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A relatively large explosive eruption occurred at the volcano yesterday, sending an ash plume to estimated 11 km (34,000 ft) altitude, the Darwin VAAC reported. The ash plume was drifting west over mainland Papua New Guinea and rapidly dissipated.
The Aviation Color Code has been raised from Orange to Red.
The eruption was likely one of the volcano’s frequent paroxysms involving tall lava fountains from the summit crater with associated lava flows and/or pyroclastic flows covering parts of the northeastern flanks. Thermal emissions from the volcano have been elevated recently, suggesting that there is abundant fresh lava arriving in the summit area.
There are no reports of injuries or fatalities.
Similar ash eruptions have been occurring in the past weeks, most notably on 24 Aug and 23 Sep. On the 24 Aug eruption, an explosive eruption produced a similar ash plume to approx. 15 km (50,000 feet) a.s.l. and lava flows that forced 2000 inhabitants of the small island to flee.
According to a newspaper article, “islanders reported ash and other debris from the volcano was so thick that sunlight was totally blocked for a few hours.”
Courtesy of volcanodiscovery.com
Katla, a giant volcano hidden beneath the ice cap of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, is busy filling its magma chambers, new research confirms. An eruption in Katla would dwarf the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, scientists have warned. The volcano is long “overdue” for an eruption, as it has historically erupted once every 40-80 years. The last known eruption in Katla was in 1918.
A group of Icelandic and British geologists have recently finished a research mission studying gas emissions from the volcano. The studies showed that Katla is emitting enormous quantities of CO2. The volcano releases at least 20 kilotons of C02 every day. Only two volcanoes worldwide are known to emit more CO2, Evgenia Ilyinskaya a volcanologist wit with the University of Leeds told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV.
These enormous CO2 emissions confirm significant activity in the volcano, Evgenia told RÚV: “It is highly unlikely that these emissions could be produced by geothermal activity. There must also be a magma build up to release this quantity of gas.”
She points out that more studies are needed to determine if the gas emissions from Katla are stable, or if they are increasing. “It is well known from other volcanoes, for example in Hawaii and Alaska, that CO2 emissions increase weeks or years ahead of eruptions. This is a clear sign we need to keep a close eye on Katla. She isn’t just doing nothing, and these findings confirm that there is something going on.”
The scientists also detected significant quantities of methane and hydrogen sulfite. These gases can be present in dangerously high quantities where the rivers Emstruá and Múlakvísl emerge from beneath the glacier.
Courtesy of icelandmag.is