Thanks to the advancements in our modern technology, we are now able to predict when a volcano is about to erupt. Experts are now able to accurately predict an imminent volcanic eruption with the help of some instruments and by studying the volcano’s history.
Studying the clues and warning signs of an imminent volcanic eruption can save thousands of lives and prevent human loss. It also helps that by looking at the signs of an impending volcanic eruption government authorities are now able to create an adequate evacuation plan for the people who live within the vicinity of a volcano that is bound to erupt.
Before An Eruption
Volcanoes always show some activity that indicates it is about to erupt. When there is an imminent volcanic eruption, the volcano causes an increase in earthquakes and tremors, especially within its vicinity.
The magma causes these tremors pushed upward to the surface. The magma pushes upward through the rock found under the volcano — these results to earthquakes and tremors that can cause the ground to crack open. Steam and gases like carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide are released through these cracks in the field.
When a volcano erupts, the gases that are dissolved by the molten rock are pushed upwards to the surface and released into the air. They will escape through different places in a volcano such as a vent or cracks on its slope. These gases are highly pressurized when they were still under the earth, but as magma rises towards the surface, the pressure also decreases which causes the gases to form bubbles.
Another sign of an imminent volcanic eruption is lava or molten rock flowing out of a volcano like a stream. This also indicates that a volcanic eruption has already started. It’s important to note, however, that lava flow doesn’t necessarily need an explosive eruption.
But when there is indeed an explosive eruption, lava is sure to spew out of the volcano. Lava is scorching, and it will destroy everything on its path. Depending on its thickness and the terrain, lava will either flow fast or slow.
Another sign that a volcano is about to erupt is a volcanic landslide. When this happens, large amounts of rock and soul from the side and slopes of the volcano break loose and fall. Depending on the speed of the landslide, rocks falling down the volcano can be small or incredibly large. Volcanic landslides can destroy its path and can sometimes change the geographical terrain of an area.
A pyroclastic flow is caused by the explosion of molten or solid rock inside a volcano. This is a combination of heated gases and extremely hot rock which can flow out of the volcanic vent at a very high speed.
A pyroclastic flow often comes in two different parts: fast-flowing fragments and hot gases. This can destroy everything in its wake because of the extreme heat. Pyroclastic flows also tend to follow the terrain of the area and can flow through a valley quickly.
An eruption often causes volcanic ash. But experts are using volcanic ash as a clue for predicting when a volcano is about to erupt. A volcano also releases volcanic ash just like gases into the air and fall like rain. The wind usually spreads volcanic ash. Strong winds can cause volcanic ash to scatter for hundreds of miles. It’s quite easy to tell if the air has volcanic ash because of its sulfur smell. Sometimes a volcano releases too much volcanic ash into the air which causes the sky to turn black or gray. They can also quickly pile up on the roofs of homes and buildings.