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May 13, 2021

Status of (mostly) WA Volcanoes: Report to Emergency Managers 2020-21

Jon Major, scientist-in-charge of the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, provides an overview of the major volcano hazards in the Cascades, the function and responsibilities of the Cascades Volcano Observatory, and a brief synopsis of what's been going on at Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Hood, and CVO’s plans in coming

April 20, 2021

Mitigating Hazards at Cascade Range Volcanoes

The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens was monumental in so many different ways. It had a huge impact on the geography of southwestern Washington, ash affected many people, lives were lost, and lessons were learned. The eruption also led to the creation of the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington. Seth Moran talks about three of CVO’s mission areas—

April 6, 2021

CVO Monitoring Program: Keeping an Eye on Cascade Volcanoes

The good news is that volcanoes usually change behavior before they erupt, in ways that are detectable by monitoring instruments. During times of relative quiet, scientists use different sensors and instruments to help visualize and quantify the structures and processes that are occurring beneath a volcano so they can provide a better estimate of what might happen when a

March 23, 2021

Volcano Hazard Maps: Past, Present, and Future

Throughout most of human existence, we haven't known much about how volcanoes work. Because of their immense power, they have terrified and fascinated us, and remain places of great spiritual importance for many people. The lack of knowledge about volcanoes has sometimes resulted in tragic and deadly disasters. But with the emergence of the science of volcanology and as

4 images showing boxes of equipment with wires being put into the ground in a forest setting.
October 31, 2020

Scientists installing a lahar monitoring station.

Lahar monitoring equipment is housed in a secure box with multiple types of instruments to detect approaching lahars.  

Geophysicist checks data output at Mount Rainier station
October 9, 2020

Geophysicist checks data output at Mount Rainier station

A seismologist with the Cascades Volcano Observatory checks the data output on a newly installed monitoring station at Mount Rainier.

Station PARA at Mount Rainier
October 8, 2020

Mount Rainier's seismic and infrasound station PARA

Seismic and infrasound station PARA, installed October 6-8, 2020 at Mount Rainier.

NAGT intern installs an infrasound array at Mount Rainier
October 6, 2020

NAGT intern installs infrasound sensors at Mount Rainier

NAGT intern Emily Bryant installs one of three infrasound sensors at volcano monitoring station PARA, at Mount Rainier.

Geophysicist takes notes after installing a seismometer at Mount Rainier
October 6, 2020

A geophysicist notes location of new seismometer at Mount Rainier

A geophysicist from the Cascades Volcano Observatory notes the location of a newly buried seismometer at station PARA, on Mount Rainier.

June 19, 2020

Lahar Detection System Developments at Mount Rainier

The video describes USGS efforts to improve lahar (mudflow) monitoring at Mount Rainier, an ice-clad volcano in Washington State with potential for dangerous volcanic mudflows. The presentation was given to colleagues in the US and in Ecuador by Andy Lockhart. Andy is a geophysicist with the the USGS/USAID Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, and he has worked to reduce

Geophysicist works at station PR05, part of the Mount Rainier lahar detection network.
June 19, 2020

Station PR05 is part of the Mount Rainier lahar detection network.

USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory geophysicist Rebecca Kramer works on station PR05, which is part of the Mount Rainier lahar detection network (Mount Rainier is pictured in the distance). The purpose of the site visit was to upgrade the power system and deploy infrasound equipment. 

Depth of earthquakes at Mount Rainier 2010 to 2019
December 19, 2019

Mount Rainier: Earthquakes in the Hydrothermal System

Earthquakes at Mount Rainier from 2010 to 2019. As shown in the graphic, fluids from the magmatic system beneath the volcano rise through existing cracks and weaknesses in the crust. Along with rainwater and ice/snow melt, these fluids combine to create a hydrothermal system within the volcano. When pressurized fluids move along faults in the shallow subsurface, they