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   Augustine will erupt soon, experts say
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   Autor  Beitrag: Augustine will erupt soon, experts say  (Gelesen: 2254 mal)

leave the comforts behind !

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Augustine will erupt soon, experts say
( Datum: Januar 1st, 2006 um 1:23:03pm)
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HOMER -- It's been a quiet week at Augustine Volcano. But scientists don't think prospects for a major eruption have changed. In fact, their mathematical models say it's likely magma has already risen above sea level on its way up the core of the 4,134-foot island volcano in Cook Inlet.

Tremors registered by seismometers on the island diminished during the past week, the Alaska Volcano Observatory said Friday. But seismic signals rose and fell that way in the weeks before the volcano's last eruption in 1986, said Game McGimsey, a U.S. Geological Survey volcanologist with the observatory.

In 1986, the island blew off steam and then trembled for eight weeks before finally producing an explosive eruption, McGimsey said. It's been barely three weeks since the first steam burst from Augustine this time, he said.

Elevated seismic signals began to be picked up from Augustine last May, and in November they increased to the point at which volcanologists raised their level of vigilance to code yellow. The volcano is 75 miles southwest of Homer.

Augustine has been socked in by clouds and darkness most of the week, providing few visual clues. Instruments have picked up a few minor steam bursts every day.

In addition to increased seismic signals and steam bursts, scientists have recorded sulfur dioxide in the air over the volcano and recorded new hot spots on the mountain with infrared cameras -- all signs of a possible coming eruption.

The volcano began to inflate slightly during summer, according to Global Positioning Sytem sensors on the island. The most likely explanation for this and related changes is that magma is rising inside the mountain, the volcano observatory says on its Web site.

Mathematical models suggest the magma may be as high as 1,000 feet above sea level and inflating at the rate of 1,000 cubic meters a day, the observatory said.

Meanwhile, the observatory downgraded the vigilance code for Veniaminof Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula from yellow to green Friday. Minor ash emissions and trembling in early November triggered a yellow alert for the volcano near the village of Perryville, but seismicity has been at background levels for several weeks, scientists said.

nice image of the volcano:


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