La Soufriere: Slight Increase In Activity, Burst Of Higher Level Steaming Every Half Hour
(By Ernesto Cooke) – Lead scientist monitoring the La Soufriere volcano Lloyd Lynch said, there has been an increase in steaming at the summit and a slight increase in seismic activity.
Speaking on NBC radio on Wednesday, June 16, Lynch said that it was observed that there is a periodic burst of a higher level of steaming occurring every half hour.
“The monitoring team is not sure whether this is as a result of the increased level of rainfall, stressing the importance of getting the monitoring equipment back up and running soonest”.
“Seismic activity as in high-frequency vibrations, which from experience looks like steam, and a slight increase in seismic activity. Over the last twenty-four hours there were 11 earthquakes”.
Lynch said the latest SO2 reading taken on Tuesday showed 352 tonnes of gas being emitted daily, which is a slight increase from the last test.
“In the rainy season, there will be changes in the wind pattern and level of precipitation which can influence what the monitoring team will sense from the volcano”.
“We expect the water tables to rise and interact with the hot materials and you could have Phreatic interaction if there is sufficient water interaction, for the Phreatic explosions to take place you need a lot of water to interact with the hot materials suddenly”.
An eruption driven by the heat from magma interacting with water. The water can be from groundwater, hydrothermal systems, surface runoff, a lake, or the sea. Phreatic eruptions pulverise surrounding rocks and can produce ash, but do not include new magma.
The volcano alert level remains at orange.
Ernesto is a senior journalist with the St. Vincent Times. Having worked in the media for 16 years, he focuses on local and international issues. He has written for the New York Times and reported for the BBC during the La Soufriere eruptions of 2021.