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LEVEL OF CONCERN COLOR CODE: ORANGE
A small eruption at Pavlof Volcano 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Cold Bay near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. AVO received a report from residents of Cold Bay this morning of an unusual plume emanating from the north flank of the volcano and local pilots report a "glowing" near the summit. Satellite imagery also indicate a hot spot in the vicinity of the cone. Seismic information obtained from stations located on and near the volcano indicates a low level eruption is occurring. The volcano is presently obscured by bad weather.
Pavlof Volcano is a largely snow-covered, cone-shaped mountain approximately 7 km in diameter and has active vents on the north and east sides near the summit. Pavlof is the most active volcano in the Aleutian volcanic arc with almost 40 relatively well-documented eruptions dating back to 1790. Some Pavlof eruptions have been short-lived (1-2 days duration)but others have continued sporadically for months.
Pavlof eruptions are typically strombolian to vulcanian in character and consist of rythmic ejection of incandescent bombs and ash to heights of 200-300 m above the (cone); spatter-fed lava flows emanate from the summit vents on occasion. Short-lived ash columns reaching to heights of 10 km or more have been noted particularly in the initial phases of an eruption.
The most recent eruptive period began in mid-April, 1986 and continued through August, 1988. Frequent steam and ash emission, explosions, and strong tremors accompanied summit lava fountaining that fed several lava flows, which in turn produced a number of both hot and cold, extensive mudflows. The 1986 eruption was probably the strongest eruption from Pavlof in the past 40 years and resulted in a new vent hgih on the east flank of the volcano.