Volcanic Activity Report 16 to 23 November 2012

SOUFRIERE HILLS VOLCANO (MVO) — Activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano is low.

The seismic network recorded five rockfalls this week. Sulphur dioxide measurements gave an average of 275 tonnes/day with a maximum of 399 and a minimum of 210 tonnes/day.

From 19 November onwards, there were times when the smell of volcanic gases was noticeable. This was caused by changes in the wind direction, blowing the plume over inhabited areas.

There were good views of the dome on several days, including 20 November when a helicopter observation flight was carried out. There were no significant changes in the dome or in fumarolic activity. Recent rockfall activity had occurred just to the north of the sheer side of the dome above the Tar River Valley.  There was a good view of the southern flank of the dome, the first for some time. Several parts of the dome there are fractured and there is one area in particular, located just below the southern rim of the explosion crater, that is pervasively fractured and which could be a source for large rockfalls or pyroclastic flows. The fumaroles on Galway’s were steaming.

Pyroclastic flows can occur at any time without warning on any side of the volcano, including Gages from where they can travel rapidly into Plymouth. Tracks across the Belham valley are frequently destroyed or heavily modified by flash flooding or lahars, and caution should be exercised crossing the valley during and after rainfall

The Hazard Level is 2. There is no access to Plymouth or Zone V. There is daytime access (8:00 am to 4:00 pm) to Zone C. Maritime zone W remains daytime transit only (boats may sail through the zone but must not stop).

Roderick Stewart

Source: http://news.caribseek.com

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