Report on Soufriere Guadeloupe (France) — May 1977

Natural Science Event Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 5 (May 1977)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Soufriere Guadeloupe (France) Fumarolic activity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1977. Report on Soufriere Guadeloupe (France). In: Squires, D (ed.), Natural Science Event Bulletin, 2:5. Smithsonian Institution. http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.NSEB197705-360060.

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Soufriere Guadeloupe

France

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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Surface activity at La Soufrière remained entirely fumarolic, and was strongest from the fissures toward the top of the summit dome. [Seismicity continued an irregular decline (table 5).]

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.