HomeNewsCloud of Ash From 1912 Volcano Eruption Causes Alerts in Alaska

Cloud of Ash From 1912 Volcano Eruption Causes Alerts in Alaska

by Shelby Scott
(Jefta Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

In the latest regarding volcanic activity, scientists issued an interesting alert on Wednesday. Reports state a cloud of ash, resultant from a 1912 eruption on the Alaskan Peninsula, headed toward the state’s Kodiak Island.

Scientists issued the alert as strong winds originated between the state’s Katmai National Park and Preserve and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The northwesterly winds kicked up the more-than-century-old ash, sending it toward the Alaskan island. According to the Associated Press, the leftover ash came from the 1912 eruption of Alaska’s Novarupta. As we can clarify via the current ash cloud, much of the eruption’s ash remains visible 109 years later.

Fortunately, scientists have assured Alaskan citizens that while the volcanic ash cloud does present travel issues and potential safety hazards, the region’s seen much stronger clouds before. Hans Schwaiger is a research geophysicist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. The scientist said, “Generally, this time of year, we get these…northwestern winds that come down from the Katmai region and really scour some of the free ash” left from the 20th-century eruption.

According to the outlet, winds were to carry the free ash 100 miles toward Kodiak Island. Authorities further issued an aviation alert for low-flying aircraft as the ash cloud would surely obstruct vision. For now, scientists stated the ash cloud would remain below 7,000 feet.

As to the current phenomenon, Schwaiger said, “This particular one looks like it’s not as ash-rich” as previous events. For now, “there’s probably going to be negligible ash fallout from it.”

Scientists state that high winds and dry, snow-free conditions often cause the dispersal of Novarupta’s ash clouds.

1912 Alaskan Volcanic Eruption Marks One for the History Books

Seeing the Novarupta eruption in 1912 has resulted in the continuous dispersal of century-old ash across AK, there’s no doubt the original eruption was both enormous and terrifying.

The Associated Press states the historic eruption began on June 6th in 1912. It continued to erupt over a long period of three days. It later earned the title of one of the world’s largest recorded eruptions. Novarupta additionally became the most powerful of the 20th century. Such is the case, it stands to reason ash clouds continue to circle the region a century later.

Further, the ash that originated from the explosive eruption shot as high as 100,000 feet, with the U.S. Geological Survey estimating 3.6 cubic miles of magma resulting from the natural disaster. As such, the historic eruption of Washington’s Mount St. Helens pales in comparison, with the total magma from the more recent eruption 30 times less than what resulted from Novarupta.

Now, the remaining ash which scientists issued the warning about Wednesday comes from AK’s Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The news outlet states areas within the valley hold 600-foot deep deposits of ash.