La Palma grows lava with 30 football fields, but that still has to cool off for a while: 'a few years before you can keep it up'

La Palma grows lava with 30 football fields, but that still has to cool off for a while: ‘a few years before you can keep it up’

The lava flow at La Palma reached the sea. Volcanologist Rob Govers: “As if you could see part of evolution with your own eyes.”Dutch photo height / EPA

When the lava flow collided with the cold sea water, large clouds of white steam rose into the air. Toxic gases and explosions, which the authorities feared, remained under control. Favorable winds blew the fumes towards the sea, and the locals did not bother them. A lucky break, because the natural disaster left a series of destroyed buildings. More than 6,000 people were forced to flee their homes after Cumbre Vieja volcano began shooting on September 19.

Meanwhile, the frozen lava flow formed a new peninsula the size of 20 hectares. “It’s as if you could see a part of evolution with your own eyes,” says Rob Govers, associate professor of tectonic physics at Utrecht University. Especially, because “these geological processes are usually slow as much as I don’t know what.”

Govers says it is difficult to determine the temperature of the lava now. When lava flowed from the crater, the temperature was over 1,000 degrees. On its way down, the block cooled, only to lose more heat into the cold water.

cooling down

However, the newly formed country is still too warm to enter at the moment. Judges: “In a year’s time, the hard lava on the beach will have cooled enough to go there. At least the surface. With a depth of half a meter, the temperature is easily a few hundred degrees.

Before people can use the land, the volcanic soil must cool for a few more years. Judges: Right now, you have to ask yourself why you want to start something there in the first place. The newly formed Earth would eventually become very fertile, but for now it is still a completely dry lunar surface.

La Palma is not the only island that has suddenly gained a few hectares of land. All over the world, new pieces of land are regularly created by volcanic eruptions: Iceland expands from time to time due to volcanic eruptions, and Hawaii experiences an increase in its surface area from time to time.

In Hawaii, 3 acres of lava that froze in 1955 led to Issue. The couple, whose possessions were on the border of the new volcanic land patch, thought the land belonged to them. The judge in the end did not agree with the spouses: everyone on the island had to enjoy the new land.

On Friday, a third fissure formed on Cumbre Vieja volcano, through which two new flows of lava have pushed them out. Spanish media report. The new streams have already swallowed several homes on their way down. The question is whether the additional lava flows will join the main flow, or will they follow their own path down. In the second case, new homes will be affected and more people will have to be evacuated.

Satellite images show the path of lava: from the volcano to the sea.  Photo credit: European Space Agency

Satellite images show the path of lava: from the volcano to the sea.Photo credit: European Space Agency

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