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National Science and Technology Council Press Release Tatun Mountain Observation Station

Tatun Volcano Group is the only scenic area in Taiwan with an active volcano, surface hot springs, and visible geothermal activity. Based on yearly analysis of the area’s volcanic ash, scientists determined that there are lava deposits underneath Mount Tatun and that Tatun Volcano Group’s latest eruption was likely between five to six thousand years ago. To ensure the safety and property of millions of people in the greater Taipei area, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the Ministry of the Interior jointly established the Taiwan Volcano Observatory at Tatun (TVO) in the Yangmingshan National Park Jingshan Nature Center in 2011. By employing integrated virtual-physical digital technology, TVO has recently brought together the latest scientific research results with popular science knowledge to complete the first period of popular science exhibition optimization projects. On December 22, these developments were unveiled, which officially revealed the mysterious guardians of Tatun Mountain to the public.

At TVO, the NSTC installed multi-volcano real-time monitoring systems which include earthquake monitoring, geochemical analysis, earth-crust transformation, and earth temperature measurement. In addition, the NSTC will partner with agencies and institutions such as the Central Weather Administration, the Ministry of Economic Affairs Central Geological Survey, Academia Sinica, National Taiwan University, and National Central University to conduct volcanic monitoring and research at TVO. Furthermore, TVO is also responsible for disseminating knowledge about volcanoes to the public and promoting disaster management education. Thus, the National Applied Research Laboratories National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering, which operates under the NSTC, will work with the Ministry of the Interior Yangmingshan National Park Management Office to turn the Jingshan Nature Center into a hub for volcanic observation exhibitions, wild animal specimens, endemic plant conservation, and natural science talent education. 

Transforming Spaces- Library-style Science Theater

To meet the needs of day-to-day scientific research and exhibition space for visitors, the first-floor lobby of Jingshan Nature Center has become a Library-style Science Theater. By transforming this space, the lobby now serves as an Everyday Exhibition Space, Immersive Science Theater, and an Interactive Experimental Environment.

  1. Everyday Exhibition Space: Upon entering, visitors are greeted by mirrors installed on the themed wall of the lobby that conceal a large monitor. Moreover, both sides of the lobby have four large exhibits which display volcanic imprints, volcanic monitoring, mountain ecology, and the Yangmingshan National Park’s day-to-day research. The reflections of the mirrored surfaces make the space feel larger and meet the needs of both day-to-day scientific research and everyday exhibitions.
  2. Immersive Science Theater: After lowering the projection screens that surround visitors on all sides, the space can play three science-themed videos: “Pulse of the Mountains,” “Secrets Underneath Our Mountains,” and, “The World of Senses”. These videos create a 360-degree immersive audio-visual experience.
  3. Interactive Experimental Environment: After the science theater videos end, the themed walls immediately display different environmental phenomena of the ecosystems of Tatun Mountain and Yangminshan. Interactive displays include 12 different scientific themes related to mountain plants and animals. By having science guide art and art enriching science, visitors are presented with different surprising experiences. 

Real-time Monitoring- Unveiling the Mysteries of Tatun Mountain

The Tatun Observation Room of Jingshan Nature Center is the heart of TVO. Walking into the Observation Room, visitors first notice its sound art space, which combines the infrasound of Tatun Mountain with visualized projections of sound waves. After visitors are ready, the walls of the Observation Room use aerial projections to display Tatun Mountains latest scientific research results, which include, “Getting to Know a Real-time Volcanic Monitoring Station,” “Seeing into the Heart of a Volcano,” and “Listening to a Volcano”. Aerial projections that accompany models of Tatun Mountain can reveal how scientists conduct volcanic monitoring, how scientists use X-rays on the earth’s core to reveal the position of Tatun Mountain’s lava deposits, and show the scientific meaning behind the heartbeat of a volcano. During these screenings, various types of monitoring data are displayed on monitors above the audience in real-time. This allows the audience to get up close and personal with Taiwan’s volcanic scientific research by receiving data with scientists as it comes in. 

Interactive Science- Fun Sensory Experiences

After leaving the Observation Room, visitors can experience TVO’s twenty interactive science exhibits, which include interactive multi-media videos, and miniature science displays (electric seismographs, interactive seismic waves, and Co2 detection equipment). Through experiencing this diverse array of exhibits, the public can learn more about the origins of Tatun Mountain, volcanoes in general, and the everyday monitoring work of volcanic scientists.

TVO also has a Lava Tunnel, which displays specimens of volcanic rock, seismic volcanic sounds, and volcanic terrain. Changes in light accompany these displays, which help create a unique atmosphere in the Lava Tunnel. In addition, from sight and sound to touch, smell, and heat the Mountain Ecology Hallway, the Conservation Courtyard, and Science Handicrafts Workshops, provide guests with a visit that is full of different sensory experiences.

Recruiting Volunteers- Visitors Officially Welcome in April 2024

After unveiling TVO, there is now an ongoing effort to recruit volunteers and provide on-site training. TVO is expected to officially be open to the public by appointment only starting in April 2024. Every year, TVO can have 240 screenings with each screening hosting up to 30 guests. The public is welcome to visit the official websites of Yangmingshan National Park Management Office ( or TVO ( for further information.

To enhance the content of TVO’s popular science exhibits, the NSTC and the Yangmingshan National Park Management Office will jointly train volcano docents. TVO volunteers must attend a three-day training course, which includes a course on volcano fundamentals, explanations on volcano monitoring, outdoor field visits, and docent training. Retirees and college students with an interest in volcanic activity, natural landscapes, scientific research, and outdoor activities are warmly welcome to take part.

The NSTC hopes that after experiencing TVO for themselves, members of the public leave with questions. Not the type of questions without answers, but rather the curiosity of wanting to know more after getting a basic understanding of Tatun Mountain and the plants and animals found in mountainous regions. The public can also visit the official websites of TVO and the Yangmingshan National Park Management Office to find detailed information on dozens of outdoor exploration routes. From TVO’s virtual-physical experiences and actually going out into Yangmingshan, the public can realize that knowledge isn’t limited to books, but is actually all around us.