Budget cuts shrink AVO’s seismic network

Views of Fourpeaked volcano and area of volcanic activity on the north flank in 2006. (Photo by Christina Neal. Courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey)

Views of Fourpeaked volcano and area of volcanic activity on the north flank in 2006. (Photo by Christina Neal. Courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey)

The ability to monitor several volcano’s in Alaska is being diminished due to funding constraints. The Alaska Volcano Observatory confirms that all of the monitoring instruments and stations at the Fourpeaked Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula have failed.

John Power is the Scientist in Charge for AVO.

“The cause is not completely known but the most likely thing is deferred maintenance. Maintenance that has not been performed. It’s beginning to catch up to us.”

Power confirms that AVO will continue to use satellite data, infrasound, and first hand reports from pilots to detect signs of eruptive activity. The Fourpeaked Volcano lies within the Katmai National Preserve and there have been no reported historical eruptions of the volcano. The announcement that the monitoring equipment on the Fourpeaked Volcano was not working comes on the heels of last month’s announcement that the same thing had occurred at the Aniakchak Volcano, also on the Alaska Peninsula. In total there are 5 volcano’s in Alaska that have monitoring equipment on them that are not currently working.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory is a joint program of the United States Geological Survey, the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the State of Alaska’s Division of Geophysical Surveys. The Observatory was created in 1988.