Eruption Characteristics and Cycles at Pavlof Volcano, Alaska, and Their Relation to Regional Earthquake Activity

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Pavlof Volcano (55° 25′N, 161° 54′W) exhibits two eruption styles: magmatic eruptions of one-to-two-days duration, and phreatic-phreatomagmatic activity lasting several days to two months. Thirty-four eruptions have occurred in historic times; of these the largest are Volcano Explosivity Index=3. Nine magmatic and 13 phreatomagmatic eruptions occurred between 1973–1983. All the magmatic eruptions occurred in the fall, between Sept. 9–Nov. 20. Four magmatic eruptions occurred during November 11–15, but in four different years. A 3-year-long period of eruptive activity between 1973–1976 bears striking resemblance to a period of activity between 1980–1983. No locatable shallow earthquakes (<50 km) have occurred within 30 km of Pavlof since 1973, which is quite unusual for an active island-arc volcano. Shallow events in the adjacent are segments have focal mechanisms with P-axes perpendicular to the arc (and parallel to plate convergence). Deep earthquakes (> 100 km) are clustered beneath Pavlof and several other volcanoes. Their T-axes show downdip tension within the slab. Deep teleseisms (> 160 km) mostly occurred between 1977–1979 when the volcano was not erupting. Catalogued volcanic activity throughout the Alaska/Aleutian arc shows a weak tendency to increase around the time of great (M > 7.8) earthquakes.

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Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 31, issues 3-4, p. 239-267