The warning level for a remote Alaska volcano has been raised after a new lava dome began forming, indicating the mountain could explode and send up an ash cloud that could threaten aircraft. The Alaska Volcano Observatory elevated the aviation color code status for Cleveland Volcano to Orange on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Ground base volcano alert is on Watch.
Officials say the new lava dome was spotted in the summit crater. The observatory says as of Monday, the dome was about 40 meters in diameter. There have been no eruptions since Dec. 25 and Dec. 29 2011, which destroyed the earlier lava dome built up over the fall.
Authorities say sudden eruptions could occur at any time, and ash clouds 6 km above sea level are possible.
Alert code definitions:
ORANGE: Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, OR eruption is underway with no or minor volcanic-ash emissions
watch: volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, or eruption is underway but poses limited hazards.
Real-time plot: Ash cloud projectory forecast for Cleveland volcano
Mount Cleveland, also called the Cleveland volcano, in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska is a 1,72 km peak on an uninhabited island 1500 km southwest of Anchorage.
Cleveland volcano webcam.
Alaska Volcano Observarory, Cleveland volcano
Featured image by Dave Schneider. Image courtesy of AVO/USGS (Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey)