Science Center Objects

As the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption showed, volcanoes pose significant threats to U.S. communities. Potential hazards posed by U.S. volcanoes include tephra falls, pyroclastic flows and surges, VOG, ballistic projectiles, lahar and lava flows. In collaboration with researchers from the USGS Volcano Hazards Program, the Hazards Vulnerability Team worked on better understanding and communicating community vulnerability to volcano hazards.

How many people live and work in volcano lahar-hazard zones?

We used geospatial tools to estimate the number and type of people, businesses, and land cover in the lahar-hazard zones downstream of Mount Rainier, Washington. In the report, communities are compared in terms of the number and community percentage of populations and assets in lahar-hazard zones. In a related article, we compare community exposure to lahar hazards and lahar arrival time to identify distinct clusters of types of community vulnerability to Mount Rainier lahar hazards.

Distribution of land-cover classes (by area) in the selected Mount Rainier lahar-hazard zone

Distribution of land-cover classes (by area) in the selected Mount Rainier lahar-hazard zone. (Public domain.)

In addition to residents and employees, who else may be in volcano hazard zones?

We examined the distribution of residents, employees, and tourists relative to volcano hazards associated with Mount Hood, Oregon to help Clackamas County officials in their risk-reduction efforts.

Trillium Lake with Mount Hood in the background

Trillium Lake with Mount Hood in the background. (Public domain.)