A medium-sized seismograph network in a challenging environment




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Several destructive earthquakes have been recorded in the Eastern Caribbean during the last three centuries. In addition to hazards posed by earthquakes most of the islands are also at risk from volcanic eruptions. The Seismic Research Unit maintains a network of thirty seismograph stations in the Commonwealth territories of the Eastern Caribbean, to monitor and study earthquakes in the region in an effort to specify the level of seismic hazard and also to maintain a volcano surveillance and warning system. Work is also geared at specifying the level of volcanic risk in each of these territories. Over fifteen potentially active volcanic centers are distributed along the 750 km long island arc. Generally, the stations are deployed at locations which enable fairly accurate detection and location of most regional earthquakes above magnitude two. Procedures are also in place to alter the deployment to investigate volcano-related seismic crises. The effectiveness of the network depends on operational strategies and procedures and equipment that were developed at the unit.

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Earthquake hazards, Eastern Caribbean, Seismic Stations, Volcanic eruptions