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California Volcano Observatory

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As a part of the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program, the California Volcano Observatory aims to advance scientific understanding of volcanic processes and lessen the harmful impacts of volcanic activity in the volcanically active areas of California and Nevada. 

The U.S. Geological Survey California Volcano Observatory (USGS CalVO) was formed in 2012 and is headquartered in Menlo Park and Moffett Field, CA. It replaced the former Long Valley Observatory (LVO), which was established in 1982 to monitor the restless Long Valley Caldera and Mono-Inyo Craters region of Eastern California. CalVO now monitors these and other potentially hazardous volcanoes in California and Nevada to help communities and government authorities understand, prepare for, and respond to, volcanic activity. 

Sixteen young volcanoes designated as Low Threat to Very High Threat are dispersed throughout the State. Partially molten rock (magma) resides beneath at least seven of these—Medicine Lake Volcano, Mount Shasta, Lassen Volcanic Center, Clear Lake Volcanic Field, the Long Valley Volcanic Region, Coso Volcanic Field, and Salton Buttes— producing volcanic earthquakes(seismicity), toxic gas emissions, hot springs, and (or) ground movement (deformation).



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