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More information from NOAA on volcanoes...

USGS Volcano Status Messages:
Kilauea Status Report issued Oct 24, 2014 15:56 Volcano Alert Level WARNING - Aviation Color Code ORANGE

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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

Kilauea Status Report issued Oct 24, 2014 15:56 Volcano Alert Level WARNING - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
HVO scientists completed a helicopter overflight of the June 27th lava flow early Friday afternoon and have been observing the flow from the ground throughout the day. Today's mapping shows that the lava flow has advanced 730 m (800 yd) over the past two days. The leading edge of the flow is moving downslope along two fronts: a narrow finger and a slower-moving and broader lobe that split from the narrow finger and is moving slightly to the SE. The narrow finger was 50 m (55 yd) wide at its leading edge, which was 135 m (150 yd) from Cemetery Road and advancing about 10 m (11 yd) per ... Details...

Katmai Weekly Update issued Oct 24, 2014 12:10 Volcano Alert Level NORMAL - Aviation Color Code GREEN
Strong winds in the Katmai area picked up loose 1912 volcanic ash and carried it east again this week on Thursday (10/23/14). AVO detected a cloud of resuspended ash blowing from the vicinity of Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes across and beyond Kodiak Island. The National Weather Service estimated the top of the plume at 4,000 feet (1,219 m) above sea level. This phenomenon is not the result of volcanic activity and occurs seasonally in the spring and fall during times of high winds and dry snow-free conditions in the Katmai area and other young volcanic areas of Alaska. No ... Details...

Cleveland Weekly Update issued Oct 24, 2014 12:10 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
No unusual activity was detected in partly cloudy satellite and webcam images from Cleveland volcano throughout the week. Seismicity remains at low levels. Details...

Shishaldin Weekly Update issued Oct 24, 2014 12:10 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Low-level eruptive activity likely continues at Shishaldin. Elevated surface temperatures were detected in satellite data on October 19 and 20. Small explosions were detected early in the week in seismic data. Low levels of volcanic seismicity were observed in seismic data throughout most of the week. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Oct 24, 2014 09:10 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. There was slight inflationary ground tilt at the summit, and there was no obvious net change in lava lake level. At the East Rift Zone, the leading edge of the June 27th flow moved at a rate of about 420 m/day (460 yd/day) yesterday, as measured between the Civil Defense morning overflight and HVO ground crew observations in the afternoon. Civil Defense reports that the flow front was approximately 250 yds from Apa`a St/Cemetery Rd in Pāhoa during ... Details...

Cascade Range Weekly Update issued Oct 24, 2014 10:04 Volcano Alert Level NORMAL - Aviation Color Code GREEN
Activity Update: All volcanoes in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington are at normal levels of background seismicity. These include Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams in Washington State; and Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters, Newberry, and Crater Lake in Oregon. Recent Observations: Activity remained at background levels for Cascade Range volcanoes during the past week although storms generated noise on monitoring systems. Field crews made instrument site visits to Mount Hood and Yellowstone. Details...

Pagan Weekly Update issued Oct 24, 2014 17:09 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Seismic, infrasound, and web camera data from Pagan Volcano are temporarily unavailable. A typical steam and gas plume was observed in some satellite images over the past week. Volcanic gas from Pagan may be noticed downwind of the volcano as a distinctive sulfurous odor. Additional information about volcanic gas and vog can be found on the web at this address: Access to the island may be restricted by the CNMI government. Contact the EMO for the latest information. Details...

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