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Alert level raised after explosion at remote Alaska Peninsula volcano

This July 16, 2013, photo by the Alaska Volcano Observatory shows the southwest flank of the intracaldera cone at the Veniaminof Volcano near Perryville, Alaska. (Chris Waythomas / AVO)

A small explosion was recorded Thursday at a remote volcano on the Alaska Peninsula, prompting officials to raise the alert level.

Satellite and webcam views indicated low-level ash emissions from Mount Veniaminof volcano. The ash plume did not rise above 10,000 feet, the Alaska Volcano Observatory said. Minor ash deposits are visible at the volcano, located 480 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Officials said eruptive activity typically includes minor ash, lava fountaining and lava flows from the small cone in the ice-filled summit caldera. Ashfall is usually confined to the summit crater but larger explosions can send ash to nearby communities, as happened in a 2018 eruption.

Veniaminof is one of the most active volcanos in the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula, erupting at least 14 times in the last 200 years.

The stratovolcano in the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge is usually shrouded in fog and clouds, and the entire volcano is usually visible only once or twice a year, the park service said.

Mount Veniaminof, with an elevation of 8,225 feet, has an ice field of 25 square miles. The park service says it’s the only known glacier on the North American continent with an active volcanic vent in the center.

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