It has been a busy few days here in Nicaragua with lots more data collection. We have done a fair bit of fieldwork using all of our equipment in various locations and at various times. One of the more exciting and spectacular parts of the fieldwork was our conduction of thermal camera measurements at the summit at nighttime to maximise the amount of light that could be collected by the cameras. The lava lake as spectacular during the day but absolutely stunning during the evening. The vigour of the lake and strength of light given off by the lava even more apparent at night, and also really valuable for our data collection. We also managed to get some more UV camera data on the flanks in a slightly better position to see the whole plume. One of the great new features of our cameras is the ability to wirelessly connect to the cameras. This may seem like an obvious feature, but previously we had many cumbersome wires flying everywhere!
We also became plume chasers as we hunted down the position of the gas plume to perform traverses beneath using our spectrometer. This is a way of building up a plume profile to estimate flux of gas from the summit. We had a hard time actually seeing the plume to begin with because of low clouds, but eventually when the cloud level raised slightly, the plume, which has a reddish-brown hue to it, appeared in a completely opposite direction to the one it usually travels. It turned out we had already passed the plume within 10 minutes of leaving the hotel! On the final day we managed to acquire some synchronous thermal and UV camera data and then finished early to make sure all data was backed up and equipment packed up before our flight home.
The past 10 days have been quite tiring but we head home with hopefully a fantastic set of data. It is very rare to go home having achieved all your aims and maybe a little more beyond this.
See below for the accompanying video.