February 2013 marked the first year of successful volcano monitoring and preparing for possible volcanic eruption for the California Volcano Observatory (CalVO). At Long Valley Caldera, analysis of continuous GPS data over the first half of 2012 showed a modest inflationary pattern within the caldera; ground motion was directed upward and away from the caldera's center, with a maximum uplift rate between 2 and 3 cm/yr. In January of this year at Clear Lake Volcanic Field, a short-lived swarm of low-magnitude earthquakes was detected under the south flank of Mt Konocti.
CalVO also worked with other agencies this year to develop information to help people better understand and prepare for the potential for volcanic eruption. A statewide ash aviation plan was formulated in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, and the California Emergency Management Association. CalVO released the hazards assessment for Lassen Volcanic Center and helped to build an interactive exhibit at Lassen Volcanic National Park. The new exhibit, located at the Park's Loomis Museum, displays regional earthquake data and videos detailing the geologic processes that helped to form the volcanic landscape at Lassen.
Many of California’s young volcanoes pose a threat to people and property. Volcanic eruptions occur in the State about as frequently as our largest San Andreas Fault Zone earthquakes: ten eruptions have occurred in California in the last 1000 years.
To better prepare for volcanic events in the State, the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA), the USGS California Volcano Observatory, and the California Geological Survey are working together to produce the first ever Volcano Hazard Annex to the State Emergency Plan.
On February 12, 2013, a diverse group of state and federal stakeholders assembled at Cal EMA headquarters to discuss volcano hazards and identify State and Federal assets potentially at risk. Cal EMA’s new Volcano Annex will integrate hazard and socio-economic information in a format readily accessible to decision-makers at all levels of government.
Welcome to the new USGS California Volcano Observatory website! The USGS Volcano Science Center recently restructured observatory operations to optimize volcano monitoring, eruption forecasting, and hazard mitigation efforts throughout California. The new USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO), headquartered in Menlo Park CA, replaces 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.
Scientists at the five USGS volcano observatories research, monitor, and assess hazards at United States volcanoes and provide activity notifications and eruption warnings in the event of volcanic crises. The volcano monitoring responsibility of CalVO includes all potentially active volcanoes in California and Nevada. The Cascade Volcano Observatory (CVO), CalVO’s sister observatory in Vancouver, WA, oversees efforts at all potentially active volcanoes in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. CalVO and CVO share scientific expertise, administrative staff, and equipment, ensuring a strategic and cost efficient program of volcanic hazard mitigation.
Note: The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO in Menlo Park, CA) monitors volcanoes in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO in Anchorage, AK) oversees Alaskan volcanoes and those within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The oldest USGS volcano observatory, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO in Hawaii National Park, HI), is responsible for the state of Hawaii and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.