Government scientists with US Geological Survey have updated volcanic threat in the United States for the first time since 2005. They added three active volcanoes and removed 14 from the previous list.
USGS now classifies 18 US volcanoes as a “very high threat” because of their increased activity or proximity to urban areas.
The hazard list is topped by Hawaii’s Kilauea, which has been erupting this year. Others in the top five are Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington, Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano, and California’s Mount Shasta.
Yellowstone caldera was one of a dozen that jumped in threat level. Twenty volcanoes experienced a decrease.
While it is a stretch to call Yellowstone an ‘active’ volcano—its last supereruption was some 630,000 years ago—scientists include it in thee watch list along with two others of interest.
“For the purposes of this threat assessment, we considered only those volcanoes that have erupted in the geologically recent past (in Holocene time) in addition to three notably large and long-lived caldera systems (Yellowstone, Wyoming; Valles, New Mexico; and Long Valley, California),” the report stated.
There is a total of 161 active volcanoes in the US.
Yellowstone National Park is home to one of the most seismically- and geothermally-active regions in the world. Many features in the park were caused by or are a result of one of three superuptions of volcanoes in the park.