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Volcano Monitoring Animations #1: Volcano Deformation

Information presented is factual at the time of creation.
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One of the things moving magma tends to do, is that it tends to deform the surface of the Earth. It tends to cause the surface to bulge upward or to spread apart.

One of the instruments we use to measure deformation is a tiltmeter. A tiltmeter measures very subtle changes in the surface of the Earth -- as magma accumulates beneath a station or moves upward, for example.

Another instrument we use is the Global Positioning System or GPS. We put several of them out on the volcano. We record signals from satellites orbiting above the earth and we look for movement of one of the station with respect to the other.

As the ground deforms, the volcano changes its shape, those stations move; and that tells us something about what is going on beneath the surface.


Title: Volcano Monitoring Animations #1: Volcano Deformation


Moving magma can deform the surface of the Earth. This animation shows how a tiltmeter and GPS are used to detect the subtle signs that tell scientists something about what is going on beneath the surface.

Location: Vancouver, WA, USA

Date Taken: 1/1/2012

Length: 1:04

Video Producer: Jenda Johnson , U.S. Geological Survey-Cascades Volcano Observatory

Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.

Additional Video Credits:

This animation was created for the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service. Animation by Jenda Johnson, narration by Dan Dzurisin, geologist, USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory.

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Tags: GPS deformation hazard tiltmeter volcano


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