A number of volcanic eruptions and moderate earthquakes have been observed in Alaska over the past few months.
"It's disrupted life in the Aleutian Islands and the far western Brooks Range — and it's got scientists wondering how all the activity might be connected," reports Alaskan Public radio KTOO. Five volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands are currently on "alert" status, and the Alaska Volcano Observatory's John Power says this is the most simultaneous activity scientists there have seen in the observatory's 26-year history.
"We're as busy as we've ever been in terms of the number of volcanoes that are active in the state," Power says.
Only one of those has caused major disruptions so far — Pavlof Volcano sent up an ash plume and prompted days of local flight cancellations earlier this month.
But volcanoes seem to be waking up all across the chain. Shishaldin, Cleveland and Veniaminoff in the eastern and central Aleutians have been on alert for months now. In the western Aleutians, the AVO put Semisopochnoi on watch just last week.
Are the seismic incidents linked by a common cause? And does this mean a big one is on the way?
Previously: "Earth's largest volcano, Mauna Loa on Hawaii's Big Island, awakens from slumber"