Volcano Photos

Soufriere Guadeloupe volcano, France

Soufriere Guadeloupe volcano, France, Volcano photo

Soufriere Guadeloupe volcano, France

La Soufriere volcano, the highest in the West Indies, is a complex stratovolcano that dominates the southern end of Basse-Terre, the western half of the butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe.

A steam-and-ash column rises above the summit in this October 1976 view from the NE at Pointe-a-Pitre, on the isthmus connecting the island segments.

The peak at the left (above the sailboat), l'Echelle, is a young cinder cone; the summit itself is a 500-year-old lava dome, and remnants of older collapsed volcanoes are located to its right.

La Soufriere de la Guadeloupe volcano occupies the southern end of Basse-Terre, the western half of the butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe.

Construction of the Grand Decouverte volcano about 0.2 million years ago (Ma) was followed by caldera formation after a plinian eruption about 0.1 Ma, and then by construction of the Carmichael volcano within the caldera.

Two episodes of edifice collapse and associated large debris avalanches formed the Carmichael and Amic craters about 11,500 and 3100 years ago, respectively.

The presently active La Soufriere volcano subsequently grew within the Amic crater. The summit consists of a flat-topped lava dome, and several other domes occur on the southern flanks.

Most historical eruptions have originated from NW-SE-trending fissure systems that cut across the summit and upper flanks.

A relatively minor phreatic eruption in 1976-77 caused severe economic disruption when Basse-Terre, the island's capital city, which lies immediately below the volcano, was evacuated.

PHOTO SOURCE: Photo by Richard Fiske, 1976 (Smithsonian Institution), courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program, used with permission.

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