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Overlay represents area within CVO's area of responsibility.
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Cascade Range Weekly Update
Friday, January 30, 2015 1:49 PM
 Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
 Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
Cascades Volcano Observatory's mission
The U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory strives to serve the national interest by helping people to live knowledgeably and safely with volcanoes in WA, OR, and ID.

HOT STUFF   (archive)
Young Volcanoes in WA, OR & ID1

Landslide mobility and hazards: implications of the 2014 Oso disaster
January 09, 2015

The large landslide that occurred on March 22, 2014 near Oso, Washington, was unusually mobile and destructive. Eighteen million tons of sediment slid downslope and crossed the half-mile wide river floodplain in about 1 minute with devastating consequences to the local community. A major focus of USGS researchers has been to understand the landslide's behavior. This published study reveals that the collapsing material compressed already-unstable wet sediment to produce liquefaction and decreased friction, leading to the landslide's high mobility. Numerical simulations indicate that the landslide process at Oso could have unfolded very differently (with much less destruction) if initial conditions had been only subtly different. Understanding of the Oso event adds to the knowledge base that can be used to improve future landslide hazard evaluations. Read Landslide mobility and hazards: implications of the 2014 Oso disaster and watch the computer simulations online.

What if Mount St. Helens erupted today? Ash3d models the path of an ash cloud.
January 09, 2015
Ash cloud simulation for Mount St. Helens. (Click image to view full size.)

Falling ash, even in low concentrations, can disrupt human activities hundreds of miles downwind of a volcano, and drifting clouds of fine ash can endanger jet aircraft thousands of miles away. The economic effects of airborne volcanic ash were demonstrated during the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, when flight cancellations and delays throughout Europe caused billions of dollars in economic loss to airlines and travelers. The most effective way to reduce risk from dispersed volcanic ash is to forecast where it will go and what areas it will affect. A computer model called Ash3d uses current wind speed and directional data along with eruption characteristics to plot the potential path of an ash cloud. See today's computer simulations for hypothetical eruptions at Mount St. Helens and read more about Ash3d.

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