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Mon Aug 13, 2018, 11:56 PM

Experience This Mysterious Volcanic System in Guatemala

Experience This Mysterious Volcanic System in Guatemala
Dream team set out on a mission to study the world’s most active lava-dome complex in order to help residents living in a volcano's shadow.

Video at link:
https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/culture-exploration/180808-santa-maria-volcano-guatemala-culture?source=featuredvideo

Explorers Research a Mysterious Volcanic System in Guatemala
A dream team set out on a mission to study the world’s most active lava-dome complex in order to help people living in a volcano's shadow.

BY LAUREN O'BRIEN

PUBLISHED AUGUST 8, 2018

A trio of explorers sit atop Guatemala’s Santa María volcano, looking down on one of the world’s most active lava-dome complexes. They’d climbed 12,375 feet (3,772 meters) of steep terrain, lugging cameras, tripods, tents, and enough water for the entire expedition strapped to their backs. Ready to begin their research on the formation, they’d set up their camp at the volcano’s summit.

Santiaguito, a complex of four lava domes—round mountains made of viscous lava—lies at the base of the volcano. Since 1922, there have been small but nearly continuous volcanic eruptions from the lava domes, expelling jets of gas and ash. In November 2017, Stephanie Grocke, Gabby Salazar, and Ross Donihue—all National Geographic explorers—set out on a month-long expedition with local guides and tourism police to study these active volcanoes, test a new method to monitor lava dome activity, and develop methods for predicting eruptions. (See Why a Volcano Has Erupted Almost Every Hour for 94 Years)

On a mission to collect data about volcanic behavior, the team took a multilayered approach, blending scientific and media tools used by the three explorers: a volcanologist, cartographer, and photographer/filmmaker.



Ross Donihue, Stephanie Grocke, and Gabby Salazar sit at the summit of Santa María volcano, above the
Santiaguito lava-dome complex.
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHANIE GROCK, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

“Santiaguito is truly a great natural laboratory for doing this expedition,” said Grocke, a volcanologist. During the expedition, Grocke used cutting-edge photogrammetry techniques. “I was doing ground-based, time-lapse photogrammetry, which involved taking nearly continuous time-lapse images of the surface of the active lava dome,” said Grocke.

More:
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture-exploration/2018/08/santa-maria-volcano-guatemala-caliente-santiaguito-eruption/

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