phenomenon, Monitored by the American research satellite Aqua, looks like a stone thrown into a pond. Only in this case does the “stone” fall upward: it is steam and hot air rushing upward from the volcano. The pond consists of sedentary layers of air, at an altitude of more than five kilometers above the Canary Island.
Once at the summit, the volcanic air cools, sinks slightly, and is then pushed back up: the vertical vibration that creates expanding clouds. Footage of the phenomenon from the ground clearly shows that the clouds at high altitudes are made up of water vapor rising from the volcano. At higher altitudes, the vapor cools and condenses into clouds:
This phenomenon is called “heavy waves”. Not to be confused with ‘gravitational waves’, a cosmic phenomenon in which space itself undulates slightly after collision between some supermassive objects such as black holes. Atmospheric gravitational waves sometimes form around mountaintops as air is pushed up a mountainside, or over severe storm fronts.
In recent days, the eruption of Cumbre Vieja has intensified, with new lava flows and ash showers over parts of the island. Very annoying, because the “ash” in question is not combustion ash as it’s known from the stove, but volcanic ash, a heavy rock powder that can collapse roofs and harden like concrete when wet.
The volcano came to life two weeks ago, and is now spewing lava from four vents, including the crater itself. A new lava flow has now crossed the LP2 Highway, one of the island’s main traffic routes. With that, the lava begins to approach Los Llanos de Aridan, with a population of 20,000, the most populous city in La Palma.
“Most of the suffering still awaits us,” said President Mariano Hernandez Zapata of La Palma Island Council. against the Spanish newspaper Country. Experts also hypothesize that the new lava flow will correlate with the existing lava flow and will flow towards the sea.
Regional authorities announced in a press conference on Friday that the volcano has released about 80 million cubic meters of lava. This is twice as much as the last eruption of the Tiguia volcano at La Palma, but at a much shorter time.
The situation remains unpredictable, according to the site’s volcanologists. Who knows what other surprises – and beautiful pictures – the volcano will throw into the world in the coming days and weeks.
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