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Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 67, Issue 5, pp 415–422 | Cite as

First recorded eruption of Mount Belinda volcano (Montagu Island), South Sandwich Islands

  • Matthew R. Patrick
  • John L. Smellie
  • Andrew J. L. Harris
  • Robert Wright
  • Ken Dean
  • Pavel Izbekov
  • Harold Garbeil
  • Eric Pilger
Research Article

Abstract

The MODVOLC satellite monitoring system has revealed the first recorded eruption of Mount Belinda volcano, on Montagu Island in the remote South Sandwich Islands. Here we present some initial qualitative observations gleaned from a collection of satellite imagery covering the eruption, including MODIS, Landsat 7 ETM+, ASTER, and RADARSAT-1 data. MODVOLC thermal alerts indicate that the eruption started sometime between 12 September and 20 October 2001, with low-intensity subaerial explosive activity from the island’s summit peak, Mount Belinda. By January 2002 a small lava flow had been emplaced near the summit, and activity subsequently increased to some of the highest observed levels in August 2002. Observations from passing ships in February and March 2003 provided the first visual confirmation of the eruption. ASTER images obtained in August 2003 show that the eruption at Mount Belinda entered a new phase around this time, with fresh lava effusion into the surrounding icefield. MODIS radiance trends also suggest that the overall activity level increased significantly after July 2003. Thermal anomalies continued to be observed in MODIS imagery in early 2004, indicating a prolonged low-intensity eruption and the likely establishment of a persistent summit lava lake, similar to that observed on neighboring Saunders Island in 2001. Our new observations also indicate that lava lake activity continues on Saunders Island.

Keywords

Mount Belinda volcano Montagu Island Mount Michael Saunders Island South Sandwich Islands Satellite monitoring ASTER 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Captain A Gatti and Steve Marshall, on RRS Ernest Shackleton, and the Captain, officers and crew of the HMS Leeds Castle for their observations of Montagu Island during February and March 2003, and to Squadron Leader Savage for authorizing the Montagu Island photographs via Leeds Castle. JLS also thanks Captain Bryant, the officers and crew of HMS Endurance for their effective and successful support in the South Sandwich Islands in 1997, during which some of the observations of Montagu Island described in this paper were made. M. Ramsey (Univ. Pittsburgh) provided much help with the ASTER data, and reviews by W. Rose (Michigan Tech. Univ.) and C. Oppenheimer (Cambridge Univ.) improved the paper. MODVOLC development is funded by NASA Pathfinder Grant NAG 5-9413 (to L. Flynn, PI) and NASA grant ‘New tools for advanced hot spot tracking using MODIS thermal alerts’ (to A. Harris). This is HIGP contribution 1352 and SOEST contribution 6487.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew R. Patrick
    • 1
  • John L. Smellie
    • 2
  • Andrew J. L. Harris
    • 1
  • Robert Wright
    • 1
  • Ken Dean
    • 3
  • Pavel Izbekov
    • 3
  • Harold Garbeil
    • 1
  • Eric Pilger
    • 1
  1. 1.Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean and Earth Science TechnologyUniversity of Hawaii ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.British Antarctic SurveyNatural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Geophysical Institute, Alaska Volcano ObservatoryUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksAlaska

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