A prototype global volcano surveillance system monitoring seismic activity and tilt

Bulletin Volcanologique
By: , and 



The Earth Resources Technology Satellite makes it feasible for the first time to monitor the level of activity at widely separated volcanoes and to relay these data almost instantancously to one central office. This capability opens a new era in volcanology where the hundreds of normally quiescent but potentially dangerous volcanoes near populated regions around the world can be economically and reliably monitored. A prototype global volcano surveillance system has been established beginning in the fall of 1972 with the help of local scientists on 15 volcanoes in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, California, Iceland. Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Data on earthquake activity and ground tilt are received 6 to 10 times daily in Menlo Park, California, within 90 minutes of transmission from the sites. Seismic event counters were installed at 19 locations with biaxial borehole tiltineters with 1 microradian sensitivity installed at seven sites. Direct comparison of seismic events that are counted with records from nearby seismic stations show the event counters work quite reliably. An order of magnitude increase in seismic events was observed prior to the eruption of Volcán Fuego in Guatemala in February, 1973. Significant changes in tilt were observed on volcanoes Kilauea. Fuego, and Pacava. This study demonstrates the technological and economic feasibility of utilizing such a volcano surveillance system throughout the world.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A prototype global volcano surveillance system monitoring seismic activity and tilt
Series title Bulletin Volcanologique
DOI 10.1007/BF02599410
Volume 38
Year Published 1974
Language English
Publisher Springer
Description 30 p.
First page 315
Last page 344
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