This evening the Sakurajima volcano in Japan had an average sized eruption. But nothing was average about what locals saw thereafter! Lightning could be seen coming from the lava and from behind the dark smoke. A study in the journal Science indicated that electrical charges are generated when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in a volcanic plume collide and produce static charges. These static charges create a lightning bolt. A lightning bolt is nature’s way of balancing the distance between negatively charged and positively charged objects. Lightning is the electrical flow that results when this charge separation becomes too great for air to resist the flow of electricity.
For the first time in history scientists have descended 650 feet into the magma chamber of a volcano. These incredible images show one explorer gently lowering himself into the heart of the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano in Iceland. When it last erupted 3000 years ago, superheated molten rock from the depths of the Earth’s crust spewed from this magma chamber to help create the Atlantic island we call Iceland. Since then, it has been known as the “sleeping volcano.”
Only now – 50 years since the first man went into space – have human beings visited the only magma chamber on the planet currently safe to explore.
The team were made up of two scientists and 15 support staff, including expert mountaineers accompanied by a film crew and a photographer to document the historic event. By physically visiting a magma chamber the scientists were able to learn valuable lessons about the complicated plumbing system of the volcano as they looked to draw comparisons with how the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted. Last March Eyjafjallajokull caused global chaos when it erupted, grounding aeroplanes and leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded.
A new vent has opened at one of the world’s most active volcanoes, sending lava shooting up to 65 feet high, scientists at Kilauea volcano said Sunday.
The massive eruption began when the floor of the Pu’u O’o crater collapsed, making way for the lava to come out. The spectacle was incredible, and according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, this is a very exciting moment in every scientist’s life, especially if they can see it from the very start. Although at the beginning lava receded rapidly, after the eruption which took place at around 5pm local time on Saturday, it seemed to have slowed on Sunday.
Although more than 150 small earthquakes have been recorded in the last 24 hours, no homes in the area are under threat. Furthermore, according to the scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the volcano could have erupted without a notice, thus posing a threat to the visitors or to the hikers, who were around in the area. They went on saying that lethal concentrations of sulphur dioxide gas were present in the area, but they did no harm. Given the recent eruption, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has closed Chain of Craters Road alongside with the entire rift zone and coastal trials, as well as the Kulanaokuaiki campground. These areas are closed until further notice.
For those who don’t know, the Kilauea Volcano has been one of the most active volcanoes in the world, given that it is continually erupting since the 3rd of January, 1983. According to scientists, pictures of the volcano can be seen at the U.S. Geological Survey’s website, where pictures are constantly uploaded, given there is a webcam which functions constantly.
You can learn more about the volcano eruption by checking out these sites:
The Shinmoedake volcano is widely known to an international audience. For James Bond fans, it’s known as the secret volcano base of Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld. However, for the Japanese, Shinmoedake is best known as the volcano that’s erupting right now. Shinmoedake volcano, in the Kirishima mountain range on the southwestern island of Kyushu, is currently erupting in violent fashion after waking up last week. Experts believe this may be the biggest eruption of Shinmoedake since 1716. After 300 years, the Shinmoedake volcano is waking up.
In a lot of ways, this has been a big year for volcanic activity, and this seems to be increasing. Shinmoedake is causing a lot of problems for the Japanese. There are Europe-style travel disruptions, Indonesia-style evacuations (1000 people & growing as the risk increases), and the very real fear of lava erupting from the long-quiet peak. This is looking like the real deal, and something to be worried about if you’re planning on traveling to Japan (or live there).