Photo: The Canadian Press
This image provided by the Alaska Volcano Observatory/USGS shows a low-level ash plume from Shishaldin Volcano captured on the Alaska Volcano Observatory’s webcam located northwest of Shishaldin Mountain at 10:33 a.m. AKDT on Friday, July 14, 2023, in Alaska. (Matt Lewin/Alaska Volcano Observatory/USGS via AP)
An erupting volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands sent a cloud of ash into the air on Friday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a warning to pilots on board.
Chishaldin volcano erupted on July 11, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Overflights of the coast of the United States confirmed that lava erupted on the same day inside the summit crater.
A large explosion at 1:09 a.m. Friday sent an ash cloud 40,000 feet (12,192 meters) high and drifting south over the Pacific Ocean. The second, smaller explosion, at 7:10 a.m. Friday, reached 15,000 feet (4,572 meters).
The National Weather Service issued an in-flight weather alert for the drifting ash cloud.
Volcanic ash is angular and sharp and is used as an industrial abrasive. Rock dust can cause a jet engine to shut down.
The volcano is located 679 miles (1,093 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage, near the center of Unimac Island, the largest island in the Aleutian. The village of False Pass, with a population of 40, is located in the east of the island.
The volcano is a symmetrical cone with a base diameter of 10 miles (16 kilometers). At 9,373 feet (2,857 metres) it is the highest peak in the Aleutians.
Shish ad-Din is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian Volcanic Arc. Most rashes are small. An ash plume of 45,000 feet (13,716 m) was ejected in 1999.
The volcano is monitored using seismic and ultrasonic sensors, satellite data, webcams, lightning arrays, and distant ultrasound.