Pavlof Plume
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Pavlof Plume

May 30, 2013
The Pavlof volcano continued intense activity in late May, 2013. On May 19, 2013 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the ash filled skies above the volcano, and the thermal sensors on the instrument captured higher-than normal temperatures, which suggest lava flow.

On the same date, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reported a plume of steam, ash and gas reached up to 22,000 feet above sea level, and pilots reported ash clouds rising between 21,000 and 22,000 feet. Trace amounts of the ash had fallen on the community of Sand Point. Residents of the town, located about 55 miles from Pavlof, woke the next morning to find a thin film of gritty ash covering streets, cars and homes.

The abrasive ash is hazardous to low-flying airplanes, and this danger has caused flight disruptions. Two regional carriers based in Anchorage, Penair and Ace Air Cargo, have cancelled over a dozen passenger and cargo flights to several remote communities.

Pavlof last erupted in 2007, and spewed mudflows, lava and ash clouds up to 18,000 feet.

Credits: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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