TITLE: U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program

ACCESS: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov

The U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program Web site, part of the U.S. government's Web portal First.gov, makes available information about the program as well as data from volcanoes in order to help educate the public and reduce risks.

The main page is in a newsletter format with links to an overview of the program and each of the individual volcano observatories: Alaska, Cascades (including Mt. St. Helens), Hawaii, Long Valley, and Yellowstone. Although the focus is on U.S. volcanoes and observatories, there are links to worldwide information such as the Smithsonian's "Weekly Volcanic Activity Report." Recent additions to the site include "Predicting Volcanic Eruptions," modules that show different ways that eruptions are predicted. The remaining information available is divided into four categories: "Volcano Hazards," "Reducing Volcanic Risk," "USGS Work Abroad," and "Resources."

"USGS Work Abroad" highlights the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, in which members of the program assist local governments with monitoring and reacting to volcanic activity. Information about the program includes fact sheets, types of assistance provided and a map showing the locations of past responses. There are also reports of more recent projects in Ecuador and Mexico.

The resources available under "Volcano Hazards" and "Reducing Volcanic Risks" include an overview of the different types of volcanoes and volcanic hazards, their locations and a chart of historical eruptions. Case studies, with images, include dates of the activity, which hazards were present, and links to more detailed information on the particular hazards. There are also essays on the different ways in which volcanic activity is monitored, how volcanic emergencies are planned for, and a description of the current warning systems.

"Resources" provides a bibliography of recently published online reports and maps, as well as a list of volcano-related videos and other products, including fact sheets on individual volcanoes and lists of useful resources for teachers. Of particular note in this section is the "Photo Glossary," which contains detailed definitions and images for over 65 terms related to volcanoes.

The Volcano Hazards Program site contains a plethora of information. The site is easy to navigate, in some sections at the cost of design. Although there is a search function for the Web site, it was not working when the site was reviewed. Even without the search function, users should have no trouble locating information on volcanoes, whether they are looking for detailed information, or more general background.

Linda Maddux
Reed College
lbm@reed.edu


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