When a volcano erupts, there can be global ripples caused by interruptions of air travel, agriculture, and tourism. One way to keep everyone secure is to ensure that volcano observatories around the world have the expertise and resources to detect and forecast volcanic activity, and can provide useful warnings and messages used by both local and global populations.
Two scientists from the USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP is funded largely by USAID) penned a short overview of ways that different entities such as academia, governments, NGOs, and the global insurance industry can work together to bolster global resilience to volcanic disasters through support of front-line science institutions, like volcano observatories.
The article, Volcano observatories reduce risk around the globe. Here's how we can support them, delves into topics such as infrastructure donation, research and operational motives, and training of observatory staff, while maintaining the key goal of supporting the autonomy and authoritative role of the local observatory.
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Scientists within the USGS Volcano Hazards Program operate from within five U.S. volcano observatories. One of the primary goals of the observatories is to be an authoritative source for enlightening information about our Nation's volcanoes.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), the oldest of the five, has a long history of writing regular articles about volcanic activity and scientific research on the Hawaiian volcanoes. HVO's weekly article, "Volcano Watch," entered its 27th year of publication in November 2017. The entire catalog of articles can be accessed and searched on their website. New articles are published every Thursday afternoon.
Taking lead from HVO, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), the newest of the five observatories, began a weekly article on the first day of 2018. This new column—the "Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles"—is posted each Monday on the homepage of YVO's website . Like HVO's Volcano Watch series, the YVO Chronicles are peer-reviewed and edited before publication.
If you are interested in learning more about a specific topic related to Yellowstone or Hawaiian volcanism, please contact us. We will certainly answer, and you may see a longer-winded answer in a future Volcano Watch or Yellowstone Caldera Chronicle article.