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Dominica volcano poses Caribbean tsunami risk – researchers 21 April 2009

Posted by admin in Caribbean, current research, geoscience, natural hazards.
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Morne aux Diables is an 861-metre high stratovolcano at the northern tip of the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean. It is a little-known volcano: the Global Volcanism Program does not have an ‘eruptive history’ page for Morne aux Diables, noting that ‘No eruptions are known from Morne aux Diables in historical time’ but that ‘the volcano has a youthful appearance and activity at flank domes likely continued into the late-Pleistocene and Holocene’.

As discussed recently in these pages, a volcano does not have to erupt to be dangerous, and recent research by a team of geologists led by Dr Richard Teeuw of the University of Portsmouth concludes that Morne aux Diables may be very dangerous indeed. Geomorphological surveys by Dr Teeuw’s team and evidence from Google Earth3-D imaging have revealed that one flank of the volcano is in danger of collapse. If a flank collapse occurs at Morne aux Diables a tsunami could be triggered that would threaten the heavily-populated coast of Guadeloupe, 50 kilometres north of Dominica.

Dr Teeuw’s team plans to return to Dominica this summer, and again in 2010, to study the geomorphology of the volcano, and to survey the seafloor for evidence of previous collapses.

Research shows Caribbean at risk of tsunami – University of Portsmouth news release, 21 April 2009
Devil’s volcano is tsunami risk to Caribbean island – Bloomberg, 21 April 2009
Caribbean at risk of tsunami, disaster experts warn – ScienceDaily, 21 April 2009
Volcano ‘poses tsunami threat’ in Caribbean – AFP, 21 April 2009
Tsunami threat from Dominica’s Devil’s Peak – RedOrbit, 21 April 2009

Global Volcanism Program: Morne aux Diables – summary information for Morne aux Diables (1600-08=)
Tsunami generation mechanisms from volcanic sources – interesting paper by George Pararas-Carayannis (try to ignore the shocking page design)

The Volcanism Blog