Video Clips of the 12 May 1996 Pyroclastic Activity
Pyroclastic Flow Meets the Atlantic Ocean!
For centuries, volcanologists have debated about the fate of pyroclastic
flows that come in contact with bodies of water. On 12 May 1996, on the
tiny island of Montserrat, a spectacular display of volcanological
processes took place. A series of three pyroclastic flows cascaded off the
unstable dome and raced towards the Atlantic Ocean, less than 4 kilometers
from the volcano. These video clips are part of a larger tape that MVO is
collecting and is planning on release to the public in the near future.
All video clips here are © Montserrat Volcano Observatory and the Montserrat Government. More information about video availability will be made available when it is known.
- Relevant MVO Reports:
- Daily Report - Report for the period 16:00 on 11 May to 16:00 on 12 May 1996
- Full color clip, showing the advancement of the flow down the Tar River Valley and out into the sea, set to the music of Arrow a local Montserratian musician who has written songs about the interaction of the islanders and the volcano. 4.7M QuickTime (w/sound) 3.7M MPEG (w/o sound)
- These next 4 clips are larger screen views of what can be seen in the above movie clip.
- Helicopter coming from the north along the coast, showing the steamy
delta of resultant of the first pyroclastic flow to enter the sea at
Soufriere Hills Volcano. Note the sediment plume in the water. 625K MPEG
- The second pyroclastic flow coming down the Tar River Valley a few seconds before it interacts with the water. 1.2M MPEG
- The second pyroclastic flow well after it has come in contact with the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. From the video and eye witness accounts, the cloud and flow expanded very rapidly once it was interacting with the water. 785K MPEG
- Aerial shot from the north along the eastern coast showing aftermath following the second pyroclastic flow. Note the two different color of the plumes, one being mostly ash while the whiter one is mostly steam from boiling seawater. The third flow was smaller and did not make it to the water.975M MPEG