Volcano Hazards Program

USGS operates five U.S. Volcano Observatories

Scientists performing monitoring duties in the Alaska Volcano Obser...

Scientists performing monitoring duties in the Alaska Volcano Observatory operations room.

(Credit: McGimsey, Game. Public domain.)

Volcano monitoring and research conducted at five U.S. volcano observatories advances our understanding of active volcanism and its impacts, and enables the USGS Volcano Hazards Program to provide information about and warnings of volcanic activity in the United States. Each observatory is assigned a geographic area of responsibility and issues formal notices of activity for volcanoes in those regions. The observatories and their partner organizations operate real-time volcano monitoring networks, disseminate forecasts and notifications of significant activity, assess volcano hazards, conduct scientific research into volcanic processes, and work with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions.

Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) covers volcanoes in Alaska from offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska. AVO is a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey, the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. The Scientist-in-Charge of AVO also coordinates the monitoring of volcanic activity in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. Territory. 

Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) staff in front of the CVO office...

Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) staff in front of the CVO office building in Vancouver, Washington, May 1, 2018

(Credit: Westby, Liz. Public domain.)

USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO) covers volcanoes in California and Nevada from the USGS offices in Menlo Park, California. 

USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) covers volcanoes in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and is located in Vancouver, Washington. CVO coordinates with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, headquartered at the University of Washington in Seattle to provide seismic monitoring of volcanoes in the region. 

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) covers volcanoes in the state of Hawaii and is located on the Island of Hawai‘i in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) covers the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field and its caldera. The YVO is a consortium of 8 organizations: U.S. Geological Survey, University of UtahYellowstone National ParkUNAVCO (a non-profit university-governed consortium), University of Wyoming, and the state geological surveys of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The Scientist-in-Charge of YVO also monitors volcanic activity in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

Image: The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Monitors Kilauea's Summit Eruption

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (foreground) is located on the caldera rim of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i—the most active volcano in the world.  The observatory's location provides an excellent view of summit eruptive activity, which began in 2008.

(Credit: Michael Poland, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain.)

Worldwide Volcanoes

Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) works internationally by formal invitation of host countries through the U.S. State Department. VDAP works with the host countries to prepare for, and respond to, volcano emergencies. VDAP is a joint program of USGS and U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and is headquartered at the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington. 

Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program offers detailed information about worldwide volcanoes.