Soufriere Hills continues to erupt

Soufriere Hills

This isn't really new activity, but a report on the ongoing activity at Soufriere Hills on Montserrat in the West Indies. Soufriere Hills is a composite volcano that has been erupting for almost 11 years now, producing pyroclastic flows and ash fall that have wiped out entire towns on the island of Montserrat. Most of the activity is caused by dome collapses, where the viscous dacite lavas will erupt to form domes that then become oversteepened and collapsed due to gravity. This material is still hot (usually) and forms the deadly pyroclastic flows. Sounds like there have been a few dome collapses in May at Soufriere Hills and the picture above, from the report, was taken on May 20. You can clearly see some of the flows coming down the volcano and the ash plume above it ... all this from an article about cricket!

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I've been reading the weekly MVO updates for a few years. Soufriere Hills volcano is currently about 14 months into its third eruption pause. The collected data clearly indicates that fresh magma is refilling the reservoir, and probably sometime before the end of the year lava extrusion will resume. There has been some increasing activity in recent weeks (VT quakes, gas/ash venting, etc), which likely indicates the plumbing is once again heating up. This has been quite an eruption.

Thanks for the information!

By ewklemetti (not verified) on 30 May 2008 #permalink