Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The oldest volcano in Europe, Mount Etna, is sliding into the sea

You are sliding on a very slight slope, between 1º and 3º. This is possible because it sits on a platform of weak and malleable sediments, however there is no need to be alarmed. One team conducted laboratory experiments to illustrate what is happening.

A group of scientists led by the UK were published in the Volcanology Bulletin. They assured that this may cause risks in the area in the future, so an exhaustive control of the situation is necessary,

Their discoveries determined that its entire structure, found on the Italian island of Sicily, is slowly approaching the Mediterranean at a rate of 14 millimeters per year. To a human, a movement of 14 millimeters per year (which in 100 years would be 1.4 meters) may seem negligible.

The Open University geologist has studied this volcano, the largest in Europe, for almost half a century. They installed a network of highly accurate GPS stations around the mountain to study its behavior.

These tools are sensitive to millimeter changes in the shape of the volcano cone. Murray said that, after 11 years, today it is obvious that the mountain is moving in an East-South-East direction towards the coastal town of Giarre, which is about 15 kilometers away.

Scientists believe that it is the first time that the landslide of the foundations of an active volcano has been observed directly.

But geological investigations in various parts of the world have shown that volcanoes with this tendency can suffer catastrophic failure on the main lateral during their descent. This can lead to landslides.

Murray and his colleagues noted that such consequences are very rare and that it can take centuries and even thousands of years before there is a gravity scenario.

The team said there is no evidence that this will happen to Mount Etna and residents of the area need not worry.

What must be controlled in the short term is the confusion that this displacement can generate in the daily assessment of the volcano.

Scientists see signs that an eruption is about to occur as magma rises and warps the mountain.

The researchers will have to take into account the landslide of the volcano to be able to assess these possible eruptions.

IMAGE SOURCE, Sicilia.info

Mount Etna is located near the eastern coast of Sicily.

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