The relationship between degassing and ground deformation at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat

I. M. Watson, C. Oppenheimer, B. Voight, P. W. Francis, A. Clarke, J. Stix, A. Miller, D. M. Pyle, M. R. Burton, S. R. Young, G. Norton, S. Loughlin, B. Darroux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


We examine the correlations between SO2 emission rate, seismicity and ground deformation in the month prior to the 25 June 1997 dome collapse of the Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. During this period, the volcano exhibited a pattern of cyclic inflation and deflation with an 8-14 h period. We find that SO2 emission rates, measured by COSPEC, correlate with the amplitude of these tilt cycles, and that higher rates of SO2 emission were associated with stronger ground deformation and enhanced hybrid seismicity. Within tilt cycles, degassing peaks coincide with maximum deformation gradients. Increases in the amount of gas in the magma conduit feeding the dome, probably due to increases in volatile content of ascending magma volume can account for the observed increases in tilt amplitude, hybrid seismicity and SO2 emission rate. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - May 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyclic activity
  • Degassing-deformation correlation
  • Soufriere Hills Volcano

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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