Scientists Discover ‘Birthplace’ of World’s Most Active Volcano

Despite frequent eruptions, volcanologists misinterpreted the seismic data several times, erroneously thinking that the source of the volcano’s magma lay close to the surface area.

Scientists from Monash College in Australia believe they have finally discovered the true source of the magma that Kilauea, Earth’s  most active volcano   located in The hawaiian islands, has been spewing.

Previously, they regarded a shallow chamber situated 11 kilometres under the surface area to be the source for the frequent eruptions. However , recent research showed that the magma originated from a chamber located as deep as 100 kilometres  underground .

The previous evaluation was based on the seismic waves registered back in 2014, but upon studying the composition of the magma, the scientists noticed that the volcano’s “ heart” must lie much deeper. A closer look revealed that it contained fragments of rock and materials that can just be found in layers a few 90 kilometres below or lower.

To prove their results, scientists recreated the conditions that magma experiences at this kind of levels: temperatures above 1, 100C and pressure about 3 GPa, placing artificial rocks into the conditions to melt, according to the lead geologist Laura Miller.

In addition to the discovery, scientists recognized garnet, a crystal that forms in layers between 100 and 150 kms down, in Kilauea’s magma, meaning that its source had to lie very deep subterranean. The researchers’ discovery also shed light on how the Kilauea volcano came to be.

While originally it was thought to have been formed out of a good rock melted by the  emerging lava , now scientists believe it had been created following a shift from the Pacific tectonic plate nearly 300, 000 years ago which usually led to magma being forged out into the sea and eventually solidifying and creating the volcano on the surface.


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