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News of volcanic eruptions in the world continues one after another, so what is happening?

News of volcanic eruptions in the world continues one after another, so what is happening?

Recent days have witnessed several volcanic eruptions in remote areas of the world. Therefore, it is important to emphasize that there is no connection between these eruptions, as each of them is an independent volcanic system, far from each other. It cannot be said that the number of volcanic eruptions is increasing, it is simply the way the Earth works, now all information comes faster – not even a volcanic eruption can occur without us knowing the news of the event immediately.


Volcanic activity has been occurring on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland since last Wednesday, which is the fifth activity since mid-December, and the most intense ever. The initial amount of 1,500 to 2,000 cubic meters of magma reaching the surface per second has now decreased to fifty cubic metres, but this is still much greater than what could be experienced in the past. So far, thirty million cubic meters of lava have spewed out in less than a week, which is not much less than more than a month from the previous volcanic eruption.

Basalt magma erupts to the surface in two eruption centers, and lava flows in three directions. At the moment, the town of Grindavik is not in danger, but if the intensity of the eruption continues, there could be problems. The surface has shifted strongly during previous eruptions, and slope conditions have changed, affecting the spread of lava. Most of it accumulates around the eruption centers, and from there it can descend very quickly in any direction.

The Blue Lagoon, a popular tourist centre, has reopened with the confidence that if something goes wrong, they will be able to quickly move guests back. This can happen if a tongue of lava moves westward, potentially cutting it off from Reykjavik, but there is also a serious risk if air movement carries volcanic gases into the atmosphere there. Life must continue to carry out its functions, but this requires constant monitoring of volcanic eruptions occurring a few kilometers away. So there are examples of this in the 21st century, we are in a new era, and many people are taking risks.

Hawaii, Philippines

Meanwhile, there is volcanic activity again on the Big Island of Hawaii. Half an hour after midnight local time, the ground opened up after a relatively short, powerful earthquake that lasted a few hours. The location is surprising, as it is located just a few kilometers south of Kilauea Caldera, where there has been no volcanic activity since December 1974.

Also local time, a volcanic eruption occurred in the Philippines, where the Canlaon volcano erupted during the night. It was last active in 2017 and usually has only minor eruptions. The ash cloud resulting from the eruption rose to a height of five kilometers, and residents of surrounding settlements were quickly evacuated.

The author is a volcanologist, corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, university professor, director of the Institute (ELTE TTK Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences Department of Geology and Geochemistry), and head of a research group (HUN-REN-ELTE Volcanology Research Group), the Tűzhanyó blog Its author.

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