The shallow structure beneath Montserrat (West Indies) from new Bouguer gravity data

Stefanie Hautmann*, Antonio G. Camacho, Joachim Gottsmann, Henry M. Odbert, R. Tappy Syers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Although the persistently active Soufriere Hills Volcano (Montserrat, West Indies) is one of the most extensively studied active stratovolcanoes, a local Bouguer gravity map of the volcano and the island of Montserrat has yet to be constructed. We collected 157 new gravity data, which we analyzed and inverted in order to constrain the island's subsurface density distribution. Our model results reveal high-density material beneath the centers of the extinct volcanic complexespresumably related to exposed dome coreswhile the volcanic flanks and the active Soufriere Hills Volcano are underlain by low-density material. Volcaniclastic deposits and subsurface melt aggregations, respectively, may explain these negative gravity anomalies. Our results are in good agreement with previous structural observations from seismic tomography; however, a higher spatial density of the gravity survey network has allowed us to additionally capture smaller, shallow-seated anomalies in the gravity field that relate to tectonic structures and fluvial filling deposits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5113-5118
Number of pages6
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2013


  • Bouguer map
  • Montserrat
  • gravity inversion

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