2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
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2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory: Operations, Science, and Outreach (MEVO-OSO)

Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory: Operations, Science, and Outreach (MEVO-OSO)


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
Jenny Cunningham / Meghan Walker

Principal Investigator

Dr. Phillip Kyle

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Department of Earth & Environmental Science
Santa Fe, New Mexico


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Mount Erebus


Mount Erebus is the most active volcano in Antarctica. It is unique in containing a persistent convecting lava lake of anorthoclase phonolite magma. Degassing of the lake and underlying magmatic system emits volcanic gases into the pristine Antarctic atmosphere. Because of the excellent access and the nature of the small Strombolian eruptions, Mount Erebus has become a model volcano for volcanological studies. This project continues long-term surveillance using geophysical, geodetic, and geochemical observatories, and measures the seismicity, infrasound, gas emissions, and deformation using GPS observations of the volcano.

Field Season Overview

Starting in late November the field team will tent camp at Fang Glacier for acclimatization and then move to the Lower Erebus Hut (LEH) for five weeks and use it as a base of operations for work in the surrounding area. They will travel from site to site by snowmobile; day trips from McMurdo will be completed by helicopter. As this is the final field season, the team will focus on removing all of their previously-installed equipment in addition to continuing their studies of lava-lake dynamics, gas observations, and ice cave origins. Antenna riggers will assist in removing towers and tower components from E1, Nausea Knob, Cones, and Hooper Shoulder. Some members of the team may spend 10-14 days at the South Korean Jang Bogo station to complete work started in the 2015-16 field season. The team will be assisted by ASC Riggers, Field Safety and Training (FS&T) Field Safety Coordinators, an ASC Camp Manager, UNAVCO, and ASC Environmental. An NSF-funded Artist and Writer will accompany the team for part of their field season.

Deploying Team Members

  • Timothy Burton
  • Timothy Burton
  • Timothy Burton
  • Aaron Curtis
  • Phillip Kyle (PI)
  • Nial Peters