Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Volcanism in the American Southwest conference planned for Flagstaff

A group of researchers is organizing a meeting on Volcanism in the American Southwest for October 18-20, 2012 in Flagstaff, Arizona. The email notice circulated today explains the reason for the conference:

Though volcanic eruptions are comparatively rare in the American Southwest, the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah host Holocene volcanic eruption deposits and are vulnerable to future volcanic activity. Subsurface magma bodies have been identified (e.g., near Socorro) and factor into the regional hazard. Compared with other parts of the western U.S., comparatively little research has been focused on this area, and eruption probabilities are poorly constrained. Monitoring infrastructure consists of a variety of local seismic networks, and “backbone” geodetic networks with little integration. Emergency response planning for volcanic unrest has received minimal attention by either federal or state agencies. [Right, Sunset Crater, AZ, which last erupted about 1,000 years ago. Credit, National Park Service]

This meeting provides an opportunity for volcanologists, land managers, and emergency responders to meet, converse, and begin to plan protocols for any future activity. Geologists can contribute data on recent findings of eruptive ages, eruption probabilities, and hazards extents (plume heights, ash dispersal). Geophysicists can discuss evidence for magma intrusions from seismic, geodetic, and other geophysical techniques. Network operators can publicize their recent work and the relevance of their equipment to volcanic regions. Land managers and emergency responders can share their experiences with emergency planning for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Part of the meeting will be dedicated to initial planning for eruption response protocols. The agenda will consist both of invited talks, contributed talks, and dedicated poster sessions.

We anticipate a meeting of 50-90 geologists, geophysicists, land managers, and emergency responders. The two-day meeting will be held at the USGS offices in Flagstaff, AZ, followed by a 1-day field trip on Saturday October 20 to the San Francisco Peaks volcanic field. No registration fee will be required; however, meeting participants must cover their own travel and lodging expenses. Abstracts will be due August 1, 2012.


  1. Excellent. I have often wondered why AZ didn't seem too worried about the many, many volcanoes in its midst that look incredibly fresh. Glad to see they're finally looking at the possibility of a future eruption now.

  2. Please post the link to register for this conference when it becomes available. Thanks.

    Peter H. Dohms, P.G.
    Licensed in California, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina