USGS lifts yellow warning on 6 active volcanoes in US for ‘high unrest’


the USGS issued code yellow and advisory for six volcanoes everywhere in the country they watch; the USGS says these volcanoes “show evidence of increased disturbance beyond known background levels.”

Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, and Kilauea, Great Sitkin, Gareloi, Semisopochnoi and Cleveland are among the six volcanoes on maximum alert. While Mauna Loa and Kilauea are found on the Big Island of Hawaii, the rest of the yellow-coded volcanoes are all found in Alaska.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Monitoring of active volcanoes

Volcano

(Photo: Getty Images)

The USGS is potentially monitoring 169 active volcanoes in the United States, the majority of which are in Alaska. However, Alaska has many volcanoes; there are more than 130 volcanoes and volcanic fields active over the past 2 million years.

Since the mid-1700s 50 have been active and the AVO is reviewing them as well. Hawaii is another region known for its volcanoes; Kilauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai are active and possible dangers on the Big Island of Hawaii, but none are erupting.

the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory (HVO) monitors Hawaii’s volcanoes. There’s also the California Volcano Observatory, Cascades Volcano Observatory, and Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

None of the other observatories report unusual activity or evidence of anything other than background noise. Kilauea began a new eruption in December 2020.

Thousands of active volcanoes

Satellite photo of Mt.  Pinatubo

(Photo: Photo by Spaceimaging.com/Getty Images)

According to the USGS, approximately 1,500 potentially active volcanoes around the world, of which approximately 500 have erupted during historical periods. The majority of the world’s volcanoes are found in the Pacific Rim’s “Ring of Fire”.

The Ring of Fire is an area on the edge of the Pacific Ocean that has experienced several volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Plate tectonics cause the displacement, confrontation and / or destruction of lithospheric plates under and around the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the seismic activity known as the Ring of Fire.

Related article: Study Shows How Volcanism Could Have Affected Earth’s Worst Mass Extinctions

Warning codes

The USGS and volcanic observation units are responsible for issuing aviation codes and volcanic activity alert levels in the United States.

Green indicates usual activity associated with a non-eruptive state, yellow indicates increased restlessness above known levels. The color of a volcano changes from red to orange when it experiences increasing or increasing instability.

Finally, the code turns red when an eruption is imminent, with significant emissions of volcanic ash expected into the atmosphere or when an eruption is in progress. Significant volcanic ash emissions are expected into the atmosphere.

The activity of Normal volcanoes, advise, monitor and warn are the four levels of alert. If the data is inadequate, it is simply classified as “unassigned”, as with aviation codes. It is considered normal when the volcano is operating at normal background levels under non-eruptive conditions.

An advisory is issued if the volcano shows symptoms of increased disturbance above background level. A watch is issued when a volcano shows signs of increased or increasing disturbance, while a warning is issued when a dangerous eruption is imminent.

Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa volcano

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The next volcano to erupt in the United States could be Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the the biggest in the world. Although an eruption of Mauna Loa is not imminent, now is the time to reassess personal preparations for the eruption, according to experts at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Having a blowout strategy in place ahead of time is similar to planning for the hurricane season. “

With a height of 13,681 feet above sea level, Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano in the world. Mauna Loa rises from the ocean floor of the central Pacific to a depth of about 3 miles.

However, the ocean floor just below Mauna Loa is lowered an additional 5 miles due to the massive mass of the volcano. According to the USGS, the summit of Mauna Loa is approximately 56,000 feet above its base; the massive volcano occupies half of the island of Hawaii, commonly referred to as the “Big Island of Hawaii”.

The eruptions of Mauna Loa create large, rapid lava flows that affect towns on the eastern and western flanks of the Big Island, from Kona to Hilo. Seven lava flows from Mauna Loa have threatened Hilo in eastern Hawaii since the 1850s. Additionally, lava flows from Mauna Loa have reached the coast on the south and west sides of the island eight times: in 1859 , 1868, 1887, 1926, 1919 and three times in 1950.

According to the USGS, while Mauna Loa is not currently erupting, rates of deformation and seismicity remain high above long-term background values.

Long-term, slow inflation of the summit, consistent with the magma supply to the volcano’s shallow storage system, was observed by GPS data. The slight increase in the inflation rate that began in January continued.

Read also: “Well to Hell”: an ancient pit discovered in the middle of the desert in Yemen

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