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Augustine Volcano Installation Update (5)


11:00 a.m.

Moving right along! As of end of the day Saturday, crews have completed a total of five out of seven stations. The last two stations to install are AC27 and AV05. AC27 is located on Chenik Mountain in the McNeil River State Game Refuge, and AV05 is located on the northeast side of the volcano at 3500 feet.

As they were finishing up the mainland site, the crew at AC59 battled swarms of golf ball sized mosquitoes. An Alaska native, Ben Pauk pulled out his head net to keep bugs away from his face while working. Although he was teased at first, it wasn`t long before other crew members began to beg and offer their daily snickers ration in exchange for use of the head net. Despite a broken blow-out tool (used to get cuttings out of the bottom of the drill hole), the rest of the installation went smoothly. An adult fox and two kits visited the site during the day to keep the crew company. Besides the countless bugs, it was perfect working weather at AC59.

When asked how the finishing touches went to AV02, Barrett Friesen said it ‘was as smooth as buttered glass.’ Weather was warm enough to wear short sleeved shirts and the crew was fortunate not to experience any equipment problems.

Waking up to clear skies today, the helicopter brought a crew up to AV05, the last volcano site to be installed. Due to extremely heavy down-draft winds, the helicopter was unable to land and the crew had to return to base camp. The AV05 site is the highest of the five stations on the volcano, located just 525 feet below the summit of Augustine. Another crew has headed over to the mainland to start slinging gear to site AC27. Drilling at this site is anticipated to begin today or tomorrow.

Welcome to Camp!

Today the Director of PBO, Mike Jackson, arrived at base camp to help complete installations and prepare for the arrival of EarthScope and NSF visitors. We are excited to have Jackson (endearingly nicknamed ‘El Jefe’) on the island and be a part of this project. Hopefully he brought extra pain killers with him to help ease the pain we will endure from the crack of his whip.

Guy Tytgat and Ed Clark from Alaska Volcano Observatory in Fairbanks, Alaska, arrived at camp this morning to join PhD student Tanja Petersen to work on AVO station installations and maintenance (for both GPS and Seismometer). While in the area, the team will also do some work on the Iliamna Volcano. A small WeatherPort is being set up on base camp for to serve as the AVO headquarters.

A new area of brush is being cleared today to set up the Mountain Hardware Space Station tent for the EarthScope and NSF visitors who are coming on Wednesday. We are looking forward to their arrival and promise to save some extra hard work for everyone.


Last modified: 2020-01-28  22:54:09  America/Denver