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Forest Service proposes volcano monitors on Mount Hood

Four stations would occupy 105 square feet of land


The Mount Hood National Forest recently issued a preliminary assessment that analyzes the effects of a U.S. Geological Survey-Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS-CVO) proposal to install four volcano monitoring stations on the upper flanks of Mount Hood. 

The document describes the effects of the proposed action and no action alternatives.

The Forest Service said the unmanned remote monitoring stations would be located in the Wilderness area, occupying a total of 105-square-feet of land. The proposed stations would be constructed with minimal impact on the environment, located away from trails, and painted to blend in with the surroundings. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Proposed volcano-monitoring stations enhance the ability to detect subtle signals under the Mount Hood volcano and better determine if it poses an imminent eruption threat.

Mount Hood shows signs that it is a functioning, active volcano. It produces frequent earthquakes, and steam and volcanic gases are emitted in the area around Crater Rock near the summit. The USGS designated Mount Hood as a very high threat volcano in its 2005 National Volcanic Early Warning System assessment due to the volcano's history, activity and proximity to local communities.

Information on the Mount Hood volcano is available at volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_hood/

The forest service said the proposed monitoring stations 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.

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.

Information on the monitoring stations is available at volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_hood/monitoring_stations.html.

The public may review and comment on the preliminary assessment document. Electronic comments may be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or written comments can be sent to Kathy Mitchell, Mt. Hood National Forest, 16400 Champion Way, Sandy, OR, 97055 or faxed to 503-668-1423.

Additional information on this project and the document is available at fs.usda.gov/projects/mthood/landmanagement/projects.