Mount Edgecumbe Volcano Magma Moved Upward Through Earth’s Crust, Study Shows



According to the study, Mount Edgecumbe’s magma was found to be moving upward in the Earth’s crust. The researcher employed a new method leading to the earlier detection of volcanic activity in Alaska.

Mount Edgecumbe from afar is mesmerizing and magnificent. The long-dormant volcano has been a wonderful sight.

United States Geological Survey explained that Mount Edgecumbe is with 3202 ft (976m) stratovolcano, standing on Kruzof Island and west of Sitka, Alaska.

Meanwhile, the Alaska Volcano Observatory explained that Captain James Cook named Mount Edgecumbe in 1778. The Volcano Observatory added that Mount Edgecumbe’s basal shield has 35 cubic km of andesite lava slows, breccias, and basaltic andesite.

The United States Geological Survey explained that 13,000 to 14,500 years ago, Mount Edgecumbe erupted at least one widespread ash in Sitka and Kruzof Island. Moreover, the report added that a swarm of small earthquakes emerged and were detected in the said volcano on April 11, 2022, showing hundreds of small quakes.

Further analysis showed that the Mouth Edgecumbe’s small earthquakes under the volcano started in 2020. The prognosis revealed that earthquakes could be associated with the magma movements beneath the volcano.

Moreover, the USGS explained that if the magma rose closer to the surface, it could result in earthquake activity.

New research findings of the UAF Geophysical Institute and U.S. Geological Survey about Mount Edgecumbe were published in Geophysical Research letters.

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The researchers started observing Mount Edgecumbe after the reported swarm of small earthquakes detected in the volcano in April 2022, analyzing the volcano’s seven years of ground deformation.

Magma activity in the volcano


(Photo : by Alaska State Troopers via Getty Images) Alaska State Troopers and the  U.S. Geological Survey measured the water level at the flooded Yukon River.

The study’s lead author Ronni Grapenthin explained that the activity in Edgecumbe was unusual. He said that the dormant volcano’s reactivation was rarely observed, noting that the eruption of the said volcano is not imminent. Grapenthin is an associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

According to the study, they found that the magma beneath Mount Edgecumbe showed to be rising by about six miles from the volcano’s dept of 12 miles, causing volcanic tremors and noticeable surface deformation. The researchers employed computer modeling for analysis based on the available satellite imagery.

David Fee explained that new streamlined cloud-based workflows helped to save weeks to months of analysis. The process resulted in just days. Fee is also a coordinating scientist for the e Alaska Volcano Observatory.

The team’s collaboration analyzing the volcano, including the Alaska Volcano Observatory, Alaska Satellite Facility, and additional Geophysical Institute unit, helped expedite the process using cloud remote computing servers. The process managed to save days in downloading and sorting the available data.

No imminent signs

Furthermore, the researchers noted that the new magma appears to reach the volcano’s upper part, adding that the new magma intrusion was revealed to be occurring for almost three years.

On the contrary, the study found new deformation and intrusion of new magma. Although deformation emerges without any signs of the volcano’s seismic activity, the researchers noted that the ground uplift should be an indicator to monitor. It would help to detect volcanic activity or unrest in the future, noting that the ground activity of the volcano is an indicator.

Furthermore, it also explained that there could be signs of volcanic unrest, such as more deformation present and seismic activities that would tell for a future eruption. However, Mount Edgecumbe does have any sign of an imminent eruption.

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