Right now, three volcanoes in Alaska are erupting simultaneously. We are talking about Big Sitkin, Semisopochny and Pavlov volcano, which currently have an orange danger level — they erupt weakly and throw out a relatively small amount of ash. Nearby settlements are not threatened by any danger and air traffic stop is out of question. But scientists are carefully monitoring the chain of events, because volcanoes are sometimes very unpredictable and can give an unpleasant surprise at any time. Simultaneous eruption of three volcanoes at once is quite a rare natural phenomenon, but in a particular area of Alaska it can hardly surprise anyone. In this article, I suggest finding out more about volcanic eruptions and why they are so often active at the same time in a particular area.
Volcanic eruptions in Alaska
According to Science Alert, volcanic eruptions occur in the Aleutian Islands chain. This is the name of the archipelago of volcanic origin, which stretches from Alaska to the Kamchatka Peninsula. There are a lot of volcanoes in this area, but several of them have not erupted simultaneously for seven years. Let’s find out which volcanoes decided to remind themselves again.
Big Sitkin itself is an island of 160 square kilometers. In the north of the island there is a volcano of the same name, 1,740 meters high, which has begun to erupt. It contains a small lake and several hot and mud springs. It has erupted more than a dozen times since the 18th century, with the last serious activity occurring in 1974. Then the phenomenon was accompanied by a 2.6-magnitude earthquake and a plume of volcanic ash 3,000 meters high. Underground tremors near the volcano were also felt in 2002.
Volcano Semisopochny is also located on the island of the same name, which is part of the Aleutian Islands, an area of 221 square kilometers. There is nothing special about it. Except to say that the island of volcanic origin is uninhabited, but it has ideal nesting places for many seabirds.
And this volcano is one of the most active in Alaska. It has erupted at least 40 times in the history of observation, with one of the most recent and strongest being recorded in 2013. The volcano is about 2,518 meters high and about 7 kilometers in diameter. Near the volcano, there is a second peak, which is called «Sister Pavlov».
The situation with these volcanoes at the moment is as follows: lava flows from Big Sitkin, ground shocks and explosions are registered on the territory of Semisopochny, and a small ash cloud is seen above Pavlov volcano. In general, the situation is calm and there is no threat to residents of nearby islands. But scientists are slightly worried that Cleveland and Atka volcanoes also show signs of activity. At the moment their level of danger is «yellow» — high temperatures and weak tremors are noticed on their territory. It is worth noting that earthquakes may be a harbinger of an imminent eruption.