Environmental hazards monitoring

radar-installation

Radar Monitoring of Environmental Hazards in Montserrat

Dr Duncan Robertson & Dr David Macfarlane | Millimeter Wave & EPR Group,
School of Physics & Astronomy

Montserrat, a UK Overseas territory, is home to the UK’s only active volcano and island residents live with the hazards of pyroclastic flows from lava dome collapses, eruptive ash fall, and mud flow ‘lahars’ after heavy rain.

Our AVTIS millimetre wave radar has been deployed on Montserrat to monitor the volcano since 2011 but 5 years of exposure to tropical conditions has substantially degraded the associated infrastructure of the radar housing and wifi telemetry link.

In this project, we are refurbishing the radar installation and integrating the instrument into the Montserrat Volcano Observatory’s (MVO) operational monitoring suite of sensors, so it can provide round-the-clock data on the lava dome shape, and high temporal and spatial resolution rainfall mapping. MVO will use these data along with that from other sensors to provide enhanced hazard warning to the people and business of the island.

reflectivity-map

Radar reflectivity map of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat taken with AVTIS radar.