About ›

Relevant Links:

The COCONet Planning Workshop was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 3-4, 2011. It served as the kickoff to the COCONet project, as a forum for determining the siting strategy for the project, and to initiate collaborations with and between Caribbean and Central American nations.
Workshop Report: Español » | Français » | English »

COCONet Proposal: COCONet (Continuously Operating Caribbean GPS Observational Network) - An Infrastructure Proposal for a Multi-hazard Tectonic and Weather Observatory a Collaborative Proposal with UNAVCO, UCAR, Purdue, and University of Puerto Rico, October, 2010.

Nature Geoscience: The November, 2010, issue focuses on the Haiti earthquake of January, 2010, and contains several articles with the most recent science on the geophysics of the Haiti earthquake, disaster management, and related topics.

"Can Hurricanes Trigger Earthquakes" discusses work by Shimon Wdowinski et al. (2010) on the potential impacts of erosion caused by deforestation and hurricanes in Haiti. From Wired

Haiti Earthquake, Jan. 12, 2010: a comprehensive website including pages on the scientific response, hazard maps, links, post-earthquake art, and more, by Eric Calais and group at Purdue University.

Other Links:

Build Change is an international non-profit organization that focuses on teaching good building techniques for communities in earthquake zones. They are training over 500 Haitian construction professional to build back better, earthquake-resistant houses. This commitment was made at the Sept. 19, Clinton Global Initiative.

Geohazards International works to reduce death and injury caused by earthquakes by helping vulnerable communities recognize their risks as well as methods to manage them.

Get Notified by a Text Message - when an Earthquake Happens in Your Area by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Haiti's Art After the Quake - posted on the BBC web page.

Helping Out - Read about ways to help the people of Haiti.

The beauty and diversity of the Caribbean region is a result of geological and atmospheric processes that also pose serious threats to the large population within reach of seismic faults, hurricanes tracks, or sea-level change. The capacity to understand, prepare for, adapt to, and in some cases predict these natural hazards requires Earth observations on both large and small scales. The Continuously Operating Caribbean GPS Observational Network (COCONet) project was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the aim of developing a large-scale geodetic and atmospheric infrastructure in the Caribbean that will form the backbone for a broad range of geoscience and atmospheric investigations and enable research on process-oriented science questions with direct relevance to geohazards.

COCONet will establish a network of at least 46 new continuous GPS (cGPS) and meteorology stations, refurbish an additional 21 stations, and archive data from at least 61 cGPS stations that are already or will soon be in operation by participating organizations. Additional funding has recently been allocated to install 2 new collocated GPS and tide gauge sites and also add GPS instruments at two existing tide gauge sites in the Caribbean region. COCONet will provide free, high-quality, low-latency, open-format data and data products for researchers, educators, students, and the private sector. Data will be used by US and international scientists to study solid earth processes such as plate kinematics and dynamics as well as plate boundary interactions and deformation, with an emphasis on the earthquake cycle. COCONet will also serve atmospheric science objectives by providing more precise estimates of tropospheric water vapor and enabling better forecast of the dynamics of airborne moisture associated with the yearly Caribbean hurricane cycle. COCONet is being installed and will be maintained by UNAVCO on behalf of the science and other user communities in the United States and abroad, thus leveraging UNAVCO’s proven record of efficient and effective network management and its longstanding commitment to collaborative science. Field activities for the COCONet project commenced in March 2011 and continue today. We present an overview of COCONet equipment and data communications systems as well as some of the major project milestones to date, including field reconnaissance activities, formal proposals submitted to in-country partner organizations, and ongoing and planned station installations. As of December 2012, proposals for station installation have been accepted at 29 host institutions, and 28 COCONet installations have been completed. In addition, the 61 existing stations have been identified, with data in the UNAVCO archive for 38 of these stations. UNAVCO staff is working with regional partners to include the remaining stations in daily download systems.

Three significant geophysical events were captured by COCONet infrastructure in 2012. Hurricane Issac moved through the Caribbean in late August, the Mw7.3 earthquake occurred offshore El Salvador and Nicaragua on August 27, and the larger Mw7.6 earthquake rocked the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica on September 5. For the Nicoya, Costa Rica earthquake, high-rate (1Hz) GPS observations were used to generate a geodetically determined finite fault model and coseimic displacementgram. In the case of Hurricane Issac, surface meteorological observations obtained from COCONet sensors were used to estimate precipitable water vapor in the atmosphere. These are examples of geohazards that the new COCONet resources are designed to study over the next several years.

One theme of the project is the need to build scientific partnerships to nurture a new generation of researchers in the region. Knowledge flow from COCONet activities should work in multiple directions – from and among Caribbean nations as well as between all of the project's international stakeholders. Mechanisms for promoting intellectual exchange include traditional opportunities such as bringing students from the Caribbean to North America for advanced training or graduate school as well as fostering the development of Caribbean training centers, bidirectional science exchanges, and field campaigns, which include partners from across the Americas. COSMIC/UCAR has recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to conduct a short-course on atmospheric processes of Latin America and the Caribbean. This short course will foster a community of scientists who are interested in regional atmospheric processes, and is a way to introduce these researchers to COCONet. This two-week short short-course is tentatively scheduled for either May or June of 2013 in Cartagena, Colombia. Dr. Pete La Femina of Penn State has also received funding from NSF to conduct a short course on volcanic and tectonic processes of Latin America and the Caribbean. This short course is scheduled to occur in May or June of 2013 in Managua, Nicaragua.