On August 30, Alaska’s Cleveland Volcano’s lava dome appeared to have peaked at 262 feet, prompting officials to believe that it would stop growing. According to latest data, however, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
According to officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the volcano’s lava dome has expanded to 394 feet and appears to be growing further, prompting officials to raise the Volcano Alert status to “Watch”, and the Aviation code back up to “Orange”.
“The presence of the lava dome increases the possibility of an explosive eruption, but does not necessarily indicate that one will occur,” officials at the observatory said. “Short-lived explosions could produce an ash cloud that exceeds 20,000 ft above sea level.”
If the lava dome continues growing, officials say, it’s possible lava will start to leak out over the flanks of Mount Cleveland. Even if that’s the case, officials don’t believe lava flow would be hazardous to aviation around the volcano.
While no solid connection can be made, officials believe that Alaska’s recent 7.1 earthquake, and its subsequent aftershocks, could be the cause of the volcano stirring up again after it had appeared to be settling down.
The Mount Cleveland volcano is located on the western of Chuginadak Island, part of the Aleutian Island, roughly 940 miles from Anchorage, Alaska. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian Island chain and has erupted roughly 21 times in the past 230 years.