Wednesday Whatzits: Orange alert at Cleveland, more Italian eruptions, Kilauea’s lava lakes and more!
Lots of pieces of volcano news I’ve missed reporting over the last week, so I thought I could try to round them all up.
Alaska: A 40-meter lava dome/flow was spotted at the summit of Cleveland in the Aleutians. With this confirmation of new magma at the surface, AVO has raised the aviation alert level at Cleveland to Orange, as there is the potential for explosive activity if this dome is plugging the conduit at the volcano. Remember, although Cleveland is in a relatively remote location, it does lie under many important air routes over Alaska to the Far East and beyond. Be sure to check out the Cleveland webcam as well (when the weather permits), but no seismometers are located at the volcano.
Italy: We had been watching all the activity at Etna, but Stromboli is also making noise with a new lava flow on its flanks. If you want to catch up on the very busy month in Italian volcanoes, check out the article by Dr. Boris Behncke on these new eruptions – it is packed with great images of all the activity. Both volcanoes have webcams – in visible and IR bands – so you can see the action as it happens.
Hawai`i: The crater at Pu`u O`o has also been quite active lately, with the lava lakes filling to the point of spilling out the the perched lava lake and spreading across the crater floor – check out the new image gallery from HVO. This goes along with the lava lake in the summit crater as well, meaning there are two vigorously active lava lakes on Kilauea currently. The volcano also felt a moderate earthquake this week that effected some of the deformation along the middle east rift zone. There are plenty of webcams to watch if you’re into all that Hawaiian volcanism.
Oregon and Tanzania: Those two locations might seem unrelated, but in both cases, increasing volcano monitoring is being put on the table. The USGS wants to build a 60-foot tower on the rim of Crater Lake to assist it transferring monitoring data from inside the caldera – remember, Crater Lake last erupted only ~5,500 years ago and has warm springs at the bottom of the lake, so it is still an active volcano. Meanwhile, in Tanzania, the government is thinking about studying Kilimanjaro more closely for signs of recent volcanic activity to better understand the potential that country’s largest volcano might pose. It is unclear exactly when last eruption at Kilimanjaro might have been, but fumaroles are present on the volcano and there are stories of ash at the summit as recently as 200 years ago (but this is unconfirmed).
Top left: An undated image of the summit area at Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.