Alaska's busy volcano: Seawater, magma figure in eruptions

An underwater volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands has erupted more than two dozen times since mid-December and may keep going for months.

Geologists at the Alaska Volcano Center continue to monitor Bogoslof (BOH-gohs-lawf) Volcano because its ash clouds threaten aircraft.

Most of the 6,000-foot volcano is underwater. The summit forms tiny Bogoslof Island 850 miles southwest of Anchorage.

U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist Chris Waythomas says at least two factors are at play in the eruptions.

Dissolved gases under high pressure in magma explode when they approach the Earth's surface. Magma also explodes when it comes in direct contact with seawater.

Waythomas says eruptions could end when the system runs out of magma or if the volcano extrudes a dome above sea level, lessening the interaction of magma and seawater.