Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska Unexpectedly Erupts

A sudden explosive eruption rocked Bogoslof in the Aleutian Islands according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. The eruption was noticed by pilots flying close to the remote volcano as well as satellite images (see below) that revealed an ash plume reaching up 10 kilometers (32,000 feet). Nevertheless impressive that plume might be, it appears the eruption didn’t continue overly long, as aviators passing the volcano less than an hour afterwards noted considerably diminished task.

Update 10:30 am EST on 12/22: Bogoslof had a second large explosive during the nighttime that is eruption of 12/21. The plume might have been marginally taller in relation to the initial explosion, topping out at 10.6 kilometers (35,000 feet). Just using the explosions ending within thirty minutes, the activity was short-lived, like the initial eruption. These eruptions happen to be full of volcanic lightning (see below), which can be feature of vulcanian eruptions that eject mainly old stuff in the vent region (Note: after some discussion with folks in the know, these eruptions likely possess a lot of interaction with seawater, creating fine ashes that’s prone to lightning. This Surtseyan style of eruption is a mix of new magma and water to make several of the dramatic explosions). Vulcanian eruptions may be the opening salvo of longer intervals of action or isolated events, so Bogoslof will be very fascinating to observe over the the next couple of weeks. Orange/Watch status is now sat at by the volcano.

Bogoslof doesn’t look like much, only a small island in the Bering Sea, should you examine a map. However, when you consider the fact that the volcano increases 1,500 meters (~4,900 feet) from the seafloor, you can appreciate that it isn’t a tiny characteristic. The past known eruption of Bogoslof was in 1992 when it created a VEI 3 eruption along with a dome that is new. On the isle, it has produced a half dozen VEI 2-3 volatile events from distinct vents since 1796. Numerous little islands gone over the last 400 years as lava domes have formed during eruptions of Bogoslof and have come, simply to be eroded or destroyed. Today, just about 300 meters (~1,000 feet) of the volcano sticks above the ocean waters in the kind of striking spires of lava. It is going to be intriguing to find out in the event the new eruption is the beginning of a fresh dome-building period at Bogoslof like those that happened in 1883 and 1796.

There is nothing in the way of realtime tracking (like seismometers) for a volcano like Bogoslof, all alone in the Bering Sea north of Unalaska. The rapid notices in the Volcano Ash Advisory Centers (VAAC) about eruptions like this one from an unanticipated source like Bogoslof are critical for air traffic controllers and airlines to change paths and avoid volcanic ash hazards for aircraft.

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