Changes in the water content in the bowels of the Earth can provoke earthquakes and landslides. Now now
The long eruption of Kilauea, one of the mostactive volcanoes of Hawaii, entered an unusually new phase on May 3, 2018, throwing red-hot lava nearly 60 meters into the air and spewing lava 21 km² across the densely populated eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The unprecedented eruption, which destroyed hundreds of houses, entailed the destruction of the caldera at the highest level, before it stopped four months later in September 2018.
Using a combination of terrestrial and satellitemeasurements of precipitation, the researchers modeled the fluid pressure inside the volcano over time. This is a factor that can directly affect the tendency to mechanical destruction in the bowels, ultimately causing volcanic activity.
Team results show that pressurethe liquid was highest for almost half a century immediately before the eruption, which, in their opinion, contributed to the movement of magma under the volcano. Their hypothesis also explains why there was no widespread volcano uplift in previous months.
"An eruption occurs when pressure inthe magma chamber high enough to break the surrounding rocks, and magma moved to the surface. This increase in pressure causes inflation of the earth by tens of centimeters. Since we did not see any significant inflation a year before the eruption, we began to think of alternative explanations. Interestingly, when we examine the history of historical eruptions in Kilauea, we see that magmatic intrusions and recorded eruptions occur almost twice as often in the wettest periods of the year. ”
Jamie Farquharson, UM Rosenstiel School and lead author of the study.
Although in the past small steam explosions andvolcanic earthquakes were associated with sediment infiltration on other volcanoes, the first time this mechanism was used to explain deeper magmatic processes. The authors emphasize that if this process can be found in Kilauea, then most likely it will occur in other places.
Establishing evidence caused by showerseruptions in Kilauea, it will be interesting to explore other volcanoes. Researchers will explore other regions of the world where there is such a connection between precipitation and volcanism that it could be of great importance for early warning of the associated volcanic hazards.
So, it was already known that melting ice capsin Iceland led to changes in volcanic productivity. Since ongoing climate change is predicted to change the nature of precipitation, it is expected that this could similarly affect the nature of volcanic activity.