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More information from NOAA on volcanoes...

USGS Volcano Status Messages:
Pavlof Weekly Update issued Jul 25, 2014 14:24 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


Pavlof Weekly Update issued Jul 25, 2014 14:24 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
No significant activity observed at Pavlof over the past week. Seismicity is very near or at background levels of activity, and satellite images show no signs of unrest. The eruption that began in late May, 2014 may be over, although pauses in eruptive activity are common at Pavlof. Details...

Semisopochnoi Weekly Update issued Jul 25, 2014 14:24 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Earthquakes continue to be recorded, but are decreasing in number and magnitude. Satellite observation continue to be hampered by cloud cover, but occasional clear views show no signs of unrest. AVO has received no reports from pilots or mariners of any unusual activity. Details...

Cleveland Weekly Update issued Jul 25, 2014 14:24 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Unrest continues but no eruptive activity observed over the past week. Satellite observations during clear periods show persistent elevated surface temperatures in the summit crater and typical steam/gas emissions. AVO has received no reports from pilots or mariners of any eruptive activity. Details...

Shishaldin Weekly Update issued Jul 25, 2014 14:24 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Low-level eruptive activity continues. Elevated surface temperatures continue to be observed in the summit crater under favorable viewing conditions. The observed temperatures are consistent with low-level lava spatter and/or very hot vent conditions. Lava remains confined to the summit crater, and trace dustings of ash have been observed at times over fresh snow in the immediate vicinity of the crater. No ash emissions have been observed in satellite data, and seismic activity continues at a very low level. These observations are consistent with those observed throughout the current eruption, ... Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Jul 25, 2014 07:25 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. There was no significant change in tilt recorded at the summit, and the lava lake level was mostly steady. At the middle East Rift Zone, lava flows continued to erupt from the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, spreading to the northeast. Recent Summit Observations: Summit tiltmeters recorded no significant change in tilt over the past 24 hours. The lava lake level was also relatively steady, hovering between 30 and 35 m ... Details...

Cascade Range Weekly Update issued Jul 25, 2014 09:26 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 at Cascade Range volcanoes has remained at background levels during the past week. This past Wednesday and Thursday evening, the Imaging Magma under St. Helens (of iMUSH) group set off 15 shots for an active seismic experiment to better ... Details...

Cascade Range Weekly Update issued Jul 25, 2014 09:25 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 at Cascade Range volcanoes has remained at background levels during the past week. This past Wednesday and Thursday evening, the Imaging Magma under St. Helens (of iMUSH) group set off 15 shots for an active seismic experiment to better ... Details...

Pagan Weekly Update issued Jul 25, 2014 08:18 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Low-level unrest continued at Pagan Volcano throughout the past week. A steam and gas plume was visible in web camera and satellite images during periods of clear weather. Low-level seismic activity is ongoing. 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: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/hazards/FAQ_SO2-Vog-Ash/main.html Access to the island may be restricted by the CNMI government. Contact the EMO for the latest information. Details...

Pavlof Daily Update issued Jul 24, 2014 10:52 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Satellite and web camera observations obscured by clouds. No significant activity noted in seismic data. Details...

Semisopochnoi Daily Update issued Jul 24, 2014 10:52 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Earthquakes continue to be recorded, but are decreasing in number and magnitude. Satellite observations obscured by clouds over the past day. AVO has received no reports from pilots or mariners of any unusual activity. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Jul 24, 2014 10:52 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Low-level eruptive activity continues. Satellite observations mostly obscured by clouds. No activity observed in web camera images during periods of clear weather. No significant activity noted in seismic data. Details...

Cleveland Daily Update issued Jul 24, 2014 10:52 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
Satellite observations obscured by clouds over the past day. AVO has received no reports from pilots or mariners of any unusual activity. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Jul 24, 2014 08:41 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. There was no significant change in tilt recorded at the summit, and the lava lake level was mostly steady. A rockfall from the Overlook crater rim triggered a small explosive event yesterday morning. At the middle East Rift Zone, lava flows continued to erupt from the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, spreading to the northeast, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater subsided slightly. Recent Summit Observations: ... Details...


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