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Cascades Volcano Observatory

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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 Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. 

News

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Monitoring stations detect small magnitude earthquakes at Mount Hood (December 8-13, 2023)

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Uptick in earthquake activity at Mount St. Helens remains within background levels (July 15, 2023-Present)

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Tonga’s Hunga eruption produced the most intense lightning ever recorded

Publications

Dynamics of magma mixing and magma mobilization beneath Mauna Loa – Insights from the 1950 AD Southwest Rift Zone eruption.

Eruptions from Mauna Loa’s Southwest Rift Zone (SWRZ) pose a significant threat to nearby communities due to high eruption rates and steep slopes resulting in little time for evacuation. Despite the large body of research done on Mauna Loa, knowledge of the timing and duration of magma residence and transfer through its internal plumbing system is still poorly constrained. This study presents a fi
Authors
Maren Kahl, Daniel J. Morgan, Carl Thornber, Richard Walshaw, Kendra J. Lynn, Frank A. Trusdell

Can lava flow like water? Assessing applications of critical flow theory to channelized basaltic lava flows

Flowing lava and water have dramatically different physical properties but can form similar hydraulic structures, including undular hydraulic jumps, or standing wave trains. In water flows, undular hydraulic jumps are evidence of critical flow (Froude number ∼1) and open-channel hydraulic theory provides a powerful tool for estimating flow depth and velocity. Monitoring these parameters in an acti
Authors
Hannah R. Dietterich, Gordon E. Grant, Becky Fasth, J. J. Major, Katharine V. Cashman

Mount St. Helens at 40

No abstract available. 
Authors
Jon J. Major

Science

Columbia River Basalt Group Stretches from Oregon to Idaho

The Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) is the youngest, smallest and one of the best-preserved continental flood basalt province on Earth, covering over 210,000 km2 of mainly eastern Oregon and Washington, western Idaho, and part of northern Nevada.
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Columbia River Basalt Group Stretches from Oregon to Idaho

The Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) is the youngest, smallest and one of the best-preserved continental flood basalt province on Earth, covering over 210,000 km2 of mainly eastern Oregon and Washington, western Idaho, and part of northern Nevada.
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The Boring Volcanic Field — Hills of the Portland Basin

Non-enthusiasts may consider the Boring Volcanic Field aptly named, but the title comes from its location, not from a lack of interesting characteristics.
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The Boring Volcanic Field — Hills of the Portland Basin

Non-enthusiasts may consider the Boring Volcanic Field aptly named, but the title comes from its location, not from a lack of interesting characteristics.
Learn More

Monitoring Cascade Volcanoes

Active volcanoes are complex natural systems, and understanding a volcano's behaviors requires the attention of specialists from many science disciplines. It demands a combination of current knowledge about magma systems, tectonic plate motion, volcano deformation, earthquakes, gases, chemistry, volcano histories, processes, and hazards.
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Monitoring Cascade Volcanoes

Active volcanoes are complex natural systems, and understanding a volcano's behaviors requires the attention of specialists from many science disciplines. It demands a combination of current knowledge about magma systems, tectonic plate motion, volcano deformation, earthquakes, gases, chemistry, volcano histories, processes, and hazards.
Learn More