Jazlyn Beeck collects soil gas samples from Mount Teide in the Canary Islands.

Jazlyn Beeck collects soil gas samples from Mount Teide in the Canary Islands. Photo submitted

Mount Teide may be due for an eruption. The volcano last erupted in 1909.

Denison native Jazlyn Beeck spent a month this summer working to help provide a long-term picture of the volcano’s condition.

Beeck is a 2018 Denison High School graduate and will be starting her sophomore year at Iowa State University (ISU) in two weeks.

She is working toward a degree in geology and environmental science.

Mount Teide sits on Tenerife, which is the largest of the Canary Islands.

The top of the volcano is the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic Ocean.

Beeck worked for four weeks as an intern with INVOLCAN (Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias), which is a part of ITER (Instituto Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables).

GeoTenerife, a British company, organized the trip.

“GeoTenerife helps young scientists who are interested have an opportunity to get into the labs,” Beeck said.

She was one of seven students working on the project. Two were from the United States and the others were from the United Kingdom.

“I ended up getting along really well with all of them,” Beeck said.

The team spent the first three weeks collecting samples.

Beeck and one other student took samples from the Northeast Rift Zone of the volcano.

That area is sampled once each year.

“We were doing soil gas samples and CO2 flux, monitoring changes and activity,” she said.

The other students were assigned to take samples from different areas.

The crater of the volcano is sampled weekly, Beeck said.

“We had around 600 samples sites and then we used different lab machines to look into the samples,” she said.

“We would put a probe down 40 centimeters and then, using a syringe, we would take the samples; two to three samples, depending on the site.”

The fourth week was spent in a lab analyzing a portion of the samples with QMS (quadrupole mass spectrometer), MGC (micro gas chromatograph) and IRMS (isotope ratio mass spectrometer).

“We worked on determining the concentrations of different elements within the gas samples,” Beeck said. “Since we had 600 sites, we didn’t get to go through all the samples while I was there.”

She is definitely interested in volcanology and may end up working in that field, she said.

Dr. Elizabeth Swanner, a professor in the ISU Department of Geological And Atmospheric Sciences, connected her with the program on Tenerife.

“I did a project with her last spring about carbonates in the Loess Hills for my honors project,” Beeck said.

Swanner was her mentor on the project.

Beeck said she got a lot out of the internship on Tenerife from scientific and cultural perspectives.

“It was a good opportunity to go and do something that is really not available to me here in Iowa,” she said.

The Canary Islands are part of Spain; she enjoyed being immersed in another culture. Most of the others she interacted with on Tenerife were Spanish speakers.

Beeck said she knows just enough Spanish to get by.

“It was easier to understand than to try to speak it,” she said.

No results are available yet from the sampling and testing.

She said changes in the soil gas samples from year to year could indicate new activity in the volcano, which erupts about every 100 years.

“It’s actually ‘due’ anytime now, according to its history,” Beeck said.

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