Are volcanic eruptions caused by earthquakes ?, study finds the answer

The factors that influence the effects of a telluric movement on a volcano are: the size of the earthquake, the frequency and energy.

The 2012 earthquakes in Central America would have influenced the rash and activation of some volcanoes of the area, according to an international study published in the magazine “Scientific Report”, in which the vucanologist from Geosciences Barcelona (Spain) has participated Joan Marti.

The study, led by Gino Gonzalez, doctoral student at the University of Bari (Italy) and a member of the NGO Volcanes Sin Fronteras, demonstrated the direct relationship that may exist between seismic activity and volcanic.

“In our study we quantitatively demonstrate when it is possible for earthquakes to trigger Volcanic eruptions“, Summarized Martí, who specified that the earthquakes influence volcanic activity, but only in cases “very concrete“When the volcano is already in a very advanced state of eruptive preparation.

“In the case of a volcano in a state of rest, the contribution of seismic energy to your system is not enough to start the eruption“Added the volcanologist.

“It is not a situation that can occur in a generalized way, but in very particular cases, which indicates the need to provide of a good volcanic monitoring in those potentially active volcanoes ”, he stressed.

Researchers have analyzed the earthquakes that occurred in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala between August and November 2012, a period in which Central America suffered three of the largest earthquakes with a minimum magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale.

After these earthquakes, the volcanic activity of that region was increase for days and even years later and they happened volcano eruptions that had been inactive for decades or hundreds of years.

“Volcanoes and earthquakes are closer together than we think and this could have implications on the global geodynamics from the interior of the Earth ”, highlighted Gino González.

The research also points out that, by analyze the possible effects of a seismic movement on a volcano, it is necessary to take into account not only the size of the earthquake, but also the time of breaking off, its dominant frequency and the Energy that radiates.

According to the researchers, the conclusions of this work are important to be able to reduce disasters because if large earthquakes occur and the degree of activity of the volcanoes is previously known, it can be predict which volcanoes will erupt in the medium term.