June 3, 2005
Seismic research unit publishes volcanic Atlas

The Seismic Research Unit has launched a publication it claims is the first of its kind in the world.

The Volcanic Atlas of the Lesser Antilles, a comprehensive reference text on volcanism in the Lesser Antilles, was launched on Monday, May 30, at the Fisheries Department Conference Room. {{more}}

It provides an up to date summary of the current understanding of the evolution of the impressive volcanoes in the region.

The atlas was created at the request of the public officials in the 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, organized by the Seismic Research Unit of the University of the West Indies.

The primary purpose of the atlas is 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.

Dr.Richard Robertson, of the Seismic Research Unit of the West Indies in St.Augustine, Trinidad, who played a major role in the realization of the atlas, said the book is written in a manner that is not filled with scientific jargon. He added that in cases where scientific jargon is used, a comprehensive explanation is attached. Dr. Robertson noted the Seismic Research Unit of the University of the West Indies is attempting to ensure that the document could be read by anyone in the public.

He noted it is hoped that the Volcanic Hazard Atlas of the Lesser Antilles will be used by secondary school students, students of Geography and Geology, teachers and planners.

The Volcanic Hazard Atlas of the Lesser Antilles, is a comprehensive reference work summarizing the current state of knowledge of each live volcano in the volcanic islands of the Lesser Antilles.

It is the first attempt to gather, in one place, information pertaining to volcanic hazards for all these islands, bringing together in a uniformed format both published and non-published data that was previously scattered amongst numerous journals, newspaper articles and internal reports.

Funding for the Atlas was obtained from the Caribbean Development Bank Disaster Mitigation Facility for the Caribbean, while the project was endorsed by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI).