Volcanic eruptions are ill-famed for their hazardous effects on the environment, climate, landscape and people. Volcanic ash can blanket the landscape for miles, while the ash clouds can disrupt aircraft travel. What if there was a way to predict them in advance? Well, the disastrous effects could be tamed a little. Researchers at the universities of Leeds, Purdue, Indiana and Addis Ababa have been investigated volcanic activity occurring in the remote Afar desert of Northern Ethiopia from 2005 to 2009.
The team studied a rare sequence of 13 magmatic events, where hot molten rock was intruded into a crack between the African and Arabian plates. It was found that the location of each intrusion was linked and these findings could help in predicting more accurately the location where volcanic eruptions could strike. The study has demonstrated that volcanic eruptions can influence each other.