Volcanic Activity in Montserrat - Detailed Case Study

Very detailed case study on volcanic activity in Montserrat, including:

  • Tectonic hazards and causes
  • Map illustrating location & tectonic situation of Montserrat
  • Evidence of pre-1997 volcanic activity
  • The 5 volcanic hazards associated with Montserrat
  • Physical impacts
  • Global impact
  • Human impacts
  • Economic benefits
  • Response to tectonic hazards
  • Measurements of volcanic activity that can be used to indicate increased risk of eruption
  • Current status of the volcano
  • How the island has adapted and is prepared for future eruptions
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A2 Geography 6th September 2010
Unit 4: Geographical Research Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards

Case study: Volcanic Activity in Montserrat

1) Tectonic Hazards and Causes

a) Montserrat is situated on a destructive plate boundary where the Caribbean plate
and the Atlantic plate are converging towards each other. This is…

Page 2

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A2 Geography 6th September 2010
Unit 4: Geographical Research Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards




The map is coloured coded to show the progress of the eruption and its impact on
the island. Source: GCSE Bitesize, Geography, Plate Tectonics, Volcano.

c) There is evidence pre-1997 of volcanic activity on Montserrat.…

Page 3

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A2 Geography 6th September 2010
Unit 4: Geographical Research Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards

incinerate any organic material such as vegetation and killed 19 people, as
well as causing structural damage to buildings and runways.
II. Lahar: A fast moving slurry of ash and water and other debris. This…

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A2 Geography 6th September 2010
Unit 4: Geographical Research Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards

c) continued ... Another impact is that the ash cloud reached the island of Antigua
and caused a blackout for a period of days as it passed over.

Finally, the eruption cost the UK £41…

Page 5

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A2 Geography 6th September 2010
Unit 4: Geographical Research Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards

which is where 25% of the population will be housed. Finally, a major benefit is that a
strategic fuel depot has been constructed, with enough petrol, diesel and cooking
gas to last for two months,…

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A2 Geography 6th September 2010
Unit 4: Geographical Research Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards

b) The following are measurements of volcanic activity that can be used to indicate
an increased risk of an impending eruption:

An extensive seismograph measures the earthquake strength and depth
around the volcano ­ earthquakes…

Page 7

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A2 Geography 6th September 2010
Unit 4: Geographical Research Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards




Despite the volcano being dormant, a large part of island remains vulnerable
because the risk of an eruption is always there.

d) The island's people have certainly adapted to the impacts of the eruption and…

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A2 Geography 6th September 2010
Unit 4: Geographical Research Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards

In part of their preparation for future events, there are two main types of evacuations
related to volcanic activity in Montserrat:

The first is the Slow increase of volcanic activity (normal route). The MVO meets…

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