Soufrière Hills: Montserrat

Rock falls and ash venting from the incandescent Soufrière Hills Volcano

The eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano began in 1995 and is ongoing. It has received great attention due to the variety of eruptive processes, the magnitude of the eruption (about 1 km3 of andesite magma so far), the dramatic impact on a small island community and because it is located in a UK Dependent Overseas Territory. It is one of the best documented andesite eruptions and volcanic emergencies in the world, with high quality geophysical datasets, many new insights into volcanic processes, development of pioneering methods of risk assessment[1], and advances in the new research field of social volcanology[2]. Many of STREVA's primary investigators have contributed to research and emergency management on Montserrat and links with the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) (now operated by the Seismic Research Unit [SRC], Trinidad, formerly by the British Geological Survey, UK) are close and long-standing.

[1] Sparks, R.S.J. and Aspinall, W.P. (2005) The State of the Planet: Frontiers and Challenges in Geophysics Geophysical Monograph 150, IUGG 19, 359-374

[2] For example, Haynes, K et al., (2008). JVGR 172(3-4): 259-272.