Alaska’s Cleveland volcano could explode in DAYS – threat level raised by USGS

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
By Paul Martin

ALASKA’S Cleveland volcano threat has been raised as volcanologists fear it is at risk of explosion. Increased levels of activity coupled with a small flow of lava are a precursor to an explosion, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Wed, Jun 27, 2018

The team’s Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) has increased the current volcano alert level from Advisory – corresponding to elevated unrest above known background activity – to Watch – meaning heightened/escalating unrest with increased potential for eruptive activity.

In addition, the aviation colour code has been changed from yellow – meaning it is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background levels – to orange, signifying an increased likelihood of eruption.

A small, circular lava flow, about 80 metres in diameter, was discovered covering the floor of the summit crater, during satellite observations by the AVO.

A spokesman said: ”Geophysical monitoring data from Cleveland volcano has been unavailable since early yesterday afternoon and thus it is unknown if the effusion of lava within the crater generated detectable seismicity or infrasound.

“However, the presence of a lava flow over the active vent increases the possibility of a vent clearing explosion over the coming days to weeks.”

The last detected explosive activity at the Cleveland volcano happened on May 5.

The spokesman added: “Occasional, short duration explosive activity with minimal to no precursory signals is common at Cleveland volcano, and explosions may occur without warning.

“Explosions typically produce relatively small volcanic ash clouds that dissipate within hours.

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