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Report on Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom) — 1 November-7 November 2000

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 November-7 November 2000
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2000. Report on Soufriere Hills (United Kingdom). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 November-7 November 2000. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (1 November-7 November 2000)


Soufriere Hills

United Kingdom

16.72°N, 62.18°W; summit elev. 915 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


The MVO reported that during 27 October-3 November, volcanism continued at an elevated level at Soufriere Hills and seismicity was slightly lower than it had been the previous week. Observations revealed that the lava dome within the summit crater continued to grow only on the E side of the crater. Toppled fragments of a spine that grew on top of the dome had a maximum elevation of 1,013 m a.s.l. Rockfalls, which were restricted to the E side of the dome, produced small ash clouds that drifted to the NW and deposited very light ash in populated areas of Montserrat.

Geologic Background. The complex, dominantly andesitic Soufrière Hills volcano occupies the southern half of the island of Montserrat. The summit area consists primarily of a series of lava domes emplaced along an ESE-trending zone. The volcano is flanked by Pleistocene complexes to the north and south. English's Crater, a 1-km-wide crater breached widely to the east by edifice collapse, was formed about 2000 years ago as a result of the youngest of several collapse events producing submarine debris-avalanche deposits. Block-and-ash flow and surge deposits associated with dome growth predominate in flank deposits, including those from an eruption that likely preceded the 1632 CE settlement of the island, allowing cultivation on recently devegetated land to near the summit. Non-eruptive seismic swarms occurred at 30-year intervals in the 20th century, but no historical eruptions were recorded until 1995. Long-term small-to-moderate ash eruptions beginning in that year were later accompanied by lava-dome growth and pyroclastic flows that forced evacuation of the southern half of the island and ultimately destroyed the capital city of Plymouth, causing major social and economic disruption.

Source: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO)