The Masaya Finale... A Hike Around Nindiri!
Hi! My name is Ms. Graham. I am a teacher at the Marymount School of New York. Join me as I investigate the effects of Masaya, an active volcano in Nicaragua!
One might ask what in the world do magnetics have to do with volcanos... and what I learned today is, a lot! I spent the large majority of today walking trails in the Masaya crater and taking magnetic readings every 50 meters. In this picture, you can see me holding the magnetometer, which reads changes in the earth's magnetic composition. When you find a change in magnetics, this indicates that a fault line or fracture is likely below the surface. And why does this matter?? Interestingly enough, the scientists who have been working at the Masaya volcano (some since 1993!) have hypothesized that a system of cones (kind of like baby volcanoes, but they currently look like hills) and fault lines are actually comprised in the larger masaya crater, which could eventually lead to changes in activity and geography at some point in the future.
Today I saw my first volcano... and it was amazing. As you can see, the Masaya volcano, or more accurately, the Santiago crater, or caldera, in the Masaya volcano (because there are many craters in the volcano, but Santiago is the only active one) constantly emits gas. The cloud in the picture is actually a mix of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and most significantly, sulphur dioxide. Though we did not do so today, in the next few days, we will take air quality measurements to quantify the sulphur dioxide. We will also follow the plume of gas as it travels west toward the Pacific coast. Any idea why this might be important?