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Images: To Catch an Erupting Volcano

When Augustine Island volcano off Alaska began erupting in December 2005, researchers rapidly mobilized to deploy instruments to monitor it. (Photo by T.A. Plucinski, Alaskan Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey)

The volcano on Augustine Island is located in Cook Inlet, about 170 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. (U.S. Geological Survey)

Vic Bender, a senior engineering technician at Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitution, deploys a 100-pound ocean bottom seismomemter from the national Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool at WHOI in February 2006. The NOBSIP builds and operates deep-sea seismic equipment for use by the scientific community. (Photo by McKibben Jackinsky, The Homer News)

Five ocean bottom seismometers (red dots) were deployed around the Augustine volcano in February 2005 and retrieved in April. The seismic recordings they collected should reveal what goes on inside and underneath an active volcano, improving understanding of the magmatic processes that precede and lead to eruptions. Green lines indicate the ship track of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Roanoake Island)