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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Volcanic activity monitoring system in tenerife (canary islands) - implementing a geophysical radon detector array.


Problems to be solved (while also addressing the relevant EU policies)
Project TeRn will develop a specific "Natural hazards research facility" enabling "availability of and access to" new "complex sets of data" related to an active volcano. The facility will serve as a "network, database and modelling and testing for volcanoes". Furthermore the project deals with "encouraging the transactional use of existing facilities, which address critical needs in order to further improve their exploitation while avoiding unnecessary duplication". The project targets to upgrade the facility beyond the duration of the project, and ultimately turn it over to a local entity to "further improve their" long term "exploitation while avoiding unnecessary duplication, and covering emerging priority needs". The activities to be supported relate also to "Increasing the compatibility and connection between scattered facilities in Europe" by developing a new "monitoring/processing network with compatible stations, and establish electronic links". The project addresses: "A better understanding of processes, mechanisms and events generating natural hazards, to develop technologies and methods for seismic and volcanic risk forecasting, evaluation and mitigation", while providing "support to improved decision-making systems, including evaluation and validation tools for assessing hazards for emergency management". Specifically the project addresses the Activity concerning Volcanic Hazards, especially by "Integration of data from multi-sensor permanent surveillance networks". The results of TeRn have important consequences on similar application of such geochemical-geophysical monitoring in "seismic risks" as it is concerned with "development of technologies and models to observe, analyse and monitor earthquake related phenomena" using large-scale radon variations and other gases. Project TeRn will also advance and promote "exchange of data and common use of existing test sites" - as Teide volcano and the Dead Sea Rift, and joint "development of innovative methods and technologies" which will help "to combat disasters and alleviate their consequences".
Scientific objectives and approach
Set up a 3D monitoring array in the active volcanic system of Tenerife. The surface extent of the array will be in the order of 50 km2 and the vertical dimension will approach 3 km. Include and integrate complementary geochemical, geo-isotopic, geophysical and environmental investigations and monitoring. Develop the geophysical and geochemical data processing procedures for such a 3D array. Perform test monitoring and study the radon flux as a tool for volcanic risk mitigation that would complement other multi-parameter monitoring networks. This goal will be achieved by developing and testing advanced and new concepts for the subsurface geophysical and geochemical processes governing the release and transport of radon in geologically active volcanic environments. Evaluate the monitoring results as prototype for 3D Rn monitoring of volcanic activity/processes at Tenerife, and its applicability for monitoring activity at other geodynamic settings. Upgrade the monitoring array and auxiliary systems to serve beyond the extent of the project as a large-scale test bed for long range monitoring, surveillance and scientific investigations. To this end the whole system will be turned over to a local entity at the completion of the project. Upgrading the facility will encourage the use of the acquired data by European and other groups related to monitoring and surveillance of natural processes. Place an advanced and unique research facility of a European dimension in Tenerife leading to long term integration and cooperation of the local research community with European and international bodies.
Expected impacts
The outcomes of this project will develop Tenerife, including Teide, as a large scale European Radon R&D volcanic test site for evaluating the applicability of such long range monitoring, using a natural radioactive trace gas.

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EU contribution
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Participants (4)