Saturday, September 19, 2009

Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat - John Seach

Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat has been relatively quiet for six months. There has been no extrusion of new lava, and no explosions in that period. Surface activity was restricted to rockfalls and occasional small pyroclastic flows from the dome, together with mudflows. While gas emission has remained unchanged, the number of earthquakes recorded has fallen to the lowest level seen during the eruption cycle. This suggests the long-term activity has changed at the volcano. It could possibly mean the "beginning of the end" of the eruption cycle. Formal end of eruption criteria have not yet been met. However, the risks to people living near the volcano have not changed, and sudden resumption of explosive and extrusive activity can rapidly pose a threat to adjacent areas.
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