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More information from NOAA on volcanoes...

USGS Volcano Status Messages:
Kilauea VAN/VONA issued Oct 1, 2014 17:42 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 VAN/VONA issued Oct 1, 2014 17:42 Volcano Alert Level WARNING - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
The June 27th flow remains active with a narrow flow moving about 30 m (100 ft) ahead of the previously stalled flow front and lava breakouts occurring from the lava tube about 8 km (5 mi) behind the flow front near where lava entered a crack system on August 18. The narrow flow front moved about 75 m/day (245 ft/day) since September 29, overtaking the stalled flow front during the past 24 hours. The leading edge is 2.3 km (1.4 miles) upslope from Apa`a St. and 3.3 km (2.1 mi) from Pāhoa Village Road, and approximately 16.4 km (10.2 miles) straight-line distance from the vent. Because ... Details...

Cleveland Daily Update issued Oct 1, 2014 14:35 Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY - Aviation Color Code YELLOW
No activity observed in mostly cloudy satellite or partly cloudy web camera images. Nothing significant noted in seismic or infrasound data. Details...

Shishaldin Daily Update issued Oct 1, 2014 14:35 Volcano Alert Level WATCH - Aviation Color Code ORANGE
Low-level eruptive activity is likely continuing. Strongly elevated surface temperatures were observed overnight in multiple satellite images. Seismic activity and airwaves continue at a low rate. No activity observed in partly cloudy web camera images. Details...

Kilauea Daily Update issued Oct 1, 2014 08:53 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. Inflationary ground tilt and a rise in lava level were recorded at the summit over the past day. At the middle East Rift Zone, the leading edge of the June 27th lava flow remains stalled, although scattered breakouts of lava are present near the lava flow front and at other places between the flow front and Puʻu ʻŌʻō. June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active. Based on observations from HVO ... Details...

Yellowstone Monthly Update issued Oct 1, 2014 12:28 Volcano Alert Level NORMAL - Aviation Color Code GREEN
Seismicity During September 2014, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports 71 earthquakes were located in the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) region. The largest event was a small earthquake of magnitude 3.2 on September 24, at 3:41 AM MDT, located about 9 miles south of Mammoth, YNP. There were no earthquake swarm sequences during the month of September. Yellowstone earthquake activity in September is at low background levels. Ground deformation Deformation in north-central Yellowstone continues, although the subsidence rate at the NRWY GPS station has ... Details...

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