Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Editorial: Instability of Saint Kitt Islands.

Recently, I began a review of the Tunguska Event, a cataclysmic explosion which leveled thousands of square kilometres of Siberian forest. The initial lack of attention paid by the scientific community, due to the remoteness of the disaster and relatively low loss of life, belied the severity of the event.

More recently, I have been informed that certain parties have deemed Saint Kitt Islands to be safe for general public activity. I am afraid that the available data do not support such a conclusion, and that over-confident reliance on such advice may result in terrible loss.

I would refer the reader to another August, just a few years back, in 1883, when the island of Krakatoa between Sumatra and Java detonated with world-wide effects. Tsunamis were observed throughout the neighbouring coasts, as far away as South Africa. Wave height monitors recorded fluctuations from the event in the Thames. Noctilucent clouds were observed from the ejecta, as with Tunguska.

The data that Professor Krogstad and I gathered predict that significant seismic activity is not only possible, but is imminent.

Saint Kitt Islands were formed from volcanic activity resulting in an island and atoll. The weathering patterns on the volcano itself suggest a young age, perhaps under 50 years. Seismic activity predicts potential surrounding activity, consistent with known patterns of island-building volcanic activity. Seawater temperatures surrounding the island (unpublished data) point towards other submarine volcanic activity in the area. Further geophysical studies will be required to determine the amount and extent of landmass building that has occurred in the region.

Krogstad A, Nicholas K. A biologic and geologic survey of Saint Kitt Islands. Proc Royal Soc 1898 ; 5.

At the time of the initial survey, the cauldron was quiet, and no evidence of volcanic activity was apparent. Even the casual lay-observer on St Kitt now can see the evidence of accelerated instability from the volcano and surrounding sea bed.

Based on the available evidence, allow me to illustrate my prediction for the very near future of our beloved crown colony:

I shall be in contact with the Guvnah straightaway, and I will urge the public not to congregate on or near Saint Kitt Islands, for fear of a disaster of eschatologic proportions.

If any reader wishes to see the raw data upon which these recommendations are based, please contact me at your leisure.

In assistance to Caledon, I remain,
your humble servant,

Kate Nicholas, FRS