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  • 1. {
  • 2. Page 1: Introduction Page 2: Details of Event Page 3: Details of Event Page 4: Details of Event Page 5: Tectonic Plate Boundary Page 6: Physical Attributes Page 7: Big Idea Page 8: Bibliography Table of Contents
  • 3. Mount Pelée, a volcano located on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean, was for centuries referred to by local natives as “fire mountain” because of previous eruptions in ancient times. While the mountain began to emit sulfurous vapors and a light dusting of volcanic ash in late April of 1902, no one could have anticipated the catastrophe that was to occur. The magnitude of the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée on May 8, 1902, Ascension Day, was ultimately thought to be one of the worst volcanic disasters of the 20th century. Within mere minutes, the picturesque town of St. Pierre, with a population of 30,000 people, was completely destroyed. As the peak of the mountain flew thousands of feet in the air, rivers of fire began to flow out of Mount Pelée, destroying everything in their path. Introduction
  • 4. Details of Event Even the smell of sulphur from” fumuarole activity” (steam emitted from the Earth’s crust), and the light dusting of ash raining down from Mount Pelée in the latter half of April, 1902 did not alarm the majority of the inhabitants of Martinique enough to cause them to flee. On the morning of May 8, 1902, the upper mountainside of Mount Pelée ripped open and a black cloud shot out horizontally. A second cloud consisting of scalding steam and volcanic gases and dusts (with temperatures reaching over 1,000 C) formed an enormous mushroom cloud that destroyed over 8 square miles, including, of course, the town of St. Pierre. Townspeople died instantly from suffocation as oxygen was replaced by deadly gases.
  • 5. Mount Pelée was such a drastic eruption that, out of approximately 30,000 citizens in the town of St. Pierre, only three survived. A man named Louis-Auguste Ciparis was one of the survivors. Ciparis had been imprisoned the day prior to the volcano’s eruption. He was supposedly drinking and had started a fight, so the police banished him to an underground prison cell. The cell had no windows and had merely a slight crack underneath one door. The next morning, when the volcano erupted, Ciparis urinated on his clothes and stuffed them into the crack to retain the heat. In doing so, Ciparis ultimately survived one of the worst volcanic eruptions ever recorded. Days later, a search party found him with severe burns. Ciparis eventually joined the Barnum and Bailey Circus, touring the world as the “Lone Survivor of St. Pierre.” Details of Event
  • 6. Another survivor of the eruption of Mt. Pelée, aka “Bald Mountain”, was a little girl named Havivra Da Ifrile. Havivra saw the volcano begin to erupt and immediately climbed into her boat and rowed to a nearby cave where she and her friends often played pirates. "Before I got there, I looked back, and the whole side of the mountain near town seemed to open and boil down on the screaming people. I was burned a good deal by the stones and ashes that came flying about the boat, but I got to the cave,” said Havivra. She was later found floating unconscious inside a burned and broken boat about two miles out at sea. Details of Event
  • 7. Mount Pelée has a convergent plate boundary. A convergent boundary is “an actively deforming region where two or more tectonic plates or fragments of the lithosphere move toward each other and eventually collide”. Mount Pelée is on the boundary of the North America Plate and the Caribbean Plate. The North America Plate subducted under the Caribbean Plate, and the magma produced when the crust subducted rises to the surface and forms a chain of volcanic islands. Martinique, and subsequently, Mount Pelée, were formed this way. Tectonic Plate Boundary
  • 8. Prior to eruption, Mount Pelée, or “Montagne Pelée”, as the inhabitants of Martinique call it, stood at an elevation of 4,583 ft. Mount Pelée is a stratovolcano: a volcanic cone consisting of volcanic ash and hardened lava. Renowned for being the most active volcano of the Lesser Antilles arc (with more than 20 major eruptions during the past 5000 years), the destruction resulting from the eruption of Mount Pelée was caused by “pyroclastic flow”, or the current of rapidly moving hot gas and rock. A particular type of pyroclastic flow is called “nuée ardente” (burning cloud), a term first used in the description of Mount Pelée. Reaching speeds of up to 450 mph, the pyroclastic flow from Mount Pelée glowed red at night and completely decimated the town of St. Pierre. Physical Attributes
  • 9. How does Mount Pelée relate to our study of the Earth’s Crust? As we’ve learned previously about the Earth’s crust, the temperature increases according to depth. As the molten rock, ash and gasses from deep within the Earth escape through cracks and fissures in the Earth’s surface, the material cools, and centuries of eruptions can cause a volcano to form a mountain shape. If magma continues to leak through a weak spot in the Earth’s crust, but a plug of rock exists at the top of a volcano which blocks the magma’s exit, pressure continues to increase. Eventually, the pressure becomes so great that the volcano erupts. As the plates far beneath the Earth’s crust separate, slide past one another, and collide, the constant shifting contribute to the cracks and fissures which allow heat to escape, and ultimately form volcanoes. Mount Pelée illustrates the effects of the constantly changing surface of the Earth. Big Idea
  • 10.  "Drunken Arrest Saves Man from Volcano." List Verse. Adam Wears, 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 8 June 2014. <http://listverse.com/2013/08/21/10-lives-saved-by- booze/>.  "The Formation of Mount Pelee." Mccarts 19. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2014. <http://mccarts19.tripod.com/id2.html>.  "The Man Who Lived through Doomsday." Redice Creations. N.p., 27 Apr. 2010. Web. 8 June 2014. <http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=10732>.  "Mount Pelee." Hamari Jugad. N.p., 7 May 2014. Web. 8 June 2014. <http://hamarijugad.com/top-10-biggest-volcanic-eruptions/>.  "Mount Pelee." Wikipedia. 2014. N. pag. Print.  Mt Pelee. Youtube. Auckland Museum, 16 Nov. 2009. Web. 8 June 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqtPWZ_iztM&feature=player_embed ded>.  "Pelee." Oregon State. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2014. <http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/pelee>.  "The Prison Cell of Ludger Sylbaris." Atlas Obscura. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2014. <http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-prison-cell-of-ludger- sylbaris>.  "The Tropical Paradise of St. Pierre." Geology. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2014. <http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/Pelee.html>. Bibliography
  • 11. Mount Pelée