, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 577-593

Soufrière of guadeloupe 1976–1977 eruption — mass and energy transfer and volcanic health hazards

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Abstract

The Soufrière volcano in Guadeloupe island delivered a phreatic eruption that commenced on July 8th, 1976 and lasted until March 1st, 1977. This eruption was similar to the 1797, 1798, 1809 and 1956 outbreaks. Phreatic activity ejected blocks derived from the fissure walls and fine pyroclasts produced by hydrothermal alteration of the old dome’s rocks. Field observations and measurements allowed the present authors to calculate the mass and energy transfer of steam and ashes: 107 tons of water (very low considering that on the mountain summit the annual precipitation is 10 tons m)2,106 m3 of ashes. The most important energy transfers was thermal: about 5 × 1020 ergs for each phreatic eruption. The total kinetic energy output was 2 × 1019 ergs for a total thermal energy output of 64 × 1020 ergs.

The gases and fine pyroclasts did pollute the atmosphere, waters and soils and consequently affected the population living on the slopes of the volcano.

Presented at the following meeting:
- Naples, 23–25 June 1977: Informal meeting on volcanic gases and volcanic hazard, disturbance on the environment.
- Durham, August 1977 workshop U.N.E.S.C.O.: Hazard to human and animal health from toxic products of volcanic activity (Soufrière of Guadeloupe 1976–1977 eruption)
- Orsay: 6éme Réunion annuelle des Sciences de la Terre, 1978: Soufrière de la Guadeloupe éruption 1976–1977: évaluation phénoménologique.
Soufriére de la Guadeloupe éruption 1976–1977 influence sur l’environnement.