Tuesday, 26 July 2016 09:18

PHIVOLCS now launches PHIVOLCS-LAVA (Local Active Volcanoes Archive), a web-accessible database that hosts PHIVOLCS’ volcanological data for Mayon Volcano with website address at PHIVOLCS-LAVA builds upon the global standard set down by WOVODat, the Worldwide Organization of Volcano Observatories Database. Developed by the Earth Observatory of Singapore, the WOVODat schema was adopted by PHIVOLCS in 2012 and customized by its Volcano Database and Management Section to fit local data requirements and processes. PHIVOLCS-LAVA is currently set to provide public access to the first tranche of its data and contribute this seamlessly to the WOVODat online database. PHIVOLCS works hand in hand with EOS as its pioneering partner in implementing the WOVODat schema in order to pave the way for the implementation of a global standard in volcano monitoring database development.


What is WOVOdat The World Organization of Volcano Observatories Database, or WOVOdat, is a database structure or schema designed for standardized digital storage and use of processed volcano monitoring data by all WOVO member organizations. It was conceptualized duringthe 2000 meeting of the International Association for Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) at Denpasar, Indonesia, which was attended by 40 participants from 18 countries and 17 WOVO Observatories. WOVODat was envisaged to provide a web-based global repository for volcano monitoring data that allows seamless access and sharing between WOVO observatories for improved forecasting and research of volcanic eruptions.It aims to support comparative analysis of unrest with other similar volcanoes around the world, enablingvolcanologists to understand magmatic and other processes occurring in restless volcanoes based on monitoring data and to formulate accurate forecasts based on outcomes of similar past unrest. The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) took on the bold challenge of developing the database schema under its WOVODat Project and collaborated with PHIVOLCS as its pioneer partner for the test implementation.


The backend database and core scripts of WOVODat was programmed by the EOS in Open Source MySQL and PHP, respectively, and were completed in 2012. The EOS provided PHIVOLCS with a stand-alone package in early 2012 that was immediately implemented for web-based reporting and archiving of volcano monitoring data within the PHIVOLCS Intranet. Simply called PHIVOLCS-LAVA, or the Local Active Volcanoes Archive, the adapted database strictly adheres to the WOVOdat schema for all volcano monitoring table fields and related data, particularly the hierarchical parent-to-child data structure Volcano→ Network→ Station→ Instrument→ Data.

PHIVOLCS’ Volcano Data Management (VDM) Team then embarked on a full customization of the WOVODat-based PHIVOLCS-LAVA, beginning with the incorporation of records of volcanological data that did not fit or exist in the standard table fields. This customization strictly observed the rule of adding fields (columns) to tables without editing or deleting the standard structure. Volcano catalog numbers or CAVWs assigned by the Smithsonian Institution-Global Volcanism Program(GVP) were adapted and new CAVW numbers were assigned to volcanoes not included in the GVP database. Conversion scripts for standardizing data to WOVODat formats were coded by the WOVODat Project for PHIVOLCS-LAVA to enable automated database population with the massive bulk of volcano monitoring records acquired through many years. Other packages adapted were visualization tools (beta version) and log-in security features.

The VDM Team further added new tools in the standalone package of WOVOdat to automate direct data input to the PHIVOLCS-LAVAservers in the Main Office from the remote Volcano Observatories, eliminating redundant data management tasks. Specifically, these include online forms for manually processed data such as volcanic earthquake phase data and counts, volcanic plume and crater glow observations, hydro-meteorological dataand volcanic SO2 flux measurements using campaign spectrometery. In 2015, the VDM further improved rapid data reporting by the Volcano Observatories by developing more robust online forms for volcano observation daily summaries (VODS), volcanic earthquake plottings and the Taal Main Crater Lake volcanic carbon dioxide flux, temperature and lake level parameters. Other online tools have already been laid out and are in the pipeline for development. The continued development of PHIVOLCS-LAVA has been institutionally integrated in PHIVOLCS’ Strategic Initiatives as a major project with year-on-year funding and deliverables.

As the database gets larger, more demands on bulk digital data management emerge to challenge the VDM Team to develop more tools. For example, a prototype that will directly push real-time monitoring data to PHIVOLCS-LAVAservers (e.g. Taal Main Crater Lake real-time CO2flux data with real-time data plotting) has just been initially tested with satisfying results. With this, the possibility of automatic intake of various volcano monitoring parameters from discrete remote data acquisition systems to the PHIVOLCS-LAVA servers can soon be realized.

PHIVOLCS Volcano Database History

From the early 1990’s, PHIVOLCS had been using spreadsheets of simple to more complex functionalities for storing, analysis and visual output of processed volcano observation data in aid of evaluating day-to-day volcano conditions and volcanic unrest. Commercial database software use was began in 2003, making for easy management, relational databasing and graphical display. In this way, the VDM team could systematize monitoring records of the six monitored active volcanoes: Bulusan, Hibok-Hibok, Kanlaon, Mayon, Pinatubo and Taal. However, rapid technological changes led to the trapping of data in storage media that eventually became obsolete and prone to deterioration or loss. More importantly, the advent of real-time high-resolution digital volcano observation systems in PHIVOLCS in 2009 and its steady increase in coverage to eight monitored active volcanoes (to include Parker and Matutum) led to an explosion in the volume of digital monitoring data, especially of broadband seismic waveform binary data. While various systems were put in place for the repository of these real-time high-resolutiondata, a more integrated and web-accesible database system for processed monitoring data that could be leveraged for data communication between PHIVOLCS’ Volcano Observatories and Main Office became imperative. With the collaboration of the EOS WOVODat Project, PHIVOLCS-LAVA has successfully answered this need, systematizing the country’s volcano monitoring records while ensuring the Philippines’ open data contribution and support to the worldwide volcanological community.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 10:40

Stakeholder's Notice

As the agency mandated to monitor and study earthquakes, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) encourages everyone to participate in the 2nd quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) and the 2nd annual Metro Manila Shake Drill on June 22 at 9 in the morning. PHIVOLCS pushes for the continued promotion of Earthquake awareness and preparedness since it introduced the conduct of earthquake drills in schools way back 2002.

In Quezon City Main Office, PHIVOLCS will participate in the Earthquake Drill to show its support to the Pagyanig 2016 and MM Shake Drill, and to encourage everyone not only to join the drill but also to increase their knowledge about Earthquakes, their hazards and how to prepare for them.

The Earthquake Drill will simulate a Magnitude 7.2 earthquake from the West Valley Fault. At 9:00 AM, radio stations will be sounding the earthquake alert which will signal the start of the drill. Participants would do the duck, cover, and hold technique and will evacuate to the designated evacuation areas. Possible earthquake scenarios will be staged to show and test the disaster response plan such as the National Disaster Response Plan and the Oplan Metro Yakal Plus.‪ #‎Pagyanig‬ ‪#‎MMShakeDrill

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PHIVOLCS conducts REDAS Training for its Staffs
Monday, 13 June 2016 09:12

PHIVOLCS conducted a five-day training entitled "Capacity Enhancement of PHIVOLCS Staffs on Hazard, Risk, and Exposure Database Development through the Use of the REDAS Software" from May 23 – 27, 2016 for PHIVOLCS staffs. The training was held at the Auditorium, PHIVOLCS, Quezon City. The goal of the training was to provide and familiarize the participants with the capability of the REDAS Software, especially the modules which are designed to be used for risk assessment.  The training also aims to equip PHIVOLCS staffs with knowledge and skills that can help them facilitate future REDAS trainings.

There was a total of 44 participants during the training. Twenty-five (25) of them are from the SOEPD, 15 from the GGRDD, 3 from VMEPD and one from GDAPD. The participants were provided with REDAS version 2.8Y which was later upgraded to REDAS 2.8Z before the training ended. A total of 39 REDAS software license keys was issued during the said event.

Group Picture of the REDAS PHIVOLCS 2016 Participants

Continue reading PHIVOLCS conducts REDAS Training for its Staffs
Friday, 10 June 2016 12:35

Bulusan Volcano (12.7667°N, 124.0500°E) generated a steam-driven explosion at 11:35 AM today. The event lasted for approximately 5 minutes based on the seismic record and produced approximately 2.0 kilometer-high grayish ash plume that drifted towards the northwest.

Bulusan Volcano Eruption: 10June2016 #BulusanVolcano

Alert Level 1 (abnormal) remains in effect over Bulusan Volcano. This indicates that hydrothermal processes are underway beneath the volcano that may lead to more steam-driven eruptions. The local government units and the public are reminded that entry to the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is strictly prohibited due to the possibility of sudden and hazardous steam-driven or phreatic eruptions. Civil aviation authorities must also advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ash from any sudden phreatic eruption can be hazardous to aircraft. Furthermore, people living within valleys and along river/stream channels especially on the southwest and northwest sector of the edifice should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall. DOST-PHIVOLCS is closely monitoring Bulusan Volcano’s condition and any new development will be relayed to all concerned.


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