ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Volcano Observatory is sending scientists to Kodiak Island to set up equipment that can monitor a century-old hazard: volcanic ash from the Novarupta-Katmai (noh-vah-RUP'-tah KAT'-meye) eruption in 1912.
The eruption was the largest in the 20th Century and created the Valley of 10,000 Smokes in what is now Katmai National Park on the Alaska Peninsula.
U.S. Geological Survey geologist Kristi Wallace says ash up to 60 feet deep remains in some valleys in Katmai and can be kicked up and blown toward Kodiak when it's not covered by snow, creating a hazard for aircraft and possibly human health.
Each spring and fall, strong northwesterly winds blow ash around. Wallace says the wind can reconstitute ash clouds so large they're detected by satellite.
The observatory will install particulate measuring instruments at two locations to collect ash samples and assess how much is blown around.