Monitoring volcanic eruptions with a wireless sensor network

Geoffrey Werner-Allen, Jeff Johnson, Mario Ruiz, Jonathan Lees, Matt Welsh

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper describes our experiences using a wireless sensor network to monitor volcanic eruptions with low-frequency acoustic sensors. We developed a wireless sensor array and deployed it in July 2004 at Volcán Tungurahua, an active volcano in central Ecuador. The network collected infrasonic (low-frequency acoustic) signals at 102 Hz, transmitting data over a 9 km wireless link to a remote base station. During the deployment, we collected over 54 hours of continuous data which included at least 9 large explosions. Nodes were time-synchronized using a separate GPS receiver, and our data was later correlated with that acquired at a nearby wired sensor array. In addition to continuous sampling, we have developed a distributed event detector that automatically triggers data transmission when a well-correlated signal Is received by multiple nodes. We evaluate this approach in terms of reduced energy and bandwidth usage, as well as accuracy of infrasonic signal detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd European Workshop onWireless Sensor Networks, EWSN 2005 - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: Jan 31 2005Feb 2 2005


Conference2nd European Workshop onWireless Sensor Networks, EWSN 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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