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Overview, chronology, and impacts of the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska

November 5, 2019

The 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, a back-arc shallow submarine volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian arc, began in December 2016 and included 70 explosive events and at least two episodes of subaerial dome building. Because the volcano had no local monitoring stations during the eruption, a combination of distant seismic stations, regional infrasound sensors, lightning detection, a variety of satellite data and observer reports, and a field visit in 2018, were used to recreate the events that occurred during the nine-month eruption. Following precursory seismicity that started in September 2016, the eruption began in December 2016 with a series of explosive events that persisted through mid-March 2017. After a 6-week hiatus, activity resumed on May 17 and lasted through the end of August 2017 and consisted of additional explosions and two short-lived subaerial lava domes that formed in June and August. For most of the eruption, Bogoslof’s vent was submerged in shallow seawater, though during several of the longer events a subaerial edifice grew, and the vent migrated above sea level resulting in more ash-rich volcanic clouds. Eruptive products, geophysical signals, and eruptive style are all broadly consistent with vulcanian activity where slow magma ascent led to repetitive dome or plug formation, overpressurization in the upper conduit, and sudden release during short-lived explosions. Infiltration of seawater may have prohibited large domes from forming especially in the first half of the eruption when explosions were closely spaced in time. The largest four explosions in the sequence occurred after inter-event times of 10 days or more. Three events produced ashfall on nearby communities and mariners east and south of Bogoslof and the eruption resulted in dozens of flight cancelations and flight diversions around the volcano and its ash clouds.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Overview, chronology, and impacts of the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska
DOI 10.1007/s00445-019-1322-9
Authors Michelle L. Coombs, Kristi L. Wallace, Cheryl Cameron, John J. Lyons, Aaron Wech, Kim M. Angeli, Peter Cervelli
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bulletin of Volcanology
Index ID 70212493
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center