Report on Soufriere St. Vincent (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) — 20 January-26 January 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 January-26 January 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Soufriere St. Vincent (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 20 January-26 January 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Soufriere St. Vincent
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
13.33°N, 61.18°W; summit elev. 1220 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) and National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) reported that the lava dome in Soufrière St. Vincent’s main crater continued to grow during 20-26 January. Gas-and-steam plumes were often visible from Belmont Observatory, on Richmond Peak, about 6 km SSW of the crater. Another seismic station and a webcam became operational, and additional instrumentation was prepped. Weather conditions sometimes prevented visual observations of the crater, though observations on 22 and 25 January confirmed that the previously-identified area of burnt vegetation had expanded, including towards the top of the E crater rim. During a monitoring visit on 24 January scientists took video and still photos of the dome and installed both a camera and an EDM reflector on the S crater wall. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).
Geologic Background. Soufrière St. Vincent is the northernmost and youngest volcano on St. Vincent Island. The NE rim of the 1.6-km wide summit crater is cut by a crater formed in 1812. The crater itself lies on the SW margin of a larger 2.2-km-wide caldera, which is breached widely to the SW as a result of slope failure. Frequent explosive eruptions after about 4,300 years ago produced pyroclastic deposits of the Yellow Tephra Formation, which cover much of the island. The first historical eruption took place in 1718; it and the 1812 eruption produced major explosions. Much of the northern end of the island was devastated by a major eruption in 1902 that coincided with the catastrophic Mont Pelée eruption on Martinique. A lava dome was emplaced in the summit crater in 1971 during a strictly effusive eruption, forming an island within a lake that filled the crater. A series of explosive eruptions in 1979 destroyed the 1971 dome and ejected the lake; a new dome was then built.