Find a volcano…while riding your bike

Ground magnetic measurements combine scientific work with a fun outdoor experience. After some corrections, the data is combined into regional magnetic maps. With further calculations It is used for modeling the subsurface structure and, for example, to reconstruct the 3D shape of buried volcanoes. In the past 20 years, we walked along ~900 km in northern Israel, to collect data.

In April 2016, we developed a new technique for data collection, using a bicycle. We fixed a triangular frame of piles to the bike. The magnetic sensor was placed 2.2 m above the ground and 1.65 m in front of the bike. The GPS antenna was located 2 m above ground. Both sensors were wired to the magnetic receiver placed on the chest of the rider to facilitate real-time QC of the measurements. It sounds a bit cumbersome, and it really is. But this arrangement works great. By new we have collected over 1000 km on the bike through numerous towns and villages, and across the fields between them.


Winter measurements (you can tell by the coat). Uri is riding from the eastern Galilee down the hill towards the Sea of Galilee. The ropes and tubes stabilize the sensors, and at enable flexibility.

Coverage of measurement transects until March 2017

The measurements on the peculiar-looking bike evoke a lot of curiosity from everyone. Children ask if this is a spaceship or a sophisticated camera. Adults ask what am I measuring, and what is the research. Car and truck drivers slow down to look and even stop to ask. In short – nobody remained indifferent strange-looking bike…and we are more than happy to provide on-the-spot simple explanations about magnetics and geology.


At the end of each section, the bike is mounted on the vehicle and transferred to the next transect. 


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