Posted by: magmatist | July 31, 2010

Heavy snow stymies Baker seismology work

The CRIM recording seismometer lies buried on the south rim. The battery is charged by the solar panel. Click to enlarge this or any image.

A plan to remove and replace a recording seismometer (station CRIM) at the south rim of Sherman Crater has been stymied by last spring’s late heavy snowfall. The seismometer was put in place in July of 2009; the site is still buried by as much as 10 feet of snow this summer. Mount Baker researchers at Western Washington University and Pacific Northwest Seismic Network are patiently (well, sort of patiently) waiting for more warm weather. A couple of month’s of seismic data is recorded in the storage chip. The instrument’s data may have useful clues about the nature and location of a swarm of very small earthquakes at Baker last summer, which probably result from either glacial movements, or fracturing of rock below the crater during gas venting at the famed Sherman Crater fumaroles. See the abstract of preliminary research into the phenomenon at the MBVRC main website, here. A very few of those were recorded in early July of 2010, as well.  However, CRIM would not have recorded those, as the battery is surely dead. A solar panel maintains the charge, but that has been buried since the first snowfall of last autumn.

submitted by Dave Tucker

The snowy south rim of Sherman Crater, aerial view from John Scurlock's yellow airplane. July 25, 2010. Pooch Peak is to the left, Sherman Peak is out of view to the right.

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