New monitoring stations within Mount Hood Wilderness will help us know if and when the volcano will erupt.
The USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and Mount Hood National Forest, will install and maintain four new volcano monitoring stations on the flanks of Mount Hood, all located within the Mt. Hood Wilderness boundary. The monitoring stations are intended to provide USGS scientists with real-time, early, and adequate warnings of any changes in earthquake size and frequency, volcanic gas emissions, and ground movement that may signal an increase in volcanic activity on Mount Hood.
The stations will improve CVO's ability to detect subtle signals that can indicate volcanic unrest, earlier and with greater confidence than current capabilities allow.
Mount Hood is an active volcano. It continues to be designated as a very high threat volcano by the USGS in the 2018 update to the National Volcanic Early Warning System (NVEWS) assessment of volcanic threat because of how it erupts and the communities within its reach.
Effective volcano monitoring requires a robust network of instruments that are located at many elevations around the flanks of the volcano. Additionally, these stations need to be in place before significant unrest occurs in order to catch the earliest subtle signals of rising magma. USGS–CVO and its partners currently operate ten monitoring stations near Mount Hood. The four new stations will be within 3 miles of the summit of Mount Hood. The stations fill gaps in the monitoring network on the upper flanks and near the summit area and greatly increase the ability of USGS-CVO to carry out its responsibility to provide timely notification and warning of volcanic activity.
Consideration of public comments led to adoption of a final decision.
The Mount Hood Forest Service accepted comments on the proposal to install the four new monitoring stations and a final decision was issued August 16, 2019. Visit the USFS Mount Hood Wilderness website for more information about the public comment process and to read the final decision.
Resources for Further Information
- The 2018 update to the USGS national volcanic threat assessment.
- Volcano Hazards Program website information for the National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS)
- An Assessment of Volcanic Threat and Monitoring Capabilities in the United States: Framework for a National Volcano Early Warning System—USGS Open-File Report 2005-1164
- Instrumentation Recommendations for Volcano Monitoring at U.S. Volcanoes Under the National Volcano Early Warning System—USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2008–5114
- Email subscription service for volcano activity updates—Volcano Notification Service
- Volcano hazards information and simplified hazard maps—Cascades Volcano Observatory regional hazards website
- Preparedness information for heightened volcanic activity