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Montserrat - Closeup 2009

Position of center of photo (Lat/Long): [16.74716/-62.19155]

Montserrat - Closeup 2009

Map: Montserrat - Closeup 2009In the waning days of 2009 and the first days of 2010, the lava dome on the summit of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat (United Kingdom), continued to grow rapidly. As the dome rises, rocks and debris can break off, cascading down the river valleys and gullies that radiate from the summit. These pyroclastic flows are among the major hazards created by Soufrière Hills.

This natural-color satellite image shows the major drainages on the southern and eastern sides of Soufrière Hills. Tan deposits from volcanic flows fill the valleys, the product of almost 15 years of intermittent activity at the volcano. Green vegetation survives on ridges between valleys.

Montserrat is one of the Lesser Antilles Islands, an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, north of South America. Many of the islands are volcanic, and their location roughly traces the edge of the Caribbean Plate along its boundary with the tectonic plates (North and South American Plates) beneath the Atlantic Ocean. The Caribbean Plate is overriding the North American Plate. As the plates collide, the mantle of the overriding Caribbean Plate melts, generating magma that rises to the surface and feeds Soufrière Hills and other volcanoes in the Lesser Antilles.

Source of material: NASA

Further information: WikiPedia article on Montserrat - Closeup 2009

Last Update: 2011-03-30