An enormous magma dome is growing under the Greek Island of Santorini, while pressures are building inside Japan's Mt. Fuji. And things aren't so quiet right here in the US either!
A new survey suggests that the chamber of molten rock beneath Santorini's volcano expanded 30-40 MILLION cubic feet between January 2011 and April 2012. Santorini had its last major eruption 3,600 years ago, burying the islands of Santorini under tons of pumice. The amount of molten rock that has arrived beneath Santorini in the past year is the equivalent of about 10-20 years growth of the volcano.
Meanwhile, Mt. Fuji's internal pressure is now greater than it was before its last eruption in 1720. While volcanologists do not believe that the increase in the size of Santorini's magma dome warns of a new eruption, there is concern that Mt. Fuji could be close to erupting, which would be another incredible disaster for Japan.
Pressure in the magma chamber beneath the volcano has drastically increased after the tsunami in March 2011 and a magnitude 6.4 quake near the volcano four days later, and is currently higher than it was before the last eruption 300 years ago in 1707.
What worries volcanologists is that the 1707 eruption in 1707 was probably influenced, if not triggered, by an earthquake. The Volcano Discovery site quotes a spokesman for the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention as saying, "It's possible for Mount Fuji to erupt even several years after the March 2011 earthquake, therefore we need to be careful about the development."
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