Soufrière Guadeloupe Volcano | John Seach


Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, Caribbean

16.05 N, 61.67 W
summit elevation 1467 m

La Soufrìere volcano is part of an andesitic volcanic complex (La Grande Decouverte). It is located on the southern end of Basse Terre island of Guadeloupe. The volcano has a summit lava dome that was extruded during the last magmatic eruption in 1530 A.D.

1976-77 Phreatic eruptions
In November 1975 seismicity increased at the volcano with 209 earthquakes recorded. The focus of the earthquakes were less than 2 km depth. Seismic activity at Soufrière Guadeloupe volcano showed a sudden increase in March 1976. A small landslide occurred on 9th June. A phreatic explosion occurred on 8th July and was one of the largest during the seismovoicanic crisis. Seismicity reached a maximum in August 1976 with 1257 earthquakes recorded. Between July and November 1976, 17 phreatic explosions were recorded. During the most active period, 70,000 people were evacuated from Basse-Terre, the island's capital city.

From November 1976 to January 1977 there were no explosions recorded. Between 5th January and 1st March 1977 an additional 10 phreatic explosions occurred. Seismicity returned to pre-crisis levels by the end of April 1977.

Further reading
Hincks, T.K., Komorowski, J.C., Sparks, S.R. and Aspinall, W.P., 2014. Retrospective analysis of uncertain eruption precursors at La Soufrière volcano, Guadeloupe, 1975–77: volcanic hazard assessment using a Bayesian Belief Network approach. Journal of Applied Volcanology3(1), p.3.

Zlotnicki, J., Boudon, G. and Le Mouël, J.L., 1992. The volcanic activity of La Soufrière of Guadeloupe (Lesser Antilles): structural and tectonic implications. Journal of volcanology and geothermal research49(1-2), pp.91-104.

Le Guern, F., Bernard, A. and Chevrier, R.M., 1980. Soufriere of Guadeloupe 1976–1977 eruption—Mass and energy transfer and volcanic health hazards. Bulletin volcanologique43(3), pp.577-593.

Soufrière Guadeloupe Volcano Eruptions

1976-77, 1956, 1903, 1837-38, 1809-12, 1798-99, 1797, 1696, 1690, 1600 ± 50, 1530.