Posts Tagged ‘cleveland volcano’

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Thar She Finally Blows – Cleveland Volcano Spewing 15,000 Feet of Ash

29/12/2011

The Alaska Volcano Observatory said satellite images showed Cleveland Volcano had spewed ash 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) into the air in a cloud that moved east-southeast. U.S. Geological Survey scientist-in-charge John Power called it a small explosion.

“It’s not expected to cause a disruption to big international air carriers,” he said.

But the event drew strong interest from air carriers.

“Any time you put an ash cloud up into the atmosphere, the airlines, the air carriers, air freight companies — it’s a major concern,” Power said.

The ash cloud was significant enough to raise the alert level from yellow, representing elevated unrest, to orange, representing an increased potential of eruption, or an eruption under way with minor ash emissions or no emissions.

Cleveland Mountain is a 5,675-foot (1,729-meter) peak on uninhabited Chuginadak Island about 940 miles (1,512 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

Scientists in July noted increased activity in the crater at the summit of the volcano. Satellite images showed lava building and forming a dome-shaped accumulation.

Chris Waythomas of the USGS said in September that lava domes form a lid on a volcano’s “plumbing,” including the chamber holding the magma. When they grow big enough, lava domes can become unstable and will sometimes collapse. When the magma chamber decompresses it can lead to an explosion as the conduit inside the volcano suddenly becomes unsealed and gases escape.

Radar images earlier this month showed the dome had cracked and subsided, Power said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the airline industry get concerned for trans-Pacific flights when an ash cloud has the potential to exceed the 20,000-foot (6,096-meter) threshold, as Cleveland Volcano has done in the past.

Cleveland Volcano’s last major eruption was in 2001. It has had bursts of activity nearly every year since then, and the ash cloud Thursday was not out of character.

“It’s not unexpected for a volcano like Cleveland to do things like this,” Power said. “Unfortunately, Cleveland is one of those that is so remote, we have no on-ground monitoring or instrumentation there, so it’s hard for us to pinpoint things any more accurately than we can do with satellite imagery.”

The observatory Thursday morning had no satellite images of the crater after the eruption.

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Eyes on El Hierro But Cleveland in Aleutian Islands Status at Orange – Alaska Volcano Observatory News

28/09/2011

by BuildFutureEnergy

As El Hierro is on high alert and the earthquake swarms in Spain continue, causing authorities in the Canary Islands to take precautions by evacuating tourists and residents, the Aleutian Islands located in the Alaska area, having been rocking with some significant seismic activity.  The Alaska Volcano Observatory has been monitoring one volcano in particular – Cleveland.

CLEVELAND AVIATION STATUS IS SET TO ORANGE AT THIS TIME.

This past week has also seen the sun shoot off some powerful CME’s, partially directed at Earth, and this geomagnetic phenomena may be to blame.  These two recent articles may be of interest: NOAA Report – Solar Geomagnetic Storm that Partially Hit Earth – Coinciding with Earthquake & Volcano Activity and Could the Sun Set Off the Next Natural Disaster.

The following is today’s report from the observatory:

ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY CURRENT STATUS REPORTWednesday, September 28, 2011 1:50 PM AKDT (Wednesday, September 28, 2011 21:50 UTC)

CLEVELAND VOLCANO (CAVW #1101-24-)
52°49’20” N 169°56’42” W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Satellite views detected continued elevated summit temperatures at Cleveland Volcano over the past 24 hours. Satellite data also suggest that the lava dome continues to slowly grow as the eruption at Cleveland continues. AVO has received no other reports of activity at Cleveland.

As the lava dome continues to grow in the summit crater, the possibility of an explosive event increases. With continued lava dome growth, lava may eventually overflow the crater rim to produce a lava flow and/or collapse to produce pyroclastic flows. Sudden collapse of the effusing lava could result in the generation of a volcanic ash cloud. However, lava may continue to erupt without an explosive event. It is possible that explosions from the summit crater vent could produce ash clouds that may exceed 20,000 ft above sea level. These events can occur without warning and may go undetected in satellite imagery for hours. However, lightning associated with significant ash-producing events many be detected within minutes using an automated alarm system.

AVO Image

Satellite radar image loop (August 7,18,29, September 9, 20) from the TerraSAR-X sensor of the summit of Cleveland Volcano showing the summit crater and growth of the lava dome. The summit crater is about 200 meters across.

Note that satellite radar images have some inherent topographic distortion due to the manner in which they are collected.

Picture Date: September 20, 2011
Image Creator: Schneider, Dave; Lu, Zhong;

Image courtesy of AVO/USGS.

AVO does not have a real-time seismic network on the volcano and thus we are unable to track local earthquake activity related to volcanic unrest, provide forecasts of eruptive activity, or confirmation of explosive, ash-producing events. In the event of a large explosive eruption like that in 2001, it is possible that seismic signals may be recorded on AVO seismic networks at nearby volcanoes. AVO will continue to monitor the volcano using multiple sources of satellite lightning detection, and distant seismic data.

via Alaska Volcano Observatory

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NOAA Report on Solar Geomagnetic Storm that Partially Hit Earth – Coinciding with Earthquake & Volcano Activity

27/09/2011

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has been reporting on high solar activity for the past while.  Here is the news for the past 3 days, updated today.  It is important to note that the September 26th report emphasizes that “aurora watchers in Asia and Europe will be favourably positioned” and we now have had reports of much earthquake and volcanic activity, most notably the swarms in Spain (see El Hierro Volcano Article), Greece and Turkey, as well as the ones around the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, (see Cleveland Volcano Article) as well as the 5.3 MAG that hit the North West Territories (see 4 Significant Quakes/NWT Article). There are many more places that have been affected – all along the Pacific Ring of Fire.  Drop in news of earthquake drills and we have a bit of a rocky road perhaps ahead (see Earthquake Drill in US, NZ, BC Article)? (Hey, I’m just saying, but what do I know?)

If you would like to see what an Aurora looks like from space, here is a video take from the International Space Station around September 19th 2011 and its quite spectacular to see.  The path taken here is eastwardly from Madagascar along to northeast Australia, hence the term ‘aurora australis’. Aurora borealis north & aurora australis south hemisphere.

REPORTS FROM NOAA – PAST 3 DAYS

2011-09-27 17:33   Update on the September 26/27 Geomagnetic Storm

The Geomagnetic Storm that began yesterday is quieting down, though we aren’t quite back to quiet conditions yet.  High speed solar wind is coming in behind the Coronal Mass Ejection and these winds are keeping things slightly active on the space weather front.  The region on the Sun that produced this activity is in a favorable position to cause further problems, but it is starting to weaken.  It remains a threat, though diminishing.  Yesterday, there would have been problems with high accuracy GPS and there was a noted issue with the FAA’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), where the Vertical Error Limit was exceeded.  WAAS is used to provide high accuracy GPS in the areas around airports.  Much more information about this storm is available on the SWPC Facebook page.

2011-09-26 19:00   

The fast Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that erupted from NOAA Active Region 1302 arrived this morning at 1237Z (8:37am Eastern Time).  It has kicked off moderate (G2) geomagnetic storms for low latitudes, but high latitudes are seeing severe (G4) levels of activity.  Aurora watchers in Asia and Europe are most favorably positioned for this event, though it may persist long enough for viewers in North America.  The bulk of the CME missed the Earth, meaning the storm intensity and duration are less than what they would have been in the case of a direct hit.  We are posting frequent updates on the SWPC Facebook page, which you can follow (here).

2011-09-24 22:00   

NOAA Region 1302 remains impressive and active as it continues its transit across the visible disc.  As shown in the GOES X-ray plot below, 1302 produced an R3 (Strong) and multiple R2 (Moderate) flares today.  Intermittent degradation to High Frequency communications occurs on the daylight side of the Earth during each respective flare.  Also, the slow rise of energetic protons near Earth has flattened out and we are hovering right around the S1 threshold (NOAA Solar Radiation Storm Scales).  A fairly fast Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) associated with the long duration R2 flare is partially directed at Earth (long duration meaning long-lasting in time and wider in the graph below, as opposed to the impulsive flares that spike quickly).  We won?t see the bulk of this CME, but a glancing blow is predicted for late evening Eastern Time on the 25th (or right around start of day GMT on the 26th).  Geomagnetic Storm levels reaching the G1 (Minor) level are likely with isolated G2 (Moderate) possible, particularly at high latitudes.  1302 remains active so stay tuned for further updates.

source: NOAA

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