Alaskan Volcano Could Be Gearing Up For Big Explosion

 

A volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands has been erupting since the end of July, and could be gathering steam for a much more severe explosion.

According to scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), the Cleveland Volcano, a 5,676-foot peak located about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage has been seeping magma for several days. But this activity could only be a precursor to an explosive event powerful enough to send ash into the atmosphere.

“The dome, if it continues to grow, could plug up the crater, creating pressure that could result in “a fairly sizable explosion that could throw ash up to flight levels,” said John Power, scientist in charge at the observatory, a joint federal-state operation.

Observers on a August 8 NOAA flight photographed a small, dark-colored dome centered at the bottom of the summit crater. In the last clear satellite view of the summit on August 9 the lava dome was about 60 meters (197 feet) in diameter.

Location of Cleveland volcano and other Aleutian volcanoes with respect to nearby cities and towns.

The volcano is situated on Chuginadak Island which is currently uninhabited, so no humans are in immediate danger even if the volcano does produce a bigger eruption. The closest community to the volcano is Nikolski, an Aleut village of about 20 people located 45 miles to the east. However, the island does lie directly in the North America-to-Asia flight corridor used by major airlines.

Powers also said that the secretion of lava and the building of a bigger dome is uncharacteristic for the Cleveland Volcano, but big explosions of other Alaskan volcanoes have occurred following  a dome-building event.

The observatory says the last significant eruption of the 5,676-foot volcano began in February 2001 and eventually produced a lava flow that reached the ocean.

You can keep up with the Cleveland Volcano’s progress at the AVO website.

Related Reading:

Japanese Tsunami Shattered Antarctica’s Ice Shelf

Indonesian Volcano Eruption Forces Evacuation Of Children

Mother Nature At Work: Seven Natural Disasters of 2010 [Video]

Images via AVO

53 comments

Flannel Disaster
Flannel Disaster7 years ago

"Thanks for the info. I'd like more information on the Yellowstone crater that is slowly rising."

That's the one they're worried about being a supervolcano that will destroy or seriously F up most of the US, right?

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Olivia Offline S.
Past Member 7 years ago

Thanks...Mother Earth is powerful.

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Melissa L.
Melissa L7 years ago

Thanks for sharing!!

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Yvonne Hetherington

the power of Mother Earth :)

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tracey p.
tracey p7 years ago

I love to see the planet make itself heard.

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Lynn Squance
Lynn Squance7 years ago

Awesome! I lived in Victoria, BC when Mt St Helen's blew her cork in Washington state, I can tell you that I felt the effect. It was a sunny Sunday morning in May and my windows were open. All of a sudden the curtains were being blown in, almost horizontal with the force of the wind. I found out about an hour later that Mt St Helen's had blown her cork. WOW!!!!!
The ash afterwards wasn't so great, but compared to Seattle, we had nothing.

Mother Nature is truly amazing. If this volcano does have a major eruption, I do pray no one, human or animal, is hurt or killed.

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Urszula J.
Urszula J7 years ago

Thanks for info.

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Cynthia Blais
cynthia l7 years ago

Thanks for the info Mother Nature nothing else

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Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson7 years ago

Thanks.

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James G.
James G7 years ago

Thanks Beth. Good information and a terrific map.

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