Sunday, December 21, 2008
Alaska: Volcanic activity keeps observatory busy
Three Alaska volcanoes erupted in midsummer 2008. Cleveland, Okmok and Kasatochi volcanoes, all located in Alaska’s Aleutian Chain, made for a hectic 20th anniversary for the Alaska Volcano Observatory.
Geophysical Institute director Roger Smith will discuss the history and achievements of the Alaska Volcano Observatory on Thursday. Smith’s talk will cover the observatory’s first test, which occurred with the 1989 eruption of Redoubt Volcano. The eruption spewed ash to a height of 45,000 feet, jeopardizing a Boeing 747 aircraft that was in range and covering Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula with ash.
Jessica Larsen, a research assistant professor with the Geophysical Institute and the UAF College of Natural Science and Mathematics, will talk on the eruption of Okmok Volcano, located near Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Okmok erupted explosively July 12, 2008 considerably changing the surrounding landscape. Larsen will share images from her pre- and post-eruption visits to Okmok during her presentation on Friday.
Smith and Larsen are just two of many presenters from the University of Alaska Fairbanks who will focus on the advances of the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the 2008 eruptions of Cleveland, Okmok and Kasatochi volcanoes. Other talks and poster sessions will focus on AVO instrumentation, volcano seismology, volcanic infrasound, computer simulations of volcanic ash, and more.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory is a joint program between the Geophysical Institute at UAF, the United States Geological Survey, and the State of Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.