Two Alaskan volcanoes that share an unusual relationship

Alaska is amazing. I know this by reputation only — though I’m from South Alaska, I sadly have yet to venture farther north than British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. But if my lack of first-hand Alaskan experience diminishes my credibility on the subject, you’ll have a better idea of how awesome Alaska is once I tell you that it is currently home to not one but TWO active volcanoes. And active volcanoes are awesome. Ergo, Alaska is awesome. QED. Reuters has the story:

Pavlof Volcano, an 8,261-foot (2,518-metre) peak located about 590 miles southwest of Anchorage, has been erupting sporadically since May 13.

On Thursday, it was joined by 8,225-foot (2,507-metre) Veniaminof Volcano when that peak, about 100 miles to the northwest of Pavlof, began to erupt, according to a geologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Two volcanoes, located within 100 miles of one another, erupting nearly consecutively — what are the odds? Granted, they’re both part of the in/famous Pacific Rim of Fire, so not terrible, but still: same time, same place — there’s gotta be some connection. But geologists much more knowledgeable than myself insist there isn’t:

The eruptions of the two volcanoes are coincidental, said [geologist Game] McGimsey.

Well, Dr. McGimsey, just as I’m readily willing to recognize my tragic infamiliarity with all things Alaska, I think you would do well to recognize you’re not so much of a psychologist.

So though I’m usually inclined to defer to those more expert than I, I do feel somewhat of an obligation to note: Pavlof Volcano has been erupting since May, and it was followed soon thereafter by Veniaminof Volcano. Does that sequence really sound like a coincidence, or is Veniaminof just really well-conditioned?

Ding ding ding.


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