An international study of the volcanic activity and geological processes taking place on Mt Erebus were investigated over 10 seasons. The broad program involved several investigations.
Surveys: A survey of the crater layout, camp area, plot of lines of fumeroles, warm areas and depths was conducted. Trig points were established around the summit area and at Tent Island. Tellurometer ... lines were measured, plus angles from all Trigs. Crater depths and mountain height was established. A map of the summit area of the mountain was completed using rangefinder readings and stereo photographs from trigs around the main crater rim and side crater. General photographs were taken by investigators and a C130 flew over the summit taking photos for the compilation of a detailed contour map.
Geology/Geothermal Investigations: The geology of the volcano was examined from general observations, sample collections and mapping of the rocks on the slopes. A great deal of watching and photographing the lava lake, the fumaroles and the active vent in the main crater was conducted and compared between seasons and used to determine the frequency of eruptions, topographic changes in the inner crater and possible eruption mechanisms. Anorthoclase crystals and ice samples were collected for analysis and ice and an ash layer from the Fang Glacier was investigated for deposition.
Seismology: The seismology of the volcano was studied in detail every season and compared between seasons. A continuous record of eruptions during each expedition was recorded. Seismometers, seismographs and sound recordings (low frequency microphone) were used to monitor the frequency and strength of major eruptions temporarily (during the expeditions) and to compare with previously reported activity. Tape recordings of the short period time changes in the magnetic field of the earth (1-100 second period) were made which will include changes of volcanic origin, caused by the circulation and disruption during explosions of the electrically conducting magma - electromagnetic impulses generated by the lava column.
Chemistry: Salts were sampled from the main crater, outer slopes and in ice caves. Samples were taken at inner crater rim and the warm ground and temperature/salts correlation studied.
Lave sampling: Freshly ejected lava bombs were sampled. The temperature of the exposed lava in the lava lake was measured using an optical pyranometer. Rangefinder readings were taken to measure the depth of the lava lake below the main crater rim. The apparent viscosity of the lava lake was measured by penetration of metal spears dropped from a thick stainless steel cable stretched across the crater. The main crater fumeroles were measured and moss and algae were collected from the surrounding warm areas and on the outer slopes. Isotopes (gross alpha particle activity) and chemicals (Cl, F, SO2 and heavy metals) were measured from the fume cloud and other steam emissions on the main crater rim.
Ice Cave Investigations: An ice cave was found and investigated in great detail as only two other volcanoes have records of caves of this type. The cave was mapped, the geology observed and a soil temperature profile was measured. Changes in the configuration of the ice cave were monitored every season. Mt Terror: Mt Terror was used as an acclimation point and investigations at this summit included collecting samples of lava bombs, olivine, pyroxenes and basalts and surveying the summit (survey marker was drilled into the highest rock pinnacle and bearings taken on all known trig points).