Working on Hawaiian Volcanoes
by Scott Rowland

The following photos are meant to give you a flavor of what it is like to work on a Hawaiian volcano. They illustrate some of the techniques that are used to study active volcanoes, most of which are also used to study the rest of the world's volcanoes. Keep in mind also, that there are lots of indoor techniques that are equally important for understanding what a volcano is doing. Important examples of these are the analysis of seismic signals and geochemical studies of erupted lavas and gases.

  1. Electronic Distance Measurement
  2. Single Corner Reflector
  3. The Finer Points of EDM Measuring
  4. Finding Underground Magma
  5. Taking Pictures
  6. Collecting Gas Samples
  7. Gas Masks!
  8. Measuring Volcanic Gases
  9. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
  10. Collecing A Sample
  11. Using A Thermocouple To Measure Temperature
  12. Making Obseravations
  13. Sampling an 'A'a Flow
  14. Remote Method For Reading Temperature
  15. Measuring The Height Of A Lava Fountain
  16. Measuring The Rate Of Flow Inflation
  17. Making Leveling Measurements
  18. Time-Lapse Cameras
  19. Geologist Vince Realmuto

Electronic Distance Measurement

EDM stands for Electronic Distance Measurement. This is the view from behind a cluster of EDM reflectors looking back towards the EDM "gun". It isn't really a gun, but rather a sophisticated laser that can measure very precisely the time it takes for a laser beam to make the round-trip from the "gun" to the reflectors, and back. Using this time, the known speed that the laser travels (the speed of light), and correcting for air temperature and pressure, the distance can be determined to a precision of 1 part per million (i.e. 1 mm over a distance of 1 km).

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