Posted by B. Steele, 09/06/2012
Labor day often signals back-to-school time for our kids, and back to the mountain for PNSN and USGS scientists. The USGS, in collaboration with the National Parks Service at Mount Rainier, is supporting a series of helicopter flights between September 4th and 7th to assist with high elevation maintenance work (7,000 to 11,000 ft). Helicopters for scientific research purposes are banned from the park until after Labor Day so as not to interfere with the park visitors experience. Wait too long, and snows return making flights and work more difficult and dangerous. Early September seems to be the ideal time, and much of our staff, along with 10-12 CVO scientists, are hard at work making the needed upgrades in some of the best possible weather.
Five stations will be overhauled in the push, all of which provide real time seismic data to UW and CVO to monitor activity within the volcanic system. This real-time data is critical for early detection of unrest in the volcano. The improvements will help these critical stations to survive the extreme conditions that can occur high on the mountain for another a year. Photos, and possibly movie clips, will be posted on the CVO web site as soon as they are available, probably by Monday afternoon.