Thursday, February 2, 2012Alaska's Mount Iliamna May Be Erupting
Indications from USGS seismographs, and the corresponding Google Earth Plugin suggest that an eruption is either about to take place at Iliamna volcano in Alaska, or is already occurring. Earthquake plots from the last week until now seem to indicate rising and frequent tremor, with apparent explosions on the seismographs.
Iliamna is not near any population center, and Alaska is currently experiencing extremely cold weather (down to -48 C) which would hinder anyone or anything from making good direct observations of this remote volcano. It is probable that no observation via satellite, eyewitness, or airplane will be available for some time due to the harsh weather cycle this year. It is highly unlikely that during this period any visual observations could be made except by aircraft seeing an ash plume, which may or may not occur.
Below is a screenshot from Google Earth, with the USGS Real Time Overlay, where you can see quakes within a week (most magnitude 1.1-2.8) in yellow, and the more recent (and larger, up to mag 3.0) coded in orange, denoting a quake in the last 24 hours. These all occur at relatively shallow depths, and are directly beneath the summit, and along the flanks at lower depths. This indicates a rise in magma, and a possible eruption. These signals and the depths at which they are occurring can only mean magma intrusion, as this is a subduction zone, and most non volcanic quakes in the region happen at a much deeper depth (around 210km), not less than 1km. Subduction zones create an exteme amount of energy which heats the rock and creates magma plumes. The volcanoes of the Aleutian arc are very similar to the volcanoes of the Cascades and Indonesia in this respect.... [link to volcanoscience.blogspot.com