Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire

Island-building Forces Continue to Shape Alaska’s Aleutian Islands 

The entire chain of Aleutian Islands in the Alaska Maritime Refuge rides the northern arc of the "Ring of Fire" – a line of inner friction where Pacific plate of the earth’s crust grinds slowly under the continental plates surrounding it.

This movement breeds quakes, tidal waves and the volcanic eruptions that formed the islands themselves.

It was a hot time on the ring of fire in the summer of 2008 when three refuge volcanoes, Mt. Cleveland, Okmok Caldera and Kasatochi, all in the Aleutians, erupted within several weeks of each other. The Kasatochi eruption sent biologists fleeing for their lives and buried the refuge cabin, seabird cliffs and sea lion rookery. The refuge had studied seabirds on Kasatochi for 13 years. It had no history of erupting. Read more about the eruption and daring rescue at:

Hot Times on the Ring of Fire: Biologists Flee Volcano
Adak's Giddings Receives Hero Award for Volcano Rescue (pdf)

Learn more about volcanic islands in the Alaska Maritime Refuge 

Dynamic Bogoslof (watching an island grow since 1796 to present)

Alaska Volcano Observatory  

Volcanoes of the Aleutian Arc (Map and Table listing height, morphology, eruptions of 79 volcanoes - scroll down to last paragraph, click "table" and GIF or PDF for map)

Recent Eruptions 

What happens to nesting birds or marine mammals after earthquakes or volcanic eruptions?  

Bogoslof (recorded changes since 1800s)