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In Brief

Alaska Volcano Eruption Threatens Local Flights

Pavlof volcano
Photo of Pavlof Volcano taken on June 25, 2013, from Sand Point, Alaska. This image shows an ash cloud and summit glow, which indicates fountaining lava. (Image credit: Alaska Volcano Observatory)

After weeks of relative quiet, Alaska's Pavlof volcano fired up its vent yesterday (June 25) and let loose a stream of ash and lava. An ash plume rising as high as 28,000 feet (8,500 meters) drifted west from the volcano, according to satellite data and pilot reports, the Alaska Volcano Observatory said. Strong volcanic tremors suggest lava fountains are jetting from the 8,251-foot (2,514 m) peak, the AVO said.

Pavlof volcano rises above the Aleutian Range about 625 miles (1,000 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage. Local airline company PenAir, based in Anchorage, canceled one flight and rerouted others to avoid the ash plume, Reuters reported. Pavlof's last burst of activity was in May, when lava fountains were visible from nearby towns and traces of ash coated local communities. The Alaska Volcano Observatory is also monitoring on-again, off -again eruptions at two more Aleutian volcanoes, Veniaminof and Cleveland.

Read more: Alaska Volcano Observatory

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Becky Oskin
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.