27 Dec Often geologists use globa
Geologists rely on new technology more and more. Some new technology allows us to model the earth’s surface, like the model you see in the Google Earth tool, and some describe the area below the earth’s surface!
Which method of investigation allows geophysicists to best “visualize” or model a buried magma chamber beneath a caldera or crater formed on the earth’s surface?
Hint: These methods are discussed in both talks and answer is mentioned in the K?lauea talk!
b. Seismic tomography
Deformation of the earth’s crust happens above a buried magma chamber.
Volcanos, fissures, craters, and calderas are all types of surface deformation.
As the magma chamber fills up, it expands like a balloon and pushes up on the ground surface. In response, the ground over the magma chamber stretches (again just like the rubber of a balloon!) and develops cracks.
Imagine two people are standing facing one another, and then a wide, broad crack in the earth’s surface grows between them. Imagine that crack is just like the crack shown by Kyle at 15 minutes in the video on Kilauea.
Do the two people on either side of this crack move closer together or further apart?
Hint: draw a picture to help you visualize this situation!
a. Closer together, so the deformation is due to compression of the crust.
b. Further apart, so the deformation is due to extension of the crust.
c. Neither, so the amount of crustal deformation is negligible
In Hazard Exploration #7, we discussed volcano monitoring methods, such as global positioning system (GPS) receivers.
Often geologists use global positioning system (GPS) receivers fixed to earth’s surface to measure deformation. Unlike your smartphone, these particular GPS receivers are literally bolted to the ground.
The picture below is an example of a permanent GPS receiver:
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