Volcano Hazards

U.S. Volcanoes and Current Activity Alerts

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There are 161 potentially active volcanoes in the U.S. The mission of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program is to enhance public safety and minimize social and economic disruption from volcanic unrest and eruption. We accomplish this by delivering effective forecasts, warnings, and information about volcano hazards based on scientific understanding of volcanic processes.


Date published: December 6, 2021

Arsenic in Yellowstone’s thermal waters

Yellowstone’s thermal waters are more than just hot—they also contain a variety of elements, some of which are potentially toxic!  Arsenic is an example, but the concentrations of this element depend on the style of the thermal feature.  Perhaps paradoxically, acidic thermal features contain much less arsenic than neutral ones!

Date published: December 2, 2021

Volcano Watch — A cloud of ten thousand points: terrestrial laser scanning of Halemaʻumaʻu

Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) largely rely on aerial data collection for making maps of ongoing eruptions at Kīlauea. Most commonly, scientists collect a series of overlapping aerial photos (optical or thermal). 

Date published: November 29, 2021

Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – November 29, 2021

The ongoing eruption at Kīlauea's summit began at 3:21 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021. Lava activity is currently confined within Halema'uma'u crater. Gas emissions and seismic activity at the summit remain elevated. HVO field crews—equipped with specialized safety gear—monitor the eruption from within the closed area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with NPS permission.

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