Scientists Closely Watch Augustine Volcano

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Scientists Closely Watch Augustine Volcano

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KENAI, Alaska - Recent changes with the Augustine Volcano indicate that the activity the volcano is exhibiting now is less explosive than what occurred in January.

Scientists, however, are continuing to keep an eye on the Cook Inlet volcano. Activity at the volcano climbed to a new level last week.

Measurements and observations made on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday show the nature of the activity is less hazardous than the explosive activity the volcano exhibited in mid-January.

Increased levels of carbon dioxide measured in emissions and overflight observations indicate recent seismicity is tied to dome building rather than explosions.

"Now we're in a period of big dome growth," said Peter Cervelli, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Overflight observations and emissions measurements have found that the dome walls have accumulated more rock and that carbon dioxide levels have risen, indicating that the volcano is producing new magma. But new magma does not necessarily mean more explosions.

"Sometimes it comes out violently and sometimes it oozes out like a tube of toothpaste," Cervelli said. "And that's what it's doing right now."

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So as long as the lava continues to flow, they don't expect any big eruptions.
By YCON: posted on 18-3-2006

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