Photo week continued: St Lucia

Following Evelyn, from Geoneys, fantastic idea of a week of geology photos here is my second instalment.

St Lucia is one of the windward islands in the lesser Antilles, West Indies. I have fond memories of this beautiful island as not only is it the location of my sister-in-common-law and her husband's wedding, it was also my first trip to an active volcano.  Until my visit to the Soufrière Volcanic Centre I had only ever traipsed around the innards of long extinct volcanoes. To visit a place where the last eruption was a mere 20 000 years ago with a hydrothermal system still bubbling away was a real treat. Hydrothermal systems are of particular interest to me as I have spent the last four years studying their fossil remnants. To see what my 144 to 133Ma rocks may have looked like was exciting. Volcanism in the Lesser Antilles is related to the subduction of the North American Plate beneath the Caribbean Plate. The rocks of St Lucia are mafic to intermediate ranging from basalt to andesite. Below is a series of photos from the Soufrière Volcanic Centre showing the (probably) 40 000 year old crater, town of  Soufrière, Sulfer Springs hydrothermal vents and the Diamond falls.

The town of Soufriere nestled in the Qualibou/Soufriere caldera. The peaks behind the town are the
Gros and Petit Piton

Sulphur Springs from a distance

Sulphur Springs bubbling away. The dark colour is caused by iron and sulphur reacting

Little mud eruptions

Diamond Falls, the Botanical Gardens. The water is mineral rich and the colours
are caused by these minerals precipitating out of solution onto the rock face

Grand Piton, I never got close enough to look at the rocks but one source I've found says the pitons are
volcanic cones.


Geology of Soufrier

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