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Alaska Volcano Pavlof Continues to Erupt, Putting Airlines on Alert

Image: Alaska Volcano Pavlof Continues to Erupt, Putting Airlines on Alert
This is 2013 file photo showingThe Pavlof Volcano in Alaska pictured by NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 09:48 AM

The Alaska volcano called Pavlof continued erupting this week, flinging ash up to 20,000 feet in the air and triggering alerts for local airlines.

The tallest volcano in Alaska at 8,260 feet, Pavlof has been erupting since May 13, according to LiveScience.com. The smoke and ash plume has not yet caused any flight cancellations, but PenAir is on alert, airline spokeswoman Missy Roberts told KUCB-FM.

"All of our flights are currently on schedule; however, our dispatch and operations continues to monitor the situation on an hourly, if not even more so, basis," she said. "For the safety of our passengers and our operation, we will make changes as needed at that time."

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The Pavlof volcano, which has erupted more than 40 times since 1790, sits on the southwestern tip of the Alaska Peninsula along the Aleutian Range, about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Before the most recent eruption, Pavlof reportedly sat quietly with a snowy white top much like its twin peak, Pavlof Sister, according to LiveScience.com. The website stated that the mixture of volcanic gasses and lava, along with the melting snow and ice, sent heated rock fragments flowing down the volcano's slope.

For now, scientists are keeping an eye on the volcano, wrote The Associated Press. Experts called the continued eruption over the weekend unusual because they did not initially detect elevated seismicity below the mountain. Researchers did, however, detect elevated surface temperatures by using satellite signals, the AP noted.

"What was going on was lava fountaining at the surface, which was creating a spatter collar around the vent," Game McGimsey, a volcanologist, told the AP.

As for future scheduled flights, Roberts told KUCB-FM that airline officials are looking for changes in the wind that could send ash into the flight path of PenAir’s planes. She said ash could potentially damage the aircraft.

"Whether it's hanging out over one of our stations or one of our alternates — you know, if we have the ability to be able to go around it . . . if we don't, we're certainly not going to go through it," she said. "So those are some of the things we look at again on an hourly basis to make sure it's safe for everybody."

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The Alaska volcano called Pavlof continued erupting this week, flinging ash up to 20,000 feet in the air and triggering alerts for local airlines.
alaska, volcano, pavlof, erupting
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2014-48-04
Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 09:48 AM
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