Remote volcano monitoring stations proposed for Hood Wilderness

The Mount Hood National Forest is accepting comments on a U.S. Geological Survey–Cascades Volcano Observatory proposal to install four volcano monitoring stations on the upper flanks of Mount Hood. The unmanned remote monitoring stations would be located in the Wilderness area, occupying a total of 105 square feet of land. These proposed stations would be constructed with minimal impact on the environment, located away from trails, and painted to blend in with the surroundings.

While not erupting, Mount Hood shows signs that it is a functioning, active volcano. Mount Hood produces frequent earthquakes, and steam and volcanic gases are emitted in the area around Crater Rock near the summit. These proposed stations greatly enhance the ability of USGS–CVO to detect subtle signals beneath the volcano and determine with greater confidence whether or not the volcano poses any imminent threat of eruption.

The USGS designated Mount Hood as a very high threat volcano in its 2005 National Volcanic Early Warning System assessment (pubs.us-gs.gov/of/2005/1164/) due to the volcano’s eruptive history, current activity and proximity to communities downstream and downwind. Seismic, GPS and volcanic gas data collected from the stations would be used as the basis for public communications and early warnings, to ensure the safety of adjacent communities as well as recreationists using the Wilderness and Forest.

The public is invited to comment on this proposal through April 27, 2015. Electronic comments may be submitted to comments-pacificnorthwest-mthood@fs.fed.us, or written comments can be sent to: MaryEllen Fitzgerald, Mt. Hood National Forest, 16400 Champion Way, Sandy, Oregon 97055 FAX: (503) 668-1423. Additional information on this project is available at www.fs.us-da.gov/projects/mthood/landmanagement/projects; information on the Mount Hood volcano is available at volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_hood/; information on Mount Hood monitoring stations is available at volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_hood/monitoring_stations.html.



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