Ash venting occurring both prior to and during lava extrusion at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 2005 to 2010
Published:January 01, 2014
P. D. Cole, P. Smith, J.-C. Komorowski, F. Alfano, C. Bonadonna, A. Stinton, T. Christopher, H. M. Odbert, S. Loughlin, 2014. "Ash venting occurring both prior to and during lava extrusion at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 2005 to 2010", The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010, G. Wadge, R. E. A. Robertson, B. Voight
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This paper describes ash-venting activity at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat that was precursory to the onset of three phases of lava extrusion in 2005, 2008 and 2009, and similar ash venting that occurred during the fifth phase of lava extrusion.
We describe in detail a style of mild, tephra-generating activity termed ash venting and its associated tephra products. The nature of the seismicity associated with ash venting is compared with that of explosive activity. All explosive events, from small explosions to large Vulcanian explosions, have impulsive, low-frequency onsets. These are absent in ash-venting events, which have subtle, emergent onsets.
Microscope and grain-size analyses show that ash-venting events and large Vulcanian explosions generate tephra that is similar in grain size (in medial and distal regions), although phreatic events in 2005 were finer grained. Ash-venting products are either composed of fine-grained, variably altered pre-existing material or juvenile material. There is a general correlation between the length of the pause and the length of the period of precursory activity prior to lava extrusion following it. Syn-extrusive ash venting is frequently associated with short-term increases in extrusion rate and is considered to be related to shear-induced fragmentation at the conduit margin.
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The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 2000 to 2010
The 1995 to present eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano on Montserrat is one of the most important and best-studied eruptions of an explosive andesitic volcano. This volume presents scientific findings from the period between 2000 and 2010; it follows on from Memoir 21, which focused on the early years of activity between 1995 and 1999. In addition to descriptions and analysis of the growth, collapse and explosions associated with lava domes, there are papers on the deformation of the volcano caused by the deep magma, the petrology and geochemistry of the lavas and associated gases. Of particular note are: an overview of the insights into the deep structure of the volcano that resulted from a major international seismic tomography experiment; and an analysis of the quantitative risk assessment process that has run now for most of the eruption, the longest such continuous assessment in the world.