Mapping volcanic islands in the Aleutian chain
Dr. Nicolaysen worked with Jon Dehn (University of Alaska, Fairbanks), Richard B. Moore (USGS), and graduate student Michael Brown to compile geologic maps and peterogenetic histories of two volcanic islands in the central Aleutian chain. Mt. Cleveland erupted most recently in 1987, 1994, and 2001, creating dangerous conditions int he commercial and private airspace of Alaska and northwestern Canada and the continental US. The monitoring and mapping of the volcano depends critically on GEOS, AVHRR, and Landsat ETM+ images. Two undergraduate geology majors acquired electron microprobe and geochemical analyses, which they archived in a GIS database to examine the spatial distribution of geochemical patterns. This research made use of a Trimble GeoXM integrated GPS unit for ongoing map compilation. It enabled the researchers to effectively ground-truth the locations and characteristics of catastrophic deposits observed on satelite images.