System for ranking relative threats of U.S. volcanoes

Natural Hazards Review



A methodology to systematically rank volcanic threat was developed as the basis for prioritizing volcanoes for long-term hazards evaluations, monitoring, and mitigation activities. A ranking of 169 volcanoes in the United States and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (U.S. volcanoes) is presented based on scores assigned for various hazard and exposure factors. Fifteen factors define the hazard: Volcano type, maximum known eruptive explosivity, magnitude of recent explosivity within the past 500 and 5,000years5,000years, average eruption-recurrence interval, presence or potential for a suite of hazardous phenomena (pyroclastic flows, lahars, lava flows, tsunami, flank collapse, hydrothermal explosion, primary lahar), and deformation, seismic, or degassing unrest. Nine factors define exposure: a measure of ground-based human population in hazard zones, past fatalities and evacuations, a measure of airport exposure, a measure of human population on aircraft, the presence of power, transportation, and developed infrastructure, and whether or not the volcano forms a significant part of a populated island. The hazard score and exposure score for each volcano are multiplied to give its overall threat score. Once scored, the ordered list of volcanoes is divided into five overall threat categories from very high to very low.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title System for ranking relative threats of U.S. volcanoes
Series title Natural Hazards Review
DOI 10.1061/(ASCE)1527-6988(2007)8:4(112)
Volume 8
Issue 4
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher ASCE
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program
Description 13 p.
First page 112
Last page 124
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