The Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Lithosphere & Biosphere Powered By The Heliosphere

Posts Tagged ‘Trinidad & Tobago

Recent News on Energy and the Environment 26.12.08

leave a comment »

Posted by: Karl Ramjohn

Some recent articles featured on the Energy Environment News Portal, on current and emerging issues related to energy and the environment

UK: £12m to encourage biomass heat

US-Ukraine Nanotechnology Research Center to Focus on Energy Efficiency

Moody’s revises Petrotrin’s outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’

Era Of Cheap Gas Coming To An End, Warns Putin

“India will have to reduce energy consumption by 20%”

Are Plunging Oil Prices Dangerous?


Earthquake on Land, Trinidad, December 21 2008

with one comment

Posted by: Karl Ramjohn

From: Seismic Research Centre, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago

Sources: Update: Earthquake on land Trinidad , Earthquake East of Trinidad

On Sunday 21st December an earthquake occurred near east Trinidad at 8:55am local time. The revised location for the event is 10.77°N 61.46°W.

The revised magnitude is 4.3 and the focal depth was 40km. 

The map shows the location of the earthquake.

The earthquake was reported as felt in Westmoorings, Cocorite, Port of Spain, St. Augustine, Arouca, Arima, Chaguanas, San Fernando and Princes Town in Trinidad. This earthquake occurred within the same general area as the 2006 earthquake sequence.


Earthquake Northwest of Trinidad, Nov.28.2008

leave a comment »

Posted by: Karl Ramjohn

From: Seismic Research Centre, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago

Source: Earthquake northwest of Trinidad

On Friday, 28th November at 12:18a.m. local time, an earthquake occurred north of the Paria Peninsula near Trinidad.

The preliminary location for the event is 10.84°N 62.23°W.

The earthquake was of magnitude 4.0 and the focal depth was 84km.

Please note that these results are preliminary and may vary slightly when additional data is processed.

Mud Volcanoes Erupt in Santa Flora, Southern Trinidad (Trinidad & Tobago)

leave a comment »

Submitted by: Karl Ramjohn

Link to article …> Mud volcanoes erupt in Santa Flora | Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday : : 

By Cecily Asson, October 26, 2008 

An unexpected early morning volcanic eruption in an oilfield area in Santa Flora sent about 100 villagers including several children scampering out of their homes to safety. Many of them have since fled their homes and are now seeking shelter at relatives’ homes until a disaster relief shelter at Los Bajos is fully prepared. Up to Press time, mud continued spewing several feet into the air from two large craters lying in close proximity to a pumping jack in the Los Bajos Field located at Francis Trace. The erupting mud was accompanied by the strong scent of methane gas. Long time residents of the area told Newsday this was the first time that the area ever experienced a volcanic eruption and that there were never any signs of activity to cause concern. Shocked villagers said they were awakened by a loud rumble yesterday morning and later discovered that a flat piece of grassy land on which they had walked and played the day before had been transformed into two mud volcanoes. There were reports of similar activity at smaller type craters in the neighbouring Wadell Village and up to late yesterday officials were said to be monitoring the situation.


Mud Volcano Erupts in Santa Flora | The Trinidad Guardian -Online Edition Ver 2.0 

Mud volcanoes in Trinidad – The Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago 


Further Notes [Ramjohn 2003, Ramjohn 2004] 

The occurrence of several mud volcanoes is considered to be a significant geological feature of South Trinidad. Mud volcanoes develop from natural gas emissions along fault-fracture trends and are characterized by conical vents, flows of mud and periodic eruptions. The mud flows form due to the presence of trapped hydrocarbons under supranormal pressures in underlying rocks. Mud volcanoes associated with the Southern Anticline of Trinidad are present at Islote, Anglais Point, Palo Seco, Chagonaray, Coora, the Los Iros Coastal Mud Mound, and the Chatham Mud Island. The Erin Group of mud volcanoes has at least 12 eruptive centres located close to the coastal area from Palo Seco to Los Iros. The periodicity of activity related to these mud flows is highly variable. For example in the marine area immediately south of this recent event (October 2008), a temporary island of mud occassionally forms in the sea at the Chatham Mud Island (off Erin Point in the Columbus Channel). This is related to the activity of mud volcanoes in the nearshore area and has occurred four times over the past 100 years – in 1911, 1928, 1964 and 2001. An event which occurred at Point Radix off the South East coast of Trinidad in July 2007 is also believed to have been related to mud volcano activity (along offshore extension of the Manzanilla Fault). Note, however, that these mud volcanoes are not associated with “normal” volcanic activity, which occurs throughout the island arc of the Eastern Caribbean. 

Notes Source: 

Karl Ramjohn 2003. “Mud Volcanoes of South Trinidad”. In Environmental Sensitivity Atlas Volume II: Southeast and South Coasts of Trinidad. On behalf of BHP Billiton (Trinidad-2C) Ltd as part of oil spill contingency plan for Greater Angostura Field Development, Offshore Block 2(c); Study Manager / Primary Author. March – June 2003; September 2003 

Karl Ramjohn 2004. “Mud Volcanoes”. In Environmental Impact Assessment for Proposed Exploration Drilling, Production and Maintenance Operations: South Quarry Farmout Block, Santa Flora. On behalf of Los Bajos Oil Ltd to support Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) Application. Principal Consultant (EIA Process). May – August 2003; April 2004.

“Spatial Footprint” Challenges of Solar Energy Use

with one comment

Submitted by: Karl Ramjohn

Solar energy can be utilized in either passive or active systems. Passive systems do not contain any internal energy sources, and can be used for direct heating (e.g. solar dryers, water heaters, etc.) or day-time lighting (e.g. “green” office buildings). Photovoltaic devices are an example of active systems based on semiconductor technology, often using silicon (an indirect semiconductor).

The advantages of using solar radiation are well established and often cited – such as their ability (with proper design) to lower energy costs, reduce emissions and other environmental pollution, thereby initiating the process of competitively replacing hydrocarbon use, and thus contributing to sustainable development.

Solar energy approaches are also frequently suggested as a sustainable solution in less-developed countries in the tropical environment, on the assumption of having less seasonal variation in day-length and more hours of direct sunlight each day (i.e., usually a higher intensity and longer duration of incident solar radiation each day). The fuel medium (solar radiation) is also an “open-access” resource (no direct user cost). The overall decline in the operational costs seen over the past 35+ years is also typically acknowledged.

However, one major challenge remains with regard to conversion to solar energy use – their spatial footprint (land use requirement) in the event that larger scale utilization is proven feasible. In particular, for the use of flat-plate collectors or PV systems in tropical environments, this becomes an issue.

The primary reason is that to optimize the use of solar radiation, the panels (or plates) need to be sloped so as to correspond to the latitude of the specific area of the Earth, hence taking up more horizontal space in the tropics. If we take the example of an island in the middle-tropics such Trinidad & Tobago, implementation will require the slope of the panels to be 10 degrees (corresponding to latitude) for the same technology that may be placed at an angle of 40 degrees in countries within temperate regions. The implication is that the area set aside for power generation (or other solar energy use) will no longer be available for other land uses (such as agriculture) and this may be a significant limiting factor, especially in the case of small-island developing states. After all, any large-scale conversion will require much more than a rooftop, and island geography often restricts the feasibility of wind energy.

Some recent discussions aimed at solving or mitigating these potential challenges to sustainable energy:;id=8635831