Activity decreases at Shishaldin Volcano following months of unrest

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has increased the Aviation Color Code to “red” and Alert Level to “warning,” following an ash eruption at Shishaldin Volcano. (Woodsen Saunders)

Following a series of flight-canceling explosions, activity at Shishaldin Volcano has decreased over the past three weeks.

Matt Haney, a geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), said this marks a pause for the eastern Aleutian volcano’s eruptive phase, which has been underway since late last year.

“The last major activity was on Jan. 19,” said Haney. “There was an eruption that day. That was about three weeks ago. Since then, activity had been declining, and last week, we concluded that eruptive activity had ended or paused.”

While the AVO has lowered Shishaldin’s alert level from “watch” to “advisory,” scientists are closely monitoring the volcano, located about 60 miles southwest of Cold Bay.

Haney said Shishaldin tends to ramp up quickly. Since 1775, it’s had at least 54 episodes of unrest, including more than 24 confirmed eruptions.