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More information from NOAA on volcanoes...

USGS Volcano Status Messages:
Cleveland Daily Update issued Apr 23, 2014 14:14 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Details...

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 Apr 23, 2014 14:14 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Satellite images obscured by clouds over the past day. Details...

Veniaminof Daily Update issued Apr 23, 2014 14:14 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Seismicity over the past day is slightly above background. Satellite and webcam images obscured by clouds over the past day. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Apr 23, 2014 14:14 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Satellite and webcam images obscured by clouds over the past day. No significant changes observed in seismic data. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Apr 23, 2014 07:59 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Activity Summary: The eruption continued at the summit and within the east rift zone with a brief period of increased activity within Pu`u `O`o crater. Yesterday morning, the summit tiltmeter network recorded the start of weak DI deflationary tilt and the level of the circulating summit lava lake subsequently dropped a few meters. At the middle east rift zone, Pu`u `O`o vents erupted a vigorous and brief lava flow that sped across the crater floor and onto the northeast flank of the cone before stalling; the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow may be diminished in vigor as a result of this ... Details...


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