VUME Upper Mantle of the Earth

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Volcano Hazard Programs





Volcanic eruptions are one of Earth's most dramatic and violent agents of change. Not only can powerful explosive eruptions drastically alter land and water for tens of kilometers around a volcano, but tiny liquid droplets of sulfuric acid erupted into the stratosphere can change our planet's climate temporarily. Eruptions often force people living near volcanoes to abandon their land and homes, sometimes forever. Those living farther away are likely to avoid complete destruction, but their cities and towns, crops, industrial plants, transportation systems, and electrical grids can still be damaged by tephra, ash, lahars, and flooding.



The Volcano Hazards Program (VHP) monitors active and potentially active volcanoes, assesses their hazards, responds to volcanic crises, and conducts research on how volcanoes work to fulfill a Congressional mandate (Public Law 93-288) that the USGS issue "timely warnings" of potential volcanic hazards to responsible emergency-management authorities and to the populace affected. VHP provides domestic assistance in order to expand the expertise and capabilities applied to fulfilling its mission.
The U.S. Geological Survey's Volcanoes Hazards Program is the "parent" program for all of the U.S. Volcano Observatories.