Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory III (MEVO III): Conduit Processes and Surveillance
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). Mount Erebus is Antarctica?s most active volcano that has been in a persistent state of activity for at least the last 35 years. It has a unique geochemistry among the Earth's active volcanoes and is also unique in hosting a persistent convecting lake(s) of anorthclase phonolite magma in its summit crater. The relative simplicity of the magmatic system, consistency of activity, and accessibility of close-range observation make Erebus attractive as a target for extensive studies. Although the Erebus' seismicity and eruptive activity and processes are becoming increasingly well understood over years of research, there is a near total lack of understanding its deeper magmatic system. The primary goal of this proposal is to continue supporting the Mt. Erebus Volcano Observatory (MEVO III) improving our current understanding of the Erebus eruptive and non-eruptive magmatic system using an integrated approach from geophysical, geochemical and remote sensing observations. This goal can be grouped into the following fundamental research objectives: (a) to sustain year-round surveillance of on-going volcanic activity primarily using geophysical observatories; (b) to understand processes within the convecting conduit which feeds the persistent lava lakes; and (c) to understand the impact of Erebus eruptive activity upon the Antarctic environment. Continued reliance on students provides a broader impact to this proposed research and firmly grounds this effort in its educational mission.
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