3 volcanoes erupting across Aleutian Range

Smoke and fire erupt from a volcano.
Active lava fountaining at Great Sitkin volcano on Aug. 5, 2021. (Courtesy of Peggy Kruse)

Three volcanoes are erupting across the Aleutian Range — Great Sitkin and Semisopochnoi in the Aleutian Islands and Pavlof Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula.

Hannah Dietterich, a research geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, said three simultaneous eruptions may seem like a lot, but it’s not unheard of for the region.

“Our average number of … volcanoes that erupt in a year in Alaska is only two. So this is unusually busy,” Dietterich said, “but all of these volcanoes have erupted in recent years as well.”

Semisopochnoi is the westernmost of the active volcanoes, sitting near the far end of the Aleutian chain. The volcano has been erupting since 2018, but has seen increased explosions in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Pavlof Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula is also producing ash clouds. But Dietterich says the small puffs disperse quickly.

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In the center of the Aleutian Islands, about 26 miles northeast of Adak, Great Sitkin volcano erupted at the end of May.

“A lava dome began erupting just from the center of the summit crater,” Dietrich said.

She warned pilots to use caution when flying nearby and to follow the observatory’s advisories, but added that the eruptions “don’t pose any significant threat to people.”

For more information and to see a timeline of volcanic eruptions, go to avo.alaska.edu.

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