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The explosive mixture of water and lava has awakened a monster in Capelinhos.  The science that explains the 1957 eruption in the Azores - Observer

The explosive mixture of water and lava has awakened a monster in Capelinhos. The science that explains the 1957 eruption in the Azores – Observer

In the Azores, shortly after emitting water vapor, carbon dioxide, sulfates, and sulfur dioxide, a new volcano began spewing large lava – volcanic ash mixed with sand, dust, and labile, as well as a pumice stone made of basalt – in pointed jets with a height of 1400 m, consisting of black bulbs due to hardening of lava; And other eggs due to water vaporWhich exceeded four kilometers in height. The emission of this ash was so abundant that by October 10, about two weeks after the start of volcanic activity, an island 800 meters in diameter and 99 meters in height had already formed and a crater opened to the sea. In the same place, before the eruption of the volcano, the depth of the ocean was 70 meters.

These ash eruptions were caused by very cold water coming into contact with scorching lava, as described by the Observer volcanologist Jose Pacheco, director of the Institute for the Investigation of Volcanology and Risk Assessment. The perfect combination was: an amount of water came into contact with the same amount of lava, Magma crushes at high speeds, resulting in the formation of large amounts of ash. Impregnated with sodium chloride, the result of this chemical reaction, the explosions spread into the air and intensified, adding to the ash rain that covered Faial. Crops were damaged, some villages had to be evacuated, and soon the new volcano cone rose in the azure light.

Until the end of October, peace returned to Faial. The cone of the volcano, made of a very unstable material, suffered partial collapses, and the small island around the mouth of the pyroclast was flooded again. But that was only for a short time: at the beginning of the following month, the eruption reactivated to the point of creating a new island about 100 meters from the first. Its growth continued until it formed an isthmus linking the newly formed island to Vaila, with a lake fed by material drawn by the sea or sand thrown by the volcano. In December, the width of the isthmus was 600 meters and the explosive stage of Capelinhos, whose volcano was constantly fed by sea water and lava, reached its peak earlier in the same month.

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The eruption lasted until 1958 through short periods of lull. But on one occasion, it took on different characteristics: since the volcano was already on the surface, and the sea water did not have direct contact with the source of the lava, it began to seep from the flanks. This is what happened on December 16, at 10:30 p.m., when The light emitted by the glowing lava lit the clouds into a pink glow. In the eastern region of the volcano, a fracture opened which gave rise to seven lava fountains that rose from 10 to 15 meters in height. From them erupted lava that was going to reach the sea.