Wireless sensors for prediction of volcano eruptions (Masaya - Nicaragua)

Case Study

Wireless sensors for prediction of volcano eruptions (Masaya - Nicaragua)

Masaya is a town in Nicaragua located near a volcano – the Masaya Volcano – and therefore it is extremely vulnerable to the effects of a “surprise” eruption. The science of volcanology has always been trying to discover how to predict this destructive natural phenomenon with the aim of saving lives and minimising the impact on the environment. Currently, volcanology is focusing its studies on collecting real-time data inside and outside the craters using cutting-edge technology to predict eruptions.

In July and August 2016, a team that included elements of the Qwake brand, explorer and filmmaker Sam Cossman, the government of Nicaragua, Libelium, and General Electric collaborated to implement Libelium’s wireless sensor network (with 80 sensors) in the Mouth of Hell, Masaya Volcano, where there is a lava lake that offers a glimpse into the dynamics of magma behaviour. The sensors were connected to a vacuum-sealed platform (to deal with the extreme heat) that measures CO2 and H2S levels, temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. The collected data is then sent through 3G to General Electric cloud-based software platform.

The main purpose of this project was to build a Digital Early Warning System to predict volcano eruptions and anticipate crisis through open data, that can be then used by researchers and other scientists to simulate what happens inside a volcanic crater before and after an eruption.

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Case study country(ies)
Agencie(s) involved in the case
Objectives

Improved Health for Citizens.

 

Description of the specific objectives:

- Predicting eruptions in the Masaya Volcano;

- Saving lives and the environment;

- Avoiding threats to human health due to gas inhalation or exposition to ash falls.

Actors

Qwake; explorer and filmmaker Sam Cossman; Government of Nicaragua; Libelium; General Electric.