Developing integrated volcano monitoring and hazard mitigation programs at persistently degassing volcanoes

Geoscientists Without Borders
Volcano Preparedness Projects

The Open University is conducting a multi-year project to understand and mitigate the impact on the local environment and population of the persistent volcanic activity at Masaya and Telica, Nicaragua.

Using geochemical analyses and social science, project members hope to develop a better understanding of how persistent gas flux from the volcanoes impact humans and their environment (e.g., grazing land for cattle, cultivated land for various crops, and natural vegetation) and to determine how rapidly the local environment responds to changes in volatile flux.

Status In Progress

Statement of Work

This project is specifically designed to expand the scope of the research currently undertaken by the PIs to include gravity surveys. It will develop an innovative integrated monitoring system to monitor variations in gas flux by combining continuous microgravity measurements of degassing subsurface magma with concurrent spectrometric data of gases escaping from the vent and records of gas accumulation and impact downwind. Combining geophysical, geochemical and social science will enable us to develop a better understanding of how the persistent gas flux from these volcanoes impact humans, animals and the environment (e.g. grazing land for cattle, cultivated land for various crops, natural vegetation and water sources) and how rapidly the local environment responds to changes in volatile flux. In addition, this project seeks to grow the knowledge and communications base between the scientific and local community so that effective triage, through mitigation strategies, can be employed. This project will take a holistic approach to volcanic hazards and communicating risk mitigation strategies by involving the local community in the data collection and response processes. Thus those most affected by the processes we monitor will have a stake in data collection, dissemination and response to the results. Results will be transferrable to other persistently active volcanoes in sub-tropical environments.

Principal Investigator

Dr Hazel Rymer, Open University  

Team members

Open University: Dr Saskia van Manen, PhD candidate Bethan Burson, and selected undergraduate student Volunteers through EarthWatch


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