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Alaskan Volcano Blasts Another Ash Cloud January 6, 2012
Cleveland Volcano
A rare clear view of Cleveland's summit crater in August 2011.
Alaska’s restive Cleveland volcano calmed down during the opening days of 2012 after spewing a plume of ash 15,000 feet into the sky on Dec. 29.

But the ash didn’t reach a high enough altitude to pose a threat to key aviation routes between North America and Asia.

The mountain has shown signs since last July of an expanding lava dome, according to vulcanologists.

Its last major eruption was in 2001 when the cone-shaped mountain unleashed three blasts that sent ash soaring as high as 39,000 feet into the air and lava streaming from the summit crater.

Cleveland has produced brief bursts of activity almost annually since then.

Photo: Kym Yano - NOAA