Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 72 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Friday February 14, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The current alert level is ORANGE


We have been having some computer problems for the last few days and have not been able to file the Volcanic Explanation. However, all is now repaired and we are back on line. Rather than backdate the volcanic explanations for the missing three days I have presented below an explanation for the three days combined.
Richard Aspin, GIS (Montserrat)

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano over the past 72 hours has been at a fairly low level with seismic activity being dominated by volcano-tectonic earthquakes and followed by hybrid earthquakes. There have been some rockfalls and minor pyroclastic flows.

The volcano-tectonic earthquakes (VT's) have been in swarms and follow the patterns set up over the past two weeks. VT's are usually an indication of magma trying to reach the surface from shallow depths below the crater.

There has been some minor rockfall over the Galways Wall and material reached the Galways Soufriere. These deposits are not travelling any further down the White River Valley but they are getting wider. There was some minor ashfalls over the past few days but nothing as serious as in the past. Visibility has been very poor for most of the week because of low cloud cover.

The cracks on Chances Peak were measured on Wednesday, the widest crack is now 41 inches wide having extended by 17 inches in the past two weeks. The length of the crack has extended by over 9 inches during the same time.

At the moment, even though the level of activity is quite low scientists are still warning that the eastern face of the dome is very steep and could undergo further collapse at any time.

Government Information Service