Scientists have recorded a rare phenomenon in Alaska – for the first time in 7 years, three volcanoes are simultaneously active there. They do not yet threaten settlements and air traffic.
The researchers noted that simultaneous volcanic eruptions have been going on for more than a week, but now they do not pose a threat to nearby settlements and do not disrupt air traffic. However, volcanic activity has kept the Aleutian Islands, a vast archipelago that runs west of the Alaska Peninsula and serves as the border between the North Pacific and the Bering Sea, constantly under observation.
“There are many volcanoes in Alaska, and we usually see an average of one eruption per year,” Matthew Lowen, a research geologist at the Alaska Volcanic Observatory, told NBC News. “Three eruptions at the same time is not so common, but it happens.”
Pavlova Volcano, Bolshoi Sitkin Volcano and Semisopochny Volcano remain under orange threat levels, which means that eruptions continue and minor ash emissions have been detected.
The volcanic islands that make up the so-called Aleutian Arc are part of a horseshoe-shaped zone that can be traced along the edge of the Pacific Ocean, where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, this region is seismically and volcanically active as it sits on the border of several tectonic plates that constantly collide with each other.
Although Pavlova Volcano, Bolshoy Sitkin and Semisopochny are located in remote parts of the Aleutian Islands, they can create ash clouds that are dangerous for air travel. Lowen noted that it has been at least seven years since three volcanoes erupted simultaneously in Alaska.