Day 2 (February 17, 2017): Upwards and onwards from Garibaldi Hill
As we awoke to the cock-a-doodle-doos of the local roosters, we hopped out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed (after some coffee). After scrambling our eggs we scrambled our things together and hopped on the bus, eager to begin the day.
Our day’s journey began with a drive up Garibaldi Hill, where we got an excellent view of the northern part of the Island. We also saw the fuming volcano itself! The Montserrat volcano, known as Soufriere Hills, is constantly spewing as much as 10kg/s of sulfur dioxide from mafic magma deep underground. Along with Soufriere Hills, we were also able to see the Silver Hills and Center Hills. They were built up from older volcanism as the magma source migrated south to the location of the current volcano. Another interesting feature we saw was St. George’s Hill, which formed from magma pushing upwards. This uplifted the ground above it. On this hill, they are currently drilling for geothermal energy.
From here, we drove down to Belham Valley where we saw excellent exposures of lahars. Lahars are mudflows of volcanic material. They can occur without warning but usually only happen when it is raining. These lahars carried rocks formed in the lava domes down great distances, which gave us some great samples to bring home.
After a quick stop at AIR Studios (Associated Independent Recording), the famous recording studio used by The Rolling Stones ,The Beatles, The Police, Paul and Linda McCartney, and others, we headed for lunch at The Attic. Here, we had a wide variety of tropical juices.
Our final stop for the day was the beach at Old Road Bay. We got to enjoy the wonderful ocean (salty) water for the first time. We all had fun as we rode the waves before we dried off and went to eat at Hank’s Beach Bar.
We eagerly await the next day to see what is to come. We are going to Little Bay where we will see Centre Hills volcaniclastic rocks over Silver Hills material. Then, we will go to Carr’s Bay where we will see interesting hydrothermal alteration of the rocks. After this, we will go to what I am most excited for, waffles at Hilltop Cafe for lunch. Our afternoon will then take us to Lookout Point where we will see Antigua, Nevis, and Redonda in clear view. After a few more road cuts, we will head to Jack Boy Hill. Here, where we will see an excellent exposure of the now buried town of Trants and the collapsed dome of the volcano.
~Written by Sabastien Dyer