Cotopaxi                                            THE DANGER WITHIN




national volcano early warning system

NVEWS was designed to assess the relative danger of all volcanoes in the U.S. in a consistent and clear way. Using this method, Cotopaxi was assessed as well. These were the results:


Cotopaxi's threat ranking number classifies it as a level 4 volcano, according to NVEWS. This is the highest level in which a volcano can be classified. The US Geological Survey suggests that for volcanoes of this magnitude, there be 12-20 seismometers within 20 km of the vent, as well as constant and regular measuring of gas emissions and any deformation. Cotopaxi, it seems, is not sufficiently monitored (see monitoring page); it falls under the level 3 category for monitoring. This is not to say that it is completely abandoned; the Instituto Geofisico monitors it as best they can with their limited funding, and, relative to other dangerous volcanoes, Cotopaxi is still pretty well-watched. However, it is indeed true that a volcano this dangerous should be monitored as best as possible.

All information from this page is from the USGS NVEWS report.25

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