An international team of researchers have travelled to Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea to better understand the warning signs of volcanic eruptions. The volcano is situated on an island which is just six miles wide and home to 9,000 people.
However, it is a relatively active volcano, as is evident by a 2004 eruption which forced all residents to evacuate.
As such, scientists have picked is as the perfect volcano to monitor with their new system.
The team, which included specialists from the UK, USA, Canada, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Costa Rica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in a group known as ABOVE, combined old monitoring systems with new techniques.
There are already ways to measure potential volcanic eruptions - such as monitoring earthquake activity or satellite information which can measure volcanic emissions of gases such as sulphur dioxide (SO2).
Volcano eruption warning: Drones now able to monitor for potential warning signs (Image: ABOVE)
Scientists prepping the drones (Image: ABOVE)
Now, the team have kitted out drones to add miniaturised gas sensors, spectrometers and sampling devices which can swoop into the mouth of the volcano.
As a result, scientists can gain a clearer insight into what is happening on the inside of a volcano and provide better warning in light of a potential eruption.
The team can collect gas samples and calculate the ratio between sulphur and carbon dioxide levels in a volcano’s emissions.
By determining the ratio, scientists will be able to locate where exactly the magma is, which will be a telltale sign as to whether it is rising or not.
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Manan steaming (Image: NASA)