FunNature & AnimalKilauea volcano in 4K

Kilauea volcano in 4K

Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.It is a shield-type volcano that forms the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii. It rises 1,227 meters above sea level and makes up approximately 14% of the land area of the Big Island. The summit caldera contains a lava lake known asHospitalwhich legend has it is the home of the Hawaiian volcano goddess,Skin.

Kilauea has had more than 60 recorded eruptions in the current cycle, according to the US Geological Survey, and has been erupting continuously since 1983.

On May 3, 2018, the volcano dramatically erupted, several hours after a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Big Island.The eruption spewed a lot of lava, prompting evacuations at Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.The volcano spewed the equivalent of 320,000 Olympic pools of lava.Much of it ended up flowing into the Pacific Ocean, creating plumes of acidic and glassy vapor in the process.

The eruption also unexpectedly coincided with an explosion in the phytoplankton population. The massive bloom began just three days after the Kilauea lava hit the sea for the first time. It spread rapidly,extending almost 100 miles from the coast in just two weeks.When the eruption subsided and the lava stopped flowing into the sea, the bloom also disappeared at high speed.


At first, scientists were puzzled by the fact that lava over 1,000 ° C could trigger a biological bloom. A study published in
Science revealed that it was something of a volcanic sleight of hand: As the lava fell to the depths of the ocean, it heated the deeper, nutrient-rich waters, allowing them to bubble to the nutrient-depleted surface . This provided a great feast for the phytoplankton, leading to their rapid proliferation.

 

After all, basalt and other volcanic materials are known to significantly enrich terrestrial ecosystems in the long term, even though they can initially be catastrophic for life.

 

The study could have implications for modeling climate change projections, as volcanic eruptions and algal blooms have opposite influences on atmospheric carbon levels. While volcanoes spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, marine microbes capture about 10 gigatons of carbon from the air into the ocean each year.

 

 

 

 

If you want to know more about volcanoes, don’t miss this gallery.

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