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Virgin Islands is now part of a GPS Observational Network
Department of Disaster Management (DDM) – Thursday, March 21st, 2013 at 12:05 PM
The Virgin Islands is now part of a Continuously Operating Caribbean Global Positioning System Observational Network, which will aid in the monitoring, understanding and prediction of earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, volcanoes and landslides.
In May of 2011 the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) reported on the commencement of a project to install a Continuously Operating Caribbean Global Positioning System (GPS) Observational Network (COCONet). Following the approval of Cabinet the new station is now in full operation and is located on Virgin Gorda.
This station was provided by the University NAVSTAR Consortium (UNAVCO), a Colorado-based non-profit membership-governed consortium that operates GPS networks worldwide as part of the COCONet project.
Technicians from UNAVO recently spent a week on Virgin Gorda setting up the station. In an interview with Engineer Abe Morrison he said, “The installation of the GPS referencing station will allow you to measure the movements of the tectonic plate that we are sitting on. It is co-located with a seismic station to monitor the earth’s movements and a weather station to measure atmospheric conditions to track hurricanes and other weather systems.”
Mr. Morrison further explained, “GPS and meteorological Data collected from stations such as the one now established on Virgin Gorda is used to study solid earth processes such as tectonic plate motions, tectonic plate boundary interaction and deformation, including earthquake cycle processes and risks. This data will eventually become available for use by scientists, government agencies, educators, students and the private sector.”
COCONet is a four-year award that is expected to add 50 high precision permanent GPS station to 50 existing ones in the Caribbean and Caribbean border nations. The instruments are able to detect millimeter changes in movement of the Earth’s crust. These initiatives help to improve the monitoring of earthquakes and weather systems that have the potential to significantly impact the Virgin Islands and are a significant contribution to the advancement of the local Disaster Management Programme
To learn more about the COCONet project visit http://coconet.unavco.org .
[This article was posted in its entirety as received by bvinews.com.]
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