Environment

No high-altitude ash from latest Bogoslof eruption, scientists say

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has reduced warning levels for Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian Islands, after an eruption early Monday failed to produce an anticipated high-level ash cloud.

The volcano, about 60 miles west of Unalaska, erupted at 7:24 a.m., according to seismic data tracked by the observatory. It was raised first to an aviation color code of orange and a warning level of watch, then to red and warning – AVO's highest levels of eruptive status – shortly before 8 a.m.

In a 10 a.m. update lowering alert levels back to orange and watch, the observatory said no volcanic cloud was visible above clouds at an altitude of 10,000 feet in the region.

Since mid-December, eruptions at Bogoslof have sporadically disrupted aviation across much of Southwest Alaska. Most ashfall from those blasts has been blown over water, but eastward winds pushed ash over Unalaska following an eruption in late January.

Cheryl Searcy, a geologist at the observatory, said any ashfall in Unalaska from Bogoslof's eruption Monday was "unlikely," although the cloud layer prevented AVO from directly observing Bogoslof in satellite imagery.

"The seismicity has currently returned to background, but how long it will stay there is unknown," Searcy said. "We did have a nice break there – for almost a week it was relatively quiet – but until we get a better look at it, we're not sure what is going on."

A marine weather statement had been issued for the area as a precautionary step, Searcy said.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.

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