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A note on geographical systems and maps of Montserrat

Odbert, Henry M.; Grebby, Stephen


Henry M. Odbert


G. Wadge

R. E. A. Robertson

B. Voight


It is often critically important that geospatial data are measured and mapped accurately, particularly for quantitative analyses and numerical modelling applications. Defining a geographical coordinate system requires a non-unique combination of geodetic techniques (e.g. ellipsoids, projections and geoids). The choice of geographical system presents scope for ambiguity and confusion about geographical data, especially those archived without appropriate metadata. Experience has shown that these confusions have been a repeating source of either frustration or inadvertent error for those using geographical data from Montserrat. This is, in part, probably due to common usage of multiple datums and the existence of numerous topographical datasets recorded during the past 150 years. Here, we attempt to provide a brief introduction to geodetic principles and their application to Montserrat geographical data. The differences between common datums are illustrated and we describe variations in magnetic declination as they apply to field use of magnetic instruments. We include a record of the source of the large-scale mapping datasets that have been used and analysed ubiquitously in the literature. The descriptions here are intended as an introductory reference resource for those using geographical data from Montserrat.


Odbert, H. M., & Grebby, S. (2014). A note on geographical systems and maps of Montserrat. Memoirs, 39,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 7, 2013
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 10, 2016
Journal Memoirs
Print ISSN 0072-1069
Electronic ISSN 2041-4722
Publisher Geological Society of America
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Series Title Memoir
Book Title The eruption of Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Memoirs Volume 39 2014 © Geological Society of London 2014.


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