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In 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a comprehensive review that the United States and its territories contain 169 geologically active volcanoes, 54 of which are a high threat to public safety: “As populations increase, areas near volcanoes are being developed and aviation routes are increasing. As a result, more people and property are at risk from volcanic activity. Future eruptions can affect hundreds of thousands of people.” The report established a framework for a National Volcano Early Warning System.

Worldwide, more than 50 volcanoes erupt each year. Approximately 500 million people on Earth live close to volcanoes. In the past 100 years, nearly 100,000 people have been killed by volcanic eruptions. Densely populated countries with many active volcanoes, such as Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, ...

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