Global & Disaster Medicine

California: Supervolcanic eruptions may be a future possibility


‘…….“The potential for damaging earthquakes, landslides, floods, tsunamis and wildfires is widely recognized in California,” another recent USGS report reads. “The same cannot be said for volcanic eruptions, even though they occur in the state about as frequently as the largest earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault.”

Of the state’s eight volcanoes, seven have been found to sit above “active” magma chambers.

Disturbingly, it finds some 200,000 people are classified as “at-risk” if an eruption was to occur. And it argues there is a 16 percent chance of such an event within the next 30 years.

Like the fault-line studies, geologists have pulled clues from California’s landscape to determine volcanic activity over the past 5,000 years.

It’s found five volcanoes – Mount Shasta, Medicine Lake, Lassen, Long Valley and Salton Buttes – have erupted during the past 3000 years. Clear Lake Volcanic Field near San Francisco – while rated as potentially of very high risk – hasn’t blown for longer…….’

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