Crystals helped scientists predict the behavior of volcanoes

Researchers at Stanford University analyzed the location of olivine crystals that froze in lava after the eruption of Mount Kilauea. So scientists were able to find out the details of the processes taking place in the earth’s bowels – this information will help predict future eruptions.

The scientists explained that they had tried to create an algorithm to predict volcanic eruptions. However, many of the processes that might suggest this take place deep underground in lava tubes. After an eruption, any underground markers that might give clues to the explorers are destroyed in almost all cases.

Therefore, the researchers focused on olivine crystals studies, which formed during a violent eruption in Hawaii more than half a century ago. After that, researchers at Stanford University found a way to test computer models of magma flow, which they said could reveal more data about past eruptions and possibly help predict future ones.

Scientists note that based on these crystalline data, they can infer the flow’s quantitative characteristics before the eruption and learn about the processes that led to the eruption without drilling.

Millimeter-sized crystals were found in lava after the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii in 1959. Analysis of the crystals showed that they were oriented in a strange but consistent pattern, which, according to the Stanford researchers’ hypothesis, was formed by a wave inside the subsurface magma. Now they have completely modeled this process.

The researchers concluded that magma moves crystals like waves in the sea. During a volcanic eruption, liquid lava solidifies contact with cold air, and this process occurs so quickly that the crystals do not have time to adapt.

They concluded that the crystals’ unusual arrangement indicates the movement of magma in two directions at the same time, and one flow was above the other. That is, there was not one stable flow in the lava tube. The researchers speculate that the crystals’ location could help predict what happens inside the volcano and when it will erupt.

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