Montserrat Volcano Case Study
All you need to know for GCSE Geography
Here I will provide simple easy to learn GCSE level information on the widely used Montserrat case study. I will also include resources to help you widen your knowledge further and improve your grades. I will include primary and secondary responses as well as the effects and key points. This study also goes into detail on key terms such as convection currents and tectonic plates.
Bold Text = Important
Soufriere Hills is situated on a destructive plate boundary. A destructive plate boundary is where two plates are forced towards each other by convection currents. Convection currents is the movement of magma(molten rock) caused by hot magma from near the center of the earth heating up, rising, cooling down then sinking in a circular motion.
The two plates hit each other and in this case the Atlantic plate is forced under the Caribbean plate (sub ducted) causing large amounts of friction and heat melting the rock. Magma builds up under the Caribbean plate, and when the pressure has reached a very high level the magma is forced up through the Caribbean plate as volcanic eruption.
Where and When?
Chances Peak (Soufriere Hills Volcano) erupted for the first time in over 300 years after giving of the classic warning signs, small earthquakes and eruptions of ash and dust. Chances Peak is located in Soufriere Hills the highest point in Montserrat. One of the most violent eruptions occurred on June 25th 1997.
Primary and Secondary
Primary effects are the direct effects of the volcano, here are some examples:At least 4 square kilometres of land covered in pyroclastic flow4-5 million cubic meters of lava covered the landscapeNineteen people killedCapital city Plymouth was covered in a layer of ash, creating complete darkness for 15 minutesSecondary effects are indirect effects of the volcano, here are some you could use as examples:Fires started as building and gas pipes were set alight, and thousands of animals were smotheredFarm and forest land wiped out by mud slidesToxic smoke and ash poisoned water sourcesTowns and villages are made uninhabitable
Short and Long term
A short term response is a human reaction to the volcano or something caused by the volcano that is generally takes place within 2 weeks here are some examples:Immediate evacuation of the airportMVO helicopters sent to pick up survivorsFrance and the Netherlands sent medical support along with the British Battleship HMS Liverpool which picked up survivorsWorld Society for the Protection of Animals sent food for farm animalsA long term response is a human reaction to the volcano or something caused by the volcano that is generally takes place after 2 weeks here are some examples:Development in the North of the island funded by British Government, costing Â£56 million and a housing scheme for 1000 peopleA new hospital called St. Johns was builtOther Caribbean islands offered homes and jobs for refugees
This image shows the red hot lava flowing down the Soufriere Hills Volcano.
Eruption occurred on June 25th 1997
19 people died
The volcano is located in Soufriere Hills
Development funded by British Government cost Â£56 million
It is located on a Destructive plate boundry