Wednesday Whatzits: Cleveland heats up, blowing ash from Eyjafjallajökull and 10,000 days of eruption in Hawai`i
Lava flows reaching the sea at Kilauea in Hawai`i. Image from November 2009, courtesy of HVO/USGS.
- The Alert Status at Cleveland in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands was raised to Yellow (Advisory) by the Alaska Volcano Observatory after new signs of activity emerged. The latest report from AVO on the volcano says a thermal anomaly has been spotted at the summit, which typically is one of the first signs that the volcano is entering an eruption period. However, there is no real-time seismic monitoring for Cleveland, so that is the only clue (right now) that AVO has. Cleveland is a relatively noisy volcano along the Aleutian chain and produces frequent explosive eruptions with plumes upwards of 6 km (20,000 feet), most recently in October of 2009.
- With the declining activity at Eyjafjallajökull, the new hazard that Icelanders have to content with is the blowing ash deposited earlier in the eruption. The weather on the island nation has become dry and breezy, meaning ash is easily remobilized by the wind, causing problems with visibility and acting as an inhalation hazard. Small bursts of ash are still occurring at the vent according to the latest Icelandic Met Office report, but most of the activity at the volcano is limited to a steam plume rising to ~2 km / 6,000 feet and degassing of sulfur-rich volatiles.
- I did miss to mark the fact that earlier this month the eruption at Kilauea in Hawai`i reached its 10,000th day. The volcano has been in constant eruption since January of 1983, both along the rift zones and summit of the edifice.