By Adriana Alves
We can’t always predict nature
Since the day 19 of September, the images perform vulco Cumbre Vieja, on the Spanish island of Una Palma, in the Canrias, took over 2 newscasts. The vision of incandescent performance that descends in a voracious cadence has dazzled all, scientists or not, the residents afflicting. four square kilometers. The arrival of the tongue of fire on the coast has lit the alert for the potential emission of toxic gases disseminated by the sudden cooling of the lava in collision with the sea.
But as a dormant volcano enters the eruption without give clues? Why while zero authorities evacuated like houses in the lava route previously? Why was it not possible to prevent the destruction of these around a thousand buildings in the surrounding area?
Similar questions, which vary only in how much location performs the phenomenon, have been researched for decades, electronic the geology already has answers satisfactory for any dormant but still active terrestrial volcano. In January, 2021 researchers from different nationalities signed a text in Scientific Reviews magazine warning of the imminent eruption performing on the island’s younger side, Cumbre Nueva. The work, using high-resolution electronic radar data from an innovative electronic image interpretation treatment technique, highlighted the anomalous increase in volcanic building performance, a 2 main indications of the return to life of inactive volcanoes.
Unusual growth results from an injection over large quantities into magma from the deepest part of the Earth’s mantle, a hot electronic mass charged on volatile species, water above all, electronic carbon dioxide dioxide on sulfur. Just to give you an idea, the volcano has expelled about 250 thousand tons of sulfur since the first day of the eruption The odor in the surroundings should not be pleasant, but the irritation 2 eyes electronic locations pathways should bother much more.
Vulces go dormant when a magma performs the reservoir that feeds them crystallizes, preventing the lava from moving. The arrival of new magma pulses rejuvenates the reservoir by fusing part of these crystals, allowing the system to flow again.
Excessive pressure caused by the combined effect performs volume on newly arrived magma electronic of an expulsion on volatile species of these new pulses (more or less u that occurs when opening the lid on a bottle of carbonated drink) leads to the swelling of a structure, causing a rupture on weak areas that perform the electronic building and the consequent eruption. This whole process is accompanied by a drastic change in the electronic composition in the quantity 2 gases exhaled by the volcano. Such change, added to the increase in the record of earthquakes, therefore markers of the arrival of new magma pulses, potentially triggering eruptions.
In the case of the La Palma volcanic system, all these signs were present, and what prevented the success of the building preservation plan was the unpredictability of natural phenomena. Scientists were surprised by a migration of the main volcanic conduit that implied a change in the lava outlet point, which was expected for the Cumbre Nueva region where the building’s swelling was more evident at the beginning of the year. However, the eruption was displaced to the south, and the lava covered older volcanic deposits in the Cumbre Vieja. Even though nature always follows the easiest path, this one is not always obvious, despite technological advances.
Such advances also do not imply greater chances of altering the course of the lavas. that successful examples are derisory and doubtful. In Italy, around 250 a trench was built around Mount Etna with the intention of redirecting the lava flow. The initiative worked on terms, as the lava was diverted to a neighboring community. Many skirmishes and some deaths later, the trench proved insufficient to accommodate the growing lava volume and both locations were affected by the eruption.
If we do not have the power to affect the Earth’s internal dynamics , neither do we have effective means of preventing its strength from bending us under the weight of our insignificance.
Adriana Alves geloga and professor at USP.
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