(By Ernesto Cooke) – Dr. Thomas Christopher says the daily SO2 or Sulfur Dioxide emitted from the La Soufriere volcano is varying.
He said the team has never got two measurements that have been quite the same.
“I think the first value on the 15th April was around 800 tonnes per day, it then fell to around 250 tonnes per day and then back up to 900, and last Sunday to 1000 tonnes per day”.
Christopher said the SO2 emissions are not steady, which tells how the volcano is behaving.
“If you were to bring up a batch of magma and isolate or have it degas, the flux would steadily fall as the magma is losing gas; however, what we see here is that the gas level is going up at times and falling at other times.”
The scientist said it is difficult to say if there is some sought-of-top control or sealed at the top sometimes, so we do not see all of it.
“If all of this variation is from the source, that is something that we need to verify; something is modulating the gas, 1000 tonnes per day is quite a lot of sulfur dioxide, that is no joke”.
The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the concurrence of the Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) and on the advice of Scientists from the Seismic Research Centre, University of the West Indies, has decided to lower the Volcanic Alert Level from Red to Orange.
An Orange Volcano Alert level means that the volcano may resume explosions with less than twenty-four hours’ notice.