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Overlay represents area within CVO's jurisdiction.
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Cascade Range Weekly Update
Friday, November 17, 2017 1:18 PM US/Pacific
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

High-resolution digital elevation dataset available for Mount Baker.
November 22, 2017

Mount Baker was the focus of a lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) survey that returned high-resolution digital topographic data. These data provide a digital map of the ground surface beneath forest cover, revealing landforms that record the glacial and volcanic history with astounding clarity. The DEM (Digital Elevation Model) dataset and a hillshade image of Mount Baker are now available online in the USGS Data Release: "High-resolution digital elevation dataset for Mount Baker and vicinity, Washington, based on lidar surveys of 2015." The DEM must be opened by software that can read and process GIS data, but the hillshade zip file includes a .tif that can be opened by an image viewer.

Read more and download the data at High-resolution digital elevation dataset for Mount Baker and vicinity, Washington, based on lidar surveys of 2015.

Researchers generate bathymetric contour map of Castle Lake, Washington.
November 22, 2017

Researchers wrapped up a project at Castle Lake, near Mount St. Helens, mapping the lake bottom and refining measurements of lake volume and surface area. These data will be used in the numerical dam-break models that evaluate potential flood impact to communities downstream of Castle Lake, which include Kid Valley, Toutle, Castle Rock, Kelso, and Longview. While the 65-feet-tall mound of debris that blocked Castle Creek to form Castle Lake is tall enough to retain the lake, a concern remains about whether it is susceptible to other modes of internal failure during extreme hydrologic conditions or during a large earthquake.

The lake formed after South Fork Castle Creek was dammed by the debris avalanche from Mount St. Helens' May 18, 1980, eruption. Almost immediately after the 1980 eruption, the USGS, US Army Corps of Engineers and US Forest Service began evaluating the risk of Castle Lake catastrophically breaching the unconsolidated blockage. An emergency spillway was constructed in late 1980 to stabilize lake-surface elevation. The recent research allows for the computation of lake volume from near real-time lake elevation measurements from a monitoring station or from remotely sensed imagery, and to assess potential downstream hazards.

Read more in Bathymetric map and area/capacity table for Castle Lake, Washington, Open-File Report 2017-1145.

Geologic maps of pyroclastic-flow and related deposits of the 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens available in modern digital format.
November 02, 2017

While most people are aware of the big eruption on May 18, 1980, the volcano continued to have smaller eruptions on May 25, June 12, July 22, August 7, and October 16-18, 1980, that produced pyroclastic flows and other depositional features. USGS geologists were on the scene immediately following the eruptions to map Earth's newest surfaces created by these deposits.

The paper maps they created in 1990 are now available in a modern digital format for use in volcano research. The data release consists of attributed vector features, data tables, and the cropped and georeferenced scans from which the features were digitized, in order to enable visualization and analysis of these data in GIS software.

To read more about these maps and download the GIS data, visit Database for geologic maps of pyroclastic-flow and related deposits of the 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Washington.

Earthquake Swarm Occurring at Mount Hood
October 11, 2017

An earthquake swarm began near Mount Hood Monday night ~7 km (4.3 miles) south-southeast of the summit in the White River Valley, an area that commonly exhibits seismicity. It started October 9 at 19:51 UTC (12:51 PDT local) with the largest earthquake a M2.8 at 2:45 UTC on October 10 (1945 PDT on October 9). 14 earthquakes have been located by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) through October 11, all with depths of 7-8km (4.3 - 5 miles) below sea level.

Such swarms are common in the vicinity of Mount Hood, with the last swarm occurring in May 2016 (largest event M 2.9). Summaries of past swarms near Mount Hood can be found on the PNSN website and on the Mount Hood monitoring webpage.

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