Seismic Research Unit donates Volcanic Hazard Atlas to St. Kitts Nevis

St. Augustine, Trinidad W.I, January 27th, 2006, SRU/UWI – During a routine volcano-monitoring trip to St. Kitts Nevis, scientists of the Seismic Research Unit distributed several free copies of the recently published Volcanic Hazard Atlas of the Lesser Antilles to key educational institutions on both islands. Published by the SRU, the Atlas is a major collaborative effort involving contributions from several renowned earth science agencies across the globe. It provides a comprehensive up-to-date summary of the current understanding of the evolution of West Indies volcanoes and is pertinent to a broad audience ranging from island residents to volcanologists.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to provide the people of St. Kitts Nevis with this valuable mitigation tool. Although we are based on the St. Augustine campus the work of the SRU significantly impacts most of the UWI non-campus territories thereby defining us as a truly regional department within the UWI,” said Dr. Richard Robertson, geologist and Head of the SRU. “This Atlas is a demonstration of the application of science to the real world as it is intended to provide an essential blueprint for planners and public officials with responsibility for managing the economic infrastructure of Eastern Caribbean islands and dealing with the hazards of Lesser Antilles volcanoes,” added Robertson.

The Atlas was created at the request of public officials in planning departments and those responsible for disaster preparedness at the time of a 2001 USAID-funded workshop on Volcanic and Seismic Hazards in the Eastern Caribbean. In addition to the detailed summaries of the volcanic history and hazards of individual islands, the Atlas includes a regional synthesis of volcanic setting, volcano monitoring, volcanic hazards and a bibliography for each island. An accompanying map pocket contains large poster-sized versions of the hazard maps for individual islands.

Over three hundred copies of the Atlas have been donated to civil authorities, island governments, national libraries and other relevant institutions throughout the region. Recipients on St. Kitts Nevis included the National Archives, the Ministry of Education, and the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College.

The publication of the Atlas is endorsed by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior and the project was primarily funded by the Caribbean Development Bank under a grant from the United States Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). The Seismic Research Unit is currently in the preliminary stages of developing a multimedia version of the Atlas specifically geared to a non-scientific audience. Copies of the Atlas are available directly from the Unit and requests may be emailed to

The Seismic Research Unit is the agency responsible for monitoring earthquakes and volcanoes in the English-speaking islands of the Lesser Antilles.