Incandescent lava, sulfur dioxide and CO2: the palm volcano continues to kick

Image taken a few days ago in a dike of the cone of the Palmero volcano where a temperature of 973 degrees was recorded. / IGN/STAVROS MELETLIDIS

The degassing caused by the cooling of the magma at depth is the origin of these visible sequelae of the eruption.

Carmen Delia Aranda

The palmero volcano is still immersed in posteruptive activity that can be seen in the incandescent points of the main cone and in the emission of gasesboth in the crater and in coastal areas.

A) Yes,
six months and 28 days after the end of the eruptionsome Crater fractures reach temperatures close to a thousand degrees centigrade Also,
sulfur dioxide emissions continue that color yellowconevolcanic.

This slow degassing process can also be seen in the coastal nuclei of
Puerto Naos and La Bombilla, where are they still registered anomalous diffuse emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in concentrations incompatible with life that prevent the return of neighbors.

“We have to continue measuring and monitoring to see if there is a downward trend in these emissions. At the moment, there is no estimate of how long this process can last", explains the volcanologist of the National Geographic Institute, Stavros Meletlidis, about the monitoring of gases in these neighborhoods, still evicted, carried out jointly by Involcan, the Canarian Government and the IGN. «
For now we have not registered substantial changes to say that emissions are going down", the Mint.

The
magma cooling at depth is the cause of these phenomena, says Meletlidis.

In the case of
sulfur dioxide emissions in the crater they occur because, "once the magma reaches a shallow depth, a few kilometers, that dioxide begins to escape" and this process will continue as long as there is part of the magmatic body cooling in depth.

“The gas bubbles that they give off accumulate, leave the body and continue on their way to the surface”, indicates the scientist who clarifies that
the current concentrations of SO2 are far from those recorded in the eruptionwhen the volcano emitted thousands of tons into the atmosphere per day.

At the mouth of the volcano, the emanations become visible in the form of
sulfur crystals because it is there where there is an open corridor through which the magma cools, points out the IGN scientist.

These emissions are normal and will last a long time. «
On Teide we have a fumarolic emission with low emission of this type of gas and it has to do with what is in depth”, he indicates. And it is that these processes are long.

"The system does not balance itself out suddenly, nor can it go from 1,200 to 80 degrees in three months," says Meletlidis. In fact,
it is likely that incandescent magma will continue to be seen in the crater fractures for "a year or more".

"In all volcanoes, near the central channel through which the material has been emitted, concentrated in the area of ​​the cones and the crater, there is magma that cools very slowly," he adds.

The expert trusts that these incandescences will disappear in a few months, but affirms that if a survey were carried out at a depth of one kilometer, they would continue to be seen. "The deeper the temperature, the higher the temperature," says the scientist who a few days ago, in one of these cracks in the cone, reached a temperature of 973 degrees Celsius.

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