Volcanologists raised the alert level for Iliamna Volcano on Friday afternoon due to a possible eruption. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) raised the alert level to ADVISORY and the aviation color code to YELLOW. According to scientists at the observatory, the earthquake rate at Iliamna has steadily increased over the past three months. It is not certain that the sustained increase in earthquake activity indicates the movement of magma but it is a considerable change and AVO has decided to raise the Alert Level to Advisory and the Aviation Color Code to Yellow. A similar seismic swarm was detected in 1996/1997 that was likely related to an intrusion of magma at depth did not culminate in an eruption.
Iliamna volcano is located on the western side of lower Cook Inlet in the Lake Clark National Park. Iliamna is a snow-covered stratovolcano which rises 10,020 feet above sea level. Although steam plumes occur on its eastern flanks, there has been no historic volcanic activity at Iliamna. Iliamna is located 225 km (140 miles) southwest of Anchorage and 113 km (70 miles) southwest of Homer.
Featured image: The summit of Iliamna Volcano from the east on August 15, 2011 (Credit: Cyrus Read, Image courtesy of AVO/USGS)