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More information from NOAA on volcanoes...

USGS Volcano Status Messages:
Cleveland Daily Update issued Sep 22, 2014 12:57 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Details...

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volcano

 

Volcanoes

The word volcano comes from the island of Vulcano in the Mediterranean Sea. Long ago people thought this island mountain was the chimney of the blacksmith forge of the Roman God Vulcan. The steam and ash that came out of the vent was a sign that Vulcan was working at his forge making weapons for Jupiter and Mars. In Hawaii and other Polynesian islands, local people once attributed volcanic eruptions to the Goddess Pele. They believed Pele was moving from island to island as she sought to escape her evil sister, Na Maka O Kaha'i, the goddess of the sea. Today, scientists understand that volcanic eruptions are surface reminders of Earth's still hot interior.

The ash cloud formed by the May 18, 1980, eruption at Mount Saint Helens, WA
The ash cloud formed by the May 18, 1980, eruption at Mount Saint Helens, WA. More images...
Sixty percent of all active volcanoes are found at crustal plate boundaries such as the Pacific Plate. Earth's crust, like the cracked shell of a hard-boiled egg, is broken into a number of "plates". These floating pieces of crust are moving about very slowly on the hotter interior. Where the plates are moving apart or colliding with one another, volcanoes may form. Volcanoes also form oceanic islands in the Pacific Ocean or Mediterranean Sea where "hot spots" occur in the crust and mantle.

Many kinds of volcanic activity can endanger the lives of people and property. Most of the activity involves the explosive ejection or flowage of rock fragments and molten rock. Volcanoes that erupt explosively can send particles as far as 20 miles high and many miles away from the volcano. The volcanic ash from these types of eruptions is a significant hazard to aviation. If an airplane flies into a volcanic cloud, it can lead to engine damage and malfunction and to many other kinds of aircraft damage. Volcanic eruptions near coastlines can generate damaging tsunami waves that can cause death and destruction among coastal communities. To ensure safe navigation and monitor possible climatic impact, NOAA records global historic volcanic eruptions, tracks volcanic ash eruptions affecting the United States, issues volcanic ash advisories and provides ash cloud forecasts. For more information on volcanoes, visit NOAA's Volcano website.



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Recent Volcano Observatory Activity Reports from USGS


Cleveland Daily Update issued Sep 22, 2014 12:57 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Elevated surface temperatures were observed at the summit over the past day. Web camera images were obscured by clouds. No significant activity noted in seismic data. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Sep 22, 2014 12:57 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Low-level eruptive activity may be continuing. Elevated surface temperatures were observed in the summit crater over the past day. Web camera images were obscured by clouds. No significant activity noted in seismic data. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Sep 22, 2014 09:00 Volcano Alert Level WARNING - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Activity Summary: Kīlauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Summit deflation slowed over the past day, and the lava lake level was relatively stable and low. At the middle East Rift Zone, the front of the June 27th flow slowed to a stop, but the flow remains active farther upslope within Kaohe Homesteads. Surface breakouts are also present closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. June 27th Lava Flow Observations: A Civil Defense overflight this morning found little advancement or activity along the ... Details...

Cleveland Daily Update issued Sep 21, 2014 12:42 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Elevated temperatures and minor steaming at the summit were seen in satellite and web camera imagery today. Seismicity remains low. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Sep 21, 2014 12:42 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Elevated temperatures at the summit were seen in satellite imagery today. Seismicity remains low. Low-level eruptive activity may be continuing. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Sep 21, 2014 09:31 Volcano Alert Level WARNING - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Activity Summary: Kīlauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Summit deflation occurred over the past day, with a slight drop in lava level. At the middle East Rift Zone, the June 27th flow is active within Kaohe Homesteads, and surface breakouts are also present closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active, with reduced activity at the flow front. A Civil Defense overflight this morning observed that the flow front has advanced only ... Details...


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