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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
The Mount Mayon volcano in Albay. Credit: @phivolcs_dost
Thousands of people have been forced into emergency shelters by an active volcano in the Philippines, with warnings a “hazardous eruption” could happen in days.
Officials raised the alert level around Mount Mayon in Albay province to critical after it spewed ash thousands of metres into the air and magma could be seen glowing in the crater.
The first “steam-driven eruption” started at around 5pm local time on 13 January, with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology recording an ash column 2,500 meters high.
Two further eruptions have since been recorded, with villagers reporting a sulphurous smell and rumbling sound.
In a statement, the institute said: “Mayon is exhibiting relatively high levels of unrest and that magma is at the crater and that a hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or even days.”
Residents have been urged to protect against inhaling the ash by wearing masks or covering their noses and mouths with damp cloths.
Given the increasing danger, officials have recommended that a “danger zone” of a 7km radius be enforced “due to the danger of rockfalls, landslides and sudden explosions or dome collapses that may generate hazardous volcanic flows”.
Deadly cold lava flows or “lahars” may also be triggered.
People living outside the danger zone have been warned to take precautions against potential roof collapses due to the weight of ash and rainfall.
Mayon last erupted in 2014, with lava flows forcing thousands of people to evacuate.
It was most deadly in February 1841, when 1,200 people were killed and lava buried a town.
Experts say it has been displaying abnormal behaviour since late last year.
Courtesy of Sky News
A new ice-cauldron has formed this week within the Öræfajökull volcano caldera, prompting the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) to raise the aviation color code for the volcano to yellow. The last eruptive episode of this volcano started in August 1727 and ended in May 1727. A pilot flying over the area took pictures of the cauldron Friday, November 17, 2017 and sent them to the Icelandic Meteorological Office. The cauldron is about 1 km (0.62 miles) in diameter and it reflects a recent increase in geothermal activity within the caldera.
“It seems that geothermal water has been slowly released from underneath the cauldron to the glacial river of the Kvíárjökull outlet-glacier (SE flank of Öræfajökull volcano),” IMO said. “A sulfur smell, associated with this water release, has been reported nearby Kvíárjökull since last week. Most of the water has probably already been released.” The office has also registered an increase in the seismic activity in the last few months, but it has been low for the past days.
Courtesy of watchers.news