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Volcano Science Center

Find U.S. Volcano

The Volcano Science Center is the primary center serving the mission of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program — to enhance public safety and minimize social and economic disruption from volcanic unrest and eruption. The center is home to the five US volcano observatories with offices in Anchorage, Alaska; Menlo Park and Mountain View, California; Vancouver, Washington; and Hilo, Hawaii.

News

Volcano Watch — A decade later, remembering the Pāhoa lava flow crisis

Volcano Watch — A decade later, remembering the Pāhoa lava flow crisis

Going, going, argon! Determining volcanic eruption ages with argon geochronology

Going, going, argon! Determining volcanic eruption ages with argon geochronology

Volcano Watch — Keeping up with Kīlauea

Volcano Watch — Keeping up with Kīlauea

Publications

Origins and nature of large explosive eruptions in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano, Hawaii: Insights from ash characterization and geochemistry

Several powerful explosive eruptions have taken place in the populated lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea within the past ∼750 years. These have created distinctive landforms, including a tephra rim enclosing Puʻulena Crater immediately south of the Puna Geothermal Venture power station, a tuff cone at Kapoho Crater near the eastern cape of the Island of Hawaiʻi, and a set of littoral cones, the Sand
Authors
Richard W. Hazlett, Johanne Schmith, Allan Lerner, Drew T. Downs, Erin P. Fitch, Carolyn E. Parcheta, Cheryl A. Gansecki, Sarah Spaulding

Explosive 2018 eruptions at Kīlauea driven by a collapse-induced stomp-rocket mechanism

Explosive volcanic eruptions produce hazardous atmospheric plumes composed of tephra particles, hot gas and entrained air. Such eruptions are generally driven by magmatic fragmentation or steam expansion. However, an eruption mechanism outside this phreatic–magmatic spectrum was suggested by a sequence of 12 explosive eruptions in May 2018 at Kīlauea, Hawaii, that occurred during the early stages
Authors
Joshua Allen Crozier, Josef Dufek, Leif Karlstrom, Kyle R. Anderson, Ryan Cain Cahalan, Weston Thelen, Mary Catherine Benage, Chao Liang

Earthquake cycle mechanics during caldera collapse: Simulating the 2018 Kīlauea eruption

In multiple observed caldera-forming eruptions, the rock overlying a draining magma reservoir dropped downward along ring faults in sequences of discrete collapse earthquakes. These sequences are analogous to tectonic earthquake cycles and provide opportunities to examine fault mechanics and collapse eruption dynamics over multiple events. Collapse earthquake cycles have been studied with zero-dim
Authors
Joshua Allen Crozier, Kyle R. Anderson

Science

Mining and mineralization of the Clear Lake region

The Geysers-Clear Lake area has been one of the most productive in the United States for mercury, and gold was mined in the late 1800s. Many of the deposits are directly associated with outcrops of early Clear Lake volcanic rocks.
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Mining and mineralization of the Clear Lake region

The Geysers-Clear Lake area has been one of the most productive in the United States for mercury, and gold was mined in the late 1800s. Many of the deposits are directly associated with outcrops of early Clear Lake volcanic rocks.
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Geology and History of Black Rock Desert Volcanic Field

Black Rock Desert volcanic field is the northernmost volcanic field in a belt of young volcanic fields beginning in the northern Grand Canyon of Arizona and continuing in a north-trending line through Utah. Part of the eastern Basin and Range Province, the Black Rock Desert volcanic field covers nearly 7,000 km2 (2,700 mi) and is 145 km (90 mi) long.
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Geology and History of Black Rock Desert Volcanic Field

Black Rock Desert volcanic field is the northernmost volcanic field in a belt of young volcanic fields beginning in the northern Grand Canyon of Arizona and continuing in a north-trending line through Utah. Part of the eastern Basin and Range Province, the Black Rock Desert volcanic field covers nearly 7,000 km2 (2,700 mi) and is 145 km (90 mi) long.
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Gas monitoring at Clear Lake Volcanic Field

The USGS periodically analyzes volcanic gases and hot springs at Clear Lake volcanic field during ground-based campaigns.
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Gas monitoring at Clear Lake Volcanic Field

The USGS periodically analyzes volcanic gases and hot springs at Clear Lake volcanic field during ground-based campaigns.
Learn More