World Organization of Volcanic Observatories
Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory
Department of Earth & Environmental Science
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Socorro, New Mexico 87801
|Telefax :||(1) 505-835-6436|
|Director:||Dr. Philip R. Kyle|
Dr. Philip R. Kyle - Professor of Geochemistry, Volcanology, gas emissions
Dr. Richard C. Aster - Professor of Geophysics, Seismology
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Under a grant from the Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, the Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory (MEVO), Antarctica is maintained and run by the Department of Earth and Environment Science of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. In December 2002/January 2003 five novel geophysical observatories were installed at elevations ranging from 2100 to 3700 m. Ambient air temperatures are expected to be between -20 and less than -60 C. Each station runs on year-round power systems consisting of solar panels, wind generators, and AGM lead-acid battery storage. A voltage and temperature-compensated power controller is used to manage the power. All stations consist of a Guralp broadband seismometer and associated digitizer (see http://www.ees.nmt.edu/Geop/erescream/welcome.html for near real time records), dual-frequency (L1/L2) GPS, and various combinations of infrasonic sensors, IR radiometers, tiltmeters, exterior and instrumentation temperature sensors, system voltages and amperages, humidity, air pressure, wind speed and velocity. Data streams, including full RINEX GPS data streams, are multiplexed and telemetered to McMurdo Station in time-stamped packets using the Guralp digitizer and 900 MHz spread-spectrum radio modem links. At McMurdo Station, data enter a PC data acquisition system employing Guralp Scream and USGS Earthworm protocols. Incoming data are buffered on the data acquisition machines at McMurdo and simultaneously exported to NM Tech via the McMurdo internet link using a compressed Earthworm protocol (with the exception RINEX files, which are exported daily to both UNAVCO and NMT via ftp). From NMT, earthworm data streams are re-exported to the IRIS Data Management Center for backup archiving. To ensure completeness of the data set in the face of occasional internet drop-outs between McMurdo and NMT that interrupt the compressed earthworm export, we have implemented a robust rsync data intercomparison algorithm with incremental recovery of hourly archive files between NMT and McMurdo.
Six vertical component short period (1 sec) geophones (http://www.ees.nmt.edu/Geop/Eworm_erebus/welcome.html) are telemetered by VHF radio 25-40 km from the volcano to McMurdo Station, where the data are digitizer and integrated into the Guralp Scream data stream. Three single frequency L1 GPS receivers around the flank of the volcano telemeter data to McMurdo using 900 MHz spread-spectrum and are independently recorded and the data archived at UNAVCO in Boulder, Colorado. Annual campaign GPS surveys of ~ 10 sites compliment the continuous GPS data. A technician at McMurdo Station, supported by Raytheon Polar Services Company, a civilian contractor for the Office of Polar Programs, provides year-round oversight on the recording equipment.
Once a year inspection, maintenance and surveillance visits to the summit are made during November and December. SO2 emissions are monitored using a COSPEC V and CO2 emissions in the plume by airborne techniques. Diffuse emissions of CO2 from fumarolic ice towers are made on an infrequent basis. Filter packs containing impregnated filters are used to examine emissions of HCl, HF and other minor gas and aerosol species. Radionuclide emissions are measured annually using cellulose filters. Open-field FT-IR measurements of gas composition have been made on an infrequent basis.
Information updated January 2003