Geography Case Study Montserrat Volcano

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  • Case Study Montserrat Volcano
    • Causes
      • Montserrat sits on top of a destructive plate margin.
      • The subductive zone builds pressure as magma from the melting oceanic plate punches up though the crust.
      • The North American plate is subducted by 22Cm per year.
      • The pressure build up led to frequent eruptions between 1995-2000
    • Effects
      • Ash cloud from the eruption reached 400ft as column of ash was ejected into the atmosphere.
      • 4 dead and 17 missing as well as the airport on the South of the Island near plymouth.
      • As ash column collapsed it created pyroclastic flows which reached speeds of up to 200 mph and temperatures of 500C
      • collapsed tourism industry meant unemployment went from 7% up to 50%
      • destroyed 150 homes on the East side to the South of the island as well as completely destroying the capital city of Plymouth
      • People had to be re located to the north of the Island leading to a 200% increase in the price of rent.
      • Increase in mental issues with many people suffering from anxiety and depression because of the eruption.
      • due to the destruction of roads there was a dramatic increase in conjestion
    • Hazard management.
      • Extensive sizemic network setup to monitor the sahpe of the volcano to check for swelling and depressions in its surface.
      • COSPEL and tiltmeters used to measure gas expulsion and and vibrations given off by the volcano.
      • Parts of the islands shut off to civilians to keep people out of the pyroclastic flow routs.
      • Geologists from the university of Reading regularly flew over to measure cracks and flows.
    • Responses
      • British Government sent £2,700 to each adult to help them re build homes and lives.
      • Building materials sent fro Scotland to help construct solid shelters before the winter hit.
      • 5 RAF helicopters were used to transport essentials like food and water to the island as well as the assistance of 500 soldiers to maintain order.


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