Last update: December 6th, 2019 at 8:00 am
In November 2014, Alaska’s most active volcano rumbled back to life. The Alaska Volcano Observatory first reported increased seismic activity and minor ash eruptions at Pavlof on November 12, 2014. In the following days, lava fountains gushed from a vent north of the summit, and volcanic debris tumbled down the glacier-covered stratovolcano’s north flank.
By November 15, Pavlof was lofting ash plumes to an altitude of 30,000 feet (9 kilometers), high enough to disrupt commercial airline flights. Seismic activity and ash eruptions diminished abruptly on the evening of November 16, but the Alaska Volcano Observatory cautioned that pauses of days to weeks are common during Pavlof’s eruptions. The volcano could spew ash again with little warning.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard the Terra satellite captured this true-color image on November 13, 2014. Although clouds covered the volcano’s caldera, a thick, dark tan volcanic plume blowing to the northwest gave good evidence of continuing eruptive activity. The red outline marks the area where the thermal sensors on the MODIS instrument detected high temperatures, and marks the active caldera and lava flow of Pavlof.