• Valley of Desolation, Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)

Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)

Sun, 09/04/2016 - 16:07
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The Morne Trois Pitons National Park in Dominica is named after its highest mountain, Morne Trois Pitons, meaning "mountain of three peaks." A significant area of volcanic activity, features include boiling mud ponds and geysers.

Morne Trois Pitons National Park is a World Heritage Site (since 1997) located in Dominica. This area was established as a national park by the Dominican government in July 1975, the first to be legally established in the country.

Luxuriant natural tropical forest blends with scenic volcanic features of great scientific interest in this national park centered on the 1,342 m (4,400 ft) high volcano known as Morne Trois Pitons.

With its precipitous slopes and deeply incised valleys, 50 fumaroles, hot springs, three freshwater lakes, a 'boiling lake' and five volcanoes, located on the park's nearly 7,000 ha (17,000 acres), together with the richest biodiversity in the Lesser Antilles, Morne Trois Pitons National Park presents a rare combination of natural features of World Heritage value.

Features within the part include the Valley of Desolation, a region of boiling mud ponds and small geysers; the Boiling Lake, Titou Gorge, and Emerald Pool.

Dominica is of relatively recent (Miocene) volcanic origin and the topography is characterized by precipitous slopes and deeply incised valleys. In fact the island is the most rugged and mountainous in the Caribbean. Morne Trois Pitons refers to the "mountain of three peaks." This is a relatively young volcanic pile, the three peaks being the basaltic spike-like remains of a former volcano. Rising to an elevation of 4,672 ft. within 5 miles of the sea, it is the dominant land form and the namesake of the park.

Dramatic examples of active volcanism occur within the park. In the Valley of Desolation there are more than fifty fumaroles and hot springs, indicating that rocks of high temperature exist near the surface. A major explosion occurred here which, combined with constant emission of steam and sulfurous gases, has produced a barren landscape that contrasts sharply with the lush vegetation of the rest of the island.