Recently since the end of July this year on the Alaskan Aleutian Islands, the Cleveland volcano has begun to call for attention. It has been seeping lava and creating a dome to the top of the volcano. If the dome continues to grow in size, it could plug the volcano and create enough pressure within it to cause a large enough explosion. This would cause the ash to reach upwards into the atmosphere towards flight level. Although this kind of an eruption is uncharacteristic for this volcano, it has occurred in other volcanoes in Alaska after the buildup of a dome.

The buildup was noticed on August 9th via satellite where it was shown to be almost 200 feet in diameter. The volcano is located inside a 5,676-foot mountain peak and is about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The Cleveland volcano sits on the Chuginadak Island which is currently uninhabited so there is little danger to humans of any kind. The closet community of people is about 45 miles to the east so it is far enough away to not be effected by a major explosion should it occur in the near future.

The biggest concern would be interrupting flight patterns in the North America flight corridor that is used by many major airlines. The last time the Cleveland volcano had a major explosion was in 2001 when it erupted. At that time it's lava flow did reach the ocean in a spectacular display of color, heat, energy and lot's of fiery sparks. If it does erupt again in 2011, ten years later, it will be sure not to disappoint those watching!

Aerial photograph of Cleveland's August 2011 lava and summit crater.

Oblique 3-D view of Cleveland volcano Image Creator: Wessels, Rick;

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