17 April 2011
It’s snowing again, so in order to avoid being depressed by the weather, I thought I’d post a few photos of the Belham River Valley on Montserrat. The Belham, which drains into the sea on the west side of Montserrat, channels both pyroclastic flows and lahars from the Soufriere Hills lava dome. Prior to the eruption, the valley held a number of houses and the island’s only golf course, but material from the eruption has since filled the valley bottom and made it unwise to live too close. Volcanic and volcaniclastic processes are constantly reshaping the landscape there, and having visited two years in a row (here’s the link to last year’s post about the Belham), I thought I’d see if any of my photos were good for before and after comparisons. Here are a few examples:
I didn’t get any pictures of it last year, but here is what remains of the golf course’s clubhouse:
Visiting the Belham – especially if you can go back periodically – is an excellent way to observe the long-term effects of a volcanic eruption. It’s also pretty sad; the Belham used to be a beautiful place that Montserratians used for recreation and to live in, and now it’s uninhabitable (and pretty dangerous to be in at certain times).