January 25, 2022 4:21 pm

Prevent explosions and emission of harmful gases when lava reaches the sea

The rivers of lava that run along the western slope of La Palma towards the coast, after the eruption that began this Sunday on the island, will bury terrestrial, electrical and telephone communications and will create acid rain when, in the next few hours, they reach the sea .

This was explained to Efe by the professor of Geology at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria José Mangas, who has detailed that the flows of this strombolian-type eruption, characterized by small explosions of materials in a pasty state, which happen in a few minutes or hours, accompanied by spillage of lava flows, carry several cubic meters of lava per second.

The effect of this phenomenon is the creation of different lava tongues of several meters wide that are burying roads, viaducts, electrical and telephone lines and melting the PVC pipes of the drinking water pipes, as the lava advances to about 1,100 degrees of temperature.

When the lava rivers that run across the island of La Palma from this Sunday again reach the sea, a very notable thermal shock will occur

“It is like a steamroller, to re-enable the roads, explosions will be needed, it will not be possible with excavators,” he said.

The ULPGC geologist, who collaborates in this volcanic crisis to help the population understand the phenomenon he is witnessing, has also alluded to the destruction of homes, plantations, hotels, rural houses and agricultural facilities that this volcano will cause, a spectacle of nature that will also cause “significant losses” for the island of La Palma. “We are just beginning, it may last several days or weeks. The last eruption, of Teneguía in 1971 on the same island, in which two people died, was lasted for 24 days, “he recalled.

When the lava rivers that run through the island of La Palma again from this Sunday reach the sea (which is expected to happen in the next few hours in the form of a huge waterfall that will fall down a cliff of about one hundred meters of altitude, among others possibilities), there will be a very notable thermal shock, at the level of 1,100 degrees that volcanic material can have that comes into contact with water that is at 23 degrees.

Water with boiling oil

This will generate huge clouds of acid vapor, since seawater contains 35 grams of salts per kilo. And salt is made up of chlorine (NaCl, sodium chloride). “There will be explosions. It is as if we mixed boiling oil with water. Acid rain can be generated that causes throat and nose irritations to the population,” he explained.

The eruptive column will expel ash less than two millimeters at a distance greater than five kilometers

Regarding the impact of this geological phenomenon on the atmosphere, Mangas has reported that the eruptive column will expel ash of less than two millimeters at a distance greater than five kilometers.

The geologist has stressed that the planes travel through the tropostera, that is, at an altitude of between 10 and 15 kilometers, so he has ruled out that this eruption affects commercial aviation, although it does affect small aircraft, which it has already been forbidden to circulate.

What the ULPGC professor has assured is that, if the eruption lasts over time, the south of the island of La Palma may be affected by a significant layer of ash and toxic gases that will damage crops, since that is the direction the material is taking.


Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *