The EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory Response to the 2006 Augustine Alaskan Volcanic Eruption Abstract


  • During September of 2006, UNAVCO installed five permanent Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) GPS stations on Augustine Volcano, in the lower Cook Inlet of Alaska. The installations were done at the request of the PBO Magmatic Systems committee in response to the January 11, 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano. Prior to the eruption, PBO installed five permanent GPS stations on Augustine in 2004. The five existing stations on the volcano were instrumental in detecting precursory deformation of the volcano's flanks prior to and during the eruption. During the course of the first explosive phase of the eruption, two existing PBO stations, AV03 and AV05 were subsequently destroyed by separate pyroclastic flows. The existing station AV04 was heavily damaged by a separate pyroclastic flow during the continuous phase of the eruption and was repaired during September as well. Existing stations AV01 and AV02 were not affected or damaged by the eruption and remained operating during the entire eruptive phase and subsequent debris flows. All five new stations, and maintenance on the three remaining existing stations, were completed by PBO field crews with helicopter support provided by Maritime Helicopters. Lack of roads and drivable trails on the remote volcanic island required that all equipment be transported to each site from an established base camp by slinging gear beneath the helicopter and internal loads. Each new and existing station installed on the volcano consists of a standard short braced GPS monument, two solar panels mounted to an inclined structure, and a six foot high Plaschem enclosure with two solar panels mounted to one of the inclined sides. Each Plaschem houses 24 12 volt batteries that power a Trimble NetRS GPS receiver and one or two Intuicom radios and are recharged by the solar panels. Data from each GPS receiver is telemetered directly or through a repeater radio to a base station located in the town of Homer that transmits the data over the internet to the UNAVCO data archive at ftp://data-out.unavco.or/pub/PBO_rinex where it is made freely available to the public.

publication date

  • 2006

presented at event