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LEVEL OF CONCERN COLOR CODE: ORANGE
LAST LEVEL OF CONCERN: ORANGE
Information received in the past few hours indicates a volcanic eruption continues at Pavlof Volcano 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Cold Bay near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. AVO received reports from residents of Cold Bay this morning of an unusual plume emanating from the north flank of the volcano and local pilots reported a "glowing" near the summit. More recent pilot observations report large "car-sized" fragments being ejected from the summit vent. Seismic information obtained from stations located on and near the volcano indicates a low level eruption is occurring.
Pavlof Volcano, perhaps the most active volcano in the Aleutian volcanic arc, has a history of 3-8 year-long periods of repose between eruptions. A new eruption is then marked by an initial strong explosive event that can send an ash plume to over 10 km (33,000 feet) above sea level. The eruptive phase then changes to sporadic Strombolian eruption of lava spatter and small amounts of ash; this part of the eruption typically consists of rhythmic ejection of incandescent bombs and ash to heights of 200-300 m above the cone. Spatter-fed lava flows emanate from the summit vent on occasion.
The nearest towns to the volcano are Cold Bay (37 mi), King Cove (30 mi), Sand Point (60 mi), and Nelson Lagoon (50 mi); these towns could expect light ash fall depending on wind direction and continuing eruptive activity. Mudflows and some flooding could be expected in the Cathedral River valley north of the volcano. Airborne ash hazards to aircraft may be considerable if a large explosive event occurs but much less severe during a typical Strombolian phase.
AVO has a seismic network of six stations near the volcano and will continue to monitor the volcano's seismic activity. At least one other Update will be issued before the end of today.