A giant is awakening in Alaska, sleeping for about 900 years: magma has already risen by almost 10 km

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A giant that has been sleeping for about 900 years is awakening in Alaska: magma has already risen by almost 10 km

Innovative method reveals early signs of volcanic activity under Mount Edgecomb.

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Mount Edgecombe is located on Kruzoff Island on the western side of Sitka Sound in Alaska, USA, and is an extinct volcano about 800-900 years ago. However, recently researchers have noticed activity – magma has already risen from a depth of 9.6 km, writes Sci Tech Daily.

According to researchers from the Alaska Volcano Observatory, magma under the Edgecombe volcano moves upward through the earth's crust from a depth 19.3 km and has already overcome about 9.6 km of ascent.

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Scientists have obtained such data using an innovative method for detecting volcanic activity in Alaska. The researchers used computer simulations based on satellite data as well as earthquake and surface deformation data.

According to the author of the research work, Ronnie Gralentin, professor of geodesy at the University of Alaska Fairbecks, scientists are currently observing the highest rate of volcanic deformation in Alaska. He also noted that the deformation of volcanoes is not at all a rare phenomenon, but activity in Edgecombe is very unusual, because the reactivation of dormant volcanic systems is extremely rare. . It is assumed that the magma will most likely reach the upper chamber through a nearly vertical channel, but will not be able to move further up due to the thick ball of magma already in the upper chamber.

During the study, the Alaska Volcano Observatory collaborated with colleagues from the Geophysical Institute and the Alaska Satellite Center. As a result, researchers were able to use cloud computing for analysis, instead of spending months downloading and organizing data.

The research team began work on April 11, 2022, when a series of earthquakes were recorded near Mount Edgecombe. During the study, scientists analyzed the deformation of the soil using satellite data over the past 7.5 years.

After 4 days, the first preliminary results appeared – earthquakes are caused by the rise of magma. Further, the scientists carried out additional data processing – the preliminary results were confirmed. Fortunately, new methods can reduce research to weeks, rather than spending months on it.

The researchers found that the most striking area was in the south of Kruzof Island – its diameter was about 17 km with a center of 12, 4 km east of the volcano. Deformation in this area began abruptly in August 2018 and continued at a rate of about 8.6 centimeters per year, reaching a total of almost 27 centimeters by early 2022.

Computer simulations confirmed that the cause of deformation is intrusion new magma. Scientists suggest that this new method will make it possible to recognize volcanic activity at earlier stages, because it is the deformation of the soil that is one of the early indicators of volcanic activity.