Advances in seismic monitoring at Deception Island volcano (Antarctica) since the International Polar Year

Enrique Carmona, Javier Almendros, Rosa Martín, Guillermo Cortés, Gerardo Alguacil, Javier Moreno, José Benito Martín, Antonio Martos, Inmaculada Serrano, Daniel Stich, Jesús M. Ibáñez


Deception Island is an active volcano located in the south Shetland Islands, Antarctica. It constitutes a natural laboratory to test geophysical instruments in extreme conditions, since they have to endure not only the Antarctic climate but also the volcanic environment. Deception is one of the most visited places in Antarctica, both by scientists and tourists, which emphasize the importance of volcano monitoring. Seismic monitoring has been going on since 1986 during austral summer surveys. The recorded data include volcano-tectonic earthquakes, long-period events and volcanic tremor, among others. The level of seismicity ranges from quiet periods to seismic crises (e.g. 1992-1993, 1999). Our group has been involved in volcano monitoring at Deception Island since 1994. Based on this experience, in recent years we have made the most of the opportunities of the International Polar Year 2007-2008 to introduce advances in seismic monitoring along four lines: (1) the improvement of the seismic network installed for seismic monitoring during the summer surveys; (2) the development and improvement of seismic arrays for the detection and characterization of seismo-volcanic signals; (3) the design of automated event recognition tools, to simplify the process of data interpretation; and (4) the deployment of permanent seismic stations. These advances help us to obtain more data of better quality, and therefore to improve our interpretation of the seismo-volcanic activity at Deception Island, which is a crucial step in terms of hazards assessment.


Volcano monitoring; Seismic network; Seismic array; Deception Island volcano; International Polar Year

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X