Shishaldin Volcano is rumbling to life in the Aleutian Islands.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory detected long tremors and an increase in surface temperatures at Shishaldin on Tuesday.
Those could be signs of an an eruption, says Robert McGimsey. He’s a geologist at the AVO.
“Typical eruptions of Shishaldin have involved what we call Strombolian eruptions, which are gas-charged emissions,” McGimsey says.
Shishaldin, which is located on Unimak Island, is unique among volcanoes in Alaska. It doesn’t have a lava plug or a dome — just a deep, open vent.
McGimsey says that when Shishaldin erupts, “it’s gas bubbles coming up through the throat or the vent of the volcano.”
“And when they pop, it just kind of throws magma up into the air,” McGimsey says. “That’s kind of what defines lava fountaining.”
That lava glides down the flanks of the volcano, leaving a smooth layer. That’s why Shishaldin is the most symmetrical, conical volcano in the world.
But for now, there’s no lava coming out of Shishaldin. Satellite images show steam, and some light traces of ash.
Still, this is the most active that the volcano has been since 2009. The AVO started logging small explosions and ash clouds at Shishaldin this winter. They elevated the volcano’s official alert level in March.
- Last week a group of scientists traveled to a small village in the Arctic to find as many different species as they could. It was happening all over the country in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
- A new study published in the Journal of Physical Oceanography suggests that rising temperatures in the arctic could result in warmer water with density more affected by temperature than salinity.
- Newtok residents still waiting for federal government to pay for their village relocation.
- Hillary Clinton could lose California's primary on June 7 and still win the Democratic nomination, but she and Bernie Sanders are campaigning hard there, hoping to close out the season on a high note.