Potential Eruption of Alaska's Cleveland Volcano
February 2, 2012 • 12:00PM

Alaska's Cleveland Volcano could soon blow its top, officials say. New satellite imagery of the 5,676-foot peak, located about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage in Alaska's remote Aleutian Islands, shows a new, bulging lava dome forming in the volcano's summit crater, suggesting a build-up of gas pressure. Some 90 percent of air freight from Asia to Europe and North America passes over Alaska, along with hundreds of commercial flights. Officials say that intermittent and sudden explosions could happen at any time, generating ash clouds up to 20,000 feet above sea level. The Alaska Volcano Observatory says that as of Monday, the lava dome was approximately 130 feet in diameter. The volcano erupted twice recently, on Christmas and again on December 29, sending an ash plume 15,000 feet high.