Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
The current alert level is AMBER

Report for the period 16:00 02 March
to 16:00 03 March 1997

Activity at the volcano has been at a low level for the last 24 hours.

Some views of the crater were possible, from Whites and from the helicopter today. There has been continued upward growth of the dome, with two active rockfall chutes being eroded at the north and south sides of the scar left by the 20 January dome collapse. The new extrusion at the top of the January 20 dome is pushing against an older part of the dome, causing some uplift. No major changes were seen at the Galway's Wall.

The main seismic activity today has been rockfall signals, with 28 recorded. There were only four small earthquakes.

COSPEC measurements were made today. The runs yesterday gave an average flux of 106 tonnes per day, and today's measurement was 174 tonnes per day. These values are low, and similar to all the measurements made since the COSPEC measurements were started again last week.

The results of the dome survey carried out on Saturday show that the dome grew by about 3 million cubic metres since 17 January, and the total volume is now about 44 million cubic metres. The growth rate averaged over the whole period was about 4 cubic metres per second, although observations suggest that most of the growth occurred in the period 21 to 27 February, when the rate was probably about 6 cubic metres per second.

The volcano remains active and potentially dangerous. The dome is currently larger than ever before, and shows signs of becoming more active. The situation could worsen over a period of a few hours, and so it is dangerous to spend the night in the evacuated areas. People entering Zone C are reminded to remain alert at all times, and spend the minimum possible time in the evacuated zone. Residents should be reminded that at this current level of alert persons should not be permanently residing in Zones A, B or C. The ash levels in Plymouth can be hazardous, and so it is essential to wear a mask when there is ash in the air. The Tar River Valley and the upper Galway's area are very dangerous and should not be entered at any time.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory