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In the depths of the Masaya volcano

In 2015, an active lava lake opened at Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua, providing scientists a rare opportunity to study volcanoes and their impact on our lives by examining the volcano’s gas profile from the source crater to its dissipation into the environment.

JUNE 2018

Dans les profondeur du volcan Masaya

  • Project partner: the International Volcano Monitoring Fund and GeoArc Foundation, with the participation of Simon Fraser University, The Open University, Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales and Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Project type: Gaining knowledge
  • Budget: €21,500 in 2017

In July 2017, the International Volcano Monitoring Fund and the GeoArc Foundation, a not-for-profit specializing in leading scientific expeditions in hard to reach places and extreme conditions, brought together a cross-functional team of of university researchers and local volunteers. Together, researcher and rope access technicians designed and installed an aerial rigging system to lower sensors deep into Masaya’s crater. The system applied more than 1.2km of rope to span the 500m wide, 400m deep crater.

Using this system, sensors were positioned in the acidic plume fumigating above the lava lake. Additional sensors downwind and around the volcano’s outer rim provided a 3-dimensional profile measuring concentrations of toxic gases. This profile will help understand the impact of the fumigating gases on a downwind area of more than 1250 km2.This research also contributed to local Nicaraguan understanding of theMasaya volcano.

Uploaded in June 2018


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