ABSTRACT

National Volcano Early Warning System [December 7, 2021]   [open pdf - 600KB]

From the Document: "In 2019, Congress authorized a National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System (NVEWS; Section 5001 of P.L. [Public Law] 116-9; 43 U.S.C. [U.S. Code] 31k). The law directed the Secretary of the Interior to establish NVEWS to monitor volcanoes, warn U.S. citizens of volcanic activity, and protect citizens from 'undue and avoidable harm' resulting from volcanic activity. Congress is interested in a volcano early warning and monitoring system because the nation faces threats from many active volcanoes. In 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS, a bureau within the Department of the Interior) published an assessment of the volcanic threat, which indicated that better monitoring is necessary for effective warnings. The USGS volcanic threat assessment assigned five threat levels (very high, high, moderate, low, and very low) to 161 volcanoes in 14 states and U.S. territories (see Figure 1 [hyperlink]). The assessment ranked 18 volcanoes as very high and 39 as high threats. Eleven of the 18 very high threat volcanoes are in Washington, Oregon, or California; five are in Alaska; and two are in Hawaii. The assessment noted that the high- and moderate-threat volcanoes are mostly in Alaska and that the more explosive Alaskan volcanoes can affect national and international aviation. The volcano ranked as the highest threat is Kilauea, the Hawaiian volcano whose 2018 intense eruptions were accompanied by destructive lava flows and frequent earthquakes."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF11987
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2021-12-07
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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