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The submarine volcano of El Hierro Island continues its degassing

17 April 2012 IEO Instituto Español de Oceanografía

Researchers at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), on board the research vessel Cornide de Saavedra (owned by IEO), have found that the submarine volcano of El Hierro (Canary Islands) continues expelling gases, but these are essentially CO2, presenting no sulfur compounds.

Researchers of the Physical Oceanography Department of IEO centre in the Canary Islands led by Eugenio Fraile, along with researchers of the Chemistry Department of ULPGC, continue to study of the physical-chemical properties of the water around the submarine volcano of El Hierro Island.

The degassing of the volcano could be observed from the research vessel Cornide de Saavedra. The composition of these gases was fundamentally CO2 with complete absence of sulfur compounds. During the cruise, from 5 to 9 April, 19 hydrographic stations were carried out from surface to the bottom of the ocean.

They collected data of temperature, salinity, depth, fluorescence, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH, alkalinity, total inorganic carbon and partial pressure of CO2, among others, in order to quantify the environmental impact caused by the volcano seven months after the beginning of the eruptive process in the Island.

The scientists have observed an area of 500 meter of radius around the submarine volcanic cone where the physical-chemical properties of the water column are still significantly affected. This is the case of pH and salinity, that decrease 1.8 units and 0.1 below the normal values, respectively. Recent studies have confirmed that, due to the effects of the Climate Change, salinity in the Canary region will increase the order of 0.1 in the next decade. The submarine volcano, seven months after the beginning of the eruptive process, is producing a salinity variation that expected in the next ten years, but of opposite sign.

Researchers at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), on board the research vessel Cornide de Saavedra (owned by IEO), have found that the submarine volcano of El Hierro (Canary Islands) continues expelling gases, but these are essentially CO2, presenting no sulfur compounds.

Researchers of the Physical Oceanography Department of IEO centre in the Canary Islands led by Eugenio Fraile, along with researchers of the Chemistry Department of ULPGC, continue to study of the physical-chemical properties of the water around the submarine volcano of El Hierro Island.

The degassing of the volcano could be observed from the research vessel Cornide de Saavedra. The composition of these gases was fundamentally CO2 with complete absence of sulfur compounds. During the cruise, from 5 to 9 April, 19 hydrographic stations were carried out from surface to the bottom of the ocean.

They collected data of temperature, salinity, depth, fluorescence, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH, alkalinity, total inorganic carbon and partial pressure of CO2, among others, in order to quantify the environmental impact caused by the volcano seven months after the beginning of the eruptive process in the Island.

The scientists have observed an area of 500 meter of radius around the submarine volcanic cone where the physical-chemical properties of the water column are still significantly affected. This is the case of pH and salinity, that decrease 1.8 units and 0.1 below the normal values, respectively. Recent studies have confirmed that, due to the effects of the Climate Change, salinity in the Canary region will increase the order of 0.1 in the next decade. The submarine volcano, seven months after the beginning of the eruptive process, is producing a salinity variation that expected in the next ten years, but of opposite sign.

Attached files

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