Scientists have revealed that a massive lake is located underneath a volcano. The Bolivian volcano known as Cerro Uturuncu is a large peak which rises from the plateau of South America’s Altiplano. Researchers have unveiled a source of water situated deep in the crust of Earth. Unfortunately, studies have demonstrated that this idea is only partially true.
- Scientists revealed a massive source of water under a volcano.
- This massive lake could influence the eruptions of the volcano.
Underneath the volcano, there is a source of water, but not an actual lake. The amount of water situated beneath the melted rocks is equivalent to the quantity needed to fill Lake Superior. This type of water located underneath the surface is one of the causes for eruptions. The eruptions of volcanoes located in subduction zones which have such sources of water are fueled by them because one fragment from Earth’s crust gets pushed under another one.
Jon Blundy, who is a petrologist at the University of Bristol in the UK, has argued that the amount of water which was discovered there was twice as much compared to what scientists have expected. Blundy together with his team conducted this study due to the measurements they received through satellite. The data revealed that the ground around the volcano was decaying.
Usually, this phenomenon indicates that the magma which is situated underneath the volcano is moving. After conducting seismic measurements, the team of scientists unveiled an abnormality at about 15 kilometers under the surface. At that point, the seismic waves almost entirely scattered and the electrical conductivity disappeared.
After collecting andesite, which is an igneous rock present in the petrified lava flows of the volcano, scientists have created a simulation of the conditions under Cerro Uturuncu in the lab. The andesite was exposed to high temperatures and various pressures, testing its conductivity. After this experiment, they were able to transpose the data into the analysis of the real world massive lake underneath the volcano.
Along the years, many types of research have proved that underneath volcanoes’ cones there are chambers full of liquid magma. But mainly, volcanoes are fueled by a material which is partially liquid and partially solid hot rock which is subjected to considerable pressure. This incredible mixture called mush can remain captured in the portions filled with solid rocks.
The mush from the Altiplano-Puna magma that lies underneath the volcano is approximately 10% liquid. Apparently, 10% of the composition of that liquid is water.
Image source: wikipedia