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Published April 1983 | Published
Journal Article Open

Expendable bubble tiltmeter for geophysical monitoring


An unusually rugged highly sensitive and inexpensive bubble tiltmeter has been designed, tested, and built in quantity. These tiltmeters are presently used on two volcanoes and an Alaskan glacier, where they continuously monitor surface tilts of geological interest. This paper discusses the mechanical, thermal, and electric details of the meter, and illustrates its performance characteristics in both large ( > 10^(-4) radian) and small ( < 10^(-6) radian) tilt environments. The meter's ultimate sensitivity is better than 2 X 10^(-8) radians rms for short periods (hours), and its useful dynamic range is greater than 10^4. Included is a short description of field use of the instrument for volcano monitoring.

Additional Information

© 1983 American Institute of Physics. Received 13 October 1982; accepted 21 December 1982. We thank James Gunn, Victor Nenow, and DeVere Smith for aid in the design and construction of these meters. We also appreciate the aid and encouragement of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory staff, particularly Norman Banks and Arnold Okamura. This work was supported by internal Caltech funds, the U.S. Geological survey Volcanic Hazards Program, and USGS Contract 14-08-0001-19753.

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