Explosive eruptions continue on the La Soufrière volcano

Explosive eruptions continue on the La Soufrière volcano Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an eruption of the La Soufrière volcano, which has been exploding for days. 

The photograph shows volcanic ash and gas high in the air over the Caribbean islands of Saint Vincent and Barbados. 

The image was captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 at about 10:30 a.m. local time on April 9, 2021, soon after the explosive activity began. La Soufrière or Soufrière Saint Vincent is an active stratovolcano on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is the highest peak in Saint Vincent, and has had five recorded explosive eruptions since 1718, most recently in April 2021. 

Explosive eruptions continue on the La Soufrière volcano The peak of La Soufrière is about 3,864 feet above sea level on the northern side of Saint Vincent. The last time the volcano was active was over 40 years ago in 1979.At 1,234 m (4,049 ft), La Soufrière is the highest peak on Saint Vincent as well as the highest point in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Soufrière is a stratovolcano with a crater lake and is the island’s youngest and northernmost volcano.

Activity was apparent months before the explosive eruptions, according to NASA scientist Jean-Paul Vernier, beginning with an effusive eruption in which magma that reached the surface slowly built up a lava dome.

The media reports that ashfall has now blanketed parts of Saint Vincent and Barbados. The ash has reduced visibility on Saint Vincent and threatens food and water supplies.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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