Determining the current size and state of eruptible magma reservoirs

A team of volcanologists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), working in collaboration with the University of Heidelberg in Germany, has devised a technique that can predict the devastating potential of volcanoes. The scientists used zircon, a tiny crystal contained in volcanic rocks, to estimate the volume of magma that could be erupted once Nevado de Toluca volcano (Mexico) will wake up from its dormancy. Up to 350 km3 of magma —about four times the volume of water stored in Lake Geneva— are currently lying below Nevado de Toluca and their eruption could bring devastation. The new technique, applicable to most types of volcano across the globe, is described in the scientific journal Nature Communication.
A link to the press release of the University of Geneva is here.

November 5, 2020