Sinking lava in Hawaii volcano may trigger explosive eruption

The last time there was a large-scale explosive eruption from Kilauea was in 1924. Even bigger ones occured in the late 18th century.


NSFW    ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII — Geologists have warned an explosive eruption is possible at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano.

Writing last Wednesday, the United States Geological Survey said if lava at the Kilauea volcano summit drops beneath groundwater levels, the inflow of water could result in steam-driven explosions.

The USGS warns that steam-driven ballistic projectiles — blocks measuring 2 meters across and weighing up to several tons — could be sent flying 1 kilometer from the summit. Smaller blocks may travel farther.

Citing geologists, Reuters reports an explosive eruption could send ash plumes as high as 6,000 meters. Ash clouds and other, even smaller debris from such an even could spread up to 19.2 kilometers from the Kilauea summit.
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