TORNADO explosion from newest volcano


The new images show the long spinning fog emanating from Litli-Hrútur, or 'Little Ram' volcano, on Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula

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Iceland’s newest volcano continues to put on a spectacular display, with a ‘tornado’ spouting from its crater.

New images show the swirling column of air emanating from the Litli-Hrútur, or “Little Ram,” volcano, which formed on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula last month.

The stunning spectacle is the result of the heat of lava heating up the air above, causing the air to become less dense and rise.

Under the right wind conditions, this column of hot air begins to spin like a superfast corkscrew and appears as a ‘tornado’.

Litli-Hrútur has already thrown “splash bombs” of molten lava into the air and landed far beyond the rims of the crater.

The new images show the long spinning fog emanating from Litli-Hrútur, or ‘Little Ram’ volcano, on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula

David Smart, a storm researcher at University College London, said the term “tornado” could be used in this case, even though it’s likely different from the traditional definition of a tornado.

The American Meteorological Society defines a tornado as a rapidly rotating column of air that extends vertically from the Earth’s surface to the base of a cumulus cloud.

This “tornado” appears to be related to an entirely different cloud: the ash cloud ejected from the volcano (known as the “eruption column”).

“It’s not clear from the video whether the vortex is in fact coming from the eruption column cloud,” Smart told MailOnline.

“I think it was likely that it was atmospheric instability near the surface that amplified the updraft in the lower cloud layer and below the eruption cloud.

“This effect “stretches” the vorticity (“spin” of air packets) close to the ground and leads to a high, compact vortex.”

Litli-Hrútur was formed when an underground eruption opened a 1.7-mile rift in Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, that is southwest of the capital Reykjavík and close to the country’s main international airport, Keflavik.

The volcano, which is located on Mount Fagradalsfjall, began erupting Monday after increased seismic activity in the area.  It is 20 miles from Keflavik Airport

The volcano, which is located on Mount Fagradalsfjall, began erupting Monday after increased seismic activity in the area. It is 20 miles from Keflavik Airport

The stunning tornado or

The stunning tornado or “dust devil” is the result of the heat of lava heating up the air above, causing the air to become less dense and rise

Under Iceland's crashing winds, this column of hot air twists like a corkscrew to produce the 'tornado'

Under Iceland’s crashing winds, this column of hot air twists like a corkscrew to produce the ‘tornado’

Litli-Hrútur has already thrown 'splash bombs' of molten lava into the air and landed far beyond the rims of the crater

Litli-Hrútur has already thrown ‘splash bombs’ of molten lava into the air and landed far beyond the rims of the crater

Timeline of the volcano’s formation

July 4: Increased seismic activity on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula

10th of July: An underground eruption opens a 1.7 mile long fissure in the ground

July 18: ‘A major shift in volcano venting activity’ causes lava to ‘fill to the brim’

July 19: Lava flows over the crater and the crater collapses

This underground eruption was preceded by a “seismic swarm” of 7,000 earthquakes in the region, the largest of which was a magnitude 4.8 quake, according to Iceland’s Met Office.

There are usually earthquakes that lead to a volcanic eruption, caused by the movement of magma and other fluids in the volcano.

Bags of methane in the lava also explode, according to the Icelandic Met Office, leading to loud booms that can be heard by locals.

“If lava flows over a vegetated area, methane gas can be produced if the vegetation does not burn completely,” it said in a statement. Facebook message.

‘The gas then accumulates in crevices and cavities in the lava.

“It mixes with oxygen and if an ember or flame of the fire breaks out in it, an explosion occurs.”

Scientists said the temperature of the lava seeping out of the crater was about 2,192°F (1,200°C).

Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir, an associate professor of geography at the University of Iceland, said there was some “concern” because two people were in the area just over an hour before the crater collapsed.

“They couldn’t possibly have had time to escape and survive being there an hour later because the collapse happened so quickly,” she told MailOnline.

Litli-Hrútur is part of the Fagradalsfjall volcanic area, located in an uninhabited part of the Reykjanes Peninsula

Litli-Hrútur is part of the Fagradalsfjall volcanic area, located in an uninhabited part of the Reykjanes Peninsula

“They shouldn’t have been there, of course, because the area so close to the crater is closed off and extremely dangerous.”

Authorities in Iceland warned onlookers to stay away from a newly erupting volcano spewing lava and noxious gases.

The Icelandic Met Office has said locals should “watch out for this danger and not get too close to the edge of the lava.”

Still, tourists and spectators flock to the site, eager to experience the natural spectacle up close.

A British YouTuber went to the active volcano to cook a store-bought chicken currybut activity on the site could decrease.

Last week, Litli-Hrútur produced somewhere between 30 and 50 percent less lava than the week before, RÚV reports.

According to Þorvaldur Þórðarson, a professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland, this could mean the end of the eruption could be just one to two weeks away.

“Based on how the changes have been over the past week, it should be one to two weeks until the end of the eruption, maybe it could be a bit longer.”

Last week, the European Space Agency (ESA) released a satellite image of the volcanic eruption, which appears as an orange blob on the Reykjanes Peninsula, followed by a plume of smoke.

European Space Agency has released a satellite image of the volcano's eruption, which appears as an orange blob on the Reykjanes Peninsula, followed by a plume of smoke

European Space Agency has released a satellite image of the volcano’s eruption, which appears as an orange blob on the Reykjanes Peninsula, followed by a plume of smoke

This aerial photo, taken on July 10, shows smoke rising from flowing lava during a volcanic eruption

This aerial photo, taken on July 10, shows smoke rising from flowing lava during a volcanic eruption

Authorities in Iceland warned onlookers to stay away from a newly erupting volcano spewing lava and noxious gases

Authorities in Iceland warned onlookers to stay away from a newly erupting volcano spewing lava and noxious gases

Satellites orbiting the Earth are constantly capturing the molten lava and plume of smoke emanating from the “Little Ram.”

Satellite technologies now make it possible to monitor volcanic activity even in the most isolated corners of the world.

“Satellites have a variety of instruments that provide a wealth of additional information to better understand volcanic eruptions.”

Litli-Hrútur is part of the Fagradalsfjall volcanic field, which came to life after about 800 years of silence in March 2021 with an eruption in the Geldingadalur Valley, followed by a smaller eruption in the nearby Meradalur Valley in August 2022.

HOW CAN RESEARCHERS PREDICT VOLCANO EFFECTS?

According to Eric Dunham, an associate professor in Stanford University’s School of Earth, energy and Environmental Sciences, “Volcanoes are complicated and there is currently no universally applicable way to predict eruptions. It will most likely never come.’

However, there is evidence of increased volcanic activity, which researchers can use to help predict volcanic eruptions.

Researchers can monitor indicators such as:

  • Volcanic infrasound: When the lava lake rises in the crater of an open volcano, a sign of a possible eruption, the pitch or frequency of the sounds generated by the magma tends to increase.
  • Seismic activity: Prior to an eruption, seismic activity in the form of small earthquakes and tremors almost always increases as magma moves through the volcano’s “plumbing.”
  • Gas emissions: As magma approaches the surface and the pressure decreases, gases escape. Sulfur dioxide is one of the main components of volcanic gases, and increasing amounts of it are a sign of increasing amounts of magma near a volcano’s surface.
  • Soil deformation: Changes in a volcano’s ground surface (volcano deformation) appear as swelling, sinking, or cracking, which can be caused by magma, gas, or other fluids (usually water) moving underground or by movements in the Earth’s crust due to movement along fault lines . Swelling of a volcano can be a signal that magma has accumulated near the surface.

Source: United States Geological Survey