Tiny Volcanic Crystals Could Save Lives by Predicting Eruptions

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 - 11:49AM
Science News
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 - 11:49AM
Tiny Volcanic Crystals Could Save Lives by Predicting Eruptions
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Image credit: YouTube



The crystals, which are created when magma starts to move toward the Earth's surface, are especially fascinating because they continue to grow and change composition during their transportation to the surface.

 

"They effectively 'record' the processes that happen deep in the volcano right before the eruption starts," University of Queensland volcanologist and lead study author Dr. Teresa Ubide said. "We've found by studying these crystals in a specific volcano that, when new magma arrives at depth, up to 90% of the time it can trigger an eruption, and within only two weeks."



Recently, rising magma beneath New England has fueled speculation that a volcano might be forming, challenging long-held geological rules for how the continents that we live on are supposed to behave. The upwelling is reportedly pretty small though, tantamount to the rising of hot air, and likely would not become an issue for millions of years.



In other volcanic news, an ancient Aztec map of the universe was found on Mexico's Iztaccihuatl volcano in the form of a stone sanctuary.

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