Satellite data indicated a persistent thermal anomaly at the summit of Cleveland Volcano Sept. 3-6, 2011. The growing lava dome in the summit crater has prompted officials to raise the alert level.
As of Sept. 8, scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory have received no further information about unrest at the volcano. Unclear satellite views of the summit and lack of real-time seismic data leaves scientists unable to track or predict eruptive activity.
Scientists at AVO will continue to monitor the volcano using satellite data as it becomes available. A growing lava dome in the crater increases the possibility of – but does not ensure - an explosive eruption, which could produce ash clouds that exceed 20,000 feet above sea level. Such an occurrence could go undetected by satellite imagery for hours.
The aerial photograph of Cleveland Volcano below was captured Aug. 8, 2008 when a small lava flow or dome was accumulating in the summit crater.
Image courtesy of Kym Yano and NOAA.