Fire on the Mountain!   2 comments

Courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory

Here’s a volcano, warming up a bit…

Here’s the volcano, freaking out big time.  Come THUNDER!  Come LIGHTNING!  KILL THE WABBIT!

Those ash clouds?  They can really mess up aircraft big time.

AVO scientists also examine satellite data and work closely with the National Weather Service to detect and track volcanic ash plumes in the North Pacific region. Other elements of the observatory’s monitoring program include periodic observational overflights of the 40 potentially active Alaskan volcanoes. Some of these flights measure sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide gas emissions from the volcanoes, as unusually high levels of these gases often precede volcanic eruptions. Because a volcano’s past behavior provides important clues about possible future eruptions, AVO scientists are also conducting on-site geologic studies at Alaska’s volcanoes, collecting data and samples for later analysis.

The monitoring techniques described above have enabled AVO to anticipate several Alaskan eruptions hours to weeks in advance, including events at Redoubt Volcano (1989) and Mount Spurr (1992). In September 1996, newly installed seismometers at Pavlof Volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula, quickly detected the onset of an eruption, enabling AVO to promptly alert the aviation community.

The successes of AVO are examples of the progress that can be achieved through cooperative efforts among various organizations. The observatory’s work is making air travel safer by closely monitoring volcanoes in the North Pacific region and by rapidly alerting the aviation community to potentially dangerous ash clouds. In addition to active participation in AVO, the ongoing work of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program in the volcanically active regions of the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, California, and the Pacific Northwest, is helping to better protect people’s lives and property from volcano hazards.

Which is why a volcano monitoring system is actually, a pretty good idea, Bobby.  You think the governor of Louisiana would be a little more in tune with disaster preparation…

Here’s a nice photo of the same phenomena in Chile during a recent eruption:


Posted March 30, 2009 by padraic2112 in geology, science

2 responses to “Fire on the Mountain!

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  1. Amusingly, the METAR code for “smoke” is “FU.” Fitting.

  2. Cool volcano pictures! (I guess that should be hot volcano pictures)

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