What is ‘“Monitoring a large Sargassum bloom subject to a major volcanic eruption”, (MONISARG)?
The Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) has partnered with the University of Southampton (UoS) and The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) on an environmental project, MONISARG, which aims at understanding variations in Sargassum inundation within the Caribbean region following the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent.
The eruption has had widespread impact across the region including deposition of significant quantities of Sulphur Dioxide across the region. The large Sulphur Dioxide plume seen across the Caribbean coincides with a substantial Sargassum bloom situated around the Lesser Antilles which encapsulates a remarkable combination of natural events across the region.
- MONITORING. Monitor developing Sargassum blooms and ash plumes, using satellite images, of the Soufrière St. Vincent volcanic eruption.
- DEPLOYMENT AND TRACKING. Deploy GPS drifters into selected Sargassum rafts near Barbados and to the east of Jamaica, with 12 months telemetry subscription, analysed alongside local ‘drifters of opportunity’ from the Global Drifter Program, continuing to track GPS drifters throughout the project.
- VALIDATION. Carry out targeted drone-based and visual inspection fieldwork to ground truth remote-sensed imagery of Sargassum around the coasts of Barbados and Jamaica
MGI, the leading organization in Jamaica providing advanced Geographic Information Systems solutions and complex data mapping, has been tasked with providing insights into monitoring Sargassum inundation for the monitoring sites of Kensington and Manchioneal, Portland through the following objectives:
• Detection and quantification of Sargassum beaching events
MGI has been tasked with monitoring and quantifying Sargassum beaching events through weekly visits to monitoring sites of Kensington and Manchioneal in Portland, Jamaica. The field team will use novel and innovative techniques, such as the use of Near Infrared (NIR) drone imagery, in their monitoring activities.
• Deployment of trackers offshore, Jamaica
This work will involve deploying SPOT Trace GPS trackers up to 10km offshore Manchioneal, Portland, Jamaica for long term monitoring of ocean currents around our shore and their influence on Sargassum movement.
For more information about MONISARG please visit our social media pages!