Volcano eruptions can be predicted years in advance by ‘black box’ | Science | News


Scientists hope to predict volcanic eruptions years in advance thanks to ‘black box’

A study of crystals from an eruption in New Zealand about 700 years ago found a pattern in the thermal history of magma that reveals when the next one is due.

The analysis found it went through a comparatively ‘cool’ period for thousands of years before heating up.

Once temperatures reached 750 degrees Celsius, it was a short amount of time – decades or less – before an eruption occurred.

Geologist Professor Adam Kent, of Oregon State University, said: “Mobility in magma is a function of temperature and most of the time when it is sitting there in the Earth’s crust under the volcano it is cool.

“Of course, cool is a relative description since it is still some 650 degrees Celsius. I would not put my finger on it.

“But to erupt onto the Earth’s surface magma needs…

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