This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cleveland Volcano in Alaska may erupt soon!

Cleveland Volcano, AVO image
The Alaska Volcano Observatory has announced that Cleveland Volcano's lava dome has expanded from 262 feet diameter on August 30 to 394 feet today. The dome is in the summit crater and fills the floor of the crater.  They've been having trouble with the webcam, but it's here in case you want to check it out.

 Volcano is in the Aleutians, 940 miles southwest of Anchorage. The dome may spill over onto the flanks with lava flows, or there could be small or large explosive eruptions. There is not a real-time seismic network on the remote volcano.

Cleveland is a stratovolcano, with a beautifully symmetric conical form. The base is 8.5 km diameter, and it is 5,676' high. It comprises the entire western half of Chuginadak Island.  Chuginadak refers to the Aleut fire goddess, though to live in the volcano. It is a subduction zone volcano, overlying the Pacific plate plunging under North America. Cleveland is one of the" Islands of Four Mountains," a name given by the Russian cartographers in the 1800's. It is named after the then-president Grover Cleveland (sometime during his presidencies from 1885-1889 and 1893-1897).

It's eruptions are generally vulcanian and strombolian, short explosive bursts, sometimes accompanied by a'a flows, lava fountains, and ash and steam emissions. It has been intermittently active for the last 60 years, with three eruptions in 2009, and two in 2010.

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