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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program REVIEW OF THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURUEY’S VOLCANO HAZARDS PROGRAM Committee on the Review of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, under assistance award No. 98HQAG2218. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. government. International Standard Book Number 0-309-07096-1 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800–624–6242 202–334–3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Cover: Eruption of Mount St. Helens, courtesy of InterNetwork Media. Copyright 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I.Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE VOLCANO HAZARDS PROGRAM OF THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY JONATHAN H.FINK, Chair, Arizona State University, Tempe CHARLES B.CONNOR, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas W.GARY ERNST, Stanford University, California RICHARD S.FISKE, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. CATHERINE J.HICKSON, Geological Survey of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia HARRY KIM, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, Hilo STUART A.ROJSTACZER, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina PAUL SEGALL, Stanford University, California JOHN STIX, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada FREDERICK J.SWANSON, U.S. Forest Service, Corvallis, Oregon NRC Staff TAMARA L.DICKINSON, Study Director REBECCA E.SHAPACK, Research Assistant JUDITH L.ESTEP, Administrative Assistant (through January, 2000)
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES RAYMOND JEANLOZ, Chair, University of California, Berkeley JOHN J.AMORUSO, Amoruso Petroleum Company, Houston, Texas PAUL B.BARTON, JR., U.S. Geological Survey (emeritus), Reston, Virginia BARBARA L.DUTROW, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge ADAM M.DZIEWONSKI, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts RICHARD S.FISKE, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. JAMES M.FUNK, Shell Continental Companies (retired), Houston, Texas WILLIAM L.GRAF, Arizona State University, Tempe SUSAN M.KIDWELL, University of Chicago, Illinois SUSAN W.KIEFFER, Kieffer & Woo, Inc., Palgrave, Ontario, Canada PAMELA D.LUTTRELL, Dallas, Texas ALEXANDRA NAVROTSKY, University of California, Davis DIANNE R.NIELSON, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Salt Lake City JONATHAN G.PRICE, Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology, Reno MILTON H.WARD, Hapibo Corporation, Tucson, Arizona NRC Staff ANTHONY R.DE SOUZA, Director TAMARA L.DICKINSON, Senior Program Officer DAVID A.FEARY, Senior Program Officer ANNE M.LINN, Senior Program Officer JENNIFER T.ESTEP, Administrative Associate REBECCA E.SHAPACK, Research Assistant VERNA J.BOWEN, Administrative Assistant
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES GEORGE M.HORNBERGER, Chair, University of Virginia, Charlottesville RICHARD A.CONWAY, Union Carbide Corporation (retired), South Charleston, West Virginia LYNN GOLDMAN, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland THOMAS E.GRAEDEL, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut THOMAS J.GRAFF, Environmental Defense Fund, Oakland, California EUGENIA KALNAY, University of Maryland, College Park DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C. JOHN B.MOONEY, JR., J. Brad Mooney Associates, Ltd., Arlington, Virginia HUGH C.MORRIS, El Dorado Gold Corporation, Vancouver, British Columbia H.RONALD PULLIAM, University of Georgia, Athens MILTON RUSSELL, University of Tennessee (retired), Knoxville ROBERT J.SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado ANDREW R.SOLOW, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts E-AN ZEN, University of Maryland, College Park MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California NRC Staff ROBERT M.HAMILTON, Executive Director GREGORY H.SYMMES, Associate Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative and Financial Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making their published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Grant Heiken Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos, New Mexico George M.Hornberger Unviersity of Virginia, Charlottesville Donald Hull Partners for Loss Prevention Portland, Oregon R.Wally Johnson Australian Geological Survey Canberra, Australia Peter Mouginis-Mark University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu John Pitlick University of Colorado Boulder Michael Sheridan State University of New York, Buffalo John Trapp U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Rockville, Maryland David Walker Columbia University Palisades, New York Although the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 PROLOGUE 1 9 PROLOGUE 2 13 1 INTRODUCTION 15 Context, 15 Volcano Hazards Program Setting, 16 Budget History, 22 Staffing History, 22 Program Approaches, 25 Study and Report, 27 2 RESEARCH AND HAZARD ASSESSMENT 29 Research, 29 Hazard Assessment, 31 What Is Volcano Hazard Assessment?, 32 Why Does the USGS Do Volcano Hazard Assessments?, 33 What Hazards are Assessed?, 33 What Is the Status of Assessment Within VHP?, 34 The State of Volcano Hazards Assessment at USGS Observatories, 39 Future of Hazard Assessment, 46 Summary, 48 3 VOLCANO MONITORING 51 What Is Volcano Monitoring and Why Should the VHP Do It?, 51
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program What Is the Status of Monitoring within the VHP?, 52 Monitoring Approaches and Issues, 55 Other Monitoring Issues, 62 Summary, 64 4 CRISIS RESPONSE AND OUTREACH 65 What Is Volcano Crisis Response and Why Should the VHP Do It?, 65 What Is the Status of Crisis Response Within the VHP?, 67 What Are the Obstacles to Successful Crisis Response by the VHP?, 69 Training and Knowledge Dissemination, 70 Infrastructure and Budget, 71 Partnership Issues, 72 How Does Crisis Response Relate to Public Outreach?, 75 What Are Some Obstacles to Successful Outreach?, 76 Summary, 77 5 PROGRAMMATIC AND INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES 79 Human Resources, 79 Integration and Communication, 81 Students, 83 Extramural Grants Program, 84 Personnel Exchanges, 85 Federal Coordination, 85 Priority Setting and Accountability, 86 Overall VHP Priorities, 86 Observatory Priorities, 87 Interdivisional Issues, 88 Data Access and Management, 89 6 A VISION FOR THE USGS VOLCANO HAZARDS PROGRAM 93 An Alternate Scenario for the 2010 Eruption of Mount Rainier, 93 7 PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 103 Research, 105
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Review of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program Hazard Assessment, 106 Monitoring, 108 Crisis Response, 110 Programmatic and Institutional Issues, 112 REFERENCES 115 APPENDIX A: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 119 APPENDIX B: Oral Presentations and Written Statements 123 APPENDIX C: USGS Volcano Hazard Assessments 127 ACRONYMS 137
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