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USGS Monitoring Newberry Volcano For Seismic Activity

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey are putting the finishing touches on eight new monitoring stations on Central Oregon’s Newberry Volcano.  David Nogueras took a trip to find out how the system works.

East Lake in Newberry Crater

Michael Clapp / OPB

Newberry Volcano is a giant hiding in plain sight.  That’s because unlike the model volcano you may have built back in grammar school, Newberry has as many as 400 vents. 

That makes it less concentrated and more spread out.

Benjamin Pauk is a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.  He says the system is a major upgrade from the lone seismometer it’s replacing.

“The problem with that seismometer is that it’s very difficult to locate earthquakes and then determine the magnitude with just that one instrument,” Pauk said.

The new stations will transmit GPS and seismic data to the USGS in real time.  Pauk says the data will not only help scientists recognize major events but will provide researchers with a clearer picture of what normal looks like.

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