A budget increase aids the Alaska Volcano Observatory

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Thanks to a recent 12-million dollar budget increase through the U.S Geological Survey, the Alaska Volcano Observatory, or AVO, is able to make significant upgrades to a lot of their current equipment. David Fee with the AVO talked about how the observatory will use the money.
"So this money will be used to primarily upgrade our seismic stations from analog to digital. This is kind of a modernization of the equipment, a lot of the equipment that is out in the field." Fee said.
Fee said seismology plays a large role in tracking volcanic activity and he explained why the upgrade will be beneficial.
"It allows us to tell us whether magma is moving underground, maybe how much, where it is located, help us provide some warning or forecast of the eruption. And with this modernization, what we will be able to do is essentially provide, or get a better idea of how things are occurring with the volcano. This is a lot higher quality data than the previous technology." Fee said.
Fee said that an eruption usually only affects aviation but in some cases the smoke can drift into more populated areas. Historically Alaska has had over 50 volcanoes that have been active, with an average of two active volcanoes at any given moment