Volcano monitoring to help reduce risk in Caribbean, Latin America

By on July 17, 2012
Soufrière Hills

A team of researchers from British universities and international organizations launched a five-year study aimed to reduce risk to those living near active volcanoes in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a press release from the National Environment Research Council in England.

The $4.7-million study, led by the University of East Anglia, will monitor the volcanoes so scientists can better predict eruptions. The team will also work with citizens, including disaster survivors, to learn about the sociological aspects of the volcanic regions. Researchers hope that through monitoring they can assist policy makers and disaster managers to make effective response plans.

Scientists from the University of Oxford, Bristol University, the University of Leeds, the British Geological Survey and the Overseas Development Institute will collaborate on research. Sentinel satellites, to be launched next year by the European Space Agency, will help researchers observe volcanic activity.

The volcanoes to be studied are Soufrière Hills (Montserrat); Galeras (Colombia); Tungurahua (Ecuador); Soufrière St Vincent (St Vincent); Cerro Machin (Colombia), and Cotopaxi (Ecuador) according to the press release.

The Natural Environment Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council of England funded the project.

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