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On this day: the Mount St Helens eruption, 18 May 1980 18 May 2008

Posted by admin in anniversaries, eruptions, Mount St Helens, United States.
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May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. USGS Photograph taken on May 18, 1980, by Robert Krimmel.

On this day twenty-eight years ago, 18 May 1980, Mount St Helens in Washington State, USA, erupted in the most destructive and deadly volcanic eruption in United States history. Fifty-seven people were killed, over one billion dollars of economic damage done, and vast stretches of landscape laid waste by this cataclysmic event.

Global Volcanism Program: Mount St. Helens – summary information for Mount St Helens (1201-05-)
CVO Menu – Mount St. Helens, Washington – Cascades Volcano Observatory main page for Mount St Helens
CVO Menu – Mount St. Helens – May 18, 1980 – links to a large number of USGS publications and other resources dealing with the eruption
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument – an 110,000-acre area around the volcano, created ‘for research, recreation and education’
Mt St Helens – 25 Years Later – online feature from local Washington newspaper The Daily News, created in 2005 for the 25th anniversary of the eruption

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The Alaska Volcano Observatory 1988-2008 23 April 2008

Posted by admin in Alaska, anniversaries, volcano monitoring, volcanology.
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The Alaska Volcano Observatory is currently marking its twentieth anniversary, and a profile of the AVO appears today at AlaskaReport.com. Among other things it explains what a difference technology has made to volcano monitoring and hazard mitigation since the AVO was set up in 1988.

The last two decades have seen the development of satellite sensors that allow people to check for volcano hotspots several times a day, precise GPS receivers that enable scientists to watch volcanoes inflate and deflate, infrasound sensors that record sudden changes in air pressure during explosive eruptions, and the advent of a helpful tool called the Internet.

The article is written by Ned Rozell, a science writer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute (one of the partners behind the AVO).

Twenty years of the Alaska Volcano Observatory – AlaskaReport.com, 22 April 2008

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Capelinhos 1957-8: fifty years on 12 April 2008

Posted by admin in anniversaries, Fayal, history of volcanology, Portugal, volcano culture.
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Fifty years ago, between September 1957 and October 1958, a dramatic submarine eruption took place on Fayal island in the Azores. Fayal itself is a large stratovolcano with a wide caldera; the eruption took place on the west flank of the volcano, beginning at a point about 1 kilometre west of what was then the westernmost point of the island, and created the volcanic cone of Capelhinos which began as an island and is now a peninsula.

The eruption was one of the most closely-studied in the history of volcanology. It was also highly disruptive for the island’s population: vast amounts of ash were erupted, agriculture was ruined, hundreds of homes destroyed or rendered uninhabitable, and the economy of the island severely damaged. More than 2000 people were evacuated, many to begin new lives in the United States, where a sizeable Portuguese-American population traces its origins to the eruption and the subsequent relief effort today.

The story of Capelinhos is thus not only a scientific story but a profoundly human one as well. The fiftieth anniversary of the eruption is being marked in the Azores and mainland Portugal, and in the United States, with events and publications that reflect all aspects of this historic event.

Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program – summary information for Fayal (1802-01=)
Observatório Vulcanológico e Sismológico da Universidade de Açores – responsible for monitoring volcanism in the Azores (Portuguese)
Vulcão dos Capelinhos – website of the official commemorative commission for the Capelinhos fiftieth anniversary, in English (the Portuguese site is here)

Fifty years ago, a volcano changed everything – report from EastBayRI.com on the Capelinhos eruption and the evacuation, which brought many Azoreans to Rhode Island
Erupção do Vulcão dos Capelinhos foi há 50 anos – report on the anniversary from Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (Portuguese)
U.S.-Portugal relationship analyzed at Brown University – report from the U.S. newspaper for the Portuguese community O Jornal on an academic conference inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of Capelinhos (Portuguese language article here)
50th anniversary of the Capelinhos volcano in the Azores – speech by the American ambassador to Portugal, 27 September 2007, to mark the beginning of the 50th anniversary commemorative events

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Twenty years of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, 1988-2008 4 April 2008

Posted by admin in Alaska, anniversaries, volcano monitoring.
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The Alaska Volcano Observatory, established in 1988, is currently celebrating twenty years of volcano monitoring, research and hazard mitigation across Alaska and the North Pacific.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory – 20 Years of Partnership in Support of Public Safety and Volcano Science – USGS Press Release, 3 April 2008
Alaska Volcano Observatory – 20 Years of AVO – anniversary section of the AVO website

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1908 ascent of Mt Erebus recalled 10 March 2008

Posted by admin in anniversaries, Antarctica, Erebus, history of volcanology, volcano culture.
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On 10 March 1908 members of the British Imperial Antarctic Expedition (also known as the Nimrod Expedition) climbed the active Antarctic volcano Mount Erebus on Ross Island, the first people to make the ascent to the crater rim. The 100th anniversary of this achievement is being marked today at the Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory, which is run by New Mexico Tech at the very un-Antarctic location of Socorro, New Mexico.

Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program – summary information for Mount Erebus
MEVO – Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory
Antarctic Explorers: Ernest Shackleton – detailed biography, includes an account of the Nimrod Expedition

Erebus ascent recalled – Stuff.co.nz, 10 March 2008

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