Hexbyte Glen Cove Volcanic ash cloud closes La Palma airport; new vent emerges thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Volcanic ash cloud closes La Palma airport; new vent emerges

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Two people walk as lava spews from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain in the early hours of Saturday Sept. 25, 2021. A volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands is keeping nerves on edge several days since it erupted, producing loud explosions, a huge ash cloud and cracking open a new fissure that spewed out more fiery molten rock. The prompt evacuations are credited with helping avoid casualties but scientists say the lava flows could last for weeks or months. Credit: AP Photo/Daniel Roca

The airport on the Spanish island of La Palma shut down Saturday because of an ash cloud spewing out of a volcano that has been erupting for a week, and scientists said another volcanic vent opened up, exposing islanders to possible new dangers.

The intensity of the eruption that began Sept. 19 has increased in recent days, prompting the evacuation of three additional villages on the island, part of Spain’s Canary Islands archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off northwest Africa. Almost 7,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes.

The recent volcanic eruption is the first since 1971 on La Palma, which has a population of 85,000.

La Palma Airport operator Aena said the was “inoperative” due to the accumulation of ash. Other airports in the Canary Islands were still operating Saturday but some airlines were suspending flights, Aena said.

Emergency crews pulled back from the volcano Friday as explosions sent molten rock and ash over a wide area. The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said another vent opened early Saturday.

Rivers of lava have been sliding down the mountainside toward the southwestern coast of the island, destroying everything in their path, including hundreds of homes. The speed of the flow has slowed down considerably, however, and the lava is now barely moving forward, with about 2 kilometers left to reach the sea, said Miguel Ángel Morcuende, head of the Canary Island Volcanic Emergency Plan.

  • Vehicles are covered by ashes from a volcano eruption at the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
  • Lava spews from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain in the early hours of Saturday Sept. 25, 2021. A volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands is keeping nerves on edge several days since it erupted, producing loud explosions, a huge ash cloud and cracking open a new fissure that spewed out more fiery molten rock. The prompt evacuations are credited with helping avoid casualties but scientists say the lava flows could last for weeks or months. Credit: AP Photo/Daniel Roca
  • Lava flows in an eruption on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. A volcano on the small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the eruption and its aftermath could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
  • Residents look from a hill as lava continues to flow from an erupted volcano, on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. A volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands continues to produce explosions and spew out lava, five days after it erupted. Two rivers of lava continue to slide slowly down the hillside of La Palma on Friday. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
  • Lava spews from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain in the early hours of Saturday Sept. 25, 2021. A volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands is keeping nerves on edge several days since it erupted, producing loud explosions, a huge ash cloud and cracking open a new fissure that spewed out more fiery molten rock. The prompt evacuations are credited with helping avoid casualties but scientists say the lava flows could last for weeks or months. Credit: AP Photo/Daniel Roca
  • Lava from a volcano eruption flows on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool
  • Lava from a volcano eruption flows on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool
  • Lava from a volcano eruption flows on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool
  • Lava from a volcano eruption surrounds a house on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool
  • Lava from a volcano eruption engulfs houses on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool

“I don’t dare to tell you when it’s going to get there, nor do I dare to make a forecast,” Morcuende told reporters in a news conference.

A more immediate concern for the residents of La Palma is the huge that is rising from the volcano and being carried by the wind to other parts of the island. In addition to being a significant danger to aviation, he said volcanic ash can cause damage to people’s airways, lungs and eyes. The local government has urged residents in affected areas to avoid going outside and only do so wearing masks and goggles.



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Volcanic ash cloud closes La Palma airport; new vent emerges (2021, September 25)
retrieved 26 September 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-volcanic-ash-cloud-la-palma.html

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part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Once again, volcanic Caribbean island looks to recovery thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Once again, volcanic Caribbean island looks to recovery

Hexbyte Glen Cove

In this 1902 photo provided by York Museums Trust, men survey the devastation of the landscape following eruptions of La Soufrière, a volcano on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. On April 9, 2021, La Soufriere once again started spewing hot torrents of gas, ash and rock, forcing thousands to evacuate to government-run shelters and private homes. (Tempest Anderson/York Museums Trust via AP)

A group of nervous fish sellers got very close to La Soufrière, the volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, on the morning of May 7, 1902.

“The top of the mountain was covered in mist, and the foremost of them followed the path up to the base of the summit cone,” according to a written account of their experience. “Some went up to quite near the lip of the crater, or possibly even to the actual edge. What they saw there was enough to dismay the stoutest hearts.″

The volcano was about to erupt explosively, devastating swathes of the island. Last week, La Soufrière once again started spewing hot torrents of gas, ash and rock, forcing thousands to evacuate to government-run shelters and private homes.

Things look bleak, even if there are no reported casualties. Crops, fishing and other livelihoods are in peril. The pandemic was already battering the economy, including tourism. Still, regional aid is arriving, the United Nations plans to help, and the 1902 catastrophe is a reminder that St. Vincent recovered from massive eruptions in the past.

Recovery this time could take years, requiring sustained support from around the Caribbean and beyond, said Jenni Barclay, a volcanology professor at the University of East Anglia in Britain who co-authored a study on the impact, relief and response of the 1902-3 eruptions.

“The most important thing is making effective use of the resources that they do have, some of the resources that are actually just the ingenuity and the resilience of the people on the island,” Barclay said.

St. Vincent is the biggest of the islands forming St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which gained independence from Britain in 1979 and has a population of about 110,000. In 1902, the warnings of the fish sellers who experienced the volcano up close—the thick steam, the scorched vegetation, the sulfurous smell, the constant shaking—were at first dismissed.

″They were received with incredulity, and when they came to Georgetown they were scoffed at as fools and cowards,″ according to an account of the disaster commissioned by the Royal Society of London and published in 1903. The authors were Tempest Anderson, an ophthalmologist deeply interested in volcanoes, and geologist John Flett.

The names of the fish sellers are not included in the report about what happened on St. Vincent, where a white minority dominated a population that included the descendants of Indigenous inhabitants and enslaved Africans.

In this 1902 photo provided by York Museums Trust, the seared landscape is seen following the eruptions of La Soufrière, a volcano on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. The 1902 catastrophe is a reminder that St. Vincent recovered from massive eruptions in the past. (Tempest Anderson/York Museums Trust via AP)

Clouds and a poor line of sight to the volcano top from the sugar cane plantations and places like Georgetown on the eastern side of St. Vincent contributed to uncertainty about what was happening. To the west, people had no doubt. They prepared to flee while watching an enormous column of vapor billow into a mushroom-shaped cloud, accompanied by showers of black, heavy material, and lightning and thunder.

(On April 8 of this year, the government ordered an evacuation of the 20,000 people living in the northern “red zone″ near La Soufrière following increasing volcanic and seismic activity. The started the next day).

In the 1902 climax, a ″Great Black Cloud″ raced down the volcano’s slopes, swept over homes and farms and surged out to sea, raining scalding ash, stones and sulfurous fumes on boats of people rowing furiously away.

On the east of St. Vincent, plantation workers gazed in amazement as the implacable black curtain descended toward them, then rushed indoors or died in the open. At Orange Hill, dozens crammed into a rum cellar.

″One man stood by the door holding it ajar, to admit any who fled from the huts in the village. Forty were in the cellar, and all were saved. Thirty were in the passage leading into the cellar, and they were all killed,″ Anderson and Flett wrote.

An estimated 1,600 people died, though that cataclysm was eclipsed by eruptions, the worst on May 8, at Mount Pelée on the nearby French-held island of Martinique. At least 29,000 people died there.

Most of St. Vincent’s casualties were in the east, possibly and partly because workers on large plantations were less able to make an independent decision to flee, according to the study that Barclay co-authored.

La Soufrière’s continuing explosions hampered British-led recovery efforts for months, said the study, published in 2018. The eruptions accelerated the decline of the sugar industry, but other commodities recovered within a year or two, it said. New plants, including cacao, nutmeg and coffee, were introduced. Experimentation led to agricultural innovation.

The volcanic ash, which then and now spread as far as Barbados, about 110 miles (180 kilometers) away, nourished the soil. On Sunday, the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies posted a photo of St. Vincent coconut trees, fronds drooping under ash.

In this 1902 photo provided by York Museums Trust, residents are seen outside their home following explosive eruptions of La Soufrière volcano, in Chateaubelair, St. Vincent. Most of St. Vincent’s casualties from the volcano in 1902 were in the east, possibly and partly because workers on large plantations were less able to make an independent decision to flee, according to Jenni Barclay, a volcanology professor. (Tempest Anderson/York Museums Trust via AP)

″The impact on vegetation is devastating in the short term but beneficial in the long term,″ the group said.

The British navy delivered aid in 1902. The USS Dixie also brought relief, along with scientists and newspaper correspondents. In an account of the eruption build-up, The Boston Globe reported ”a noise like the monster guns of the world’s navy in perpetual action.”

In recent days, a navy ship from Venezuela, a nation long in the grip of shortages, delivered water and other supplies to St. Vincent. Caribbean island nations are sending aid.

The 1902 and 2021 eruptions are ”possibly on a par” in power and intensity, but it’s difficult to make a ”direct comparison” because a deep crater lake existed at the time of the earlier one, Barclay said.

When flowing magma hit the lake, vaporization created ”a huge additional extra energy and it generated pyroclastic density currents that were very fast-moving and deadly, early on in the eruptive sequence,” she said.

Daniel Defoe, author of ″Robinson Crusoe,″ is the purported writer of an account of an explosive eruption at La Soufrière in 1718, when Indigenous inhabitants effectively controlled the island. An 1812 eruption killed dozens, mostly enslaved Black people. Prior to this month, the last big eruption was during Easter 1979, causing mass evacuations but no deaths.

La Soufrière’s history could inform St. Vincent’s residents as they recover. In the meantime, unlike their ancestors, they are getting continual updates and guidance.

On Wednesday, emergency officials warned people not to play in covering St. Vincent. The ash contains tiny shards of rock and glass.

“Though ash may fall like snow,” they said, ”it is deadly.″



© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
Once again, volcanic Caribbean island looks to recovery (2021, April 17)
retrieved 18 April 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-volcanic-caribbean-island-recovery.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Small volcanic lakes tapping giant underground reservoirs thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Small volcanic lakes tapping giant underground reservoirs

Hexbyte Glen Cove

In its large caldera, Newberry volcano (Oregon, U.S.) has two small volcanic lakes, one fed by volcanic geothermal fluids (Paulina Lake) and one by gases (East Lake). These popular fishing grounds are small windows into a large underlying reservoir of hydrothermal fluids, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) with minor mercury (Hg) and methane into East Lake.

What happens to all that CO2 after it enters the bottom waters of the , and how do these volcanic gases influence the lake ecosystem? Some lakes fed by volcanic CO2 have seen catastrophic CO2 degassing during lake overturn (“limnic eruptions”; e.g., Lake Nyos, Cameroon). Could East Lake be a simmering “American lake Nyos”? East Lake went through a short “gas alert” in summer 2020, with strong H2S smells spreading over the caldera region.

Six Wesleyan University undergraduate/graduate students and their advisor set out to measure CO2 fluxes at East Lake each summer between 2015 and 2019.

East Lake accumulates CO2 below its winter ice cover, which is released again in abundance during ice melting and subsequently during the summer months. They also proposed that the East Lake ecosystem is largely driven by its volcanic inputs: CO2, nutrients like phosphorus and trace metals, with the fixed nitrogen nutrient largely provided by local cyanobacteria.

The outside world only adds sunshine to make this organic matter factory go! Their study illustrates how the lake CO2 reservoir renews itself over the seasons, and East Lake is unlikely to have catastrophic gas releases. Variations in CO2 flux can be used for volcano monitoring once the seasonal flux trends related to lake processes are understood.



More information:
H.D. Brumberg et al. Volcanic carbon cycling in East Lake, Newberry Volcano, Oregon, USA, Geology (2021). DOI: 10.1130/G48388.1

Citation:
Small volcanic lakes tapping giant underground reservoirs (2021, March 5)
retrieved 6 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-small-volcanic-lak

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