Logo link to homepage

Report on Liamuiga (Saint Kitts and Nevis) — January 1989


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 1 (January 1989)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Liamuiga (Saint Kitts and Nevis) Seismicity re-intensifies slightly

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1989. Report on Liamuiga (Saint Kitts and Nevis) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 14:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198901-360030


Saint Kitts and Nevis

17.37°N, 62.8°W; summit elev. 1156 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The earthquake swarm . . . intensified slightly in January. As of 22 January, 15 local earthquakes had been registered during the month, four of which were felt on 18 January. Records from the seismographs installed in October confirmed that these events originated at depths of 3-5 km directly beneath and slightly W of the crater. The slightly shallower focal depths compared with the earlier events may reflect better depth control. Keith Rowley inspected the crater on 19 January. There were no significant changes. An additional seismograph station was established at Mt. Pleasant, 3 km N of the crater, on 20 January.

Geological Summary. Mount Liamuiga volcano, comprising the NW end of St. Kitts Island, contains a steep-walled, 1-km-wide summit crater, which contained a shallow lake until 1959. Two lava domes are located on the upper W flank, and intrusion of a 3rd dome, Brimstone Hill, on the lower SW flank uplifted a Pleistocene limestone block. Liamuiga, sometimes referred to as Mount Misery, is the youngest of three NW-migrating volcanic centers on St. Kitts. Its most recent major eruptions less than 2,000 years ago produced pyroclastic flows and mudflows whose deposits underlie populated coastal areas. Reports of possible eruptions in 1692 and 1843 are considered uncertain. An earthquake swarm from late 1988 to early 1989 caused small landslides in the summit crater; another earthquake swarm took place in 1999-2000. Active fumaroles are found in the summit crater.

Information Contacts: J. Shepherd, K. Rowley, and L. Lynch, UWI.