Volcano ash cloud covers 400 miles
Volcano ash cloud covers 400 miles Dave Schneider, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, is shown at the operations center Tuesday, March 29, 2016, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen/Colt Snapp via AP)
Volcano ash cloud covers 400 miles
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Strong winds March 28 pushed an ash cloud from an Alaska volcano into the heart of the state. The ash grounded flights and limited travel to western and northern communities off the road system.
 
Pavlof Volcano, one of Alaska's most active volcanoes, is 625 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula. That's the finger of land that sticks out from mainland Alaska toward the Aleutian Islands.
 
The volcano in the 8,261-foot mountain erupted about 4 p.m. March 27, spitting out an ash cloud that rose to 20,000 feet.
 
Lightning over the mountain and pressure sensors indicated eruptions continued overnight.  By 7 a.m. March 28, the ash cloud had risen to 37,000 feet. Winds to 50 mph or more had stretched it over more than 400 miles into interior Alaska.
 
"It's right in the wheelhouse of a lot of flights crisscrossing Alaska," said geologist Chris Waythomas, of the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS is part of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, along with the University of Alaska and the state Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.
 
Volcanic ash is angular and sharp and has been used as an industrial abrasive. The powdered rock can cause a jet engine to shut down so some flights were canceled. USGS geologists have compared it to flying into a sand blaster.
 
An eruption of Mount Redoubt in December 1989 sent out an ash cloud 150 miles. The ash flamed out the jet engines of a KLM flight carrying 231 passengers to Anchorage. The jet dropped more than two miles before pilots were able to restart the engines and land safely.
 
"We just simply will not fly when ash is present," Egan said.
 
Waythomas had received no reports of ash falling in communities. The closest community, Cold Bay, is 37 miles southwest of the volcano. That is opposite of where the wind was blowing ash.
 
Geologists call Pavlof an open-system volcano, Waythomas said.
 
"The pathways that magma follows to the surface are pretty open in a volcanological sense," Waythomas said. "They can convey magma and gas very easily. Magmas can move to the surface whenever they feel like it, more or less."
 
The movement comes with little shaking of the ground. And the lack of earthquakes as an early warning of an eruption "makes us go crazy monitoring them," Waythomas said.
 
The volcano, about 4.4 miles in diameter, has had 40 known eruptions. Its conical, nearly symmetrical shape indicates its eruptions tend to be less violent than the kind that blows tops off mountains.
 
"It can erupt for periods of hours to days or it can go on for much longer periods of time," Waythomas said. "It won't erupt continuously for many months or a year. It will be intermittent. But the eruption cycle could go on for a while, or it could abruptly shut off and be done tomorrow."
 
The USGS raised the volcano alert to its highest level, which warns of hazards both in the air and on the ground.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/volcano-ash-cloud-covers-400-miles/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Volcanic ash poses a hazard to jet engines. What other hazards does it create?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (52)
  • jaylaw-ric
    4/06/2016 - 01:24 p.m.

    The jet engine will create a dust cloud. It will also create a dust tornado and trust me it will be a very windy and dusty tornado.The worst of all is the dust volcano dust is going to be flying everywhere. If you have bad breathing then you should never want to be in a dust tornado.

  • mcshunw-ric
    4/06/2016 - 01:30 p.m.

    Volcanic ash creates pollution to the air and water. It can also affect people being able to see the road or what is ahead of them. Animals could not see to. So if the person cant see through the ash and the animal goes in the road it might get hit.

  • briannap1-ric
    4/06/2016 - 01:32 p.m.

    Another hazard that the volcanic ash creates a possible danger to buildings. That is because it could blow very far and possibly cause unfixable damage. It could also be a danger to different crops. The magma could burn and damage the surface.

  • joeronh-ric
    4/06/2016 - 01:38 p.m.

    Volcanic ash creates many hazards.The hazards Volcanic ash can create is fires,pollute the air and cover whole states.Volcanic ash can ground flights,it is also used as industrial abrasive.Volcanic ash can also limit traveling from place to place because it can fill the air so much you cannot see the road.

  • owenj-1-ric
    4/06/2016 - 03:56 p.m.

    The other hazards that volcanic ash creates is the ground also because of the ash. This is because when the ash falls to the ground and if it lands on the road people won't be able to drive. It also doesn't make the Earth any better because it makes the atmosphere worst than what it is now.

  • madelineg-1-ric
    4/06/2016 - 06:57 p.m.

    not only can Volcanic ash poses a hazard to jet engines but everything around it. Like plants, animals, people, and towns and it could happen for a very long time. I can prove this because in paragraph 14 it states "It can erupt for periods of hours to days or it can go on for much longer periods of time." It can be a danger to a lot more things than what is listed it could affect the slightest of things.

  • hayleem-ric
    4/07/2016 - 02:03 a.m.

    Volcanic ash poses a hazard to Villages and towns under the volcanic mountain. Volcanic ashes are hazardous to towns and villages because, locations near the volcano canburn and multiple people and resources die during the occuring of the volcanic eruption. Volcanic eruptions also hit bigger things that can not be exposed to heat like gas tanks because it will make a bigger explotion.The locations which volcanic eruptions can be in extremely dangerous levels of heat and will be low on surviving suplies. So with that being said Volcanic ashes are very havardous to many things.

  • morganf-1-ric
    4/07/2016 - 08:17 a.m.

    Volcanic ash can pose many hazards such as respiratory problems to people that might have asthma. The ash from volcanoes can create hazards in driving because it would be difficult to see and the ash would harm the car engine. The volcanic ash can be hazardous because you don't know when the volcano will stop erupting or erupt again. The volcanic ash is also hazardous if the wind is high because it is abrasive and can cause damage to anything outdoors including people. Volcanic ash can be very hazardous.

  • shaelyng-ver
    4/07/2016 - 08:47 a.m.

    I think that how huge the volcano eruptions are are unbelieveable.

  • andrewk-1-ric
    4/07/2016 - 10:13 a.m.

    Other hazards the ash could create is food conditions for the people and crops. It could also contaminate water supplies. It could also kill animals people have that they use for people. Plus it would be very hard to drive in those conditions.

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