Montserrat is situated in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, which is a volcanic island arc formed along the junction where the Atlantic tectonic plate is subducted beneath the Caribbean plate. Nearly all the islands along the arc are the result of subduction related volcanism. Most have andesitic stratovolcanoes, which have been produced by explosive eruptions, coupled with the growth of lava domes and associated pyroclastic flows, and the occasional extrusion of lava flows.
The Montserrat Volcano Observatory was established soon after the first phreatic eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano on 18th July 1995 and was staffed initially by scientists from a variety of organisations working with local personnel. The scientific teams came mainly from the Seismic Research Unit (SRU) of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and the British Geological Survey (BGS). Valuable assistance was also provided by the Volcanic Disaster Assistance Program of the United States Geological Survey, the University of Puerto Rico, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (Guadeloupe Volcano Observatory and Martinique Volcano Observatory) and numerous individual researchers from universities in the U.K. and the U.S.A.
Ash in the air from the volcano put the kibosh on my weekend photo hike.