A team of researchers from the US Geological Survey and the University of Oregon found evidence that in Mauna Kea over the last 19 years there have been more than a million deep earthquakes with long periods (DLP). This was reported by the journal Science.
Mauna Kea is classified as a dormant shield volcano. It is located on the Big Island of Hawaii, rising to a height of more than 4,200 meters. Recently, it became known that local residents of the Hawaiian Islands are actively protesting against a telescope near this peak. And this despite the fact that the volcano did not erupt for 4500 years and was considered dead.
But the volcano is not completely dead: the researchers found that deep below its peak the volcano produces a large number of earthquakes at regular rates for a very long time, and this lasts at least 19 years.
The find was completely random: the scientists tested the algorithm developed for earthquake monitoring and decided to test it on Mauna Kea. When they used the seismic data of the volcano, the algorithm showed that the volcano has been generating an earthquake every 7-12 minutes at a depth of approximately 25 kilometers since at least 1999. This represents more than a million earthquakes in the last two decades.
Researchers have noted that until recently, earthquakes emanating from volcanoes were cause for unrest, as they were often the forerunners of eruptions. But in the case of Mauna Kea, the seismic data indicated something else – gas rising from pools of slowly cooling magma leads to an increase in pressure, which ultimately destroys the rock around it, causing small earthquakes, most of which do not exceed 1, 5 points.
Scientists think that the activity of earthquakes beneath other volcanoes is probably underestimated and more common, so no need to worry. Such earthquakes do not lead to an eruption. And just to the destruction of rocks.