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The University of the West Indies-Seismic Research Centre Volcano Monitoring Network: Evolution since 1953 and Challenges in Maintaining a State-of-the-Art Network in a Small Island Economy

Dondin, Frédéric J.-Y. and Lynch, Lloyd and Ramsingh, Chan and Ryan, Graham A. and Papadopoulous, Ilias and Rueppel, Daniel and Joseph, Erouscilla P. and Latchman, Joan L. and Robertson, Richard E. A. and Nath, Nisha and Mathura, Ranissa and Balchan, Amit and George, Stephen and Juman, Ian and Madoo, Farrah and Manette, Garth and Ramsingh, Hannah

Erouscilla Patricia Joseph





The Seismic Research Centre (SRC), formerly known as the Seismic Research Unit (SRU), of the University of the West Indies is located on the island of Trinidad in the Eastern Caribbean. The centre has been operating its volcanological and seismological surveillance network since 1953. Since that time, the network has been upgraded five times resulting in five generations of seismic network topologies (i.e., Classes). Class 1 consisted of autonomously operated photographic recording stations, a purely analogue configuration. From Class 2 to Class 5 (current class) the network has continuously grown in scope, sophistication and capability. The evolution of the network was carried out using a combination of state-of-the-art instruments as well as trailing edge technology (e.g., analogue transmission) used in a manner that allows for sustainability. In this way, the network has been able to address the scientific and technical challenges associated with operating in an island arc subduction zone which is exposed to other natural hazards such as hurricanes. To counter its operational constrains the SRC has developed several strategies, which contribute to: (i) expand the network to meet the demand for more timely and accurate surveillance of geohazards, (ii) broaden the range of monitoring techniques (e.g., cGPS, geochemical), (iii) capture research grade scientific data and (iv) reduce operational costs.


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