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Modeling of partial dome collapse of La Soufrière of Guadeloupe volcano: implications for hazard assessment and monitoring

Abstract : Over the past 9,150 years, at least 9 flank collapses have been identified in the history of La Soufrière of Guadeloupe volcano. On account of the volcano's current unrest, the possibility of such a flank collapse should not be dismissed in assessing hazards for future eruptive magmatic as well as non-magmatic scenarios. We combine morphological and geophysical data to identify seven unstable structures (volumes ranging from 1 × 10 6 m 3 to 100 × 10 6 m 3), including one that has a volume compatible with the last recorded flank collapse in 1530 CE. We model their dynamics and emplacement with the SHALTOP numerical model and a simple Coulomb friction law. The best-fit friction coefficient to reproduce the 1530 CE event is tan(7°) = 0.13, suggesting the transformation of the debris avalanche into a debris flow, which is confirmed by the texture of mapped deposits. Various friction angles are tested to investigate less water-rich and less mobile avalanches. The most densely populated areas of Saint-Claude and Basse-Terre, and an area of Gourbeyre south of the Palmiste ridge, are primarily exposed in the case of the more voluminous and mobile flank collapse scenarios considered. However, topography has a prominent role in controlling flow dynamics, with barrier effects and multiple channels. Classical mobility indicators, such as the Heim's ratio, are thus not adequate for a comprehensive hazard analysis.
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Marc Peruzzetto, Jean-Christophe Komorowski, Anne Le Friant, Marina Rosas-Carbajal, Anne Mangeney, et al.. Modeling of partial dome collapse of La Soufrière of Guadeloupe volcano: implications for hazard assessment and monitoring. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-49507-0⟩. ⟨insu-02380317⟩

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