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Cascade Range Weekly Update
Friday, April 24, 2015 3:40 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

Monitoring stations proposed for upper flanks of Mount Hood.
April 23, 2015

The Mount Hood National Forest is accepting comments on a USGS–CVO proposal to install four volcano monitoring stations on the upper flanks of Mount Hood. The unmanned remote monitoring stations would be located in the Wilderness area, occupying a total of 105 square feet of land. The stations would be constructed with minimal impact on the environment and located away from trails.

While not erupting, Mount Hood shows signs that it is a functioning, active volcano. Mount Hood produces frequent earthquakes, and steam and volcanic gases are emitted in the area around Crater Rock near the summit. The USGS designated Mount Hood as a very high threat volcano in its 2005 National volcanic threat assessment due of the volcano's eruptive history, current activity and proximity to communities and infrastructure downstream and downwind. These proposed stations greatly enhance the ability of USGS–CVO to detect subtle geophysical signals beneath the volcano and determine with greater confidence whether or not the volcano poses any imminent threat of eruption. Additional information on this project and how to comment is available from the Mount Hood National Forest. Follow the links for more information on the Mount Hood volcano and the proposed monitoring stations.

CVO welcomes the public to an Open House on May 2, 2015.
April 12, 2015

The USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory opens its doors to the public on Saturday, May 2, for a one-day open house. Scientists will be on-hand from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm to share the results of their research and talk about volcano hazards. Hands-on activities and equipment demonstrations will be featured. Download the flyer to share others – .

Social media features daily posts of what was happening at Mount St. Helens 35 years ago.
March 20, 2015

The 1980 activity of Mount St. Helens began on March 20 with an intensifying swarm of earthquakes. The first steam-blast eruption occurred a week later, with high levels of seismic activity, formation of a summit crater, and deformation of the north flank of the volcano. This continued up to the climactic eruption on the morning of May 18. Follow the USGS scientists as the events unfolded in 1980, with daily posts about volcanic activity, pictures, and video on the USGS Volcanoes Facebook page.

In the Path of Destruction: Chronicling the experiences of eruption survivors.
March 20, 2015

Mount St. Helens' summit slid away on a sunny morning May 18, 1980, unleashing a powerful landslide and blast that flattened miles of forest, flooded valleys and sent an ash cloud high into the sky; 57 people were killed. Soon after the eruption, USGS–Cascades Volcano Observatory scientist Richard Waitt began interviewing witnesses and survivors. Initially, the project was to help scientists document volcanic phenomena, assess hazards, and learn from the mountain. It soon became clear however, that the stories added unique details to the hard data we scientists were gathering. After more than three decades and hundreds of interviews, these stories are published in Path of Destruction, Eyewitness Chronicles of Mount St. Helens — a new glimpse at a defining cataclysm in the region's history. Read more on Mount St. Helens' eruptive past.

New study quantifies populations at-risk in Washington State lahar-hazard zones.
February 18, 2015

Washington State lahar-hazard zones contain an estimated 191,555 residents, 108,719 employees at 8,807 businesses, 433 public venues that attract visitors, and 354 dependent-care facilities with individuals who will need assistance to evacuate during an emergency. Mount Rainier lahar-hazard zones contain the highest percentage of assets, followed by Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. Residential populations within lahar-prone areas increased between 1990 and 2010, mainly in the Mount Rainier lahar-hazard zone, with some communities doubling and tripling their at-risk population. Many of these new residents may be unaware of the lahar threat. This study quantifies potentially at-risk populations, to aid emergency managers, local officials, and the public in understanding the hazards and in developing preparedness, mitigation, and recovery plans for affected communities. Read Variations in community exposure to lahar hazards from multiple volcanoes in Washington State (USA) online. Check the Simplified Hazard Maps to see Cascade Range volcano-hazard zones.

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