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More information from NOAA on volcanoes...

USGS Volcano Status Messages:
Cleveland Daily Update issued Apr 20, 2014 11:36 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 20, 2014 11:36 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
No activity observed in satellite images during clear periods over the past day. Details...

Veniaminof Daily Update issued Apr 20, 2014 11:36 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Seismicity over the past day is slightly above background. Web camera images show typical steaming from the previously active cone. No activity observed in satellite images. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Apr 20, 2014 11:36 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Weakly elevated surface temperature in the summit crater observed during clear periods over the past day. Web camera images mostly obscured by clouds. No significant changes observed in seismic data. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Apr 20, 2014 07:16 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Activity Summary: The eruption continued at the summit and within the east rift zone with no significant changes. The summit tiltmeter network recorded the switch to weak DI inflationary tilt and the start of another weak DI deflationary tilt. The level of the circulating summit lava lake rose and fell with tilt. At the middle east rift zone, Pu`u `O`o vents continued feeding the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow whose active distal end was well behind its previous farthest reach. Gas emissions remained elevated. Recent Observations at Kilauea summit: The summit tiltmeters recorded the ... Details...

Cleveland Daily Update issued Apr 19, 2014 11:29 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Satellite observations partly obscured by clouds over the past day. No activity observed. Details...

Veniaminof Daily Update issued Apr 19, 2014 11:29 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Seismicity over the past day is slightly above background. Web camera images show typical steaming from the previously active cone. No activity observed in satellite images. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Apr 19, 2014 11:29 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Minor steaming observed in web camera images during clear periods over the past day. Satellite images show no evidence of eruptive activity. No significant changes observed in seismic data. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Apr 19, 2014 07:04 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Activity Summary: The eruption continued at the summit and within the east rift zone with no significant changes. The summit tiltmeter network recorded the start of weak DI deflationary tilt and the level of the circulating summit lava lake plummeted about 10 m. At the middle east rift zone, Pu`u `O`o vents continued feeding the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow whose active distal end was found to have retreated over the past 9 days. Gas emissions remained elevated. Recent Observations at Kilauea summit: The summit tiltmeters recorded the start of another, probably weak, DI ... Details...


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