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Shishaldin Volcano experiences eruption

 Shishaldin Volcano on Dec. 26, 2019. Image from Matt Loewen/Alaska Volcano Observatory
Shishaldin Volcano on Dec. 26, 2019. Image from Matt Loewen/Alaska Volcano Observatory (KTUU)
Published: Jan. 3, 2020 at 12:02 PM AKST
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Shishaldin volcano experienced an eruption that sent ash up to 27,000 feet in the air, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

A pilot in the area reported the ash at 9:52 a.m. and it was confirmed by later pilots as well as satellite imagery, according to the National Weather Service's .

But scientists say the ash is expected to travel south into the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Alaska, away from the nearby community of False Pass, which sits on the east end of Unimak Island.

It's also not the first eruption of the volcano in the last few months. According to Matt Haney, geophysicist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the volcano has been at the same alert level - 'orange ' - since mid-October.

It's also been experiencing eruptions since then. Haney says that scientists classify eruptions as either 'effusive' or 'explosive.' The eruption Friday morning was the second explosive eruption since the volcano was put on a heightened alert level, but Friday's eruption lasted longer.

On Dec. 12, the previous explosive eruption lasted about five to ten minutes. This one lasted over an hour.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says that more powerful explosions could occur with little warning that might spew ash even higher into the atmosphere, posing a danger to high-flying aircraft.

The AVO says that Shishaldin has experienced 54 episodes of unrest including over 24 confirmed eruptions since 1775.

Copyright 2019 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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