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Enhancement of sub-daily positioning solutions for surface deformation monitoring at Deception volcano (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica)

Abstract

Deception Island is one of the most visited places in Antarctica. There are biological, geological, and archeological features that are major attractions within Port Foster, its horse shoe-shaped natural inner bay, and two scientific bases that are occupied during austral summers. Deception Island is an active volcano, however, and needs to be monitored in order to reduce risk to people on the island. Surface deformation in response to fluid pressure is one of the main volcanic activities to observe. Automated data acquisition and processing using the global navigation satellite systems allow measurements of surface deformation in near real time. Nevertheless, the positioning repeatability in sub-daily solutions is affected by geophysical influences such as ocean tidal loading, among others. Such periodic influences must be accurately modeled to achieve similar repeatability as daily solutions that average them. However, a single solution each 24 h will average out the deformation suffered during that period, and the position update waiting time can be a limitation for near real-time purposes. Throughout the last five austral summer campaigns in Deception, using simultaneous wireless communications between benchmarks, a processing strategy was developed to achieve millimeter-level half-hourly positioning solutions that have similar repeatability as those given by 24-h solutions. For these half-hourly solutions, a tidal analysis was performed to assess any mismodeling of ocean tide loading, and a discrete Kalman filter was designed and implemented to enhance the sub-daily positioning repeatability. With these solutions, the volcano-dynamic activity resulting in localized surface deformation for the last five austral summer campaigns is addressed. Although based on only three carefully located benchmarks, it is shown that Deception has been shortening and subsiding during these last 4 years. The method’s accuracy in baselines up to a few hundred kilometers assures its applicability to other volcanoes worldwide.

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Acknowledgments

This geodetic research has been carried out with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science as part of the National Antarctic Program. The following research projects directly contributed to this work: “Recognition and fast evaluation of volcanic activity on Deception Island (GEODESY) (ANT1999-1430-E/HESP)”; “Geodetic Studies on Deception Island: deformation models, geoid determination and Scientific Information System (REN2000-0551-C03-01/ANT)”; “Acquisition of scientific software for GPS data processing (REN2000-2690-E)”; “Geodetic Control of the volcanic activity of Deception Island (CGL2004-21547-E/ANT)”; “Update of the Spanish Cartography for Deception Island (CGL2004-20408-E/ANT)”; “Volcano-tectonic activity on Deception Island: geodetic, geophysical investigations and Remote Sensing on Deception Island and its surroundings (CGLl2005-07589-c03-01/ANT)”; and “Geodetic and Geothermal Researches, Time Serial Analysis and Volcanic Innovation in Antarctica (South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula (GEOTINANT)(CTM2009-07251/ANT).”

Both the contributions of the editors and of two anonymous reviewers are very much appreciated, which greatly helped to improve the manuscript.

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Correspondence to G. Prates.

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Editorial responsibility: S. De la Cruz-Reyna

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Prates, G., Berrocoso, M., Fernández-Ros, A. et al. Enhancement of sub-daily positioning solutions for surface deformation monitoring at Deception volcano (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). Bull Volcanol 75, 688 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00445-013-0688-3

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