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Augustine Volcano Installation Update (3)


10:30 a.m.

Yesterday a crew flew to the Cook Inlet where the AC59 site is located. Overcast skies and rain didn`t stop the crew from getting a good start on the installation. The crew installed all electronics and drilled two holes for the monument. Unfortunately, they encountered highly fractured and weathered rock below the surface of the planned drilling location, making it necessary find a new area to install the monument.

On a related note, because AC59 is located on the mainland, crews are required to be armed and ready in case of bear encounters. We happily report that there weren`t any bear sightings, probably due to the aroma from the crew having gone several days without taking showers.

On Augustine itself, once the AV01 volcano installation was completed, equipment was slung to AV02 where field crew began drilling holes and installing electronics. Even though the crew encountered many problems with stuck drill bits, they were able to complete two holes before the day was through.

Today clouds continue to roll over the volcano creating poor visibility. One crew of four returned to Ursus Head to continue working on AC59. They have reported that the cold, hard rain is creating difficult working conditions. In addition, three people have returned to the volcano to continue installing AV02.

What are the odds?!

One would wouldn’t expect to come across any other living begin (besides wildlife) while visiting such a remote area of the world. On Tuesday, as crews were installing stations and transporting equipment back and fourth via helicopter, an unexpected float plane arrived at base camp, landed, and then took off after few minutes. Moments later, an unknown person began to set up a tent near the UNAVCO sleeping tents. It turns out that student Daniel Elster from Vienna, Austria, hired a float plane to drop him off at the base of Augustine. Before returning home from working in Homer for the summer, Daniel wanted the opportunity to climb to the summit of the volcano. He was invited to dinner at base camp that evening and departed early Wednesday morning to begin his long journey.

While the AV01 field crew was working at the site on Wednesday, they were surprised to be visited by Daniel on his way up the mountain. Around dinner time on Thursday (nice timing!) Daniel was seen limping up the trail to base camp. He had made it all the way to the top of the volcano, descended back down where he camped overnight at a lake, and then walked the perimeter (about 30 miles) back to base camp. Fortunately Daniel came back in one piece; however, needless to say he had very sore joints and feet. He will be picked back up by the float plane today from base camp at 4:00 PM.

Daniel is studying Geoscience at the Montan University of Leoben in Leoben, Austria, which is a partnership university to the Colorado School of Mines. Both parties were quite surprised at the coincidence. The UNAVCO team is very happy to have met Daniel and wish him the best of luck.


Last modified: 2020-01-28  22:54:08  America/Denver