Count-down: 22 days until departure for Alaskan Adventure!
|Augustine, 2006 Wikipedia Commons|
When I think about the dangers in Alaska, I think Jack London style. Freezing to death, falling in icy water, or bears. But Alaska is a mix of fire and ice. It is littered with historically active volcanoes!
According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, there are over 130 volcanoes in Alaska. In the past 40 years, Alaskan volcanoes have averaged 2 eruptions per year. Mount Bona, near the Alaskan border with the Yukon Territory, is the highest volcano in the U.S. at over 16,000 feet.
On our way through Alaska, we will be traveling near two volcanoes that have been recently active. Mount Wrangell and Augustine. Mount Wrangell which is about 200 miles from Anchorage has been erupting on and off for 750,000 years. Its last eruption was reported in 1930 where impressive columns of black smoke spewed into the sky.
Augustine’s last eruption was in December of 2005 and lasted until March of 2006. It went through four stages of eruption one of which propelled ash more than nine kilometers into the atmosphere and included pyroclastic flow, the same type that destroyed Pompeii. Augustine seems to have incidents about every 20 years.
The Volcano Observatory keeps a close watch over all Alaska's volcanoes for new activity and issues warnings when they deem there is danger. Every day they update their website with alert levels for each active volcano.
I'm not worried about seeing a volcano blow its top, I think it would actually be pretty amazing to see, from a distance.
Alaska Volcano Observatory