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Mount Cleveland Volcano Shows Increased Activity

September 14, 2010

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

Mount Cleveland showed more signs of activity last weekend. The volcano, located in the central Aleutians, has been fairly active this summer and it released a seven-kilometer plume containing ash and steam on Sunday morning.

Steve McNutt is a research professor at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and a coordinating scientist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Here’s what he can make out from the satellite imagery of the volcano.

Two weeks ago, AVO placed Cleveland on watch, and upped its status to yellow. But on Friday, AVO moved the volcano down to unassigned. Now, it’s back on yellow and will be for some time, due to the difficulty of monitoring the volcano.

Cleveland frequently emits ash, and plumes like this are released about six times a year. McNutt says that AVO is keeping a close eye on the volcano but that increased thermal activity doesn’t necessarily mean a major eruption is on the way. Still, even small plumes could spell trouble for air travel and inconvenience nearby boats.

Trans-Pacific jet shouldn’t be affected since they fly at much higher elevations.

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