisory' for the current Volcano Alert Level.

"Other Alaska volcanoes show no signs of significant unrest," the AVO release states.

While AVO reportedly does not have any ground-based monitoring equipment on Bogoslof, the group has been using satellite images, information from the Worldwide Lightning Location Network's volcanic-cloud lightning data, as well as measurements from seismic and infrasound instruments on nearby islands to detect indications of volcanic activity.

People can always report ashfall to the Alaska Volcano Observatory by email or by phone at (907) 786-7497. AVO would like to know the location, time, heaviness of ashfall and current weather. You can also help by collecting ash, the directions for which can be found here.