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article imageAlaska's Cleveland Volcano has two explosions in 2 days

By Leigh Goessl     Mar 12, 2012 in Science
Alaska's Cleveland Volcano is experiencing some new activity. According to several media sources, the Aleutian located volcano had two explosions last week.
The first explosion occurred on Wed. night, according to Reuters (via Huffington Post). It caused an ash cloud, but scientists didn't think it would have much impact on air traffic.
However, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Friday a second explosion occurred at the remote volcano, but the strength of the explosion scenario was not fully clear. Cleveland is located on the uninhabited Chuginadak Island, 940 miles south of Anchorage.
Weather conditions are currently shielding researchers from getting the full picture of the activity going on at Cleveland Volcano due to an abundance of clouds, so scientists cannot ascertain if this is signaling an impending eruption.
Sunday's report from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) stated no new activity had been noticed in the previous 24-hour period. Due to its remote location, there is no one on site to monitor the volcano in real-time and heavy reliance is placed on satellite images. Warnings remain at Orange level for aviation and "watch" as an alert level.
The Alaska Dispatch noted the volcano has been "playing a will-it-or-won't-it game with observers for the past 6 months," and last month the warnings on the volcano were raised to "Orange" level. Digital Journal reported on Cleveland's increased activity last summer, and its most recent in Dec. 2011.
Cleveland has been a fairly active volcano over the past decade, but the past six months have seen some distinct differences. MSNBC reported in Sept. 2011 the "long-running lava flow and dome buildup is something different from past behavior," noted at Cleveland.
Vulcanologists are also monitoring Alaska's Iliamna Volcano as it also is experiencing increased activity. AVO has Iliamna on "Yellow" status for aviation and is posted as an "advisory" alert level.
Iliamna is located 135 miles southwest of Anchorage.
At this time scientists are not certain if or when either volcano will fully awaken from slumber.
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