Letter | Published:

Activity at the Soufrifère Volcano, St Vincent, West Indies, in October-November 1971


THE Soufrière Volcano in the north of St Vincent last erupted in 1902–03 (refs. 1, 2). This eruption was extremely violent: an estimated 1.4 km3 of pyroclast flow and fall was emitted, devastating the northern third of the island and killing 1,565 people. After this eruption, a lake was re-established in the summit crater, and since 1910 the lake water seems to have remained constant in level to within a few metres and in temperature to within a few degrees. The presence of fumaroles on the lake bottom is postulated to account for the fact that the lake temperature, which was measured regularly from 1946–1952, remained at about 4° C above the expected from the ambient air temperature3. Apart from this and since the occurrence between November 1945 and February 1946 of a swarm of local earthquakes4, several tens of which were felt around the flanks of the volcano, the Soufrière remained dormant until October 1971.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Anderson, T., and Flett, J. S., Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., A, 200, 353 (1903).

  2. 2

    Robson, G. R., and Tomblin, J. F., Catalogue of Active Volcanoes of the World, Part 20, West Indies (Intern. Assoc. Volcanology, 1966).

  3. 3

    Robson, G. R., and Willmore, P. L., Bull. Volcan., 17, 13 (1955).

  4. 4

    Senn, A., A Geological Investigation at the Soufrière Volcano (British Union Oil Co. Ltd, Barbados, 1946).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.