Archive | July, 2014

An eyewitness account of the 1812 eruption of the Soufrière of St Vincent

8 Jul

Sharing a post from London Volcano

londonvolcano

The Soufrière of St Vincent erupted dramatically in early 1812, in the first eruption of the volcano that was documented in detail at the time. Like the eruption of 1718, this was a fairly short-lived explosive eruption that was over in a few days. And, as with the 1718 eruption, it followed a period of several of months during which there were earthquakes large enough to be felt by the local populations.

Map of St Vincent from 1775. (JEFFERYS Thomas St Vincent from an Actual Survey made in the year 1775 after the Treaty with the Caribs. London: Printed for Robt. Sayer (1775). Image from Pennymead.com Map of St Vincent from 1775. (Thomas Jefferys, St Vincent from an Actual Survey made in the year 1775 after the Treaty with the Caribs. London: Printed for Robt. Sayer 1775). Image from Pennymead.com

In 1812, St Vincent was a British colony, and sugar was the major export: in fact, St Vincent ranked second only to Jamaica in terms of sugar production at that time.  The total population of the island in 1812 was around 26,000, 90% of whom were slaves…

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An account of the 1718 eruption of the Soufrière of St Vincent

8 Jul

Reblogging a post of mine from LondonVolcano

londonvolcano

One of the goals of the STREVA project is to try and learn more about the effects that volcanic eruptions have on people’s lives and livelihoods by examining what has happened in the past. This throws up some interesting challenges – the geological record of past eruptions may not be preserved, while the written or oral records of past eruptions will usually be far from dispassionate or accurate. But in some cases, these written records may be all that are left, and the fun is then to try and work out what may, and what may not be, plausible.

We have chosen St Vincent in the Eastern Caribbean as the model for London Volcano because it has a rich record of historical eruptions, many of which have been documented in one way or another. The first of these was an eruption in 1718.

Map of the Eastern Caribbean, showing the locations of seismic stations used in earthquake and volcano monitoring. Source: Seismic Research Centre, University of the West Indies Map of the Eastern Caribbean, showing the locations of seismic stations used in…

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