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Report on Morne Plat Pays (Dominica) — May 1994

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 19, no. 5 (May 1994)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman.

Morne Plat Pays (Dominica) Burning sulfur deposits cause false eruption report

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1994. Report on Morne Plat Pays (Dominica). In: Wunderman, R. (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 19:5. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199405-360110.

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Morne Plat Pays

Dominica

15.255°N, 61.341°W; summit elev. 940 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


A fire of unknown origin burned 10 m2 of accumulated sulfur deposits in the Soufriere Sulphur Springs area (~700 m SSW of the summit), causing false eruption reports. The alleged eruption was reported by residents to have started on 24 April with the formation of small lava flows. Authorities in the capital of Roseau passed the information to the Seismic Research Unit in Trinidad. A team was sent to investigate the report on 27 April. No local seismic activity was detected at the permanent seismographic station, located 1.5 km away, or by the portable seismometer installed at the site during the visit.

Geologic Background. The Morne Plat Pays volcanic complex occupies the southern tip of the island of Dominica and has been active throughout the Holocene. An arcuate caldera that formed about 39,000 years ago as a result of a major explosive eruption and flank collapse is open to Soufrière Bay on the west. This depression cuts the SW side of Morne Plat Pays stratovolcano and extends to the southern tip of Dominica. At least a dozen small post-caldera lava domes were emplaced within and outside this depression, including one submarine dome south of Scotts Head. The latest dated eruptions occurred from the Morne Patates lava dome about 1270 CE, although younger deposits have not yet been dated. The Morne Plat Pays complex is the site of extensive fumarolic activity, and at least ten swarms of small-magnitude earthquakes, none associated with eruptive activity, have occurred since 1765 at Morne Patates.

Information Contacts: W. Ambeh, L. Lynch, and R. Robertson, UWI.