NaDMA to better detect Kick ’em Jenny activity

Kick 'em Jenny Monitoring Network

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Routine maintenance carried out on 6 seismic monitoring networks and 2 GPS stations
  • The network and GPS stations collect pertinent data on Kick ‘em Jenny

Seismologist and Head of the UWI Seismic team, Llyod Lynch and his team have just completed their 7-day visit to Grenada to carry out routine maintenance on 6 seismic monitoring networks and 2 GPS stations in the north of the island.

These were installed as part of the Continuously Operating Caribbean GPS Observational Network (COCONet), established by the UWI Seismic Research Centre for monitoring network and warning system specifically for Kick ’em Jenny underwater volcano.

The monitoring system includes a network of seismometers detecting earthquakes, tide gauges detecting water disturbances, hydrophones detecting submarine explosions and tiltmeters and GPS stations designed to measure ground deformation. Various combinations of these instruments were installed at Sauteurs, the Sisters rocks, Isle de Ronde, Isle de Caille, Mt St Catharine, and Carriacou.

The seismic monitoring network and GPS stations collect pertinent data on Kick ’em Jenny, detecting seismic activity that can signal whether an eruption is eminent to a stage where a tsunami could be generated.

Lynch said these periodic maintenances are necessary every 6 months to ensure that the systems are functioning at an optimum level, with most of the stations working. “The only one that was down was located at Sisters which had a dead battery, so it was just a matter of replacing the battery. The observatory at Isle de Caille was restored about a year ago when the observatory was republished. The observatory at Sauteurs was out of commission for a while because the building had deteriorated so after it was restored, we upgraded the Sisters station as well as the Mt St Catherine station. We didn’t reinstall the Isle de Caille station as that one was reinstated on the last trip.”

The seismologist says Kick ’em Jenny’s monitoring systems are now fully functional. “The full network is back up at the moment including the 2 continuously operating stations at Sauteurs and Mt Pleasant (Carriacou) installation. I would like to recognise the assistance we got from the Grenada Coastguard they were quite professional in rendering transportation and other forms of assistance to get to sites off the coast of Grenada, and the assistance of NaDMA.”

Lynch reiterated the importance of having long-term measures to mitigate against earthquake losses. “There is a greater need to invest more in sound building standards through the use of building codes and use of good materials. The Seismic Research Centre over the years has gathered information where the likely earthquake sources are located in the region, and from the information, we compile catalogues which can be processed to make estimates of expected ground motions in Eastern Caribbean region and base on these estimates we can update your building codes.”

Senator Winston Garraway, Minister of State in the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information, said, “A key component in ensuring that the nation is informed is giving them timely and accurate information. The upgrade of the monitoring systems will help us better served the community. What is key here at this point is to ensure that a people know what needs to be done in the event of, disruption and the monitoring stations now have the capacity to give that information.”

The UWI seismic team follows recent underwater seismic activities by Kick ’em Jenny which prompted the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) to be on alert.

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