La Grande Soufrière
|La Grande Soufrière|
|Elevation||1,467 m (4,813 ft)|
|Prominence||1,467 m (4,813 ft)|
|Volcanic arc/belt||Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc|
|Last eruption||1976 to 1977|
La Grande Soufrière, (English: "big sulphur outlet"), is an active stratovolcano on the French island of Basse-Terre, in Guadeloupe. It is the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, and rises 1,467 m high.
The last magmatic eruption was in 1580±50 during which the current lava dome was emplaced. More recent eruptions have been phreatic in type. On February 8, 1843, an eruption of La Grande Soufrière caused by an earthquake killed over 5,000 people.
In 1976 a large amount of seismic activity led to a mass evacuation of the island's 72,000 residents. There was a bitter, and well-publicized, controversy between scientists Claude Allègre and Haroun Tazieff on whether evacuation should occur. Allègre held that inhabitants should be evacuated, just in case, while Tazieff held that the Soufrière was harmless. The prefect decided to evacuate, erring on the side of prudence. The volcano erupted on August 30,1976, but was less severe than had been predicted. There were no fatalities, owing to the complete evacuation.
While the island was deserted, the German filmmaker Werner Herzog traveled to the abandoned town of Basse-Terre to find a peasant who had refused to leave his home on the slopes of the volcano. His journey is recorded in the film La Soufrière.
- Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 353. ISBN 978-0-89577-087-5.
- Feuillard M.; Allege C.J.; Brandeis G.; Gaulon R.; Le Mouel J.L.; Mercier J.C.; Pozzi J.P.; Semet M.P. (1983). "The 1975—1977 crisis of La Soufrière de Guadeloupe (F.W.I.): a still-born magmatic eruption". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 16 (3–4): 317–334. doi:10.1016/0377-0273(83)90036-7.
- Kozák, Jan; Cermák, Vladimir (2010). "Guadeloupe Earthquake, Antilles, 1843". The Illustrated History of Natural Disasters. p. 163. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-3325-3_38. ISBN 978-90-481-3324-6.
- Global Volcanism Program
- OVSG : Observatoire volcanologique et sismologique de Guadeloupe
- Parc National de la Guadeloupe, manager of the top of the Soufrière
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