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HM Governor's Office


London 15:21, 25 Feb 2013
Brades 11:21, 25 Feb 2013
Last updated at 15:32 (UK time) 6 Nov 2009

The Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)

Volcano Observatory

Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)

The Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) is a purpose built building situated in Flemmings overlooking the Soufriere Hills Volcano and the valleys and ghauts on its flanks. There is also an adjacent helicopter landing pad which allows helicopters supporting the monitoring of the volcano to land next to the MVO. The building is concrete which allows it to be used as a bunker during possible eruptions and all windows have retractable metal grills for additional protection.

The MVO has a full time staff of ten, and in addition, there is a total of ten visiting rotating staff. The MVO is a Statutory Body of the Government of Montserrat and is managed on their behalf, under contract, jointly by the Seismic Research Unit of the University of the West Indies (SRU) and by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris of France (IPGP).

The role of the MVO is to monitor the Soufriere Hills Volcano and to advise the Government of Montserrat on its status. It also provides an educational outreach programme for residents and visitors to Montserrat and tours are allowed on certain days and times when volcanic activity permits. Please check the MVO's website at for further details.

The MVO also hosts visiting scientists and students from a number of universities around the world offering opportunities for field work in conjunction with their own staff.

A team of international scientists form the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and they review the work of the MVO and report on the status of the volcano at six monthly intervals.

Helicopter service

The MVO is currently inviting tenders for the provision of a helicopter service to assist in monitoring the volcano.

> More information [PDF]
> Scope of work [PDF]

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