Increased gas flux observed in Kanlaon Volcano

Posted by watchmen
May 2, 2024


An increase in the sulfur dioxide (S02) emission reaching 2,707 tons was observed in Kanlaon Volcano on Tuesday, April 30, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

The volcano has been emitting an average of 1,300 tons per day this year, while a high average of 3,098 tons was recorded last January 19.

In an advisory, Phivolcs noted that although Kanlaon’s volcanic earthquake activity has remained at a baseline average of three per day, increased seismicity has been recorded several times this year.

“The volcano is continuously releasing sulfur dioxide. Although this volume is quite significant since Kanlaon normally spews out very minimal SO2 of about 50 tons per day, this does not mean this will lead to a magmatic eruption which is driven by magma coming from deep down the volcano,” Phivolcs Director Teresito Bacolcol told the Philippine News Agency.

He explained they still have to look at other parameters such as the increasing number of volcanic earthquakes and they do not see that at the moment.

“The overall monitoring parameters indicate that degassing of deep magma may be driving increased hydrothermal activity beneath the edifice, causing increased volcanic gas emission, swelling of the edifice, and occasional volcanic earthquake activity,” the advisory read.

Bacolcol said this means it appears like there is a lot of sulfur dioxide gas coming out of Kanlaon Volcano because magma from deep down is releasing it.

“This is making the volcano inflate and causing occasional earthquakes around it.”

Meanwhile, Kanlaon remains under Alert Level 1 (low level unrest).

Phivolcs advises the public to be vigilant and refrain from entering the 4-km. permanent danger zone due to increased chances of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions without warning.

It also urged aviation authorities to advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit, as ejecta from any sudden phreatic eruption could be hazardous to aircraft. (PNA)


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