The Bristol Bay Times

Atka volcano briefly erupts, raises alert levels

A small volcanic eruption occurred on Atka Island March 27 night. But it was short-lived and no significant ash emissions were observed in satellite images, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO).

The eruption happened at Korovin Volcano, one of several volcanoes in the Atka volcanic complex, located about 10 miles north of the community of Atka. Since noon March 28, the AVO hadn’t received any reports from locals who noticed the small explosion. The eruption was detected from local infrasound and seismic data, followed by a few minutes of seismic shaking.

The quick detection came because of AVO’s updated monitoring equipment on the volcano. Michelle Coombs, a geologist with the AVO, said the organization updated the volcano’s monitoring network in 2019. Coombs also said that the eruption was likely hot gasses breaking free from the summit of Korovin Volcano, and chances are the volcano will return to its sleep state soon, something it typically does based on past similar eruptions.

However, the AVO raised the aviation and alert levels for the Atka volcanic complex due to the recent unrest and continued seismic activity. Coombs said small explosions don’t happen often there. The last time the volcanic activity at the complex increased its advisory level was in August 2021. The AVO will continue to closely monitor the volcanic activity.