Monday, June 8, 2009

Kick ‘em Jenny - an active volcano in the Grenadines

Would you like to be called Kick ‘em Jenny ? It doesn’t sound exactly like a compliment... But this is no bronco, or any angry young woman for that matter. Kick ‘em Jenny is a stretch of rough water to the north of Grenada, in the Grenadines.

The reason for the name is that Kick ‘em Jenny is a submarine volcano. It rises over 4000 from the sea bed and comes to within about 600 feet of the surface of the sea. And the reason for the rough water is that the Atlantic currents stack up against this natural barrier, creating into an unpleasant swell on the surface. The name is reckoned to derive from the French /‘Caye qui me gêne’/, which means ‘island that disturbs me’, but frankly Kick ‘em Jenny is equally expressive. Certainly it can
feel like that it in a boat. In fact yacht companies ask you not to go there.

Like so many of the Caribbean volcanoes, Kick ‘em Jenny is relatively active and it often features on the seismic data collected in the area. But people notice it too. Pilots report seeing activity when flying over the area – bubbles and submarine clouds of debris. Grumbling noises are also occasionally heard on land nearby.

The most recent major eruption was in 1939, when ash and steam broke the surface of the sea, spewing and steaming and setting off tsunamis in the area. Since then there have been a dozen significant eruptions, most recently in 2001. According to the vulcanologists, in the years to come another Grenadine may eventually appear.

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