(ORDO NEWS) — Identifying the risk of a volcanic eruption in time is as difficult as predicting an earthquake. Scientists have nevertheless been trying for a long time to find an answer to the question that would help save human lives. The latest discovery has been called the Holy Grail of volcanology.
Volcanologists stumbled upon crystals that arose inside the porous rock of the giant Kilauea in Hawaii. The formations were created when lava was exposed to temperatures well below normal in 1959. The processes proceeded so quickly that the crystals did not have the opportunity to grow. As a result, they became a kind of time capsule with details of what happened during the next release.
As part of the study, the scientists found that the crystals were oriented in a mysteriously sequential manner. Experts from Stanford noted that the objects could be created by a wave of magma, which determined the direction of crystals in the stream. They managed to simulate this process on a computer.
As it turned out, the unusual arrangement of the crystals was a consequence of the movement of magma in several different directions at once. So, one stream went on top of another. Scientists have dubbed the discovery the Holy Grail of volcanology, because thanks to it, one can draw conclusions about the characteristics of the giant without drilling it. In addition, eruptions can be predicted from the finds.
It used to be incredibly difficult and dangerous to explore Kilauea, as the volcano could wake up at any moment. In 2018, for example, a lava release destroyed half a thousand houses on the Big Island.
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