Etna slides into the sea

Europe’s largest active volcano is slowly sliding into the sea. New research indicates that not only the southeastern flank of the Italian volcano is moving, but also the part under water. Scientists are concerned that the slow movements could intensify and cause a landslide, which in turn could trigger a massive tsunami.

Scientists acknowledge that Etna’s movements mean a higher risk of the volcano sliding into the sea than previously thought. However, all that can be done is to observe the volcano. There is no way to stop the slide of gory. Scientists also do not know whether the acceleration will take place over years, decades or centuries.

– We need to better understand how this transformation works and what factors cause the volcano to slide – said Morelia Urlaub, a cooauthor of the publication. The findings were published in the journal „Science Advances”.

Etna is the most restless volcano in Europe. Located on the eastern coast of Sicily. It is the highest and largest volcano on the continent. It currently has an elevation of 3340 meters n.p.m., But this figure is constantly changing. Scientists believe that Etna was formed around 500,000. years ago. The first recorded eruptions date back 3,500 years ago.

Scientists using satellite data and GPS measurements have observed that the southeastern flank of the volcano has been sliding seaward for at least 30 years. In March, researchers at The Open University in the UK reported that the slope had moved an average of about 1.5 each year between 2001 and 2012.

Researchers are not sure if this slow creep toward the sea is due to the movement of theoIn magma inside the volcano, are you gravitational forces at work. Etna continues to spew material onto its slopes, ktory falls in doł.

Part of the volcano’s base is in the sea. Its slopes lie below the coast of Sicily. Until now, no one has measured how this underwater part of Mount Etna moves. Researchers used a sensor network to do thisow installed on the seafloor and measured how sound moves from transponder to transponder. This allowed scientists to detect any changes in the seafloor.

It turned out that in just eight days last May, the underwater part of the volcano moved by 4 centimeters. The shift was not created by an earthquake. It was something like a slip. The area in whichorym scientists measured slippage is far from comor magma in the center of Mount Etna. Based on this, the researchers say that the movement was not caused by the movement of magma in the underground chambers of the volcano, but was the result of the inexorable forces of gravity, whichora pulls the entire slope in doł.

– From the recordoIn the geological we know that someore volcanoes have slid into the sea. This has certainly triggered huge tsunami waves. There is a danger of. We need to keep an eye on Etna – emphasized Urlaub. She also admitted that it is impossible to determine when the disaster might occur. The study of Etna has been going on for only a few decades. – More scrutiny is needed to detect if there are any changes in the way the slope is moving and to assess the risk of its collapse, she said.

SourceoSource: Live Science, The Independent, photo. Josep Renalias/ Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY 2.5