Bulletin of Volcanology

, 82:12 | Cite as

Seismic character and progression of explosive activity during the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska

  • Cheryl K. SearcyEmail author
  • J. A. Power
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. The 2016-17 shallow submarine eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska


Bogoslof volcano, in the central Aleutian arc, experienced a major eruption between December 2016 and August 2017 that was characterized by explosive activity (Volcanic Explosivity Index 2 to 3) and the extrusion of lava domes. The Alaska Volcano Observatory tracked the activity in real time using seismicity observed on distant stations as well as infrasound, lightning, satellite data, and occasional visual observations. In this study, we measure the duration of seismic signals associated with individual explosive events to track their progression during the two explosive phases of the eruption. Seismic recordings of Bogoslof explosions show complex waveforms that suggest both individual explosive events and sequences of several explosions separated by lower amplitude tremor. The lack of local seismic monitoring (stations at distances of 1 km to 15 km distance) unfortunately limits our ability to closely observe seismicity and to interpret changing conditions at the vent such as position, the presence of a lava dome or plug, and the role of seawater associated with the eruption. We use the rate of explosive activity, seismic waveform character, and repose time between explosions to infer the conditions within the conduit.


Volcanic explosions Bogoslof volcano Duration measurements Undersea eruption Volcanic tremor 



We thank the staff of the Alaska Volcano Observatory for their many observations during the 2016–2017 eruption of Bogoslof that contributed to the information presented here. During the preparation of this manuscript, we had many useful discussions with Matt Haney, Chris Waythomas, Aaron Wech, Gabrielle Tepp, John Lyons, Diana Roman, and David Fee. Chris Waythomas generously provided the base map used in Fig. 1, and Matt Haney provided advice on the generation of the spectrograms shown in Fig. 5. We thank Sarah Ogburn and the two anonymous reviewers who helped improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alaska Volcano ObservatoryU.S. Geological SurveyAnchorageUSA

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