Explosions Shake Cleveland Volcano
Monday, May 06 2013
Update: Monday, May 6, 4:00 pm
Cleveland Volcano continues to be active, with two additional blasts shaking the volcano on Sunday evening, and Monday morning. Neither explosion produced ash clouds large enough to interfere with air traffic transiting the region.
According to Alaska Volcano Observatory scientist-in-charge John Power, the volcano's continuous, low-level eruption appears to be waning.
“So far it has not presented anything that would give us an indication of a larger eruption or a greater hazard to come.”
Nevertheless, because of the possibility that sudden explosions could produce ash clouds rising above 20,000 feet, the aviation alert level remains at orange.
Original story: Saturday, May 4, 8:04 pm
Cleveland Volcano is erupting once again. Three small explosions shook the volcano Saturday morning, and a low-level eruption is ongoing.
John Power is a seismologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory. He writes in an email that the explosions were “similar in size to what we have seen over the past several years,” although he notes that it is unusual to have three in a row.
Power says satellite imagery and a webcam in the nearby village of Nikolski show that the volcano is continuing to emit small amounts of gas, ash and steam, with plumes rising to 15,000 feet. There's no real-time monitoring network on the volcano.
Cleveland lies on a major international flight path, and in light of the explosions the Observatory has raised the aviation alert level from yellow to orange. They warn that there is the possibility of sudden explosions reaching above 20,000 feet, but so far there have been no reported disturbances to air travel.
Cleveland is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutians, erupting roughly two dozen times in 2012. It's last major eruptive period was in 2001, when the volcano sent ash clouds up to 39,000 feet.