Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5114
As magma moves toward the surface, it interacts with anything in its path: hydrothermal systems, cooling magma bodies from previous eruptions, and (or) the surrounding “country rock.” Magma also undergoes significant changes in its physical properties as pressure and temperature conditions change along its path. These interactions and changes lead to a range of geophysical and geochemical phenomena. The goal of volcano monitoring is to detect and correctly interpret such phenomena in order to provide early and accurate warnings of impending eruptions. Given the well-documented hazards posed by volcanoes to both ground-based populations (for example, Blong, 1984; Scott, 1989) and aviation (for example, Neal and others, 1997; Miller and Casadevall, 2000), volcano monitoring is critical for public safety and hazard mitigation. Only with adequate monitoring systems in place can volcano observatories provide accurate and timely forecasts and alerts of possible eruptive activity.
At most U.S. volcanoes, observatories traditionally have employed a two-component approach to volcano monitoring: (1) install instrumentation sufficient to detect unrest at volcanic systems likely to erupt in the not-too-distant future; and (2) once unrest is detected, install any instrumentation needed for eruption prediction and monitoring. This reactive approach is problematic, however, for two reasons.
For these two reasons, change from a reactive to a proactive volcano-monitoring strategy is clearly needed at U.S. volcanoes. Monitoring capabilities need to be expanded at virtually every volcanic center, regardless of its current state of unrest, with particular emphases on real-time data transmission and increasing the diversity, quality, and quantity of instrumentation at U.S. volcano observatories. In this report, we present recommendations for the types and numbers of instruments that should be deployed to monitor U.S. volcanoes. These recommendations are the result of discussions among members of a panel of government- and university-based scientists about the status and future directions of volcano monitoring, with discussions framed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)’s National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) initiative (Ewert and others, 2005).
Posted: August 13, 2008
This report is available only on the Web.
For additional information contact:
This report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.
Moran, S.C., Freymueller, J.T., LaHusen, R.G., McGee, K.A., Poland, M.P., Power, J.A., Schmidt, D.A., Schneider, D.J., Stephens, G., Werner, C.A., and White, R.A., 2008, Instrumentation recommendations for volcano monitoring at U.S. volcanoes under the National Volcano Early Warning System: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5114, 47 p.
Boreholes and Borehole Instrumentation