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A multi-decadal view of the heat and mass budget of a volcano in unrest: La Soufrière de Guadeloupe (French West Indies)

Abstract : Particularly in the presence of a hydrothermal system, many volcanoes output large quantities of heat through the transport of water from deep within the edifice to the surface. Thus, heat flux is a prime tool for evaluating volcanic activity and unrest. We review the volcanic unrest at La Soufrière de Guadeloupe (French West Indies) using an airborne thermal camera survey and in situ measurements of temperature and flow rate through temperature probes, Pitot-tube and MultiGAS measurements. We deduce mass and heat fluxes for the fumarolic, ground and thermal spring outputs and follow these over a period spanning 2000–2020. Our results are compared with published data and we performed a retrospective analysis of the temporal variations in heat flux over this period using the literature data. We find that the heat emitted by the volcano is 36.5 ± 7.9MW, of which the fumarolic heat flux is dominant at 28.3 ± 6.8 MW. Given a total heated area of 26 270 m2, this equates to a total heat flux density of 1366 ± 82 W/m2, which is amongst the highest established for worldwide volcanoes with hydrothermal systems, particularly for dome volcanoes. A major change at La Soufrière de Guadeloupe, however, is the development of a widespread region of ground heating at the summit where heat output has increased from 0.2 ± 1 MW in 2010 to 5.7 ± 0.9 MW in 2020. This change is concurrent with accelerating unrest at the volcano and the emergence of two new high-flux fumaroles in recent years. Our findings highlight the importance of continued and enhanced surveillance and research strategies at La Soufrière de Guadeloupe, the results of which can be used to better understand hydrothermal volcanic systems the world over.
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Contributor : David Jessop <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 3:40:35 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 9:40:16 PM


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D.E. Jessop, Séverine Moune, Roberto Moretti, Dominique Gibert, Jean-Christophe Komorowski, et al.. A multi-decadal view of the heat and mass budget of a volcano in unrest: La Soufrière de Guadeloupe (French West Indies). Bulletin of Volcanology, Springer Verlag, 2021, 83 (3), pp.16. ⟨10.1007/s00445-021-01439-2⟩. ⟨hal-02974046v2⟩



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