Four-dimensional or time-lapse microgravity monitoring has been used effectively on volcanoes for decades to characterize the changes in subsurface volcanic systems. With measurements typically lasting from a few days to weeks and then repeated a year later, the spatial resolution of theses studies is often at the expense of temporal resolution and vice versa. Continuous gravity studies with one to two instruments operating for a short period of time (weeks to months) have shown enticing evidence of very rapid changes in the volcanic plumbing system (minutes to hours) and in one case precursory signals leading to eruptive activity were detected. The need for true multi-instrument networks is clear if we are to have both the temporal and spatial reso-lution needed for effective volcano monitoring. However, the high cost of these instruments is currently limiting the implementation of continuous microgravity networks. An interim approach to consider is the development of a collaborative network of researchers able to bring multiple instruments together at key volcanoes to investigate multitemporal physical changes in a few type volcanoes. However, to truly move forward, it is imperative that new low-cost instruments are developed to increase the number of instruments available at a single site. Only in this way can both the temporal and spatial integrity of monitoring be maintained. Integration of these instruments into a multiparameter network of continuously recording sensors is essential for effective volcano monitoring and hazard mitigation. ?? 2008 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Toward continuous 4D microgravity monitoring of volcanoes