Observations of Deformation

Volcano number:390020
Geodetic measurements?Yes
Deformation observation?Yes
Measurement method(s):GPS - continuous, GPS - campaign, Tiltmeter
Duration of observation:1980 to 1985, 2002 to 2004
Inferred cause(s) of deformation:Magmatic
Characteristics of deformation:

Mount Erebus has long-term lava lake activity with occasional explosions and larger Strombolian activity. This activity, ongoing since at least 1972, has led to the establishment of the Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory (MEVO) with research undertaken primarily by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Seismic and gas monitoring is undertaken and GPS and tiltmeters are used to investigate the deformation of the volcano (Brown et al., 2015).

During the 2002/03 and 2003/04 field seasons, 4 integrated continuously telemetered geophysical observatories with dual frequency GPS were installed around the summit crater and 1 on the flank at 1800 m elevation (Murray et al., 2006). The GPS stations were in addition to a more widely distributed 17-station survey-mode GPS network occupied yearly from 1999/2000 to 2002/03, and single- and dual-frequency GPS observations at several other stations beginning in 1999/2000 (Murray et al., 2006). 

Murray et al. (2006) found that average station velocities were 1-4 mm/yr in the horizontal oriented radially outward from the summit crater and 4-8 mm/yr upward during 2002-2004, and were 1-4 mm/yr in the horizontal oriented radially inward toward the summit crater and 4-8 mm/yr downward during 2004-2006. There was a reversal of direction in 2004, otherwise no other significant transient deformation was observed, except for 10-20 mm annual variations in the vertical at several stations (Murray et al., 2006). The motions are consistent with a shallow magma chamber source. The reversal in the direction of motion coincides with a change in Strombolian activity (Murray et al., 2006). 

Reference(s):Murray, M. H., Kyle, P. R., Aster, R. C., & Bartel, B. (2006, December). Continuous GPS Measurement of Deformation at Erebus Volcano, Antartica. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts (Vol. 1, p. 0884).
Regional and country profiles of volcanic hazard and risk. Report IV of the GVM/IAVCEI contribution to the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
S.K. Brown, R.S.J. Sparks, K. Mee, C. Vye-Brown, E. Ilyinskaya, S. Jenkins, S.C. Loughlin
Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program
Location:-77.53, 167.17
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