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Stimulus through volcanic monitoring becomes reality

$15 million dollars for volcano monitoring! That’s just throwing money into the caldera! (Just kidding.) The money has started to flow to the USGS to improve our ailing volcano and earthquake monitoring infrastructure.

Active US volcanoes and volcano observatories

After all the well-publicized words of “a certain governor in the lower forty-eight” (as Sen. Begich (D-AK) likes to call him) the “wasteful” spending on volcano monitoring improvements in the U.S. have become reality. Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar announced $15.2 million dollars to modern the infrastructure of the nation’s volcano monitoring networks (that is out of the ~$3 billion that went to the Interior – making volcano monitoring a whopping 0.5% of the stimulus that went to that department). Much of this money will likely go to one of the many USGS volcano observatories, including the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

Ah, volcano monitoring isn’t the only branch of the USGS that will be getting a boost. The US seismic network will be doubled to over 1,600 stations and earthquake monitoring will get an almost $30 million dollar boost. Here’s to disaster monitoring!

I chime in on some of the discussions about caldera-forming eruptions and inflation of volcanoes in the Andes. Also, news on the stimulus money to volcano monitoring and “our island blew up.”

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