‘Throat of fire’ Tungurahua volcano signalling imminent, devastating COLLAPSE in Ecuador #Tungurahua #Volcano #magma #Ecuador
Scientists are warning that the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador is showing early signs of impending catastrophic collapse, after satellite data showed substantial internal damage from ongoing magma activity.
Tungurahua, has been persistently active since 1999 so wear and tear was inevitable, especially given that the ‘Throat of fire,’ or ‘Black giant’ as the Quechua indigenous people named it, has already collapsed twice before thousands of years ago.
“Using satellite data we have observed very rapid deformation of Tungurahua’s west flank, which our research suggests is caused by imbalances between magma being supplied and magma being erupted,” says geophysical volcanologist James Hickey from the University of Exeter in the UK, whose worrying research was recently published.
Tungurahua previously collapsed at the end of the Late Pleistocene, after which it then rebuilt itself for thousands of years, before collapsing again about 3,000 years ago.
Such collapses can trigger massive landslides and pyroclastic flows, which can travel for tens of kilometers. For example, the collapse 3,000 years ago is thought to have laid waste to an area of roughly 80km sq (11,000 football fields).
Meanwhile, an eruption in 1999 forced the evacuation of some 25,000 people, so the impact on human life in the area should the volcano collapse again would be truly staggering.
The team admits, however, that magma supply is just one of many risk factors which should be closely monitored to mitigate risk and protect life in the area.
“Magma supply is one of a number of factors that can cause or contribute to volcanic flank instability, so while there is a risk of possible flank collapse, the uncertainty of these natural systems also means it could remain stable,” Hickey says.
Courtesy of rt.com
Courtesy Aaron Merculieff
The National Weather Service issued a SIGMET aircraft safety alert as the ash plume from Shishaldin reached as high as 20,000 feet in elevation and extended up to 90 miles eastward from the volcano.
A lava flow is visible from the northeast flank of the volcano, with a large steam plume moving to the south-southeast visible in webcam imagery on Saturday.
A volcanic cloud is reported to extend up to 90 miles east from Shishaldin, located on Unimak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Shishaldin is one of the most actives volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc — with 24 confirmed eruptions since 1775.
In April and May of 1999, an eruption at Shishaldin generated an ash column reaching 45,000 ft. about sea level.
Courtesy of ktuu.com
Sernageomin has raised the alert level to Orange for the first time since 2015 due to escalating seismic tremor and a more turbulent lava lake (present in some form since late 2014). Although fairly unlikely, it is possible that a repeat of the March 2015 paroxysmal event could soon occur if there is a similar trend in activity. An exclusion zone of 2km is in force.
Courtesy of volcanodiscovery.com