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PLANET NEWS

Volcanic Magma One Source of Earthquakes

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In addition to hot ash, lava, and lightning, volcanoes typically produce earthquakes as magma surges through the mountain on its way to eruption. In fact, volcanic eruptions are so often preceded by flurries of small earthquakes (call "swarms") that scientists use earthquake activity at volcanoes to predict the immanency of eruptions.

Now, researchers in Germany and the UK have found evidence that the source of these earthquakes comes not only from the hot magma pressing against the cool, solid rock of the volcano, but also from fractures in the magma itself. As magma temperatures change the molten material cracks and faults causing detectable seismic activity.

By studying and monitoring this phenomenon more carefully in the future, the researchers believe it will be possible to better predict volcanic eruptions.

Source: Nature.com

Related Links:
http://www.nature.com/nature

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