First good visual sighting, looking east from the crater rim near Chance's Peak on 30 November, of the new area of lava dome growth on the west side of Castle Peak Dome, within the summit crater (English's Crater) of the Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat. At right (light grey) is the remnant of Spine 1a, emplaced in late September/early October. To the left of this are the two areas of growth of Dome 2 between 15 and 30 November. Behind this is Vent 1 (July 18 vent) with Dome 3 within (see next photo).
Also taken on 30 November from similar vantage point to above, detail of Dome 3, which formed within Vent 1 from c. 15 November, although this again is the first good sighting of this dome. Note spiney appearance to the dome surface.
Taken 6 December looking down and northwards from the helicopter at Dome 3 within Vent 1 (July 18 vent). Spine 3a has developed over a period of 5 days on the southeast side of the dome; it collapsed non-explosively 2 days later without expelling material out of the immediate area.
Looking westwards from the helicopter at Dome 5 on 31 December. In the left foreground is Castle Peak and the lighter material in the centre is Dome 5 after collapse of two major spines. At this time, active rock spalling was occurring towards the east from the dome, but material was never expelled with force enough to carry it off the Castle Peak Dome area.
Photo taken on 31 December looking southwestward over the northern crater wall from the helicopter at Dome 7, which was first sighted as a small spine on 26 December.
Photographed on 1 December from the crater rim at Chance's Peak, this is a rock fall avalanche from the west side of Dome 2 which was associated with a small explosive release of gas and hot ash. A small amount of ash was carried over the crater wall to the east but other debris was confined to the base of the dome.
An ash plume on 13 December, the source of which is unclear. It may heve been generated by collapse of a spine, or may be a small explosive event peripheral to one of the new domes.
Steam plume photographed from MVO early in the morning on 21 December. Cloudless sky and no wind shows extent of steam production, which is usually masked by cloud production over the summit area.