Photo: US Geological Survey

One technique called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) can detect how much the ground moves up or down over a few months or years. InSAR data from west of South Sister.

Although they may appear to be slumbering peacefully, many of Oregon’s volcanoes are almost certain to reawaken in the future. We cannot say exactly when eruptions will occur, but science does help us monitor these volcanoes. By listening to the rumblings in their interiors and taking other vital signs, volcanologists use a variety of techniques to keep an eye on Oregon’s restless volcanoes.


In this window, learn how scientists use remote sensing, geophysics, petrology and geochemistry, and field work to take the pulse of Oregon’s volcanoes. You can also learn about Oregon’s various volcanic hazards and meet four of the dozens of scientists and students working with Oregon’s diverse volcanoes.


Digging Deeper: For more information, visit these websites:


DOGAMI Volcanic Hazards Page:


US Geological Survey (USGS) Volcano Hazards Program:


USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory Living with Volcanoes:


The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network monitors volcano and earthquake activity:


See a real time seismograph for many areas in the Pacific Northwest:


Oregon State University’s VIPER Group (Volcanology, Igneous Petrology, and Economic Research Group) supports many projects related to volcanoes in Oregon and around the world.


The National Science Foundation EarthScope Program (National Office at Oregon State University) has seismometers and GPS instruments around the United States that record signals from earthquakes and volcanic regions:


Want to study volcanoes like the scientists featured in the window?


Digging Deeper: For more information, give this sample of books a read:


Geology of Oregon, 5th Edition by Elizabeth L. Orr and William N. Orr (2000, Kendall/Hunt

[]) Professors at the University of Oregon, the Orr’s have been writing about Oregon’s geology for decades.


In Search of Ancient Oregon by Ellen Morris Bishop (2003, Timber Press

[]) Take a photographic journey through time and see Oregon’s ancient places.

Assembling Oregon
Geological Resources
Geology and People
Volcanoes of Oregon