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Volcano Forecasting

Forecasting volcanic activity requires continuous monitoring for signals of magmatic unrest in harsh, often remote environments. Furthermore, because volcanoes generally host abundant (non-volcanic) environmental noise, monitored signals must be confirmed on multiple instruments to avoid the possibility of false alarms due to a non-volcanic source of an apparent increase in a monitored signal. The Behar's Environmental Networking, Telemetry, and Observation Boxes (BENTO) is a next-generation monitoring system that is highly portable, low-cost, rapidly deployable, and entirely autonomous. 

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BENTO I (gas monitoring) prototype deployed at Hengill Volcano, Iceland. Photo courtesy Diana Roman, DTM.
Diana Roman
Diana Roman deploying a BENTO II (seismic monitoring) prototype at Hekla Volcano, Iceland. Photo courtesy Diana Roman, DTM.


The BENTO box could be used to provide critical monitoring and data collection capabilities during rapid-onset eruptions, or to provide a crude baseline monitor at large numbers of remote volcanoes to 'flag' the onset of unrest so that costlier resources such as specialized instrumentation can be deployed in the appropriate place at the appropriate time. Ongoing field-testing and refinement of BENTO prototypes, and strategies for their deployment, in a wide range of volcanic environments, is helping to produce a reliable technology that can be incorporated into volcano monitoring activities worldwide.