Explosive activity of the last 1000 years at La Soufrière, St Vincent, Lesser Antilles
MetadataShow full item record
The products of explosive activity of La Soufrière volcano on the island of St Vincent over the last 1000 years are described. Dates for the different eruptions were determined using information from contemporary accounts, fieldwork and radiocarbon dating. Scoria-flow type pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) dominate the products of both the historical eruptions (1979, 1902–03, 1718/1812 CE) and prehistoric eruptions (~1580 and 1440 CE) with subordinate fallout components associated with several eruptions. Radiocarbon dating shows that these six eruptions define a crude cyclicity with repose periods ranging between 77 and ~140 years and systematically decreasing in more recent times. Two prehistoric eruptions, in ~1440 and 1580 CE respectively, both produced magmatic lapilli fallout and PDCs, and were fed by slightly more evolved magmas than the historical eruptions. The eruptions in 1902 and 1812 CE had ash-rich, possible phreatomagmatic activity at their onset. The iconic 1902–03 CE eruption generated radial distributed PDCs, which were responsible for the deaths of ~1500 people. However, only small remnants of these deposits remain and the original distribution cannot be determined from the preserved geology, which has important implications for hazard studies. Petrochemical work has shown that magmas involved in the explosive eruptions were quite narrow in compositional range, mainly comprising basaltic andesites. The 1902–03 eruption involved a late stage basaltic component in March 1903. However, activity in the last 1000 years generated notably more homogeneous magmas with a narrower range than the older eruptive periods previously reported in the literature, suggesting a significant variation in the magmatic reservoir feeding system with time.
Recommended, similar items
The following license files are associated with this item: