The USGS Alert System predicts when roaring volcanic eruptions will occur on their mountain peaks

MIn the 42 years since Mount St. Helens’ eruption over Washington in 1980 in 1980, more than 120 volcanic eruptions took place in the United States. They have killed 57 people and caused more than $1 billion in property damages. Although almost none were catastrophic, their mere existence could have an impact. human activitiesEven better! economiesMany miles. All together The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has determined161 active volcanoes geologically in 14 US states and territories. One third of them pose “high” to “very high” dangers to surrounding communities. Another 58 are nationwide It is classified as under-observed. The agency has five volcano-monitoring stations on the west coast, in order to monitor all but those most dangerous. Volcano risk programme. Each year, approximately 60 volcanoes erupt, including Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

Mauna loa, which has slept for 38 years, I woke up late Sunday nightFor the eighth consecutive time since 1843. It stated that “The pyroclastic flow does not threaten any slope communities and all indications point to the Northeast Rift Zone being the next eruption.” Monday’s red alert update from the USGS Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO). Volcanic gas, possibly fine ash and Pele’s hairIt can be carried downwind. Residents at risk from Mauna Loa volcanic flows should review their preparedness and refer back to County of Hawaii Civil Defense information for further guidance. This week’s eruption is certainly mild compared to the 2018 Kīlauea volcano event that destroyed 700 homes and spewed ash 3,000 meters into the atmosphere. It disrupted air traffic patterns.

Although lava is the main focus of attention, volcanoes can also ruin your week with fire or brimstone (literally). Volcanic Ash can travel miles into the stratosphere before it lands back in place. It exacerbates chronic lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema; Carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfur Gather in low areas to suffocate the unwaryThe seismic shifts created by the initial blast can cause landslides and tsunamis as well as major blackouts.

“Unlike many other natural disasters… volcanic eruptions can be predicted long in advance if there are sufficient instruments in the ground that allow early detection of disturbances, providing time to mitigate the worst of their effects,” David Applegate, USGS Associate Director of Hazards natural, Before a House subcommittee in 2017.

as such Eos The Journal notes that no one died as a result of the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, due in large part to the efforts of observers at HVO. But, Threat assessment 2018It found that only three volcanoes were listed as “very severe” threats out of 18 – Mauna Loa, St. Helens. Long Valley CalderaIt was rated “well managed” when the volcanic eruption took place.

On the same day that Kīlauea blew its summit, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved it s 346And create National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System (NVEWS). The House passed its version, which was PL116-9/S.47, in March. It was then renamed John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. Not unlike New California shakeAlertNVEWS is an Earthquake Early Warning Scheme. It combines and standardizes (Often outdated) volcano monitoring devices operated by both government agencies and academic institutions in a unified system“To ensure that the most dangerous volcanic eruptions are properly monitored at the onset of activity.”


“Improvements in volcano monitoring networks allow the USGS to detect volcanic disturbances as early as possible,” said Tom Murray, director of the USGS Volcanology Center. 2018 USGS Release. “This gives forecasts and warnings about dangerous volcanic activity more time to be issued, and gives at-risk communities more preparation time.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R.AK) sponsored the NVEWS Act. This Act allocates $55 Million annually between 2019- 2023 to provide better eruption predictions. She increased partnerships with local governments, and proactively shared data with the volcanology community. It also seeks to augment the staff and systems—from broadband seismometers, infrasound arrays, and real-time continuous GPS receivers, to streaming webcams, satellite monitoring and volcanic gas sensors—to monitor volcanoes 24/7, and create Grant system to promote volcanology research.

Lots of words and numbers


The USGS categorizes volcanic threats based upon the risk they pose to public safety and property. It basically determines how likely a volcano is to be destroyed relative to the number and severity of the people and objects that may be affected by it. The USGS assigns numeric values ​​to a file 24 different risk factors and exposuresEach volcano is then combined to calculate an overall threat score. This score is divided into five levels (like DEFCONs!) You can get very high and very good coverage for more detailed monitoring. Moderate threat volcanic eruptions still receive real time monitoring but are not subject to any sort of monitoring. Tommy Lee Jones stands ready to intercedeAs required, low (and very low), are checked. When the USGS presented its second annual NVEWS Report to Congress in May 2022, The USGS spent just under halfOf the funds earmarked in fiscal year 2021, funds were earmarked for activities like generation network installation. Lahar detection systemMount Rainier: Telemetry upgrade of more then two dozen observation posts in Alaska, Washington, California, Hawaii, and Oregon.

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