St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago – Saturday November 20, 2021 – Water levels at the Boiling Lake, Dominica, have changed significantly in recent days, a phenomenon that has occurred several times since 1876. A local tour guide visiting the Boiling Lake on 18 November, first reported unusual activity and water levels at the lake. Scientists of The UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC), who are currently conducting field work in Dominica, will visit the lake on Monday 22 November to make further observations and measurements, if possible. They will be accompanied by staff of the Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division.
The Boiling Lake is a volcano-hydrothermal feature located in an area next to the Valley of Desolation in southern Dominica. The lake levels have dropped dramatically and been restored at least eight (8) times in the past. The last draining episode occurred on 8 November, 2016 with the lake returning to its normal state by 10 January, 2017.
The historical record, as well as the present-day volcano-monitoring network, suggests that the past episodes reflected local changes in the volcano-hydrothermal system. The observed changes in water levels and activity at the Boiling Lake are not necessarily related to increased volcanic activity in the area. However, during these episodes harmful gases, such as Carbon Dioxide, can be released and small steam explosions may also occur. People should, therefore, avoid visiting the immediate area until the activity has subsided.
The Valley of Desolation and the Boiling Lake itself are considered sites of interest for locals and visitors to Dominica. They have been part of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
The UWI-SRC monitors the Boiling Lake as part of its volcano monitoring programme in Dominica and updates the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) when significant changes are observed.
Updates on activity at the Boiling Lake in Dominica are available via The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) website and social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter (@uwiseismic).
Photo Credit: Chadi Symes taken on 18th November 2021