The Laboratoire de physique du globe was created in March 1950 at Parnasse, a site located at the base of La Soufrière volcano. First two seismographs were installed in 1952. A seismic vault was dug and equipped with two electromagnetic seismographs in 1956 when a phreatic eruption took place.

In 1964, the observatory implemented a cabled seismic network that detected La Soufrière seismic crisis prior the eruption of 1976. When the Saint-Claude / Basse-Terre region was evacuated in July-August 1976, the observatory moved to the Grande poudrière at Fort St-Charles in Basse-Terre. The monitoring facilities remained there for 17 years, while the geochemistry laboratory returned to Parnasse once the crisis of 1976 was over.

Following the recommendations of the international evaluation committee during the 1976 Soufrière of Guadeloupe crisis, the observatory of Guadeloupe initiated in the 1980s the development of a multi-parameters approach to monitor volcanoes. Thus the volcanological and seismological observatory of Guadeloupe has dedicated itself to acquiring geological, geophysical and geochemical data and to operate state-of-the-art monitoring networks in collaboration with national and international research teams and the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI).

In 1993, the observatory moved in a modern building at the top of Houëlmont, located 9 km southwest of Soufrière. In 2001, due to its involvement in the field of seismology and research related to seismic risk, the IPGP renamed the observatory with its current name: Observatoire volcanologique et sismologique de Guadeloupe.

In the 2010's the volcanological and seismological observatories of Guadeloupe and Martinique have modernized the Lesser Antilles Arc seismic, deformation and tide monitoring network to set up an arc scale observatory in collaboration with the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies (Trinidad). The output of this regional network are threefold: 1) participate to the tsunami warning in the Caribbean by distributing relevant data to the Caribbean Tsunami Warning System (ICG-CARIBE-EWS), 2) improve the volcanic and seismic monitoring to advice local authorities and 3) stimulate scientific research in the lesser Antilles by disseminating high quality data.

The three missions of the volcanological and seismological observatory of Guadeloupe are 1) volcano monitoring, 2) research and 3) communication, dissemination and teaching. The main mission of the volcanological and seismological observatories of IPGP is to collect geological, geophysical and geochemical data over long periods of time, to allow the systematic elaboration of long-term multi-parameters databases available to the scientific community, and to inform the authorities in charge of civil protection of any increase in the activity of the volcanoes and after periods of felt earthquakes. The real-time observations and research can contribute to the prevention, and mitigation of seismic and volcanic risks. The main research themes covered by the scientists are general volcanology, geology, seismology, ground deformation and geodesy, thermal flux, volcanic fluid geochemistry (gases, thermal springs), using a combination of field data from monitoring networks and repetition surveys as well as remote-sensing techniques.
Institut De Physique Du Globe De Paris (IPGP)
    Université de Paris, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
Resource type
Datasets, products, collections and reports
Institut de physique du globe de Paris (IPGP)
Publication year
Created : 1950-01-01

Guadeloupe and the Lesser Antilles
N: 18.00 S: 11.00 E: -58.00 W: -64.00


Institut De Physique Du Globe De Paris (IPGP). (2021). Data collection of the seismological and volcanological observatory of Guadeloupe. Institut de physique du globe de Paris (IPGP). https://doi.org/10.18715/GUADELOUPE.OVSG

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  • Observatoire Volcanologique Et Sismologique De Guadeloupe (OVSG) - Data Collector
  • Institut De Physique Du Globe De Paris (IPGP) - Hosting Institution
  • Résif Data Centre - Distributor
  • IPGP Data Center - Distributor

  • Service national d'observation en volcanologie (SNOV), CNRS
  • Ministère de l'enseignement supérieur, de la recherche et de l'innovation (MESRI)
  • Programme européen Interreg
  • Ministère de la transition écologique (MTE)
  • Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
  • Fonds européen de développement régional (FEDER)
  • Conseil départemental de la Guadeloupe
  • Conseil régional de la Guadeloupe
  • Ministère des Outre-mer (MOM)