Hidden in the water found on Hawaii’s Kilauea, it would mean that explosive eruptions

On Aug.1, scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory snapped this photo of the Kilauea Volcano, and the small green patch of water on the floor of the crater.
(S. Conway/USGS)

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which has only calmed down after a 30-year stint, the ports for a previously unknown patch of water in the lower part of the mountain, according to the u.s. Geological Survey. And it would have the potential to trigger explosive eruptions in the future.

A couple of weeks ago, a pilot flying over Kilauea, and saw a small green patch at the base of the volcano’s crater. The pilot alerted his friend to the escape, who then told his friend, Don Swanson, scientist emeritus at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which is part of the U. s. Geological Survey (USGS).

On Aug. 1, the scientists of the royal observatory of belgium, flew over the site and confirmed that what they were seeing was, in fact, is water. This is the first time that water has been found to exist in the volcano. [Photos: Fiery Lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano Erupts on Hawaii’s Big Island]

More recent observations have revealed that the patch of water is actually composed of three separate ponds, the largest of which is between 36 and 46 feet (11 to 14 ft) in width with an unknown depth, Swanson said.

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The ponds are likely to have formed from groundwater seeping in through cracks in the rocks, Swanson said. The last year has been great, the damage eruptionsled to the collapse of the floor of the crater at the summit of the volcano, the ngorongoro crater is over 1,000 feet (300 m) deeper than what it was before the eruption. With this new access to groundwater, the ponds are likely to continue to grow, ” he said.

“We have no reason to believe that the ponds do not fuse together and grow into something that might be big enough to be called a lake,” Swanson told Live Science. “This is under the assumption that there is no outbreak, it destroys it, of course.”

An explosion would evaporate the water, which could be taken as a steam cloud as well, ” he said. However, if this does not happen, and the pools continue to grow larger, they can lead to more explosive eruptions, such as the fast-rising magma can rapidly heat water into steam, Swanson said.

This steam would then expand, breaking the rock into tiny pieces of volcanic ash and throwing them in the air, ” he said. What’s more, as the molten rock was all filled up with gas and bubbles, they would also have to expand and then explode.

Both of the scenarios that could occur, and it is a combination of the two can also be created, ” he said.

“We don’t see anything in our control to data, which may indicate an eruption is imminent,” Swanson said. “We will certainly re-occur, there is almost no doubt about that.” Kilaeau, it is always stir-crazy, and the whole of its history, it has gone through periods of explosive and nonexplosive, slower and slower bursts. It was a relatively quieter for the last couple of hundred years of age.

“While the explosion potential is there, it is very unlikely that it’s going to be in the not too distant future, because of the lack of water in the lakes right now,” Swanson said. “What we’re talking about is based on a long-term,” or a few years prior to this one, it would be out of concern.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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