Soufrière St. Vincent

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  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • West Indies
  • Stratovolcano
  • 1979 CE
  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 13.33°N
  • 61.18°W

  • 1220 m
    4002 ft

  • 360150
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

23 February-1 March 2005

According to a news article, residents of the island of St.Vincent reported smelling sulfur in towns as far S as Kingstown. This sparked fears among the population that volcanic activity had increased at Soufriere St. Vincent. Staff from the Soufriere Monitoring Unit of the Seismic Research Unit visited the volcano and reported that there was no increase in volcanic activity according to monitoring-station data and observations. The increased scent of sulfur in towns was attributed to a southward shift in wind direction towards the towns, rather than the usual E direction. Accordingly, the Alert Level remained low at Soufriere St. Vincent.

Source: Caribbean Net News



 Available Weekly Reports


2005: February


23 February-1 March 2005

According to a news article, residents of the island of St.Vincent reported smelling sulfur in towns as far S as Kingstown. This sparked fears among the population that volcanic activity had increased at Soufriere St. Vincent. Staff from the Soufriere Monitoring Unit of the Seismic Research Unit visited the volcano and reported that there was no increase in volcanic activity according to monitoring-station data and observations. The increased scent of sulfur in towns was attributed to a southward shift in wind direction towards the towns, rather than the usual E direction. Accordingly, the Alert Level remained low at Soufriere St. Vincent.

Source: Caribbean Net News


Summary of eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1979 Apr 13 1979 Oct 26 ± 5 days Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1971 Oct 4 ± 6 days 1972 Mar 20 Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1902 May 6 1903 Mar 30 Confirmed 4 Historical Observations
[ 1880 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0  
1814 Jan 9 1814 Jan 9 Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1812 Apr 27 1812 Jun 9 (?) Confirmed 4 Historical Observations Old summit crater & new NE rim crater
1784 Mar (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
1718 Mar 26 (?) 1718 Mar 29 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations
1640 ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
1550 ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
1480 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
1395 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
1325 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0905 ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0530 BCE ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
0750 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
1600 BCE ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
2020 BCE ± 75 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
2135 BCE ± 50 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
2200 BCE ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
2310 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)
2380 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Anderson T, Flett J S, 1903. Report on the eruptions of the Soufriere, in St. Vincent, in 1902, and on a visit to Montagne Pelee, Martinique. - Part I.. Phil Tran Roy Soc London, Ser A, 200: 353-553.

Heath E, Macdonald R, Belkin H, Hawkesworth C, Sigurdsson H, 1998. Magmagenesis at Soufriere volcano, St Vincent, Lesser Antilles Arc. J Petr, 39: 1721-1764.

Juang W S, Bellon H, 1984. K-Ar geochronology of volcanic rocks of St. Vincent, the Lesser Antilles. Bull Cent Geol Surv, 3: 31-43.

Le Friant A, Boudon G, Arnulf A, Robertson R E A, 2009. Debris avalanche deposits offshore St. Vincent (West Indies): impact of flank-collapse events on the morphological evolution of the island. J Volc Geotherm Res, 179:1-10.

Robertson R, 2005b. St. Vincent. In: Lindsay J M, Robertson R E A, Shepherd J B, Ali S (eds). {Volcanic Hazard Atlas of the Lesser Antilles}, Trinidad and Tobago, Seismic Res Unit, Univ West Indies, p 240-261.

Robertson R E A, 1995. An assessment of the risk from future eruptions of the Soufriere volcano of St. Vincent, West Indies. Nat Hazards, 11: 163-191.

Robson G R, Tomblin J, 1966. West Indies. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 20: 1-56.

Roobol M J, Wright J V, Smith A L, 1983. Calderas of gravity-slide structures in the Lesser Antilles Island Arc?. J Volc Geotherm Res, 19: 121-134.

Rowley K C, 1978. Stratigraphy and geochemistry of the Soufriere volcano, St. Vincent, West Indies. Unpublished PhD thesis, Univ West Indies, 282 p.

Shepherd J B, 1989. Eruptions, eruption precursors and related phenomena in the Lesser Antilles. In: Latter J H (ed), {Volcanic Hazards - Assessment and Monitoring}, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, p 292-311.

Shepherd J B, 2001. Volcanoes of the eastern Caribbean: past activity and future hazards. Paper presented at the Workshop on Volcanic and Seismic Hazards in the eastern Caribbean, May 28- June 1, 2001, 57 p.

Soufrière St. Vincent is the northernmost and youngest volcano on St. Vincent Island. The 1.6-km wide summit crater, whose NE rim is cut by a crater formed in 1812, lies on the SW margin of the 2.2-km-wide Somma crater, which is breached widely to the SW as a result of slope failure. Frequent explosive eruptions since about 4300 years ago produced pyroclastic deposits of the Yellow Tephra Formation, which blanket much of the island. The first historical eruption of the volcano took place during 1718; it and the 1812 eruption produced major explosions. Much of the northern end of the island was devastated by a major eruption in 1902 that coincided with the catastrophic Mont Pelée eruption on Martinique. A lava dome was emplaced in the summit crater in 1971 during a strictly effusive eruption, forming an island in a lake that filled the crater prior to an eruption in 1979. The lake was then largely ejected during a series of explosive eruptions, and the dome was replaced with another.