The recent Cleveland Volcano eruption in Alaska has resulted in a handful of air travel alerts for people flying in the region.
Three eruptions from the site on Saturday sent a large plume of smoke and ash into the skies. The volcano, which sits among the Aleutian island chain, is positioned in the middle of the North America and Asia flight corridor.
Many officials were concerned that the ash cloud could disrupt air travel in the area. However, the smoke only managed to reach an altitude of 15,000 feet. The cruising altitude of most commercial airliners is around 35,000 feet.
Although many travelers were concerned that the Cleveland Volcano eruption would disrupt travel, no delays or cancellations were reported as of Sunday afternoon. However, some flights were rerouted in an effort to skirt the cloud altogether.
Officials explained that Alaska’s Cleveland Volcano has been rumbling since 2011. Saturday’s eruption sent gas, steam, and low levels of ash into the air. However, aviation experts believe the explosions wouldn’t disrupt air travel for the time being.
US Geological Survey geophysicist Rick Wessels said that the volcano’s three rapid-succession eruptions were a “new turn of events.” While officials were aware of activity from the area, he admitted that they’d never seen a phase that involved multiple explosions.
“It’s got us all paying attention. We’re not sure if it will escalate or do what Cleveland does, which is to settle down after small explosions,” Wessels explained.
Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory rely on satellites, eyewitness reports, and other data to track activity at the site. There is currently no seismic equipment on the mountain.
If the situation worsens, then the National Weather Service could instruct mariners to avoid the region altogether until activity settles down. Scientists are currently working around the clock to track activity at the site should anything more substantial take place.
What do you think about the Cleveland Volcano eruptions? Are you concerned that these explosions could temporarily disrupt air travel?