Drones, dykes and discontinuities: the role of intrusions in the construction and destruction of ocean island volcanoes

2019-11-22T00:05:14Z (GMT) by SAMUEL THOMAS THIELE
During volcanic eruptions, magma flows from an underground magma chamber to the Earth’s surface. Some of this magma solidifies before erupting, forming sheets of strong rock called dykes. The distribution of dykes in a volcano on the island of La Palma was mapped using drone-mounted cameras, and their orientation and geometry quantified. The dykes appear to form a rigid framework that stabilizes the volcano, but can rapidly collapse to cause volcanic landslides. Older dykes also deflect younger ones, affecting the location of future eruptions. These findings have the potential to help predict future volcanic activity and manage associated risks.