My preparations for a second round of fieldwork are finally finished. I’m being optimistic this period will be more successful than the last.
Geologically: volcanic activity is currently considerably reduced; Technically: complex and fancy new equipment difficult to master; Metrologically: a hurricane and unusually cloudy ‘dry’ season plus a family emergency have all conspired against me. Their combined efforts have reduced my in-field season from eight weeks to four and a half. One mustn’t be discouraged and forge onwards into the darkness. My weather karma needs to brew up an exceptional period of clear skies for the next 16-18 days.
Wisdom acquired during previous field experience means I’m bringing better supplies to isolate myself from the high altitude sunshine – base camp is at 2554 m (8379 ft). Simple things like extra tarps, an umbrella and bandannas are all essential. My main concern is stocking up on enough food. I refuse to again allow myself the miserable experience of eating tuna and tortillas for lunch and beans or pasta for dinner, every day. For 16 days.. If you’ve never done it, it gets old. Trust me. The plan now includes eggs, bacon, steaks, something sweet, fruit and of course ample Geologist ‘brain juice’.
Maybe I should explain the purpose of this self-imposed isolation. I’m measuring the cycles of sulfur dioxide (SO2) degassing from the summit lava dome and fumarole fields of Volcán de Colima, México (3850m asl) aka Volcán Fuego. Specifically, I’m deploying two EnviCAM 1 UV cameras and a FLYSPEC UV spectrometer. The data being collected is a part of my wider project examining the use of multiparameter monitoring on active volcanoes.
Stay tuned for my next update after returning mid-December from field work!