Natural Environments

March 2011 046

Most people who visit Dominica exclaim over and over how green it is!

Most of the people who live here say one of the reasons they put up with all the challenges of living on a small island with low incomes is the access to nature.

Lucky for me growing up my parents loved to immerse in nature; our most frequent family outing was an experience in nature; visiting a lake or a park for a day or a week holiday. I still remember the feelings of well being after being immersed in nature and the deep refreshing sleeps after.

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Immersion in Nature is now scientifically proven to be healing!

I first learned this concept – nature is healing as part of a conscious lifestyle for health and wellness – in the 1980’s from the Rasta’s I studied during my year’s sabbatical in the West Indies studying Herbal Medicine; Appropriate Technology and Vegetarian Cooking!

Repeatedly as I interviewed people who were part of the Rasta Movement and interested in Healthy Conscious Living I heard that Immersion in Nature – gardening; hiking trails; nature walks; river baths; hot water soaks or visits to ‘Dr. Sea’ – was an intricate part of their Healthy Lifestyle.

Now Forest Bathing is offered everywhere.

The scientifically-proven benefits of exposure to nature include:

  • Boosted immune system functioning.
  • Reduced blood pressure.
  • Reduced stress.
  • Improved mood.
  • Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD.
  • Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness.
  • Increased energy level.
  • Improved sleep.






Rediscovery of Black-capped Petrels on Dominica

Adam Brown goes face-to-face with the Diablotin.
Adam Brown goes face-to-face with the Diablotin.

A team of scientists from EPIC and Dominica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries have recorded 968 Diablotin, also known as the Black-capped Petrel, over the mountains of Dominica, a Lesser Antilles island for which the last confirmed date of nesting of that species is 1862. This rare seabird was once abundant on Dominica, but thought to be extirpated in the late 1800s due to overhunting and the introduction of mammalian species. Observations made with radar and supplemented by detection of vocalizations showed large numbers of petrels flying between the sea and potential nest areas in the island’s highest peaks. Details of the expedition are being released at the 20th International Meeting of BirdsCaribbean, taking place now in Kingston, Jamaica.Adam Brown, Co-Founder and Lead Scientist at EPIC states, “Finding this colony of petrels on Dominica is a real game-changer for Black-capped Petrel conservation. For years we thought the only remaining colonies of petrels were on Hispaniola, where nesting habitat is diminishing at an alarming rate and pressures of human activity are significant. Dominica is an island-nation where nature conservation is a high priority and forests needed by petrels are well protected, so we now have a huge new opportunity to undertake conservation efforts to preserve this imperiled species.”

Biologists from EPIC and the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division of Dominica’s environmental ministry teamed up in January 2015 to do a systematic survey of the entire island of Dominica to locate Diablotin and determine its status. The Diablotin is a very difficult bird to study, as it is a seabird that comes to shore only for a few months of the year to breed, flying into forested mountains at night to underground burrows. A portable marine radar array and night vision scopes allowed biologists to locate, identify and count flying petrels in in the dark. This technique was developed and used successfully to study Diablotin on Hispaniola.

Team member Arlington James during a radar survey on Dominica.
Team member Arlington James during a radar survey on Dominica.

The next step is to confirm breeding by locating active nests. The team is confident that petrels observed on Dominica are breeding but the discovery of birds, eggs or chicks in burrows would make their presence a certainty. Biologists will make expeditions into the mountains in early 2016 when breeding petrels are expected to return to Dominica. Dominica’s forests, many pristine due to strong protections, would appear to offer prime nesting habitat to petrels, but also make locating burrows a challenge.The Diablotin is considered one of the world’s rarest seabirds with an estimate of only 1,000-2,000 pairs remaining, and until recently, known to nest only on the island of Hispaniola (comprising the nations of Haiti and Dominican Republic). Biologists and others, who have formed an International Black-capped Petrel Conservation Group, held out hope that the species persisted on Dominica, buoyed by occasional findings of adult birds on the ground in coastal or inland areas. However, numerous searches to find evidence of nesting of this species on Dominica during the second half of the 20th century were unsuccessful. The dramatic re-discovery of Diablotin on Dominica gives that nation a huge role in securing the future of this species.

United Nations University

Orkustofnun, Grensásvegur 9, IS-108 Reykjavík, Iceland


Thesser E. De Roche
Office of Disaster Management
Ministry of National Security, Immigration & Labour
Financial Centre, Kennedy Ave.  Roseau;  DOMINICA, W.I.

Dominica forms a part of the Volcanic Caribbees in the Lesser Antilles Island Arc and has nine active volcanoes whereas the other islands have one volcano per island.

Southern Dominica is the most active part of the island and includes the Wotten Waven area, one of the sites due for geothermal exploration. Preliminary surface exploration in Wotten Waven suggests the possibility of the existence of a deep high-temperature reservoir.

Dominica is known as the “Nature Island” of the Caribbean and therefore promotes eco-tourism. Very often geothermal sites are found in environmentally sensitive areas, often of historic and cultural importance. Wotten Waven falls into this category, hence the recommendations suggested. The purpose of this report is to serve as a guideline to the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica regarding geothermal development. In the event of geothermal development, and despite being a clean and sustainable source, there are several factors to be taken into consideration due to potential impacts on the environment.

The Lesser Antilles Island Arc is a chain of islands, 740 km long which stretches from the Anegada Passage in the north to the South American continental margin. Dating as far back as the Eocene period, this area has been one of high seismicity, tectonic activity and active volcanism. The Island  Arc was formed as a result of the subduction of the North American plate under the Caribbean plate.

The Lesser Antilles presents a very interesting structure. North of Dominica the island arc divides into two giving rise to the Limestone Caribbees which refers to all the islands found on the northeast end of the arc while the Volcanic Caribbees are in the more active part of the arc and comprise all the islands found on the western side or inner arc from Saba in the north, to Grenada in the south (Figure 1).

The volcanoes of the Lesser Antilles have produced a wide variety of eruptive products. The most abundant rock types are andesites. Dominica lies in the centre of the Lesser Antilles Island Arc and has a land area of 750 km². It is the most rugged of the islands; about 60% of the land is still covered with lush green vegetation. There are nine active volcanoes in Dominica, unlike in the other volcanic islands of the Lesser Antilles which feature one apiece. There has been no major magmatic eruption in recent times. Two phreatic eruptions took place in the Valley of Desolation in 1880 and in 1997. Each of the major peaks has its own radial drainage system. Also known as “The Nature Island” of the Caribbean, Dominica has one of the densest water networks per  area in the world. The island is characterized by vigorous and widespread geothermal outcrops and relatively frequent seismic episodes. Dominica boasts its three National Parks and World Heritage Site, Northern and Central Forest Reserves, its 365 rivers and streams, scenic and relatively challenging hiking trails (the level of difficulty varies), sulphur baths, bird watching, the Syndicate Parrot Reserve and much more.

The island enjoys a typical wet tropical climate with relatively high temperatures and abundant rainfall. Temperatures vary from 21-26⁰C during January to 22-30⁰C in June. At night there is very little variation in the  temperature. The temperature may not vary greatly from month to month, but the  precipitation does. Dominica has a rainy season from June to November, which is also called the Atlantic Hurricane Season. However, the rest of the year also sees rain but not as heavy. The average annual rainfall is about 5,000 millimetres. On the west coast (Leeward side) rainfall is much less abundant, only about 1,800 millimetres per year.

Two of the highest points in the Lesser Antilles Island Arc are found on the island of Dominica: Morne Diablotins which stands at 1,421 m and Morne Trois Pitons at 1,394 m.

The southern part of Dominica is characterized by recent volcanic activity, less than 100,000 years old. The main volcanic centres are: Morne Trois Pitons, Morne Micotrin, Grand Soufriere Hills, Morne Paradis, Morne Plat  Pays and Morne Patate. Two areas with high temperature and surface hydrothermal manifestations are recorded in the south part of the island, in connection with volcanic activity: the Wotten Waven area and the Soufriere area. They are considered potential geothermal resources.

Dominica is, in fact, the most active of all the Caribbean volcanic areas and the opinion that the island is long overdue for an eruption has been expressed by a few scientists. Sigurdsson and Carey (1980) concluded that about 30,000 years BP, a large Plinian eruption released about 58 km³ of pumiceous material / tephra in what was described as the largest eruption in the past 200,000 years in the Caribbean. The capital of Roseau and most of the island’s infrastructure lie on this pyroclastic flow fan and abound with ignimbrites, surge and airfall deposits derived from the Wotten Waven and Morne Trois Pitons caldera situated on the eastern outskirts of the capital. All conclusions indicate that the capital of Roseau is located in one of the most hazardous areas of the island.


2.1 Thermal manifestations in the Wotten Waven area
Wotten Waven is situated roughly 8 km east-northeast of the capital of Roseau. There are several surface manifestations such as hot springs, fumaroles, phreatic craters etc. present. These are mainly concentrated in two spots: The Wotten Waven village and the Boiling Lake – Valley of Desolation. The area is characterized by several bubbling pools and fumaroles of up to 99⁰C. The geothermal activity in Wotten Waven is situated in and adjacent to the River Blanc, a tributary of the Roseau River. Surface manifestations observed in and around the area have been classified into eight types: warm springs, hot springs, mineralized fluid hot springs, fumaroles, kaipohan, solfataras, fossil
alteration areas, and phreatic craters .

The geothermal activity associated with River Blanc is related to the fractured lava forming the Wotten Waven basement. Manifestations vary from steam vents, steaming ground and springs. Some springs discharge hot mineralized fluids while other springs discharge warm low-mineralized waters which give evidence to shallow aquifers heated by steam and gas. In the vicinity of the old Wotten Waven Lodge, and near the confluence  of River Blanc and Trois Pitons River, phreatic craters are anticipated.

TABLE 1: Types of surface manifestations recorded in the Wotten Waven geothermal field (adapted from Lasne and Traineau, 2005)

see orinal document for table – link below

Cold spring: Spring discharging fluids at ambient temperature and conductivity lower than 100 μS/cm, characterized or not by light red-coloured Fe-hydroxide  deposits, associated or not with diffuse degassing (H2S).

Warm spring: Spring discharging warm fluids at a temperature lower than 50-60°C and conductivity lower than 1,000 μS/cm, usually isolated, characterized by red coloured Fe-hydroxide deposits.

Hot spring: Spring discharging low-mineralized fluids (conductivity lower than 1,000 μS/cm) at a temperature higher than 60°C; isolated or observed within Solfatara areas along with other thermal manifestations; white-coloured deposits (silica, carbonates, zeolites), black-coloured deposits (Fesulphides), red-coloured Fe-hydroxide deposits.

Mineralized hot spring: Spring discharging fluids at a temperature higher than 60°C and conductivity higher than 2,000 μS/cm; isolated or observed within Solfatara areas along with other thermal manifestations; white coloured deposits (silica, carbonates, zeolites), black-coloured deposits (Fe-sulphides), red coloured Fe-hydroxides deposits.

Fumaroles Area: characterized by steam discharge, steaming ground; no or low water flow rate; no native sulphur deposit.

Kaipohan Area: characterized by cold degassing and dead vegetation (according to
Bogie et al., 1987).

Solfatara Area: with several thermal manifestations such as steam vents, fumaroles, steaming ground, mud pools, boiling pools, coloured water streams; springs may be observed or lacking; characterized by advanced argillic alteration with deposits of native sulphur, sulphate, Fe-sulphide, silica, clay material, carbonate.

Fossil alteration area: Area of extinct solfataras activity.

Phreatic crater: Vent resulting from a hydrothermal explosion; active or extinct; may be filled or not with a crater lake.

(The online document has a Map showing Location of the main hydrothermal manifestations in the lower section of the River Blanc, Roseau River and River Camelia (Sourced from CFG Services, 2005))

2.2 Structural geology
The principal sets of faults strike NE-SW, EW and N-S. Most of these structures dip vertically or at angles larger than 60⁰ (Lasne and Traineau, 2005). There is a correlation of the NESW and the NW-SE fracture sets with the main inferred faults mapped around the Wotten Waven area.

The E-W set may be considered a buried structure since it does not have any identified surface manifestations according to the geological map (BRGM, 1983).

The most permeable fracture directions are presumed to be the fracture sets trending NE-SW, NW-SE and N-S. BRGM (1984, 1985) proposed that the NE-SW fracture set is parallel to a major transverse fault trending NE-SW and crossing the island. It preferentially controls shallow geothermal fluid  circulation in the River Blanc valley. The NW-SE and N-S fracture sets are basically normal faults whose existence is corroborated by the alignment of the Morne Trois Pitons and Micotrin recent lava domes. This fracturing trend is observed in the vicinity of the Boiling Lake. Lasne and Traineau (2005) suggested that the geometry of the geothermal reservoir at depth is controlled by these NE-SW and NW-SE to N-S fracture networks, and secondarily by the E-W fractures (Figure 3).

(The online document has a Geological and structural sketch of Wotten Waven region showing the main volcanic structures (taken from BRGM, 1984)

One of the many characteristics of the Wotten Waven area is its active seismicity which contributes to fracturing, exemplified by the recent seismic episode recorded in 1998-99 (Young, 2005). This contention is supported by the presence of fractures in the most recent outcrop in the Wotten Waven area. The trends of the main fracture set striking NE-SW and the broad linear zone defined by the earthquake epicentres are seen to be similar.

2.3 Hydrothermal alteration
Hydrothermal alteration and deposition are widespread in the Wotten Waven area. Their products have been sampled in several places for X-Ray analysis. The mineral species identified are silica, zeolites, clays, carbonates, sulphates, Fe-sulphides, native sulphur and Fe-hydroxides.

Silica (cristobalite, quartz), native sulphur and sulphate (alunite) are the dominant mineral phases identified in the areas of high-temperature surface manifestations. Combined with pyrite and alunite, clay minerals such as smectites and kaolinite are also found precipitated in mud pools. They constitute an argillic type of alteration.

Deposits of white-coloured concretions from hot springs in the River Blanc are principally carbonates (calcite, dolomite) and silica (cristobalite, quartz). Veins sampled from massive lavas in the River Blanc comprise quartz, clays (smectites, kaolinite/chrysotile, and chlorite/clinochlore) and subordinate  zeolites (clinoptilolite), carbonates (calcite, siderite), sulphate (alunogen), and sulphide (pyrite).

The light-coloured coatings around warm springs are mainly amorphous carbonates (calcite, aragonite). The red-coloured vein deposits found around warm springs are predominantly goethite and hematite associated with silica (Traineau and Lasne, 2008).

2.4 Fluid geochemistry
2.4.1 General
Primary waters (Na-Cl type and Ca-Na-Cl type) and secondary waters (acid-sulphate type, Ca-Na-HCO₃ type and Na-HCO₃-SO₄ type) have been identified in the Wotten Waven area and the nearby Boiling Lake / Valley of Desolation area (BRGM, 1985; Lasne and Traineau, 2005).

High-temperature sodium chloride waters (TDS=1-5 g/l) are commonly representative of high enthalpy geothermal reservoirs.

The online document has: Geological and structural sketch of Wotten Waven region showing  the main volcanic structures (taken from BRGM, 1984)

The main features of the new fluid analyses, collected during the field survey, revealing the distinct origin of hot mineralized fluids discharged in the River Blanc and the  Valley of Desolation are:

• Sodium chloride waters, identified in four high-temperature springs located in River Blanc, are marked by the presence of seawater in various ratios (from 2.5 to 13% according to the Na and Cl contents). The other fundamental component of the fluid is highly diluted water very close to meteoric water. The high-temperature exchange between this mixed fluid and a hot reservoir rock is proven by its chemical and isotopic characteristics (oxygen-18 shift, strontium isotopes, and geothermometers). Equilibrium with an andesite-basalt reservoir rock is reached at about 210-230⁰C.

• Very close to these springs, acid sulphate and sodium-bicarbonate waters emerge and are indicative of the presence of an underground steam heated aquifer. Low-temperature sodium carbonate springs are located in Trafalgar and Laudat and also in the Camelia River (Ty Kwen Glo Cho) and probably indicate the northern and southern boundaries of the shallow HCO₃reservoir.

• Mineralized fluids discharged in the Valley of Desolation are slightly different. They contain no seawater and exhibit calcium-rich facies. Chemical geothermometers indicate a higher equilibrium temperature with the reservoir rocks, about 250-300⁰C.

As formerly proposed by Lasne and Traineau (2005), a field survey was carried out in 2008 to provide data on the geology of the Wotten Wave geothermal field.

• It emphasizes the link between the massive fractured lava formations belonging to the Wotten Waven basement and the discharge of mineralized, high-temperature fluids which could be related to a lateral outflow from a deep NaCl- type reservoir. The geothermal reservoir is thought to be developed within the fractured massive lava extruded during the old stages of the  island building (i.e. the Watt mountain volcano). The thick layer of ignimbrite deposits covering a wide area south of the Micotrin lava dome (geological map) probably acts as a caprock above the massive fractured lavas.

• The N50⁰ to N70⁰ strike direction of the main fracture set observed at Station N⁰72 is very similar to the dominant NE-SW strike direction of the fracture population recorded in Wotten Waven by Lasne and Traineau (2005). This strike direction is thought to be dominant at depth within the Wotten Waven basement. Unfortunately, the dense vegetation and soil thickness prevent the mapping of fault zones (possible priority targets for well drilling) on the surface outcrops.

• The survey in the high valley of River Blanc (Robinson Estate, Du Mas Estate) does not provide evidence of the proximity of an eruptive vent related to the so-called 1300 years old Du Mas Estate eruption which emitted the debris flow deposit observed in the River Blanc and the Roseau River Valley.

2.4.2 The 2008 field survey
The 2008 survey focused on Na-Cl rich fluids. During this survey, two medium-temperature springs discharging Na-Cl waters were sampled: one in the Trois Pitons River (St70) and the other in the  Roseau River (St72). They appear to be slightly more dilute than the Na-Cl waters sampled in the River Blanc in 2005. Based on the interpretation of their chemical and isotopic composition, additional information on the  Na-Cl rich fluid origin was obtained which supports the idea of the existence of a deep, high temperature reservoir. Sodium, chloride and bromide have a marine origin. Their composition is described by a mixing model between sea and rain water. Part of the mineralization is brought about by intense water rock interaction of this mixed water at depth. Lithium, boron, arsenic, germanium and silica contents reveal good evidence of this process. The oxygen-18 shift also indicates an exchange with rocks at high temperatures. The absence of tritium, reported by Lasne and Traineau (2005), and strontium isotopic ratios in the Na-Cl rich fluids, which indicate andesitic equilibrium values, suggests that the reservoir water transit time is long enough to ensure considerable water rock interaction in the reservoir and equilibrium at  reservoir conditions.

The results from chemical and isotope geothermometers applied to sodium chloride waters are prone to variations. Lower temperatures (170-200⁰C) are obtained using silica geothermometers and higher temperatures with Na/K and Na/K/Ca ratio geothermometers (210-250⁰C).

Considering the behaviour of some minor elements such as boron, the idea of a common origin for the Wotten Waven and the Valley of Desolation mineralized fluids is not ruled out. They might be derived from a common deep, high-temperature fluid. Late deposits and mixing with different portions of rain water and seawater might explain the observed discrepancies pointed out by Lasne and Traineau (2005) between the Na-Cl fluids discharged in the lower section of River Blanc and the Ca-Na-Cl fluids discharged in the Valley of Desolation, hence supporting the idea of distinct origins. One of the main differences is the absence of seawater in the fluids of the Valley of Desolation. The Ca-Na-Cl fluids of the Valley of Desolation appear to be less dilute and more representative of a deep Na-Cl parent fluid than the Wotten Waven fluid. Geothermometers indicate higher equilibrium temperatures (250-300⁰C), which is consistent with the hypothesis of a location closer to the deep reservoir (possible upflow zone?) (Traineau and Lasne, 2008).

2.5 Vulnerability and sensitivity of study area

2.5.1 Hydrological aspects of the study area
The Roseau River is one of the largest rivers on the island of Dominica and is fed by the Trois Pitons River, River Blanc and the Claire River. The Dominica Water Authority, DOWASCO, has four water production sites within or bordering the geothermal area; there are also two major Forestry water production sites in the vicinity .

Online document has a Map here Hydrological network of the Roseau Valley (CFG Services, 2009)

2.5.2 Ecology
Flora: Dominica has a very rich and diverse plant life. It is possible that every major group of plant life is represented. These include over one thousand species of flowering plants, such as orchids, palms, and other trees, shrubs, vines, bromeliads, sedges, grasses etc. The island also has almost two  hundred species of ferns, fungi, mosses etc. A few species are found only in Dominica.

The study area and its surroundings are rather sensitive and most definitely subject to changes with respect to the environmental conditions to which they are exposed. The geothermal study area is well inside the Morne Trois Piton National Park and the World Heritage Site and thus is of great concern.

The profile of the island, though small, has given rise to quite a variety of plants. The following eight  types of vegetation regimes are found in Dominica:
• Dry forest;
• Savannah-type vegetation;
• Semi-deciduous forest;
• Tropical rainforest;
• Mountain forest;
• Elfin woodland;
• Fumarole vegetation;
• Wetlands.

The general area and surroundings of the geothermal site include wetlands, secondary and primary forest, fumarole vegetation and abandoned agricultural areas.

Fauna: Roughly 176 species of birds have been recorded in Dominica. Fifty-nine of these live on the islands whilst a large percentage is migratory. The best known species are the two Amazona parrots, the Sisserou (Amazona imperialis), the island’s national bird, and the Jaco (Amazona arausiaca), found nowhere else in the world. Among other species of interest are the Blue-headed Hummingbird (Cyanophaia bicoler) which lives in Dominica and Martinique only, and the very rare Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasistata) locally known as the Diablotin, (once thought to be extinct in Dominica), the Red necked Parrot, which is endemic to Dominica only and the Plumbeous Warbler, endemic to  Guadeloupe and Dominica.

Few animals were actually observed in the study area, but most of Dominica’s major fauna is expected to be associated with the area of interest. There are: mammals (agouti, opossum and bats), reptiles (lizards, snakes and tortoise), amphibians (particularly the Leptodactylus fallax /Crapaud or Mountain  Chicken as it is locally called), fresh water fish, crustaceans, insects and other small vertebrates.

Flora and fauna analysis was carried out at three points of the general geothermal area only which limits the overview of distribution and composition. Neither the observed plant nor animal species are known to be unique to the area and can certainly be found in other habitats on the island.

2.5.3 Vulnerability to natural hazards

Dominica’s uniqueness also makes it vulnerable to several natural hazards.

Hurricanes: Dominica’s geographical location places it in a hurricane zone. Situated in the centre of the Lesser Antilles Island Arc, Dominica has almost always been affected during the Atlantic Hurricane Season. The systems mostly develop off the western coast of Africa and frequently move in a north-westward direction, very often affecting the island. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

The extent of storm damage from hurricanes is on the increase in the Caribbean. As significant wind events, hurricanes continue to have an impact on a greater number of buildings each year. In developing a high-wind hazard map, data derived from a wind hazard model were considered. The  entire area of interest falls within the relatively moderate to very high range on the wind hazard map.

Seismic activity and volcanic hazard: There are various indicators of active volcanism, for example:
• Seismic activity;
• Volcanic eruptions;
• Gas emissions;
• Ground deformation;
• Mass movement;
• Hot springs and geysers;
• Sulphur mounds.

The sulphur mounds at Soufriere, the pH of the nearby streams, the fumaroles and geysers of Wotten Waven, the volcanic mud and the general geothermal activity, and the frequent swarms of volcanic earthquakes in the north along with its sulphur springs all indicate that the island is underlain by an  active magma body.

The Wotten Waven/Micotrin centre comprises the Wotten Waven caldera, the twin Pelean domes and the associated craters of Micotrin. There is visible evidence of past eruptive history characterized by large explosive Plinian eruptions generating ignimbrites. The more recent activity has taken the form of Pelean dome-forming eruptions producing block and ash flows and smaller pumiceous pyroclastic flows. The Wotten Waven/Micotrin centre is one of the nine active volcanic centres on the island.

This area also suffers seismic activity which is of both volcanic and tectonic origin. Wotten Waven lies in a very high volcanic hazard zone but a relatively moderate seismic hazard zone.

Floods: Dominica has a very dense water network, and there is significant water density in the general area. However most of the island’s difficulty with flooding has been in the low-lying and coastal areas. Nonetheless, this does not imply that there are not small localities in the interior susceptible to floods. Generally, Wotten Waven is situated in a relatively low flood risk zone.

Landslides: Landslides are among the most common hazards in Dominica. The rugged terrain, steep slopes, volcanic and clay soils, thermal alteration, seismic activity, heavy rainfall, poor road construction and anthropogenic activities are some of the many factors which contribute to these. The general location of Wotten Waven lies within a moderate to very high risk area with regard to landslides.

2.6 Socio-cultural context and economic impact
A geothermal project will bring about significant changes to the Wotten Waven and surrounding communities. The influence of traffic congestion and disturbance, noise due to drilling and vehicular circulation, landscape issues including drill rigs and building construction, the evolution of the identity  of the Roseau Valley and the existing cultural and/ or historical heritage are a few of the issues that the neighbouring communities, and Dominicans in general, are going to have to come to terms with.

The main source of livelihood in the Wotten Waven area is tourism. The tourists who visit the sites will be disturbed by the noise, but even so the installation of geothermal plants will be an opportunity to generate technical tourism. De Roche 140 Report 11

A geothermal project will create employment for several locals. Regular maintenance of the activity of the power station will be required. In addition to supplying all Dominica’s electrical needs, the surplus electricity can be exported, hence generating additional revenue for the country.

3.1 General
In the event of geothermal development, there are several factors to be taken into consideration due to their potential impact on the environment, regardless of the fact that geothermal energy is a clean and sustainable source. Environmental effects vary considerably from one geothermal field and power plant to another, depending on the special characteristics of the field and power plant in question. In this respect the geology and the subsurface structure as well as the type of reservoir and the type of utilization play major roles. All possible changes must be appraised in an environmental assessment report prior to exploitation and an optimum solution devised. Environmental Impact Assessment  (EIA) has proven to be a powerful tool for environmental safeguarding in geothermal project planning.  In this respect it is of utmost importance to have knowledge of the natural behaviour of the area;  monitoring of the field is needed several years prior to development (Kristmannsdóttir and  Ármannsson, 2003; Ármannsson et al., 2000).

3.2 Impact on the environment
Geothermal utilization can present several environmental issues such as:
• Surface disturbances;
• Physical effects of fluid withdrawal;
• Noise;
• Thermal effects;
• Chemical pollution;
• Biological effects;
• Protection of natural features;
• Socio-economic effects.

3.3 Mitigation
3.3.1 Preliminary action and monitoring
A fair amount of information on environmental factors in geothermal areas should be available prior to  production. Surface manifestations may change significantly even though there is no production, as  has been observed in the Theistareykir area in Northern Iceland (Torfason, 1992; Ármannsson et al.  2000). A thorough monitoring programme has to be devised and supervised by an outside authority.

The objective of this is to be able to compare detailed information on the geothermal areas prior to and  after geothermal utilization. In order to accomplish this, the degree of compliance has to be constantly  monitored with respect to: applicable national regulations, requirements for the environmental  assessment process, environmental policy, and safety and social responsibility issues. The biology and  ecological status of the area must be established as well as the concentration of potentially hazardous  chemicals in the atmosphere and groundwater (Ármannsson and Kristmannsdóttir, 1993). Monitoring programmes must be activated. The aim is to be able to capture the changes induced and verify  whether they occurred naturally or from outside sources and to identify deviations to be corrected.

Every geothermal area, and thus every project, is unique. Legal and institutional considerations vary  from location to location. Each resource and each well drilled into a given resource varies in  characteristics. The fluids produced from geothermal wells require the use of different types of pipes  and other equipment materials. The physical location of each project affects the availability and  quality of goods and services. Figure 5 highlights the Roseau valley.

Monitoring the quality of the environment can be carried out through programmes which consist of  systematic observation, measurements and evaluation of the various parameters using appropriate  methods and technology. For example:
• Monitoring programmes for air and noise quality;
• Monitoring programmes for surface and ground water quality;
• Monitoring programmes for soil quality.

The information obtained from monitoring programmes and its interpretation can be collected in a  periodic monitoring report on environmental quality which should be presented to the national  regulatory bodies. This certainly contributes to tracking and monitoring, and allows for continuous

The online document contains a map: Location of urban areas in the Roseau Valley  (source CFG Services– Environmental Feasibility Study, 2009)

3.3.2 Mitigation
Surface disturbances: Surface disturbances may take place during exploration and drilling activities,  but are generally temporary and small scale (ponds are drained and the landscape is reshaped). Quite  frequently, this would take place as a result of typical exploration and drilling activities, such as  localized ground clearing, vehicular traffic, seismic testing, positioning of equipment, and drilling.

Most impacts during the resource exploration and drilling phase are associated with development  (improvements or construction) of access roads and flow testing of exploratory wells. Many of these  impacts can be reduced by implementing good industrial practices and the restoration of disturbed  areas once drilling activities have been completed. A drill-site usually extends over 2000-2500 m² and  when more than one well is drilled the total surface area can be significantly reduced through  directional drilling. Very often the source is utilized near the drill-site, hence the use of short  pipelines.

Landslides: Geothermal fields are often associated with volcanic rocks such as pumice, as in Dominica. The upper basements in geothermal fields are often thermally altered and this may increase  during utilization. Landslides are liable to take place in these areas and may place constraints on the  sites chosen for construction. There exist several examples of landslides that were directly connected  to the installation of geothermal plants (Goff and Goff, 1997); therefore, the landslide factor must be  carefully monitored.

Scenery: The scenery must be attended to since the research field is situated in an area of outstanding  beauty with endemic species, of both touristic importance and historical significance. However, one  of the positive effects of utilization is that it can serve as an added tourist attraction. Since geothermal  plants are not a very common sight and many people do not pay attention to science unless they are  immediately affected by it, one of the main attractions at the power plant could be in the form of an  active educational programme like those at the Nesjavellir and Hellisheidi power plants.

The plants in Iceland are very well designed and kept. The well heads are scattered, but are impressively housed not  only for protection, but also, so as not to cause an eye-sore. The Blue Lagoon is one of the most  popular attractions in Iceland. It is, however, certainly very difficult now to have a second “Blue  Lagoon” anywhere in the world, due to the emphasis placed on environmental protection. The silica  rich brine is basically waste fluid from the Svartsengi power plant.

Untidiness: Untidiness at the construction sites and boreholes can be very unpleasant. Therefore, this  feature should be incorporated in the monitoring programme and should be inspected regularly,  preferably by an outside agency.

3.3.3 Fluid withdrawal
Fluid withdrawal can significantly affect surface manifestations. This may cause hot springs and  geysers to disappear or to be transformed into fumaroles. In some cases it may lead to the relocation  of activity. Fluid withdrawal can also cause land subsidence, lowering of the groundwater table and  induced seismicity.

Subsidence: Land subsidence is known to occur as a consequence of fluid withdrawal from highenthalpy  reservoirs (Allis and Zhan, 1997; Allis, 2000; Eysteinsson, 2000; Glowaca et al., 2000; Lee  and Bacon, 2000). Subsidence takes place when fluid withdrawal exceeds the natural inflow into the  reservoir. This net outflow causes loose formations at the top of the withdrawal site to compact,  particularly in the case of clays and sediments. Key factors causing subsidence include:
• A pressure drop in the reservoir as a result of fluid withdrawal;
• The presence of a highly compressible geological rock formation above or in the upper part of a   shallow reservoir;
• The presence of highly permeable paths between the reservoir and the formation, and between  the reservoir and the ground surface.

If all these conditions are present, ground subsidence is likely to occur. In general, subsidence is  greater in liquid-dominated fields because of the geological characteristics typically associated with  each type of field. Generally, a large mass needs to be drawn from a liquid-dominated area for  production. These effects are local but can trigger the instability of pipelines, drains, and well casings.

They can also cause the formation of ponds and cracks in the ground and, if the site is close to a  populated area, can lead to the instability of buildings. There is evidence of subsidence from all  utilized areas but the magnitude varies considerably. The largest recorded subsidence is found in  Wairakei, New Zealand where the maximum subsidence is 15 m (400 mm/year); at Larderello, Italy,  subsidence (25 mm/year) is much less than that at Wairakei, but greater than that of Svartsengi,  Iceland where the total subsidence is less than 28 cm (10 mm/year) (Hunt, 2001; Allis, 2000,  Eysteinsson, 2000; Aust and Sustrac, 1992).

Lowering of groundwater table: Mixing of fluids between aquifers and an inflow of corrosive water  (seawater) may occur due to the lowering of the groundwater table. This may also cause the  disappearance of springs and fumaroles or changes in surface activity (Glover et al., 2000). In  addition, it can also lead to the formation or accelerated growth of a steam pillow and subsequent  boiling and degassing of the field. Such a development may induce major explosions (blow-outs), the  like of which has killed a number of people in the past (Hunt, 2001; Goff and Goff, 1997).

Seismicity: The natural seismicity may also be affected by fluid withdrawal as observed in Svartsengi  (Brandsdóttir et al., 2002). Likewise, reinjection may induce microseismicity (Hunt, 2001). Such  occurrences can mostly be avoided by a sensible choice of a reinjection site.

Fluid re-injection or, in cases where re-injection of the geothermal fluid is unsuitable, injection of  different fluids into geothermal systems can help reduce the pressure drop, subsidence and other  effects of fluid withdrawal (Björnsson and Steingrímsson, 1991). The effectiveness depends on where  the fluid is re-injected and on the permeability in the field. Commonly, re-injection is carried out at  some distance from the production well to avoid cooling of the production fluid but may not, however,  help prevent subsidence. Efficiency varies with the reinjection strategy used. The main factors which  determine how effective reinjection may turn out are: location, injection pressure and chemical  treatment. There must be a pressure connection between the production well and the reinjection well.

The injection wells must be located within the productive area in order to provide pressure support and  reservoir sweep. Separating and injecting the water at high pressure keeps temperatures high, provide  great support to reservoir pressures and also reduce the effects of silica deposition. There is a flip side,  however, resulting in the loss of some of the energy that could have been extracted if the water had  been flashed in a second stage to provide additional steam.

3.3.4 Noise
The primary sources of noise associated with exploration include earth-moving equipment (related to  road, well pad, and sump pit construction), vehicular traffic, seismic surveys, blasting, and drill rig  operations. Well drilling is estimated to produce noise levels ranging from about 90 dB; and the noise  from the discharge of boreholes may exceed the pain threshold of 120 dB with frequencies ranging  from 2 to 4000 Hz at the site boundary.

During the exploration phase, cost is kept to a minimum and adaptability may be needed in the choice  of a silencer. Once the plant has started operation there are several different silencer designs that can  be used to keep the environmental noise below the 65 dB limit applicable in or near to an inhabited  area. If the location is in an isolated remote area, the limit may be as high as 85 dB. Silencers, such as  brine silencers (Thórólfsson, 2010), have to be adapted to the prevailing conditions. Knowledge of the  existing environment, the chemistry and the behaviour of silica scaling is essential when designing the  power plant and its components.  Taking into consideration the sensitivity of the geothermal sites in Dominica, perhaps it would be best  to keep the noise to a minimum and carry out well testing outside of the tourist season.

Types of silencers: Silencer/separator; rock muffler; and concrete.

3.3.5 Thermal effects
Geothermal energy is a clean energy source compared to that of fossil-fuel combustion; thus, using it as a replacement for fossil-fuel energy is beneficial to the environment. However, geothermal energy has its down side which may incur some negative impacts on the local environment. The fluid brought to the surface from high-enthalpy geothermal reservoirs usually contains constituents which may significantly affect surface and groundwater if not disposed of properly. Metals, minerals, and gases
are leached into the geothermal steam or hot water as it passes through the rocks. The large amounts of chemicals released through steam when geothermal fields are tapped for commercial production can be hazardous or objectionable to locals. Excess heat emitted in the form of steam may affect cloud formation and change the weather locally, and waste water piped into streams, rivers, lakes or local ground waters may seriously affect the biology and ecological system (vegetation, wildlife, aquatic biota, special status species, and their habitats).

Over the last few decades many steps have been taken to reduce the environmental impacts of geothermal utilization. These include:
• Directional drilling which aims at reducing damage to scenery, undesirable visual effects and soil erosion;
• Injection of waste water and condensate into bedrock, which reduces chemical pollution of local surface and ground waters while helping to bolster reservoir pressure and prolong the resource’s productive existence. Technologies have also been developed to remove Hg, B and As from steam, thus reducing pollution by these elements;
• Multiple use of the resource is efficient and also contributes to the reduction of heat wastage. As demonstrated in the Lindal diagram (Líndal 1973), there are uses for the heat down to low temperatures. In warm countries like Dominica and the other Caribbean islands, the excess heat could be used for air-cooling by means of heat pumps.

3.3.6 Chemical pollution
In geothermal utilization, chemical pollution is due to the discharge of chemicals into the atmosphere via steam; the spent liquid may also contain dissolved chemicals of potential harm to the environment.

Spray, which constitutes a problem mainly during well testing, could damage vegetation.

Wastes produced by drilling include drilling fluid and mud, geothermal fluids (and remaining sludge in sump pits after evaporation), used oil and filters, spilt fuel, drill cuttings, spent and unused solvents, scrap metal, solid waste, and garbage. Wastes may also include hydraulic fluids, pipe dope, rig wash, drums and containers, paint and paint washes, sandblast media. Wastes associated with drilling fluids include oil derivatives (e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs], spilled chemicals, suspended and dissolved solids, phenols, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and drilling mud additives, including potentially harmful contaminants such as chromate and barite). Adverse impacts can result if hazardous wastes are not properly handled and released to the environment.

The main pollutant chemicals in the liquid fraction are hydrogen sulphide (H₂S), arsenic (As), boron (B), mercury (Hg); other heavy metals such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and Report 11 145 De Roche manganese (Mn). Lithium (Li) and ammonia (NH₃), as well as aluminium (Al), may also occur in harmful concentrations. In cases where the geothermal fluids are brines, they may have direct negative impacts on the environment due to the very high salt content.

Disposal of this type of water is critical and the best and most effective method for avoiding water pollution, thus far, is through the reinjection of the spent fluid. If waste is released into rivers or lakes instead of being injected into the geothermal field, these pollutants could damage aquatic life and make the water unsafe for drinking or irrigation. As and Hg, in particular, may accumulate in sediments and organisms while boron, on the other hand, in very high concentrations is very harmful to plants.

3.3.7 Gaseous emissions
Geothermal fluids contain dissolved gases which are released into the atmosphere. The main polluting gases are carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S). Both are denser than air and may accumulate in pits, depressions and confined spaces. These gases are a recognized hazard for people working in geothermal stations or bore fields. Other contributing offenders are methane, mercury, radon, ammonia and boron. Carbon dioxide, which is usually the major constituent of the gas present in geothermal fields, and methane, usually a minor constituent, are both greenhouse gases contributing
to potential climate change. However, geothermal extraction releases far less greenhouse gas per unit of electricity generated than burning fossil fuels such as coal or gas to produce electricity.

Investigations from volcanic terrains strongly suggest that the development of geothermal fields makes no difference to the total CO₂ emanating from them (Bertani, 2001). It has also been pointed out that the CO₂ emitted from geothermal plants is not created by power generation but is CO₂ that would have been vented out gradually and naturally through the earth (Ármannsson et al., 2001).

Hydrogen sulphide probably causes the greatest concern due to its repulsive smell and toxicity (even at moderate concentrations). Although geothermal plants do not emit sulphur dioxide directly, it is alleged that once H₂S is released into the atmosphere, it eventually changes into sulphur dioxide and sulphuric acid. This is a matter of debate because little evidence has been found of such an effect within the vicinity of power plants and it has not been demonstrated that the H₂S is indeed oxidized to SO₂ to any degree. It has been shown, however, that a considerable portion of H₂S is washed out of
the steam and precipitated as elemental sulphur. It has been observed that the concentration of H₂S in borehole steam increases relatively more than the CO₂ concentration compared to their concentrations in naturally emitted steam as a result of geothermal utilization. Probably this is due to the higher reactivity of H₂S.

There are several surface manifestations in Wotten Waven. Some of these are used directly as sulphur pools for therapeutic baths. The area is known for the strong scent of H₂S, which is sometimes apparent in the city of Roseau. Villagers have also complained of heavy corrosion of their appliances.

It was also brought to my attention that some of the visitors who bathe in the hot sulphur pools have complained of dizziness while in the pools. This may be due to the emission of H₂S and CO₂ present in the steam and the length of time people are immersed in the pools and inhaling these gases. However, no research has been carried out to determine the actual cause.

Power generation of any kind presents some degree of risk to the environment and this holds true for geothermal energy as well. While this level of risk exists, it has been confirmed that with proper maintenance measures, monitoring programmes and waste disposal management, these negative impacts can be minimized.

There are several countries in the world that produce geothermal energy or have the capacity to do so. These countries range from: Italy, with over 100 years of electricity production; France, with space heating since the 14th century; The first large geothermal project in Iceland, the Reykjavik Heating System started over 80 years ago (1928); Costa Rica started in 1994; El Salvador in 1975; Hawaii in 1982; and Guadeloupe in 1984.

Presently, Dominica, in the Lesser Antilles, is in the exploratory phase of a geothermal project.

Successful operation of geothermal plants did not happen overnight in these countries. There were cases of poor management throughout the years of operation where strategies had to be redefined in order to continue production – for example in Hawaii.
The Hawaii Geothermal Resources Assessment Program was initiated in 1978. An experimental 3 MW power plant went online in 1982, but it was shut down after eight years of production (Boyd, 2002). This plant was actually built as a two year demonstration project. The plant was closed down permanently due to inadequate maintenance of the equipment and operation at a loss. Furthermore, the effluent abatement systems and brine systems were neither efficient nor acceptable to the
community and the regulatory agencies. The company did accomplish a lot despite being shut down. The facility demonstrated that reservoir fluids required special maintenance and handling, but also showed that this issue could be managed. It was after this experience that the Hawaiian regulatory agencies became aware of the issues regarding geothermal development that could affect the community. Due to emission releases, the extent of brine ponds beyond the plant boundaries and an unkempt appearance of the plant itself because of limited maintenance, this experimental HGP-A power plant, as it was called, was not well received at all. The people expressed their concerns over several issues including impacts on Hawaiian culture and religious values, potential geological hazards, public health and loss of native rainforest as well as a change in the rural nature of the area. This had a negative impact on future exploration. As a matter
of fact further exploration was opposed. The Puna Geothermal Venture plant was eventually established over a decade later. Residents have accepted the plant as a part of the power supply, but there are still lingering health and environmental concerns among residents near the plant. As a result, an investigation was carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency and a programme documenting residents’ health problems which they attributed to geothermal emissions.

When the Puna Geothermal Venture lost control of their wells during drilling and allowed the uncontrolled release of steam from their exploration well in June 1991, this only added insult to injury.

The drilling permits were suspended by the state regulatory agency not only for the Puna Geothermal Venture, but also for another geothermal company – The True Geothermal Energy Company which had already spent quite some years haggling with the regulatory bodies trying to develop the central rift area. This ultimately led to the abandonment of the True Geothermal Energy project.

The Puna Geothermal Venture was able to produce 35 MWe despite the delays and at a much higher cost than had been anticipated. The facility still faces technical challenges, but has been able to produce power with a minimum of “blowouts” to the community and likewise a minimum of public controversy. This facility is now producing 60 MWe, but there are no current plans to expand their production capacity.

There are also global environmental issues on the emission of greenhouse gases.

Geothermal energy plays a very important role in this area as it is renewable and it is an environmentally friendly source of energy. The emission of greenhouse gases has to be reduced.

Iceland is an ideal example of the effectiveness of geothermal utilization. In Iceland 83% of the greenhouse gas emission are CO₂. The use of fossil fuel accounts for 70% of these. In the year 2000, the total emission of CO₂ in Iceland was 3.3 million tonnes, of which 36% came from industry, 31% from transport (excluding international flights), 26% from the fishing fleet, 5% from high-temperature geothermal plants, 1% from homes and 1% from other sources. CO₂ emission has been reduced significantly in Iceland since 89% of the houses are now heated using geothermal energy for space heating, which gradually replaced fossil fuels in the 1930s with the largest increase during the 1970s following the first oil crisis. It is very important to understand that this emission from geothermal
fields is not a result of the production of greenhouse gases but rather a displacement of naturally occurring gas in high-temperature fields.

The use of geothermal energy has advanced over the years in many countries and Iceland is a good example. For centuries it was only used for bathing and washing.  Presently, this resource is used both for electricity generation and direct heat application. Space heating is the most widespread form of direct utilization of geothermal energy in Iceland covering 89% of all buildings in the country. Other areas of direct use include swimming pools, snow melting, industry, greenhouses and fish farming. Electricity generation with geothermal energy has rapidly increased throughout the past few years,
principally due to the increased demand from energy intensive industry.

Global warming and climate change are much discussed topics and many ethnic groups and organizations are having increasing concerns for the environment especially since it is an anthropogenic problem. It is, therefore, critical that greater emphasis be placed on the utilization of clean and sustainable energy sources such as geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is considered a relatively clean source of energy. All possible environmental impacts can, to a large extent, be foreseen and this paves the way to take measures to minimize their effects prior to utilization.

Knowing beforehand the contributing factors to possible environmental degradation due to geothermal production and recognizing the areas that are most sensitive and vulnerable enables stakeholders to establish an effective mitigating programme.

In Dominica, the site due for geothermal development is in a significantly delicate location where various species and their habitats, and the neighbouring rivers will be affected one way or another. Consequently, it is imperative that this geothermal field be carefully and continuously monitored and that the necessary means be taken and applied in order to minimize the gravity of the impacts on the environment. One of the first questions asked in such cases is “are we absolutely certain that this geothermal field in such a unique and delicate area is worth the risk?”

If yes, then proceed to ask:
• Was the surface exploration thoroughly carried out?
• In which areas will permission for entering be granted?
• If development of this area is not successful, can the area be recovered/restored to its natural self?
• How does the company dispose of the material cleared?
• Where will roads be built and will the location affect any wildlife trails?
• How big is the drilling plant?
• How does the company propose to approach the environmental aspect of the project?
• How does it propose to protect the unique wildlife and habitats?
• Will a camp be set up at the site?
• How will waste be discarded?
• How long will exploratory drilling last?
• What about waste fluid disposal during this phase?

There are two phases to consider: the exploration drilling phase and the production phase. Some things to consider during the exploration drilling phase are:

• The advantage of seismic sounding before drilling;
• The fluid should not come in contact with ground/surface water;
• The drilling fluid should not or have a minimal effect on the surface conditions of the area;
• Duration of testing (long or short period), as this will affect waste fluid disposal;
• Caution should be taken with any road construction so that animal trails are not crossed;
• Avoid the main areas of hunting and feeding grounds of indigenous species;
• Well testing should be carried out outside of the tourist season because of noise and possible spray;
• A separate environmental impact assessment should be considered during this phase;
• The advantage of drilling according to a “production” well programme as opposed to a slim well programme;
• The possibilities and advantages of drilling directional wells. During the production phase, the plan is basically permanent. Production drilling is carried out during the project planning phase of geothermal development. Attention is paid to the reservoir temperature and pressure, reservoir rock type and flow paths, fluid chemistry, hydrological reservoir parameters and well productivity (injectivity). These investigations are carried out with the objective of revising the conceptual model and the potential generating capacity in order to design and construct the plant.

At this point the most reliable and trusted form of environmental protection is reinjection of the fluids.

It is true that Iceland is a unique country in respect to its geothermal production capacity and utilization and this is due to its fortunate geographical location. Energy use in Iceland differs from that of other countries. The energy use is higher per capita and the ratio of sustainable energy sources is also high. Many countries do not enjoy the widely established and stable range of utilization found in Iceland.

For developing countries like Dominica, applications will not be as diverse. Nonetheless,
geothermal energy can be put to multiple uses in Dominica. The island lies in the tropics and does not have snow, but cooling is greatly needed. It can also be used for greenhouses, fish drying and for the production of commercial liquid carbon dioxide derived from the geothermal fluid, to name a few.

Great thanks go out to Dr. Ingvar B. Fridleifsson, Director of the UNU-GTP, Mr. Lúdvík S.
Georgsson, Deputy Director, Thórhildur Ísberg, Markús A.G. Wilde, Ingvar, Thráinn and Gylfi Páll  Hersir for their kindness and continuous support and attention during this period. I would also like to  extend my sincere gratitude to the ISOR administration and their personnel for their assistance and  vital contribution to my development here. I am very grateful to Halldór Ármannsson, my tutor, for his guidance, patience and advice on my report. I also want to express my sincere thanks to Sverrir Thórhallsson, Helgi Jensson, Geir Thórólfsson and everyone else who assisted me with this project.

I would like to acknowledge the Government of Dominica, through the Ministry of National Security, Immigration & Labour for authorizing my attendance at this six month geothermal training programme. Very special thanks go out to Hon. Charles Savarin, Mr. Lucien Blackmoore and Mr. Michael Fadelle for their support and encouragement.

Finally, to the 27 Fellows, it was a great journey and an amazing experience. I will forever treasure this moment. It was indeed a pleasure to meet all of you. May the grace of God be with you always! Finally, I must give praise and thanks to the Almighty God for blessing me with the opportunity to  come to this beautiful place to attend this training programme.

Allis, R.G., 2000: Review of subsidence at Wairakei field, New Zealand. Geothermics, 29, 455-478.

Allis, R.G., and Zhan, X., 1997: Potential for subsidence due to geothermal development of Tauhara  field. IGNS Client report 5177A.10 for Contact Energy.

Ármannsson, H., and Kristmannsdóttir, H., 1993: Geothermal environmental impact. Geothermics,  21-5/6, 869-880.

Ármannsson, H., Kristmannsdóttir, H., and Hallsdóttir, B., 2001: Gas emissions from geothermal  fields. Proceedings of Orkuthing 2001, Reykjavík (in Icelandic), 324-330.

Ármannsson, H., Kristmannsdóttir, H., Torfason, H., and Ólafsson, M., 2000: Natural changes in  unexploited high-temperature geothermal areas in Iceland. Proceedings of the World Geothermal  Congress 2000, Kyushu-Tohuku, Japan, 521-526.

Aust, H., and Sustrac, G., 1992: Impact of development on the geological environment. In:
Lumsden, G.I. (chief editor), Geology and the environment in Western Europe. Oxford University  Press, Oxford, 202-280.

Bertani, R., 2001: IGA activities, highlights of the 28th IGA Board Meeting. IGA Quarterly, 44, 1-2.

Björnsson, G., and Steingrímsson, B., 1991: Temperature and pressure in the Svartsengi geothermal reservoir. Orkustofun, Reykjavík, report OS-91016/JHD-04 (in Icelandic with Engl.summary), 69 pp.

Bogie, I., Lawless, J.V. and Pornuevo, J.B. 1987: Kaipohan: An apparently nonthermal manifestation  of hydrothermal systems in the Philippines. J. Volcanology & Geothermal Research 31, 281-292.

Boyd T. L., 2002: Hawaii and geothermal; what has been happening? GHC Bulletin, 32-3, 11-21.

Brandsdóttir, B., Franzson, H., Einarsson, P., Árnason, K., and Kristmannsdóttir, H., 2002: Seismic  monitoring during an injection experiment in the Svartsengi geothermal field, Iceland. Jökull, 51, 43- 52.

BRGM, 1983: Gravimetric study of the Soufriere and Wotten Waven areas. BRGM, report n° 83,  SGN 714 GTH.

BRGM, 1984: Geothermal prefeasibility study on Dominica Island. BRGM, report n° 84 SGN 101 GTH.

BRGM, 1985: Volcano-structural history of southern part of Dominica Island. BRGM, report °  85 SGN 068 IRG-GTH (in French).

CFG Services, 2005: Field report on geothermal exploration in Wotten Waven, Dominica.

OAS – Eastern Caribbean Geothermal Development Project ‘Geo-Caraibes’.

CFG Services, 2009: Environmental feasibility study. INTERREG III-B Project: Geothermal energy  in the Caribbean Islands.

Eysteinsson, H., 2000: Elevation and gravity changes at geothermal fields on the Reykjanes Peninsula, SW Iceland.

Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2000, Kyushu-Tohuku,  Japan, 559-564.
De Roche 150 Report 11

Glover, R.B., Hunt, T.M., and Severne, C.M., 2000: Impacts of development on a natural thermal  feature and their mitigation – Ohaaki Pool, New Zealand. Geothermics, 29, 509-523.

Glowacka, E., Gonzalez, J., and Nava, F.A., 2000: Subsidence in Cerro Prieto geothermal field, Baja  California, Mexico. Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2000, Kyushu-Tohoku, Japan, 2,  591-596.

Goff, S., and Goff, F., 1997: Environmental impacts during development: Some examples from  Central America. Proceedings of NEDO International Geothermal Symposium 1997, 242-250.

Hunt, T.M., 2001: Five lectures on environmental effects of geothermal utilization. UNU-GTP,  Iceland, report 1-2000, 109 pp.

Kristmannsdóttir, H., and Ármannsson, H., 2003: Environmental aspects of geothermal energy  utilization. Geothermics, 32, 451-461.

Lasne, H. and Traineau, H., 2005: Field report on geothermal exploration in Wotten Waven,  Dominica. CFG Services.

Lee, S., and Bacon, L., 2000: Operational history of the Ohaaki geothermal field, New Zealand.

Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2000, Kyushu-Tohoku, Japan, 5, 3211-3216.

Líndal, B., 1973: Industrial and other applications of geothermal energy, except poser production and  district heating. In: Armstead, H.C.H. (eds.) Geothermal energy. Paris, UNESCO, LC 7297, 135-  148.

Lindsay, J.M., Robertson, R.E.A., Shepherd, J.B., and Ali, S. (eds.), 2005: Volcanic hazard atlas of  the Lesser Antilles. Seismic Research Unit, University of West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago.

Sigurdsson, H., and Carey, S.T., 1980: The Roseau ash: Deep-sea tephra deposits from a major  eruption on Dominica, Lesser Antilles Arc. J. Volcanol. & Geoth. Res., 7-1/2, 87-96.

Thórólfsson, G., 2010: Silencers for flashing geothermal brine, thirty years of experimenting.

Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 8 pp.

Torfason, H., 1992: The nature of high-temperature geothermal areas: observations at Theistareykir

1991. Orkustofnun, Reykjavík, report HeTo-92/02 (in Icelandic), 2 pp.

Traineau, H. and Lasne, E., 2008: Geological and geochemical survey of the Wotten Waven geothermal field, Dominica, West Indies. CFG Services, final report.

Young, S., 2005: Review of local seismicity and other observations relevant to characterizing the  geothermal resources in Dominica. GeoSY, Ltd., unpubl. report, 8 pp.

I received this by email and was asked to share. I copied and pasted the document and made it fit the page. Then after I posted it I found the link

“It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth….The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing.” … Chief Luther Standing Bear TETON SIOUX



I love to lay on the ground and look at the night sky or the day sky and the clouds. I also absolutely love laying on rocks and practicing yoga in direct connection with these natural surfaces is a favourite activity of mine.

I have always enjoyed sleeping; resting; sitting and walking on the earth. As my children grew up we camped a lot not only to get in nature but to be able to sleep in direct connection with the earth. For me it was a deeply rejuvenating and healing experience.

Recently the value of direct contact with the earth has become more and more recognized.

According to the Earthing Institute:

“The surface of the Earth resonates with natural, subtle energies. Ongoing scientific research is discovering the details as to why people feel significantly better when they connect with these omnipresent energy fields. Earthing refers to the process of connecting by walking barefoot outside, as humans have done throughout history, or sitting, working, or sleeping grounded indoors. For more than a decade, thousands of people around the world—men, women, children, and athletes—have incorporated Earthing into their daily routines and report that they sleep better, have less pain and stress, and faster recovery from trauma. Earthing immediately equalizes your body to the same energy level, or potential, as the Earth. This results in synchronizing your internal biological clocks, hormonal cycles, and physiological rhythms, and suffusing your body with healing, negatively charged free electrons abundantly present on the surface of the Earth.”

“Throughout time, we humans have strolled, sat, stood, and slept on the ground—the skin of our bodies touching the skin of the Earth—oblivious to the fact that such physical contact transfers natural electrical energy to the body.

Modern lifestyle has disconnected us from the Earth’s energy, making us more vulnerable to stress and illness.

Earthing is the landmark discovery that this energy upholds the electrical stability of our bodies and serves as a foundation for vitality and health.

In an age of rampant chronic disease, reconnecting with the Earth’s energy beneath our very feet provides a way back to better health.

We are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.”

For more information on Earthing check out Understanding Earthing.

Recently released studies are showing Native Indians were absolutely right in their belief that walking on the ground was healing.

The most recent study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine July 2012 shows that Earthing or Grounding the body reduces blood viscosity.

Subjects were grounded with conductive patches on the soles of their feet and palms of their hands. Wires connected the patches to a stainless-steel rod inserted in the earth outdoors. Small fingertip pinprick blood samples were placed on microscope slides and an electric field was applied to them. Electrophoretic mobility of the RBCs was determined by measuring terminal velocities of the cells in video recordings taken through a microscope. RBC aggregation was measured by counting the numbers of clustered cells in each sample. Settings/location: Each subject sat in a comfortable reclining chair in a soundproof experiment room with the lights dimmed or off. Subjects: Ten (10) healthy adult subjects were recruited by word-of-mouth. Results: Earthing or grounding increased zeta potentials in all samples by an average of 2.70 and significantly reduced RBC aggregation. Conclusions: Grounding increases the surface charge on RBCs and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping. Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events.

In March 2012 The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine published an article describing the interaction of the Earth’s mass-electrolytic conductor on the electrical environment of human organism-aqueous environment and skeleton released by Department of Ambulatory Cardiology, Military Clinical Hospital, Bydgoszcz, Poland.

They found results indicate that up-and-down movement and the elimination of potentials in the electrical environment of the human organism by the Earth’s mass may play a fundamental role in regulation of bioelectrical and bioenergetical processes. The Earth’s electromagnetohydrodynamic potential is responsible for this phenomenon.

In January of 2012 The Journal of Environmental Health published ‘Earthing: health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth’s surface electrons’; the source was the Developmental and Cell Biology Department of the University of California. This paper reviews the earthing research and the potential of earthing as a simple and easily accessed global modality of significant clinical importance.

Their conclusion: Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease. The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.

Seems like Earthing is among the most natural and safest things we can do to live healthier! Oh joy!

Dominica is the perfect place to hike barefoot or practice yoga in nature and take advantage of those healing energies.

We are putting chemicals originally developed as neuro toxins in the second world war on our food and therefore in our food, our rivers, our soil and our oceans. This affects those who apply the chemicals, and those who consume them as well as those who are nearby when the application is happening or afterwards.

The following information is a copy and paste from Medscape, I have highlighted a few sentences


Frances M Dyro, MD  Associate Professor of Neurology, New York Medical College; Neuromuscular Section, Department of Neurology, Westchester Medical Center

Organophosphates (OPs) are chemical substances originally produced by the reaction of alcohols and phosphoric acid. In the 1930s, organophosphates were used as insecticides, but the German military developed these substances as neurotoxins in World War II. They function as cholinesterase inhibitors, thereby affecting neuromuscular transmission.

Organophosphate insecticides, such as diazinon, chlorpyrifos, disulfoton, azinphos-methyl, and fonofos, have been used widely in agriculture and in household applications as pesticides. Over 25,000 brands of pesticides are available in the United States, and their use is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Diazinon was sold in the United States for 48 years with 14.7 million pounds sold annually. It was the most widely used ingredient in lawn and garden sprays in the United States. Diazinon was found under the brand names Real Kill, Ortho, and Spectracide. In the past decade, the EPA reached an agreement with the pesticide industry to end the production of diazinon by March 2001 for indoor use and June 2003 for lawn and garden use. Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) was involved in a negotiated phaseout in June 2000. These phaseouts resulted from recognition of the special risk that these substances posed for children. Four percent of patients presenting to poison control centers report pesticide exposure. Of those patients, 34% are children younger than 6 years.

Toxic nerve agents used by the military are often of the organophosphate group; an example is sarin, the nerve gas used in a terrorist action in Tokyo in 1995. In anticipation of military use of OP neurotoxins during the Gulf War, the US military was given prophylactic agents which some believe caused some of the symptoms of Gulf War syndrome.

With the emergence of the West Nile virus in the northeastern United States, programs of spraying have been implemented in large urban areas, in particular New York’s Central Park.

Controversy exists regarding the long-term effects of exposure to low levels of potentially neurotoxic substances.

Therapeutic uses of organophosphates

Several organophosphate agents are being tried therapeutically. Cholinesterase inhibition, which in large doses makes these agents effective pesticides, also may be useful in other doses for treating dementia. Metrifonate has been used to treat schistosomiasis and is undergoing trials for the treatment of primary degenerative dementia.

The organophosphates pyridostigmine and physostigmine are carbamate anticholinesterases that have been used for many years for the treatment of myasthenia gravis. Although the short-duration anticholinesterases are generally safe, reports of their abuse are associated with a picture similar to pesticide intoxication.

One of the author’s patients had been diagnosed erroneously as a myasthenic. Long-term “therapeutic” doses of physostigmine chemically altered her neuromuscular junctions to the point where she had to be slowly weaned from the drug.

Sung and others have reported on the ability of these substances to induce nicotinic receptor modulation. This explains the action of these drugs and may result in development of more effective agents.

Historic and new uses of organophosphates

The first organophosphate was synthesized in 1850. Physostigmine was used to treat glaucoma in the 1870s. By the 1930s, synthetic cholinesterase inhibitors were being used for skeletal muscle and autonomic disorders. Some organophosphates were tried in the treatment of parkinsonism.

In 1986, testing began for tacrine, the first cholinesterase inhibitor to be tried for Alzheimer disease; it was released for clinical use in 1993. It is no longer in use. The blood-brain barrier has been the limiting factor in developing a cholinesterase inhibitor for use in dementia. Drugs such as rivastigmine are now widely used. Reported adverse effects are nausea and vomiting, with resultant weight loss because of the increase in cholinergic activity. It has been shown to be useful in mild to moderately severe Alzheimer disease.

Pyridostigmine has been tried for the fatigue of postpolio syndrome but showed no benefit.

“How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind ” ~ A Silent Spring; Rachel Carson 1962

“Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 9 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are pesticides. Pesticides are categorized into four main substituent chemicals: herbicides; fungicides; insecticides and bactericides.” – Wikipedia

On the left an organic farm whose main crop is citrus. This farm is shipping to other islands where the demand for organic produce is steadily growing. On the right a citrus farm using pesticides to kill everything at ground level. Considering that those who eat organic have much lower levels of chemical toxins in their body which do you want to eat?

From the first time I saw the results of gramaxone I was blown away that people were applying something that killed the foliage of plants almost immediately to the very soil they grew their food in. Even more shocking they were applying it around the food they were growing and soon eating.

I started researching this chemical – a chemical local people were told was “safe” – I talked to one farmer who remembered representatives of the agricultural companies coming out to the farmers fields in lab coats to tell them how “safe” it was.  A friend of mine remembers a UNESCO calendar advertising how easy life would be with gramoxone.

In Canada and around the world the same information was being disseminated about other pesticides and the results have been disastorous.

In the past only a few spoke out against this deluge of basically unproven chemicals being poured on our soil; those who did were soon silenced.

It was the 1990’s when I realized that a chemical pesticide known as agent orange caused a lot of sickness in Vietnam Vets – I began to feel it was my duty to inform. I realized that the chemicals in the lethal blend used in the Vietnam War were used on the food we eat too.

AFTER YEARS OF DENYING ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS AND DISEASE IN HUMANS; unrefutable evidence is showing that there is undeniable proof that agricultural chemicals do cause disease. Study after study is showing the links. Class action suits are gathering all over the world. If you or I caused this many people to get sick or die we would be jailed for life!

Some of our agricultural chemicals are neuro toxins first used in the second world war.

Farmers here are still using these dangerous chemicals many of them as in the case of gramoxone are illegal in other parts of the world.

Where ever I travel I find that farmers often say “Oh I don’t use those chemicals for the food I eat; just the food I sell!”

One way to encourage local farmers to grow organic is to request it; pay a little more for quality organic food and the farmers will address the need.

Nobody can deny the connections to disease now:


Pesticide exposure linked to lower birth weights and earlier birth Lower birth weights and premature births are linked to respiratory problems and problems with learning and behaviour.

Canadian Hydro Sprayed Agent Orange to Clear Corridors “The Toronto Star interviewed former Hydro employees, including summer students and senior managers, who were assured the chemicals were harmless. The illnesses they’ve been dealing with the past few decades tell a different story.”

Agent Orange Soaked Ontario Teens – Forestry use of Agent Orange

The Agent Orange Association of Canada – this small group got an immediate compensation package of $20,000 CDN because agent orange (gramoxone) was sprayed in this army base.


Inquiry into sheep dip ‘sickness’.  Hundreds of Scottish farmers allege that organophosphate dips have caused serious physical and psychological damage.


Pesticides and Non Hodgkins Lymphoma

United States

Rotenone and Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease. Participants with Parkinsons Disease were 2.5 times more likely than controls to have reported  use of rotenone or paraquat (gramoxone).

Birth Defects from agricultural chemicals. The coalition testified pregnant women and developing fetuses are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides, which can cause spontaneous abortion, growth retardation, structural birth defects, or functional deficits.

The Veterans Association – Veterans exposed to Herbicides Vietnam Veterans who contract any of the diseases listed on this page are able to get financial assistance.

The national birth defects registry shows the effects of agent orange on the next generation!

Study Links Pesticides to Parkinson’s Studies all over the world link pesticides to Parkinson’s; I just heard of a person in their mid 20’s with the start of this disease.

Elevated serum levels of pesticides linked to Parkinson’s Disease

Atrazine in well waters in agricultural areas Concentrations as low as 0.1 ppb have been shown to alter the development of sex characteristics in male frogs.


France’s highest court has ruled that US agrochemical giant Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of its best-selling weed-killer, Roundup.


Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children.


Amvac Chemical of Newport Beach will pay 13 Nicaraguan workers exposed to DBCP on banana plantations nearly 30 years ago.

Photo: Geothermal power plant in Reykjavik, IcelandI am not for or against the new geothermal energy project being researched in Dominica. I am just sharing information I researched; for your information I list the links below.

Geothermal Power coming to Soufriere

Introduction to Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Power Facts

While cleaner than fossil fuels, man-made steam faces its own environmental concerns, primarily the threat of small, man-made earthquakes. In 2006, a quake shook Basel, Switzerland (map), amid drilling and underground rock-cracking for an enhanced geothermal system there. The quake forced that project to shut down, and its sponsor had to make millions of dollars in payments for damaged buildings.

Geothermal Energy Effects on the Environment

Geothermal Project in California is Shut Down

How does Geothermal Drilling Cause Earthquakes

RESPECT to University of West Indies. Our on island campus is a center for learning. Many different degree programs are available through long distance learning and they provide a venue for  all kinds of other interesting lectures, workshops, festivals and conferences to happen there.

Dominica has a very unique volcanic environment!

  • Of the 16 active volcanoes in the Caribbean Dominica has 9!
  • We even have more than one kind of volcano!
  • We live right on an arc of volcanoes where two tectonic plates meet.
  • We are resting on 9 volcanoes or perhaps one volcano with 9 openings.
  • Our island is the most volcanic of any Country in the Caribbean perhaps the world!  

 There are numerous locations that volcanoes can be studied in Dominica: places where hot water or bubbles are floating up out of the ocean floor; places where cold sulphur water bubbles up out of the ground; places where different types of hot waters  flow out of the ground or flow in rivers; the famous and unique in the world Boiling Lake or just drive to a high place and look out over the volcano peaks!

Look for the black volcanic sands and enjoy the flavourful produce we grow in our rich volcanic soil as part of your volcanic experience in Dominica!

Check out my other article on Educating Children in Dominica about volcanoes.

Volcano Resource Links


Volcano World

Fumaroles Venting Steam; Valley of Desolation

Valley of Desolation View

Volcanoes; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – What are volcanoes? Why are there volcanoes in the Caribbean. Illustration of Caribbean Plate meeting North American Plate; Map of all the Caribbean islands and their volcanoes.

Volcano Monitoring; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – monitoring volcanoes in the Caribbean.

Volcanic Hazards; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – Hazardous volcanic effects in the Eastern Caribbean.

Volcanic Activity in the Eastern Caribbean; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – eruptions of the past …..

Volcanoes in the Caribbean Frequently Asked Questions; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – are all the volcanos of the Caribbean attached ……

Research Activities in Volcanology; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre

Educational Resources; University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – Posters to download

University of West Indies; Seismic Research Centre – on Twitter

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. ~ Chinese Proverb

I love this contest; great job Forestry!