Why is seismic monitoring of volcanoes so popular?
- Many volcanic eruptions are preceded by unusual seismic activity;
- In its simplest form, a seismic monitoring system is relatively cheap to set up and operate;
- There are numerous freely-available data analysis programs;
- A single monitoring station can record data from several volcanoes at once;
- It provides a continuous source of data, allowing rapid changes in a volcano to be monitored;
- There is a large volume of scientific literature published on seismic monitoring data that can help scientists in their interpretation of seismic data.
Are there any problems with this method?
- It is subject to potential interference from other sources of ground vibration such as wind and vehicles;
- A poorly-chosen site can sometimes, because of the interference noted above, be almost useless for seismic monitoring;
- Because it provides continuous, high-resolution information the volume of data collected (measured by the amount of computer disk space needed to store it) is more than 100 times that of the next most data-hungry method (continuous GPS measurements).