Pavlof Volcano darkens the Alaskan sky



Pavlof Volcano, historically the most active volcano in the Aleutian volcanic arc and a serious potential threat to aviation safety, began a vigorous strombolian eruption in mid-September. Located 965 km southwest of Anchorage, Pavlof lies beneath the heavily traveled North Pacific jet air routes through which 10,000 passengers fly each day. During its most recent eruption in 1986–1988, an 8-hour explosive event at Pavlof sent ash more than 15 km above sea level and dropped 3 mm of ash on Cold Bay, 60 km southwest of the volcano. A similar, unanticipated explosive eruption today would pose a significant hazard to air traffic in the region.