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Alaska Airlines Defers to Volcanic Ash

Posted by feww on August 11, 2008

Where Alaska Airlines Daren’t Fly!

Alaska Airlines canceled dozens of flights starting Sunday evening as a towering plume of ash created by the eruption of a Kasatochi volcano last week made the flights hazardous. The cancellations affected flights from Alaska and Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Vancouver, Canada.

Kasatochi is the third Aleutian volcano erupting since late July. Okmok began erupting July 12 and Mount Cleveland erupted July 21. (FEWW)

Kasatochi Activity – Color Code ORANGE : Alert Level WATCH

AVHRR image showing split window signal for ash plume from Kasatochi. August 08, 2008 (Credit: AVO)

Kasatochi Volcano Latest Observations (AVO)
2008-08-10 23:23:14
Seismic activity detected on stations near Kasatochi continues to be low. This does not imply that seismic activity at the volcano has ceased, only that we detect very little activity at our existing stations, some 25 miles away. The helicorder plots on our web page appears to show increasing seismic activity over the past few hours, however much of this signal is background noise such as wind. The larger signals (e.g. 19:13 AKDT) are regional earthquakes not associated with the volcano.

A large drifting ash cloud from previous ash emissions on August 7 continue to be observed in satellite data. This ash cloud is drifting over the Gulf of Alaska and parts of SE Alaska, which is possibly the reason for a number of flight cancellations. (AVO)

2008-08-10 14:11:14 – Status Report
The intense seismic activity associated with the Kasatochi eruption has declined but low level activity can be detected on the AVO seismic network on nearby Great Sitkin Island (about 40 km (25 mi) to the east). Vigorous ash emissions (up to 35,000 feet) have not been observed in satellite data for over two days and AVO has received no pilot reports of ash clouds. (AVO)

Location map showing Kasatochi volcano. Picture Date: August 06, 2008 – Image Creator: Snedigar, Seth – Image courtesy of the AVO/ADGGS.

Coast Guard press release:
The Alaska Volcano Observatory has reported Kasatochi Volcano has erupted just east of Adak Island, an island in the Aleutian Islands chain, causing an ash cloud in the area at an approximate elevation of 45,000 feet.

Due to possible sub-surface eruption , numerous large pumice rafts, volcanic gases, or ash fallout may cause hazards to navigation . All mariners are urged to stay outside of seven nautical miles of Kasatochi Island and to use extreme caution while transiting that area.

Any vessel coming in contact with ash or spotting floating debris is requested to contact the Alaska Volcano Observatory at (907) 786-7497. (USCG)

2 Responses to “Alaska Airlines Defers to Volcanic Ash”

  1. Terica Leiner said

    Great articles & Nice a site.

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