No Increased Volcanic Activity: Water Level Drops at Dominica’s Boiling Lake

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Loop- The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) says it is monitoring the water levels at the Boiling Lake and they “have changed significantly in recent days”.

It noted however that the situation is not related to increased volcanic activity in the area.

In a statement, the Trinidad-based SRC said that it is a phenomenon that has occurred several times since 1876 and that a local tour guide visiting the Boiling Lake last week Thursday first reported unusual activity and water levels at the lake.

SRC scientists, who are currently conducting fieldwork in Dominica, will visit the lake on Monday to make further observations and measurements, if possible. They will be accompanied by staff of the Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division,” the SRC added.

The Boiling Lake is a volcano-hydrothermal feature located in an area next to the Valley of Desolation in southern Dominica.  The lake levels have dropped dramatically and been restored at least eight times in the past. The last draining episode occurred on November 8, 2016, with the lake returning to its normal state by January 10, 2017.

“The historical record, as well as the present-day volcano-monitoring network, suggests that the past episodes reflected local changes in the volcano-hydrothermal system. The observed changes in water levels and activity at the Boiling Lake are not necessarily related to increased volcanic activity in the area.

“However, during these episodes, harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide, can be released and small steam explosions may also occur. People should, therefore, avoid visiting the immediate area until the activity has subsided.”

The Valley of Desolation and the Boiling Lake itself are considered sites of interest for locals and visitors to Dominica. They have been part of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

The SRC monitors the Boiling Lake as part of its volcano monitoring programme in Dominica and updates the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) when significant changes are observed, the SRC added.

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