A large and valuable body of data on volcanic seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission and other unrest has been built over the past century. Potentially, this could be studied in the same way that epidemiologists study the occurrence, symptoms, and origins of diseases. Clever use of these data will significantly improve eruption forecasts and address a variety of research questions.
These data, though, are so widely scattered that they are largely inaccessible except through the published literature and direct queries to those who collected the data. Data files exist only in individual observatories and with individual researchers; there is no centralized, standardized database. This fragmented state of affairs utterly fails to take advantage of the intellectual power of worldwide observatory experience, and of galloping information technologies. There is no way at present to search through that collective experience for close matches or for subtle but instructive patterns, nor to test hypotheses about unrest at a large number of volcanoes.
WOVO has begun to remedy this anachronism by building a modern database of worldwide volcanic unrest, WOVOdat. WOVOdat will be Web-based and open to all, and we anticipate wide usage for academic research and teaching as well. The project is headquartered at the new Earth Observatory of Singapore (Nanyang Technological University).
For more information, see: