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Unusual Chile volcano activity sparks interest, worries

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posted on Dec, 14 2016 @ 07:56 PM
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Environment | Tue Dec 13, 2016 | 9:07pm EST
Unusual Chile volcano activity sparks interest, worries


By Antonio De la Jara and Rosalba O'Brien | LAGUNA DEL MAULE, Chile

A "unique" burst of activity at a little-known volcanic complex near the Chile-Argentina border has attracted the interest of international scientists and led worried governments to plan for a potentially devastating eruption.

The volcanic field at the Laguna del Maule, located in central Chile near the Argentine border, has risen around two meters (6.5 feet) since 2007, undergoing "uplift" at a rate and consistency that is unprecedented in recent history, scientists said.

That likely means magma is exerting pressure on the Earth's crust in a zone where evidence indicates that explosive eruptions have happened repeatedly in the last few thousand years, though none in modern times.

If such an eruption were to happen at Maule today, it would have the potential to devastate nearby hydroelectric projects, and pump out ash that could wipe out crops across Argentina's pampas and severely disrupt global air traffic.

"We have so little experience with this kind of data, but the uplift is the biggest seen anywhere on the planet," said Bradley Singer, a geoscientist from the U.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is leading an international research effort to understand what is happening under the surface.

"No-one has a seen a signal this large and this persistent. And it's in an area with an explosive record."

Scientists emphasize that it is impossible to know if or when Maule will blow again and how large any eruption would be.
...

www.reuters.com...

The volcanic field at the Laguna del Maule has been showing strange signs of reactivation since 2007, and since then it has risen by 6.5 feet, which is unprecedented in recent history.

This volcanic complex is showing signs that magma is exerting pressure. If it does blow up it would be catastrophic for Argentina since the ash would wipe out all harvests across Argentina's pampas, and would devastate hydroelectric projects. It would also disrupt global air traffic.

Geoscientists are monitoring this area trying to understand what is happening.

Bradley Singer, a geoscientist from the U.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison is leading an international team and are monitoring this event since it is the largest they have seen anywhere on the planet.

According to Singer:


...
"No-one has a seen a signal this large and this persistent. And it's in an area with an explosive record."
...
"We must not be alarmist...but it is showing signs of reactivation, it is like a cardiac patient who must be monitored very closely," said Patricia Sruoga of Argentina's geological service Segemar, during a visit to the zone with other scientists to learn more about the complex and the latest research findings.
...

www.reuters.com...




posted on Dec, 14 2016 @ 08:15 PM
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Any major ash output will likely confine itself to the Southern Hemisphere.

The big question is not so much how much of the local crops will be destroyed but how the crops will go for the rest of the Southern Hemisphere.

If it was big enough, it could have an affect on world food availability.

P



posted on Dec, 14 2016 @ 10:09 PM
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a reply to: pheonix358

If it does explode the entire supply of Argentina and other countries in south America will lose their harvests. The pampas are fertile lowlands that cover more than 750,000 km2(289,577 sq mi) and it includes "the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba; most of Uruguay; and the southernmost Brazilian State, Rio Grande do Sul.

So an explosion from this active area would devastate harvests in several south American countries, which would have to depend on imports to get their food supplies. Since such an explosion would also disrupt the global air traffic, it would make it more difficult for these areas to get their food supplies flown there, and would have to depend on merchant ships from other areas of the world.

Let's hope it does not explode.


edit on 14-12-2016 by ElectricUniverse because: correct comment.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 12:25 AM
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Thanks for bringing this here. This sent me on a pretty wild goose chase, since I am quite interested in such things. I managed to track down the associated observatory agency, and learned quite a bit more about this volcanic complex from the wiki article on it as well:

en.wikipedia.org...(volcano)

It appears this beast is overdue for an eruption, by over 1000 years. And considering it has the highest inflation rate on the planet, even more, vastly more, than Unturunco in Bolivia, that is really saying something.

This thing has produced caldera forming eruptions (CFE), like three known ones in the past. CFE's are something modern humanity has yet to experience, and yeah, people better pray it does not happen. At 60 km from the volcano, ash was discovered 14 feet thick. So you can only imagine how thick it was say a few km from the volcano. And considering this volcano's composition is of the particularly nasty silicic type, andesite and rhyolite, that means explosive. Highly explosive.

Despite all that being said, the current volcanic alert level is at green, the lowest. No anomalous SO2 emissions have been detected recently, according to the observatory site (in Spanish).

www.sernageomin.cl...#



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 04:01 AM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

Thanks for the perspective on this!



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 08:30 AM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse


The volcanic field at the Laguna del Maule, located in central Chile near the Argentine border, has risen around two meters (6.5 feet) since 2007
...
"We have so little experience with this kind of data, but the uplift is the biggest seen anywhere on the planet," said Bradley Singer, a geoscientist from the U.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison


Man the way this guy is talking I feel like I should be fairly alarmed by this activity...


"We must not be alarmist...but it is showing signs of reactivation, it is like a cardiac patient who must be monitored very closely," said Patricia Sruoga of Argentina's geological service Segemar"


Oh.. nevermind.. they don't want anyone to be alarmed by this, I feel better now... /sarcasm



posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 12:07 AM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

Thanks for adding that information to the thread. This volcano would be really bad news if it explodes.



posted on Dec, 16 2016 @ 01:19 AM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse




Let's hope it does not explode.


Well, that goes without saying ... does it not. Especially in here where the subject matter is what it is.

P



posted on Dec, 20 2016 @ 09:50 AM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

I am sure you would have replied.. and on the assumption that this is one you're monitoring now.

Has there been any new activity that's worthy of reporting or is it still status quo?

..and btw.. Thank you for all that you do for this site, I appreciate the diligent and informative contributions you and the other members make in the Quake Watch thread et al.



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