Ocean bottom tiltmeter developed for submarine volcano monitoring

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Abstract

Most of the oceanic crust is formed by intrusive processes, yet these processes at mid-ocean ridges are poorly understood when compared to on-land volcanos that are well monitored with respect to their surface deformation and seismic activity. This limited knowledge of tectonic processes at mid-ocean ridges stems from an absence of direct observations and inhibits our understanding of their magmatic segmentation, and many first-order magmatic processes, including fractionation and mixing. As a means to improve this situation, we have installed tiltmeters in the Scripps Ocean Bottom Seismographs (OBS) and begun initial performance testing in sediment and hard rock environments. These tests indicate that the TILT-OBS is now ready for realistic, designated testing on submarine volcanos. Such tests may be in the form of a rapid response monitoring of recently discovered submarine volcanic activity, or as the first trial measurements of strain in more stable, mid-ocean ridge volcanos.

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