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Report on Soufriere Guadeloupe (France) — January 1977

Natural Science Event Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 1 (January 1977)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Soufriere Guadeloupe (France) Summary of steam-and-ash explosions during October 1976-January 1977

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1977. Report on Soufriere Guadeloupe (France). In: Squires, D (ed.), Natural Science Event Bulletin, 2:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.NSEB197701-360060.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Soufriere Guadeloupe

France

16.044°N, 61.664°W; summit elev. 1467 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Significant steam and ash explosions after 11 October occurred 30 October, 1, 6, and 7 November, and 5, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, and 30 January [but see 2:2]. Two harmonic tremor events were recorded on 1 November and one on 6 November. No information on harmonic tremor is available after 7 November. [Both the number of earthquakes and seismic energy release declined after mid-November (table 5).]

Table 5. Number of earthquakes and total seismic energy release at Soufrière Guadeloupe, October 1976-May 1977. Courtesy of M. Feuillard.

Dates Number of Earthquakes Total Seismic Energy (x 1013 ergs)
01-10 Oct 1976 412 446
11-20 Oct 1976 895 532
21-31 Oct 1976 1008 929
01-10 Nov 1976 489 523
11-20 Nov 1976 235 402
21-30 Nov 1976 316 168
01-10 Dec 1976 204 225
11-20 Dec 1976 102 165
21-31 Dec 1976 93 41
01-10 Jan 1976 69 76
11-20 Jan 1976 126 71
21-31 Jan 1976 116 154
01-10 Feb 1976 76 152
11-20 Feb 1976 86 38
21-28 Feb 1976 17 32
01-10 Mar 1976 23 4
11-20 Mar 1976 65 54
21-31 Mar 1976 66 52
01-10 Apr 1976 12 2
11-20 Apr 1976 28 6.9
21-30 Apr 1976 6 1.1
01-10 May 1976 5 0.9
11-20 May 1976 9 1.7

Geologic Background. La Soufrière de la Guadeloupe volcano occupies the southern end of Basse-Terre, the western half of the butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe. Construction of the Grand Découverte volcano about 0.2 million years ago (Ma) was followed by caldera formation after a plinian eruption about 0.1 Ma, and then by construction of the Carmichaël volcano within the caldera. Two episodes of edifice collapse and associated large debris avalanches formed the Carmichaël and Amic craters about 11,500 and 3100 years ago, respectively. The presently active La Soufrière volcano subsequently grew within the Amic crater. The summit consists of a flat-topped lava dome, and several other domes occur on the southern flanks. Most historical eruptions have originated from NW-SE-trending fissure systems that cut across the summit and upper flanks. A relatively minor phreatic eruption in 1976-77 caused severe economic disruption when Basse-Terre, the island's capital city, which lies immediately below the volcano, was evacuated.

Information Contacts: M. Feuillard, Lab. de Physique du Globe.