The Holocene is the current geological epoch. It began approximately 11,650 cal years before present, after the last glacial period, which concluded with the Holocene glacial retreat. The Holocene and the preceding Pleistocene together form the Quaternary period. The Holocene has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1, and is considered by some to be an interglacial period.
Data Source: Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program
The Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program (GVP) is housed in the Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, in Washington D.C. We are devoted to a better understanding of Earth’s active volcanoes and their eruptions during the last 10,000 years.
The mission of GVP is to document, understand, and disseminate information about global volcanic activity. We do this through four core functions: reporting, archiving, research, and outreach. The data systems that lie at our core have been in development since 1968 when GVP began documenting the eruptive histories of volcanoes.
Reporting. GVP is unique in its documentation of current and past activity for all volcanoes on the planet active during the last 10,000 years. During the early stages of an eruption anywhere in the world we act as a clearinghouse of reports, data, and imagery. Reports are released in two formats. The Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report provides timely information vetted by GVP staff about current eruptions. The Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network provides comprehensive reporting on recent eruptions on a longer time horizon to allow incorporation of peer-reviewed literature and observatory reports.
Archiving. Complementing our effort toward reporting of current eruptive activity is our database of volcanoes and eruptions that documents the last 10,000 years of Earth’s volcanism. These databases and interpretations based on them were published in three editions of the book “Volcanoes of the World”.
Research. GVP researchers are curators in the Department of Mineral Sciences and maintain active research programs on volcanic products, processes, and the deep Earth that is the ultimate source of volcanism.
Outreach. This website presents more than 7,000 reports on volcanic activity, provides access to the baseline data and eruptive histories of Holocene volcanoes, and makes available other resources to our international partners, scientists, civil-authorities, and the public.