U.S. to modernize volcano monitoring nets

Dec. 9, 2009 at 1:50 PM
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RESTON, Va., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The U. S. Geological Survey says it will allocate $7 million for research by 15 universities and state agencies into modernizing volcano monitoring networks.

The USGS, an agency of the Department of the Interior, said the funding will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will be used to modernize equipment, produce high-resolution maps of high-threat volcanoes for modeling volcanic hazards and analyzing data from recent eruptions.

"As population and development expand near hazardous volcanoes, and air traffic over volcanic regions grows, risks from volcanic activity are increasing," said John Eichelberger, USGS volcano hazard program coordinator. "The modernization of our volcano monitoring networks will deliver more reliable, robust information -- supplying emergency responders with critical information they can use to save lives and reduce damage, while creating or preserving jobs in equipment manufacturing, geophysical services, aviation services, academia, including student researchers, and state agencies."

Universities receiving funding include the Universities of Utah, Washington, South Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama, Hawaii-Manoa and Alaska-Fairbanks; California State University at Fullerton, Boise State University, Northern Arizona University and Southern Methodist University.

State agencies receiving funding include the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Wyoming State Geological Survey, Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.

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