Scientists Becoming More Concerned About Alaskan Volcano

The two-month long, low-level eruptions occurring at Cleveland Volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands have volcanologists worried that a larger eruption could be forthcoming, says this article on red Orbit. The volcano causing concern, also known as Mount Cleveland, is a 5,676-foot peak located about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.

According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, “a thermal anomaly was observed in satellite data over the past day, which is consistent with continued growth of the lava dome.

“The current episode of dome growth resumed around September 3. A growing lava dome in the crater increases the possibility of an explosive eruption, but does not necessarily indicate that one will occur. Short-lived explosions could produce ash clouds that exceed 20,000 ft above sea level. These events can occur without warning and may go undetected in satellite imagery for hours. If lava dome growth continues, it could overflow the crater rim to produce a lava flow and/or collapse to produce pyroclastic flows. Collapse of a lava flow or dome would likely result in the generation of a volcanic ash cloud.”

“The big thing we’re concerned about is an explosive eruption,” Steve McNutt of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a coordinating scientist for the observatory, told journalist Yereth Rosen of Reuters.

Lying beneath a flight path between North America and Asia said to be utilized by several major airlines,  an eruption at Cleveland Volcano could create havoc when it comes to airline travel.

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