RTsys System Monitors Seismic Activity of Subsea Volcano

The underwater volcano, Tagoro, off the coast of El Hierro Island, in the Canary archipelago, is being monitored by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) together with both Canarian Universities.

They rely on RTsys expertise, the specialists in passive and active underwater acoustics and drones, who has designed a combined seismic and acoustic system especially for this research project.

Submerged in October 2016, it is scheduled to be resurfaced at the end of winter season in 2017.

In order to measure ground movement in the area of the Canaries archipelago, RTsys have designed a system combining 3 geophones; two pointing horizontally and one vertically. A hydrophone has been added to record the noise caused by the ground or by bubbles formed in the water by vibrations.

The device is original in that it combines and synchronises these four different analogue sensors with digital sensors measuring temperature, salinity and other environmental parameters. RTsys has been able to overcome this challenge thanks to the SDA card: the technological core of the Breton company’s products. Used on the ground by DC Ambientales (the Spanish distributor of RTsys products), this system has a battery life of around forty-five days. The data measured are recovered when the system is resurfaced.

The seismic research project in the Canaries archipelago area was driven by an underwater eruption off the coast of the island of El Hierro, on October 10, 2011, after 40 years of inactivity. In the weeks following the eruption, the first research projects were already underway. These projects are being continued by five Spanish research institutes as part of the VULCANO II project.