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Etna is not volcano but just giant hot spring

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Staff Writer | January 19, 2018
Mount Etna, one of the world's deadliest volcanoes, may not be a real volcano after all, according to a new study, which said that the mountain, located on the east coast of Italy's island of Sicily, could just be "a giant hot spring."
Mount Etna
Nature   The amount of different materials found
Despite spewing tonnes of molten rock, Mount Etna - with mostly water feeding its cone - also emits more than 7 million tonnes of steam, carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) every year.

This peculiarity has puzzled Carmelo Ferlito, a geologist at the University of Catania in Sicily, who claims that Etna is more like a hot spring rather than a "true volcano."

In a new study published in the journal Earth-Science Review, Ferlito has questioned why the 3,329-metre high mountain does not seem to produce enough lava for the amount of gas it belches out. The research was first spotted by New Scientist.

It is widely believed that water, CO2 and SO2 are produced as magma loses pressure as it rises to the surface through the volcano's vent. Ferlito said that for this to be true, Etna would need to eject 10 times more lava than it does at present.

Ferlito's research is primarily based on the idea the amount of different materials found inside Mount Etna is not explained by current theories.

He said in the new study that the chamber, which feeds Mount Etna, contains only 30 percent molten rock while the rest of the space is filled with huge amounts of CO2, water and SO2.


 

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