February 24, 2024

Not just Etna in Italy – 66 volcanic eruptions in 2023

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There have been several volcanic eruptions around the world this year. According to experts, there is no reason for concern, but they are calling for changes.

FRANKFURT – Fear of volcanic eruptions is growing around the world: in Iceland, the Grindavik region was recently forced to do so. To be evacuated due to the presence of an underground magma tunnel. Italy has been affected by severe earthquakes in the area around the Phlegraine fields for several days Near Naples, increasing the possibility of a volcanic eruption.

However, these are not the only volcanoes of concern. Consequently Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program 66 volcanoes have already erupted in 2023 alone (As of November 23, 2023). These include, among others, the Borací volcano in Colombia and the Aira caldera in Japan. 46 volcanoes, such as Etna, are in a state of continuous eruption.

Not only Etna in Italy: 66 volcanic eruptions in 2023 – the Eifel volcano is also active

In total, there are between 1,300 and 1,900 active volcanoes on Earth. A volcano is usually only classified as extinct if it has not erupted in more than 10,000 years.

Perhaps a longer period should be specified, because this classification is controversial from a scientific standpoint. Like the website Laenderdaten.info He explains that there are many volcanoes that show underground activity even after this time and could erupt again. For example, the Eifel volcano in Lake Lacher, which has been dormant for nearly 13,000 years.

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To avoid risks: volcanoes should be explored better

Of the volcanoes currently classified as active, 82 are in Europe and 32 are in Iceland, where volcanic eruptions regularly affect daily life. However, most active volcanoes are located in the USA, Japan, Indonesia, Russia and Chile.

About 50 to 70 volcanoes erupt every year. (Avatar) © imago/imagebroker

However, there is still a significant deficit in volcano research. It was not until 2022 that researchers complained about the possibility of the existence of some dangerous volcanoes about which nothing is yet known. It was said that these are located in areas neglected by science.

In addition, seismometers have been used to record ground vibrations in less than a third of volcanic eruptions since 1950, and only a third of this data is included in a global database. At the same time, it was also pointed out that a supervolcanic eruption poses an increasingly realistic risk.

Experts give the obvious: 50 to 70 volcanic eruptions per year are normal

Despite this increasing danger, the Global Volcanology Program indicated that there is no indication of increased volcanic activity on Earth. The Smithsonian Institution has been collecting data on volcanic eruptions since 1968.

According to experts, it is not unusual for between 50 and 70 volcanoes to erupt every year. In 2022, for example, 80 volcanic eruptions were recorded.

On the X platform (formerly Twitter), volcanologist and journalist Dr. Robin George Andrews points out that volcanoes erupt all the time, all over the world. Although volcanic eruptions can have serious consequences, he says it would be more worrying if volcanoes did not erupt. (Law)