Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 27th 2014 Contents SUNDAY 27TH APRIL, 2014 -- UWI TODAY 13
When you think of St Lucia's landscape, the magni cent
Pitons come easily to mind. e Gros Piton and the Petit
Piton are the two volcanic plugs located to the south
of Soufrière. ey are recognised as one of UNESCO's
World Heritage Sites and attract many visitors. e town
of Soufrière with a population just under 8,400, attracts
many tourists -- Sulphur Springs Park draws more than
But the volcanic landscape, while it provides a
livelihood for many St Lucians, also has a life of its own,
which might not necessarily be good for residents and
Volcanic gases, present even in a passive volcano can
be damaging to health, and there has been some concern
over what levels exist and how harmful they might be.
In this case, stakeholders from Saint Lucia's health
and environmental sectors convened at the Soufrière
Community Access Centre for the launch of a new
network to monitor these gases.
Led by e UWI Seismic Research Centre (UWI-
SRC), the primary objective of the project is to gain
a better understanding of volcanic emissions at
the Soufrière Volcano and the potential impact on
environmental and human health.
e UWI-SRC and members of the Project Team
will work with the Soufrière Regional Development
Foundation (SRDF), management of the Sulphur Springs
Park, and NEMO of Saint Lucia, to establish a volcanic
emissions monitoring network at two sites a ected by
The project will specifically measure outputs of
sulphur dioxide in the air and arsenic in water at the
Sulphur Springs Park and the town of Soufrière. e
eight month project also seeks to build local capacity as
members of the SRDF will be trained in the application
of low-cost, low-technology monitoring techniques
developed by the UWI Department of Chemistry in St.
" e involvement of the community through the
training is an important component of the project as it
will improve and expand our capacity to provide volcanic
monitoring of gases beyond the life of the project," said
the Principal Investigator on the project, Dr. Erouscilla
Joseph, a Volcanologist at the UWI-SRC.
By the end of 18 months, she envisages that the main
outcomes would be: 1) quanti cation of the chemical
Testing the Air
Volcanic gas monitoring system for St Lucia
impacts of volcanism on SO2 in the air, and As in the
water supplies of Sulphur Springs and Soufrière; 2)
Provide a low-cost low-technology SO2 monitoring
technique as an option for use in reducing the impacts
of passive volcanic emissions on human health; 3)
Promote knowledge transfer of technology, and increase
the capacity of local personnel by training them to
perform SO2 evaluations; 4) Contribute to advancing
the knowledge and understanding of volcanic emissions
and their potential impacts on the local environment,
and hazards to human health through publications in
international, peer-reviewed journals; and 5) Promote
public education about the risks associated with exposure
to unsafe levels of volcanic emissions and steps that may
be taken to reduce these risks.
Similar networks have been established in Hawaii
and Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean but this is the
rst of its kind in the Caribbean and it will be used as a
model for other volcanic islands in the region.
e project is funded by e UWI Trinidad and
Tobago Research and Development Impact Fund
(RDI) and project partners include the Department
of Chemistry (UWI St. Augustine), The Soufrière
Regional Development Foundation, the Saint Lucia
National Emergency Management Organisation and the
Montserrat Volcano Observatory.
Dr. Erouscilla Joseph of the UWI Seismic Research Centre (far le ), discusses the set up of sampling
sites with sta of the Sulphur Springs Park as part of the community training.
From le : Mr Viveka Jackson, UWI Seismic Research Centre and Ms. Venus Bass of the Montserrat Volcano
Observatory with Ms. Sirmarnth Denys of the Sulphur Springs Park setting up the low cost sulphur dioxide
sampler for monitoring.
e Pitons at night.
Links Archive April 26th 2014 April 28th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page