• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 57s

Story Time w/ Aunt Phil: Bogoslof Volcano

By Laurel Downing Bill 11:34 AM June 12, 2017


Forty of the world’s 800 active volcanoes are here in Alaska – and most of them are along the Aleutian Arc, extending from central Alaska along the Alaska Peninsula and down the Aleutian Islands toward eastern Russia.

This also is known as the northern portion of the Ring of Fire, where the Pacific plates meet other plates and have a lot of earthquakes and volcanic activity.

One of those volcanoes, Bogoslof, has been sporadically erupting since mid-December, and a few weeks ago, it spewed ash up 34,000 feet into the air for more than an hour and has been disrupting aircraft activity.

Volcanic activity was first recorded on Bogoslof in the mid-1790s, but the first mention of the island came from Capt. James Cook who reported seeing a tall, sail-like rock about 60 miles west of Dutch Harbor in 1778. Unbeknownst to him and his crew, a 6,000-foot volcano lay beneath the conical mountain and its crater sat just below sea level.

Early in May 1796, amid thunder, earthquake and steam, the volcanic island emerged from the depths of the sea. Otto von Kotzebue, an early Russian explorer, was told about it by an agent of the Russian-American Company at Unalaska. The agent and Natives of Umnak and Unalaska saw the birth of the island when the cataclysm occurred.

The witnesses said the island could be seen rising from the foaming waters. When the earth finally stopped shaking and flames diminished, the newly risen island, shaped like a black cap, could be seen.

The island grew in height and circumference as smoke and steam continued to pour forth. Even after eight years, Natives reported the water around the island was warm and the ground was so hot no one could walk on it.

The Aleuts called the new island Agashagok, but, since it had appeared on St. John’s Day in their calendar, the Russians called it Joanna Bogoslova, for St. John the Theologian.

Another peak estimated at 800 feet high heaved up about a mile north of the first peak in 1883. Then another eruption in 1906 brought up two more peaks, each about 400 feet tall. Within a year, these two peaks disappeared after the washing by icy waters and winds wore them down. As late as 1910 violent shocks hit Dutch Harbor, shocks probably associated with the formation of new islands in the Bogoslof group.

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Immigration law experts react to SCOTUS decision on travel ban

    by Steffi Lee on Jun 26, 20:40

    The Supreme Court of the United States will hear full arguments on President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries while letting parts of it go into effect. The decision came down Monday. It impacts foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In the 9-0 ruling, justices will not allow the ban […]

  • Politics

    Impasse on oil tax bill stalls special session

    by Liz Raines on Jun 26, 20:33

    Lawmakers are still in special session, but only a handful are in Juneau. The capitol building will likely stay empty for the rest of the week, perhaps longer. That’s because Gov. Bill Walker has only put one item on the agenda– and it isn’t the one either side wanted. Lawmakers were expecting to take up […]

  • News

    Klatt Road roundabout design concerns some drivers

    by Heather Hintze on Jun 26, 17:54

    Drivers in South Anchorage are learning to navigate a new roundabout. Alaska Department of Transportation crews spent more than one month constructing a new traffic circle at the intersection of West Klatt Road and Johns Road. Some people took to social media to voice their complaints about the roundabout’s design, saying the concrete barriers in […]

  • News

    State gets approval for survey work for Cold Bay roadway

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 26, 17:49

    Governor Walker announced Monday the state has received permission to begin survey work that could lead to a road between King Cove and Cold Bay. Walker said he got a personal phone call Monday morning from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting him know the state could begin survey work to seek a route with the […]

  • News

    2 Marines badly burned in ground flash fire on U.S. base

    by CBS News on Jun 26, 15:13

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — A ground flash fire on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar injured two Marines performing aircraft maintenance on an F/A-18 Sunday night, base officials say. The region has been experiencing extremely high temperatures, notes CBS San Diego affiliate KFMB-TV. “Both Marines are currently being treated for severe burns at […]

  • News

    Duck pond at Cuddy Park is much cleaner

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 26, 13:50

    A “Don’t Feed the Birds” campaign seems to be making a difference when it comes to the duck pond at Cuddy Park. Thom Eley with the Anchorage Waterways Council said levels of fecal coliform, the bacteria that comes from bird feces, is normally sky-high this time of year, but two recent tests show the levels […]

  • Man wanted for failing to appear on assault charge

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jun 26, 13:47

    A 19-year-old man is wanted by Anchorage Police for failing to appear in court. Dominik Lacell Spivey has an outstanding warrant for failure to appear related to an assault charge from last March. Spivey is described as 5-foot-10, weighing 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. If you have information on his whereabouts, you’re asked […]

  • Humpback whale breaches super-close to boat off NJ coast

    by CBS News on Jun 26, 13:22

    A New Jersey man videotaped a humpback whale surging out of the water right alongside his small fishing boat last week, and the footage has gone viral. The whale showed up in the waters just a mile or so off the northern coast of New Jersey. Paul Ziolkowski, of Union Beach, caught the moment on […]