7 comments on “Soufriere Hills, Montserrat

  1. Nice overview. The role of the (tectonic?) earthquakes is interesting. Did they open up magma conduits, or did the pressurization of the magma chamber do that, causing the earthquakes in the process? The Krakatoa eruption started off with a major earthquake, three years before the eruption happened. Again, cause and effect can be argued about!


    • Howdy Albert –

      Thank you for your kind words. We went round and round about earthquakes causing eruptions on the old VC for years. Consensus seemed to be that they didn’t. But like everything else in this business, it depends on what you are talking about. If it is the tectonic earthquakes in the surrounding region, maybe, maybe not. For a pressurized system that is stabilized by some indeterminate layering of brittle or not so brittle rock on top of it will find a way to depressurize (erupt) when the system is allowed to depressurize in places due to flexing by the waves of the earthquake. It sure seems like this happened following the pair of quakes north of Montserrat in 1985. Did that accelerate what would have been a fourth “crisis” event to the eruption start in 1995? Personally, I think there was some connection, but can’t prove it or even properly scope it. Here’s an image of 116 years of major quakes around the Lesser Antilles. Cheers –

      Lesser Antillies major earthquakes 1990 - 2016


  2. Thank you Agimarc
    Soufriere hill is one of my favorite. I was in nearby Guadeloupe (French West Indies) in Feb 2010 during the last dome collapse. Night came very early that day around 5 Pm instead of 6 Pm and some volcanic ashes began to fall. The following morning the island was covered in volcanic ash (not very deeply tough but potable water went near to missing because a lot of people washed thier cars and homes to get rid of the ash. I have collected some ash (I sent some to Spica who made some nice electronic microsope pictures of it a while ago).

    Some pictures



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