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More information from NOAA on volcanoes...

USGS Volcano Status Messages:
Semisopochnoi Daily Update issued Sep 1, 2014 12:39 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


Semisopochnoi Daily Update issued Sep 1, 2014 12:39 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Earthquakes continue to be recorded at Semisopochnoi, but the rate of activity is nearly at background levels. Nothing was observed in cloudy satellite images over the past 24 hours. Details...

Cleveland Daily Update issued Sep 1, 2014 12:39 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
A thermal feature was observed at the summit of Cleveland Volcano in several clear satellite images over the past 24 hours. Clear web camera views of the volcano today showed nothing unusual. AVO has received no reports of activity over the past 24 hours. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Sep 1, 2014 12:39 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Low-level seismic activity is continuing but has changed little over the past 24 hours. Nothing unusual observed in mostly clear satellite and web camera images over the past 24 hours. Uncertain if low-level eruptive activity in the crater is continuing. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Sep 1, 2014 09:13 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Activity Summary: Kīlauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Slow inflation switched to slow deflation at the summit, and the lava lake level was relatively stable. At the middle East Rift Zone, the front of the June 27th flow spilled into another ground crack, and surface breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active. During a Civil Defense flight this morning, the farthest part of the flow, which had ... Details...

Semisopochnoi Daily Update issued Aug 31, 2014 13:13 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Earthquakes continue to be recorded at Semisopochnoi, but the rate of activity is nearly at background levels. Nothing was observed in cloudy satellite images over the past 24 hours. Details...

Cleveland Daily Update issued Aug 31, 2014 13:13 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
The summit of Cleveland Volcano has been mostly obscured by clouds and nothing was observed in satellite or web camera views. AVO has received no reports of activity over the past 24 hours. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Aug 31, 2014 13:13 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Low-level seismic activity is continuing but has changed little over the past 24 hours. A small steam plume was observed in mostly cloudy satellite images over the past 24 hours. Web camera views of the volcano obscured by clouds. AVO has received no reports of unusual activity at the volcano. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Aug 31, 2014 09:29 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Activity Summary: Kīlauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Slow inflation continued at the summit, and the lava lake level rose slightly in response. At the middle East Rift Zone, the front of the June 27th flow continued advancing northeast, and surface breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active, with continued advancement of the flow front towards the northeast. The farthest portion of the June ... Details...


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