Environment

Boiling Lake’s Water Levels Fluctuate: Dominica on Alert

Dominica’s Boiling Lake has recently experienced notable fluctuations in water levels, a phenomenon documented sporadically since 1876. The latest observations, particularly in March following initial signs of instability in December 2023, revealed a significant reduction in water levels, sometimes leaving the lake almost dry. These changes have prompted ongoing monitoring and analysis by local forestry officials, the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies (UWI-SRC), and the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) in Dominica.

The UWI-SRC and ODM, serving as the official sources for volcanic activity information on the island, have sought to reassure the public that these fluctuations do not directly indicate an increase in volcanic activity. Nevertheless, such events can release harmful gases and the possibility of minor steam explosions, raising safety concerns.

Seismologists have highlighted that the cessation of geothermal activity, and the drying up of the lake, could suggest the presence of blockages in the vents beneath the lake. The potential for these blockages to clear suddenly without warning adds a layer of unpredictability and risk to the situation.

In response to these developments, both the UWI-SRC and the ODM are diligently working to understand the underlying causes of the lake’s fluctuating levels and the implications for local safety. Their efforts are focused on providing timely updates and ensuring that the community remains informed and prepared for any changes in the lake’s behaviour.

This article is copyright © 2024 DOM767

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