Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Volcanic eruptions more complex and harder to predict

10.10.2008
New research by a team of US and UK scientists into volcanoes has found that they function in a far more complex way than previously thought, making future eruptions even harder to predict.

The findings by scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK and Penn State University and the University of Arkansas in the US, will be published in the journal Science on Friday October 10.

The principal discovery is that rather than ‘ballooning’ at depth, as previously thought, the pressurised magma in fact recharges the volcano repeatedly, causing episodic eruptions at the surface.

The research was conducted on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, a UK territory on which the Soufrière Hills Volcano has been erupting since 1995. It has caused widespread damage to the island and its infrastructure, resulting in the displacement of so many people that the island’s population has reduced from 13,000 to just 4,500. In 1997, avalanches of hot rocks, known as pyroclastic flows, destroyed the capital town of Plymouth and the island’s airport. More than 20 people were killed.

The team of scientists and colleagues at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory measured the surface flux of lava through detailed topographic surveys of the lava dome and deposits. They also measured the response of the ground surface around the volcano using GPS (global positioning system) to assess the amount of inflation or deflation in response to magma movement. They have developed a physical model to reconcile these measurements and provide a picture of how magma moves from the mid-crust to the surface.

Richard Herd of the University of East Anglia said: “I worked on Montserrat for seven years and saw at first hand the terrible devastation inflicted by the Soufrière Hills Volcano.

“Our findings show volcanic eruptions to be even more complex than we had originally believed and illustrate the urgent need for further research into this and other volcanoes.”

‘Implications of Magma Transfer Between Multiple Reservoirs on Eruption Cycling’ by Derek Elsworth, Joshua Taron and Barry Voight (all Penn State University), Richard Herd (University of East Anglia and Glen Mattioli (University of Arkansas) is published in Science on October 10.

Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uea.ac.uk

Further reports about: Magma ballooning hot rocks pyroclastic flows volcanic volcanic eruptions volcano

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters
17.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
16.10.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>