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A connected seabed observatory to study seismicity in Les Saintes

After more than a year of operation of the new seabed seismometer installed as close as possible to the faults responsible for the seismicity of Les Saintes, the teams of the Interreg PREST project and the IPGP observatories in the West Indies are deploying two new types of sensor, also linked by optical fiber, to complete this innovative underwater observatory.

A connected seabed observatory to study seismicity in Les Saintes

Optical pressure meter measuring hydrostatic pressure

Publication date: 14/12/2022

Events, General public, Observatories, Press

The scientists are organising two public meetings, on 13 December in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe, and on 16 December in Fort-de-France, Martinique, to present this technological feat, which foreshadows the observations of tomorrow, and to discuss with the public current knowledge of seismicity in the Les Saintes region and, more broadly, throughout the Lesser Antilles.

As part of the Interreg V Caribbean program, the PREST project led by the Observatoire volcanologique et sismologique de Martinique of the Institut de physique du globe de Paris (OVSM-IPGP) has taken up a daring challenge: to develop a series of three prototypes of innovative fiber-optic end-of-fiber sensors, and operate them under real-time operational monitoring conditions, in the experimental underwater observatory of Les Saintes (Guadeloupe), located 5 kilometers south of the island of Terre de Bas and 43 m deep.

After a year and a half of recording seismicity in the Les Saintes area, the seabed seismometer installed in June 2021 confirms the success of the fiber-tip optical sensors developed by IPGP and ESEO, as part of the PREST project, for real-time monitoring of seismic activity as close as possible to submerged faults.

To complete the instrumental set-up, from December 3 to 13, 2022, two new sensors developed by ENS – an optical inclinometer and a pressure meter that measure seabed deformation and hydrostatic pressure respectively – will be installed off the coast of Les Saintes for real-time monitoring of this seismic zone. This technological demonstrator opens up exciting prospects for underwater geophysical instrumentation worldwide.

 

Teams from the PREST project and IPGP’s volcanological and seismological observatories (OVSG and OVSM) are organizing two public events to present these innovative devices and their implications for monitoring regional telluric phenomena:

  • Tuesday December 13 at 6pm, in the amphitheater of the Espace Régional du Raizet, in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe
  • Friday December 16 at 6pm, at the CTM Assembly Hall, Fort-de-France, Martinique. This public meeting will also be an opportunity to look back on the 2 years since Montagne Pelée was placed under yellow volcanic alert.

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