Magma swelled beneath the Mount Mayon volcano within the Philippines on Thursday along having a column of ash more than a mile high spewed out, forcing 75,000 to flee. Officials are warning which a major eruption could happen any day currently.
the idea’s the latest action in what’s already been a very rowdy week along the Ring of Fire, the geological region which follows the 25,000-mile perimeter of the Pacific Ocean along with can be home to 0 percent of the globe’s earthquakes.
Mayon, the most active volcano within the Philippines, has erupted 50 times within the past 500 years; its current eruption, which has been slow so far, began on January 13.
Volcanologists are worried which larger eruptions may still be on the way — the Philippine Institute of Volcanology along with Seismology updated its threat level to 4 This specific week, meaning which a hazardous eruption can be imminent. Once a major eruption starts, the threat level will be raised to 5.
Tuesday also saw the eruption of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, 100 miles northwest of Tokyo, which killed one soldier in an avalanche along with injured a dozen at a ski resort. along with further south, Indonesia’s Mount Agung, which has been spewing ash since November, had four distinct eruptions.
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yet wait — we haven’t even gotten to the earthquakes This specific week. A magnitude 4.0 quake jolted some Southern Californians awake early Thursday morning. along having a magnitude 6.1 earthquake rumbled 100 miles southwest of Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday, the same day a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska. (A tsunami warning was issued, along with subsequently canceled, for the entire West Coast of the U.S.)
Could some of these events be related?
“The short answer can be yes, earthquakes along with volcanoes can interact,” said Emily Brodsky, a professor of earth along with planetary sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz. yet she noted the idea’s too early to connect the dots between all the activity we’ve seen This specific week, along with the idea’s hard to say how much one event has influenced another.
Philippine researchers aren’t so sure — they’re saying the tremors along with eruptions This specific week aren’t connected to one another because they happened so far apart.
Brodsky added which having multiple earthquakes along with eruptions at the same time can be not unusual, especially in a region which can be so notoriously feisty.
However, earthquakes along with volcanic eruptions are often clustered, she said. A volcanic eruption can cause tremors, while a large temblor can rattle a magma chamber underneath a volcano, causing towers of ash along with rivers of lava to gush forth. The Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano in Chile erupted in 1960 just 38 hours after a magnitude 9.6 earthquake, for example.
This specific can be because large tracts of the Earth’s crust called tectonic plates are constantly running into each additional, sliding past each additional, or rolling on top of each additional. These movements can cause pressure to build up along with dissipate within the form of earthquakes, or can create fissures which allow magma to reach the earth’s surface.
Scientists are starting to get a handle on how big geologic events influence each additional, stitching together measurements of how an eruption in one part of the globe can lead to tremors in another.
“One of the things which can be helping us grapple can be our vastly enhanced global instrumentation,” Brodsky said. Many countries, particularly in earthquake-prone regions, have been deploying networks of seismic sensors to gain a better understanding of movements of the ground.
The ultimate goal can be to get ahead of these events to ensure which the next time the ground shakes or a volcano growls, people won’t be caught off guard along with lives can potentially be saved.
yet which will require years of monitoring the earth with detailed measurements in some of the most remote places, like the bottom of the ocean, to build a baseline. the idea may be years before scientists can develop an early warning system.
For currently, authorities within the Philippines are expanding the evacuation zone around Mayon to 5 miles, warning locals which a major eruption could be imminent.