Published On: Sun, Aug 18th, 2019

Kilauea volcano: Steaming water discovered at volcano summit could trigger explosion | World | News

Kilauea Volcano caused chaos for a small portion of Hawaii’s Big Island from May to August 2018, when the active volcano spewed cubic tonnes of lava. The volcano is one of the most active in Hawaii and has regularly erupted for hundreds of years. Currently, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is keeping track of the volcano, and haven’t predicted any impending eruptions. What they have noted, however, is that steaming water is steadily pooling at the volcano’s summit.

What is the water pooling at Kilauea’s summit?

In their latest August update, the USGS noted water has started to pool at the Kilauea summit around the Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

They wrote: “Currently there are two small puddles that began forming on July 25, 2019, and August 1, 2019.

“These puddles continue to slowly expand and deepen.”

READ MORE: Hawaii evacuation: Thousands flee as brush fire rages in Maui

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists with the USGS said the steadily deepening water is either the result of rainfall or groundwater at the site.

Since experts have detected no heavy rain at the site, they believe the latter option is the most likely cause of the slowly filling lagoon.

They wrote: “The local water table, below which rocks are saturated with water, is at an elevation of about 590 metres, as measured in a deep hole drilled in 1973 about 800 metres south of Halemaʻumaʻu.

“The elevation of the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu is about 520 metres, 70 metres lower than the nearby water table.”

READ MORE: Earthquake today: Katla, Etna, Kilauea and Mount St Helens rumble 

“Before the 2018 collapse of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit, geophysical data suggest that the water table near Halemaʻumaʻu was at about the same elevation as in the drill hole, but it was apparently drawn down during the collapse.

“The water table is likely recovering now, and as it rises, water inundates low areas such as the crater floor.”

While the rising water itself indicates the volcano is still dormant, the depth of the pool could determine potential hazards in the future.

The report goes on to explain another summit eruption at Kilauea could become “explosive”.

READ MORE: Mauna Loa volcano: Experts raise threat level after earthquake swarm

They said: “The total thickness of the water body impacts potential hazards.

“A mere puddle would scarcely affect the next summit eruption.

“But, if rising magma had to penetrate several tens of metres of water, an explosive scenario that has played out in the past could repeat.”

The result could turn a lava ‘fountain’ – a spout of lava from within the volcano – into a powerful explosion.

Source link

Most Popular News