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Volcano Web Shorts 3: Seismology

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Volcano Web Shorts #3


Featuring Seth Moran

Seth Moran:

My name is Seth Moran, I’m a volcano seismologist and I work for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Cascades Volcano Observatory. One of the important parts of this job is satisfying the USGS’ mission of mitigating hazards, mitigating the effects of hazards. And so one of the primary ways that we do that is to provide warning to folks who are living in harms way or near volcanoes that might be impacted by an eruption.

At volcanoes when magma is moving through the earth it makes noise. It breaks rock, it moves the volcano and almost always there’s usually seismic unrest, that’s a part of that. And so the job of the volcano seismic network is to be able to detect all of the possible signs and symptoms that might be pointing towards magma moving toward the surface and getting closer to eruption.

One of the tools of volcano seismology is the seismic network. We need to have seismometers out in the field recording the signs and symptoms of the volcano that might or might not be restless. And so a seismic network typically consists of anywhere between one and twenty seismic sensors and one of the clear lessons over the last twenty or thirty years is the more sensors the better. And that gives you a lot more capabilities to do a better job of interpreting seismic signals. Those seismometers are out in the field; they’re attached to radio systems that are beaming the data back to our offices here or to the offices of our partners up at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.

One of the things that’s really, really exciting about working at an observatory is you have all these folks with different specialties, geologists, hydrologists, geophysicists, geochemists all coming together speaking a common language which is volcanoes and bringing their expertise to bear.


Title: Volcano Web Shorts 3: Seismology


USGS volcano seismologist, Seth Moran, describes how seismology and seismic networks are used to mitigate volcanic hazards.

Location: Vancouver, WA, USA

Date Taken: 5/10/2012

Length: 2:30

Video Producer: Stephen M. Wessells , U.S. Geological Survey

Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.

Additional Video Credits:

A Production of: USGS Volcano Hazards Program
USGS Office of Communications & Publishing

Produced by: Stephen M. Wessells

Executive Producers: John Ewert
Thomas Murray

Co-Producer: Carolyn Driedger

On-Camera Expert: Seth Moran

Camera: Richard Lyons

Editor: Haydon Lane

Additional Photographs & Video: USGS Numerous

Post-Production Assistant: Jennifer Weible

Graphics: Lisa Faust


For more information go to: Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) Site

File Details:

Suggest an update to the information/tags?

Tags: BeamingData Magma MitigateHazards PacificNorthwestSeismographicNetwork SeismicNetwork SeismicUnrest Seismologist Seismology Seismometer USGS VolcanicHazards Volcanoes eruption volcano


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