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Report on Liamuiga (Saint Kitts and Nevis) — November 1988


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 11 (November 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Liamuiga (Saint Kitts and Nevis) Seismicity remains above background

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Liamuiga (Saint Kitts and Nevis) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198811-360030


Saint Kitts and Nevis

17.37°N, 62.8°W; summit elev. 1156 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

. . . seismicity remained above background levels in early December, with ~3-4 shallow events recorded weekly by the temporary seismic net installed after the swarm began. Hypocenters were at ~5-10 km depth, almost directly below or slightly W of Mt. Liamuiga, and magnitudes were generally in the 1.5-2 range. The shocks continued to have impulsive P and S wave arrivals typical of both A-type volcanic events and tectonic earthquakes. No tremor has been recorded. Persons familiar with the volcano report that hot springs within the crater remain unchanged.

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, UWI.