St. Vincent - Monitoring
Before the twentieth century the potentially destructive capacity of this volcano
was not fully realised. No monitoring system was in place and scientific knowledge
of the system was very limited. Seismological studies at the Soufrière volcano began
in 1953 (Figure 5) with the establishment of the Seismic Research Unit and since
then has evolved to its present state. Presentaly, monitoring of the Soufrière volcano
is carried out by the Seismic Research Unit assisted by a small local unit (called
the Soufrière Monitoring Unit) that operates from the Ministry of Agriculture in
Kingstown. The monitoring network consists of five seismic stations, 8 GPS stations
and several dry tilt sites. Seismic data are transmitted from field sites to the
Belmont Observatory operated by the Soufrière Monitoring Unit. The data are then
accessed from Trinidad via the internet. Regular observation is made at the summit
of the volcano and measurements taken of lake and fumarole temperature and observed
changes in the state of the volcano noted. A detailed description of the evolution
of the monitoring network can be found here.
Map of the St. Vincent Volcano Monitoring Network (February 2004).
Photograph of the Wallibou Seismic Station being serviced by technicians from the Soufriere Monitoring Unit.