Augustine volcano news & activity updates:
Augustine volcano (Alaska): pilot reports large ash cloud, aviation color code raised to Red
Strong ash emissions from the volcano were reported by a pilot shortly after midnight (UTC). The reported height of the plume was to up to 70,000 ft (21 km) altitude, which would indicate an unexpected, and sudden major explosion took place (if the observed plume was volcanic ash and not something else). Anchorage VAAC raised the Aviation Color Code to RED.
No ash could be identified on satellite imagery, and the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) has not issued any comment. In a subsequent VAAC, "ash emissions have ended", Anchorage wrote. It seems likely an unusual weather cloud had been mistaken for a volcanic plume.
The eruption at Augustine may be approaching its end.
Activity at Augustine declined to low levels during 7-14 April, with seismicity decreasing to slightly above background levels, and rockfalls and avalanches decreasing in frequency in comparison to previous weeks. Low-level eruptive activity continued, consisting of slow effusion of lava at the summit accompanied by small rockfalls and avalanches on the volcano's flanks. Satellite imagery showed a decline in thermal output consistent with the decreased activity. Sulfur-dioxide gas measurements showed continued high levels of magmatic gas emissions that may have been associated with degassing of lava at the summit of the volcano. Augustine remained at Concern Color Code Orange.
Low-level eruptive activity continues at Augustine volcano, with no significant changes. There are occasional hot block-and-ash flows, rock avalanches, rockfalls, and lava flows. Small and dilute ash clouds resulting from this activity is most likely confined to the immediate vicinity of the volcano. Satellite imagery continued to show a thermal anomaly related to the new lava dome and lava flow. Augustine remains at Concern Color Orange. -->More on Augustine volcano... [more]
Low-level eruptive activity continues at Augustine Volcano. Changes in seismic signal characteristics as well as visual obsrevation suggest that Augustine is entering a phase of steady and slower effusion of lava, with intermittent block-and-ash-flows, rock avalanches, and rock falls from the summit lava dome.
The webcameras from AVO captured numerous hot avalanches and prolonged periods of incandescence in the summit area and on the upper northeast flank on several evenings. Satellite images show that thermal anomalies persist.
Observations made on overflights of the volcano this week indicate that the two lava flows on the north and northeast flanks continue to advance slowly. Occasional collapses of the lava flow fronts shed hot blocks and produce minor ash emissions. Estimates using photographs indicate that the new lava dome is about 70 m higher than the level of the lava dome formed in 1986.
Low-level eruptive activity continues at Augustine volcano. Seismicity has increased slightly since Saturday as AVO reports. Minor ash emissions continue intermittently, producing only very minor ash plumes that do not travel far from the island. Rockfalls and small avalanches from the summit area continue to be recorded.