"The National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) is a proposed national-scale effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Volcano Hazards Program and its affiliated partners in the Consortium of U.S. Volcano Observatories (CUSVO) (http://www.cusvo.org) to ensure that vol¬canoes are monitored at a level commensurate with the threats they pose. Roughly half of the Nation's 169 young volcanoes are dangerous because of the manner in which they erupt and the communities and infrastructure within their destructive reach. Most U.S. volcanoes are located on sparsely populated Federal lands, but it is the threat to communities and infrastructure downstream and downwind, including to military and commercial aviation, that drives the need to properly monitor volcanic activity and provide forecasts and notifications of expected hazards. Waiting until unrest escalates at a volcano then reacting to improve sparse monitoring arrays results in the loss of precious time and data as scientists, civil authorities, citizens, and businesses play 'catch up' with a dangerous force of nature. NVEWS is a proposal to address monitoring needs at potentially dangerous volcanoes that have inadequate ground-based monitoring or none at all and to move beyond a reactive approach to mitigating volcanic risk. The most hazardous volcanoes would be properly monitored well in advance of the onset of activity, making it possible for scientists to improve the timeliness and accuracy of hazard forecasts and for citizens to take proper and timely action to reduce risk."
Fact Sheet 2006-3142
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/