The Alaska Volcano Observatory changed the Volcano Alert Level and the Aviation Color Code for Cleveland Volcano after evidence of a lava dome was discovered. Today, AVO issued a Volcanic Activity Notice that states "development of a lava dome in the summit crater indicates that sudden explosions of blocks and ash are possible with little or no warning. Ash clouds, if produced, could exceed 20,000 feet above sea level."
Cleveland Volcano, residing in Alaska's Aleutian Chain, is listed as "Watch" under the current Volcano Alert Level and the Aviation Color Code was updated to "Orange." Satellite data from the end of January indicates a lava dome has grown in the summit crater and it is about 100 meters in diameter. The lava dome may have begun forming as early as Jan. 24, 2013 when elevated surface temperatures were observed in satellite images. The size and shape of the dome appears to be unchanged through February 2, according to the most recently available satellite data.
Cleveland Volcano forms the western half of Chuginadak Island, a remote and uninhabited island in the Aleutians. It is located about 45 miles west of the community of Nikolski. The volcano's most recent significant eruption began in February 2001 and it produced three explosive events that produced ash clouds as high as 39,000 feet above sea level. The 2001 eruption also produced a rubbly lava flow and a hot avalanche that reached the sea. The most recent minor ash emissions were observed in November 2012.
For more information, contact:
Chris Waythomas, acting scientist-in-charge at USGS: firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-786-7497.
Jeff Freymueller, coordinating scientist at UAF GI: email@example.com or 907-378-7556.
Alaska Volcano Observatory
PHOTO CAPTION/CREDIT: A true-color Worldview-2 image of Alaska's Cleveland Volcano from June 2012. Photo by D. Schneider.