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Mount Pavlof, Alaska Volcano Eruption: Dozens of Flights Canceled

1459225958Based on a decline in ash emissions and seismicity, Alaska Volcano Observatory(AVO) lowered the Aviation Color Code to ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level to WATCH yesterday at 6:01 pm AKDT (18:01 UTC). Periods of low-level ash emission and somewhat elevated seismicity persisted overnight, but decreased during the early morning hours. A satellite image from this morning at 6:25 am AKDT (14:25 UTC) showed minor ash emissions from the volcano. Clear web camera views from this morning confirmed intermittent low-level ash emissions at the volcano at maximum altitudes of 15,000 feet above sea level. Areas of drifting remnant ash from the initial energetic emissions on March 27 and 28 continue to be observed in satellite data over Bristol Bay and Interior Alaska. AVO received confirmed reports of trace ashfall (less than 1/32 in) that occurred yesterday near Dillingham in southwest Alaska. No significant ashfall is expected in communities at this time.

Seismic activity remains elevated at levels above background and over the past 24 hours has been characterized by short tremor bursts. Occasionally, small explosions at the summit have produced airwave signals on the local seismic network. Infrasound (pressure sensor) signals from Pavlof were also detected on an array of sensors in Dillingham overnight.

(Image: Pavlof Volcano in eruption, March 28, 2016. The annotations show several of the processes that were occurring during the eruption including the formation of hot granular flows of rock material, the formation of lahar deposits, white steam plumes associated with the interaction of hot eruptive material and snow and ice, and the vertical ash column and drifting ash cloud. Pavlof sits just outside of Emmons Lake caldera, one of the largest caldera structures in the Aleutian arc. Also shown are several of the young post-caldera volcanoes inside the caldera. View is toward the north east.)
(Image: Pavlof Volcano in eruption, March 28, 2016. The annotations show several of the processes that were occurring during the eruption including the formation of hot granular flows of rock material, the formation of lahar deposits, white steam plumes associated with the interaction of hot eruptive material and snow and ice, and the vertical ash column and drifting ash cloud. Pavlof sits just outside of Emmons Lake caldera, one of the largest caldera structures in the Aleutian arc. Also shown are several of the young post-caldera volcanoes inside the caldera. View is toward the north east.)

Although the intensity of the eruption has diminished, it is possible for conditions to change at any time and more significant ash emissions may resume with little to no warning. AVO will continue to monitor the volcano closely.

Alaska Airlines said it cancelled 41 flights affecting about 3,300 customers heading to Fairbanks, Bethel, Kotzebue, Nome, Barrow and Deadhorse. The airline said it will resume its 54 regularly scheduled flights on Tuesday if conditions improve.

Pavlof Volcano is one of Alaska's most active volcanoes

Pavlof Volcano is one of Alaska's most active volcanoes. http://abc30.tv/21Trg09

Posted by ABC30 Action News on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

(Headline image: Flowage deposits darken the flanks of Pavlof. View looking northeast at 7,500 feet; photo taken from a U.S. Coast Guard flight. Lieutenant Commander Nahshon Almandmoss was the Aircraft Commander. Petty Officer Austin Torres was the flight engineer. All photos were taken from Coast Guard 1713, a HC-130H Hercules based at Air Station Kodiak.)

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