VDAP Capacity Building in North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Map showing large population centers near volcanoes.

Map of population density and volcanoes in Indonesia.

Approximately 460,000 people live within 10 km of active volcanoes in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Since 2004, the Center for Volcanology and Geologic Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) & VDAP have been building a regional volcano observatory in North Sulawesi and collaborating on field geology, hazards mapping, seismic installations, telemetry, seismic interpretation & forecasting, SO2 monitoring, remote sensing, and lahar modeling.

Connecting lots of wires to make monitoring equipment.

Merapi volcano, 6 September 2006.

Since 2007, CVGHM and VDAP have increased the number of seismic volcano monitoring stations at volcanoes in North Sulawesi from 4 to 14, increasing the quantity and quality of data on small volcano-related earthquakes that serve as precursors to eruptions. Such information enables CVGHM to forecast eruptions more accurately and quickly. To help make the most of this new infrastucture, VDAP seismologists provided on site training in seismic monitoring and the use of volcanic seismicity patterns in eruption forecasting.

Map showing large population centers near volcanoes.

Installing monitoring equipment.

On site training is an important part of VDAP capacity building around the world. In February and March 2008, VDAP demonstrated techniques for measuring volcanic gas emissions. In March 2009, VDAP assisted in the installation of several permanent GPS stations and led seminars on the processing and analysis of GPS data. In 2009 and 2010, VDAP scientists visited CVGHM headquarters in Bandung to demonstrate seismic data analysis software, which is used to interpret different seismic signals and helps improve the accuracy and timeliness of eruption predictions.