Fire Earth

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Posts Tagged ‘Soufriere Hills Volcano’

Massive Eruption at Soufriere Hills Volcano

Posted by feww on March 25, 2010

The Soufriere Hills volcano in Montserrat ejects a large plume of ash up to 12km into the air

Passengers on a 737 jet flying over the Caribbean had a close-up look at a massive volcanic eruption which ejected a plume of ash and smoke higher than the flight altitude. Early reports indicate that a partial collapse of the volcano’s lava dome may have caused the mushroom cloud.  (Image: Mary Jo Penkala/Solent). Image may be subject to copyright.

A massive eruption of Montserrat’s Soufrière Hills Volcano triggered by a collapse of Soufrière Hills’ summit lava dome  covered large portions of the island in debris on February 11, 2010. Pyroclastic flows raced down the northern flank of the volcano, leveling trees and destroying buildings in the village of Harris, already abandoned after Soufrière Hills activity in 1995. The Montserrat Volcano Observatory reported that some flows, about 15 meters (49 feet) thick, reached the sea at Trant’s Bay, extending the island’s coastline up to 650 meters (2,100 feet). These false-color satellite images show the southern half of Montserrat before and after the dome collapse. The top image was taken on February 21, 2010, 10 days after the event. The bottom image shows the same area on March 17, 2007. Red areas are vegetated, clouds are white, blue/black areas are ocean water, and gray areas are covered by flow deposits. Fresh deposits are lighter than older deposits. On February 21, the drainages leading down from Soufrière Hills, including the White River Valley, the Tar River Valley, and the Belham River Valley, were filled with fresh debris. Pyroclastic flows reached the sea through Aymers Ghaut on January 18, 2010, and flows entered the sea near Plymouth on February 5, 2010, Montserrat Volcano Observatory said.

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Note: Links to Montserrat Volcano Observatory have been removed because the site is used for commercial advertising and promotion of tourism.

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Posted in Soufriere Hills erupts, volcanism, volcano | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

More Activity at Soufriere Hills Volcano

Posted by feww on February 26, 2010

Soufriere Hills Hellbent on Blowing Up Montserrat Island

In Montserrat: What Next? Fire-Earth wrote that Montserrat island could become completely uninhabitable by 2013 or earlier.

“Based on the pattern of volcanic activity at Soufriere Hills volcano since 1995, evidence of increased volcanism globally and a number of other  factors, the FEWW EarthModel forecasts the probability of Montserrat island becoming completely uninhabitable by by 2013 was equal or greater than 80 percent.”

Meanwhile, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory on February 21 reported that “the drainages leading down from Soufrière Hills, including the White River Valley, the Tar River Valley, and the Belham River Valley, were filled with fresh debris,” NASA Earth observatory said. The pyroclastic flows entered the sea via Aymers Ghaut more than a month ago, and the flows reached the sea near Plymouth on February 5, 2010.

Image # 1 (reportedly acquired by NASA on Feb 21, 2010)

Image # 2 (reportedly acquired by NASA on March 17, 200y – used for comparison)
A massive eruption of Montserrat’s Soufrière Hills Volcano triggered by a collapse of Soufrière Hills’ summit lava dome  covered large portions of the island in debris on February 11, 2010. Pyroclastic flows raced down the northern flank of the volcano, leveling trees and destroying buildings in the village of Harris, already abandoned after Soufrière Hills activity in 1995. The Montserrat Volcano Observatory reported that some flows, about 15 meters (49 feet) thick, reached the sea at Trant’s Bay, extending the island’s coastline up to 650 meters (2,100 feet). These false-color satellite images show the southern half of Montserrat before and after the dome collapse. The top image was taken on February 21, 2010, 10 days after the event. The bottom image shows the same area on March 17, 2007. Red areas are vegetated, clouds are white, blue/black areas are ocean water, and gray areas are covered by flow deposits. Fresh deposits are lighter than older deposits. On February 21, the drainages leading down from Soufrière Hills, including the White River Valley, the Tar River Valley, and the Belham River Valley, were filled with fresh debris. Pyroclastic flows reached the sea through Aymers Ghaut on January 18, 2010, and flows entered the sea near Plymouth on February 5, 2010, Montserrat Volcano Observatory said.

Note: Links to Montserrat Volcano Observatory have been removed because the site is used for commercial advertising and promotion of tourism.

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Posted in Aymers Ghaut, Plymouth, volcanic activity, volcanism, volcano | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Montserrat: What Next?

Posted by feww on December 13, 2009

Uncertain Future for Montserrat Island

Montserrat island could become completely uninhabitable by 2013 or earlier

Based on the pattern of volcanic activity at Soufriere Hills volcano since 1995, evidence of increased volcanism globally and a number of other  factors, the FEWW EarthModel forecasts the probability of Montserrat island becoming completely uninhabitable as follows:

Probability of Montserrat Becoming Uninhabitable in the Near Future

  • 2009 ≥ 50%
  • 2010 ≥ 56%
  • 2011 ≥ 60%
  • 2012 ≥ 70%
  • 2013 ≥ 80%

Montserrat Island Details:

  • Capital:
    • Plymouth (destroyed in 1997- see photo below)
    • Brades (de facto)
  • Location: Montserrat Island
  • Coordinates: (16.72 N, 62.18 W)
  • Height: 915 meters (3,010 feet)
  • Official languages:     English
  • Ethnic groups:     West African, Mulatto, British, Irish
  • Government:     British Overseas Territory
  • Area:   102 km²  (39 sq mi )


View E across ash-covered Plymouth, the former capital city and major port of Montserrat, toward Soufriere Hills volcano.
Before the volcano became active in July 1995, about 5,000 people lived in Plymouth, located 4 km west of English’s Crater. During the first two years of the eruption, ash and noxious gas from explosions and pyroclastic flows frequently settled on Plymouth. On August 3, about 3 weeks after this image was taken, the first significant pyroclastic flow swept through the evacuated town. The flow triggered many fires and caused extensive damage to buildings and community facilities by direct impact and burial.
Date: 12 July 1997. Credit: R.P. Hoblitt/ USGS.


Political map of Caribbean islands.

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Posted in FEWW Volcanic Forecast, HUMAN EHANCED NATURAL DISASTERS, Pyroclastic flow, volcanic activity | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Dynamic Duo Volcanoes Erupt

Posted by feww on December 12, 2009

Nicaragua’s Volcán Concepción spewed smoke and ash into the air

Nicaragua’s Concepcion volcano erupted Saturday spewing smoke into the air and showering ash on nearby villages. Nicaragua’s Ineter geophysics agency has alerted the authorities about the possibility of further eruptions.

Dozens of mud structures in the area were damaged and a dozen people injured in 2005 episode of seismic activity at Volcán Concepción.


Volcán Concepción is one of Nicaragua’s highest and most active volcanoes. The symmetrical basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano forms the NW half of the dumbbell-shaped island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua and is connected to neighboring Madera volcano by a narrow isthmus. A steep-walled summit crater is 250 m deep and has a higher western rim. N-S-trending fractures on the flanks of the volcano have produced chains of spatter cones, cinder cones, lava domes, and maars located on the NW, NE, SE, and southern sides extending in some cases down to Lake Nicaragua. Concepción was constructed above a basement of lake sediments, and the modern cone grew above a largely buried caldera, a small remnant of which forms a break in slope about halfway up the north flank. Frequent explosive eruptions during the past half century have increased the height of the summit significantly above that shown on current topographic maps and have kept the upper part of the volcano unvegetated. Photo by Jaime Incer. Caption by GVP

Volcán Concepción Details

Last Known Eruption: 2007
Summit Elevation: 1,700? m  (5,577 feet)
Latitude: 11.538°N  (11°32’16″N)
Longitude: 85.622°W (85°37’21″W)
Source: GVP

Meanwhile

Soufrière Hills Volcano spewed pyroclastic debris, forcing evacuations of Zone C

MVO raised the Hazard Level to 4 on 10 December, making  Zone C off limit, and allowing only daytime access  to Zone B.


Soufrière Hills Volcano in Montserrat spews ash into the air.

MVO had previously reported high level of activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano citing ” nine hundred and fifty seven rockfall signals, two hundred and seven long period events, three volcano tectonic and one hundred and six hybrid earthquakes recorded. Activity has continued in cycles although these cycles have become more irregular in time in the last few days.”

“Pyroclastic flow and rockfall activity has been concentrated on the northern side of the volcano.” It also reported  large pyroclastic flows from Tuitt’s Ghaut, onto Farrell’s plain and into Tyers Ghaut, with many runout distances  reaching 2 km from the lava dome.

“At around 6:40 am on 10 December there was a notably large seismic signal recorded associated with a relatively large pyroclastic flow down Tyers Ghaut. This flow had a runout distance of 3.5 km, stopping just beyond the west end of Lee’s village.” MVO said.


Ash and Steam Plume, Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. Gray deposits including pyroclastic flows and lahars are visible extending from the volcano toward the coastline. Credit NASA. Astronaut photograph ISS021-E-5555 was acquired on October 11, 2009.

Soufrière Hills became active in 1995  and has since continued to erupt rendering more than half of Montserrat island uninhabitable, burying the capital city, Plymouth, and prompting widespread evacuations.  On June 25, 1997 the volcano erupted, killing 19 people and prompting about 60 percent of the population (about 8,000 refugees) to leave the island.

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    Posted in Pyroclastic flow, seismic activity, volcanic activity, volcanism, volcano | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Soufriere Hills Volcano Vents Ash

    Posted by feww on October 7, 2009

    Image of the Day:  Soufriere Hills undergoes three vigorous ‘ash venting’ episodes

    Soufriere Hills Volcano
    Soufriere Hills Volcano has remained at an increased activity level, after undergoing three vigorous ‘ash venting’ events, with the third event lasting 10 minutes, at 10:00am local time on October 5, 2009. Photo: Montserrat Volcano Observatory. Image may be subject to copyright.

    MVO reported a small swarm of VT earthquakes, followed by “a period of tremor associated with vigorous ash venting” that resulted in large ash plumes drifting WNW over the island and out to sea. “Only a very light dusting of ash fell in Old Towne and Olveston as the plumes moved to the south of the inhabited areas.”

    MVO observed no explosive activity or pyroclastic flows associated with the ash venting, which ceased at about 12:00am local time. “Two rockfall signals followed the vigorous ash venting,” followed by continual ash venting, however, no further seismicity occurred.

    montserrat_tmo_2009279
    After 10 months of relative quiet, Soufriere Hills volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat blasted ash into the sky in early October 2009. This natural-color satellite image shows a plume of ash extending westward from Soufriere Hills on October 6, 2009, a day after eruptive activity resumed on October 5th. A pilot reported ash extending 280 kilometers (170 miles) at an elevation of approximately 3,600 meters (12,000 feet).
    In 1995, a series of major eruptions forced the evacuation of the Montserrat’s former capital city, Plymouth. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The Rapid Response Team provides twice-daily images of this region. Caption by Robert Simmon. [Edited by FEWW]

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    Posted in Caribbean islands, island of Montserrat, Montserrat, Plymouth, stratovolcano, volcanic activity, volcanic unrest, volcanism | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

     
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