Alaskan Volcanoes Are Erupting With Lava, Blowing Steam and Ash

by Shelby Scott

Intense and deadly wildfires continue to ravage the mainland western region of the United States. Meanwhile, Alaskan volcanoes have become active this week near Anchorage and surrounding areas. Currently, there are three active volcanoes. One is spewing lava while the other two continue to output clouds of steam and ash. Alaska Volcano Observatory’s Chris Waythomas said that none of the communities surrounding the three volcanoes have been affected yet.

According to Waythomas, the first volcano to become active was Semisopochnoi Volcano. Semisopochnoi spewed a 10-thousand-foot ash cloud on Wednesday. Since then, it has been erupting intermittently. The NY Post said Semisopochnoi is located on an uninhabited island along the western end of the Aleutian Islands. Further, it lies about 150 miles away from Anchorage.

Alaskan Volcanoes Are Erupting Ash Clouds as Well as Lava

Following on Thursday, Alaskan volcanoes Pavlof and Great Sitkin also became active. According to the NY Post, webcams showed minor ash emissions escaping Pavlof and raising its threat level from yellow to orange. An orange threat level means that eruption is imminent.

Additionally, Waythomas claimed Pavlof can be a “very sneaky volcano.” Due to what the geologist identified as the volcano’s “open system,” the open inner workings of the volcano allow it to blast with little warning. The outlet said Pavlof is located 600 miles southwest of Anchorage on the southwestern end of the state’s peninsula.

Finally, the latest volcano to become active is Great Sitkin. The activity was reported to the Alaska Volcano Observatory by Adak, AK community members. The article shared that Great Sitkin, located 27 miles from Adak, ignited a lava fountain at the volcano’s summit. Waythomas said if activity from Sitkin increases, Adak could receive ashfall from the volcano’s eruption. Sitkin resides 1,150 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Currently Active Volcanoes Differ Greatly From the Famous Yellowstone Volcano

While geologists keep their eye on the three active Alaskan volcanoes, another volcanic expert, Clive Oppenheimer, previously detailed the real dangers of the famous Yellowstone Volcano. As most people know, Yellowstone is located in the mainland U.S. According to the volcanologist, despite rumors about Yellowstone’s capability to erupt at any time, he countered that U.S. citizens have little to worry about from that aspect.

He explained that volcanoes, contrary to current belief, do not erupt on schedule. Even if they did, the schedule assigned to the infamous Yellowstone is incorrect in the first place. He followed that, claiming we still have about another hundred thousand years before we need to worry.

What he did say could pose very real threats relate to the park’s famous geysers. Oppenheimer identified the threat as steam explosions. He explained that when water evaporates into gas too quickly, the result is a steam explosion. Were these to occur, the results could be deadly. The explosions have the potential to create craters ranging hundreds of meters across. Despite the beliefs about Yellowstone’s imminent (and incredibly deadly) eruption, the steam explosions are much more likely to occur.