Kick-em-Jenny is one of the most active volcanoes in the Eastern Caribbean and as such UWI-SRC instruments may record increased earthquake activity beneath the volcano during sustained periods. Overnight, during March 11-12 period, a substantial increase in earthquake activity asssociated with the volcano was recorded. This information was relayed to the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) in Grenada and the alert level for KeJ was increased from Yellow to Orange. Within the last few hours, this earthquake activity has slowed. The UWI-SRC is continuing to monitor the situation.
Where is Kick ‘em Jenny located?
Kick 'em Jenny (KeJ) is a submarine volcano located 8km north of Grenada. The volcano is about 1300m high, and its summit is currently estimated to be about ~200m below the surface of the sea.
Has there ever been significant seismicity at KeJ without there being an eruption?
The first time pre-eruption earthquake activity was recorded in the vicinity of KeJ was in 2001, with other episodes in 2015 and 2017. All were followed by KeJ eruptions and/or large slides at the volcano.
Will this period of unrest lead to an eruption?
Because volcanoes are not completely predictable and given the changes observed in the pattern of behaviour of KeJ, we cannot be absolutely certain that this period of elevated seismicity will definitely lead to an eruption in the short term.
What is an “Alert Level” and what does it mean?
An alert level system is used to quickly inform the public of the state of the volcano. It is set by the civil authorities who are responsible for the territory in which the volcano falls, working in collaboration with monitoring scientists. Each volcano has its own alert level system and the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) of Grenada is the agency responsible for changing the alert level for KeJ. Currently, the volcano is most dangerous for ships and boats since the gases constantly being released by KeJ can lower the density of the water causing them to sink even if it is not erupting. For this reason, the alert level for KeJ is always at YELLOW even if it is not erupting and there is a permanent 1.5km exclusion zone around the summit of the KeJ. AT PRESENT, the Kick-em-Jenny alert level is at ORANGE and the exclusion zone is 5km around the Kick-em-Jenny summit.
If the volcano erupts will it cause a tsunami?
This is unlikely given the present location of the volcano and its pattern of activity. Tsunamis from submarine volcanoes can either be caused by explosions or collapse. The current depth to the KeJ vent (~200m) inhibits its explosive potential and hence its ability to generate a tsunami. It would have to build up a summit closer to the submarine surface for it to attain the ability to generate threatening tsunamis from explosions. Recent modelling undertaken of collapses from KeJ has provided no convincing evidence that it can produce life-threatening tsunamis at the shoreline since the volume of material involved is relatively small. While it is possible that very large explosions or large landslides at KeJ could generate tsunamis, the threat from tsunamis is very low.
What is The UWI-SRC doing now that the activity has increased?
The UWI-SRC continues to monitor the situation and will provide NaDMA of Grenada and other relevant authorities with the information as the data is processed. You may learn more about Kick-‘em-Jenny volcano on our website www.uwiseismic.com
Does unrest at one volcano signal likely unrest at other volcanoes in the Eastern Caribbean?
Volcanoes on individual islands, in the Eastern Caribbean, are formed by the same process, i.e. subduction at the plate boundary, but they do not share the same magma chamber, and are not directly linked by long underground magma conduits. A volcanic eruption on one island or at one volcano, therefore, does not imply that volcanoes in other islands will erupt.
Does all this activity mean something big is going to happen?
We live in a seismically active part of the world. As such both earthquake and volcanic activity are not unusual and do not necessarily by themselves suggest anything more menacing is coming. However this region has had larger events in the past and we do expect to have large and possibly damaging events in the future. As such, we strongly suggest that the you learn more about these hazards and more importantly take steps to increase personal safety and preparedness (http://uwiseismic.com/General.aspx?id=15).
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