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Pavlof Volcano in Alaska Erupts With No Seismic Warning- Could Yellowstone Do This?

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posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 02:07 AM
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From virtually no seismicity at all to full-on volcanic tremor in an instant, Pavlof volcano in Alaska roared to life sending ash 20,000 ft into the air:



AVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Pavlof (VNUM #312030)

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Previous Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL

Current Aviation Color Code: RED
Previous Aviation Color Code: GREEN

Issued: Sunday, March 27, 2016, 5:12 PM AKDT (20160328/0112Z)
Source: Alaska Volcano Observatory
Notice Number: 2016/A2
Location: N 55 deg 25 min W 161 deg 53 min
Elevation: 8261 ft (2518 m)
Area: Alaska Peninsula Alaska

Volcanic Activity Summary: Pavlof Volcano began erupting abruptly this afternoon, sending an ash cloud to 20,000 ft ASL as reported by a pilot. As of 4:18 pm AKDT (00:18 UTC), ash was reportedly moving northward from the volcano. Seismicity began to increase from background levels at about 3:53 pm (23:53 UTC) with quick onset of continuous tremor, which remains at high levels. AVO is raising the Aviation Color Code to RED and the Volcano Alert Level to WARNING.

The view from the FAA webcamera is obscured by clouds this afternoon, and there are no current satellite images. AVO is monitoring the situation closely and issue further updates at the situation develops.

Recent Observations:
[Volcanic cloud height] 20,000 ft ASL
[Other volcanic cloud information] Unknown

Remarks: Pavlof Volcano is a snow- and ice-covered stratovolcano located on the southwestern end of the Alaska Peninsula about 953 km (592 mi) southwest of Anchorage. The volcano is about 7 km (4.4 mi) in diameter and has active vents on the north and east sides close to the summit. With over 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc. Eruptive activity is generally characterized by sporadic Strombolian lava fountaining continuing for a several-month period. Ash plumes as high as 49,000 ft ASL have been generated by past eruptions of Pavlof, and during the 2013 eruption, ash plumes as high as 27,000 feet above sea level extending as much as 500 km (310 mi) beyond the volcano were generated. The nearest community, Cold Bay, is located 60 km (37 miles) to the southwest of Pavlof.


AVO NOTICE

Now fortunately this volcano is pretty far away from any large communities, so the biggest danger is to passing aircraft. And interestingly, the ash cloud was reported by a pilot. I have to wonder what the AVO scientists were thinking when they first saw the waveforms from one of the working seismometers. And I seriously question whether they even knew for sure it was erupting until getting the report from the pilot.

This is why monitoring volcanoes can be a real bitch. I am about to show you why. Given that I do have some resources, I am going to show you a webicorder that is kind of difficult to come by. It is the closest working one to the summit of Pavlof. There are six seismometers there total at Pavlof on the AVO network, and only four of those six are currently working. And note that the one webicorder shown on AVO's website here-
www.avo.alaska.edu...

IS ONE OF THE NON WORKING ONES.

Therefore I would appreciate you not sharing this picture, as I'm not sure it is even supposed to be public.

But here it is, a webicorder capture right from my rig, from the closest working station, about six km from the summit:


The green circles are calibration pulses, so disregard those.

The only possible warning prior to the onset of tremor (shown with the red downward arrow), is the signature in the red circle- and even then I am not sure that is coming from Pavlof- but it probably is. I will not publish spectrographs of this, so don't ask.

The point here being that even with seismometers, volcanoes can be secretive and surprise you when you least expect it. With all the swarms we've had at Yellowstone over the years, with no eruption, I have to wonder if it could go down like this there and catch everyone holding the bag. Clearly when there are earthquake swarms at YS, it has not meant TO THIS POINT that it's going to erupt. But that can change in an instant. There might be a big swarm and then it erupts with no detectable tremor at all- or it could be the total opposite. Or it could be both- swarms and tremor.

We just don't know. With previous threads I have discussed and presented evidence that it may happen really fast, in the matter of days of weeks. But seeing this at Pavlof, again I wonder if YS one day will just all of a sudden start registering tremor like this and bang. So that is why I have no preconceived notions of what YS might or might not do. WE JUST DON'T KNOW.

So I just watch it like a hawk whenever I am home, and no matter what I am doing- I always have my rig up.

Yes I know they are completely different volcanic systems. But we've seen Pavlof do this before, as well as many others. And Yellowstone is considerably more monitored that Pavlof, with a lot more equipment. Yet even then I wonder what warning anyone could give if it goes down like this.

Scary.

edit on Mon Mar 28th 2016 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 02:41 AM
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Great info! Thanks for the alarming but interesting read.

It's pretty remote, so I'm not surprised a pilot reported it. Thats a very heavily traveled corridor and with the ash cloud moving north it could cause problems.

The lack of siesmic activity is pretty strange.

And even if the Yellostone caldera sends a text message to the USGS saying "I'm going to blow in a week", that is a very large danger zone to evacuate.
edit on 28-3-2016 by Spader because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 02:44 AM
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With over 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc.

So its not that 'sudden', then. it woke up suddenly this time from its fitful slumber, taken in a geological context though, it is 'classified' as a currently active volcano. Unlike Yellowstone.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 02:56 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr


With over 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc.

So its not that 'sudden', then. it woke up suddenly this time from its fitful slumber, taken in a geological context though, it is 'classified' as a currently active volcano. Unlike Yellowstone.



Huh? Unlike Yellowstone? lol.
Umm...


The Yellowstone Plateau in the northern Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho is centered on a youthful, active volcanic system with subterranean magma (molten rock), boiling, pressurized waters, and a variety of active faults with significant earthquake hazard. Within the next few decades, large and moderate earthquakes and hydrothermal explosions are certain to occur. Volcanic eruptions are less likely, but are ultimately inevitable in this active volcanic region.


volcanoes.usgs.gov...

I could swear I saw the words "active volcanic system" in that description. Yes, I believe I did. And FYI they don't have entire volcano observatories for non-active volcanoes.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 03:19 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr


With over 40 historic eruptions, it is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc.

So its not that 'sudden', then. it woke up suddenly this time from its fitful slumber, taken in a geological context though, it is 'classified' as a currently active volcano. Unlike Yellowstone.



Face-palm!



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 03:29 AM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

Yellowstone is not currently an 'active' volcano. By definition, 'active' is limited to at least one eruption during the last ten thousand years.

Yellowstones last eruption was a half million years or so ago.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 03:31 AM
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a reply to: Spader

You're welcome.

I mentioned Yellowstone, but this also applies to any of the other large calderas like Long Valley, Taupo, or even Toba, the grand daddy of them all. And in Toba's case, with a resurgent lava dome that has risen over 1,400 feet (Samosir Island in Lake Toba), there is no telling at all. That place worries me to no end. The one seismometer we had access to has been down for months on end. And up to date information is sketchy on it at best. I have no idea to what extent it is monitored beyond that one seismometer. I believe Toba is considered "dormant". Uh huh.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 06:56 AM
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Something you might find of interest about some of the latest findings on additional magma chambers (2015) and eruptions which were larger than was once thought can be found at this brief article. www.csmonitor.com...

Also the 650 thousand year figure is not correct according to the latest findings.


"Three super-eruptions at Yellowstone appear to have occurred on a 600,000-700,000 year cycle starting 2.1 million years ago," explains the BBC. "The most recent took place 640,000 years ago – suggesting Yellowstone is overdue for an eruption."

This new study, with evidence of 12 volcanoes in about 3 million years, suggests that the Yellowstone supervolcano can erupt catastrophically on a much shorter cycle of about every 250,000 years



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

That's also assuming that supervolcanoes erupt exactly along the same rules that we understand from conventional eruptions of smaller volcanoes. Scientists admit this may not be the case at all.


Not all volcanic eruptions are created equal, suggests a new report on supervolcanoes, the geologic monsters capable of spewing enough ash, pumice, and lava to create mass extinctions and mini ice ages. Bigger eruptions happen much less frequently than small ones, and different forces drive them upward through the Earth's crust.

The volcanoes we're familiar with, which regularly spit up smallish bits of lava – like's Italy's Etna and Alaska's Pavlof – are triggered when semi-molten magma strains its earthen chamber to the point of cracking open, a process known as magma replenishment.

But a supervolcano – a volcano that spews at least 240 cubic miles of deposit, mostly recently during the Middle Paleolithic period – works a bit differently, according to the new findings published in Nature Geoscience. When it bursts open, it's because low-density magma has slowly accumulated beneath a volcano, pushing its way upward through thicker magma, like a beach ball released from under water. Or, like a lava lamp.


But essentially since there are differences in scale and differences in the forces involved, we aren't really sure what exactly we'd be looking at when a supervolcano builds to eruption. We assume it would operate like a regular volcano only on a larger scale, but some studies suggest otherwise.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 09:05 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Part of the problem with his comment is that I think Volcano Discovery is referring to common stratovolcanoes, rather than supervolcanoes. One only need look at all the steam coming from the geyser basins at YS to realize that is an active volcanic system. Or I suppose you could tell all the visitors to Old Faithful that they are lying and the steam they saw was just a figment of their imaginations. And I suppose all the swarms there we have seen, with earthquakes numbering the thousands, were falsely reported by the USGS too. I mean this is a conspiracy site after all.

I have a pseudo-theory on how and why I think at YS things could happen not only fast, but in an instant. You see, think about all that magma in the chamber. Scientists estimate there is only about 10-15% melt interspersed within the rest, which they believe to be crystallizing- in other words, slowly hardening and turning into rock.

So there sits this what is essentially a giant plug, resisting the less dense new magma being created below it. Now see this less dense magma is pushing and pushing, because it wants to go up. But the plug won't let it. Not for hundreds of thousands of years. But one fateful day, the new deep magma reaches a point at which it cannot be contained any longer. And all those eons of pressure built up finally give way. And bang.

No. MEGA BANG.

Kind of similar to what happens in my book.
(see my sig for that).

But who knows, maybe the pressure and heat from the new magma takes a lot longer to melt the crystallizing magma above it, and there will be a long ramp up to eruption. Anyone's guess, really.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

I live in a county where there are 7 "inactive" volcanoes. They tell us not to worry, but....well. they lie.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 10:35 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: intrptr

That's also assuming that super volcanoes erupt exactly along the same rules that we understand from conventional eruptions of smaller volcanoes. Scientists admit this may not be the case at all.

Thanks to you and others for the clarification.

I would like to add that these super eruptions could also be associated with impactors, the shock waves of which (if large enough) could trigger faults, volcanos and deep water stores to erupt on a much larger than normal scale all around the world.

So theres these normal cycles and then these 'interruptions' in that routine by outside influences such as an asteroid or comet strike.
edit on 28-3-2016 by intrptr because: bb code



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 10:55 AM
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The POES infrared satellite image above shows the ash plume from Pavlof volcano after 14 hours of continuous eruption.
image source

The volcano seems to still be going strong, by the looks of the seismograms. It is a good thing this volcano is so remote. Mostly just a danger to aircraft.

Nice catch TA.




posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 11:48 AM
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a reply to: Olivine

Phew. Good catch to you too on finding that particular webicorder. Now I am not so worried I was publishing something I shouldn't have been. Not if it's on their site I'm not. It just wasn't at the link I posted above in the OP. Hey, wait a minute. The link in my OP now points to the same place- and yet now they have a different station up posted- the same one you see when you click on your link.

HA. ok. Pretty sneaky. I guess they saw the non- working station up and decided to change it out for a working one. But yep, the tremor hasn't stopped, and is in full force. If you click on the PV6 webicorder here:
www.avo.alaska.edu...

You can see where the tremor started, but then the station went out right as it started getting real intense. That station is much closer to the summit than the one I posted. The other close to summit station, PN7A is not working as well. They come in and out. But at PV6 the tremor was clipping the station it was so strong. Wow, just now, right now as I post this I am watching the tremor and it just increased even more in intensity.

It is interesting to watch how far it propagates to the various stations, and what frequency components are present in spectro at the varying distances. The further away, the less high frequency- because obviously low frequency propagates further- just like the bass on a boombox or stereo.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 11:54 AM
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Mmm Yellowstone, the DOOM conspiracists wet dream. I believe there are 7 supervolcanoes in the world? Doesn't matter which one blows, it will change the world as we know it potentially forever.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 12:36 PM
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UPDATE:

Just received this:

AVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Pavlof (VNUM #312030)

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING

Current Aviation Color Code: RED

Issued: Monday, March 28, 2016, 8:34 AM AKDT (20160328/1634Z)
Source: Alaska Volcano Observatory
Notice Number: 2016/A3
Location: N 55 deg 25 min W 161 deg 53 min
Elevation: 8261 ft (2518 m)
Area: Alaska Peninsula Alaska

Volcanic Activity Summary: The eruption of Pavlof Volcano, that began around 4 pm AKDT yesterday (00:00 UTC) continues. Seismic tremor remains at very high levels. Lighting associated with the ash eruption has been detected this morning, and infrasound (pressure sensor) data from a sensor network located in Dillingham (400 miles or 650 km) also indicate sustained ash emissions.

As of 7:00 AKDT (15:00 UTC) a continuous plume of ash is observed in satellite images extending for a distance of more than 400 miles (650 km) to the northeast over interior Alaska. SIGMET warning messages issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) Alaska Aviation Weather Unit indicate maximum ash cloud altitude of 37,000 ft above sea level. Please see the NWS web page for additional guidance and forecasts of ash movement. aawu.arh.noaa.gov...

Lava fountaining from the summit crater was observed throughout the night by mariners, pilots, and by residents in Cold Bay, located 37 miles (60 km) to the SW, . Volcanic mudflows are likely on the flanks of the volcano and could present a hazard in the local river valleys.

Recent Observations:
[Volcanic cloud height] 37,000 ft ASL in SIGMET
[Other volcanic cloud information] Extending for 400 miles to the NE as of 07:00 UTC

Hazard Analysis:
[Mud flow] Mud flows on the flanks of the volcano are likely


Sorry, no link, but came in email. It's probably on the AVO site too somewhere. Ash to 37,000 feet now, higher than the 2013 eruption!

Tremor is varying in intensity, but overall still very much there.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 01:22 PM
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It could and the only way you can stay protected is by creating some kind of underground bunker. You'll need Internet connection in your bunker as well otherwise you won't be able to post here to blame Obama for the impending Yellowstone doom or praise Trump for his idea to build a wall around Yellowstone even though the idea is retarded and Obama wasn't nearly as bad as the previous guy.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 01:27 PM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican


Here is a photo of the lava fountaining observed from Cold Bay, AK (37 miles away), taken by Royce Snapp with a 500mm lens, and posted on the AVO website.


If you go to this FAA map, and move down the Aleutian chain to the lilac colored circle at Cold Bay, you can see some lovely web cam images of the eruption. Once you have the Cold Bay pop-up open, click on the NorthEast camera "Loop" button, then click "play". It begins overnight, and yes, that orange glow on the right of the screen is the lava.


Here is a screen grab of the ash plume from a few hours ago:



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

I used to work with Reeve Aleutian Airways and have flown over the volcano when there was active magma. She has a sister nearby. Very impressive to see and for her to erupt so quickly.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

For all we know, Yellowstone has been building on that slow fuse for a while now and since no one has closely observed a supervolcanic system building to eruption, we've been missing what we're actually seeing so it will seem sudden.

There is no doubt that Yellowstone is active. I never meant to imply it wasn't, but my understanding is that scientists currently don't believe it is imminent danger of eruption. But since we simply don't know how supervolcanic system operate, that may not be the case.



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