The eruption in Iceland changed scientists' perception of how volcanoes "work"

The eruption in Iceland changed scientists' perception of how volcanoes "work"

By taking samples of magma from the Fagradalsfiadl volcano in Iceland, scientists have re-examined the volcanic eruption process, calling into question the theory followed by geologists over the past 200 years. "We have a big surprise," said scientists in a press release for a new study.

Geologists at the University of Iceland were trying to figure out how deep the mantle of Fagradalsfiadl was born, how deep beneath the surface it was stored, and what was going on in the tank before and after the eruption.

"It was supposed to be slow to fill the magmatical home with the passage of time, and it is actively mixed there, and then it flows during the eruption," the scientists explain. This is a structured two-stage process. Geologists do not expect any significant changes in the chemical composition of the magma when it comes out of the ground, such as on Mount Kilauea in Hawaii.

But in Iceland, the rate of change in key chemical indicators is almost 1,000 times higher. In a month, the eruption of Fagradalsfyadl was more volatile in the composition of magma than in Kilauea in decades. The overall range of chemical compositions of this event is similar to all eruptions in south-west Iceland over the last 10,000 years.

According to scientists, this variability is the result of successive flows of magma entering the cell from deeper layers of mantle, which suggests that volcanoes may not explod at all as scientists have previously thought.